Anthony Davis

Injury Updates: Leonard, Hardaway, Gallinari, Curry

Spurs All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard said he’ll return soon from the quadriceps injury that has kept him out all season but he still has a few more steps in his rehabilitation process, according to an Associated Press report. Leonard has been practicing but still doesn’t have a target date, the AP report adds. “I feel good, soon to come [and] be able to play on the floor,” Leonard said to reporters on Monday. “It’s been a long wait, but I’m feeling pretty healthy right now.”

In other injury-related news around the league:

  • Knicks shooting guard Tim Hardaway Jr. could miss multiple games with a stress injury to his lower leg, Al Iannazzone of Newsday reports. Coach Jeff Hornacek hinted to the assembled media that Hardaway could be out for awhile. “There’s concern with anybody when it’s an injury that might be longer than a game or two,” he said.
  • Clippers forward Danilo Gallinari is hopeful of returning this week from a strained left glute, Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times relays. Gallinari hasn’t played since November 5th. He was acquired in a three-way deal in July.
  • Pistons power forward Jon Leuer had a joint lubrication injection to help heal his injured left ankle, Rod Beard of the Detroit News writes. Leuer, who has already missed 15 games, won’t even be reevaluated for another two weeks. “Two to four weeks after the injection is when they would start to ramp him back up, so you’d have some time after that, too,” coach Stan Van Gundy told Beard and other media members. “You’re looking 3-5 or 4-6 [weeks] or something like that.”
  • Pelicans star forward Anthony Davis is relieved that his left adductor injury is nothing more than a strain, William Guillory of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports. Davis felt a sharp pain when suffering the injury last week but is listed as day-to-day. “I‘m getting better every day, I’m not quite there yet,” Davis told Guillory. “But I’ve been getting better for the most part. … On certain movements, the main ones are fine, but a lot of cutting and stuff like that are where the pain comes up.”
  • Warriors guard Stephen Curry sprained his right ankle on Monday but X-rays were negative, Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post tweets. He’ll have an MRI on Tuesday, Sam Amick of USA Today tweets.

Latest On Anthony Davis

DECEMBER 4, 11:31am: The MRI results on Davis’ injured groin came back negative, and he’ll be considered day-to-day for now, league sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). The Pelicans have confirmed that timetable, announcing that Davis will miss Monday’s game against Golden State and will be listed as day-to-day going forward. The team clarifies that the big man’s injury is a left adductor strain.

DECEMBER 3, 10:37pm: There has been an unnerving sense of uncertainty in New Orleans since Anthony Davis left the team’s Friday night loss against the Jazz with a pelvis injury. Now, Scott Kushner of The Advocate writes, the Pelicans’ season seems to hinge on the pending medical report.

Davis fell to the floor in agony after jostling with Jazz big man Derrick Favors for a rebound. Disconcertingly, despite relatively little contact between the two on the play, Davis couldn’t get off the floor on his own power and had to be taken to the locker room in a wheel chair.

An MRI conducted on Saturday failed to reveal the full scope of the injury, though there seems to be consensus that the big man has at least pulled his groin.

He had an MRI that was a little inconclusive, but he will take one when we get back to New Orleans and we’ll find out the full depth of the injury,” head coach Alvin Gentry said.

Davis, who was spotted on crutches prior to the team’s Saturday night contest, per William Guillory of The Times-Picayune, has already been ruled out for the Pelicans’ Monday night contest

Southwest Notes: Davis, Noel, Carlisle, Paul

Anthony Davis will undergo further examination on his groin injury when the Pelicans return to New Orleans tomorrow, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. He will be held out of tonight’s game in Portland.

Davis suffered the injury Friday night in Utah, collapsing under the basket while going after a rebound. He had to be helped off the court and later used crutches as he left the locker room. He was still on crutches as he arrived at the Moda Center tonight, according to Mike Richman of The Oregonian (Twitter link).

Davis has been among the league’s top young stars since being taken with the first pick in the 2012 draft, but durability has been a persistent problem. He appeared in 75 games last season, which marked the first time he was able to play in more than 70.

