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Danny Green: Spurs don’t know how long I played with torn groin, should’ve gotten second opinion

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Danny Green has tried his hardest to soothe tension between Kawhi Leonard and the Spurs.

Headed to the Raptors with Leonard, Green hasn’t given up that fight – though, while he tries to show deference to both sides, his latest update doesn’t shine a favorable light on the team.

Leonard reportedly believes San Antonio misdiagnosed his injury. Green can relate.

Green discussed an injury he suffered Dec. 8 against the Celtics. He missed 10 of the next 17 games.

Green on “Inside the Green Room with Danny Green“:

I strained my groin first half, probably first or second quarter, trying to chase down and block a dunk. It was stupid, because I was nowhere near close to getting the block. But that’s the competitive nature in me. And I wanted to go back in.

But get an MRI next day. It’s a slight strain, take a couple weeks off. So, we do the rehab, do everything we’re supposed to do. And people – with a groin strain, it’s hard to tell between a groin and a sports hernia sometimes.

So, after some time, it healed. Started to try to play again. It’s kind of certain days, I’d have bad days. Some days would be good. And I’d feel it.

And they were like, “Maybe we should get it checked.” My agent: “Maybe you should get a second opinion.”

I didn’t want to, because I have full faith and belief in the Spurs’ staff. They’ve always been great to me. They’ve always done right by me. They’ve always done a hell of a job.

So, throughout the season, we’ve monitored it. But we never went back to check on it again, because so many other injuries have happened.

I should have – I could have gotten a second opinion. So, I see where Kawhi is coming from when he’s got his second opinion. Because a lot of times, you’ll get information from outside sources.

And not saying that the Spurs staff is not up to par. It’s just that everybody is a specialist in every area. So, it’s not like they’re a special in a groin area where a sports hernia may be. So, to go to a guy who may be in Philly to get a second opinion shouldn’t hurt.

At the end of the season, regardless of that being said, at the end of the season, I come to find out is it could have happened that day or that playoff series against Golden State. But we don’t know. So, at the end of the season, I had to get another MRI, because you get your physicals, the exit physicals. The strain was still there, a little tear.

Since then, I’ve been rehabbing it, basically. And now they’re passing the information on Toronto.

But we don’t know how long I’ve been playing with this strain or how long this tear has happened, because we haven’t really circled back or focused on it that much because of some of the injury were happening throughout, whether it was the Achilles, dislocated finger. I had stiches in my face. Whatever it may be.

Second opinion could have helped, but they did a great job. They did everything they could.

But I think it would have been nice to see a specialist, just to see if there’s another angle, another view. Just because Kawhi and got a second opinion, you can’t knock him for that. Everybody should get a second opinion just to get another perspective, another angle, another view.

Regardless of that, I’m working on it, trying to get healthy, because you can tell my play deteriorated toward the end of the season. It wasn’t the same. But, competitive nature, I didn’t want to leave the floor.

Green is being completely reasonable here. It is understandable San Antonio doctors missed this. They can’t be specialists in everything. That’s why Green should have gotten a second opinion – and why the Spurs probably should have encouraged him to do so.

But juxtapose Green’s comments with those of Tony Parker, who went out of his way to note how much he trusted San Antonio’s doctors and didn’t want a second opinion. I wouldn’t blame Leonard for resenting that.

Leonard must protect himself. If that required missing most of last season, so be it. For all the credit the Spurs have gotten for their handling of players’ health, there are obviously cracks in the system.

I’m also now curious about Green’s physical in Toronto. Though so much attention has been placed on Leonard’s, could Green show red flags? It’s probably too late to turn back now.

Watch Zion Williamson score 25, lead Pelicans to crucial win vs. Trail Blazers

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Zion Williamson had 25 points for his seventh straight game with at least 20 points, and the New Orleans Pelicans beat the short-handed Portland Trail Blazers 128-115 on Friday night.

The No. 1 draft pick was playing in just his 11th game after a right knee injury sidelined him for the first half of the season.

The Pelicans, who led by as many as 22 points, have won four of their last five games.

The Blazers, who have lost three straight, were without Damian Lillard, who is expected to miss three or more games because of a groin injury that occurred in Memphis last week. It kept Lillard out of the All-Star Game and the 3-point contest last weekend.

Lillard is averaging a career-high 29.5 points and 7.8 assists per game. His absence hurts the Blazers, who went into the game 3.5 games back of Memphis for eighth in the Western Conference standings.

And it’s not just Lillard: Portland had only nine players available for the game.

CJ McCollum took over as point guard and finished with 27 points and 10 assists. Hassan Whiteside added 19 points and 12 rebounds.

The Pelicans were among four teams, along with the Blazers, fighting for those last playoff berths with just a third of the season left. Coach Alvin Gentry said he’s treating the last 27 games like a college season.

“We want to play to get into a tournament. We want a high seed. Those are the things that we’ve talked about. Obviously, we have to play good basketball,” Gentry said.

The Pelicans also won the previous three meetings this season with Portland. Earlier this month in New Orleans, Williamson had 31 points and nine rebounds in a 138-117 victory over the Blazers.

