Metta World Peace out Monday, to have blood spinning procedure on knee

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Metta World Peace’s role with the Knicks has dwindled since the start of his season as his play has just not helped the team — he’s not looked like the defensive force the Knicks expected nor is he knocking down shots (he is shooting 40.2 percent on the season).

Now we know why — his knee has bothered him so much he has had it drained five times already this season, he said Monday to reporters. That’s a lot of fluid. And fluid doesn’t build up in your knee if everything is working as designed.

World Peace is out for the Knicks game Monday night against the Magic, and on Jan. 6 he is going to get the blood-spinning/platelet rich plasma therapy done on his knee, reports Peter Botte of the New York Daily News. That is the first date he could get it done, although he hopes to have it done sooner.

World Peace is not flying to Germany for the Kobe procedure; rather it will be done in New York City. How much time he misses both before and after remain up in the air.

This is another injury blow to a Knicks roster that has struggled to find any cohesion this season. After Monday in Orlando they head home to host Oklahoma City on Christmas Day, in front of a national television audience. Get embarrassed in that game and Mike Woodson may want to make sure his resume is in good shape.

Nets’ national anthem singer kneels to finish performance

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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

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DALLAS (AP) — Dallas Mavericks rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. missed Friday’s game against the Sacramento Kings with swelling in his left knee.

Smith, the ninth pick in the NBA draft out of North Carolina State, had 16 points and 10 assists in the Mavericks’ season-opening loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

Smith participated in the Mavericks’ shootaround on Friday morning and was a late scratch. It is not known if Smith will play Saturday for Dallas.

The Mavericks were also missing guard Devin Harris, who was granted leave of absence after his brother died on Thursday.

Watch Lonzo Ball’s 29 point, 11 rebound, 9 assist game Friday night

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This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.

After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverley in 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

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Through the first couple games of the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo has put up impressive numbers — he dropped 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists on the Cavaliers Friday night.

But the Cavaliers still have LeBron James.

He had 24 points and 8 assists, leading Cleveland to the win.

LeBron also reminded the Greek Freak just how good a rim protector he is. Few people can slow Antetokounmpo on the drive, but LeBron is one of them.

Is it too early to root for a Cavs vs. Bucks playoff series?