It’s official: Dirk Nowitzki to replace Anthony Davis in All-Star Game


With All-Star their games over, guys were already flying out for their All-Star weekend vacations Wednesday night when the games ended. Which meant Commissioner Adam Silver wasn’t going to waste any time naming a replacement for Anthony Davis, who had to drop out of the Sunday’s contest due to a shoulder injury.

Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki will replace him, Silver announced on Wednesday night.

Dallas had just beaten Utah behind 15 points from Nowitzki when the word came down. The big German who has scored more points than anyone born outside the United States in NBA history (and is seventh overall on the scoring list) has averaged 18.3 points and 6 rebounds a night this season.

This will be Nowitzki’s 13th All-Star game.

Davis is the third Western Conference All-Star starter voted in by the fans who has had to drop out of the game, joining Kobe Bryant and Blake Griffin. While Silver gets to name the replacement on the team, it falls to Steve Kerr to name the fifth starter. Wednesday night Kerr announced that James Harden and Klay Thompson would start for Bryant and Griffin, we’ll see where he goes to replace Davis but expect a big man to get the nod

Anthony Davis out of All-Star Game; James Harden, Klay Thompson to start


The NBA injury gods that have taken no mercy on this season are not letting up for the All-Star Game. They just took away the guy many of us most wanted to see.

Three-fifths of the players the fans voted in as All-Star Game starters in the Western Conference are out of the game, we are just now finding out who might replace some of them.

Anthony Davis, who has missed the last two New Orleans games with a sprained shoulder after a nasty fall, is going to miss Sunday’s All-Star game because of said injury, Davis announced through the team Wednesday.

“After careful thought and consideration, I’ve decided I will not be participating in this year’s NBA All-Star competitions, Davis said in a released statement. “I want to thank the fans for voting me into the All-Star game and I am sorry I will not be able to play…. More than anything, I am anxious to get healthy and back on the court with my teammates after the All-Star break.”

That makes three Western Conference starters voted in by the fans who are out: Kobe Bryant, Blake Griffin and Davis.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will name Davis’ replacement, and early reports have Dirk Nowitzki of Dallas getting the call. Throughout the process, Silver has selected the next guy in line by the coaches’ voting. Nowitzki is averaging 18.3 points a game and this would be his 13th All-Star appearance.

He has already named the replacements for Bryant and Griffin — DeMarcus Cousins and Damian Lillard — but it was up to West coach Steve Kerr to name the starters. He named the first two on Wednesday:

Now Kerr has one more starter to name.

Jimmy Butler’s MRI reveals shoulder injury is just a strain

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Jimmy Butler did not return for the second half of Chicago’s win over the Kings on Tuesday, thanks to re-aggravating a shoulder injury he initially suffered on Sunday against the Magic.

Butler underwent an MRI on Wednesday, and thankfully for Bulls’ fans, the result revealed nothing more than a strain.

From Doug Padilla of ESPN Chicago:

An MRI revealed that Butler has nothing more serious that a strain, after he aggravated an injury Tuesday night that he first received in Sunday’s game against the Orlando Magic.

Butler’s status for Thursday’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers remains unknown, according to coach Tom Thibodeau. Butler was not available for comment Wednesday, although he was at the Bulls’ practice facility receiving treatment. …

Butler remains scheduled to participate in Saturday’s All-Star skills challenge and in Sunday’s All-Star Game in New York City.

All-Star weekend has already seen plenty of players be forced out of action due to injury, including Kobe Bryant, Blake Griffin and Dwyane Wade. Butler’s potential availability to participate is of course a plus, but I’m sure Chicago is far more interested in whether or not he’ll be able to go on Thursday against LeBron James and the Cavaliers.

Anthony Davis questionable for All-Star game due to shoulder injury


The All-Star game is less than a week away, and we’re already seeing multiple players being ruled out due to sustaining recent injuries.

Kobe Bryant and Blake Griffin are both out for the West, Dwyane Wade is out for the East, and Carmelo Anthony is 50-50, at best.

Now, another of the league’s best players may be forced to skip Sunday’s All-Star game if he’s not ready to go in time for his team’s next home game on Wednesday against the Pacers.

From Marc Stein of

New Orleans Pelicans star forward Anthony Davis’ availability for this weekend’s All-Star Game will likely depend on whether he can play in New Orleans’ home game Wednesday against Indiana, according to league sources.

Sources told that Davis, who suffered a shoulder sprain Saturday night after a hard fall against Chicago, remains a doubt for the Pelicans’ game against Indiana as he continues to undergo treatment.

The Pelicans have officially listed Davis as questionable for Wednesday night’s game.

If Davis can’t go, it opens up yet another injury replacement spot on the roster; DeMarcus Cousins got Kobe’s, and Damian Lillard got Griffin’s.

We’re probably looking at Zach Randolph or Mike Conley from the Grizzlies if Davis ultimately needs replacing. Memphis has been the second best team in the West all season long, and currently is only represented at All-Star weekend by Marc Gasol, who was voted in as a starter.

Dwyane Wade to miss All-Star Game due to hamstring issue


Averaging 21.4 points per game and with a PER of 22.4, Dwyane Wade deserved the All-Star spot the coaches gave him as a reserve.

But he is going to skip the game due to an ongoing hamstring injury, he announced Tuesday.

Miami is currently the eight seed in the West, one game ahead of nine seed Brooklyn and two-and-a-half up on Detroit. While the Heat and Charlotte are tied for the seven/eight seed spots, Charlotte went out on Tuesday and improved its roster to make sure it would get into the playoffs. If there is a team with a target on its back, it’s Miami.

The Heat need Wade back to avoid that fate.

Wade’s absence opens up an All-Star roster spot, to be filled by appointment by Commissioner Adam Silver. As he did with injuries to Kobe Bryant and Blake Griffin in the West, expect Silver to select whoever was next in line on the coaches secret ballots to fill the All-Star reserves.

That most likely is Atlanta sharpshooter Kyle Korver. He is the glue for the top-seeded Hawks, averaging 12.9 points a game and shooting a ridiculous 52.8 percent from three this season. When he is on the court, the Hawks are 12.8 points better per 100 possessions.

If not Korver it likely goes to either the Bucks improved guard Brandon Knight or — in my opinion the more deserving — Nikola Vucevic of the Orlando Magic.