Terance Mann

Atlantic Notes: DiVincenzo, Embiid, Melton, Nets, Bridges

Knicks swingman Donte DiVincenzo is one of several notable players who will be ineligible for end-of-season awards this season despite playing in far more than 65 games, as James Herbert of CBS Sports observes. DiVincenzo appeared in 81 games this season, but technically didn’t meet the NBA’s 65-game criteria.

As we outlined in our glossary entry on the NBA’s new 65-game rule, a game only counts toward the 65-game minimum if the player logged at least 20 minutes. A player is also permitted to play 20+ minutes in just 63 games as long as there were at least two additional games in which he played 15+ minutes.

DiVincenzo played 20+ minutes in 62 games and logged at least 19 minutes in seven more, including one in which he played 19:51. If he had reached the 20-minute threshold in one of those games, he would’ve been award-eligible, but he just missed out. The Knicks wing would have been included on Most Improved Player ballots from multiple voters, including JJ Redick, who took to Twitter to express displeasure with the rule.

As Herbert points out, DiVincenzo’s teammate Isaiah Hartenstein is another player who might have received award consideration but is considered ineligible despite appearing in 75 games, since he played 20+ minutes in just 50 of those contests. Warriors forward Jonathan Kuminga, another Most Improved candidate, played in 74 games but had 20+ minutes in just 61 of them, so he’s also ineligible.

Pelicans center Jonas Valanciunas (82 starts), Mavericks wing Derrick Jones (76 games, including 66 starts), and Clippers swingman Terance Mann (71 starts) likely wouldn’t have been serious candidates for any awards, but they’re a few of the other players who paradoxically failed to meet the 65-game criteria due to the nature of the rule. For what it’s worth, Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News (Twitter link) says he would have put Jones on his All-Defensive Second Team if he could have.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • As Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer writes, the Sixers are once again entering the postseason with questions about the health of Joel Embiid, who sat out Sunday’s regular season finale and has played just five games since returning from knee surgery. However, Embiid is on track to play in Wednesday’s play-in game. He practiced on both Monday and Tuesday, per head coach Nick Nurse; 76ers guard De’Anthony Melton (back) did not (Twitter links via Kyle Neubeck and Derek Bodner of PHLY Sports).
  • After a disappointing season in Brooklyn, the Nets‘ roster figures to undergo an overhaul this summer, and the players who finished this season with the team are bracing for that possibility, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. “I don’t think (any) of my years in the league I had the same team two years in a row,” Dorian Finney-Smith said. “Even if you win, teams still make moves, so I can only imagine how this summer’s gonna be.”
  • Nets forward Mikal Bridges admitted that it was a challenge to maintain a positive outlook during a “really tough” season and said that working on “being better mentally” will be one of his goals for this offseason, Lewis writes for The New York Post. He pointed to a December 27 loss to Milwaukee in which the Nets rested most of their regulars and the disappointing road trip that followed as low points. “The Milwaukee game and losing on that road trip, that was tough. I think that was a part of it. That didn’t help. For the players, I know that I was pretty hurt from that, I was pretty pissed off about that situation,” Bridges said. “That’s just part of it. I think I’ve failed at that part mentally. I was doing pretty good mentally, but I didn’t do a pretty good job of that this year. I let my emotions get to me.”

Los Angeles Notes: Powell, Westbrook, Lue, Davis

The Clippers are a little banged up going into the game against Atlanta tonight, according to Janis Carr of the Orange County Register.

Norman Powell left Friday’s game against New Orleans on crutches and won’t play due tonight due to a left leg contusion.  Terance Mann limped into the locker room during the first half on Friday but is in the starting lineup. Russell Westbrook is still out with a fractured left hand.

James Harden was listed as questionable but will play despite with a strained left shoulder. Paul George and Kawhi Leonard are also showing signs of wear after a rugged stretch of the schedule.

We have more on the Los Angeles teams:

  • The Clippers have lost four of their last seven games and their margin for error is shrinking, Law Murray of The Athletic notes. They have fallen to fourth place in the Western Conference standings and the oldest team in the league is now forced to rely on their depth.
  • Coach Tyronn Lue showed signs of frustration with his team after the eight-point loss to the Pelicans, Murray tweets. He expressed that some of his players may not be as competitive as he is. “What do you mean, falls on my shoulders? I’m competitive. I’m ready to compete right now. … I don’t play, they know what we’re supposed to do. So they got to do it,” he said.
  • Anthony Davis suffered an eye injury during the Lakers’ loss to the Warriors. The Lakers’ struggles after he left the game proved they can’t win any meaningful games without him, Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times opines. They were outscored by 13 points after he left the game, Plaschke notes, and were outscored by 18 in the paint.

