Nets’ Brook Lopez could miss two weeks with injury to surgically-repaired foot

wpid 453369841 Nets’ Brook Lopez could miss two weeks with injury to surgically repaired foot Getty Images

Brook Lopez was playing at an All-Star level for the Nets in the early part of last season, before a foot fracture (followed by multiple surgeries) sidelined him for the rest of the year.

Lopez was fully cleared for training camp participation, and averaged 18 points and 5.6 rebounds in 23.3 minutes per contest in three preseason appearances.

But his surgically-repaired foot is bothering him again, to the point where his availability for opening night has now come into question.

From Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN New York:

Brook Lopez might miss the next 10 days to two weeks with a soft tissue injury in his surgically repaired right foot, according to league sources.

The Brooklyn Nets center did not suffer a fracture to the foot, according to sources, which is very encouraging news for the team. But if Lopez needs more than 10 days to recover, the center’s status for the season opener at Boston on Oct. 29 could be in doubt.

The Nets, via official release, say that Lopez suffered a mild right midfoot sprain against Sacramento on Oct. 15, and that X-ray and CT scan studies revealed no fractures or bone injuries.

This throws a wrench into Brooklyn’s plans, at least for the next couple of weeks.

New head coach Lionel Hollins undoubtedly has been preparing a game plan that features Lopez prominently, and has worked to install a new system with the idea that Lopez would be firmly in place. There’s a bit of chaos now that needs to be sorted out, but if the preliminary diagnosis is to be believed, this is merely a minor setback that could very well be resolved by the time opening night is upon us.

Tags: BKN, Brook Lopez

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22

10 2014

Younger brother of Sixers’ Joel Embiid dies

 Younger brother of Sixers’ Joel Embiid dies Getty Images

Arthur Embiid, the younger brother of Sixers rookie Joel Embiid, died in Africa on Thursday, according to multiple reports.

From The Associated Press:

Coach Brett Brown, general manager Sam Hinkie and forward Luc Mbah a Moute — like Embiid a native of Cameroon — skipped the team’s exhibition game Thursday night against Boston to be with Embiid at his home in Philadelphia. Assistant coach Chad Iske coached the team in Brown’s absence.

“We’re all a family here,” Iske said. “Obviously, everybody’s thinking about Joel and his family at this time. Our hearts and prayers are with him.”

Arthur Embiid’s exact age is unknown, but Joel, who turned 20 in March, is the oldest of three children born to Thomas and Christine Embiid in Cameroon.

And from Dei Lynam of CSNPhilly.com:

In a text from Embiid’s agent, Arn Tellem, “Joel is devastated.”

“We obviously consider members of our organization as a huge family,” director of public relations Michael Preston said. “When something of this nature occurs, it trumps a game. Our hearts, prayers and thoughts go out to his entire family.”

Embiid was selected by Philadelphia with the third overall pick in this year’s draft, and is expected to miss the majority of the upcoming season after undergoing foot surgery this summer.

Tags: Joel Embiid, Luc Mbah a Moute, Philadelphia 76ers

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22

10 2014

Blake Griffin goes after Trevor Booker following flagrant foul, says he may retaliate in the future (VIDEO)

In the third quarter of Friday’s preseason contest between the Clippers and the Jazz, Blake Griffin elevated for a dunk along the baseline, but was prevented from completing the play thanks to a hard foul from Trevor Booker.

Booker was doing his job to a certain extent, not allowing Griffin to get an easy two points. But it’s dangerous to take a player down in midair like that, and Griffin obviously felt that the play was unnecessary, especially during the preseason.

From Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles:

 “I was going to but then I thought its preseason,” Griffin said when asked about retaliating. “It’s not worth it, that’s not the person I want to waste it on.”

When Griffin was asked if he feels close to retaliating if the hard fouls continue, he said, “Yeah, probably. I’m not going to do it for no reason or if it’s not warranted and I didn’t feel that was.” …

“You don’t ever want him to do anything but he gets hit with more cheap shots than anybody in the league,” Rivers said. “I don’t even think it’s close.”

Griffin plays a bruising and physical style of basketball that often gets under the skin of his opponents. But because of this, the referees often let Griffin receive plenty of contact that goes without being whistled for the foul that it should.

There’s no easy solution, here, but I’ve talked with Griffin about this very subject on more than one occasion in separate seasons. He’s always believed that he receives an unfair amount of illegal contact; it appears he’s reaching a breaking point, and is now willing to do something about it.

Tags: Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers, Trevor Booker, Utah Jazz

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22

10 2014

Dwyane Wade still trying to find his way in new, LeBron-less Heat offense.

