UPDATE 4/4 4:41 AM: Bogut’s injury is actually more serious and more complicated than originally thought. According to Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, not only is his right elbow dislocated, but he also suffered a right wrist sprain and broke his right hand. Gardner’s source indicated that Bogut will likely undergo season-ending surgery. However, the team has not indicated officially that Bogut’s season as over, as they have yet to release a timetable for his recovery.
4/3 10:15 pm: Milwaukee has been startlingly good since the All-Star break. It’s easy to point to Milwaukee’s acquisition of John Salmons as the clear reason why they’ve suddenly made the jump from mediocre to high-quality, but even more central to the Bucks’ success (not just over that stretch, but all season) has been Andrew Bogut. He’s quietly become one of the top centers in the league both offensively and defensively, yet seems to consistently cede the spotlight to Salmons and Brandon Jennings.
Bucks fans and the NBA world at large may soon find out just how good (or really, how bad) the Milwaukee would be without Bogut. After finishing on the break with a two-handed flush in the Bucks’ game against the Phoenix Suns tonight, Bogut lost his balance on the dismount and ended up twisting his elbow in completely unnatural and disturbing fashion.
According to Gery Woelfel of the Journal Times, the team has disclosed that Bogut has a dislocated elbow, but an x-ray showed no broken bones. No word yet from the team as to the specific timetable for his return, but it’s a fair bet that Bogut will miss significant time.
You can see Bogut’s injury here, but be warned: it’s not pretty. This isn’t a tweaked ankle or even a nasty collision, but a blatantly painful contortion from a big athlete hitting the ground with a ton of momentum. If you’re bothered by cringe-worthy injuries, I’d pass on it.
Billy Donovan left the Thunder despite them offering a new contract. Maybe it wasn’t as much money as he desired to coach a team that could be entering rebuilding. But active head coaches rarely turn down an NBA job unless they know they’ll land on their feet.
Donovan will land on his feet – with the Bulls.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
This is a major credibility upgrade for Chicago, which fired Jim Boylen. Donovan is a solid NBA head coach who adapts to his players rather than putting them through extreme measures.
Considering they just hired Arturas Karnisovas as president, the Bulls might have patience for a rebuild. Donovan will be tasked with overseeing the development of Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen, Coby White, Wendell Carter Jr. and the No. 4 pick in the upcoming draft. Donovan’s time as a college coach at Florida shows he can help players progress.
But Chicago also frequently faces pressure, especially internally, to win sooner than later. Donovan inherits veterans like LaVine, Otto Porter Jr., Thaddeus Young and Tomas Satoransky. Donovan showed at Oklahoma City he could manage a team with immediate expectations.
Is this group’s long-term future inspiring? No. Is this group’s present inspiring? No.
But Donovan provides a little boost in both areas.
The Celtics don’t have quite enough dependable players to fill a playoff rotation. So, beyond its core, Boston has juggled deep-bench minutes throughout the postseason.
One of those options – Romeo Langford – will no longer be available.
Celtics guard Romeo Langford this morning underwent successful surgery to repair the scapholunate ligament in his right wrist. He will miss the remainder of the 2019-20 NBA season.
A rookie, Langford also suffered a right-hand injury last season at Indiana. A pattern? Probably not. But it’s another interruption in the 20-year-old’s development.
For Boston’s playoff hopes, this is a minor setback – one made even smaller by Gordon Hayward returning (and staying). Though more of a forward, Hayward clears the way for Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart to handle more guard minutes, a few of which could have gone to Langford.
Politicians have repeatedly criticized the NBA for its involvement in China.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver is defending his league.
Sopan Deb of The New York Times:
Senators have power to affect the United State’s foreign policy, including where American companies are permitted to operate. The NBA shouldn’t face unique scrutiny for acting like a business, seeking to maximize profit, within legal parameters.
Silver is generally right: There is value in exposing American values to countries with authoritarian regimes. Basketball can be a good vehicle for doing so. Those connections can inspire change for the better.
But the league has repeatedly failed to uphold American values it espouses in its dealings in China. That warrants criticism and leaves Silver’s response quite lacking.
The NBA said next season would begin on Christmas at the earliest.
But get it straight: That’s a best-case scenario.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver, via CNN:
My best guess is that – even though, as you said, it will be the 2020-21 season – is that season won’t start until 21. We said a week or so ago that the earliest we’d start is Christmas of this year, but the more I’m learning – even listening to Dr. Fauci this morning – I continue to believe that we’re going to be better off getting into January. The goal for us next season is to play a standard season – the other part of your question – 82-game season and playoffs. And further, the goal would be to play games in home arenas in front of fans. But there’s still a lot that we need to learn in terms of rapid testing, for example. Would that be a means of getting fans into our buildings?
February seems like a reasonable expectation. But so much is changing with our handling of coronavirus. Predictions are weak at this stage.
Of course, the NBA wants to play a full 82-game season with fans at arenas. That’s how to most directly maximize revenue.
But when will it be safe for fans to attend games? How long will owners and players be content to wait while making practically no revenue? At some point, will it be better to play games and draw some revenue?
Assuming next season begins on a date the NBA doesn’t want to use as its start date going forward, how will the league get its annual calendar back on track if not reducing the schedule length? Fewer off days? Shorter offseason?
Like with many things, coronavirus creates many difficult complications.