Pacific Notes: Kuminga, Kerr, Jackson-Davis, Duarte, Mann

There was never any doubt that Steve Kerr would be offered an extension, but it’s significant that he solved the Warriors‘ biggest problem shortly before it happened, writes Tim Kawakami of The Athletic.

Kerr could have faced a crisis in January when a report indicated that Jonathan Kuminga was displeased with his lack of playing time and had lost faith in his coach. Instead, Kerr used it as an opportunity to convey to Kuminga what he needed to do to earn regular minutes, and the young forward’s progress has played a major role in Golden State’s turnaround.

“I think it was actually a good thing for him to kind of express his frustration because it kind of forced him to really take ownership of it, and we had a good conversation,” Kerr said. “He let me know how he’s feeling, that he was frustrated, and we went through a list of things that I felt he needed to do, and it coincided with the time that Draymond (Green) was out … so he got more minutes based on playing better, but also on the opportunity that came up.”

Kuminga was the seventh pick in the 2021 draft, back when the Warriors were pursuing a “two timeline” approach of trying to develop young talent while remaining in title contention. He saw his path blocked by more experienced players for two-and-a-half seasons before he spoke up last month. Some members of the Warriors front office wanted Kuminga to be utilized more, according to Kawakami, but Kerr had to be convinced that he could be trusted to play winning basketball.

“And this is what people usually say in this league: It’s year three when guys start to really feel it and take off,” Kerr added. “But when you draft a guy that high, nobody wants to hear, ‘It takes three years.’ They want it to happen right away. But it just doesn’t.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Trayce Jackson-Davis has become a valuable finisher for the Warriors in his rookie season, notes Sam Gordon of The San Francisco Chronicle. Jackson-Davis is shooting 69.3% from the field and is second on the team in dunks with 55, averaging one slam every 9.6 minutes. “You can see the impact that he makes with his ability to score at the rim,” Kerr said.
  • Swingman Chris Duarte, who was dealing with a sprained right ankle earlier this month, logged 20 minutes Thursday in the Kings‘ first game after the All-Star break. Duarte talked about staying focused even though playing time has been elusive in his first season with Sacramento (video link from James Ham of Kings Beat).
  • The Clippers needed a rare scoring outburst from Terance Mann to pull out Friday’s game at Memphis, per Janis Carr of The Orange County Register. Mann’s 23 points marked the first time he has topped 20 all season. “It’s been a while,” he said.

Pacific Notes: Green, Durant, Clippers, Lakers

Speaking to the media on Sunday for the first time since he received a five-game suspension for putting Rudy Gobert in a headlock for several seconds, Warriors forward/center Draymond Green expressed no remorse for actions, writes Kendra Andrews of ESPN.

I don’t live my life with regrets,” Green said. “I’ll come to a teammate’s defense any time that I’m in a position to come to a teammate’s defense. … What matters to me is how the people that I care about feel, first and foremost. How are the people that I care about affected? How are the people I care about, what do they have to deal with? That’s it for me.”

Head coach Steve Kerr initially defended Green in the aftermath of the incident between Golden State and Minnesota, but he later changed his stance and said the forward’s behavior was “inexcusable” and the suspension was deserved. While Green didn’t outright disclose any specific details about the talks he had with Kerr and general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr., it’s pretty clear they want him to make better decisions going forward, according to Andrews.

The consensus amongst all of us is that I’m going to be me no matter what. That’s not going to change,” Green said. “But in saying that, there’s always a better way that something can be done. So it’s figuring out a better way. That’s the consensus among all of us.”

Green, who also complained about being harshly penalized in part due to his past transgressions, won’t be on a minutes restriction when he returns for Tuesday’s matchup in Sacramento since he wasn’t injured, Andrews notes.

