Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas will miss about six weeks with a fracture in his left hand, according to Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports. After tests on the hand Saturday, Valanciunas decided against surgery and will count on rest and rehab to heal the injury. During Friday’s game with the Lakers, the center injured the fourth metacarpal in his hand, similar to an injury that cost him 18 games during the 2012/13 season. Valanciunas, who signed a four-year, $64MM extension before the season started, is averaging 12.7 points and 9.3 rebounds.
There’s more news from the Eastern Conference:
- The improved play of Glenn Robinson III will lead to some tough decisions for Pacers coach Frank Vogel, writes Candace Buckner of The Indianapolis Star. The second-year forward, who signed with Indiana in July, hit 6-of-7 shots and delivered a career-high 17 points in 21 minutes during Saturday’s blowout of the Bucks. It was the latest in a string of impressive performances by Robinson, who split last season with the Wolves and Sixers, but it may not be enough to keep him in the Pacers’ rotation. His playing time will likely decrease when George Hill and Myles Turner return from injuries. “It’s driving me crazy with all these tough decisions when everybody gets healthy,” Vogel said. “[Robinson’s] got to stop making all his shots. I’ll just harp on the fact that he missed one.”
- Bulls centers Joakim Noah and Pau Gasol are both getting fewer shots in new coach Fred Hoiberg’s offense than they are accustomed to, writes Sam Smith of Bulls.com. Noah turned in his fifth scoreless game of the season Friday and has yet to reach double figures this season. Gasol is averaging 13.8 points per game, barely above his career low. “Physically, I feel good,” said Noah, who will be a free agent next summer. “Now it’s trying to figure out where I can get opportunities offensively and just helping the defense. That’s it. I’ve to be more aggressive when I get my opportunities.”
- Younger and older basketball fans tend to view the Sixers‘ annual tanking differently, writes Mike Sielski of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Regardless of perspective, the columnist wonders why things aren’t better yet in Philadelphia.