Serge Ibaka was supposed to be out for the rest of the postseason with a calf injury, and wasn’t able to go in the first two games of the Western Conference Finals as the Spurs cruised to consecutive blowout victories.
San Antonio didn’t buy the diagnosis initially, of course, and Gregg Popovich was anything but “shocked” when it appeared as though Ibaka would make a miraculous recovery in time to return for Game 3.
Oklahoma City got a great performance out of Ibaka which helped cut the Spurs lead in the series to two games to one, and despite suffering the loss, Popovich used his postgame press conference as an opportunity to crack wise about Ibaka’s initial injury designation.
A reporter asked about Manu Ginobili, and whether he’d be physically okay after heading to the locker room late in the fourth quarter.
“He’ll be fine,” Popovich said, before pausing a few seconds to reconsider. “Or, he’s out for the rest of the playoffs.”
LeBron James sat out the Cavs’ preseason game against the Sixers on Thursday night, but Cleveland still held the lead for all but the final 5.4 seconds. Then, Sixers rookie Scottie Wilbekin did this:
Wilbekin, who played college ball at Florida, has a chance to earn legitimate minutes for the Sixers this season as they try to find young talent on the cheap. This is a good start.
Eight days ago, Derrick Rose had surgery to repair a fractured orbital bone suffered in training camp. The Bulls said he would be ready to resume basketball activities in two weeks, and in the meantime will rejoin practice soon. That part is still on schedule — head coach Fred Hoiberg says Rose will be with the team when they return to Chicago on Monday following a two-game preseason road trip, but unless the swelling in his eye dies down, it could be a little longer before he can start practicing again.
Via K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:
It’s not ideal, but since there’s no structural damage to Rose’s face, once he’s cleared to resume practicing, it’s just a matter of getting back into game shape before he can start playing in games. The team is still optimistic he’ll be able to play opening night against the Cavaliers on October 27.