For Golden State to have a shot at making the playoffs in the West — which is their stated goal for the season — they are going to need Andrew Bogut and Stephen Curry to play in at least 70 games each. Which after both had ankle injuries that required surgery last season is a question mark.
At least Bogut seems to be on target to be ready for the start of the season. That’s what Warriors GM Bob Meyers said to the Sporting News.
“Yes, we expect that,” Warriors GM Bob Myers told Sporting News. “That’s just me prophesizing, but all indications are that will be the case. We’re hoping that he is in there for us on opening night. But if he needs two games, if the difference is waiting because he is not quite there, then we’ll wait. But we expect Bogut to play opening night.”
They expect Bogut to play in some preseason games as well. Which is a good sign.
Bogut will give them some scoring inside — he averaged 11.3 points and 8.3 rebounds a game for the Bucks last season before his injury. But his real importance is on the defensive end where he is one of the top five defensive centers in the game. Healthy and moving well he instantly improves the Warriors defense that was 27th in points allowed per possession last year.
All this is good news for fans in the Bay Area. It’s one of the keys to this season.
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 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.
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.
The Lakers need more outside shooting. Maybe they could turn to some of their fans.
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.