Heading into this weekend, we wondered if the Pacers would be able to continue their perfect start to the season facing a tough road matchup against the Brooklyn Nets.
But while the Nets are still finding their way from a chemistry standpoint, the Pacers are already there. And behind yet another strong all-around game from Paul George, Indiana improved to 7-0 on the season with a 96-91 road victory.
Brooklyn was in this game throughout, and cut a fourth quarter deficit of 10 points with under five minutes to play to just three in the game’s closing possessions. Joe Johnson had a chance to tie it with 11 seconds remaining, but his three-pointer rimmed out and David West secured the rebound before sealing the win for his team at the free throw line in the game’s closing seconds.
The Nets are going to rely on their starting lineup throughout the season to do the bulk of the damage, and on this night they largely came through as expected. But their bench unit didn’t provide much support, and in fact, neither did that of the Pacers. This was a matchup of the two teams’ best players, and Indiana’s had simply proven to be better by the time the final buzzer had sounded.
George led all scorers with 24 points, and got help from West with 18, while Lance Stephenson and Roy Hibbert chipped in 15 apiece. The Nets had similar contributions from four of their starters save Kevin Garnett, who managed just six points in 27 minutes but was effective as always defensively.
The only thing worth questioning with Indiana as it relates to the team’s fast start is whether the cohesiveness of having the majority of the same players in place as a season ago is a factor, along with the players’ relative hunger to succeed after coming so close to reaching the Finals last year.
One would think that teams like the Heat and the Bulls will be catching up at some point, but for now, the Pacers have proven to be the class of the league with their undefeated start at this early stage of the regular season.
“The… follow-up MRI of Joel Embiid‘s left knee appears to reveal… the previously identified meniscus tear appears more pronounced in this most recent scan.”
When Philadelphia’s chief medical director Dr. Jonathan Glashow said that in a statement announcing Joel Embiid was being shut down for the season, the chance of knee surgery to clean up that meniscus was possible. Friday it became a reality, the team announced.
CSNPhilly.com had the details.
The team expects Embiid to resume basketball activities during this summer, according to Sixers director of performance research and development Dr. David T. Martin. Embiid will begin his rehab in Los Angeles with specialists and Sixers medical and training staff members.
“The overall status of Joel’s lateral meniscus and his cartilage is very good,” surgeon Dr. Neal S. ElAttrache, M.D., who performed the surgery, said in a statement. “Today’s procedure focused on removing a small portion of the meniscus that was responsible for his symptoms.
“The recovery program that has been established targets Joel transitioning back to full weight-bearing in approximately two weeks, at which point a conservative approach to his rehabilitation will be introduced.”
After Embiid missed two seasons with foot issues, there is a tendency to lump everything together and call him injury prone. This, however, was a minor surgery with a relatively short recovery period, even as the Sixers bring him along slowly. There is reason for concern, but this shouldn’t be an issue by next training camp.
Embiid averaged 20.2 points and 7.8 rebounds per game despite a minutes restriction all season. He was incredibly efficient in getting his numbers — he had an All-Star level PER of 24.2 — and when he was on the court the Sixers outscored their opponents by 3 points per 100 possessions. He’s still likely a top three finisher in Rookie of the Year balloting despite playing in just 31 games.
When a 20-year-old LeBron James scored 56 points in a game, he called it, “probably the best game of my life.”
Devin Booker just topped him with 70 points in a game at age 20.
LeBron has obviously gone onto bigger and better things since dropping 56 in a loss to the Raptors during his second year, but that game was a harbinger. Booker – whom LeBron singled out before the season as an under-the-radar rising star – could be on a similar track.
Or Booker could be following Brandon Jennings, who scored 55 in his seventh game, also at age 20.
The future is bright – and unknown – for the second-year Suns guard.
What’s clear: His accomplishment last night is unmatched, and nobody else has come close. Here are the highest-scoring games in NBA history by someone under age 21:
This is the result of Phoenix going so young and Booker playing so well. Not every team would provide such an opportunity, but Booker seized it.
Not only is he the youngest player ever to score 70 points in a game, he’s the youngest to score 60 in a game.
Somebody ought to buy him a drink to celebrate – in October, once it’s legal.
Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator LGD-4033 was not banned by the current Collective Bargaining Agreement when it was enacted.
The next CBA will offer a new challenge policy for failed drug tests.
Perhaps Joakim Noah, whom the NBA suspended 20 games, just tested positively at the wrong time.
SARM LGD-4033 (Ligandrol) was added to the banned list after the current CBA was signed in 2011. The drug is also banned by the next CBA, which will take effect July 1.
But the next CBA would also allow Noah an opportunity to contest his suspension – which his union says he would have done successfully..
National Basketball Players Association:
“After a thorough investigation, the National Basketball Players Association believes that Joakim Noah did not intentionally or knowingly violate any policy of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). Under the recently negotiated CBA effective July 1, a player’s unintentional ingestion of a prohibited substance would be taken into consideration, and we believe the conduct here would not result in discipline. Unfortunately, the current CBA does not permit such consideration.”
“Joakim was completely forthcoming and cooperative throughout the investigation and we believe that this isolated occurrence was a regrettable mistake. Joakim has offered his deepest apologies for this infraction, and neither he nor the NBPA will pursue an appeal.”
Unlike the current CBA, the new CBA allows a player to challenge a suspension if he “did not know or suspect, and could not reasonably have known or suspected, even with the exercise of considerable caution and diligence, that he was taking, ingesting, applying, or otherwise using” the drug. He must also establish how the drug entered his system.
That’s obviously a high burden. The CBA even defines it as an “unusual circumstance.”
Could Noah have presented such convincing evidence? Maybe, but it’s far easier to make that claim in a statement than actually convince an arbitrator.
The 49ers may want to give Stephen Curry a call, because I’m not sure Brian Hoyer can throw that pass.
Curry showed a soft touch on a touchdown pass over a defender to the streaking Andre Iguodala, who had to finish with the reverse layup, a little no-look flip. It was vintage Warriors, a little playground in transition.
The Warriors beat the Kings 114-100 behind 27 from Curry. With the win the Warriors are 2.5 games up on the Spurs for the best record in the West, but Golden State has a tough road back-to-back this week in Houston than San Antonio. Get at least a split there and the Warriors will be tough to catch.