Kevin Knox riding the bench for Knicks

Young Knicks forward Kevin Knox played 28.8 minutes per game as a rookie last season, starting in 57 of 75 games.

This year, he has come off the bench for 17 of 18 games, playing nine fewer minutes per outing than as a rookie.

The New York Post reports the following: “Sometimes they’ve got to go through some tough love to find themselves and watch the game from 25,000 feet, see it, and see the things that I’m emphasizing,” Knicks coach David Fizdale said when asked about Knox after practice Saturday in Tarrytown. “I was tough on Frank last year and I just feel like Frank has come back with a whole different mindset about how he’s going to go about this season.”

It’ll be interesting to see how Knox progresses this season. If he’s able to raise his shooting percentage and overall game, it would make future Knicks roster decision-making a lot easier.

Grizzlies rookie Ja Morant will miss time due to back spasms




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Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant’s excellent rookie season has hit a road block, in the form of back spasms.

The team on Saturday announced that Morant in yesterday’s game against the Jazz aggravated back spasms that started earlier in the week.

The Grizzlies are 5-13 this season, and have lost six games in a row. Their next game is tomorrow afternoon on the road against the Timberwolves.

Morant has been an outstanding rookie and is a clear building block for Memphis. In 17 games, the young phenom is averaging 18.6 points, 3.2 rebounds and 6.4 assists in 28.7 minutes per outing.

With Morant out, Tyus Jones and shooting guard Dillon Brooks, and perhaps also De’Anthony Melton and Grayson Allen, will have increased responsibility.

Morant is listed at 6-foot-3, 174 pounds. He’s 20 years old, played college basketball at Murray State, and was drafted No. 2 overall this past June.

Bucks now on 10-game winning streak

The Milwaukee Bucks on Friday beat the Cavaliers in Cleveland 119-10 to extend their winning streak to 10 games.

As usual, Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks, shooting 14 of 26 for 33 points and 12 rebounds, plus two steals and two blocks. George Hill added 18 points and four assists in 22 minutes off the bench.

Khris Middleton, who recently returned from injury, again came off the bench for Milwaukee. It’s likely he will eventually return to the starting lineup.

The Bucks this season are top five in the NBA in both offensive and defensive efficiency.

Bulls guard/forward Chandler Hutchison shoulder injury update


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An MRi performed yesterday confirms that Chicago Bulls guard/forward Chandler Hutchison has a right shoulder contusion.

The injury occurred this past Tuesday in the team’s road game against the Warriors.

The team says Hutchison will be re-evaluated next week, after their current road trip is completed.

Through yesterday’s games, the Bulls are 6-13 this season, which places them 12th in the Eastern conference. They’re being led in scoring this season by Zach LaVine at 21.8 PPG. But no other Bulls players are scoring as much as 14.0 PPG.

Hutchison is averaging 7.1 points and 3.7 rebounds in 17.1 minutes per game.

Dion Waiters` Heat suspension is ending

The Miami Heat haven’t been pleased with the attitude of guard Dion Waiters this season, and in early November gave him a 10-game suspension.

According to the Miami Herald, “Waiters, who has yet to play or even appear on the bench since the regular season began, was also suspended by the Heat for the first game of the season for what the team called unprofessional conduct. The National Basketball Players Association recently filed an appeal of Waiters’ two team-issued suspensions, a league source confirmed last week. The appeal is over wages lost, with both suspensions costing Waiters about $913,000 in salary.”

The suspension, after Sunday’s matchup later today against the Warriors, will have ended. It’ll be interesting to see if Waiters actually is in the Heat plans going forward. Right now it seems like anything is possible, but with the Heat off to a fantastic 12-5 start to the season, it makes sense for them to keep their current rotation as is, for both on-court basketball performance as well as general attitude reasons.


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Struggling Suns close to getting Aron Baynes back in action

The Suns were an early-season surprise, but have racked up more losses than wins lately and are now 8-9 for the season.

But there’s reason to think they could change direction soon.

Per the Arizona Republic, “Suns center Aron Baynes is listed as probable for Friday’s game against the Mavericks after missing five games with a hip injury. The Suns are 1-4 without Baynes, who had been starting for Ayton, plays great position defense, makes defensive calls is averaging career highs in points (14.5), rebounds (5.6), assists (3.1) and 3-point shooting (44.2%).”

