It’s apparently a fad now. From the Los Angeles Times:
Chris Paul warmed up for Sunday’s game against Golden State with a very familiar accessory.
A Kobe mask.
Paul was hit in the face during the first quarter of Friday’s game against San Antonio.
A Clippers spokesman said that Paul received an X-ray on Saturday and it revealed that Paul had sustained a nasal fracture. He added that Paul will be wearing the mask for a few weeks.
Paul apparently sustained the injury in the first half when he was elbowed by Spurs swingman Danny Green.
via Chris Paul suffers nasal fracture, will wear a protective mask – latimes.com.
Well, hey Kobe scored a lot of points while wearing a mask. He took a lot of shots, but still.
This could actually impact Paul a lot more. Peripheral vision is impacted with masks like this because your eyes naturally adjust to the elements in line of sight, and that impacts things like seeing where guys are in transition. So much of Paul’s passing is feel and knowledge, but it still could have an impact. The Clippers need him to be OK because the team has kind of unraveled over the past couple of weeks.
(Image via the NBA via Larry Brown Sports)
Both Chris Mannix of SI.com and Jerry Zgoda of the Star-Tribune report that Ricky Rubio suffered a torn ACL as previously indicated by Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski during the Wolves’ loss to the Lakers last night.
The news is devastating for the Timberwolves and basketball fans, as Rubio’s play had electrified the league and been a genuine highlight of the season With Rubio, the Wolves had managed to pull themselves into the playoffs and were a dangerous team going forward. Now they’ll have to go forward with a team missing one of its two best players. The door’s not closed, but it gets much tougher from here on out.
Beyond that though, is a young man who was brave enough to make the jump, to face all the expectations and still perform brilliantly. He had established himself as a star in this league, and his season is cut short. It’s one of those things that happens, and it’s hard to prevent, impossible to predict. It doesn’t leave you any less sad for the result.
It’s just one of those really, truly unfortunate things. Get better soon, rook.
From Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
#Hawks coach Larry Drew says @Al_Horford“definitely out for reg. season” and possibly could return for playoffs.
The 25-year old Horford has not played since tearing his pectoral muscle on January 11th. The ultra-efficient Horford was averaging 12.0 points and 7.4 rebounds per game before he got hurt. If the season ended right now, the 22-15 Hawks would finish with the 6th seed in the Eastern Conference.
Nets center Brook Lopez missed the first 32 games of this season with a broken right foot. Recently, Lopez sprained his right ankle. He is expected to be out for around 3 weeks, but Nets GM Billy King has reportedly considered shutting down his young center for the remainder of the season. From Colin Stephenson of the Star-Ledger:
Nets GM Billy King said the team is being cautious with Lopez and considered shutting him down for the entire season.
“We’ve got a young player, 23, and we’re gonna make a decision, do we keep him out the rest of the year? Because I think it’s important for us to have a healthy Brook Lopez,” King said. “He’s not going to be out for the rest of the year but at three weeks, if he still have a little soreness in the ankle, we’re going to hold him out. Because my main concern is about Brook Lopez, going forward at 23 years old. We want him as healthy as possible.”
It’s no secret that the Nets’ future is contingent on two things happening: the team keeping Deron Williams and acquiring Dwight Howard. Both players will be free agents at the end of this season, Howard has made it known he’d like to play in Brooklyn, and a Lopez-for-Howard swap has been the source of much discussion over the past few months.
Shutting Lopez down for the season would certainly decrease the chances of a Lopez-for-Howard trade at the deadline, but with the Magic looking like they might want to keep their franchise center for the season and risk free agency rather than trade him now. If that happens, the Nets would have an all-or-nothing off-season. If they can convince Howard to sign with them in free agency, they’ll likely be able to keep Williams and trade Lopez for some pieces that would fit well alongside the two superstars. If the team can’t get Howard, then there’s a high probability that Williams will leave and the Nets will return to the bottom of the Eastern Conference.
Right now, the team is only 12-26, and a high-lottery pick may actually be more beneficial for them in the long term than a semi-respectable record would be if Lopez returns but does not get traded for Howard at the deadline. It will be interesting to see what happens.
According to Comcast Sports Net Bay Area’s Matt Steinmetz, Golden State Warriors guard Steph Curry will miss tonight’s game against the Atlanta Hawks with a foot injury.
Curry has averaged 16.5 points and 6.2 assists per game for the Warriors this year, but this will be his 11th missed game of the season because of ankle and foot injuries. In the 10 games the Warriors have played without Curry, they have gone 4-6.