New Orleans Pelicans v Memphis Grizzlies

Pelicans’ Anthony Davis breaks hand, out indefinitely

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This one hurts. It’s a blow to the gut of a Pelicans team trying to find its stride, a blow to the breakout year a young star was having, and it could be a blow to the All-Star Game coming to his city in a couple months.

New Orleans’ Anthony Davis broke a bone in his left hand in the first quarter Sunday night against the Knicks and will be out indefinitely, the team announced. He returned to the bench in a heavy cast during the game. As of right now there are not more details on the injury.

Davis, in his second season, is averaging 19.6 points shooting 50.2 percent, is pulling down 10.6 rebounds a game plus averages 3.9 blocks a contest. This season he has the second highest PER in the league at 28.6 (training only LeBron James at 30.5).

The Pelicans were starting to find a groove with their five best players on the court and Davis was key to it — he runs the court well and either gets set up in a dangerous position where he scores or draws the attention of the defense leaving room for others to get off clean looks.

Look for Ryan Anderson to get some extra run for the Pelicans without Davis.

But they are just not going to be quite the same without him, and in a deep West that could be enough to really damage their playoff chances.

Zaza Pachulia lays out Russell Westbrook, stands over him (video)

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Kevin Durant playing the Thunder invites extra emotions.

Russell Westbrook felt them – in the form of a flagrant foul by Warriors center Zaza Pachulia, who stood over Westbrook for emphasis.

Pachulia is really embracing his role doing the dirty work for star-studded Golden State.

Report: 76ers’ Ben Simmons sitting entire season still on table

TARRYTOWN, NEW YORK - AUGUST 07:  Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers poses for a portrait during the 2016 NBA Rookie Photoshoot at Madison Square Garden Training Center on August 7, 2016 in Tarrytown, New York. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
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That rumor No. 1 pick Ben Simmons won’t play this season?

It just won’t die.

Even after Simmons tried to quash it, even after the 76ers’ CEO outright denied it, even after Simmons returned to practice, even in an otherwise optimistic report.

Chris Haynes of ESPN:

76ers rookie forward Ben Simmons could make his much-anticipated NBA debut shortly after the All-Star break, league sources told ESPN.

Barring a setback in his recovery, sources say the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft has a chance to take the hardwood near March. There still remains the possibility Simmons sits the entire season, sources said, but his situation will continue to be thoroughly evaluated throughout his comeback quest.

76ers coach Brett Brown said there’s “no chance” Simmons plays in Philadelphia’s nationally televised game against the Rockets next week. Other than that, there isn’t much clarity.

It mostly sounds as if Simmons is still too far from returning to say something definitive.

Roy Hibbert passes ball into hoop, reacts with perfect facial expression (video)

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The Hornets did so much right in their 107-85 win over the Trail Blazers, even a bad pass went through the hoop.

Roy Hibbert reacted fantastically to blunder/basket (blasket?).

Dario Saric blocks back-to-back Raptors dunk attempts (video)

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Norman Powell – get out of here.

Jared Sullinger – get out of here.

Dario Saric blocked consecutive dunk attempts in the 76ers’ 94-89 win over the Raptors. Philadelphia has won seven of nine and looks suddenly revitalized.

The best part of all this? Saric’s teammates’ reactions – though the actual blocks were pretty great themselves.