There’s more news from the Southwest Division:

  • Mavericks center Nerlens Noel didn’t get off the bench for the fourth straight game today, but he got some attention in the media dining area, relays Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. Noel stopped in for a hot dog at lunchtime, which is an unusual act for a player in uniform. He explained that he got hungry during the afternoon game and needed “fuel” in case he was called on in the second half. Whether it was an innocent gesture or an act of protest, it’s clear that Noel is unhappy being stuck on the bench. “I’m doing everything I need to, staying in shape, continuing to work on my game and working on the little things,” Noel said. “It’s frustrating at times. But I think I got laser focus right now for what I want to do and where I want to be. I’m anxious to play. When that comes, it comes.” But when asked if he expects that to happen in Dallas, he replied, “I honestly have no idea.”
  • Today’s win was number 700 for Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle, Sefko notes in a separate story, which underscores how long he has been with the organization. He spent two seasons as head coach in Detroit and four years in Indiana before coming to Dallas at the start of 2008/09. “It means I’ve been very fortunate to have three great owners and a lot of great players,” Carlisle said. “I’ve never been one to count that kind of stuff. As time goes on, I count those things even less.”
  • Rockets guard Chris Paul and forward Luc Mbah a Moute will make their first trip back to Staples Center tomorrow since leaving the Clippers over the offseason, writes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Both say their emotions will be lessened because they are facing the Lakers instead of their former team.

Southwest Notes: Leonard, Davis, Mavericks, Grizzlies

Kawhi Leonard has yet to suit up for the Spurs this season as he’s battled a quadriceps injury but he is close to making his season debut. Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News writes that head coach Gregg Popovich sees Leonard rehab in its “last steps.”

Leonard played two sessions of five-on-five before San Antonio’s game against the Grizzlies on Friday. Tony Parker, who recently returned from injury, underwent the same process before completing his rehab. While Popovich gets the okay from Leonard, he sees the team’s All-Star small forward back in the lineup.

“When he says, ‘I feel I can go,’ then he’s got to convince me,” Popovich said. “Because I’m going to err on the conservative side. We’ll see. He’s too valuable to bring back early.”

Leonard, 26, finished third in NBA Most Valuable Player voting last season as he averaged 25.6 PPG and 5.8 RPG while also frustrating opposition on defense. Despite Leonard’s absence, the Spurs have still played well, currently occupying the third seed in the Western Conference with a 15-7 record.

Check out other news from the Southwest Division below:

  • Pelicans‘ star Anthony Davis received a $25,000 fine along with his ejection for not leaving the court in a timely manner during Wednesday loss to the Timberwolves, the NBA announced.
  • Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News examined the Mavericks’ possibilities at the center. Of the team’s possible choices, Sefko discussed trading for Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, utilizing in-house options such as Nerlens Noel more frequently, or waiting until 2018 and using the draft to upgrade at the position.
  • After David Fizdale’s firing, the Grizzlies are in a weird position where the team is not out of contention but a lot of controversy surrounds the current core. Chris Herrington of the Commercial Appeal examined the team’s three choices moving forward: blowing up the current roster and starting over, trying to play through the tough times and ride it out, or make certain changes without going into full rebuild mode.

Community Shootaround: Anthony Davis

The Pelicans may be without superstar big man Anthony Davis for the foreseeable future, a painful realization that’s become all too familiar for the New Orleans franchise.

Although no details about Davis’ latest set back – an apparent groin injury – have been announced, he appeared to be in considerable pain in the fourth quarter of the team’s loss to the Jazz Friday night and allegedly left the locker room on crutches.

While Davis was jostling to box out Jazz center Derrick Favors at the time of the injury, it didn’t look as though the pain was related directly to the contact, although that’s merely a non-medical observation.

For the first five seasons of his career, Davis struggled to stay consistently healthy, suffering a series of unrelated injuries that suggest a general fragility more than any one particular troublesome area. Last year, however, he managed to stick it out through a career high 75 contests.

Our question for readers is a simple one, will Davis – unbelievably still just 24 years old – ever shed the injury prone level that has dogged him throughout his career? If you were at the helm of an NBA franchise, could you ever trust investing substantially in a player with Davis’ track record?

