Trail Blazers forward Justise Winslow has been out since December 21 after suffering a Grade 2 ankle sprain. He’s making progress in his recovery, but he’s out for at least two more weeks, Portland announced in a press release.
The Blazers also provided an injury update on forward Nassir Little, who has been sidelined since November 29 with a hip fracture. There’s no official timeline for his return, but he has begun on-court contact work, per the team.
Here’s more from the Northwest:
- Shaedon Sharpe‘s development is an exercise in patience, writes Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian. The No. 7 overall pick of the 2022 draft didn’t play any games in his one year at Kentucky, which makes him behind the curve in some regards. Trail Blazers head coach Chauncey Billups says the 19-year-old won’t get minutes he doesn’t earn. “That’s going to be his year all year,” Billups said, per Fentress. “We as a staff have to have a level of patience with Shae and so do our veterans. But as I tell him, and our veterans tell him, ‘We’re trying to be the best team that we can be. We don’t have time to wait on you. You didn’t go to a team that is trying to lose and get the No. 1 pick. That’s not our situation. You have to catch up.’”
- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is having a brilliant season for the Thunder and helped lead the team to back-to-back road victories over the Sixers and Bulls on Thursday and Friday. After Thursday’s victory, Gilgeous-Alexander expressed confidence about the team’s future, according to Thunder sideline reporter and digital editor Nick Gallo (Twitter link). “I think we’re gonna be a really good team a lot sooner than other people do,” Gilgeous-Alexander said. “So I think it’s it’s pretty easy for me – I see the growth every day. I’ve seen the growth in the last five months, year, two years. And I’m super excited about it.” The Thunder are currently 20-23, the No. 11 seed in the West.
- Timberwolves guard Jaylen Nowell is set to hit unrestricted free agency in the summer, but he’s not pleased with his season thus far, per Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. “Not going well,” he said. Nowell, who shot 39.4% from deep last season, is shooting just 28.5% from behind the arc through 42 games. Head coach Chris Finch believes the 23-year-old is making things difficult on himself. “I think he’s trying to force himself into the game,” Finch said. “What it’s doing probably is bleeding over into the great looks that he’s getting. He’s trying to get himself going by taking some tough shots out there with a lot of hands in his face and then when the ball comes back, or a different situation where he’s shooting it open, particularly from three, he hasn’t seen that go in.”
- In the same story from Hine, Finch said Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards is dealing with a “deep bruise” in his left hip, but the former No. 1 overall pick has been “cleared of all tests.” Veteran guard Austin Rivers commended Edwards’ willingness to play through the injury, Hine tweets. “It just sets a tone like this dude’s invested. He’s here. This guy’s playing through injuries, no matter. The Houston game, a lot of guys would just sit out, like, ‘Hey, we’ll win without him.’ But Ant came out there and really showed us,” he said.
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