Eastern Notes: Sanders, Anthony, Magic

Bucks big man Larry Sanders will be away from the team indefinitely due to personal reasons, Charles F. Gardner of The Journal Sentinel reports. When asked about a timetable for Sanders’ return, coach Jason Kidd said, “That’s a good question so you don’t have to ask me tomorrow or Sunday or Monday, so there’s no timetable. Being sick, away from the team, guys go on as you see. Charlotte, we played without him. The other night we played without him [in Cleveland]. It’s nothing new to this ball club. Injuries happen. The train keeps moving forward.”

When pressed for details regarding Sanders either being ill, injured, or having personal issues, Kidd said, “It’s just personal. There’s nothing I can give you more. That’s the way the question will be answered.” Sanders has not played since the Bucks’ home loss to Charlotte on December 23rd, Gardner notes.

Here’s more from the East:

  • The Magic‘s primary focus in free agency next summer will be to land a power forward, Brian Schmitz of The Orlando Sentinel writes. Orlando needs to improve its rebounding, notes Schmitz, something that drafting Aaron Gordon and signing Channing Frye to a four-year, $32MM deal this past offseason hasn’t fixed.
  • Knicks coach Derek Fisher acknowledged that at some point the team might need to shut down Carmelo Anthony due to his ailing knee, Mitch Abramson of The New York Daily News writes. “I think everybody involved is reasonable enough and smart enough as people in this business to come together on that if that time comes,” Fisher said. “I can’t speak for all of the different parties but from the conversations I’ve been a part of- I think everybody is smart enough to realize, calendar wise, timing wise- that there may come a point that’s the decision that needs to be made but that we can’t force Carmelo to that point just yet.
  • Anthony has stated that it’s ultimately his decision whether or not to continue playing, something that Fisher doesn’t fully agree with, Abramson adds. “There’s a balance between a player and his health and the part that he plays in the decision-making process and then where we are as a team and giving our thoughts and our opinion to it,” Fisher said. “I think our medical staff, our training staff, continue to have conversations with him about where he is. He’s conversing with us about how he’s feeling, what the symptoms are. As each day kind of unfolds decisions are being made. It’s not something that we’re just kind of stepping back and saying, Carmelo, you kind of tell us when you don’t feel like playing anymore.”

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