Rajon Rondo could return from injury by regular-season opener

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Rajon Rondo said the Celtics would surprise people this season, and this is exactly what he had in mind.

The Boston point guard broke his hand and was expected to be out 6-to-8 weeks, which would have put his return somewhere between Nov. 7 and No. 21.

That still might be when Rondo returns. As of our previous update, he wasn’t near ready.

But don’t rule out Rondo playing sooner, says the point guard and Celtics coach Brad Stevens.

Jay King of Mass Live:

Within the past few days Rondo underwent a CT scan for the broken bone in his left hand, which showed he is “progressing great,” according to Stevens. But the 28-year-old still hasn’t received clearance for contact.

“It doesn’t bother me at all,” Rondo said of the injury. “When I dribble the ball, when I catch the ball, it doesn’t bother me. But it’s night and day from trying to brace myself hitting the floor, and going into the lane and somebody smacking my hand.”

Stevens did not rule out Rondo suiting up for the Oct. 29 opener against the Brooklyn Nets.

“I think it’s a possibility,” the coach said.

Before that, though, Rondo needs to pass another hurdle in his recovery.

“He won’t do any contact before the end of the week,” Stevens said, “but there’s a chance he could be cleared to do some stuff by the end of the week.”

The Celtics, if they have any chance of sneaking into the playoffs in the weak Eastern Conference, need Rondo. First-round pick Marcus Smart clearly isn’t ready for a major role, evidenced by Boston potentially turning to Evan Turner as its starting point guard with Rondo out.

If Turner is your best option at that position, you’re in trouble.

Rondo probably can’t lift the Celtics into the playoffs, but he makes the roster fit. Turner can help from the wing. Smart might do OK in limited minutes. Everyone is more comfortable with him on the floor.

If there’s a chance at the postseason, every game Rondo plays gets Boston incrementally closer.

Reports: Nick Nurse to become Canadian national team head coach

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Nick Nurse got the Toronto Raptors to their first ever NBA Finals appearance. The Raptors beat Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday night. Already a budding Legend in Canada, it appears that Nurse is going to increase his sway in Ontario.

According to multiple reports, Nurse will become the head coach of the Canadian men’s national basketball team. He will also hold executive duties for that organization.

And the kicker? Nurse will also apparently have more involvement and interaction with Drake’s brand OVO.

Via Twitter:

Everything is coming up roses for Nurse. If he can eat some tape and figure out a way to slow down the Warriors the way he did with Antetokounmpo, he might just be able to give the two-time defending champions a run for their money.

Report: Cavs owner Dan Gilbert hospitalized after possible stroke

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Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert has reportedly suffered a stroke but is resting comfortably in the care of medical professionals.

According to the Detroit News, Gilbert was hospitalized on Sunday morning after evidencing stroke-like symptoms. His current condition is not known, but his company released a statement saying his family was seeking privacy.

Via Detroit News:

“He received immediate medical attention and is currently recovering comfortably,” said a statement issued by the Quicken Loans family of companies following inquiries from The News. “Our collective thoughts and prayers are with Dan for a speedy recovery.”

Details of his diagnosis and prognosis were not released; the family requested privacy.

Gilbert, 57, is the founder of Quicken Loans and the majority owner of the Cavs. He was scheduled to speak on Wednesday at a conference on Mackinac Island in Northern Michigan. It’s unclear if Gilbert will be keeping that appearance date as we don’t yet know the severity of his injuries.

The often-bombastic Cavaliers owner has made waves over the years, most recognizably with his Comic Sans letter. Recently, Gilbert said that he felt the Kyrie Irving trade was a winner for his team, and that Irving was likely to leave the Boston Celtics.

Gilbert has owned the Cavs since 2005.

Report: Raptors could get OG Anunoby back during Finals

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The Toronto Raptors are headed to the 2019 NBA Finals, and they are going to need every player on their roster if they want a chance at dethroning the Golden State Warriors.

Forward OG Anunoby has been out since early April after needing an emergency appendectomy. He has not played in the playoffs yet this season, but a new report says the Raptors may be hopeful he could return before the end of this final series.

Via Twitter:

Anunoby Is a useful second-year forward who plays hard on both ends of the floor. Toronto is going to have a hard time matching up with the Warriors defensively, whether Kevin Durant plays or not. Having Anunoby available would help Toronto be more switchable and more adept at taking on some of Golden State’s smaller lineups.

We don’t have a timetable for Anunoby’s potential return yet, but the way the Finals are spaced out (Game 1 is on Thursday, Game 2 is next Sunday) it could help get players healthy and ready.

That could be good news for Kawhi Leonard, who sat out several games this year simply to rest. Leonard has looked a little banged up through these playoffs, as has just about everyone else. The bad news for Toronto is that this time between games could also help the Warriors get Durant ready to play.

Game 1 of the 2019 NBA Finals is on Thursday at 6 p.m. PST in Canada.

Drake gave Nick Nurse another shoulder rub (VIDEO)

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People are already getting tired of Drake being a prominent figure in the storyline of the Toronto Raptors. They will have to just deal with it for now as Toronto is headed to the 2019 NBA Finals after beating the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday night.

That said, Drake is actually an ambassador for the Raptors. Some folks seem to forget that.

There was a dust-up during the Eastern Conference Finals about Drake having given Raptors coach Nick Nurse a shoulder rub during Game 4. Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer thought that fans shouldn’t be interacting with members of the coaching staff or players, but the Raptors didn’t seem to think it was that big a deal.

After the Raptors won on Saturday, Drake embraced Nurse yet again, playing off of the initial kerfuffle.

Via Twitter:

Get ready to see more Drake than you’ve ever wanted.