Anthony Davis

Pacific Notes: Haliburton, T. Davis, A. Davis, LeBron, Ibaka

Injuries limited Tyrese Haliburton to 58 games during his rookie season, but he still looks like a major steal in last year’s draft, writes James Ham of NBC Sports. The Iowa State guard slid all the way to the 12th pick on draft night, delighting the Kings, who had been hoping to get their hands on him.

“We had even been trying to move up and secure him,” general manager Monte McNair said in a recent TV interview. “When he ultimately fell to No. 12, obviously you never know how it will turn out, but in that moment, we were extremely excited. … I think we may have made a record-setting quick call to the league to lock that pick in. Like I said, he’s even exceeded those expectations and we had very high expectations of him through all of our draft prep and everything.”

Haliburton made a strong case for a spot on the All-Rookie team, averaging 13.0 points, 5.3 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game. A hyperextended left knee ended his season early, but Ham states that the Kings are confident he’ll be ready for a full summer program with the team in preparation for next season.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Terence Davis had a short stay in Toronto, but it sounds like he wants to be with the Kings a lot longer, notes Jason Jones of The Athletic. The Raptors traded Davis to Sacramento in March, and he likes his new situation enough that he’s leaning toward re-signing when he becomes a restricted free agent this summer. “It’s definitely looking like that,” Davis said. “It’s looking really good for me. I would say this is some of the best basketball I’ve played in my career, even in college, this is a stretch of some of the best games I’ve played in my entire life.”
  • The Lakers continue to be careful with their stars as the season winds down. According to an ESPN storyAnthony Davis will sit out tonight against the Rockets after experiencing tightness in his left adductor during Tuesday’s game. He will join LeBron James, who announced earlier today that he will delay his return until at least Saturday. James visited an ankle specialist last week, sources told ESPN, and was able to practice Monday without having difficulty with making sharp cuts and jumping.
  • Serge Ibaka has already been listed as out for Thursday’s game, but the Clippers remain hopeful he can return before the regular season ends Sunday, writes Mirjam Swanson of The Orange County Register. Ibaka has missed the past 29 games with lower back tightness, but he is traveling with the team on its current road trip.

Injury Updates: Lakers, Nets, Hornets, Pelicans, Mavs, C’s

The NBA’s injury report is of particular interest this week in the regular season’s final days, as we wait to see which players may or may not be available for teams fighting for playoff positioning.

A pair of big-market superstars, LeBron James and James Harden, are said to be targeting Wednesday returns for the Lakers and Nets, respectively. James has been listed as questionable by the Lakers, while Harden is probable for Brooklyn.

Each of those teams also has another star player whose status for Wednesday’s games is up in the air. Lakers big man Anthony Davis is questionable due to left adductor tightness, while Kyrie Irving is questionable due to the facial contusion he suffered on Tuesday.

The Nets hold the No. 2 seed in the East and the Lakers are hosting a Houston team that is 5-43 since February 4, so neither club should feel a ton of urgency to push its stars back into action if they’re not quite ready.

Here are a few more injury updates from around the NBA:

  • Hornets forward Miles Bridges, out since May 2 due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols, has a chance to return this weekend, head coach James Borrego said today. However, Borrego’s responses to questions about Gordon Hayward‘s foot injury made it sound as if Hayward may not be ready for the play-in tournament, says Rod Boone of (Twitter links). Hayward hasn’t played since April 2.
  • The Pelicans need a win tonight in Dallas to remain in the hunt for a play-in spot, but they’ll be missing a number of key players, as Andrew Lopez of ESPN tweets. Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, and Steven Adams all remain out, and Lonzo Ball (right thumb) will join them on the sidelines.
  • Mavericks guard J.J. Redick, who left Tuesday’s game with right heel soreness, will also miss Wednesday’s game vs. New Orleans, writes Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News.
  • The Celtics, who appear likely to finish the regular season at No. 7 in the East, will be without Kemba Walker (left knee) and Marcus Smart (right calf) on Wednesday in Cleveland, notes Tom Withers of The Associated Press. Jaylen Brown has already been ruled out for the season, and Robert Williams remains on the shelf as well.

Pacific Notes: Leonard, Kings, Lakers, Davis

The Clippers are being cautious with Kawhi Leonard (foot injury recovery) as the playoffs near, Ohm Youngmisuk of details. Los Angeles has maintained a minutes restriction for Leonard, who logged 36 minutes in a loss against the Knicks on Sunday afternoon. It was the most playing time Leonard had seen in over a month.