Here’s more from the Pacific:

  • Suns star Kevin Durant missed his second straight game on Sunday in New York due to right foot soreness, as ESPN.com relays. Durant, who warmed up before contest before being ruled out, is considered day-to-day. Phoenix’s next game isn’t until Wednesday in Toronto, so he’ll have some extra rest the next couple days.
  • Saturday’s decisive victory over Dallas showcased the Clippers‘ depth, according to Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times. With James Harden and Kawhi Leonard struggling for a second consecutive game, the Clips got key contributions from Russell Westbrook (14 points on 6-of-9 shooting, eight rebounds, seven assists), Terance Mann (17 points on 7-of-14 shooting), Norman Powell (15 points without missing a shot), and Ivica Zubac (11 points on 5-of-8 shooting, 14 rebounds), Greif writes.
  • With Cam Reddish (left adductor), Rui Hachimura (nasal fracture), Jarred Vanderbilt (left heel bursitis) and Gabe Vincent (left knee effusion) all sidelined on Saturday in Cleveland, the Lakers used a shortened eight-man rotation, per Khobi Price of The Southern California News Group. Head coach Darvin Ham says they need to “weather the storm” until they get some players back. “You have to see the glass half full always, so I’d rather this happen now with some of our guys as opposed to late March, April going into that money time,” Ham said. “We just have to weather the storm. That’s why you try to put together a deep roster. I think the plan for our team that we put together and tried to execute this summer is coming to fruition. We’re needing these pieces, being deep at every position allows you a chance to weather all of this to try to get through it at the highest level possible.” After starting the season 3-5, the Lakers have won seven of their past nine games and hold a 10-7 record.

Pacific Notes: Harden, Westbrook, Mann, Booker, Green

The Clippers picked up their first win since acquiring James Harden, beating the Rockets on Friday on a game-winning shot from the 10-time All-Star. According to ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk, the win goes beyond simply snapping a win streak, as it shows Harden is becoming more comfortable in his new home.

I’m getting real close,” Harden said. “I’m getting close to myself every game I feel like I’m improving.

The win also showed a glimpse of what the Clippers can be when they’re at full strength, with Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Harden all having their fair share of moments. On top of that, their victory comes off the heels of Russell Westbrook approaching coach Tyronn Lue about coming off the bench to help stabilize the team.

He wanted to do that, which [is] an ultimate sacrifice for a guy of his caliber,” Lue said. “For things he’s done in this league, the things he’s done for this team. So shout-out to Russ for wanting to do that. It’s a huge part of what we’ve talked about, just sacrificing wanting to win at a high level.

Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times further explored Westbrook’s move to the bench, writing that the lineup change is here to stay. Westbrook finished with just 17 minutes played, his fewest since joining the team. Norman Powell, P.J. Tucker and Daniel Theis, the latter of whom made his Clippers debut, also joined Westbrook off the bench. According to Greif, his teammates didn’t know about the change until he walked onto the practice court on Friday in the white jerseys worn by reserves.

We just got to get him used to it and get him accustomed to doing that, and it’s tough, it’s tough to go from starting to off the bench or from off the bench to starting, especially with the caliber player that he is,” Lue said. “So we just got to get him comfortable, make sure we got the right guys on the floor with him.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • Lue put Clippers guard Terance Mann in the starting lineup over Westbrook instead of other options like Tucker. He explained the decision on Friday. “We kind of went back and forth with T-Mann and P.J, but I think T-Mann can take the responsibility of guarding point guards every night … you can kind of put him on those guys to start the games and so we don’t have to wear PG and Kawhi down to start the games every single night,” Lue said (Twitter link via Justin Russo). “And so that’s why it kind of made sense to us.
  • Suns superstar guard Devin Booker is averaging a career-high 10.3 assists through his first four games, including a single-game career high of 15 on Friday against the Jazz. Even though the sample size is small, he’s looking much more comfortable as a distributor. His previous career-best average was 6.8 in 2018/19. The Suns brass is talking about him like a point guard. “He’s our most vocal guy,” head coach Frank Vogel said (Twitter link via PHNX Suns). “He’s really taken the reins of that this year with this team, and even more so on the floor as the point guard running the show.
  • Warriors forward Draymond Green was suspended after engaging in a physical confrontation with Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert, and the last couple times Green has been involved in drama, frustrations in the locker room were tangible, according to The Athletic’s Marcus Thompson II. However, his teammates are completely behind him this time, knowing he’s looking out for them on the court. The events that led to Green’s suspension began with Klay Thompson and Jaden McDaniels getting into an altercation with Green later stepping in. “We’ve got his back,Gary Payton II said. “And we gon’ hold him down until he gets back.” According to Thompson, Green apologized to his team and knows he took it too far.