 Dwyane Wade still trying to find his way in new, LeBron less Heat offense. Getty Images

It took Dwyane Wade about a season and a half to really figure out how to play next to LeBron James (read: let LeBron be the alpha dog and sacrifice your game to fit around him).

Now it’s taking some time to adjust to LeBron not being around.

Erik Spoelsta has tweaked the Heat’s “space and pace” offense to fit his current personnel with Chris Bosh as a hub and Luol Deng as a jack-of-all-trades. That’s taking some adjusting to, Wade told our friend Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel.

“I’m still finding my way with this team and this offense,” he said, as the Heat prepare to play in their exhibition finale against the Houston Rockets. “So I’m still trying to see where I fit in. I know I can get a shot any time I want, but it’s about the quality of it more so than anything. I’m just playing the game and just seeing.”

“This early offense that we started in camp is more so to get our guys to better ball movement,” he said. “So now Coach is starting to get to the point where it’s time now to put in a package for C.B. [Bosh] and myself, and it will kind of be what we do for the next week, week and a half.”

This shouldn’t be a shock. It’s going to take Miami some time to really find it’s footing and identity, just like it is in Cleveland. That said I think the Heat will find their stride fairly quickly and be one of the solid teams in the middle of the Eastern Conference pack.

And Wade will find his groove… in however many games he plays, anyway.

Tags: Chris Bosh, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Luol Deng, Miami Heat

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21

10 2014

NBA approves expanded instant replay and other rules changes for the upcoming season

 NBA approves expanded instant replay and other rules changes for the upcoming season Getty Images

The NBA’s Board of Governors approved some rule changes which will go into effect for the upcoming season, the league announced on Thursday via official release.

Many of the modifications have to do with how and when instant replay may be used by the officials, the most significant change coming in relation to flagrant fouls.

Under the previous rules, a foul had to be whistled as a flagrant in real time before the officials were allowed to check the replay to see just how bad it was; now, replay is allowed whenever officials are not “reasonably certain” whether a foul that was called meets the criteria of a flagrant as outlined in the league’s rules.

The other significant change is in regard to a reset of the shot clock in held ball situations. Previously, the clock would be reset to five seconds when a held ball was caused by the defense with less than five seconds remaining; now, that’s no longer the case.

The full release, which includes all of the associated rule changes, is reprinted below for your convenience.

All changes go into effect for games beginning Friday, Oct. 17.

Expansion of Instant Replay Rules

Officials may utilize instant replay whenever they are not reasonably certain a team had an improper number of players on the court while the ball was in play.

Modification of Instant Replay Rules

Instant replay triggers that are currently in effect only during the last two minutes of regulation and the entire overtime period(s) instead shall be in effect only during the last two minutes of regulation and the last two minutes of overtime period(s).

Officials may now conduct an instant replay review whenever they are not reasonably certain as to which team should be awarded possession after a ball becomes out of bounds or whether an out of bounds in fact occurred during the last two minutes of regulation and the last two minutes of overtime period(s).  Previously, officials could only use replay if they weren’t reasonably certain as to which of two players on opposing teams caused the ball to become out of bounds.

Officials are now permitted to utilize instant replay whenever they are not reasonably certain whether a foul that was called meets the criteria of a flagrant foul.  Previously, the foul had to be called a flagrant on the floor in order to utilize instant replay.

Officials are now permitted to utilize instant replay whenever they are not reasonably certain whether a foul that was called meets the criteria of a clear-path-to-the-basket foul.  Previously, the foul had to be called a clear-path foul on the floor in order to utilize instant replay.

Officials may now utilize instant replay any time they are not certain when any player (offensive or defensive) without the ball was fouled relative to the timing of a successful shot.  Prior to this change, officials could only review the timing when an offensive player without the ball was fouled.

Rules Changes

·         If a team has too many players on the court while the ball is in play, (i) the offending team would both be assessed a non-unsportsmanlike technical foul and lose possession if it had possession at the time the violation was discovered, and (ii) the non-offending team would continue to have the option of either accepting or nullifying the game action that occurred during the violation.  Previously, if the offending team had possession, it would keep possession of the ball despite the violation.

·         Teams may freely substitute players whenever any timeout is called.  Prior to this change, there were limited circumstances in which a team couldn’t substitute for certain players at timeouts.

·         The shot clock will no longer be reset to five seconds when a held ball is caused by the defense with fewer than five seconds remaining on the clock.

 Each of these rules was recommended by the NBA’s Competition Committee at its offseason meetings.

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21

10 2014

Alec Burks burns Kobe Bryant with behind-the-back crossover (VIDEO)

Sentences I never thought I’d write:

Kobe Bryant reaches, Alec Burks teaches.

Right before this shot Kobe hit a quality jumper right over the top of Burks, so the Jazz guard was looking for a little payback. He got it with this sweet behind-the-back crossover that pretty much broke Kobe’s ankles. Burks had a strong game, scoring 21 points on 14 shots.

