Indiana Pacers v New York Knicks - Game Five

Report: Carmelo Anthony has torn labrum, may need surgery

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Carmelo Anthony’s shoulder was clearly bothering him through much of the playoffs, but he fought through it as best he could averaging 28.8 points per game (on just 40.1 percent shooting, down from 44 in the regular season) with 6.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists. He injured it in Game 5 against the Celtics and went on to have a sleeve over it throughout the Pacers series. You had to wonder how bad things were.

Turns out, things were pretty bad.

Maybe bad enough to need surgery, reports Frank Isola at the New York Daily News (something confirmed by other reports).

An MRI of Anthony’s shoulder revealed a partially torn labrum, according to a Knicks source and there is a possibility that Anthony may need surgery. The Knicks are hopeful that the injury will heal on its own and the club has told Anthony to rest for the next three to four weeks at which point he will be re-evaluated.

The labrum is a type of cartilage found in the shoulder joint and helps keep the ball in the socket of the shoulder. The tear can make it feel as if the shoulder is coming out of its socket, something Anthony reported, according to Isola.

Small tears in the labrum can heal with rest and treatment, however if surgery is needed that is at least three months before he could resume basketball activities and maybe as many as five (and both the doctors and Knicks would want to bring him along slowly).

Still, if surgery is needed, better for the Knicks to get it done in June and have Anthony back around the start of next season rather than to delay and have the cornerstone of their team out.

This is similar to what Dwight Howard tried to play through this season. Both players would seem pretty much unaffected for a few games, then one play would aggravate it and it clearly bothered them for a while. If the Knicks plan to improve on this season next year, they will need Anthony fully healthy.

This is believed to be the play when the injury occurred to Anthony’s shoulder.

Report: Khris Middleton could return to Bucks before All-Star break

CHARLOTTE, NC - JANUARY 16:  Khris Middleton #22 of the Milwaukee Bucks reacts during their game against the Charlotte Hornets at Time Warner Cable Arena on January 16, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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The Bucks projected Khris Middleton to miss about 70 games when he tore his hamstring before the season. That extended absence often leads players just to shut down for the year, but Middleton vowed to return in time for the playoffs.

He might get back far sooner than that.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

Sources told ESPN.com the Bucks think Middleton, who suffered a hamstring tear just days before the season began, “has a chance” to return to the lineup during a three-game homestand next month before the All-Star ‎break.

Whether Middleton ultimately makes his season debut before or after the All-Star Game, he is expected to be kept on a minutes restriction as he eases way his back from the injury, sources said.

The Bucks have started Tony Snell, who has held his own as an outside shooter. But Middleton will upgrade Milwaukee on Snell’s biggest strength and provide massive defensive improvement. After a strong start, the Bucks have really struggled lately on that end.

Giannis Antetokounmpo has led Milwaukee to a 20-21 record, though the team is better than its won-loss mark indicates. The Bucks will be even better with Middleton, who will rival Jabari Parker as their second-best player and fit seamlessly.

Isaiah Thomas nutmegs Knicks center Marshall Plumlee (video)

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Isaiah Thomas usually saves his best play for the fourth quarter, but the Celtics guard showed out early with this pass between Marshall Plumlee‘s legs to get Kelly Olynyk a layup.

Thomas uncharacteristically just didn’t have enough late. Though he scored 39 points, he shot just 2-for-9 in the final period, as the Knicks pulled away for a 117-106 win.

Kevin Durant misses dunk so hard, ball flies past halfcourt (video)

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Kevin Durant played great in the Warriors’ win over the Thunder last night, but – perhaps fueled by excess emotion – he missed this incredibly emphatic dunk attempt.

Later, Russell Westbrook showed his former teammate how to do it (sparking their apparent conversation):

James Harden outduels Giannis Antetokounmpo as they produce fantastic highlight video

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James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo met in a battle of two of the NBA’s best point guards. (Still weird to say.) The final lines:

  • Harden: 38 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 blocks
  • Antetokounmpo: 32 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 blocks

The winner? Harden and the Rockets, who topped the Bucks, 111-92.

But the real winner? Anyone who gets to watch this highlight video. It just gets better as it goes.