“Right now, Kawhi just can’t play a full quarter, so he can’t play the whole 12-minute stint,” coach Tyronn Lue said when asked about Leonard and Paul George occasionally sitting on the bench together for stretches. “Without having him, it kind of messes up our rotations a little bit.

“So that is where we insert Terance Mann or Luke Kennard in that position and just kind of go from there. But once [Leonard] is cleared to be able to play the whole quarter, we will go back to him finishing the first and third and letting PG play with the second unit to start the quarter.”

Despite the Clippers’ plan, Leonard has assured the team that he’s in good health and is ready to play. The 2019 NBA Finals MVP has led L.A. to a 45-23 record through 68 games, good for the third-best in the West.

There’s more from the Southwest Division tonight:

  • The Kings‘ playoff-style game against the Spurs on Friday will help the team in the long run, Jason Jones of The Athletic writes. Sacramento lost the contest 113-104, but the team played meaningful basketball and fought for playoff positioning in the Western Conference. A win would’ve brought the club to 1.5 games behind San Antonio for the No. 10 seed.
  • The Lakers‘ future is now in peril, Mark Whicker of the Orange Country Register writes. Los Angeles is dealing with the uncertain status of LeBron James (ankle) and currently holds the No. 7 seed in the West, trailing the No. 6 seed Blazers by 1.5 games. The team could be forced to compete in the play-in tournament due to an injury-plagued season.
  • Despite seeing his team slip to the No. 7 spot on Friday against Portland, Lakers star Anthony Davis put forth an impressive performance in the loss, Dave McMenamin of ESPN writes. Davis provided the Lakers with some hope in his best game since returning from injury, finishing with 36 points, 12 rebounds and five assists, an encouraging sign for the potential play-in and postseason.

Health Updates: A. Davis, J. Brown, Rockets, Tate

Already playing without primary ball-handlers LeBron James and Dennis Schröder, the Lakers lost another one of their top scorers during Thursday’s loss to the Clippers, when Anthony Davis exited due to back spasms.

As Dave McMenamin of ESPN details, Davis left Thursday’s game in the first quarter and didn’t return. The Lakers’ All-Star big man also tweaked his right ankle, though he said his back injury was the issue that knocked him out of the game.

The Lakers have a crucial game on tap for Friday night in Portland — the two teams are tied in the standings for No. 6 in the West, and have split their two games so far this season. The winner of tonight’s game will earn the end-of-season tiebreaker and will be in great position to avoid the play-in tournament, so L.A. would love to have Davis available.

According to McMenamin, Davis said late on Thursday night that he anticipates being able to suit up against the Blazers in what he called “probably the biggest game” left on the schedule. He’s listed on the latest injury report as probable.

Here are a few more injury updates from around the NBA:

  • Celtics wing Jaylen Brown, who missed Wednesday’s game with a right ankle sprain, will also be out on Friday. However, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said during a radio appearance that he thinks Brown will be back for Sunday’s game vs. Miami (Twitter link via Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston).
  • The Rockets have a whopping 13 players on their injury report for Friday’s contest in Milwaukee, writes Danielle Lerner of The Houston Chronicle. Kevin Porter Jr. (ankle) and Avery Bradley (personal) are among nine players who have been ruled out. And, as Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle points out (via Twitter), the four players not on the injury report have made 10 combined NBA starts.
  • The Rockets did get one piece of good news today, as Feigen tweets that Jae’Sean Tate has cleared the health and safety protocols. Tate registered a false positive for COVID-19, followed by three negative tests. However, he’s still listed as questionable for Friday’s game due to a left knee contusion.

Pacific Notes: Johnson, Paschall, Clippers, Lakers Closers

Suns forward Cameron Johnson has opted to not disclose the origins of the nasal fracture he incurred during an April 16 team practice, writes Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic.

“It’s over now,” Johnson allowed in speaking about the injury. “Can’t go back in time and change it or anything. It just happened and [you’ve] just got to keep on going.” The Suns recently clinched their first playoff berth since 2010, and Johnson has been a key component of their rotation, averaging 23.9 MPG across 56 contests.

“It’s totally on me,” Suns coach Monty Williams said of the root cause of the injury. “I control the practices. Put him in harm’s way. It happens in practice. It happens when you get together. It’s totally on me.”

