Bucks’ Jabari Parker tears ACL, out for full year

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The Bucks’ worst fears about Jabari Parker, who injured his knee last night, were realized.

The forward will miss the rest of the season and likely part of next season.

Bucks release:

Bucks forward Jabari Parker suffered a left knee injury during the third quarter of last night’s game vs. Miami at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. This morning, Parker underwent an MRI that revealed a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee. Parker will undergo surgery to repair the injury and will miss the remainder of the 2016-17 season. The recovery and rehabilitation period is estimated at 12 months.

There is no silver lining here. This is a brutal injury for Parker and the Bucks.

Milwaukee might — might — find adequate fit replacements in Mirza Teletovic, Michael Beasley or Thon Maker. But all are massive talent downgrades. Using John Henson, Greg MonroeRoy Hibbert and/or Spencer Hawes in two-big lineups would drastically change the team’s style.

Parker was having a career year, averaging 20.1 points per game and becoming the true stretch four the Bucks needed him to be. Improved playmaking also showed the all-around potential that made Parker the No. 2 pick in the 2014 draft.

Two games and three games out of playoff position, Milwaukee faces even more daunting postseason odds now. The Bucks might even become sellers before the trade deadline (beyond Miles Plumlee‘s bloated contract), though Khris Middleton‘s return could buoy them and Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s incredible production will prevent too deep of a slide.

Parker will be eligible for a contract extension this offseason, and this injury — his second ACL tear in his left knee — will only complicate negotiations. Parker also missed most of his rookie year with the same injury. Was he always especially prone to this tear? Is he more susceptible now? Both sides will dig into those questions when determining Parker’s long-term value.

For now, this is a real short-term setback to everyone involved.

 

Timberwolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns out 4-6 weeks with calf strain

Minnesota Timberwolves v Washington Wizards
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It’s not good news, but it looked like it could have been much worse.

Timberwolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns is out for weeks with a right calf strain, the team announced Tuesday following an MRI exam. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports it is likely 4-6 weeks.

The injury occurred midway through the third quarter Monday when Towns started to run back upcourt and went to the ground without contact, grabbing his knee and calf. It looked scary — Achilles scary — and he had to be helped off the court.

Towns has averaged 21.4 points and 8.5 rebounds a game, and while his numbers are down this season — just 32.8% on 3-pointers — the team has struggled at times without him, particularly lineups with Rudy Gobert and Anthony Edwards together, an -11.8 net rating (in non-garbage time minutes, via Cleaning the Glass).

Kevin Durant on chasing MVP: ‘Not really, I’ve been there, done that’

Orlando Magic v Brooklyn Nets
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Kevin Durant carried the Nets to another win Monday night, scoring 45 points on 19-of-24 shooting, plus seven rebounds and five assists.

If you’re having an MVP conversation a quarter of the way into the NBA season, Durant has to be part of it: 30 points per game on 54.8% shooting (and a ridiculous 65.9 true shooting percentage), 6.6 rebounds and 5.5 assists a game, plus playing solid defense and being the anchor of the Nets. After his 45-point outing to get Brooklyn a win over Orlando, Durant was asked about MVP chants and the chase for the award and was clearly not interested.

Durant has MVP numbers, but so do Stephen Curry, Luka Doncic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jayson Tatum and others. If Durant is going to move to the front of the conversation, the first thing that has to happen is Brooklyn has to win a lot more games — 11-11 is not going to cut it when Tatum’s Celtics and Antetokounmpo’s Bucks have the two best records in the NBA. Winning games and finishing on a top-three team in the conference matters to some voters (and traditionally is one measure of an MVP).

Watch Herb Jones inbound off Pokusevski’s back, seal win for Pelicans

Oklahoma City Thunder v New Orleans Pelicans
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With 2.3 seconds left in the game and the Thunder down 2, they needed to steal the inbounds pass from New Orleans to have a real chance. That’s why when Aleksej Pokusevski walked on the court it looked like he was going to guard the inbounder, Herbert Jones.

Instead, Pokusevski turned his back to Jones, putting himself in position to step in front of anyone cutting to the ball to catch the inbounds. Except, Jones made the clever play to seal the game.

Pokusevski fouled Jones, who sank both free throws and sealed the 105-101 Pelicans win.

The Pelicans got 23-8-8 from Zion Williamson and picked up a win without CJ McCollum or Brandon Ingram in the lineup. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander continued his dominant start to the season and scored 31.

Watch Lakers fan drain half-court shot to win $75,000

Indiana Pacers v Los Angeles Lakers
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It might have been the loudest the crypto.com Arena was all night.

Between the third and fourth quarters, Lakers fan Jamie Murry of Downey won $75,000 draining a half-court shot — and he got to celebrate with Anthony Davis.

Murry’s celebration is the best part — with Anthony Davis coming out to celebrate with him (and seeming a little shocked by the hug).

One other big shot fell at this game, but Lakers’ fans didn’t like it as much — Pacers’ rookie Andrew Nembhard drained a game-winning 3-pointer as time expired.