Clippers’ Russell Westbrook Volunteers To Come Off Bench

With the Clippers struggling to find their footing in the wake of the James Harden trade, starting point guard Russell Westbrook has requested to move to a reserve role, league sources tell Chris Haynes of TNT and Bleacher Report.

According to Haynes, the plan is for Westbrook to come off the bench for the Clippers in Friday’s in-season tournament game vs. Houston, with Terance Mann getting the start in his place.

Westbrook, Harden, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Ivica Zubac have started each of the five games the Clippers have played since Harden made his debut with the team. Los Angeles has lost all five of those games and has posted a -14.1 net rating in 58 minutes with that five-man group on the court.

It’s a very small sample, but by comparison, that group had a +38.0 net rating in 51 minutes with Robert Covington in Harden’s place prior to the trade.

Head coach Tyronn Lue has experimented with taking certain players – including Harden – off the court relatively early in the game and then bringing them back with the second unit, and some of the Clippers stars have expressed confidence that a breakthrough is close. However, having Westbrook move to the bench will allow the team to start the game with one fewer ball-dominant player on the court, which could help simplify the offensive game plan.

As Haynes writes, Westbrook brought the idea to the coaching staff, suggesting that it would put the first unit in a better position to develop some chemistry and would allow him to bring his energy to the second unit. The former MVP is the Clippers’ “vocal leader” and told the coaching staff he wants to do whatever it takes to win, sources tell Haynes.

Westbrook has started every game he has played for the Clippers since signing with the team last season, but came off the bench in 49 of the 52 games he played for the Lakers in 2022/23. As Haynes points out, that move was instigated by the Lakers’ coaching staff, whereas this time the idea is coming from Westbrook, who has received praise throughout the organization for the “selfless” move, sources tell Bleacher Report.

Clippers Notes: Harden, Rotation, Westbrook, Plumlee

The Clippers are winless since trading for James Harden and P.J. Tucker on November 1 and they don’t appear close to having a cohesive rotation, writes Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times. Greif notes that Harden, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Russell Westbrook are still figuring out how they’ll work together after being primary scorers throughout their careers.

Coach Tyronn Lue made an adjustment Friday in Dallas, Greif adds, taking George and Westbrook out of the game earlier than usual in the first quarter and having them replace Harden and Leonard later on. A lineup with George, Westbrook, Tucker, Norman Powell and Terance Mann was outscored by nine points in two minutes, but Lue indicated that he wants to give that combination more opportunities to succeed.

“At some point it’s going to work and nobody’s going to talk about the rotations and guys on the floor and personnel,” George said. “And at some point we’re going to figure it out.”

Harden also remains confident, telling reporters, including Law Murray of The Athletic (Twitter link), “For me individually, this is only my third game. I didn’t have a training camp, I didn’t have a preseason, so everything is still moving fast speed for me. I need about a 10-game window then kind of see where I am from there.”

There’s more on the Clippers:

  • Lue believes he needs to keep a center on the court to maximize Harden’s pick-and-roll abilities, but Mann, a 6’5″ swingman, started in the middle ahead of Ivica Zubac to begin the second half Friday, Greif adds. Lue dismissed it as a desperation move, saying he wanted to try something different with a 30-point deficit. L.A. is missing its normal backup center, Mason Plumlee, who is expected to be sidelined for a significant part of the season with an MCL sprain in his left knee.
  • Westbrook has been most impacted by the addition of Harden, Greif observes. He’s averaging 32 fewer touches in the three games that Harden has played, compared to 14 fewer for Leonard and seven fewer for George. In a full story, Murray suggests that Lue is unlikely to remove Westbrook from the starting lineup, so it might be up to the front office to determine Westbrook’s future with the team.
  • Before being injured, Plumlee talked to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype about why he decided to re-sign with the Clippers this summer. “I feel like in the whole time I’ve been in the league, there’s been one team (Denver in the 2020 Western Conference Finals) I’ve been on where I felt like we had a chance to win the whole thing,” Plumlee said. “This was another one of those chances. It took a little bit of sacrifice to choose to come back here, but it’s been well worth it and makes it fun to come in each day.”

Injury Notes: McCollum, Alvarado, Mann, Vassell

Pelicans guard CJ McCollum, who was diagnosed over the weekend with a small pneumothorax in his right lung was reexamined on Tuesday and medical imaging showed positive healing, the team announced today in a press release.

