Archive for October 5th, 2017

The Knicks are rebuilding, but they have some talent who plan on winning right now. Not later. Well, they need to wait for the regular season to start. But then they plan on winning. Accuracy matters, people. Anyway, take new addition Enes Kanter, who is happy to discuss his classic big-man moves. Here’s New York Newsday with more:

Enes Kanter brings back-to-basket moves

Enes Kanter considers himself a throwback, a center who can play with his back to the basket and hurt teams with an array of post moves.

Those players are few and far between in the NBA, which is playing smaller and faster. But the Knicks hope to use Kanter’s skills to their advantage, and the Turkish big man believes he has multiple ways he can hurt teams.

“If you look at the NBA right now, you cannot give me three guys that play back to the basket anymore,” Kanter said after practice Thursday. “If you have a back-to-the-basket player and he can play, and he’s got the footwork, it’s over because if they’re going to send a double-team, if you make an extra pass, that’s it.”

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Lots of players get banged up in preseason. But when it’s a star or superstar, then it’s always worth taking full notice. Because if a big dog is out, it means the rest of the team — most importantly new additions to the squad — can’t fully adjust to playing alongside the star. Which matters — early on, at least. Here’s reporting on LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers:

LeBron James goes through full practice

LeBron James went through a full practice Thursday for the first time since tweaking his left ankle last week and could play in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ preseason game against the Indiana Pacers on Friday, said Cavs coach Tyronn Lue.

“We’ll see how he feels after going through practice today,” Lue said.

It would be the Cavs first test of their new-look starting lineup of Kevin Love, Jae Crowder, J.R. Smith and Derrick Rose flanking James.

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The Joel Embiid health watch continues. We look forward to the day when he’s just fully healthy so we only have to talk about his on-court production, but for now, the quest for 100 percent health remains part of the process. Here’s NBC Sports reporting:

Joel Embiid might play in a preseason game

Joel Embiid checked off a key criterion in his return to play by participating in full-court 5-on-5 work on Thursday.

This was the first time Embiid has played basketball to this extent since undergoing season-ending left knee surgery in March. He didn’t experience soreness in the scrimmage…

Embiid thinks he has a “pretty good” chance to play in a preseason game next week. He will not play on Friday against the Celtics.

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Nic Batum out with elbow injury

Charlotte Hornets guard/forward Nicolas Batum underwent a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) exam today which revealed a tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow. The injury occurred with 11:26 remaining in the first quarter of Charlotte’s preseason road contest against the Detroit Pistons last night. Treatment options are still being evaluated, but Batum is expected to miss a minimum of six to eight weeks.

According to the Charlotte Observer, “Batum signed a five-year, $120 million contract with the Hornets in July 2016. He is scheduled to make nearly $21 million this season. He averaged 15.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.9 assists last season, but shot poorly (.403 from the field and .333 from 3-point range).”

The 6-8 veteran swingman from France has averaged new career highs in points in each of his first two seasons in Charlotte. During the 2016-17 season, Batum totaled 1,164 points, 481 rebounds and 455 assists, becoming the first Charlotte player to score over 1,000 points, grab 450 rebounds and hand out over 450 assists in a single season. After a seven-year stint with Portland, Batum has averaged 15.0 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.8 assists in 34.5 minutes per game over the course of 144 games the last two seasons with the Hornets.

More from the Observer: “With Batum out, Hornets coach Steve Clifford told the Observer late Thursday afternoon he plans to turn to Jeremy Lamb as a starter.”

Bucks sign Xavier Munford

The Milwaukee Bucks have signed free agent guard Xavier Munford.

Munford, 25, was a member of the 2017 USA AmeriCup Team that finished 5-0 and won the gold medal in Argentina. He averaged 10.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game.

Last season he split time between the Greensboro Swarm of the NBA G League and FC Barcelona Lassa. He played in 14 games for the Memphis Grizzlies during the 2015-16 season and averaged 5.7 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists.

A native of Hillside, N.J., Munford concluded his collegiate career at the University of Rhode Island in 2014 where he became the fastest player in school history to reach the 1,000 point mark.

Iman Shumpert injury update

Iman Shumpert injury update

Cavaliers guard Iman Shumpert experienced a left foot injury during the first quarter of last night’s game in Cleveland at The Q vs. the Atlanta Hawks. He left the game and did not return to play. Additional examination and imaging this morning at Cleveland Clinic Sports Health by Cavaliers team physicians Dr. James Rosneck and Dr. Richard Parker confirmed a left foot sprain. Shumpert will undergo treatment and is currently projected to return to play in approximately seven to 10 days.

Bucks waive James Young

The Milwaukee Bucks have requested waivers on James Young.

Young, 22, originally signed with Milwaukee on Sept. 6. He did not appear in either of the Bucks two preseason games.

This move is not a surprise. The vast majority of players signed to training camp won’t make their team’s regular season roster, and that was the case here.

Adreian Payne suffers broken hand

Adreian Payne suffers broken hand

During today’s practice, Orlando Magic forward Adreian Payne suffered a fractured fourth metacarpal in his left hand, President of Basketball Operations Jeff Weltman announced. His return to play will depend on how the injury heals and how he responds to treatment.

Payne (6’10”, 237, 2/19/91) signed a two-way contract with Orlando on August 21. He did not play in the Magic’s preseason opener on October 2 at Memphis.

Payne appeared in 18 games last season with Minnesota, averaging 3.5 ppg. and 1.8 rpg. in 7.5 minpg. He also spent time with the Erie BayHawks of the NBA G League. Originally selected in the first round (15th overall) of the 2014 NBA Draft by Atlanta, Payne has played in 102 career NBA regular season games (24 starts) with Atlanta and Minnesota, averaging 4.0 ppg. and 3.0 rpg. in 13.3 minpg. He has also spent time with Fort Wayne, Austin and Erie of the NBA G League.

Per NBA rules, teams are permitted to sign two players to two-way contracts in addition to the 15-man regular-season roster. A two-way player for Orlando will provide services to the team’s G League affiliate – the Lakeland Magic – but can spend up to 45 days with Orlando, not including any time prior to the start of Lakeland’s training camp and at the conclusion of their season.

Knicks waive Jamel Artis

The Knicks have waived forward Jamel Artis.

Artis, 6-7, 215-pounds, appeared in one preseason game, scoring five points over 11 minutes. He was signed as an undrafted rookie free agent on Aug. 18, following a four-year collegiate career at the University of Pittsburgh.

He wasn’t expected to make the team, so this is not a surprise.

The roster stands at 19 players.

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