Washington Wizards v Los Angeles Clippers

Nene to have MRI on knee, Wizards concerned there is torn ligament


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.

As expected, Jimmy Butler says no issue between him, Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler
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Is the Derrick Rose/Jimmy Butler relationship nothing but puppy dogs and rainbows? No. There will be sparks between two intense competitors.

Have those sparks started a fire Bulls fans should be concerned about? A report on Wednesday said the core problem was Butler doesn’t respect Rose’s work ethic, which provided some kindling for that spark to catch.

However, as you would expect, Butler said this was all much ado about nothing, that he and Rose are all good. Via K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:

Spin this however you wish: Their relationship is fine and someone in the media is making this up; or their relationship has been rough, and this is all just leaking out now.

This is a Bulls team in a bit of a transition as Rose declines some and Butler has grown into a top-flight player. Clearly that dynamic has some people around the team — likely the people in one of one of the players’ camps doesn’t like the power struggle or where it leaves his buddy — talking out of school to the press.

But as Butler noted, winning cures all ills. If Chicago can get off to a fast start, nobody will be asking chemistry questions.

For now, however, tounges are wagging.

Report: No criminal charges to be filed against Matt Barnes

Matt Barnes
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The NBA is still investigating and can take its own action. In theory people involved in the incident could decide to file a civil lawsuit (although Fisher said he would not).

However, Memphis’ Matt Barnes is not going to face any criminal charges for an altercation he instigated with Knicks’ head coach Derek Fisher at the home of Barnes’ estranged wife in Los Angeles, according to police, who talked to TMZ.

Matt Barnes will NOT be charged with a crime for allegedly attacking Derek Fisher over the weekend … the Redondo Beach Police Department tells TMZ Sports.

Cops tell us they did respond to an incident and a police report was filed regarding the altercation — but officers say the case “was reviewed and there is no basis for criminal charges.” As we previously reported, a witness at the home says Barnes struck Fisher in the face and a fight ensued. However, the NY Post is reporting that Fisher did not want to pursue charges against Barnes.

Fisher has been seeing Gloria Govan — Barnes’ estranged wife and star of the “Basketball Wives” reality series — for several months, and was over at her house in the South Bay of Los Angeles Saturday night, along with other friends. Barnes said he got a call from one of his two sons, who “looked distressed” that Fisher was over, and that caused Barnes to drive over to the house. Once he arrived an altercation broke out between the two men, with Barnes allegedly texting a friend that he beat up Fisher and spat in his wife’s face. That’s not going to scar the young boy any further, well done.

If Barnes did this as described (and we don’t know the details), the NBA has to look hard at this. Barnes does not get to decide for a woman he is no longer seeing who she can and cannot see, and who she has over to her home. She is not property. That is the level of control seen in domestic abuse situations, and the league can’t sit back and tolerate it.