Joakim Noah will play through smaller injuries, sometimes to the point that they worsen and worsen until he has to sit an extended period of time (he’s done that with plantar fasciitis, for example).
With this being preseason, the Bulls aren’t taking that chance. Noah has battled a sore groin through training camp so he has had a limited role, and just made his preseason debut on Wednesday.
Now they are going to shut him down for a week again, coach Tom Thibodeau announced (via Bulls.com).
“We’re going to shut Jo down,” Thibodeau said following the team’s shootaround at the United Center. “He’s got a little soreness (in his groin) so we want to make sure we get that taken care of. So probably another week or so. We just want to make sure he’s completely healthy before we move forward.”
Smart money says you don’t see Noah until opening night for the Bulls (Oct. 29 in Miami).
This kind of precaution needs to be a pattern. The Bulls are potential contenders, a threat to the Heat in the East, but they have to be healthy come the playoffs. That means Thibodeau needs to curb his instinct to play guys extended minutes in January to beat the Bobcats — Noah, Derrick Rose and Luol Deng all need reasonable minutes and maybe some nights off. Error on the side of caution.
The Bulls are going to have a strong regular season, but that is not where their success will be measured. So get Noah his rest.
James Harden had a historic season in Houston.
Since it’s Friday afternoon and your sports viewing options consist of watching guys about to be cut from NFL rosters try to impress, why not check out Harden’s best plays from last season. It’s worth a couple minutes of your time.
Jeff Withey‘s ex-fiancée accused him of domestic violence, but he was not charged.
That frees him to continue his basketball career, which he’ll do in Dallas.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
The Mavericks could use another center, even if they re-sign Nerlens Noel. Salah Mejri is the only other true center, though Dirk Nowitzki will now play the position.
Withey is a good rim protector. Just don’t ask him to do anything away from the basket.
Dallas annually brings excess players to training camp and has them compete for regular-season roster spots. Whether or not his salary is guaranteed, Withey will likely fall into that competition.
The Grizzlies’ Grit & Grind era has ended.
Zach Randolph signed with the Kings, and Tony Allen appears likely to leave Memphis, too. The Grizzlies are prioritizing younger/cheaper players like Ben McLemore and Tyreke Evans.
Marc Gasol via Ala Carta, as translated by HoopsHype:
I’m very ambitious and I’ve wanted Memphis to be a great franchise. We’ve grown a lot the last 6-7 years, but we have to keep growing. If this is not lined up, maybe we may have to revisit things.
Gasol has been loyal to Memphis, and his first wish is probably winning there. But Giannis Antetokounmpo put it well: Teams must also do right by their players. Gasol is 32 and doesn’t have much time in his prime left. I see why rebuilding wouldn’t interest him.
But what will he do about it if the Grizzlies don’t prioritize the present? They made their push last summer with a max contract for Chandler Parsons, but because Parsons can’t stay healthy, that deal only inhibits team growth.
Gasol is locked up for two more years before a player option. He doesn’t have much leverage. This is part of the reason LeBron James keeps signing short-term contracts. Gasol doesn’t have the same ability to steer his team in his desired direction
On the potentially bright side, rebuilding teams often don’t have much use for 32-year-olds guaranteed more than $72 million over the following three years. If the fit devolves, Memphis becomes more likely to trade him.
The Celtics already said they’d retire Paul Pierce’s No. 34.
Now, we know when.
The Boston Celtics announced today that they will retire Paul Pierce’s No. 34 after a mid-season game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, Feb. 11
After? That’s apparently in response to a new rule that penalizes teams not ready to play after a 15-minute halftime. These ceremonies can drag on, and nobody wants to cut Pierce short. I wonder whether this will start a trend of number retirements coming after games.