LaMarcus Aldridge has tear in injured thumb, out 6-8 weeks


UPDATE: Blazers say Aldridge has a tear in his left thumb, and will require surgery. He’s expected to miss 6-8 weeks.

LaMarcus Aldridge left Monday’s game with a hand injury, and missed the loss to the Suns in Phoenix due to needing to see a specialist.

He’s now had two separate MRIs on the injury, which appears to have been to his thumb, but we have yet to receive clarification on just how severe it is.

Most recently, Aldridge was seen wearing a cast, and it’s unclear what his timetable for return might be.

From Jason Quick of The Oregonian:

Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge has a cast on his left hand, but the team is still awaiting a diagnosis while tests are being done today general manager Neil Olshey said in an interview on Sirius XM.

Aldridge hurt his left thumb Monday while swiping down at the ball in the hands of Sacramento forward DeMarcus Cousins. Aldridge’s thumb hit Cousins above the knee and the Blazers forward left the game and did not return.

X-Rays that night were negative, and an MRI was inconclusive because of swelling in the area between his forefinger and thumb. Another MRI was scheduled for today.

We don’t yet know the severity of the injury, or just how long it may keep Aldridge sidelined. But it would affect the All-Star reserves if it’s something that will linger for the next month or beyond.

If Kobe Bryant can’t go, for example, that might open the door for Klay Thompson to get a well-deserved spot. In the case of Aldridge, we’d be talking about someone like Dirk Nowitzki or Tim Duncan getting a legacy selection in his place, assuming DeMarcus Cousins gets voted in by the coaches for entirely different reasons.

It’s too early to tell where Aldridge is concerned, though, but what we do know is this: In the crowded Western Conference standings, Portland can’t afford to be without him for an extended period of time if it hopes to retain a high seed in the postseason conversation.

2015 NBA All-Star starters announced, Kyle Lowry overtakes Dwyane Wade in the East


The last All-Star voting returns were released two weeks ago, and it appeared as though the starters were essentially locked into place.

The closest races in both the frontcourt and guard spots in either conference were right around 100,000 votes apart, which would mean a huge surge in fan support would be needed to have one player overtake someone who already maintained a substantial lead in the race.

The Raptors fan base, in support of Kyle Lowry, came through to get their guy in, while ousting Dwyane Wade at the same time.


G- John Wall

G- Kyle Lowry

F- LeBron James

F- Pau Gasol

F- Carmelo Anthony


G- Kobe Bryant

G- Stephen Curry

F- Anthony Davis

F- Blake Griffin

F- Marc Gasol

For the most part, the fans got it right.

Kobe Bryant was a legacy selection, but his torn rotator cuff now throws his availability for the midseason exhibition into question. If he can’t go, that opens up a spot for someone more deserving to get in as an injury replacement — like Klay Thompson, for example, who may have been hard-pressed to make it otherwise.

The reserves will be extremely interesting, especially in the West. While it’ll be interesting to see if Wade now ends up getting in from the East, with Bryant and possibly LaMarcus Aldridge being sidelined due to injury, that’ll open the door for other deserving players to end up getting one of the remaining spots.

The final voting tally was as follows:

