Sixers: Michael Carter-Williams has undergone successful shoulder surgery

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Michael Carter-Williams received his Rookie of the Year award on Monday, after winning the award in a relative landslide.

A day later, he was headed for a medical procedure no one knew was coming.

The Sixers announced that Carter-Williams underwent successful surgery to repair the labrum in his right shoulder.

“The health of our players is our primary concern,” said Sixers President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Sam Hinkie, in the team’s official release. “There were a number of healthy discussions between Michael, our medical team, several medical specialists and Michael’s representatives. After careful consideration and thoughtful research, we collectively agreed that it was in Michael’s best interest to move forward with the procedure now and allow for maximum recovery time.”

The surgery comes as a surprise, because Carter-Williams finished out the regular season having not missed a game since Feb. 1, and averaged over 32 minutes per game during that stretch. But he didn’t always feel 100 percent.

From CSNPhilly.com:

Exactly when he was injured is not clear, but an NBA source told CSNPhilly.com’s Dei Lynam that Carter-Williams played through some off-and-on discomfort during the season after he was informed that he could not do any additional damage to his shoulder.

Shoulder injuries come in varying degrees, and often times surgery isn’t needed. Both Dwight Howard and Carmelo Anthony dealt with similar injuries during the 2012-13 season, and neither opted for the operation.

Things were obviously different in the case of Carter-Williams, and getting this taken care of now should theoretically give him ample time to rehabilitate from it before the start of next season. It is worth noting, however, that the team stated that there is no timetable for his return in the press release.

Nets’ national anthem singer kneels to finish performance

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NEW YORK (AP)—  The national anthem singer at the Brooklyn Nets’ home opener took a knee at the end of her performance.

Justine Skye was nearing the completion of the song Friday night when she went to one knee for the finish. There were some cheers, but appeared to be more boos from the crowd at Barclays Center to see the Nets play the Orlando Magic.

NBA players have continued to stand during the playing of the anthems, as required by league rule.

Mavericks’ rookie guard Dennis Smith Jr. misses game with knee swelling

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DALLAS (AP) — Dallas Mavericks rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. missed Friday’s game against the Sacramento Kings with swelling in his left knee.

Smith, the ninth pick in the NBA draft out of North Carolina State, had 16 points and 10 assists in the Mavericks’ season-opening loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

Smith participated in the Mavericks’ shootaround on Friday morning and was a late scratch. It is not known if Smith will play Saturday for Dallas.

The Mavericks were also missing guard Devin Harris, who was granted leave of absence after his brother died on Thursday.

Watch Lonzo Ball’s 29 point, 11 rebound, 9 assist game Friday night

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This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.

After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverley in his face all night — Ball found plenty of room to operate against the soft defense of the Phoenix Suns. With room to operate Ball had 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists — just one assist short of a triple-double. He helped the Lakers pull away to a lead in the third then hold on for a 132-130 win over the Suns.

Ball wasn’t terribly efficient, 12-of-27 shooting, but he was 4-of-9 from three, he played with great pace, he was decisive, and was finding guys with his passes. It was a step forward, even if it was against a sad defense (Eric Bledsoe can be a good defender, but he has seemed disinterested in recent years).

Ball and the Lakers are going to be up and down this season, the goal is for there to be more ups near the end of the season.

LeBron James rejects Giannis Antetokounmpo at the rim

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Through the first couple games of the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo has put up impressive numbers — he dropped 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists on the Cavaliers Friday night.

But the Cavaliers still have LeBron James.

He had 24 points and 8 assists, leading Cleveland to the win.

LeBron also reminded the Greek Freak just how good a rim protector he is. Few people can slow Antetokounmpo on the drive, but LeBron is one of them.

Is it too early to root for a Cavs vs. Bucks playoff series?