Getty Images

Reports: Suns’ rookie Dragan Bender done for season due to ankle surgery

Leave a comment

The Phoenix Suns took Dragan Bender with the No. 4 pick in last year’s draft, and like much of the top of this draft class he’s not come around quickly (not one of the top 10 picks in the draft started opening night for their respective teams).

On paper, the 7-foot forward fits the direction NBA bigs are going because he showed off a three-point shot overseas, plus has good court vision and passing skills. He was also very raw and not physically strong enough, and that showed as he tried to adjust to the NBA. Bender played in 38 games for the Suns, averaging 3.2 points a game on 37 percent shooting 32.1 percent from three), with a PER of 5.9. He’s got a long way to go before we know if he’s an NBA rotation player or not.

This setback is not going to help.

Bender is done for the season due to an upcoming ankle surgery. These reports are from overseas (Bender is Croatian ) but reliable sources. From Sportando then David Pick:

Dragan Bender is done for the season, according to Croatian journalist Bernard Djurisic. The Croatian rookie will need ankle surgery and miss at least three months of action.

This isn’t going to impact the Suns on the court, Bender had played in just one of the last eight games for the team and was getting limited minutes before that.

However, it’s a setback in the efforts to develop the young forward.

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook go head-to-head, literally (video)

5 Comments

This sure didn’t look like just another game for Kevin Durant – and not only because the Thunder beat the Warriors for the first time since he left.

The 108-91 Oklahoma City victory didn’t look like just another game for Russell Westbrook (34 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and four steals), either.

Harrison Barnes banks in game-winning, buzzer-beating 3-pointer (video)

1 Comment

With the shot clock off in the fourth quarter and the game tied, Grizzlies big JaMychal Green put back Tyreke Evans‘ miss with a clutch flush. There’s a very fine line between ensuring the last shot and leaving time for an offensive rebound, and Memphis threated it almost perfectly.

Emphasis on “almost.”

The Grizzlies left the Mavericks 0.5 seconds, which Harrison Barnes used to bank in a 3-pointer – off a pinpoint bounce pass by Dennis Smith Jr. – to give Dallas a 95-94 win.

Heat snap Celtics’ 16-game winning streak

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
Leave a comment

The Celtics didn’t have another comeback in them.

After overcoming a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit against the Mavericks on Monday to extend its winning streak to 16 games, Boston lost to the Heat tonight, 104-98. The streak ends as the NBA’s longest since the Hawks won 19 straight during the 2014-15 season.

The Celtics trailed Miami by 16 in the fourth quarter then cut the deficit to only one with three minutes left. But Dion Waiters hit back-to-back 3-pointers, helping the Heat pull away.

Goran Dragic (27 points) and Waiters (26 points) led Miami, which needed a reason to feel good after losing three of four to fall to 7-9.

The Celtics, on the other hand, still have a four-game cushion over the rest of the Eastern Conference. This might help them regain focus.

Serge Ibaka gets dunked on by Enes Kanter, hit in face by ball (video)

Leave a comment

Is Enes Kanter mad Serge Ibaka rifted with his family?

(No, not this family. That family.)