Eastern Conference


1. LeBron James (Cle) 1,470,483

2. Pau Gasol (Chi) 974,177

3. Carmelo Anthony (NY) 647,005

4. Marcin Gortat (Was) 570,005

5. Chris Bosh (Mia) 542,006

6. Kevin Love (Cle) 386,208

7. Jonas Valanciunas (Tor) 231,741

8. Joakim Noah (Chi) 203,718

9. Nikola Vucevic (Orl) 129,293

10. Paul Millsap (Atl) 121,938

11. Al Horford (Atl) 114,955

12. Al Jefferson (Cha) 110,980

13. Kevin Garnett (BKN) 106,820

14. Nikola Mirotic (Chi) 103,645

15. Andre Drummond (Det) 86,717


1. John Wall (Was) 886,368

2. Kyle Lowry (Tor) 805,290

3. Dwyane Wade (Mia) 789,839

4. Kyrie Irving (Cle) 535,873

5. Jimmy Butler (Chi) 455,756

6. Derrick Rose (Chi) 379,994

7. DeMar DeRozan (Tor) 159,123

8. Jeff Teague (Atl) 83,900

9. Lou Williams (Tor) 82,135

10. Giannis Antetokounmpo (Mil) 55,014

Western Conference


1. Anthony Davis (NO) 1,369,911

2. Marc Gasol (Mem) 795,121

3. Blake Griffin (LAC) 700,615

4. Tim Duncan (SA) 546,817

5. Kevin Durant (OKC) 545,226

6. LaMarcus Aldridge (Por) 498,131

7. DeMarcus Cousins (Sac) 465,334

8. Dwight Howard (Hou) 348,275

9. Dirk Nowitzki (Dal) 292,557

10. Rudy Gay (Sac) 144,702

11. Kawhi Leonard (SA) 132,150

12. DeAndre Jordan (LAC) 117,816

13. Serge Ibaka (OKC) 107,223

14. Draymond Green (GS) 99,039

15. Tyson Chandler (Dal) 98,654


1. Stephen Curry (GS) 1,513,324

2. Kobe Bryant (LAL) 1,152,402

3. James Harden (Hou) 1,069,368

4. Chris Paul (LAC) 551,167

5. Damian Lillard (Por) 365,417

6. Klay Thompson (GS) 314,254

7. Russell Westbrook (OKC) 248,758

8. Rajon Rondo (Dal) 219,506

9. Jeremy Lin (LAL) 216,246

10. Mike Conley (Mem) 103,015

Brandon Jennings has NBA’s first 20-assist game in two seasons


If you haven’t been paying attention to the Pistons, Brandon Jennings has excelled since Detroit released Josh Smith.

The point guard outdid himself in the Pistons’ 128-118 win over the Magic last night, notching 24 points and 21 assists.

It’s been a while since anyone posted those type of numbers.

Nash won MVP that year, and although Jennings won’t win that award, it’s easy to believe he would have gotten All-Star consideration if the Pistons dropped Smith a little sooner.

Jennings was dismissed as an inefficient, selfish gunner, but he quietly improved his passing last season. This year, Stan Van Gundy is bringing out the very best in the point guard.

Kobe on efforts to recruit Rajon Rondo to Lakers: ‘I’m not stopping until he signs an extension’


Kobe Bryant had a very public breakfast with Rajon Rondo during the Lakers trip to Boston earlier this season, in what may have been a bit of a feeling out process.

The Lakers were reportedly interested in acquiring Rondo, but lacked the assets to get a deal done before Celtics GM Danny Ainge eventually settled on a package he liked from the Mavericks.

While Rondo has been thriving in his new role and Dallas is almost certainly going to finish the year with an entry into the postseason, he will be an unrestricted free agent next summer. And as long as that door remains even slightly open, Bryant will continue to hold out hope that he can convince him to come to Los Angeles.

From Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald:

Bryant took particular interest in the late-December trade of Rajon Rondo to the Dallas Mavericks. He and Rondo had breakfast together when the Lakers were in Boston early last month, and it was widely assumed that Bryant was doing a little early recruiting on the point guard who becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer.

While Mavericks owner Mark Cuban expressed confidence his club can and will sign Rondo to a new deal, Bryant told the Herald he’s not about to cease working on getting him to LA.

“No way,” Bryant said. “I’m not done. I’m not stopping until he signs an extension.”

The Lakers prefer to rebuild quickly through free agency, rather than take their chances on unproven young talent by bottoming out to obtain high draft picks. Rondo is likely to stay in Dallas, but if the Lakers decide to overpay, you never know what the future might hold.

Bryant’s recruiting efforts may have some sway over available free agents, and his efforts will almost assuredly matter more than those of Nick Young. But L.A.’s ability to attract more than one of them would carry more weight, because (depending on who those pieces were) it could put them back into the realm of immediate playoff contention.

Kyle Korver on pace for greatest shooting season in NBA history


The Hawks are on an insane run right now where the team has won an incredible 27 of its last 29 games. And you simply don’t put together something like that without some otherworldly performances.

While Atlanta has a legitimate case to get as many as four players into the All-Star game, it’s been Kyle Korver’s shooting that’s been the consistent backbreaker for Hawks opponents.

Korver has always been known as a great shooter. But this season he’s taken things to another level entirely, and with current averages of 51.5 percent from the field, 92.2 percent from the free throw line and 53.6 percent from three-point distance, he’s on pace to have the greatest single shooting season in NBA history.

From Zach Dillard of Fox Sports South (via HoopsHype):

Among all players in NBA history to shoot 300 or more field goals in a single season, Kyle Korver’s current 72.6 true shooting percentage, a measure of a player’s overall shooting efficiency, would hold the No. 1 spot. It would be the top mark by a significant margin, too. The only player within four percentage points to hoist more than a couple 3-pointers — many of the most efficient shooters on the list are frontcourt players that do most of their work around the basket, like Wilt Chamberlain, Artis Gilmore and Tyson Chandler — was former Bullets sharpshooter Tim Legler in his own 1995-96 season.

So does that qualify Korver’s 2014-15 campaign for the aforementioned historical shooting title? It’s a complex question, one complicated in historical terms by the NBA’s hesitancy to adopt the “gimmick” 3-point line until 1979, but true shooting percentage is a fair starting point. At the very least, a 50-50-90 season while averaging 33 minutes a night would put him on the VIP list.

Steve Kerr finished in the 50-50-90 club in the 1996 season as a member of the Chicago Bulls, but while he played in all 82 regular season games, he averaged fewer attempts than Korver, playing in a reserve role for 23.4 minutes per contest.

We still have half a season to go. But if Korver continues to shoot beyond these statistical thresholds while playing a starter’s share of minutes, there won’t be any argument to be made that his current season will be the greatest ever for a shooter in league history.