A few weeks ago, it seemed possible a knee injury would sideline Patrick Beverley for the entire postseason.
He returned late in the regular season and had nine points and six rebounds in the Rockets’ Game 1 loss to the Trail Blazers on Sunday.
But, again, a knee injury threatens to end his season.
Somewhere, Damian Lillard’s eyes just got big.
Lillard shot worse from the field with Beverley on the court relative to him off against Houston during the regular season (41 percent to 33 percent), and that held true in Game 1 (50 percent to 46 percent). But the bigger difference in the postseason opener came in Lillard’s aggressiveness rather than his efficiency.
In 38 minutes with Beverley on the court, Lillard scored 18 points. In the eight minutes he played with Beverley on the bench, Lillard scored 13 points. That took a regular-season trend to a new extreme.
Jeremy Lin gave Portland issues with his dribble penetration, and James Harden often plays lead guard. But neither can provide what Beverley does defensively.
If Beverley misses any time – and it sounds as if anything short of his season ending would be a pleasant outcome – the Rockets will have even more trouble defending Lillard, who scored 31 points Sunday. The Trail Blazers made a habit of attacking Houston’s weakest defenders, and it’s possible the just found a new vulnerability.
Steve Kerr missed the first half of last season with debilitating back pain, and in his quest to find pain relief he admitted he tried marijuana (which was legal for medicinal use in the state at the time). It didn’t work well for him, he added.
But Kerr also talked about how professional sports leagues, where the players are dealing with a lot of pain management (particularly the NFL and NHL), need to start viewing marijuana differently than they did a generation ago.
Draymond Green has his coach’s back, via Chris Haynes of ESPN. Although, not with the best pro-pot argument I’ve ever heard.
We’re just going to let this go because his heart is in the right place. It’s kind of like the scene in Animal House: “Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!” “Germans?” “Forget it, he’s rolling.”
Green was also rolling when he started going in on the league’s crackdown on unnatural acts.
Draymond, so you know, here’s the link to Kiki Vandeweghe’s basketball-reference.com page. He’s not just the guy who hands out fines.
It almost fits the song: “All I wants for Christmas is healthy knees, healthy knees, healthy knees.”
Chandler Parsons took to Twitter to answer questions from fans, and there were a few good answers in there but my favorite was this one:
Parsons has played in just six games for the Grizzlies this season, missing the start of the season to recover from off-season knee surgery, then now he has missed the last eight games with a knee bone bruise. The banged up Grizzlies could really use his shot creation back in the lineup.
As for other good questions/answers there was this combo, with a little help from ESPN’s Zach Lowe:
And then there’s this for the haters.
Who doesn’t love a good dunk compilation?
Well, somebody probably just said “bah, humbug” but is that the person you really want to hang out with?
The fine folks at NBA.com put together the Top 10 dunks of October and November, and when Rudy Gobert dunking over Kristaps Porzingis is all the way down at 10, you know it’s a good list. Put off starting your Christmas shopping, at least for another 2:44, and watch the video.
Want to watch Chance the Rapper throw dodgeballs at mascots? Of course you do. How is that even a question?
Above you can see just that from Chicago Friday night (where Dwyane Wade, Jimmy Butler and the Bulls knocked off the Cavaliers). Benny the Bull is on his side as well, while the Cubs’ mascot and others try and stay out of the way.
I’ll take this over another kids’ dribbling contest any day.