<span class="vcard">Dan Feldman</span>

MEMPHIS, TN - DECEMBER 30:  Jeff Ayres #11 of the San Antonio Spurs reacts to an officials call during the fourth quarter of a game against the Memphis Grizzlies at the FedExForum on December 30, 2014 in Memphis, Tennessee.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
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Clippers sign F Jeff Ayres to 2nd 10-day contract

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Clippers have signed forward Jeff Ayres to a second 10-day contract.

He has had two points and two rebounds in three games with the team.

Ayres had been playing with the Idaho Stampede in the NBA’s D-League, averaging 16.3 points and 9.5 rebounds in 23 games.

During his five-year NBA career, the 28-year-old forward has played with Portland, Indiana, San Antonio and the Clippers. He was on the Spurs team that won the 2014 NBA title.

The move was announced Tuesday.

Bulls’ Nikola Mirotic underwent second surgery

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Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic underwent an appendectomy Wednesday, which was expected to sideline him through the All-Star break.

That wasn’t his only surgery.

Bulls release:

Nikola Mirotić underwent an appendectomy at Rush University Medical Center last Wednesday followed by a hematoma removal over the weekend.  He is currently resting comfortably at Rush and will be discharged within the next few days to begin his rehabilitation.

A date for his return will be re-assessed as he continues to recover.

Perhaps, Mirotic can recover from the hematoma removal concurrently with the appendectomy and not miss any more time than already expected.

The Bulls are 1-2 without Mirotic, beating the Lakers and losing to the Clippers and Jazz. In those games, Chicago is +20 in 74 minutes with Taj Gibson and Pau Gasol on the court and -33 in 75 minutes otherwise. With Joakim Noah already sidelined, the Bulls just don’t have enough quality big-man depth while Mirotic is also on the bend.

Bobby Portis appears to have a bright future, but giving him such a big role right now will come with up-and-downs. Mirotic allows Chicago to compete better in the meantime – at least once he returns.

Markieff Morris hammers powerful dunk on Jonas Valanciunas (video)

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One game after the Suns fired Jeff Hornacek, disgruntled Markieff Morris had 24 points on 11-of-16 shooting with nine rebounds, four assists, a steal and a block – through three quarters.

Coincidence? I don’t know, but Morris has looked awesome tonight – especially on this dunk on Jonas Valanciunas (particularly if you ignore Tyson Chandler tangling with the Raptors center beforehand and preventing him from fully elevating).

Dwyane Wade stuffs Terrence Jones at rim (video)

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Dwyane Wade is one of the best shot-blocking guards of all-time.

The star led NBA guards in blocks in 2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13. He has more seasons with more than one block per game this millennium than the rest of the league’s guards combined. He has been a terror for opponents.

He also still has it at age 34, as Terrence Jones learned the hard way tonight.

Stan Van Gundy: ‘Hard to see’ Jodie Meeks contributing to Pistons this season

Jodie Meeks
AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack
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Jodie Meeks hasn’t played since suffering a Jones fracture in the Pistons’ second game. The pessimistic end of the initial timetable had him returning just after the All-Star break.

But…

Rod Beard of The Detroit News:

Following a Monday morning appointment with surgeon Dr. Martin O’Malley to assess his progress, Meeks learned that the foot hasn’t healed properly.

“We’re backing off until March 1; for practical matters, it’s really hard to see him being able to get back and make much of a contribution this year,” Van Gundy said. “The first day he would be able to start ramping it up would be early March. He’d need a couple weeks to ramp it up and then you’re down to the last month of the season by the time he’s ready to go.

The Pistons badly want to make the playoffs after six years away. At 26-23 and seventh in the Eastern Conference, they’re in decent shape.

But they could use a spot-up outside specialist – like Meeks.

Starting shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ranks second in the NBA at 37.4 minutes per game. His stamina is impressive, but that’s asking a lot. Backup Stanley Johnson is better suited as a forward, a position he also plays. Rookie Darrun Hilliard doesn’t look ready for a rotation role, though he has gotten occasional minutes in reserve.

The Pistons probably won’t relinquish high-end future assets, like a first-round pick, but this news could make them more aggressive at the trade deadline. If they can’t count on Meeks, they could seek another shooting guard.

If Detroit doesn’t acquire one, Meeks – even if the odds appear against it now – could still get a chance to crack the rotation late in the season. There’s just a need for someone like him.