Williamson, who played just one season at Duke before going pro, went into the game against the Blazers averaging 22.1 points and 7.5 rebounds.

His streak of games with 20-plus points is the longest among NBA rookies this season. And he was the first player since Michael Jordan to have 20 or more in eight of his first 10 NBA games.

Lonzo Ball’s 3-pointer put the Pelicans up 29-17 in the opening quarter. But the Blazers closed within 40-38 early in the second on Whiteside’s dunk. It was as close as Portland could get, and Williamson’s dunk gave New Orleans a 54-46 lead.

Williamson’s layup pushed the Pelicans’ advantage to 65-50 and New Orleans led 73-63 going into halftime. He led all players with 19 points.

Consecutive jumpers from Carmelo Anthony and Whiteside’s dunk pulled Portland within 80-75 in the third quarter. The Pelicans pulled away with a 12-0 run to head to the fourth with 102-83 lead.

Portland closed the gap a bit in the fourth when back-to-back 3-pointers from Trevor Ariza and McCollum got the Blazers within 114-105. Jrue Holiday‘s 3 and Ball’s layup extended New Orleans’ lead again and fans at the Moda Center headed for the exits.

Holiday finished with 20 points and nine assists.

Pascal Siakam scores 37, Raptors remain red hot with win vs. Suns

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TORONTO (AP) — Pascal Siakam had 37 points and 12 rebounds and the Toronto Raptors beat the Phoenix Suns 118-101 on Friday night for their 16th victory in 17 games.

Serge Ibaka scored 16 points, Fred VanVleet and Terence Davis each had 14, Kyle Lowry had 13 points and 10 assists and OG Anunoby aded 12 points for the defending NBA champion Raptors.

After Toronto’s franchise-record 15-game winning streak ended with a loss at Brooklyn in the final game before the All-Star break, the Raptors bounced back by starting the second half with their eighth consecutive home victory.

The Raptors have not lost back-to-back games since an overtime loss at Indiana on Dec. 23 and a home loss to Boston on Christmas Day. Toronto has gone 19-1 since.

Siakam connected on 12 of 19 attempts, going 5 of 9 from 3-point range.

That was just one fewer than the six 3-pointers the Suns managed on 34 attempts. Phoenix shot 17.6%t from long range, its lowest mark of the season. No Suns player made more than one shot from distance.

Devin Booker scored 21 points and Deandre Ayton had 17 points and 10 rebounds for Phoenix. The Suns lost for the seventh time in nine games.

Ayton returned to the starting lineup after missing the final two games before the All-Star break because of a sore left ankle.

Phoenix trailed 93-78 through three quarters, but the Suns cut the gap to six points, 96-90 on a basket by Ayton with 8:08 left to play. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson made a pair from the line, and VanVleet and Siakam both scored to put the Raptors up 102-90 with 6:58 remaining.

Booker missed a 3 with 4:45 left that would have made it a four-point game. Anunoby scored on a dunk and, after another missed 3 by the Suns, Ibaka banked home a 3-pointer to restore Toronto’s 12-point cushion.

Moe Harkless says no buyout with Knicks: “I’ll be here the rest of the year”

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Moe Harkless went from a guy often starting and playing critical minutes for a contender in the Clippers to being the matching salary in a trade and finding himself on the woeful Knicks.

“It is definitely an adjustment with the way things are,” Harkless told Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. “Everything is different, the culture and everything.”

If there was a player nobody would blame for wanting a buyout and the chance to get back to a team playing for something, it would be Harkless.

That’s not happening. Multiple reports have surfaced that he is not talking buyout with New York running up to the March 1 deadline. The latest comes from Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

Then Harkless was even more direct speaking to Bondy.

“I’ll be here the rest of the year,” he said.

Harkless has fans in NBA front offices, with the Lakers rumored to be among them (although they are about to land Markieff Morris in a similar role). Harkless could play good defensive minutes on the wing down the stretch for a team, buying rest for key guys, plus in the playoffs he could be advantageous in certain matchups.

Morris and the Knicks have time to change their minds, but it sounds like he will play out the season in New York then be a free agent next summer.

Lakers reportedly will waive DeMarcus Cousins to clear roster spot

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If the Lakers are going to add Markieff Morrisas has been rumored — or anyone else via free agency, they are going to need to clear out a roster spot.

That has the Lakers looking to waive DeMarcus Cousins, a report broken by Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.

Cousins signed with the Lakers over the summer but never set foot on the court with them after tearing his ACL during summer workouts (which led to a scramble and L.A.’s fortuitous signing of Dwight Howard). He was around the team and rehabbing, and while they would never officially rule him out, Cousins was never expected to play.

He was not waived before because his $3.5 million salary might have been useful in a trade. When that didn’t materialize at the deadline it, became likely he could get waived.

It’s highly unlikely a team picks up Cousins this season, while he continues to rehab from his injury. However, it might be a good roll of the dice this summer by a team to sign him to a minimum contract for next season. Cousins still has some NBA basketball in him, if he can just stay healthy.