Here’s the Los Angeles Daily News blog with an update on injured Lakers rookie Julius Randle:
It appeared like a normal exercise as Lakers rookie forward Julius Randle performed a leg press during Wednesday’s practice. But in Randle’s case, it marked one of many progressions he has made since suffering a season-ending injury to his right leg in the Lakers’ season opener just under two months ago.
Since then, Randle has healed enough to get around without any crutches in the past week.
“Honestly I’m not supposed to be off crutches,” Randle said, with a chuckle. “The doctor said to go at your own pace. My pace was to get rid of them immediately.”
Randle still has a long way to go.
Here’s the Charlotte Observer blog reporting positive things about the city’s chances of eventually hosting All-Star weekend:
Now that the Charlotte Hornets and the city of Charlotte have agreed to an arena renovation, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said its inevitable Charlotte will get an All-Star Game
“Personally I’m very excited about coming back here. I don’t think there’s any question it’s going to happen,” Silver said during a visit to Charlotte Wednesday. “Just a matter of what year.”
The first available All-Star Game up for bid is in 2017. In all likelihood the 2017 and 2018 events will be awarded to cities simultaneously. Silver said there’s no set date for when those games will be awarded, but he’d like it to be as soon as possible.
Here’s the Denver Post reporting on the Nuggets, who are majorly struggling lately:
Hoping to clear the air and get everybody on the same page, Nuggets coach Brian Shaw had “a couple of” individual meetings with players Tuesday, he said.
“There’s frustration,” Shaw said. “Obviously, we’re 10-14. We feel that out of those games there’s maybe a handful that we feel that we could have reversed — we feel we kind of did it to ourselves in those games. But I see frustration from some of the guys that aren’t playing as much as they want to play, from some of the guys that aren’t playing as well as they want to play.”
Danilo Gallinari and Kenneth Faried have been the most frustrated with their playing time as they battle through injuries and ineffectiveness. The Nuggets are 1-6 in their past seven, and the frustration isn’t limited to those two players.
Gallinari has missed the past three games with a bruised right knee but is expected to play Wednesday against the Houston Rockets.
Here’s ESPN Dallas reporting Dirk Nowitzki’s comments on Kobe Bryant. And as you’d expect from one legend discussing another, they’re quite positive:
“He’s probably the greatest player in my generation that I played against,” said Nowitzki, who has 27,239 career points and will likely pass Elvin Hayes and Moses Malone over the next few weeks to move up to seventh on the list. “Obviously Shaq was very dominant, Tim Duncan was great, but I just loved watching Kobe. I don’t think there will ever be another MJ, but he’s definitely as close as it gets that we’ll ever see.”
Here’s the Oklahoman reporting on OKC Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, who after an early-season injury has taken things to another level in 2014-15:
During this recent streak of unbelievable MVP-level games — a career-high nine straight of at least 20 points, five rebounds and five assists — it’s Westbrook’s finesse and improved touch around the rim that’s vaulted his kamikaze style to the next level. He’s playing with a controlled chaos that’s so rare. He’s darting to the rim with that same breakneck speed, but routinely maneuvering around the basket with a smoothness we’re not used to and tossing in feathery layups with either hand. His shot selection has always been criticized. His efficiency has always been used as an argument against him. But that’s not a crutch his biggest skeptics can lean on right now. Westbrook, again, was economical with his usage on Tuesday night: 20 shots, 11 makes, 32 points (to go along with his usual seven assists, six rebounds and four steals). In his career, Westbrook is a 43 percent shooter. But this season, he’s currently at 49.5 percent. Some would suggest he’s due for a regression to the norm. But others would view this as a different, improved Westbrook — the kind of dynamic yet efficient player who can make a legit case as the league’s best player.
Jabari Parker knee injury ends his season
Milwaukee Bucks rookie forward Jabari Parker suffered a left knee injury during the third quarter of last night’s game in Phoenix. He returned to Milwaukee this afternoon to undergo an MRI that revealed a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee. Parker will undergo surgery to repair the injury and is expected to miss the remainder of the 2014-15 season.
This is a horrible blow to a Bucks team that is enjoying a very respectable season.
Parker was also a top favorite to win the 2014-15 Rookie of the Year award.
In 25 games this season, Parker averaged 12.3 points (2nd among rookies) and 5.5 rebounds (3rd) in 29.5 minutes per game (3rd) while helping the Bucks to a 13-12 record. He scored in double figures 17 times, including a career-best 23 points at Brooklyn on Nov. 19 that stands as the highest-scoring game by a Bucks teenager in franchise history.
The Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for games played in October/November, Parker began his career by posting double-doubles in two of his first three games (11 points and 10 rebounds on Oct. 31 vs. Philadelphia, and 13 points and 11 rebounds on Nov. 1 at Washington). In doing so, he became just the 14th player in the last 30 seasons to record multiple double-doubles within his first three career games, and the only teenager to accomplish the feat.