Al Jefferson missed six games due to a calf strain and five games due to suspension.
Now, just two games after his return, he’s sidelined again.
The Charlotte Hornets announced today that center Al Jefferson will undergo arthroscopic surgery tomorrow to address a tear in the lateral meniscus of his right knee. Earlier today, Jefferson underwent a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) which revealed the injury.
The procedure will be completed by Hornets Team Physician Dr. Marcus Cook at Novant Orthopedic Hospital in Charlotte. Jefferson’s recovery time is expected to be approximately six weeks.
If Jefferson sits six weeks, he’d miss 24 games.
Charlotte has scored only a tick better and defended fairly worse with Jefferson on the court. But Jefferson stabilizes the rotation. The Hornets’ main lineup – which also includes Kemba Walker, P.J. Hairston, Nicolas Batum and Marvin Williams – has performed much better with Jefferson than Zeller. Charlotte is 12-7 when Jefferson plays and and 5-6 when he doesn’t.
The Hornets will have to rely more on Zeller, Frank Kaminsky and Spencer Hawes, who’s banged up himself. That’ll mean more floor spacing, but Jefferson’s low-post scoring is a loss.
Charlotte is 17-13, but in a surprisingly strong Eastern Conference, that’s just outside playoff position. At this point, merely not losing ground would be a worthwhile goal for these next six weeks. Then, Jefferson could help the Hornets make their final push.
Just when Derrick Rose said he was getting his legs under him…
Vincent Goodwill of CSN Chicago:
This is why it’s so hard to believe Rose has turned a corner. He has played well lately, but it’s been a long time since he sustained it.
And for the same reason, it’s difficult to believe Chicago will break out of the deep pack of teams vying to be second-best in the Eastern Conference – a group that includes tonight’s opponent, the Pacers. The Bulls have a talented roster, but they need Rose to stay healthy enough to give everyone a chance to click together.
Warriors interim coach Luke Walton said “chances are pretty slim” Stephen Curry would play against the Mavericks tonight.
Walton’s doubt proved correct.
Losing the NBA’s best player will obviously hurt Golden State.
Here’s how the Warriors have changed from Curry on the court to Curry off the court (with where each mark would rank league-wide over the full season):
- Offensive rating: 117.0 (1st) to 100.0 (27th)
- Defensive rating: 94.3 (2nd) to 105.3 (26th)
- Net rating: 22.7 (1st) to -5.3 (26th)
That might overstate Curry’s value, because he typically plays with Golden State’s other top players – leaving reserves to fend off opponents without him. Draymond Green (93%)Klay Thompson(88%), Andre Iguodala (64%) and Andrew Bogut90% have played a majority of their minutes with Curry. It’ll be interesting to see what they can do without Curry for a full game.
There was talk of resting a banged-up Curry the next two games. So, don’t be surprised if this is the first step and he also misses tomorrow’s game at the Rockets.
The 29-1 Warriors are chasing history. They have a real chance to top the 1995-96 Bulls, who went 72-10. A title is important to Golden State, and sitting Curry now should only help him in the playoffs. But the all-time-best regular-season record also carries weight.
The Warriors need Curry to get right. His knee could’ve contributed to a recent – relative – shooting slump.
But if they want to become known as the best team of all time, they need Curry on the court.
If you’re a Comcast subscriber in the Bay Area, you can stream tonight’s Warriors-Mavericks game here.
Knicks forward Cleanthony Early was shot during a robbery early this morning, which raised all kinds of questions about his life going forward.
With his reported release from the hospital, we can turn to his on-court prospects.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
The hospital previously announced Early had been released, so there’s at least a little confusion here. Perhaps, he changed medical facilities.
But his exact location matters only so much.
The biggest news is the good news that Early has no structural damage nor need for surgery. Hopefully, he’ll be playing again soon.
Vlade Divac was wrong.
Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:
That makes Divac wrong twice by my count. The Kings general manager also said Cousins did nothing wrong. A team’s top player getting ejected from a close game for completely losing his cool over a clear foul is an error on his part. Cousins was wrong for losing his composure.
But two technical fouls and an ejection were a sufficient penalty. The NBA was right to end it there.
If you’re a Comcast subscriber in Northern California, you can stream tonight’s Kings-76ers game here.