There’s more out of the Pacific Division:

  • The Warriors have provided a new timeline on the availability of power forward Eric Paschall, tweets Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Golden State hopes to have Paschall back on the floor near the end of its current four-game road trip, which concludes against the Pelicans on May 4. Paschall has been sidelined with a hip flexor strain since the beginning of the month.
  • Though ailing Clippers starters Kawhi Leonard and Patrick Beverley were able to take part in L.A.’s shootaround before a 109-101 loss to the Suns on Wednesday, the team does not exactly know when either player will return, per Mirjam Swanson of the Orange County Register. Leonard is dealing with a sore foot and Beverley is recovering from a hand fracture. Head coach Tyronn Lue allowed that Beverley at least had made “great progress,” but could not provide a definitive window for either player’s return to the court.
  • As the playoffs near, Jovan Buha of The Athletic assesses the best bet for a fully healthy Lakers closing lineup. Within his mailbag, Buha also appraises which players could be the best fit for potential substitutions in that lineup depending on the opponent. The biggest sticking point, despite the Lakers’ complete overhaul at the center position this season, is that Anthony Davis should play at center down the home stretch in any variation.

Pacific Notes: CP3, Lakers Centers, Vogel, Davis

With the 42-17 Suns now firmly ensconced in the West’s No. 2 seed, All-Star point guard Chris Paul has emerged as a possible 2021 MVP candidate, writes Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic.

The offseason additions of Paul and Jae Crowder, plus the marked improvement of Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton, Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson, have all contributed to Phoenix’s (very probable) return to the playoffs for the first time in 11 years. But the 35-year-old All-Star has been a driving engine for the Suns, averaging 16.0 PPG, 8.8 APG, and 4.7 RPG with a shooting line of .487/.377/.927.

“I think at the end of the day, I know who I am and I know what I bring to a team, but I also understand with our team, it’s about us,” Paul said of his season with the Suns so far. “It’s not something I worry about or wake up and think about or anything like that. It’s just about the process, like getting ready for tomorrow’s game. I think everything else will take care of itself.”

There’s more out of the Pacific Division:

  • As Anthony Davis has returned (albeit on a minutes limit), the Lakers have continued to balance their center rotation, writes Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register. Marc Gasol missed three games with a dislocated pinky, but immediately supplanted Montrezl Harrell as L.A.’s backup center when he did return, behind new starter Andre Drummond. Head coach Frank Vogel indicated that Harrell had been briefed about the situation. “He understands the big picture and what we’re trying to get accomplished,” Vogel said.
  • The Lakers plan to engage head coach Frank Vogel in contract extension conversations during the 2021 offseason, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski indicated on an NBA Countdown broadcast Saturday, as relayed by Paul Kasabian of Bleacher Report. Vogel is in the second year of a three-season contract he signed with L.A. in 2019. During his first season, the Lakers won their first title in 10 years.
  • With All-Star big man Anthony Davis now back in the fold, the Lakers are still figuring out their lineups during the home stretch of the 2020/21 NBA season, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN“It’s like you’re starting over with the guys and just trying to find a connection with these guys again,” Davis said. “They’re trying to find a connection with me. So, it’s like we’re starting from zero, which is tough so late in the season.”

Injury Notes: Porzingis, Davis, LaVine, Herro, Mitchell, Warren

Mavericks center Kristaps Porzingis will sit out tonight’s game with the Lakers, tweets Tim MacMahon of ESPN. Porzingis sprained his left ankle in Thursday’s win over L.A., and even though the injury isn’t considered to be a long-term issue, Dallas is being careful with Porzingis.

“We believe (the ankle sprain) is not serious,” coach Rick Carlisle said, “but the decision for him to sit tonight was not a close call.” (Twitter link)

There’s more injury news from around the league:

  • The Lakers will have Anthony Davis on a 25-minute restriction for tonight’s game, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN (Twitter link). Davis played 17 minutes Thursday as he returned to the court for the first time in nine weeks and felt “minimal soreness,” said coach Frank Vogel. The Lakers plan to use Davis in both halves tonight.
  • Bulls guard Zach LaVine won’t be available for the rest of the team’s road trip, tweets K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. That will include games tonight and Monday in Miami and Wednesday at New York. LaVine has been in the league’s health and safety protocols for the past 10 days, and coach Billy Donovan said the All-Star guard is still under quarantine.
  • Heat coach Erik Spoelstra refused to comment on whether Tyler Herro aggravated his foot injury in Friday’s loss to the Hawks, tweets Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. Herro, who won’t be active tonight, had sat out the prior two games before playing against Atlanta.
  • Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell had his sprained ankle re-evaluated Friday, tweets Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune. Mitchell is making progress, but will miss at least one more week.
  • Pacers forward T.J. Warren, who has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a stress fracture in his left foot, has rejoined the team, according to Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files (Twitter link), who adds that Warren is no longer wearing a walking boot.

