Dallas Mavericks v Portland Trail Blazers

Blazers’ Batum breaks middle finger on non-shooting hand, may not miss time

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Nicolas Batum, the Trail Blazers’ swingman, has suffered a broken middle finger on his non-shooting left hand, reports Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com.

However, he may not miss any time.

The injury happened at the end of the Trail Blazers’ loss at home to the 76ers, on an inbounds play where Batum got a little tangled up with Evan Turner. After the game the first reports were this was a dislocation, but then it was confirmed it was a broken finger.

Here is what Batum said postgame, via CSNNW.com.

“It just got caught up in his jersey,” Batum said. “I didn’t really realize it until five or ten seconds after it happened when I shook my hand around.”

“It’s one finger on my left hand, so I should be ok.”

The plan is for Batum to play through this (it can be done, remember Kobe Bryant played through this on his shooting hand, for Batum this is his off hand).

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The Trail Blazers next game is Tuesday against the Kings, Batum is listed as probable.

Greg Smith fails physical, will not join Pelicans

Greg Smith
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With both starter Omer Asik and backup Alexis Ajinca out injured for the rest of the preseason (and maybe a little longer), the Pelicans are looking for a center to put next to Anthony Davis for a stretch. That could include a handful of regular season games.

Greg Smith was going to be that man, but the 24-year-old failed his physical, reports the Times-Picayune.

The New Orleans Pelicans were set to sign power forward Greg Smith, but sources said Friday night that he failed his physical examination and will not be joining the team.

And so the search goes on.

The problem is, there are not quality big men still out there on the market, there is a limited supply and just about anyone worth having is spoken for. A few with non-guaranteed contracts may be waived as we get closer to the end of training camps, but that is likely a couple of weeks away.

With both Asik and Ajinca expected back in a few weeks, it’s not worth making a trade or some big move to bring in a center, the Pelicans are just going to have to live with what is out there.

Kevin Durant with huge dunk on visiting Fenerbahce Ulker

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Welcome to America, Fenerbahce Ulker.

The Turkish powerhouse was in America playing some exhibition games this preseason, and they got a first-hand reminder that Kevin Durant is back. KD had 13 points in the Thunder’s easy 111-81 win.

Not to be outdone, Russell Westbrook got in on the act.