Author: Dan Feldman

Report: Myles Turner out another 4-6 weeks after surgery

Myles Turner, Dewayne Dedmon
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The Pacers announced last week Myles Turner would miss at least four weeks with a fractured thumb.

After examining his options, that timeline is resetting.

Shams Charania of RealGM:

Indiana Pacers rookie center Myles Turner will undergo surgery Monday afternoon to repair a fracture in his left thumb, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Turner, 19, is expected to miss four to six weeks after surgery.

Turner had earned a rotation role as an efficient scorer with an ability to convert at the rim and make jumpers inside the arc. He should still develop an NBA 3-point shot and improve defensively.

Those plans are on hold now, though. Indiana will rely more on Ian Mahinmi, Jordan Hill and Lavoy Allen as bigs. That could mean fewer two-big lineups with more Paul George at power forward.

Could Gregg Popovich coach 76ers? ‘I’d last about a month’

Gregg Popovich

Two years ago, people near Brett Brown – then a Spurs assistant coach – urged him to pass on the 76ers job.

Maybe one of those advisors was San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich.

Popovich on Brown, via Raul Dominguez of CSN Philly:

“He’s the most positive individual I know,” Popovich said. “I honestly don’t know who else could be in Philadelphia doing what he’s doing. I couldn’t. I’d last about a month. Two years ago, I mean [I would last] a month. Not a month into the third year.”

Popovich doesn’t have much patience for coaching outside his terms. And he has mostly earned that. The Spurs have been wildly successful, giving Popovich privileges of the top of the profession.

The 76ers, on the other hand, have gone 37-137 under Brown’s watch. Instead of bemoaning his lackluster rosters, Brown has embraced the challenge of teaching a young team. That’s not for everybody – not for Popovich – but he clearly respects the job his former assistant has done.

Soon, the question becomes whether Philadelphia respects it enough to extend Brown’s contract.

Popovich might have lobbied Brown not to take the job a couple years ago. But I also think he’s campaigning the 76ers to guarantee Brown more years now.

Kobe Bryant makes 3-pointer, high fives Paris train heroes (video)

Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos, Anthony Sadler
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This was one of the coolest moments of the season.

The Lakers honored the three Americans who subdued an attacker on a Paris train in August – Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos and Anthony Sadler – before their win over the Pistons last night:

With the three sitting courtside, Kobe Bryant high fived them after hitting a late 3-pointer that helped the Lakers pull away:

Kobe, via Greg Beacham of the Associated Press:

”That was a great moment,” Bryant said. ”They were encouraging me all game. I figured I’d get one to sit down and make sure I’d dap them up.”

Great moment indeed.

Marcin Gortat on Randy Wittman: ‘I don’t think it was necessary to call me out in the media’

Randy Wittman, Marcin Gortat
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After the Wizards’ 24-point loss to the Thunder last week – Washington’s third straight setback – Randy Wittman laid into his team:

We don’t defend. Guys drive by us at will. We don’t have any toughness. We don’t hit anybody and rebound the ball. We’ve got guys that play 27 minutes and get one defensive rebound. I can get a rebound, I guarantee you. If you give me 27 minutes on a Saturday, I’ll get you a rebound. And that’s what it boils down to – 50-50 balls; the dirty stuff. We don’t get dirty. And that’s on me. We’ve got three days to find the guys that’ll play that way.”

That was a shot at Marcin Gortat, who got one rebound against Oklahoma City.

Safe to say, the Wizards center didn’t appreciate it.

Gortat, via J. Michael of CSN Washington:

“I’ve been called out in the media. People can see this differently but bottom line is I’ve been called out,” said Gortat after Friday’s practice in his first comments since then when he grabbed just one defensive rebound in 28 minutes. “I agree, I had one defensive rebound and I get that. I should have more. There’s no secret about that. I got to do a better job. I truly believe that games like that will happen during the season. I just got to do a better job obviously. Games like that happen. Last year, too. … I just got to do better.”

Then came another pause before adding: “I don’t think it was necessary to call me out in the media like that. It happened. I heard a different story in training camp, that stuff like that won’t happen. But it happened so I disagree with what he did.”

I believe one of the reasons I didn’t have many rebounds is that we’re giving up 100 points in three quarters. There’s not much to rebound is the first thing. The second thing, I’m challenging a lot of shots. The stat sheets don’t lie. … I’ve been helping on a lot of different rotations and I’m pretty much out of position over half of the time. The other half when I’m other the basket the ball most of the time goes in the basket. It is what it is. That’s no an excuse at all. I’m saying what happened. I watched the game. I watched the statistic from the game. There probably were two, three situations where I probably should have the rebound in my hands and I just didn’t secure the ball. But stuff like that will happen. … It’s a part of the game. I don’t think I was the biggest problem in that game.”

“Nah, it is what it is,” Gortat said when asked if he felt motivated as a result. “He’s the man who’s in charge and I’m a player. I have to follow the rules. I have to follow what he says. That’s it. It’s a business.”

Not long ago, Gortat was raving about how great his relationship was with Wittman. But that was when the Wizards were giving Gortat $60 million.

Gortat and Wittman have a rocky history – understandable for a proud player and coach who believes players should handle criticism.

They’ll probably get over this. Gortat had 13 points and 10 rebounds – five defensive – in a nine-point win over the Magic on Saturday.

But it’s a little more friction than necessary in the interim. Gortat’s teammates are even getting caught in the crossfire. “I don’t think I was the biggest problem in that game.” I wonder how many players in the locker room are wondering whether Gortat meant them.

It ultimately falls on Wittman to read this situation. If he motivates Gortat, great. If he just irritates a player over a random off game, Wittman is doing more damage than good.