It seems like an eternity ago Serge Ibaka came back from a calf injury that was supposed to end his postseason.
Since, the Thunder lost in the Western Conference Finals, the Spurs won the NBA Finals, the Cavaliers chose Andrew Wiggins No. 1 in the NBA draft, and LeBron James returned to Cleveland.
A lot has happened.
What hasn’t happened: Ibaka fully recovering.
Ibaka in a Q&A with Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report:
B/R: So how are you feeling now?
SI: I’m not 100 percent back yet, but I’m getting better. I’m trying to get back in shape and it’s going to take time.
The NBA season doesn’t begin for another few months. There’s plenty of time for Ibaka to get healthy.
That he plans to represent Spain in the World Cup later this summer certainly says something about his rehab.
But Ibaka’s quick return left the door open for long-term complications. The way he played against San Antonio, it seemed he’d just healed more quickly than expected. But that wasn’t the case. He just rushed back and played through the injury.
Honestly, I’m surprised to see Ibaka answer the way he did. Hopefully, he’ll be fully recovered soon.
Yeah, the Lakers lost to the Rockets, 134-95, Wednesday. But consider how lopsided that margin would’ve been without Lou Williams‘ halfcourt buzzer-beater.
And if this headline looks familiar, it is.
LeBron James did his part – scoring 25 points (on just 10 shots!), dishing seven assists and grabbing six rebounds – to give the Cavaliers an insurmountable lead over the Knicks through three quarters. So, he didn’t even play in the fourth quarter.
As Cleveland put the finishing touches on its 126-94 win, boredom set it. LeBron and a few of his teammates tried to flip a water bottle and have it land upright on the floor. LeBron even dove onto the court to pull the bottle back in after an errant flip!
No, Phil Jackson should not have used the word “posse” to describe LeBron’s business associates and friends. But this is the most disrespectful thing I’ve ever seen – and I love it.
The Mavericks’ long-rumored interest in DeMarcus Cousins took its most direct public turn before the season, when Dallas signed Cousins’ brother, Jaleel Cousins. Jaleel is now on the Mavericks’ D-League affiliate, and I bet he will remain there as DeMarcus approaches 2018 free agency.
Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News:
So, DeMarcus Cousins, what do you think about the Mavericks’ long-rumored interest in acquiring you?
“It’s flattering,” Cousins told me, with a laugh, after the Kings’ Wednesday shootaround at AAC. Then, turning serious, he added of the Mavericks, “I respect them.”
“But,” I said, “I’ve also heard that you like it in Sacramento.”
“No,” Cousins corrected, “I love Sacramento.”
Cousins is getting good at this, toeing the line between appreciating another team’s interest and expressing his satisfaction with the Kings.
And give Cousins credit. He keeps producing at a star level for a team that hasn’t provided him with the proper support. Sacramento again appears headed toward the lottery, even as Cousins averages 29-10.
Questions remain, though: How much of Cousins’ attitude is him trying to make the best of an inescapable situation, and will expanded options in the summer of 2018 test his loyalty?
LeBron James is dominating, and the Cavaliers are rolling over the Knicks.
It’s almost as if something has LeBron particularly riled up. But maybe ease up a little? That cowering fan isn’t Phil Jackson.