Author: Kurt Helin

Cleveland Cavaliers v New Orleans Pelicans

Anthony Davis leaves game with chest contusion, does not return


Somewhere in the first quarter Friday night against Cleveland, Anthony Davis took a pretty hard blow to the chest. It might have come when he had a collision with Tristan Thompson near mid-court (although he played for a while after that). It might have come battling for position on a Kevin Love free throw.

Whenever it happened, it was apparently pretty nasty.

And serious enough that Davis took himself out of the game, grabbing his chest. He went to the locker room not to return to the game. There are not a lot of details yet on if this could linger and cost him future games (New Orleans plays the Warriors on Sunday, then the Jazz on Tuesday, both at home).

Here is what Pelicans’ coach Monty Williams said after the game, via the Times Picayune.

“I just know when he was on the bench, he was wincing as if he couldn’t breathe,” Williams said.”So I was hesitant to put him back in the game and he then he wanted to go back out. We watched him for a while and he took himself out. That’s when I knew he didn’t feel right. And he was waiting for himself to feel better when he was in the back (locker room), but it never came back. So we’ll have a better idea of what’s going on (Saturday).”

Davis has been the best player in the NBA through the first quarter of the season, averaging 25.1 points per game on 56.9 percent shooting, plus 10.6 rebounds a game and 2.9 blocked shots a game. He’s been a beast on both ends of the court. He has a PER of 32.9 so far this season, which is basically a peak Jordan level efficiency number.

Hopefully this turns out to be nothing serious.

Even without him, and despite 41 points from LeBron James, the Pelicans beat the Cavaliers Friday night 119-114. New Orleans got 31 points from Tyreke Evans and Ryan Anderson came off the bench and hit eight three pointers on his way to 30 points.

Nick Young hits 30-foot, contested, game-winning three, Lakers upset Spurs (VIDEO)

Nick Young

Well, didn’t see that coming.

That offensive sequence, the shot they ended up with — a contested 30 footer with the shot clock  game on the line — pretty much sums up everything wrong with the Lakers offense.

But the thing about the Lakers is they have a couple guys who on the right night can just hit those shots. Nick Young is one of them and his three with 7.4 seconds left won the game as the Lakers beat the Spurs 112-110. It was the kind of win, the kind of game that led to one of those classic :44 second, terse Gregg Popovich postgame interviews (it’s the Spurs third loss to a sub. 500 team in the last 10 days, and that’s just focus). The Spurs had to come from 10 points down just to send the game to OT. The Lakers were the better team most of the night.

Kobe Bryant had 22 points (on 22 shots) and remains nine away from passing Michael Jordan on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. That very likely comes Sunday night in Minnesota.


Carmelo Anthony to play, start vs. Celtics Friday night

Portland Trail Blazers v New York Knicks
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There may be longer-term issues with his right knee, but for now Carmelo Anthony is only going to miss one game.

Anthony will be in the starting lineup Friday night when New York takes on the Celtics in Boston, coach Derek Fisher announced.

Anthony is averaging 22.9 points and 6.6 rebounds a game, and the Knicks offense is 15 points per 100 possessions better when he plays. Which is to say, they need him.

Anthony missed one game, a Knicks loss to San Antonio despite the fact the Knicks rested Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Kawhi Leonard. The Knicks have now lost 10 in a row and are just 4-20 on the season. With ‘Melo, Boston is about as winnable a game as there is for these Knicks.

Anthony’s played through a sore knee all season, which is part of the reason for the slow start. With the Knicks play has come infighting, reports of players not liking the triangle system, Derek Fisher looking like a first year coach and just an impressively high level of dysfunction. Friday word leaked that Anthony would be open to a trade — something both he and his agent quickly denied. Which is good, because with that contract good luck moving to a team any better than the Knicks. At least in the short term.

Kings make “Reverse Shaqtin’ a Fool” — Shaq’s biggest blunders (VIDEO)

Shaquille O'Neal

That is brilliant.

“Shaqtin’ A Fool” is one of the best parts of Inside the NBA each week on TNT, when Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley and Kenny “The Jet” Smith all have fun at the expense of the players with the biggest blunders of the week.

But Shaq had his share of blunders, too, so the Kings turned the tables and let their players enjoy Shaq’s best blunders.

The Kings can get away with this because Shaq is part owner of the team.

Report: Jermaine O’Neal to decide in January whether to return to NBA, contenders want him

Golden State Warriors v Sacramento Kings

Quality NBA big men are hard to come by. Even mediocre NBA big men are hard to come by, which is guys well past their expiration date keep getting chances.

Enter Jermaine O’Neal. Last you saw him the Golden State Warriors inserted him into their starting lineup for the first three games of their playoff series against the Clippers. By Game 7 of that series he could’t get on the court, he had fallen far out of Mark Jackson’s rotation (and the Clippers won the series). After that the Warriors decided not to bring him back this season (they went with Festus Ezeli, a guy who had missed the entire previous season with a knee injury). O’Neil mulled retirement and wasn’t in any camp this fall.

But O’Neal is tough, a veteran, and has the size you can’t teach (officially 6’11”, 262 pounds). Which means if he decides to come back — and he’s considering it — a number of teams are going to line up as suitors, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.

Depth along the front line is hard to come by so it’s not a shock that teams are lining up. O’Neal can provide a decent defensive anchor in the paint for limited minutes, plus he can score a little (not efficiently, but he can score). He’s had knee issues (he’s been to Germany for the Kobe treatment) but playing just half a season in a limited role shouldn’t be a problem.

The question is, does O’Neal want to put himself through the work to get in shape, get with a team and give this one more run? Tune in next month for the answer.