Kobe had 26 points on 7-of-22 shooting, plus he made a few other nice plays.

Tags: Alec Burks, Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers, Utah Jazz

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21

10 2014

Alec Burks burns Kobe Bryant with behind-the-back crossover (VIDEO)

Sentences I never thought I’d write:

Kobe Bryant reaches, Alec Burks teaches.

Right before this shot Kobe hit a quality jumper right over the top of Burks, so the Jazz guard was looking for a little payback. He got it with this sweet behind-the-back crossover that pretty much broke Kobe’s ankles. Burks had a strong game, scoring 21 points on 14 shots.

Kobe had 26 points on 7-of-22 shooting, plus he made a few other nice plays.

Tags: Alec Burks, Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers, Utah Jazz

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20

10 2014

Joakim Noah wants Tom Thibodeau to do yoga with him

 Joakim Noah wants Tom Thibodeau to do yoga with him AP

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau is decidedly old-school. Like eating cold pizza in a darkened video room breaking down an opponent hours after everyone else left the building old-school. Always critical, always intense old school.

Joakim Noah is pretty much the opposite. Oh, he’s intense, but more in a heart-on-his-sleeve (when they wear sleeves) kind of way. Noah’s a free spirit.

Noah sat town with The Daily Beast for an interview and was asked about Thibodeau’s intensity (hat tip That NBA Lottery Pick).

Coach Thibodeau always looks like he’s on the verge of an aneurism. What, if anything, could you do to calm him down?

He looks like that whether he’s happy or sad. But I’d have him do yoga with me. He could use that.

I’d say I’d pay to see Thibodeau do yoga, but actually I don’t want to see that. Whatever you do, don’t picture him in yoga pants.

Thibodeau is intense, but he’s also good at reading guys — when to back off, when to let them vent, and when to push them. He’s got a good relationship with Noah and says Noah says in the interview Thibs knows when to let him just vent.

Still, most of the time Thibodeau will do the talking… actually, the yelling.

Tags: Chicago Bulls, Joakim Noah

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20

10 2014

Tristan Thompson kisses Cavaliers sideline reporter (VIDEO)

Everything that happens with the Cavaliers will be magnified this season, thanks to LeBron James and Kevin Love joining a team that will now be expected to be one of the leading contenders for this year’s title.

That means potentially innocuous incidents — like the one that occurred between Tristan Thompson and a sideline reporter — will be heavily scrutinized.

In an odd on-camera interview, Thompson behaves strangely before planting a kiss on the reporter. It didn’t seem to be planned, though it didn’t seem to offend, either.

Players often have friendly relationships with media members who are around the team on a regular basis, and this may have simply been an extension of that. At first glance, this appears to have been harmless, and nothing more than an awkward one-sided exchange.

Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers, Kevin Love, LeBron James, Tristan Thompson

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20

10 2014

Report: Celtics likely to waive Will Bynum after acquiring him in trade with Pistons

 Report: Celtics likely to waive Will Bynum after acquiring him in trade with Pistons AP

Will Bynum has been a somewhat serviceable backup point guard option in Detroit for the last six seasons, but with the team loaded at the position and needing some potential frontcourt depth, the Pistons traded him to the Celtics in exchange for Joel Anthony on Friday.

But the situation for Bynum isn’t any better in Boston, and it’s unlikely he ends up sticking on the roster.

From Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe:

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge and guard Will Bynum are expected to meet on Saturday, according to two NBA sources, and the team is likely to waive Bynum, who was acquired Friday from the Detroit Pistons. …

The Celtics still have 16 guaranteed contracts, including that of rookie Dwight Powell, and just 15 roster spots. So Ainge will have to waive a player with a guaranteed deal or make a trade to reduce before the season opener Oct. 29 against the Brooklyn Nets.

After Saturday’s meeting, that move is expected to be Bynum, who will garner interest on the free agent market once he is placed on waivers.

Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports that the ultimate decision on whether Bynum stays in Boston may not come down until next week.

[Bynum's agent] said sides plan to “take a deep breath” and play out next week before Celts decide whether to keep or waive newly acquired guard

On the Celtics side, the move saves them in the neighborhood of $900,000, and will keep the team further out of luxury tax territory for the upcoming season. If Bynum is waived, it means Boston feels it’s good at point guard with Rajon Rondo, Marcus Smart, and Phil Pressey already in place.

Bynum averaged 8.9 points and 3.7 assists in 18.8 minutes per contest for the Pistons last season.

Tags: Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons, Dwight Powell, Joel Anthony, Marcus Smart, Phil Pressey, Rajon Rondo, Will Bynum

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19

10 2014



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