Joakim Noah

Joakim Noah out for a week (at least) with groin strain


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

“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.

Carmelo Anthony says he can play at high level 4-5 more years

USA Basketball Men's National Team Training Camp

Carmelo Anthony can flat-out score the rock — that has never been the question. Even hurting last season for many of the 40 games he played, he averaged 24.2 points a game, had a true shooting percentage of 53.1 percent (right near the league average) while having the entire weight of the Knicks offense on his shoulders (32.2 usage rate, fifth highest in the NBA). When people (or players) talk about him being overrated, the discussion turns to defense or if he makes his teammates better. But there should be no doubt Anthony is an elite scorer.

He thinks he will be for a while longer — like another five years. Via Ian Begley of ESPN:

In fact, the 31-year-old Knicks star is confident that he can play at a high level for the next “four or five years.”

“Without a doubt. Without a doubt,” Anthony said after the Knicks’ final training camp practice on Saturday.

The Knicks better hope that’s true, they already made that bet with that massive five-year contract they gave him last summer.

Anthony’s age combined with him coming off knee surgery have a lot of people — myself included — expecting him to take a step back. Not a big one, but he is coming up at the point in his career where some open shots he used to get are now contested because he’s half-a-step slower, and some of those looks don’t fall as often. His jumper isn’t suddenly going to look like Rajon Rondo‘s, ‘Melo is going to get his points, but he may not be as efficient.

Fortunately, the Knicks have an improved supporting cast around him this season. That should take some offensive load off his shoulders, and maybe the Knicks offense will see better ball movement and start to resemble the triangle. If it’s just more isolation Anthony, it’s not going to be pretty.

Kings pick up option on G Ben McLemore

Ben McLemore, Rodney Hood
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) The Sacramento have picked up the 2016-17 option on guard Ben McLemore‘s contract.

General manager Vlade Divac announced the move Saturday.

McLemore was Sacramento’s first-round pick in 2013. He averaged 12.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists last season.