Ariza’s absence could lead to Los Angeles playing more lineups with LeBron James at small forward and Anthony Davis at power forward, meaning centers such as Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan need to be ready to play. Ariza is expected to miss eight weeks and make a full recovery.
“I don’t think you really put together your plan on how much A.D.’s gonna play the four or five until your team is whole,” head coach Frank Vogel acknowledged, according to Goon. “And once you figure that out, then you make those decisions.”
There’s more from the Pacific Division today:
- The Suns‘ decision not to reward Deandre Ayton with a maximum-salary rookie-scale extension sends a bad message to other players, Evan Sidery of BasketballNews.com opines. Sidery notes that Ayton did a good job of buying into his role last season, playing a key role in the Suns’ trip to the NBA Finals. In 22 playoff games, the 23-year-old averaged 15.8 points, 11.8 rebounds and 36.4 minutes per contest, shooting 66% from the floor. As we previously relayed, the Suns remain reluctant to offer Ayton a max extension and negotiations are at an impasse.
- Warriors rookie Moses Moody is starting to settle in with the team, Anthony Slater notes for The Athletic. Moody showed flashes of potential against the Lakers on Friday night, playing against veterans such as Dwight Howard and Rajon Rondo. “We’ve seen the last few days — we’ve seen him start to pick up on things,” coach Steve Kerr said. “The first few days were kind of a whirlwind for him, but it’s a testament to his basketball instinct how quickly he’s picking things up.”
- Stephen Curry recently praised Lakers superstar LeBron James, explaining that the four-time MVP has ‘set the standard’ for longevity in the NBA. “Let’s keep it real — what is he, in his 18th year? Nine straight Finals, all the things that he’s accomplished,” Curry said, according to Nick Friedell of ESPN.com. “You have a vision of sustaining your prime for as long as you can, kind of reimagining what that looks like. So you know the work that goes into it, the intentionality, especially in the offseasons, especially how you take care of your body, your mind. Balance on court, off court.” James has played 1,310 regular-season games, logging 50,055 minutes.