Posted on: January 9, 2012 5:49 pm

Granger out; Hibbert, Hill questionable

Posted by Royce Young

The Pacers go on the road for a fairly significant Eastern Conference matchup against the 76ers tonight but will be without starting small forward and leading scorer Danny Granger.

Granger has been ruled out because of food poisoning.

The Pacers could also be without center Roy Hibbert (ankle) and backup point guard George Hill (back). The Indy Star reports that Hibbert will play though.
Posted on: January 8, 2012 6:15 pm
Edited on: January 8, 2012 6:19 pm

Maynor to miss rest of season; what now for OKC?

Posted by Royce Young

Eric Maynor will miss the rest of the 2011-12 season with a torn right ACL, the team announced Sunday afternoon.

“It is unfortunate to lose a player like Eric, whose work ethic and leadership has contributed to the culture of our organization,” Sam Presti said in a release. “Knowing him and the mental toughness he possesses, we are confident that he will do everything necessary to come back from this injury and be prepared for the 2012-13 season. Injuries are part of the NBA, and although it is tough to lose Eric, we must move forward and focus on our continued improvement as a basketball team.”

This is really the first major injury the Thunder have had to deal with. There have been some rolled ankles and sprained knees, but nothing this serious to this important of a player. It will be a big test for the Thunder’s depth, but also on their mental toughness. Losing a player that’s so close to everyone like Maynor isn’t easy.

Rookie Reggie Jackson seems like the obvious replacement for Maynor’s 10-15 minutes a night behind Russell Westbrook, but don’t be shocked if Scott Brooks uses Royal Ivey in that spot as well. Ivey is a steady veteran that is an ideal guy to give you 10 minutes of smart basketball. He won’t make big plays like Maynor, but unless Brooks really trusts in his rookie from Boston College, Ivey is the safer choice, at least for now.

But Jackson says he's ready for a big role on a contending team.

"Somebody has to step up in his position and I guess that’s what I have to try to go out there and do; be me and hopefully I can do enough for this team to keep winning," Jackson said before OKC's game Sunday.

Or even James Harden. I think Harden is entirely capable of handling some point guard duties in stretches and if Brooks is looking for a playmaker and doesn’t entirely feel Jackson is ready and that Ivey doesn’t add enough, Harden can run pick-and-roll all day long. He’s a great passes and while the bench will take a hit in depth, just play Daequan Cook more minutes.

It’s time for Brooks to coach a bit and figure out how to keep this team running while missing an important piece.

Brooks said before the Thunder's game against the Spurs Sunday that all three scenarios are likely, with a third thrown in too: Russell Westbrook just plays more minutes. Westbrook has been quite the iron man since entering the league having never missed a game in his three-plus seasons.

Obviously Presti could look at the free agent market a bit or the D-League or even a trade. But I’m sure the team is going to want to give Jackson a real hard, long look before they go that direction.

Posted on: January 7, 2012 10:11 pm
Edited on: January 8, 2012 5:25 pm

Eric Maynor tears right ACL, to miss season

Posted by Royce Young

UPDATE: The Thunder announced Sunday that after evaluation, it was revealed that Maynor tore his right ACL and will miss the remainder of the 2011-12 season.

“It is unfortunate to lose a player like Eric, whose work ethic and leadership has contributed to the culture of our organization,” Sam Presti said in a release. “Knowing him and the mental toughness he possesses, we are confident that he will do everything necessary to come back from this injury and be prepared for the 2012-13 season. Injuries are part of the NBA, and although it is tough to lose Eric, we must move forward and focus on our continued improvement as a basketball team.”


Early in the fourth quarter Saturday against the Rockets, Thunder backup point guard Eric Maynor went down with what appears to be a pretty serious right knee injury. His knee buckled underneath him and he had to be carried off the floor by his teammates.

Don't want to speculate on it, but it certainly didn't look good especially with Maynor's reaction. Maynor is a major part of Oklahoma City's solid bench, backing up All-Star Russell Westbrook. Maynor is a more steady, even-handed change of pace off the bench for OKC, looking to play more as a pure point to Westbrook's scoring-minded, aggressive style.

The Thunder have two other point guards on the roster in rookie Reggie Jackson and veteran Royal Ivey.
Posted on: January 6, 2012 12:02 am

Chuck Hayes dislocates his shoulder

By Matt Moore

The news did not get better for the Kings Thursday night after the firing of Paul Westphal. Starting center Chuck Hayes went down with a separated shoulder in the second quarter against Milwaukee. From the Sacramento Bee
Kings forward/center Chuck Hayes left tonight's game against the Milwaukee Bucks in the second quarter with a dislocated left shoulder.

Hayes was injured extending his arm and colliding with Bucks center Drew Gooden.

Hayes stayed down on the court for a few minutes before leaving the court with medical staff.
via Kings Blog and Q&A: Chuck Hayes leaves game with dislocated left shoulder.

