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NBA Rumors for Sunday, December 14
InsideHoops NBA rumors updated 4:00 p.m. ET. More NBA rumors stories and other news also appears on the InsideHoops basketball blog.
Nate Robinson isn't completely out of the woods with his back injury, but he is closer to a return. Robinson suited up for the first time in a week for the Nuggets' game at Houston on Saturday night, but he didn't hit the court. Denver Post
"I had a pretty bad knee to the back," Robinson said. "It's probably one of the worst pains I've ever felt in live action, besides playing football. But me, if I'm not playing, I'm really hurt. That's my thing. I hate being out. I want to help this team get to win every game possible. I want to bring my energy, but I know my health is important. And I want to last in the league for a while. I'm not going to force a couple of games when my back's not right. So right now, I'm just day to day. Getting healthy is my main concern." Denver Post
Barnes, who plays the role as the Clippers' agitator, took a hard foul on Antetokounmpo as he went up for a fast-break layup in the final minute of the first half. The referees reviewed the play for a flagrant foul but ruled it a common foul, and Antetokounmpo was assessed a technical foul. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"Immediately I told him, 'My bad,'" Antetokounmpo said of being angry after the foul and being pushed away by teammate Khris Middleton. "He accepted it. "He was killing out there. He played real well. I tried to stop him." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Going into Sunday's games, the Wizards are No. 1 in three-point shooting (39.2%) and assists (25.9) and fifth in field-goal accuracy (47%). What better explains their start, however, is defense. The Wizards, despite allowing Trevor Ariza to leave in free agency, allow the fourth-lowest field-goal shooting (43%) and the seventh-fewest points per game (97.2). When things have badly, Wittman takes most of the criticism. Now that they're playing even better than the most optimistic expectations, he should get some praise. CSN Washington
The Clippers (16-7) have lost two consecutive games after winning nine in succession. They return home Monday night to host the Detroit Pistons at 7:30 at Staples Center. Matt Barnes and J.J. Redick did have fine games for the Clippers. Barnes scored 26 points and made 6 of 8 from 3-point range and Redick scored 25 and was 5-for-7 from beyond the arc. Jamal Crawford scored 17 points, but he shot just 6 of 15, 2 of 7 from 3-point range. The Clippers shot just 42.9 percent overall, but shot 48.3 percent (14 of 29) from 3-point range. LA Daily News Blog
The Pistons won their second consecutive game Saturday, 95-90 over the Sacramento Kings at Sleep Train Arena. Combined with Friday's win at Phoenix, Detroit (5-19) has its first back-to-back road wins against Western Conference teams since Nov. 12 and 14, 2010, at the Los Angeles Clippers and Sacramento, respectively. The Pistons have not won three in a row out west since November 2008, and will attempt that feat Monday against the Clippers. Michigan Live
The August trade sent Dudley and the team’s 2017 first-round pick to the Bucks for Carlos Delfino, Miroslav Raduljica and a 2015 second-round pick the Clippers had previously dealt to the Bucks. The team then waived Delfino and Raduljica, creating roster space and room under the hard cap to sign Hedo Turkoglu, Chris-Douglas Roberts, Ekpe Udoh and Jared Cunningham. OC Register
“At first I was disappointed. It’s just that there was something I had to prove. I felt that health-wise, I was never 100 percent to be able to do what I do out there. After a couple days of reflecting, I thought this might be a better situation for me,” Dudley said. “… For me, I was going to a young team where I thought I could play a lot. When I heard from (Bucks coach Jason Kidd) and the player’s coach he is, I was excited.” OC Register
As Jarrett Jack walked across the stage at Georgia Tech on Saturday morning to accept his degree in business management, only one thing was on his mind. “I was just trying not to fall,” Jack said with a smile before the Nets blew out the Hornets 114-87 at Time Warner Cable Arena on Saturday night. “That was my No. 1 thing right there.
“Forget all this cool stuff, just let me get one foot in front of the other … just get across this stage and go sit down.” NY Post
Because the Nets played both Friday night against the Sixers in Brooklyn and Saturday night, Jack had a complicated itinerary in order to fit everything in. After playing 21 minutes in Friday’s win, Jack flew directly to Atlanta, where he met his family. Then after attending graduation at 8 a.m., he took another flight to Charlotte and arrived early Saturday afternoon. NY Post
Let’s pump the brakes on the “Nic Batum’s shot is back” train. He had a very good night, especially when compared to his game last night. He was aggressive, got to the rim and got other guys involved. Batum told The Columbian prior to the season that he wanted to get to the free-throw line more. Tonight, you saw the type of attacks that would get him to the line more. His 3-point shooting didn’t improve tonight, going 1-for-5. The Blazers need to maximize his effectiveness. Having him attack the rim, where he shoots above 70 percent, is a good place to start. Columbian Blog
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