Friday night, Larry Sanders gets a reset on his season.
He didn’t like the way this season started. Over the summer he signed a new four-year, $44 million deal and management talked about him as a cornerstone defensive anchor for the team. Then new coach Larry Drew cut his minutes, going instead with Zaza Pachulia and veterans he trusted while waiting for Sanders to prove something to him.
Then Sanders got involved in a bar fight that led to a thumb injury which required surgery. Sanders got a citation for his role in the incident.
Sanders has been out since early November but will return Friday night to the Bucks, the team announced Thursday.
John Henson and Sanders are potentially the front line of the future in Milwaukee but they are only going to find out if they play them together and big minutes.
Henson has looked good lately, averaging 17 points a game on 51 percent shooting plus 10.8 rebounds a game in his last five. With Pachulia out (foot) Sanders should get big minutes as soon as he plays himself back into shape.
Maybe at the start of the season Drew was on board with the whole “we’re not tanking, we want to get back in the playoffs” thing in Milwaukee, but at this point they are headed for the lottery — the high lottery — and need to embrace it.
Play Sanders and Henson big minutes together, let them grow and see what you really have there.
NEW YORK (AP) James Harden had 22 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in his 12th triple-double of the season and the Houston Rockets easily ended their first losing streak of the season by beating the Brooklyn Nets 137-112 on Sunday night.
Held to 105 points in losses to Minnesota and Memphis, the Rockets bounced back with 104 after three quarters and handed the Nets their 10th straight loss.
Eric Gordon led the Rockets with 24 points and Trevor Ariza added 23. Houston made 21 3-pointers and had five players with at least 16 points.
Houston shot just 40.8 percent during its two losses, well below its 46.8 season average, while being held nearly 10 points below its season scoring average. But the Rockets had no trouble bouncing back against the Nets, who allow an NBA-worst 114.3 per game.
Joel Embiid has fans all around the NBA. Some even came out to see him during the Philadelphia 76ers game against the Washington Wizards on Saturday despite the Cameroonian big man sitting out due to restrictions on playing in back-to-back games.
#BusTheProcess was the hashtag used to get 350 Sixers fans to the game in D.C. thanks to Embiid, coach Brett Brown, and the podcast The Rights to Ricky Sanchez.
Via Twitter and ESPN:
Fun stuff for some dedicated fans, even if they didn’t get to see Embiid play.
Unfortunately for the #BusTheProcess folks, the 76ers wound up losing to the Wizards, 109-93.
Michael Carter-Williams is still shaking the dust off after being inserted into the starting lineup, I guess. At least, that’s about what you can say when you pass the ball off your starting center’s face.
But there’s good news! The Chicago Bulls scored on this play.
Let’s take a look at the whole thing, shall we?
I think the more important question is whether Carter-Williams received a secondary or primary assists on the NBA.com tracking site.
ATLANTA (AP) Kent Bazemore scored 24 points, Mike Dunleavy added 20 and the Atlanta Hawks beat the Milwaukee Bucks 111-98 on Sunday.
Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with 33 points and was a tough matchup in the paint for Milwaukee, which dropped 2 1/2 games behind the fourth-place Hawks in the Eastern Conference.
Atlanta has won eight of nine. The Bucks have dropped three of five.
Dunleavy, in his second game since arriving in a trade last week with Cleveland, had his first 20-point performance since a first-round playoff game for Chicago on April 30, 2015.
Antetokounmpo has scored at least 30 points in eight games in a breakout season.