Rodney Stuckey benched. Five winless games in, are the Pistons imploding?

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Things are not good in Detroit.

No, we’re not talking about the economy (but no, that is not good). We’re talking about the Pistons… and no, not jut that they are now 0-5 on the season after a loss to Atlanta Wednesday. Although that’s not good either.

We’re talking about players and the coach feuding. Just five games into the season. The latest incident was with point guard Rodney Stuckey last night, as explained in the Detroit Free Press.

Early in the third quarter, (Pistons coach John) Kuester called for Stuckey twice during a stoppage in play and Stuckey didn’t acknowledge him.

Kuester immediately summoned DaJuan Summers from the bench and replaced Stuckey at the 9:04 mark of the quarter. Stuckey was done for the night after playing only 13 minutes. He finished with five points and three assists on 2-for-6 shooting…

All Stuckey would say in the Philips Arena locker room afterward is: “It is what it is.”

This came the day after Tayshaun Prince fired back at the coach after Kuester questioned the leadership on the team.

There appear to be some real issues here, the kind GM Joe Dumars may need to deal with one way or another. But with ownership in flux — Karen Davidson is reportedly selling the team to Mike Ilitch — there may be a lack of strong leadership coming down from the top. Basically, nobody who can threaten jobs is calling down and asking what the heck is going on.

Because something certainly is going on. And it’s not good.

Physical therapist: LeBron James should have missed six months

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The Lakers initially called LeBron James day-to-day with the groin injury he suffered on Christmas.

He missed more than five weeks.

Maybe he should have sat even longer.

Karen Joubert, via Complex Sports:

Maybe LeBron returned too soon. This injury allowed that, even if it put him at risk of reaggravation if not fully recovered.

Maybe LeBron just healed especially quickly. Even among world-class athletes, he is an elite athlete.

Maybe Joubert is exaggerating. People tend to do that with LeBron’s body.

There’s plenty of room for interpretation, but it sure looked like LeBron was still hobbled.

What does this mean for LeBron and the Lakers going forward?

The pessimistic spin: LeBron did lasting damage to his body by returning so soon. This (failed) attempt to get the Lakers into the playoffs this season will undermine him in the future.

The optimistic spin: LeBron has still been excellent these last few weeks. If he gets fully healthy during his longest offseason in 14 years, he should be even better next season.

Kyrie Irving on whether returning to Cleveland means something to him: ‘Not at all’

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Kyrie Irving spent his first six seasons with the Cavaliers. He developed into a star with them. He won a title with them, even hitting the championship-winning shot.

With Irving’s Celtics playing in Cleveland tomorrow, Irving reflected on his time there.

Jared Weiss of The Athletic:

Irving is so clearly over the Cavs.

He was probably over the Cavs even while playing for them.

Lakers fan barely moves net while making halfcourt shot (video)

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The Lakers have had a rough season.

Last night went pretty well, though – especially for one fan.

The Lakers beat the Kings, and this fan swished a halfcourt shot to win $45,000.

CJ Fogler:

The Lakers need more outside shooting. Maybe they could turn to some of their fans.

Giannis Antetokounmpo drives past/through all the Cavaliers for dunk (video)

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Giannis Antetokounmpo is undeniable.

Watch this video. He’s the only Bucks player in sight on the court. All five Cavaliers appear. Antetokounmpo dunks anyway.

He dribbles past Jordan Clarkson then through David Nwaba and Tristan Thompson. Nik Stauskas and Brandon Knight are shading close enough to narrow his potential path. None of it matters.

Antetokounmpo scores inside unlike anyone anyone we’ve ever seen.