Golden State Warriors v Denver Nuggets - Game One

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


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.

Chris Paul, after breaking finger, intends to play in Clippers preseason game tomorrow

Chris Paul
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Chris Paul broke his finger Saturday.

The initial diagnosis said the injury wasn’t serious.

Here’s confirmation.

Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times:

Paul obviously wouldn’t push it during the preseason. If the Clippers are allowing him to play, this can’t be bad.

Really, the most challenging aspect to this is grasping the concept that a broke finger can be a minor injury.

Report: David Lee, Tyler Zeller in line to start for Celtics; Jared Sullinger, Jonas Jerebko out of rotation

MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 08: David Lee of Boston Celtics attacks during the friendlies of the NBA Global Games 2015 basketball match between Real Madrid and Boston Celtics at Barclaycard Center on October 8, 2015 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
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Brad Stevens has a big challenge this year – sorting the Celtics’ deep roster of similarly able players.

It seems that process is shaking out at power forward and center.

A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN Northeast:

it appears Boston’s first four bigs will be starters David Lee and Tyler Zeller, with Amir Johnson and Kelly Olynyk off the bench.

That leaves Jonas Jerebko and Jared Sullinger, potentially on the outside looking in as far as the regular rotation is concerned.

Lee is the best passer of the bunch, which could partially explain why he’s starting. Boston’s most likely starting point guard, Marcus Smart, is still growing into the role of the lead ball-handler at the NBA level. Lee and presumptive starting shooting guard Avery Bradley can take some pressure off him.

Olynyk can space the floor for Isaiah Thomas-Johnson pick-and-rolls with the reserves and run pick-and-pops with Thomas himself.

I’m a little surprised Zeller is starting over Johnson, though. The Celtics just signed Johnson to a $12 million salary, and I thought they’d rely on his defense to set a tone early. Like Johnson, Zeller is a quality pick-and-roll finisher who can thrive with Thomas.

This is particularly bad news for Sullinger, who – barring a surprising contract extension – is entering a contract year. It seems those reports of offseason conditioning haven’t yet paid off. Jerebko’s deal also isn’t guaranteed beyond this season, but at least he has already gotten his mid-sized payday. Sullinger is still on his rookie-scale contract.