Hayes is just weeks removed from having a contract offer initially nullified by the Kings because of a heart condition. A second opinion from the Cleveland Clinic cleared him to play
Posted on: January 5, 2012 9:57 pm
Edited on: January 5, 2012 9:58 pm

Jason Kidd out with back injury

Posted by Royce Young

Jason Kidd left the Mavericks game against the Spurs Thursday night with a lower back injury in the first quarter. He did not return and could miss time for Dallas.

Kidd, if you remember, is 38 years old.
Posted on: January 5, 2012 6:26 pm
Edited on: January 5, 2012 7:54 pm

Wade, James out against Hawks

Posted by Royce Young

Update: The Heat have announced both Wade and James are both out against the Hawks Thursday night. Hope you didn't put money down. 

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters that Dwyane Wade is "unlikely" for Thursday's game against the Hawks while LeBron James is still a questionable gametime decision.

Wade is suffering from a sore foot and missed Miami's game last night against the Pacers. During that game though, LeBron rolled his ankle on a fastbreak. LeBron finished the game out fine, but the ankle swelled some and now LeBron will wait until the game starts to make an official decision.
Posted on: January 5, 2012 12:37 pm

Kobe Bryant taking pain shot every game

By Matt Moore

It's easy to criticize Kobe Bryant for his shooting so far this season. His shooting percentage is the lowest it has been since his rookie year. He's shot L.A. out of several games, but also dropped a brilliant performance on Tuesday against the Rockets. In total, though, it's been a really rough season for him on and off the court. But there is no question the guy is the toughest son of baller on the planet. The Orange County Register has a piece Thursday on the terrible toll the torn ligament in his wrist has had on the Black Mamba. It's not pretty:  
These days, over Bryant's right wrist also rests a fat postgame ice wrap roughly the size of rookie guard Andrew Goudelock, Bryant trying in vain to minimize swelling after acting on the court as if there isn't a torn ligament in there.

Bryant has been taking a numbing injection to that wrist before every game in hopes of performing normally. Yes, it's that bad.

He does not want to publicize all the details of his wrist, which is usable only because the bones were not moved permanently out of alignment without the ligament to hold them in place. But it's now clear just how problematic the wrist is, and it's fair to wonder where all this will take Bryant.

Bryant walked out of Staples Center on Tuesday night with something that looked like an oven mitten over his right hand and wrist. He wears an immobilizing brace over the wrist when off the court, meaning take-for-granted parts of life such as texting on his phone or zipping his fly become rather challenging.
via Wrist injections keeping Kobe’s drive alive | bryant, brown, wrist - Sports - The Orange County Register.
Dude can't zip his fly! And he's shooting on it! He's shooting in an NBA game without the ability to zip his fly. That's pretty much the craziest thing we've read about Bryant's devotion... this week. 

Beyond the impressive dedication, however, is the sobering reality that Bryant was looking forward to finally being healthy. His knee is better than it has been in years after an experimental procedure. His pinky was finally healed. And now the wrist looks like it may be a problem throughout the entire year. He can't rest it, he has to play on it. And as long as it's this bad, he's going to be amazing some nights, and really struggle the next. How he adapts to that reality will determine how far the Lakers go this year. 
Posted on: January 2, 2012 9:44 pm
Edited on: January 4, 2012 3:35 pm

Manu Ginobili to have surgery on broken hand

By Matt Moore and Ben Golliver

UPDATE: According to Gregg Popovich, Ginobili will be out 6-8 weeks with the broken bone in his hand.

The Associated Press confirmed that timeline on Wedneday after reporting that Ginobili will have undergo surgery on his hand. The AP further notes: "Ginobili tweeted Wednesday that he'll have a plate screwed onto his shooting hand Thursday."

The San Antonio News-Express reports that Manu Ginobili broke the fifth metacarpal in his left hand during the Minnesota Timberwolves Monday night.
Ginobili, who is left-handed, appeared to suffer the injury reaching in an attempt to strip the ball from Timberwolves forward Anthony Tolliver as Tolliver went up for a shot near the 3-point line.

The two-time All-Star immediately grimaced in pain and clutched the left hand with his right, Spurs head athletic trainer Will Sevening sprinting to his aid.

X-rays taken at the arena revealed the broken bone.
via Spurs Nation » Ginobili suffers broken left hand.

This is pretty much as close as it gets to disaster for the Spurs. Ginobili is the engine that drives this team now, with Tim Duncan spiraling towards retirement. His elbow injury last April had a huge impact in the Spurs' first round loss to the Grizzlies, as Manu was far from 100 percent.

The Spurs had gotten off to a hot start, winning with defense and a healthy dose of Ginobili, versus the three-point attack they utilized last season. This is a pretty devastating injury in a lockout-shortened season for San Antonio.
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