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According to the Associated Press, New Orleans guard Chris Paul is back at practice, but has not yet been cleared to play. Paul suffered a mild concussion last Sunday, and is scheduled to undergo a neurological exam on Friday.
Paul’s injury puts the Hornets in a tight spot. The dangers of playing with concussions are well-known now, and Paul is obviously extremely important to the Hornets’ long-term plan. On the other hand, the Hornets are currently in a brutal race for playoff positioning. Only a few games separate the Hornets, Nuggets, Blazers, and Grizzlies, so every game counts for New Orleans at this point in the season.
The Hornets were competitive against the Bulls and managed to pull off a miraculous comeback win against the Mavericks without Paul, but it would be foolish to assume that they can play at a high level without him for long. Paul has had an up-and-down season, but he is still one of the best point guards in the game and the Hornets’ franchise player.
It’s a good thing that the NBA appeares to be taking concussions very seriously, because head trauma has become a prevalent theme in recent weeks. The latest victim: New Jersey Nets rookie Damion James, who suffered a serious, Grade 1 concussion that will keep him sidelined for a few games. From Conor Orr of the Star-Ledger:
During today’s shootaround, Avery Johnson offered a little insight into the concussion suffered by Damion James. Unlike the one Anthony Morrow suffered Friday — which was only a mild concussion that had no lingering symptoms — James’ concussion sustained Saturday is far more serious.
“He still has headaches, he still has a concussion,” Johnson said. “It’s not concussion-like symptoms, he has a Grade 1 concussion.”
As has been made abundantly clear through a number of related NBA injuries and the innumerable concussions suffered in the NFL, this is nothing to mess around with. The Nets are wisely approaching James’ concussion with the appropriate gravity, but even more important than this specific instance is the acknowledgment that there could be some negative systemic factors at work. Good on the league for addressing an issue that’s sadly common.
Doug Collins is going to miss the final Philadelphia 76ers preseason game tonight.
Not because watching Evan Turner shoot is hard to bear — although at 31.8 percent shooting for the preseason it’s not helping — but because he is still recovering from symptoms of a concussion that forced him to miss Philly’s preseason loss to the Cavaliers last night as well.
The good news is he will return to the practice floor on Friday to help the Sixers prepare for their season opener against the Heat next Wednesday, according to the Philadelphia Daily News.
Collins suffered the concussion with a slip and fall in a coffee shop back on Memorial Day weekend. After a relapse of symptoms this week, Collins was taken to a neurologist in the Philadelphia area for more tests.
Good to hear Collins will be back to watch Turner matched up on Dwyane Wade next Wednesday. That will be fun.
Plenty of talk about concussions in sports these days, particularly in Philadelphia. Although not really so much in the NBA. And not with coaches.
But we have our first in that department now — Philadelphia’s Doug Collins will not coach tonight’s Sixers preseason game as he stays home to rest concussion symptoms, a recurrence of an injury suffered back on Memorial Day (back in May). John Schuhmann of NBA.com had this up on twitter, it was quickly confirmed by many others.
Michael Curry will coach the team against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Sixers have a Wednesday night game against the Knicks, it is unclear if Collins will coach in that game.
We could make the “DeSean Jackson got hit so hard Doug Collins got a concussion” joke here, but we’re above that. (Okay, we’re not, obviously.) But concussions are serious, and the fact that Collins is having symptoms nearly six months after the fact testifies to that.