Author: D.J. Foster

LeBron James

LeBron James sticks game-winner against Orlando Magic (VIDEO)


Well, this was almost unfair.

The Orlando Magic had played really well in Glen Davis’ first game back since his season-ending injury last year, and they were in a good position to pull off an upset over the Heat. They had played well enough, and you can even say they deserved to win.

But then LeBron James happened.

Arron Afflalo is a really good defender, but if LeBron James gets the ball at 20-feet, smack dab in the middle of the floor, against no help defense and a defender much smaller than him? Good luck. James made this look easy, because it was.

If this happened three or four years ago, it would be a big deal. People would scream at each other and say things like, “he can’t do it when it matters!” and it would go back and forth. But now? It’s just a good move and a good shot by the league’s best player .

Portland Trail Blazers and Golden State Warriors scrap on the court (VIDEO)

Portland Trail Blazers v Phoenix Suns

Well, that escalated quickly. No one threw a trident (Anchorman references are acceptable again, right?), but there were big ramifications from the on-court scuffle between the Portland Trail Blazers and Golden State Warriors.

The tussle started when Andrew Bogut and Joel Freeland got tied up in the paint, and things went to another level once Bogut threw a forearm shiver at Freeland to break loose.

As you could expect, this led to both teams rushing to the action. Mo Williams went at Bogut, and then things got a little crazy.

The refs doled out plenty of punishment, as you might expect. Wes Matthews, Mo Williams and Draymond Green were all ejected. Joel Freeland, Andrew Bogut and LaMacrus Aldridge were all issued technical fouls.

How Bogut got off with just a technical foul, I don’t know. He was involved in the fight that started it all, and then he shoved Williams as he rushed in. Usually the second guy gets punished (and Williams did), but the refs have the benefit of replay.

Regardless, nothing could stop Portland on this night. The Blazers were down by eight at the time of the fight, but they fought back on the scoreboard. Aldridge’s 30 points and 21 rebounds helped Portland extended their road winning streak to an impressive seven games, and their overall winning streak to 10 games. There isn’t a hotter team in the league right now.

Paul Millsap throws one down on Jared Sullinger (VIDEO)

Chuck Hayes, Paul Millsap

Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap isn’t known as a huge dunker around the league. He’s a guy who does most of his work under the rim, not above it.

Still, if he builds up enough momentum, Millsap is big enough and athletic enough to dish out some damage. If you see Millsap rumbling towards the paint and you aren’t a shotclocker? Probably best just to get the heck out of the way.

Celtics big man Jared Sullinger is not a shotblocker. He also did not get out of the way. This was the result:

DeMarcus Cousins doesn’t let teammates shake hands with Chris Paul (VIDEO)

DeMarcus Cousins

DeMarcus Cousins, as we all know, has a short temper. The Clippers, as we all know, aren’t above trying to get under a player’s skin.

Put the two together, and you get some fireworks.

After the Clippers squeaked out a win at home over the Kings, Cousins wasn’t afraid to show his displeasure with the result. As Kings guard Isaiah Thomas went to shake hands with Chris Paul after the game, Cousins put an end to any friendliness or show of sportsmanship that was about to take place. (via @crabdribbles)

Thomas can do a lot of things on the court despite his stature, but stopping Cousins from dragging him away is apparently not one of those things. He tried to double-back to not leave Paul hanging, but Cousins wasn’t having it.

Paul and Cousins have sniped at each other plenty over the years, and this was Paul’s response to the whole ordeal after the game:

I have to say, “He needs some guidance” is one of the better digs I’ve seen in a while, even if Paul didn’t have to say much after the victory.

Cousins is a pretty polarizing guy in general, and stopping his teammates from shaking hands with the opponent falls in line with that. Some people like the animosity and the return to the “golden days” where players all wanted to rip each other’s throats out instead of be best friends. Others think that Cousins is just being a poor sport.

One thing is for sure: Cousins’ hatred for the Clippers is palpable, and it’s definitely entertaining.

Projecting recovery time for Derrick Rose after meniscus surgery

Derrick Rose

According to multiple reports, Derrick Rose has torn the meniscus in his non-surgically repaired knee. He will require surgery and is currently listed as being out indefinitely.

Out indefinitely, of course, can mean a lot of different things. Marc Gasol was listed with that designation last year after an abdominal tear, and he came back after just two games.

So how much time will Rose actually miss? Obviously, the Bulls would be wise to play it plenty safe after surviving this scare, and truth be told, there shouldn’t be a crunch to rush Rose back to action. The Bulls are good enough to be a playoff team fairly easily, with or without their star point guard.

The severity of the meniscus tear matters a great deal when considering recovery times, and it isn’t uncommon for surgeons to make the decision on how much of the meniscus to repair or remove until once they are actually in the knee and can see the damage.

Point being, we’ll know more once Rose’s surgery is actually performed.

Here’s some good news, though:

What we can do in the meantime, though, is look at the recovery time for other athletes who have suffered meniscus injuries. Again, I can’t stress enough that every player is different, and every recovery process varies. Metta World Peace recovered from meniscus surgery in just 12 days. Other players have taken two months. These are just to provide context.

In the past, most teams have listed players out with a meniscus injury as being sidelined for “at least six weeks.” That was the time frame for Jeremy Lin back in 2012 and World Peace in 2013.

In 2011, Leon Powe suffered a torn meniscus and was slated to miss six weeks. He returned to play in seven weeks.

Tyrus Thomas suffered the same injury that year and was listed as being out for up to eight weeks. He returned early and was back on the floor in seven weeks.

It should be noted that Rose is a guard who replies on explosiveness and change of direction much more than a big man or post player would, which could lengthen a full recovery.

While the Bulls will almost certainly stick with the “out indefinitely” designation, particularly given Rose’s unique situation of recovering from an ACL tear, Rose’s recovery can probably be estimated at somewhere between 6-10 weeks. That’s based solely on what we’ve seen from other players who have suffered a similar injury, and again, we’ll know more once the actual surgery takes place.