Team USA Showcase

DeMarcus Cousins on injured knee: ‘It’s better than Thursday, so that’s a good sign’


DeMarcus Cousins left Thursday’s USA Basketball practice with a knee injury, and after he went down, walked gingerly off the court with a noticeable limp, and with the assistance of a couple of team trainers.

A day later at Friday’s practice, Cousins was seen getting up shots individually, but didn’t fully participate, and still had that limp.

He said the knee is improving, though just how soon a return to the court is possible remains to be seen.

From Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago:

“It’s better than (Thursday), so that’s a good sign,” Cousins said after Friday’s practice. “Just gradually trying to get through the pain. It’s going to be a process. As the days go on it should get better.” …

“It was a scary thing of course,” Cousins said. “Speaking from some of the things that happened early on. It’s basketball so things happen but luckily enough it wasn’t anything too severe. I’ll be back in a few days.”

Cousins will not play in Saturday’s exhibition against Brazil at the United Center in Chicago.

If it is only a few days that Cousins is sidelined, and he can get back in time to play in one or both of the exhibition games in New York next week, there’s a strong chance that he makes the final cut and ends up part of the 12-man roster that will compete in the FIBA World Cup in a couple of weeks.

Team USA needs his offense now if he’s healthy, which will leave Andre Drummond, Kenneth Faried and Mason Plumlee all fighting for a roster spot, with what’s likely to be just two frontcourt positions available for those three players.

Hezonja throws down one-handed dunk in preseason debut

Orlando Magic Introduce 2015 NBA Draft Picks
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Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:

Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist suffers dislocated shoulder in preseason game

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Solomon Hill
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Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:

A few hours after the game, the Hornets announced that Kidd-Gilchrist has a dislocated shoulder:

Depending on the severity of the injury, he could miss a few weeks or a few months. Hopefully, it’s the shorter end of that timeline. We should know more on Sunday.