It won’t be long before the details as to the extent of the injury are made public and hopefully it’ll have simply looked worse than it actually was.

Unfortunately in Davis’ case, it’s only natural to expect bad news.

Injury Notes: A. Davis, Thomas, Porzingis, Wall

Earlier today, we passed on the news that Sixers guard Markelle Fultz in making progress with his shoulder ailment. Here are a few more injury notes involving some of the NBA’s top players:

  • Pelicans forward Anthony Davis has cleared the concussion protocol and is probable for Monday’s game, tweets Scott Kushner of The Advocate. Davis was diagnosed with a contusion of the orbit bone above his right eye after a collision the third quarter of Friday night’s contest. He was removed from the game and didn’t re-enter.
  • Cavaliers guard Isaiah Thomas participated in some five-on-zero drills and worked on his shot today in practice, relays Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com (Twitter link).
  • Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis has swelling in his elbow caused by bursitis, but says it isn’t the reason for his recent shooting problems, according to Ian Begley of ESPN (Twitter link). “At the end of last season, it was really swollen; it was really, really big,” he said of the elbow. “But it was never really bothering me. Now this season, kind of fell on it a couple of times. It wasn’t bothering me either. In Sacramento, I fell kind of on the side. It was a new spot. It was much more sensitive. Now I’m doing treatment. Today’s the day I’m almost back to normal. I almost don’t feel it at all anymore.”
  • Wizards guard John Wall will miss today’s game with soreness in his left knee, tweets Candace Buckner of The Washington Post.
  • Warriors forward Kevin Durant suffered a sprained ankle last night and will sit out today’s game in Brooklyn, tweets Warriors PR.

No Structural Damage For Anthony Davis

An MRI conducted late Tuesday night on Pelicans star Anthony Davis showed no structural damage in his left knee, relays Shams Charania of The Vertical.

Davis, who was feeling pain during warmups, was removed from the game in the first quarter after bumping knees with Portland’s Damian Lillard. He will be listed as day-to-day and may not play Thursday in Sacramento.

Davis was able to walk without a limp after the game, according to ESPN.

“I don’t know a whole lot,” New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry said after the game. “Our trainers just said the MRI came back negative. I’m sure we’ll know more tomorrow.”

Problems with the knee have plagued Davis before, as it forced him to cut short his 2012/13 and 2015/16 seasons.

Davis is putting up huge early-season numbers, averaging 31.7 points, 17.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.8 blocks before his abbreviated stint Tuesday. However, the Pelicans are off to a 1-3 start and will need him in the lineup to avoid falling into a hole in the Western Conference playoff race.

Cavaliers Notes: James, Anthony, Cousins, Wade

Don’t expect a firm answer from LeBron James tomorrow when Media Day questions turn to his future, writes Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. Monday will mark the first time the Cavaliers star has spoken to reporters since Game 5 of the NBA Finals and the first time since rumors emerged that he has plans to join the Lakers as a free agent next July. LeBron will probably tell the media that he hasn’t made up his mind, which Vardon believes is true.

The talk about LeBron’s next decision will overshadow other issues surrounding the team heading into training camp, such as the condition of Isaiah Thomas‘ hip, the new personnel on hand, the chances of Dwyane Wade coming aboard after a buyout from the Bulls and whether the organization plans to keep or trade the unprotected first-rounder it got from Brooklyn. But Cavaliers fans had better get used to it because LeBron’s future is going to eclipse everything all season.

