Mike Conley is key to what Memphis does — he can hit threes, he is a good floor general, and he’s a fantastic perimeter defender. The Grizzlies were +17.7 points per 100 possessions when he’s been on the court in the first two games of the playoffs. That despite him battling a foot injury that caused him to miss games at the end of the season (one he’s not fully recovered from).
In the third game, he took an inadvertent elbow to the face from C.J. McCollum as he leaned in to go for a steal (while McCollum stumbled) that knocked him out of the game.
He left the game in the third quarter after it happened, went to the locker room, then not long after was taken to a local medical facility for further evaluation, the team announced. Reports from the arena had Conley with a swollen eye.
There has not yet been an update on his injury.
Conley had 14 points and four assists when he got injured.
The Grizzlies were without Beno Udrih, their backup point guard, due to injury. The ball fell to the hands of Nick Calathes, who played a solid game and helped the Grizzlies hang on for the 115-109 win. Memphis is now up 3-0 in the series and seems destined to advance, with or without Conley.
They will need Conley to have any hope in the next round against Stephen Curry and Golden State (which has advanced after sweeping the Pelicans).
Report: Bulls likely to keep Jim Boylen as coach for financial reasons
But as the Sun-Times learned this week, even if Karnisovas didn’t like what he would have seen from Boylen he would likely be handcuffed from making a change.
According to several sources, there is strong growing momentum that financial concerns the Reinsdorfs have about the 2020-21 NBA season will keep Boylen in his current seat, as well as most of the coaching staff.
Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf has earned a reputation for his frugality. However, the economic downturn surrounding the coronavirus pandemic has caused many teams to tighten their belts. The financial consequences will likely continue into next season.
But this puts Chicago at a disadvantage.
Boylen has looked like one of the NBA’s worst coaches. Though Bulls ownership is more optimistic than most on Boylen and he could exceed expectations, it’s telling that Chicago probably wouldn’t have kept him based on merit. This is about saving money and hoping for the best.
That’s obviously great news for Boylen. He has improved significantly since taking over last season. More time on the job could allow him to grow into it. That said, improving from a near-mutiny in his early days doesn’t exactly mean he’s in an acceptable place now. Boylen still has a long way to go, and it could be more difficult if players are tired of him.
Earlier this season, Kyrie Irving missed several weeks with a shoulder injury. Throughout the absence, the Nets provided few details and no clear timeline. Eventually, a report said Irving could miss 2-3 additional weeks with bursitis. The Nets denied it. Later, Irving confirmed he had bursitis then returned nearly three weeks after the report.
Finally, Brooklyn caught the league’s ire.
The NBA today announced that the Brooklyn Nets have been fined $25,000 for failing to comply with league policies governing injury reporting.
For the NBA not to reveal even basic details while fining the Nets for their lack of transparency is ironic. It’s also ironic this fine comes amid a restart that featured the NBA being highly secretive about player heath.
The Clippers got fined $50,000 earlier this season for saying Kawhi Leonard was healthy. What did Brooklyn do that was less egregious but still worth of a fine?
LeBron James says Lakers have off-court issues, out vs. Rockets (groin)
LeBron gave a weird answer about this. He agreed that he and the Lakers were looking for a rhythm on offense. And then he said: “It’s just some things that you can’t control that’s here, that I really don’t want to talk about, that’s off the floor.”
Mike Trudell of the Lakers:
LeBron James (sore right groin) is out tonight against Houston. Alex Caruso (left neck muscle spasms) is questionable.
Four Lakers are listed as probable tonight: Anthony Davis (sprained right ankle); Markieff Morris (left hip contusion); Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (right ribs contusion); Dwight Howard (sore right knee).
Was LeBron referring to his groin injury? I wouldn’t call that an off-court issue, but maybe he would.
LeBron knows how to work the media. This subtle comment will draw attention and sets up LeBron to look better if he leads the Lakers through this mysterious issue.
Without more context, it’s easy for imaginations to wander – especially about a team with Dwight Howard, Dion Waiters and J.R. Smith. The Lakers could be facing a major hurdle. Or a minor nuisance. Who knows? But the unknown is scary.
It’ll be difficult to detect the Lakers’ progress during remaining seeding games. The Lakers have already clinched the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, and without a home-court advantage in the NBA Finals, there’s no reason to chase the NBA’s best overall record. That’s why LeBron missing tonight’s game against the Rockets could be mostly precautionary.
76ers: Ben Simmons suffered subluxation of knee cap, considering treatment options
How quickly will Simmons recover? Once he recovers, will he face elevated risk of re-injury?
These questions now haunt Simmons and Philadelphia.
Simmons is a young star who’ll begin a max contract extension next season. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons opened Philadelphia’s championship window, and now rain is drizzling through. Philadelphia can’t reach it ceiling without Simmons healthy and providing value.
Even more modest goals in a disjointed season will be more difficult to reach.
The 76ers were just adjusting to playing Simmons at power forward. Now, they must again re-configure their plan – maybe for a significant chunk of the remainder of the season.
Even more burden falls onto Embiid, who has been shouldering so much with this mismatched roster. Simmons plays across the positional spectrum, so any number of 76ers could fill in while he’s out. Many of those lesser players will complement Embiid more smoothly than Simmons did. But the talent deficit without Simmons can’t be offset.
That’s the scary issue for now – and maybe a while.