Kurt Helin

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 06:  Kobe Bryant #24 and D'Angelo Russell #1 of the Los Angeles Lakers talk during the game against the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center on November 6, 2015 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.  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. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
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Kobe Bryant, D’Angelo Russell both out for Lakers vs. Warriors

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LOS ANGELES — Tuesday night against the defending champion Golden State Warriors, and for the third straight game, Kobe Bryant will be sitting out for the Lakers due to a sore shoulder.

This time, he will be joined on the bench by rookie point guard D'Angelo Russell, who is battling a sore throat.

Hey, coach Byron Scott, are you becoming concerned about the length of Bryant’s absence?

“No, not really,” Scott said before tip-off. “Again, he keeps saying he feels better, so that’s a good sign, that he’s continuing to get better. It’s just taking a little longer than he thought, I guess.”

Kobe remains day-to-day, the Lakers play next Thursday in Sacramento. Scott said he expects Russell will be ready to go by Thursday.

The Lakers have won the last two without Bryant, beating the league-worst Sixers and the only team playing worse than Philly the last 10 games in Phoenix. It’s a different test against the 32-2 Warriors, who are getting healthy again. Stephen Curry will start for Golden State, and Harrison Barnes will again come off the bench for them (with Brandon Rush starting), Golden State coach Luke Walton said.

Even with all the injuries, the Warriors have kept on winning, and Scott said he hopes his team could take something away from that.

“It seems with them it doesn’t matter who plays, it’s the same mentality, they are going to come out ready to go” Scott said. “We’re going to be hard pressed to stop them for 48 minutes, so like I told our guys, this is a great challenge for us, to see where we are and how far we’ve come.”

 

 

Jazz Waive defensive wing Elijah Millsap

Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder, right, talks with Elijah Millsap during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game against the Phoenix Suns, Friday, Oct. 9, 2015, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
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Elijah Millsap has been as advertised in Utah.

He is a quality wing defender off the bench for the Jazz, but he is a dreadful shooter. He took more than 30 percent of his shots from three and hit 8.3 percent of them. He took more than half his shots in the restricted area and hit just 50 percent.

Those numbers and a non-guaranteed contract led the Jazz to release Millsap on Tuesday.

The Jazz had until the 10th to cut him before his contract became guaranteed for the rest of the season; they chose to make the move a few days early. Doing so gives Millsap a chance to land on another roster, either with a 10-day contract (how he first came to the Jazz last January) or through another deal. I’d be surprised if another team doesn’t give him a look.

Elijah is the brother of Atlanta Hawks All-Star forward Paul Millsap.

Pistons mix Barack Obama endorsement of Andre Drummond for All Star game

Andre Drummond, Ersan Ilyasova
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Flat. Out. Brilliant.

Somebody in the Pistons marketing department should not be buying drinks next time everyone goes out, or at least, give the man/woman a raise. Because this is the best All-Star campaign effort I can recall.

Averaging 18.1 points and 16 rebounds a game, pushing the Pistons into playoff contention, Andre Drummond is having a breakout season. That includes him being third in frontcourt All-Star voting after the first returns. But Drummond is just a little more than 16,000 votes in front of Carmelo Anthony for that last spot, he needs some campaigning.

So the Pistons mixed Barak Obama speeches to Drake’s “Jumpman” and… brilliance. Vote for Drummond now.

Bulls’ Derrick Rose expected to return to lineup Tuesday vs. Bucks

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 10:  Derrick Rose #1 of the Chicago Bulls, playing without a protective face mask, brings the ball up the court against the Los Angeles Clippers at the United Center on December 10, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Clippers 83-80. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using the photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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Derrick Rose said he was getting his legs under him — he dropped 19 on the Thunder on Christmas, then 25 against the Mavericks, then 20 on Toronto, and he was shooting 48 percent in those games.

Then he sat out the next three games with hamstring tendonitis in his right leg.

Tuesday night against the Bucks, he should be back, reports Vincent Goodwill of CSNChicago.com.

Coach Fred Hoiberg said that as long as Rose didn’t have any setbacks after shootaround or warming up for the game, he expected him to play.

The Bulls seem to be finding a bit of an offensive groove of late, scoring 111.6 points per 100 possessions in their last five games (fourth best in the NBA). But can they do that with both Rose and Jimmy Butler healthy and needing to share the ball remains to be seen.

That test looks like starts tonight.

Brian Scalabrine: Shaquille O’Neal most underrated great player ever

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Shaquille O’Neal is an all-time great. The resume is stunning: Four-time NBA champion, NBA MVP, three-time Finals MVP, 15 All-Star games, 14 times All-NBA teams, and he’s a lock Hall of Famer. All that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Brian Scalabrine told Dan Patrick we still underrate Shaq.

Often discussions of Shaq can focus on his oversized personality, his feud with Kobe Bryant, or how he didn’t max out his potential. All of those things are real. And still Shaq is one of the handful of greatest big men ever to play the game. Scalabrine does a great job laying out his impact.