The Memphis Grizzlies are not winning Game 7 without point guard Mike Conley.
He’s too important to their defense on Russell Westbrook. He’s also too important to their ability to control the tempo of the game, take care of the ball and not turn the game into a track meet with the athletic Thunder.
Conley tweaked his right hamstring in the third quarter of the Thunder’s Game 6 win in Memphis (which forced Saturday’s Game 7). He went back to the locker room when it happened, came back out and tried to give it a go, but said after the game he couldn’t push off or really run, so he sat back down for the rest of the game.
Conley said in a televised interview after the game he planned to get treatment — ice, stimulation machines — and he hoped to be ready for Game 7. But hamstring injury can be tricky things, ones slow to heal properly heal. There just isn’t time for that now.
Coach Dave Joerger is hopeful Conley can play, reports Anthony Slater of the Oklahoman.
No Conley means a lot of Beno Udrih, which would be a big step down in quality for Memphis.
Expect updates on Conley’s status the next 48 hours up until Game 7. You can bet he tries to play, but just how effective can he really be?
The New York Knicks couldn’t get out of their own way on Thursday night, even with a historic performance from Carmelo Anthony. With the Washington Wizards in town, it was John Wall‘s finishing ability that pushed the Wiz over New York, 113-110.
The final 45 seconds were hectic, as Wall took the lead for Washington with just 32 seconds left after drawing a foul on Carmelo.
Down by 1, Anthony then missed a jumper with 18 seconds left and the Knicks allowed Wall to do this:
Wall would go on to steal the final possession from the Knicks, and the Wizards left MSG with a win.
Gregg Popovich can be a fiesty dude, and sometimes he just wants to get his team pumped up. After news that Pau Gasol was going to be absent from the San Antonio Spurs’ lineup against the Denver Nuggets on Thursday, perhaps this was his way of doing that?
Late in the second quarter in Denver, Popovich was seen arguing with a baseline official as play continued on. Pop was hit with an initial tech, and as the officiating crew walked away he blasted ’em with the best dad insult I’ve heard in a long time.
“You’re a terrible referee!”
Meanwhile, Emmanuel Mudiay was more than happy to assist with the second technical and ejection portion of Popovich’s tirade.
Long Live Pop.
Kristaps Porzingis is “The Unicorn” perhaps in part because of his high basketball awareness on the offensive end of the floor. On Thursday night against the Washington Wizards, the New York Knicks big man had an incredible putback dunk that surprised even his teammates.
Thanks to a missed Courtney Lee 3-pointer, Porzingis was able to fly in from beyond the arc to slam home two points.
Yeah, that’s crazy.
There’s putback dunks and then there’s flying in from beyond the 3-point line like this one. Wild.
The San Antonio Spurs will have to make do without PF/C for a while Pau Gasol thanks to a recent fracture in his left ring finger.
That’s according to a press release from the team, who said Gasol fractured his fourth metacarpal — the bone that connects the ring finger down to the carpal bones in the wrist area — during warmups before a game against the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night.
No word yet from the team on recovery time, but estimates given similar recent NBA player injuries suggest anywhere from 4-8 weeks.
Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward missed the first month of the season after fracturing his finger in early October. Cleveland Cavaliers PG Kyrie Irving missed around a month in 2012 with a similar injury.
Here’s hoping Gasol can make it back to the court quickly for the Spurs.