Washington’s dream of a deep playoff run could have just snapped along with Nene’s knee.
Nene had to leave the court against the Cavaliers Sunday and did not return. It was scary because there was no real contact on the play, Nene had raced back to challenge a shot, leapt and when he landed it was awkward and he was clearly injured. At the time that was called a knee sprain, reports J. Michael of CSNWashington.com but the MRI is Monday.
But the concern around the Wizards is this is a ligament issue that could end Nene’s season, reports Michael Lee at the Washington Post.
There is a fear among some members of the Washington Wizards that Nene is done for the season with a torn ligament in his left knee, although the team won’t know for certain until the Brazilian big man meets with team doctors and has an MRI exam on Monday. According to a person with knowledge of the situation, “It doesn’t look good.”
Nene out for the season and the playoffs would be a blow to Washington.
When Nene is on the court the Wizards defense is 6.7 points per 100 possessions better than when he is sitting — Washington jumps from a below average defensive team to a top 5 defensive team when he plays. Think they could use that in the playoffs?
Less Nene means the Wizards will lean heavily on Marcin Gortat plus need more Kevin Seraphin.
Look at it this way: When John Wall and Gortat are paired the Wizards are +7 per 48 minutes, or +6.5 per 100 possessions if you prefer. With Nene and Wall are paired it is a still good +5.4 per 48, or +5.3 per 100 possessions.
But when Nene, Wall and Gortat played together they were +10.1 per 100 possessions and allowed only 95.7 points per 100 possessions (that is better than every defense in the NBA this season except for the Pacers). If the Wizards were going to make a real dent in the playoffs they needed that combo.
We’ll find out Monday if they get to have it.
After missing two entire seasons, all signs are pointing to 2014 No. 3 overall pick Joel Embiid finally taking the court this season. Last week, Sixers coach Brett Brown said that Embiid has looked great in his workouts and is on track to play in the preseason, and Embiid himself echoed that sentiment over the weekend. He told the Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Marc Narducci that he feels “100 percent.”
There’s always a possibility and fear that Embiid’s recurring foot problems will come back, but for now, all indications are that he’s feeling good and will be able to contribute this season, which should make Sixers fans excited.
The release of NBA 2K17, the latest edition of the popular 2K video-game series, is less than a month away. Players are starting to get their likenesses in the game, as well as their player ratings, and tweet them out. Magic forward Evan Fournier wasn’t too happy with the way his came out.
Fournier’s countryman Rudy Gobert got in on the fun, too, changing his Twitter avatar to Fournier’s screenshot and encouraging others to do the same. He even created a hashtag for it.
At least they’re having fun with it.
On Friday, the Jazz traded German center Tibor Pleiss to the Sixers along with two second-round picks for Kendall Marshall. The big draw of the trade for Philly was the picks, and Pleiss is not expected to stay with the Sixers, according to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia’s Jessica Camerato.
Pleiss had a forgettable season with Utah, and the Sixers have a glut of bigs including Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. It would have been virtually impossible for Pleiss to crack the rotation, and it’s unlikely another team picks up his contract, which has $3 million guaranteed this season.
As a Jordan Brand athlete, Russell Westbrook is under the same Nike umbrella as former teammate Kevin Durant. But his latest Jordan spot, released Friday, has a very pointed tagline: “Some run, some make runways.”
Given the circumstances, it’s hard to interpret that as anything other than a reference to Durant signing with the Warriors and Westbrook signing an extension with the Thunder.