The Trail Blazers and Warriors will play Game 2 of their series on Wednesday night, and both sides may be missing a key player. Jusuf Nurkic, who continues to recover from a fractured leg, announced today that he won’t play in Game 2 for the Blazers, per Joe Freeman of The Oregonian (Twitter link). Meanwhile, Kevin Durant, who recently returned from a knee injury, is now battling a left calf strain and was listed as questionable on the Warriors’ injury report today (Twitter link).
As we wait to see if Durant is able to give it a go for Golden State, let’s round up a few odds and ends from around the basketball world…
- Appearing over the weekend on ESPN’s The Jump, Ray Allen was asked about why he hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2013/14 season, and explained that contract offers he received since then wouldn’t have given him a chance to have a real role (link via Adam London of NESN). “Most of the inquiries I have received were how ready am I to accept my role as a veteran and sit on the bench and mentor the young guys,” Allen said. “I’d love to do that, it comes naturally to me, but I do want to play.”
- Veteran point guard Will Bynum has reached a deal to play for Luoyang in China this summer, according to 24/7 Basketball (Twitter link). Bynum, who has had multiple stints in China, played with the Pistons for several seasons in the NBA.
- Canton Charge swingman John Holland – who has spent time with the Celtics and Cavaliers – is also headed to China, having agreed to a contract with the Beijing Eastern Ducks, Sam Amico of AmicoHoops.net confirms. International basketball journalist David Pick first reported (via Twitter) that Holland was finalizing a deal with the Chinese club.
- The Maine Red Claws and Raptors 905 are currently battling for the right to advance to the D-League Finals, and each team saw a key contributor take home a major award within the past few days. 2016 Celtics second-rounder Abdel Nader was the D-League’s Rookie of the Year, while Edy Tavares, who spent most of the season with the Raptors‘ affiliate, was named the NBADL Defensive Player of the Year. Tavares is now on the Cavaliers‘ roster, having been signed on the last day of the regular season.