Author: Brett Pollakoff

Atlanta Hawks v Washington Wizards-Game Three

Report: Hawks’ Paul Millsap may require offseason shoulder surgery

1 Comment

The Hawks tore through the first part of the regular season, but things slowed after the All-Star break, and have now come grinding to a halt in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Thabo Sefolosha was lost before the postseason began with a broken leg, and Kyle Korver was lost in the series against the Cavaliers with an ankle injury that will require surgery. DeMarre Carroll has been playing, but has been a shell of himself after suffering a knee injury in Game 1.

And yes, there’s more.

From Howard Beck of Bleacher Report:

The most serious of those is Millsap’s sprained right shoulder, which caused him to miss five games in early April and has never fully healed. There are whispers that it might require surgery after the season.

Every team has injuries at this time of year, and the Hawks will get no sympathy from their current opponent. The Cavs lost All-Star forward Kevin Love in the first round, while Kyrie Irving has hardly played in this series because of knee troubles. But LeBron is the ultimate equalizer, able to turn even a battered roster into a contender. That’s what superstars do.

This tidbit comes in a longer piece about the way the Hawks are constructed, and whether their equal-opportunity style is one that is capable of winning a championship.

I’m not yet convinced.

Atlanta’s hot start, one in in which the team won 40 of its first 48 regular season games, was partly due to having the element of surprise in being so good so soon, and Korver putting up all-time great shooting numbers that had defenses with little time to prepare second-guessing their coverages.

As the season wore on, however, and the Hawks became a known quantity, teams were able to adjust. The Nets even picked up two playoff wins against Atlanta, and that seemed wholly unlikely before the first round began.

Atlanta fans will blame the high volume of injuries for the team falling short in the postseason, and making it to the Conference Finals, even in the watered-down East, remains an accomplishment worth noting. If the team comes back intact next season and can shake the injury bug, it’ll be interesting to see whether it’s once again capable of getting this far.

Storms in Houston forced Dwight Howard to remain at arena with fans until 2:30AM after Game 4 win over Warriors

Dwight Howard

The Rockets were comfortably in control against the Warriors for the majority of their double-digit Game 4 victory, but there was no way fans in Houston would be leaving early with the game already decided.

Mainly because they were strongly advised against it.

Severe storms in Houston had plenty of fans stranded at the arena until the wee hours of the morning. And Dwight Howard, who lives a bit outside of the downtown area, was similarly stuck.

From Calvin Watkins of

Star center Dwight Howard was stuck at the arena until roughly 2:30 a.m. ET with his son because the highway he lives off was closed due to flooding.

Howard’s son played catch with several fans who were told to remain in the stands as the city was hit with a tremendous storm that shut down several highways and streets. …

“I live a block and half away from the arena, so I was able to get home pretty easily,” McHale said. “The last thing I heard Dwight was in the arena with some of the guys because he lives so far away. I think he was the last to leave.”

Howard could have remained in a players-only area in the locker room throughout, but credit him for hanging with the fans and bringing some joy to what was obviously an unfortunate situation.

Kyrie Irving back in Cavaliers lineup for Game 4 vs. Hawks

Cleveland Cavaliers v Los Angeles Clippers

Kyrie Irving has missed the last two games for the Cavaliers while dealing with a knee injury.

Cleveland won both of them anyway, with Game 3 requiring an especially transcendent performance from LeBron James in order to get the job done.

The Cavaliers are holding what should be an insurmountable 3-0 lead in the series, so there seemed to be little need for Irving to get back out there if there was even a chance he wasn’t yet back to 100 percent. But it appears as though he’ll be back in the lineup for Game 4 as Cleveland attempts to close Atlanta out.

Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports:

Cavs guard Kyrie Irving is playing tonight with a 25-minute time limit, sources told Yahoo.

Obviously the Cavaliers can’t take anything for granted, and if Irving is in fact read to return, then he should be playing — at least in theory.

It’s just that knee injuries are tricky things, and if Irving should be forced to miss time because of it when Cleveland is facing the Warriors in the Finals as we all expect, then this decision to let him go in Game 4 will ultimately be substantially second-guessed.