David Lee says there’s ‘zero’ chance that he could play a significant role for Warriors against Spurs

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When the news broke that David Lee was active and expected to play for the Warriors in Game 6 against the Nuggets, it was somewhat shocking, to say the least.

Lee was supposed to be out for the season, after suffering a torn hip flexor muscle in Game 1 of the series.

Lee didn’t do much more than give his team an emotional lift, and played just 1:27. The fact that he couldn’t really do any more damage to the injury that he categorized as “a completely torn muscle off the bone” gave him the idea to give it a go, but don’t expect him to be available to do much more than that in his team’s second round matchup against the San Antonio Spurs.

From Sam Amick of USA Today:

Asked if he could play a big role against the Spurs, Lee said, “Significant part like playing 30 minutes? Zero (chance).”

While Lee’s appearance in the team’s layup line before the game was a shock to fans and media on hand, the fact that Lee knew he could fix any damage done in the offseason led to his decision to give it a go.

“I saw tonight as an elimination game for both teams,” Lee said. “We didn’t want to have to go back to Denver (for Game 7). I tried to do whatever I could. I didn’t know it would respond. There’s those nights when you feel awful and then you get on the court and you feel pretty good. Tonight, after I shot that jumper, I went to backpedal and my leg was nonexistent.”

Warriors head coach Mark Jackson said a day after his team eliminated the Nuggets that he would continue to use Lee in short spurts if he’s feeling like he can go, but he’s also not going to place any expectations on his All-Star big man considering his diminished condition.

The bottom line seems to be that Lee may get to the point where he can play three or four minutes with his injury instead of the one and a half he was able to give his team in Game 6. But Jackson isn’t going to rush it, and Lee, despite his best efforts, isn’t likely to get much better than that without an offseason’s worth of rehabilitation, which could very possibly include surgery.

Remembering Notre Dame, Laker legend Tommy “the hawk” Hawkins

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Tommy Hawkins passed away recently at the age of 80.

The former NBA player was the first black athlete to earn All-America honors in basketball at Notre Dame (he still holds the school’s total rebounds record), was drafted in the first round, and went on to have a 10-year NBA career playing for the Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers as well as the Cincinnati Royals. Los Angeles fans may also remember him as the long time director of communications for the Los Angeles Dodgers after his playing days ended.

The NBA put together this well done video look back at Hawkins’ career.

Celtics’ Brad Stevens said early September tests will show if Thomas ready for camp

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Isaiah Thomas said he expects to be ready for the Celtics’ training camp next month. The guard’s All-NBA season came to an early end in the playoffs when he aggravated a labral tear in his right hip initially suffered back in March. At least the injury did not require surgery.

Players are also about the worst judges of when they will recover from an injury. They pretty much all think they are invincible and will be healthy faster than doctors predict.

Coaches tend to be more pragmatic. Take Boston’s Brad Stevens, who told Chris Mannix on The Vertical Podcast that tests in a couple of weeks will show if Thomas is ready for camp.

“He has another follow-up and another scan in the early part of September. Obviously, it’s been a lot of appropriate rest, a lot of rehab. There have been some good strides here certainly in the last month or few weeks, but we’re not going to know that until after that early September timeframe.”

The Celtics are understandably going to be cautious with Thomas, while Thomas wants to prove he is healthy and has no ill effects from the injury as he enters a contract year (one where he expects to get PAID). Also, the Celtics could use him in camp as they start to figure out how he and Gordon Hayward can share playmaking duties.

Still, from the outset, the timelines have suggested he should be ready for camp in late September. Coaches are just cautious on these things by nature.

Allen Iverson predicts LeBron James will win MVP

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LeBron James has four NBA MVP trophies in his case. (Does he keep that case in his home in Akron or the one in Los Angeles… that’s a question for another day.) Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (six) and Michael Jordan (five) have more.

Could LeBron James add a fifth to his case this season?

Allen Iverson said yes at last weekend’s Big3 playoffs in Seattle.

LeBron was fourth in preseason odds to win the MVP at 15/2, behind Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and Kawhi Leonard.

To me, LeBron could be a good bet. If/when Kyrie Irving is traded, the chances of LeBron getting the MVP go up. If LeBron puts up impressive numbers (again) and leads a depleted Cavaliers team to a top two seed in the East, he is certainly going to be in consideration. And should be.

It’s a long season, and personally, I think you need to get midway through the season before seriously considering the year-end awards. But history says LeBron will be in the mix, and Allen Iverson could be proven prophetic.

Phoenix Suns with quality solar eclipse joke on Twitter

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With the cooler-than-I-expected solar eclipse on Monday came a lot of bad solar eclipse jokes on Twitter. Because that’s what Twitter does. Especially the NBA Twitterverse. We knew a lot of “where on the flat earth will Kyrie Irving watch the eclipse?” jokes were coming.

There were a couple of good ones, however.

Appropriately, the Phoenix Suns won the day.

One personal favorite here, an old meme that never goes out of style.