Kurt Helin

at Staples Center on February 19, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. 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.
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Report: Lakers may shut Larry Nance Jr. down for rest of season


When talking about the young core the Lakers are trying to build — D'Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle — all to often Larry Nance Jr. gets left out of the mix. Although, not by opposing coaches, who when asked about the young Lakers almost always go out of their way to bring Nance up and say they like what they see.

The rookie out of Wyoming has played solid defense, shot reasonably from three (33 percent), played within himself in the system, all of which is why Byron Scott started him when Russell and Randle came off the bench (a debate we got into on the latest PBT Podcast, but I don’t want to go down the Scott rabbit hole here).

But Nance has been battling knee issues, and when those flared up in Milwaukee on Monday limiting him to nine minutes, the Lakers started to think about shutting Nance down for the season to get it right, reports Baxter Holmes at ESPN.

However, Lakers coach Byron Scott said he and the team’s longtime trainer, Gary Vitti, have had discussions about sitting Nance out for the rest of the season to let his knee heal.

No decision has yet been made, Scott said, and for the moment Nance will receive treatment on his knee and be evaluated to play Wednesday against the Grizzlies in Memphis.

“We’ve talked about it, they’ve talked about it, but at the same time, at this point right now, it’s precautionary,” Nance said about being potentially shut down for the rest of the season.

The report says surgery is not required. He missed the six games prior to the All-Star break with pain in the same knee.

If there’s any question, why wouldn’t you shut him down? The Lakers are rebuilding, and Nance can be a rotation player in that future team (or be an asset used to trade down the line, if needed). Why risk anything now, so he can gain a little more experience on a losing team? Get him healthy in time to put in the work this summer on holes in his game, that matters more than a few more minutes now.

Every Dion Waiters bad shot, decision against Cavaliers set to Céline Dion (VIDEO)

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Dion Waiters reminded everybody Sunday why Sam Presti had spent the trade deadline looking for an upgrade at the two (and Randy Foye is not the answer). Waiters was 1-of-8 shooting, 0-of-3 from three, on his way to four points, plus he threw in an impressive travel. He was a -14 for the day, a game the Cavaliers won on the Thunder home floor.

So why not set a video of Waiters’ misses to “My Heart Will Go On” by Céline Dion?

The Internet wins again. Here you go.

Notice how the Cavs turned those shots into buckets at their end.

Hassan Whiteside with high-flying dunk over Pacers (VIDEO)

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To keep their rotations the same, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra has started Amar’e Stoudemire at center and brought Hassan Whiteside off the bench — but when Whiteside plays 41 minutes, as he did Monday, he’s your go-to guy.

And he’s producing. Whiteside had 25 points and 23 boards against the Wizards on Saturday, then on Monday put up 19 points and 18 rebounds. Plus he threw down this impressive dunk.

Monta Ellis had the chance to win this game for Indiana from the free-throw line in the final second, but he missed and the game went to overtime, where the Heat pulled away for the 101-93 victory.

After trade from Wizards, DeJuan Blair waived by Suns

Washington Wizards center DeJuan Blair sits in the front row seats as the Milwaukee Bucks are introduced before an NBA basketball game Friday, Oct. 30, 2015, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Darren Hauck)
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PHOENIX (AP) — As expected, the Phoenix Suns have waived forward-center DeJuan Blair.

Phoenix acquired Blair, Kris Humphries and a protected first-round draft pick last Thursday in the trade that sent Markieff Morris to Washington. A seven-year NBA veteran, Blair averaged 2.1 points and two rebounds in 29 games for the Wizards this season.

The move Monday leaves Phoenix with an open spot on the 15-man roster.

Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo finishes the off-the-backboard alley-oop (VIDEO)


The Bucks have found a bit of an offensive groove of late, in part because they have put the ball in the hands of Giannis Antetokounmpo more (and out of the hands of Michael Carter-Williams). Going up against the Lakers’ defense gave the Bucks the chance to build on that newfound confidence.

They did. And Giannis Antetokounmpo put on a little show with the dunk of the night.

The Bucks won 108-101 in a game where they led by 28 early in the fourth quarter, but the Lakers bench made a run to make it at least interesting late. Antetokounmpo finished with 27 points and had a triple-double in the win.