There’s more news out of Cleveland:

  • The Knicks were demanding a first-round pick from the Cavaliers in exchange for Carmelo Anthony, Vardon writes in a separate story. Anthony included Cleveland among the three teams he was willing to waive his no-trade clause to join, but the Cavs felt the price was too high.
  • The Cavaliers are listening to offers for the Brooklyn pick, but it’s unlikely a deal will involve either of the Pelicans’ big men, according to Sam Amico of Amicohoops. Rumors have been circulating about DeMarcus Cousins, who will be a free agent next summer, but Amico says the teams haven’t discussed a Cousins trade and the Cavs may not even be interested. Also, Amico hears that New Orleans won’t trade Anthony Davis under any circumstances.
  • Amico believes Wade is headed to Cleveland, possibly before the season begins. He and the Bulls are ready to part ways, and Amico sees no reason why the buyout should be a lengthy process. He passes along a few other roster details in the same piece, stating that it’s unlikely that Kay Felder or Edy Tavares earns a spot, although both could wind up with the team’s G League affiliate in Canton; most scouts like Ante Zizic, who was acquired in the Kyrie Irving trade, more than Cedi Osman; and the Cavs and Rockets “were at the one-yard line, ready to punch it in” on an Iman Shumpert trade this summer.

Lowe’s Latest: Celtics, Irving, Hayward, Butler

In our recap earlier today of where things stand on the Kyrie Irving front, we passed along several items of interest from ESPN’s Zach Lowe, who identified a number of potential trade partners for the Cavaliers if their deal with the Celtics falls through. Lowe also cited sources who said that there’s at least a slight chance Isaiah Thomas could miss the entire 2017/18 season if his recovery doesn’t progress as smoothly as hoped.

Lowe’s in-depth piece on the Irving situation included a few more noteworthy details, which we’ll pass along here:

  • Timing played a major part in the Celtics‘ decision to go hard after Irving, rather than Paul George or Jimmy Butler. As Lowe notes, the team wanted to add two star players this summer, but wanted to make sure it could land Gordon Hayward in free agency before giving up key assets for that second star. Because the Bulls and Pacers agreed in June to trade their stars, they were no longer options for Boston, post-Hayward.
  • Irving’s age was also a key consideration for the Celtics, says Lowe. With Boston poised to build around young pieces like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, the fact that Irving is two years younger than either George or Butler was important, and allows the C’s to extend their window of contention.
  • The Celtics also had some concerns about how Butler and Hayward might mesh – on and off the court – if they were to acquire both players, sources tell Lowe.
  • Even if the Celtics have to include a little more in the Irving deal to get it done, they still may be the most well-stocked team in the league in terms of trade assets, according to Lowe, who notes that could become important if the Pelicans eventually make Anthony Davis available. There’s no indication at this point that New Orleans will do so, but the Celtics’ eyes “are very much trained on” Davis, says Lowe.
  • According to Lowe, if Irving officially becomes a Celtic, he could play a part in helping to recruit an additional superstar, since the league’s stars respect Irving’s “ballsy showman’s game.” Celtics president Danny Ainge likes Irving more than many of his peers around the NBA for some of the same reasons, Lowe adds.

Anthony Davis Discusses Trade Rumors, Pelicans, Playoffs

Anthony Davis hears the rumors about his potential departure from the Pelicans. Boston keeps coming up as a destination for Davis should things not work out in New Orleans, but the big man isn’t giving much thought to the noise, as William Guillory of The Times-Picayune relays.

“I understand it’s a business, but if I don’t hear anything from [GM Dell  Demps] or my agent, I don’t pay attention to it,” said Davis. “Once I first heard [the rumors], then I heard it again, then I heard it again, I just wanted to make sure. I found out it wasn’t [true], and that was the beginning of the summer, so I haven’t paid attention to it since.”

Davis reiterated that he wants to remain in New Orleans. “I am happy here as a Pelican,” he said. “I am happy here.”

Demps spoke with Davis earlier in the offseason and assured the big man that he isn’t going anywhere. The 24-year-old has spent his entire five-year career in the Big Easy but was only able to make a trip to the playoffs one time. He sees that changing soon despite several analysts projecting the Pelicans to end up in the lottery.

“I don’t really care what anybody says. We know what we’re doing,” Davis said. “Especially having an entire training camp with me, DeMarcus and [Jrue Holiday] and [Rajon Rondo]…We feel like we have a shot against anybody, that’s our mindset coming in. We’re not worrying about all the white noise and what other people are saying.”

Davis added that simply making the playoffs is not the lone goal.

“We definitely believe we have enough pieces on paper to make the playoffs,” he said. “Not just make it, but actually, make a run in the playoffs.”

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