However, the Pelicans still aren’t prepared to provide any sort of projected recovery timeline for McCollum, simply stating that he’ll be reevaluated at “a later date” and that further updates will be announced once they’re available.

Like McCollum, Pelicans guard Jose Alvarado remains sidelined for the foreseeable future, though there’s a more concrete timetable in place for Alvarado, who is recovering from a right ankle sprain. According to the club, he’s making “good progress” and has resumed on-court work. The expectation is that Alvarado will return to full practices within the next week or two.

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

  • Neither Pelicans forward Zion Williamson nor Warriors forward/center Draymond Green are injured, but both players have been ruled out for their games on Wednesday for personal reasons, per Christian Clark of NOLA.com and Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter link). It’s worth noting that Golden State’s game vs. Denver is a nationally televised contest and Green is one of the players affected by the NBA’s player participation policy, but absences for personal reasons are permitted under that policy.
  • After incorporating P.J. Tucker and James Harden within the last week, the Clippers are expected to get more reinforcements on Wednesday in Brooklyn. Terance Mann (ankle) is on track to make his season debut and will be on a minutes restriction, per Shams Charania of The Athletic.
  • Spurs swingman Devin Vassell (left adductor strain) is listed as doubtful for Wednesday’s contest vs. the Knicks, tweets Andrew Lopez of ESPN. While Vassell likely won’t return tonight, he seems to be making good progress, according to Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News (Twitter link), who says the 23-year-old participated in today’s shootaround, as well as a post-practice four-on-four session.

Pacific Notes: James, Bates-Diop, Curry, Mann

The Lakers were unhappy enough about the officiating in their one-point loss to Miami on Monday that they complained to the league office, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN.

They were particularly upset about non-calls involving LeBron James, believing Heat defenders were allowed to get away with illegal contact. He only shot four free throws. Coach Darvin Ham spoke about it after the game.

“I see Bron shooting four free throws and the amount of times he attacked the rim, the amount of times he was slapped on the arm, which I could see plain as day, for that not to be called, man … he’s not flopping,” Ham said.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • Keita Bates-Diop is providing the Suns’ starting lineup with a little more size, Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic notes. Bates-Diop’s presence at power forward allows Kevin Durant to slide to the small forward spot. “He’s giving good length and defense and rebounding,” coach Frank Vogel said. Bates-Diop was signed to a two-year, veteran’s minimum contract this summer that includes a player option.
  • Stephen Curry will turn 36 in March and he could become the oldest player to win the Most Valuable Player award if he keeps up his current pace, Kendra Andrews of ESPN notes. Curry is averaging 30.9 points on 55.1% shooting from the field, 46.5% from beyond the arc and 94.4% from the free throw line. “The sky is the limit,” Klay Thompson said. “He might change the narrative of what it looks like to be elite till you’re 40. LeBron is doing the same and Steph is following suit.”
  • Terance Mann is listed as questionable to play against Brooklyn on Wednesday due to an ankle injury. When Mann is available, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer believes the Clippers wing should start ahead of Russell Westbrook. He would provide better defense, spot-up shooting, and cutting in a starting unit in need of those qualities, O’Connor opines.

Injury Notes: Kyrie, Thunder, Mann, Lyles

After missing the last two games due to a sprained left foot, Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving has been upgraded to available for Friday’s game vs. the Nuggets, as first reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

The Mavericks are the only undefeated team left in the Western Conference, but will face a tough matchup in their first in-season tournament game tonight as they visit the defending champions in the altitude of Denver, so they’ll be happy to have Irving back in their lineup.

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

  • There’s good and bad news on the injury front for the Thunder. Center Jaylin Williams will be available for the first time this season on Friday after having been sidelined with a right hamstring strain. However, star guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is among the team’s unavailable players vs. Golden State due to a left knee sprain (Twitter links via Rylan Stiles of Locked on Thunder).
  • Clippers guard/forward Terance Mann, who has yet to play this season due to what the team is calling a sprained left ankle, said in a YouTube video that he “overstretched” a muscle or “maybe tore it a little” (hat tip to Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times). Mann added that there’s no timeline for his return and he’s still focused on trying to reduce the swelling in the ankle.
  • The Kings have ruled out forward Trey Lyles for at least two more games, the team announced today (Twitter link via Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee). Lyles, hampered by a left calf strain, has yet to suit up for Sacramento this season.