Kurt Helin

Portland Trailblazers v Boston Celtics

Marcus Smart dislocates two fingers in Summer League game

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LAS VEGAS — When Marcus Smart walked out to start for the Boston Celtics in Thursday night in a Summer League playoff game, a few eyebrows were raised among the NBA folks and media watching. Why run a player that’s a starter or at least part of your regular season rotation out there, didn’t they see what happened to Allen Crabbe just the night before?

Early in the game Smart dislocated the index and middle fingers on his right hand at the middle knuckle and is out for the rest of the game, the Celtics announced before halftime of their contest. He was undergoing X-Rays.

It’s not pretty, here’s a screen grab of the injury.

Smart averaged 27 minutes a game and scored 7.8 points a night in a solid rookie year for the Celtics. He also plays good defense. He may not be a future star, but he’s a future rotation player in the league.

He also was scheduled to be part of the NBA’s first game in Africa, but that may now be up in the air.

Suns’ T.J. Warren keeps putting on a show in Vegas Summer League (VIDEO)

Milwaukee Bucks v Phoenix Suns
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LAS VEGAS — The up-tempo, chaotic, pick-up style of Summer League games suits T.J. Warren perfectly.

The Suns’ wing player has put up some of the best stat lines at Summer League, and he did it again Thursday with 23 points, four assists and three rebounds in the Suns blowout win over the Bucks.

For Summer League he has averaged 20.3 points on 56.9 percent shooting, and on defense he’s averaging 1.7 steals and 1.3 blocks a game.

He’s earned the chance to get a longer look and maybe a few more minutes from Jeff Hornacek in the fall. We’ll see what he does with that opportunity.

Report: Rockets look to bring back K.J. McDaniels with mid-level exception

Utah Jazz v Houston Rockets
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We knew the Rockets wanted to bring back K.J. McDaniels and see if, over a full season, he can crack the rotation (something he couldn’t do late last year).

The question was at what cost? He’s a restricted free agent, the Rockets have the right to match any offer, it was just a matter of what the number would be. We may have that answer, via Calvin Harris of ESPN.

My first reaction is that seems steep for McDaniels. Especially since the Rockets already have Trevor Ariza, Corey Brewer, and Sam Dekker at that wing three role. Plus McDaniels is coming off a broken elbow.

McDaniels is an intriguing fit in Houston, he’s an athletic wing who can score and defend. Well, he can score in transition, his jumper still needs refinement. McDaniels put up numbers and looked impressive in Philadephia, but they played fast and had limited offensive options. Houston plays fast but is loaded with quality scorers. McDaniels needs to prove he can break into the rotation for the Rockets.

It’s something to keep an eye on.

Andre Iguodala says if Kerr doesn’t start him then trade him — it was a joke, relax

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For a couple minutes, some corners of the Internet and the Warriors fan base started to freak out.

Warriors’ coach Steve Kerr spoke with the San Jose Mercury News and said he planned to bring Andre Iguodala off the bench again next season. No shock — they won 67 games and a ring with that strategy. Don’t fix what isn’t broken.

The fun started when Iguodala tweeted this:

WHAT? All through the Finals Iguodala said he just wanted to win and was good coming off the bench to make that happen, that he was team first, and now this? There were some turned heads around the Web.

Then came the follow-up:

Iguodala wasn’t done joking.

The Junior’s cheesecake is legit. I’d have gotten that in my contract.

ABC to debut Saturday Night NBA games in January; no more Sunday doubleheaders

Reggie Love
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NBA Saturday Night is coming to your big screen.

Once college football stops dominating every sports network on Saturday nights, ABC is going to turn its attention to the NBA, the network and ESPN (both owned by Disney) announced.

“Beginning in January, ESPN on ABC will launch a new, weekly prime-time NBA series with the debut of Saturday Night NBA on ABC. The exclusive, eight-game schedule – featuring the sport’s biggest stars and most compelling matchups – will begin January 23, 2016 with weekly game telecasts at 8:30 p.m. ET. NBA Countdown – ABC’s and ESPN’s NBA pre-game show – will precede the games at 8 p.m. The announcement was made today by ESPN President John Skipper and Disney/ABC TV President Ben Sherwood.”

We do not yet know what games will be broadcast (the NBA schedule will be released in the next few weeks), but this could end up being like the Thursday night TNT games, where the league can showcase its best matchups on a big stage. With what ABC is paying under the new television deal, if they want big games they should get big games.

For the network this makes some sense — Saturday night is a dead zone for scripted shows. They can only show so many Modern Family reruns.

With that Saturday night game, ABC will no longer do the Sunday doubleheaders. There will be just one showcase game (and expect the NBA to put a few potential games on the schedule that day and allow ABC to pick potentially another if the marquee game has lost its attraction due to injuries or whatever other reason.