The Bucks remain on the fringe of the Eastern Conference playoff picture, but they show flashes of great promise. Take their recent home-and-home against the Cavaliers — LeBron James took them seriously enough to play on the second night of that back-to-back despite logging 47 minutes the first night. The Cavs won both, but the games were hard fought. After the second night, James said this to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.
“The next several years they could be really, really good,” James said.
The Bucks are long and defend. They have Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker, plus a good core of role players. What they miss right now is their glue guy.
They miss Khris Middleton, their starter on the wing who tore his hamstring before the season in a workout. Middleton can defend multiple positions, averaged 18.2 points a game last season and shot 39.6 percent from three, has the handles to run the pick-and-roll, and is the guy who can give the Buck whatever they need on a given night, in a given matchup.
Middleton told reporters that he’s making progress and plans to be back late this season, as reported by the Journal-Sentinel.
“I’m making good progress within the last couple weeks but I’ve still got a long way to go,” Middleton said before the Bucks played the Cavaliers on Wednesday.
“A hamstring is definitely nothing to play with. There are chronic hamstring injuries where guys think it is fine and they go out there and try to run and pull it again. That’s something I definitely don’t want to go through.”
Middleton said the earliest he thought he could return was around the all-star break in mid-February, which would give him a chance to play the final two months of the regular season.
Even if he missed that deadline but got to play the last month of the season, that would make the Bucks a far more dangerous playoff team.
Providing they make it. Right now they are in that big clump in the middle of the East — Charlotte is the current four seed but just 2.5 games ahead of 11-seed Detroit. The East is wide open, and teams that get healthy (or stay healthy) and going to be the teams that make the playoffs.
The civil suit against Draymond Green starts off this way: “Draymond Green is a bully.”
As we noted was coming, on Tuesday former Michigan State University football player Jermaine Edmondson and his girlfriend Bianca Williams filed a lawsuit against Green stemming from an incident a year ago in East Lansing, Mich., bar. Green was back in the town of his alma mater and ran into Edmondson at a bar, and some kind of altercation followed.
Green allegedly slapped him during this, although the plaintiffs say the men with Green shoved first Edmondson against a wall, then when Williams came over to intervene another man did the same to her, putting his hand around his throat. Green was arrested, but the prosecutors didn’t see it the same way and Green’s charges were reduced to a noise violation, where Green had to pay a $500 fine and $60 restitution fee. Because it was a civil infraction, there is no “guilty” or “not guilty” plea entered.
Here is Edmondson speaking.
Green’s attorney Katherine Grubaugh, issued the following statement:
“This lawsuit relates to an incident that occurred in East Lansing, Michigan over a year ago, for which Draymond paid a noise violation fine. Draymond looks forward to defending himself and clearing up the misinformation put forth today.”
As I said previously, I’m not about to speculate about the motives for the suit or what actually happened in the bar that night. I don’t know those things. What I do know, as someone who spent years as a young reporter covering courts and police, it is challenging for the plaintiff to prove their case and get paid in these kinds of lawsuits (if this actually gets to trial). While in a civil case the standard to reach drops to “a preponderance of the evidence,” the plaintiff has to prove damages. That is not easy, especially in a disputed bar fight (where the clarity of memory of any witness can be called into question) a year later.
The Cleveland Cavaliers want an elite young player back in any trade of Kyrie Irving.
The Phoenix Suns have come up as a trade partner, because of Eric Bledsoe‘s salary, fit with Cleveland if Irving is gone, and the fact he and LeBron James share an agent.
And those suns have an elite young player — Josh Jackson. Taken fourth in the last draft, Jackson showed fantastic athleticism at Summer League, disruptive defense, the ability to make plays around the rim, and while his jumper needs some work there is genuine promise.
Which is why the Suns are not going to include Jackson in any Irving trade.
If the Suns are involved in an Irving trade, it’s likely as part of a three-team deal. Bledsoe would still go out, and Phoenix might be willing to throw in young players such as Marquese Chriss or Dragan Bender, depending on what they got back.
That is the key — the return. Phoenix is rebuilding, Bledsoe is their best trade chip, and if he is going out the door, they are going to want real quality back in return. They are not in this to be a salary dump location, the Suns are going to want young players who can make a difference and picks. Most of the trade scenarios floating around in public forums use Phoenix as the dumping ground in the three- or four-team deals, just know that is not going to happen. The Suns want value for their best trade asset.
Nike will be taking over the NBA uniforms for the 2017-18 season, and now it looks like we have some leaked photos of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ new look.
A photo posted to Twitter on Tuesday showed a mannequin dressed in what appears to be Cleveland’s new wine-colored uniforms.
Nike released some information about their new uniforms recently, including the naming conventions which will be associated with certain editions of team uniforms. Those editions are called The Association, The Icon, The Athlete’s Mindset, and The Community.
The wine edition of the Cleveland uniform would fall under the category of the Icon.
Those certainly seem to go along with some of the uniforms that were released during Nikes original release. It’s also hard understand why someone would have a full dress mock up on a mannequin with the Nike logo on it, especially as it is so close to what we have seen from Nike.
Conrad over at Sports Logos has been kind enough to mock up what the Cavaliers uniforms should look like for both the icon and association additions.
Via Sports Logos:
What do you think? I am liking them so far.
ATLANTA (AP) The Atlanta Hawks have re-signed power forward Mike Muscala to a two-year, $10 million deal.
The 6-foot-11 Muscala, who was an unrestricted free agent, could play a bigger role as he returns for his fifth season following the departures of Paul Millsap and Dwight Howard.
Muscala set career highs by averaging 6.2 points and 3.4 rebounds in 70 games, including three starts, last season. He scored in double figures in 20 games and ranked second on the team by making 50.4 percent of his shots from the field.
The team announced the signing Tuesday.
More AP NBA: https://www.apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball