The Clippers need Matt Barnes off the bench — he’s about the only guy off the bench who could be considered a plus defender — but they are going to be without him for a couple weeks.
Barnes is going to have surgery to repair a retinal tear in his left eye, the team announced Thursday night. Two weeks is considered the minimum for his return, it could be a little longer.
The injury was suffered Monday night when Zach Randolph of the Memphis Grizzlies poked him in the eye. It was not intentional.
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With Barnes out, expect to see a lot more Jared Dudley and Reggie Bullock.
But as noted, Barnes will be missed. The Clippers defense is actually good when their starters are on the floor (under a point per possession), it is when they go to the bench that things fall apart. Barnes helps stem that tide a little, but he can’t for the next couple weeks.
Nets’ national anthem singer kneels to finish performance
NEW YORK (AP)— The national anthem singer at the Brooklyn Nets’ home opener took a knee at the end of her performance.
Justine Skye was nearing the completion of the song Friday night when she went to one knee for the finish. There were some cheers, but appeared to be more boos from the crowd at Barclays Center to see the Nets play the Orlando Magic.
NBA players have continued to stand during the playing of the anthems, as required by league rule.
Mavericks’ rookie guard Dennis Smith Jr. misses game with knee swelling
This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.
After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverleyin his face all night — Ball found plenty of room to operate against the soft defense of the Phoenix Suns. With room to operate Ball had 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists — just one assist short of a triple-double. He helped the Lakers pull away to a lead in the third then hold on for a 132-130 win over the Suns.
Ball wasn’t terribly efficient, 12-of-27 shooting, but he was 4-of-9 from three, he played with great pace, he was decisive, and was finding guys with his passes. It was a step forward, even if it was against a sad defense (Eric Bledsoe can be a good defender, but he has seemed disinterested in recent years).
Ball and the Lakers are going to be up and down this season, the goal is for there to be more ups near the end of the season.
LeBron James rejects Giannis Antetokounmpo at the rim