Mark Ayotte, Ty Lawson

Ty Lawson, who couldn’t sit up straight for days, expected to be out ‘a little while’

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Before the season, it seemed the Nuggets had a surplus of point guards: Ty Lawson, Andre Miller and Nate Robinson.

But Miller was sent home. Robinson had season-ending surgery. And now Lawson is hurt.

Lawson, the Nuggets’ top player, broke a rib in a loss to the Pistons on Saturday. He missed Monday’s loss to the Pacers, a 39-point setback and Denver’s third straight defeat, and it doesn’t sound as if he’ll return soon.

Nuggets coach Brian Shaw, via Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post:

“I would imagine it would be a little while,” Nuggets coach Brian Shaw said. “I saw when he (got injured), how he writhed in pain, and it took him pretty much until (Monday) to be able to sit up straight. Luckily for us, after (Monday’s) game and Wednesday’s game we have the all-star break, so that will give us a built-in three, four, five days before our next game.”

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At 24-26, the Nuggets’ playoff hopes are faint, anyway. They’re 10th in the West and six games behind the No. 8 seed.

But attempting to play an extended stretch without a point guard – Randy Foye started at the position Monday and Evan Fournier and Jordan Hamilton filled in off the bench – will sink Denver much deeper.

The Nuggets have used five lineups that include Lawson, Miller or Robinson for at least 10 minutes this season. Predictably, they’ve floundered. Their net ratings:

  • +5.8 (34 minutes)
  • -41.4 (11 minutes)
  • -5.6 (10 minutes)
  • -7.5 (10 minutes)
  • -84.5 (10 minutes)

Perhaps, Foye, Fournier and Hamilton can adjust to their new roles and improve those lineups, but they’re starting in a deep hole. Denver definitely needs Lawson or Miller.

The only question now is whether Lawson’s rib or Shaw’s relationship with Miller heals first.

Report: Donatas Motiejunas no-shows physical after Rockets match Nets’ offer

Donatas Motiejunas, Kenneth Faried
AP Photo/David Zalubowski
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The Nets’ signed Rockets restricted free agent Donatas Motiejunas to an offer sheet. Houston elected to match.

Case closed?

Hardly.

Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle:

Houston has a right to demand Motiejunas undergo a physical within two days of exercising its matching rights, which it did yesterday. Motiejunas is requires to answer questions truthfully and supply requested medical information.

If Motiejunas fails to meet those requirements, he hangs in limbo until the Rockets decide his fate.

At any time between now and March 1, they could elect to undo their offer-sheet match. That would invalidate Motiejunas’ offer sheet and make him a restricted free agent again, and the Nets couldn’t sign him for a year. On March 2, the same effect will become automatic.

I don’t see what Motiejunas gains by not reporting. If he fails his Houston physical, he’d go to Brooklyn on the terms of the offer sheet.

By not undergoing the physical, he goes nowhere.

Draymond Green, Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant team up for floor-is-lava alley-oop (video)

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Klay Thompson might have had the huge game for the Warriors, but Draymond Green, Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant teamed up for the Warriors’ most spectacular play against the Pacers.

Once Green released his long outlet pass, the ball travelled three-quarters of the court and into the basket without a player touching it and the floor simultaneously.

Here’s another angle:

Dwight Powell obliterates Cody Zeller on alley-oop (video)

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Andrew Bogut patting Cody Zeller on the head, even if unintentional, was the perfect response to Dwight Powell dunking on the Hornets center.

There, there, Cody. It’ll be OK.

At least Charlotte got a 109-101 win over the Mavericks.

Stephen Curry dumps ice on mid-interview Klay Thompson, who says ‘I’m still hot’ (video)

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Klay Thompson scored an incredible 60 points in 29 minutes.

So, what did Stephen Curry do? Dump ice on his Warriors teammate during the post-game interview, of course.

That didn’t cool down Thompson, who’s probably still hot this morning.