Central Notes: Sabonis, Nance Jr., Bucks, Bickerstaff

An MRI on Pacers star Domantas Sabonis revealed a bruise on his injured knee with no structural damage, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

Sabonis, who suffered the injury by banging knees with a player against Toronto on Monday, is expected to be listed as day-to-day, Wojnarowski reports.

In 17 games this season, Sabonis, a 2020 All-Star, is averaging a career-high 20.4 points, 12.4 rebounds and 5.6 assists per contest. The Pacers also released a positive update on Caris LeVert on Tuesday and recently welcomed back Jeremy Lamb, who suffered a torn ACL roughly one year ago.

There’s more from the Central Division today:

  • Cavaliers forward Larry Nance Jr. missed Monday’s contest against the Lakers due to a right wrist sprain, per a team release. The injury occurred on Sunday against the Celtics. Nance is enjoying a respectable season to date, averaging 10.5 points and 2.3 steals per contest.
  • Despite slightly changing their approach, the Bucks are still one of the league’s top offensive teams — even as Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s numbers have dipped a little, Eric Nehm of The Athletic writes. Milwaukee currently leads the NBA in offensive efficiency with 117.9 points per 100 possessions. “It’s weird, it’s weird, but as I said, I’m figuring it out,” Antetokounmpo said. “I’d love to come out and have 30, 35 and it be easy. Easy layups and dunks and all that. But having somebody in ‘the dunker’ might make it a little bit harder. But at the end of the day, you gotta do other things to impact the game. Find your teammates. Set better screens. Go for handoffs. Roll when you set screens. You just gotta find ways.”
  • Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff believes his team doesn’t receive enough respect, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com writes. The Cavs fought hard against the defending champion Lakers on Monday, ultimately losing the game 115-108. Bickerstaff didn’t seem too pleased with the officiating, however, giving a blunt assessment after the contest. “I think it was some momentum-changing calls that were made or weren’t made,” he said. “I think our guys showed up and gave the effort to deserve the respect that both teams should garner. Tonight, I don’t think that was the case. The Lakers are a hell of a basketball team, don’t get me wrong. They deserve everything they have coming. But our guys scrap and play hard and deserve the same. Were there plays that we made down the stretch where we could have made better decisions? Sure. But it’s hard to overcome the champs plus.”
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