Pacific Notes: Davis, Ibaka, Bagley, Poole

In his return after a two-month absence, Anthony Davis‘ numbers were not overly impressive, as he scored just four points in 17 minutes. However, the Lakers’ superstar said he wasn’t giving any thought to the calf strain and Achilles tendinosis in his right leg that sidelined him for 30 games.

“I didn’t think about it one time tonight,” Davis said, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “Honestly, I just went out there and played. I think it can limit what you do if you’re out there thinking about your injury, so I just went out and played and not think about it. Just go out there and have fun and be excited to be back on the floor. That was my main thing. I was just excited to be back on the floor with the guys, so I never thought about it. I never did a limit to any moves. Wasn’t hesitant with anything, so that was a good sign for me.”

Injuries have limited Davis to 24 games this season, and he’s averaging just 21.8 PPG and 8.2 RPG when he has played, his lowest marks in several years. However, as he rounds back into form and LeBron James moves toward a return, the Lakers are poised to have some serious firepower back on the court as they seek to defend their NBA championship.

More Pacific Division notes here:

  • The Clippers says that center Serge Ibaka is making progress in his return from lower back tightness that has sidelined him since mid-March, Mirjam Swanson of the Orange County Register writes. “He’s progressing,” head coach Ty Lue said. “We’re not sure the timetable when he’ll be back, but that was his first time getting on the floor and actually doing some playing so that’s a good start.”
  • In the midst of an up-and-down season for the Warriors, Jordan Poole has emerged as a bright spot in the team’s future, Anthony Slater of The Athletic writes. Poole has shown an innate ability to score, prompting head coach Steve Kerr to laud his 21-year-old. “We can’t have our decision to play him based on whether he’s making shots or not,” Kerr said. “That’s not a recipe for consistent performance. He has to take that next step and he’s showing signs. Which is great.”
  • With Marvin Bagley III seemingly close to returning, NBC Sports’ James Ham analyzes what the big man’s role with the Kings might be once he’s back on the court.

California Notes: Davis, Holmes, Bagley, Ferrell

Before Lakers All-Star big man Anthony Davis returned to the court tonight for the first time in two months, Kyle Goon of The Southern California News Group noted that the team would have to make significant rotational adjustments to its closing lineup.

“It’s gonna be some people who [are] playing well right now, playing a lot of minutes, those minutes get shifted just from the dynamic of having [Davis and eventually LeBron James] out there,” said L.A. forward Kyle Kuzma.

The closing lineup will not be affected just yet, however. Lakers head coach Frank Vogel has indicated that Davis, on a strict 15-minute limit at present, will play all of his minutes in the first half of tonight’s game against the Mavericks, Mark Medina of USA Today tweets.

There’s more out of California:

  • Kings center Richaun Holmes has returned to basketball activities as he continues to recover from a strained right hamstring, per Sean Cunningham of ABC10 (KXTV) Sacramento (via Twitter).
  • The fractured fourth metacarpal left hand injury that has kept Kings big man Marvin Bagley III out for a month has healed, according to a team press release. Bagley is hoping to return to the court for Sacramento next week as the team continues to make a play-in push, tweets Sam Amick of The Athletic.
  • New Clippers point guard Yogi Ferrell has been making the most of his 10-day contract, showcasing his instinctive passing and speed in his first game with L.A., writes Mirjam Swanson of the Orange County Register. The six-footer hopes to remain on the playoff-bound squad beyond his initial deal.

Anthony Davis Plans To Return On Thursday

As long as he’s feeling good and doesn’t experience any last-minute setbacks, Lakers star Anthony Davis plans to return to the court on Thursday for the team’s game in Dallas, he told reporters today (Twitter link via Dave McMenamin of ESPN). We heard last week that he was nearing a return.

Davis has been sidelined for over two months due to a right calf strain and tendinosis, having last played on February 14. Discussing his injury today, he admitted that when it first occurred, he experienced what felt like a “ripping” sensation and was concerned that he may have suffered a torn Achilles (Twitter link via McMenamin). Testing showed that the injury wasn’t that serious.

Head coach Frank Vogel intends to immediately reinsert Davis into the Lakers’ starting lineup, as Mark Medina of USA Today tweets. However, he’ll be on a minutes restriction for the time being, and isn’t expected to play more than about 15 minutes on Thursday.

While the Lakers will get a boost as one of their All-Stars returns to the lineup, their other superstar still isn’t close to playing. A Tuesday report indicated that LeBron James‘ timeline can still be measured in weeks rather than days.