A note on Suns center Deandre Ayton


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After a strong start to the new NBA season, the Phoenix Suns have a modest record of 8-8. They’ve been playing without second-year center Deandre Ayton, who has been serving a 25-game suspension for testing positive on a drug test.

Arizona Spots has an update: “General manager James Jones joined 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Burns & Gambo Tuesday and provided some clarity as to Ayton’s situation 15 games into his suspension. “We’ve been focused on a transition for him since the initial suspension,” he said. “So every day, there’s a plan to keep his conditioning level up, his skill level up. And as we get closer to the games, coach will start to reintegrate him in our pregame routine, our practice routine, our practice plan, so it’ll work itself out.””

It’ll be interesting to see how the Suns rotation changes when Ayton returns. Center Aron Baynes, who in his NBA career has been a supporting cast role player more than a star, has played quite well in Ayton’s absence. But Ayton is considered a long-term building block. A potential franchise foundation. It will be an interesting minutes distribution test for head coach Monty Williams.

Kemba Walker set to return for Celtics


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The Celtics are close to getting guard Kemba Walker (neck sprain) back in action. The team today listed him as “probable” for tomorrow’s home game in Boston against the Brooklyn Nets.

At 12-4, the Celtics are tied this season with the Heat and Raptors for the Eastern conference’s second best record, behind the 14-3 Bucks.

Although Kemba Walker is a point guard, his primary role on Boston has been that of a scorer. He leads the team in points per game at 21.1 PPG, and is second on the team in assists per game at 4.7 APG (Marcus Smart is first at 5.1 APG).

An observation that for now we will pretend is a totally random thing to mention right now: Celtics team success this season has come more from defense than offense.

We’ll be watching the team in the coming weeks specifically to see who creates scoring opportunities for others.

In the meantime, Walker is fitting in, and the team is winning.

This blog entry pulled you in all sorts of directions. We know.

Glenn Robinson III has nice opportunity on Warriors

The Warriors are 3-15, which is currently the worst record in the NBA. They have multiple NBA All-Stars on their roster who are spending more time injured on the bench than healthy on the court. The result is an opportunity for supporting cast players to rise up and lead.

Glenn Robinson III, who already had an increased role this season with Kevin Durant gone and a hole at the small forward spot, plus Klay Thompson being out, gained even more responsibility as injuries kept piling up.

His average so far this season is 12.0 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists in quite a bit of playing time: 31.7 minutes per game.

It’ll be worth watching to see how his productivity fares in the coming weeks.

Stats and notes on Luka Doncic triple-doubles




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Mavericks second-year guard/forward Luka Doncic, who doesn’t turn 21 until 2/28/20, already owns the record for the most triple-doubles by a player before his 21st birthday in NBA history (15). He recorded eight as a rookie alone, breaking Magic Johnson’s previous such record of seven, which was set before the Mavericks franchise was even formed in 1980 (Johnson’s record had stood since 3/30/80).

Doncic’s eight triple-doubles in 2018-19 not only marked a Dallas rookie record (previous most: 4 by Jason Kidd in 1994-95), but also represented the third-most by any rookie in the history of the league (behind Oscar Robertson’s 26 in 1960-61 and Ben Simmons’ 12 in 2017-18).

His eight triple-doubles last year were also one off of Jason Kidd’s record for the most by a Maverick in any one season in franchise history (Kidd had 9 as a second-year player for Dallas in 1995-96).

Kidd holds the team-record for most triple-doubles with 21. After earning NBA Rookie of the Year honors last season, Doncic has picked up right where he left off. He has recorded five 30-point triple-doubles in 2019-20 and now has six for his career. It’s the most 30-point triple-doubles by a player before turning 21 in NBA history. In fact, LeBron James (2) is the only other player to produce multiple 30-point triple-doubles before his 21st birthday.

What’s more, Doncic has set franchise marks for most 30-point triple-doubles (6) and 20-point triple-doubles (13). He’s the only Maverick to record a 40-point triple-double (42 points, 11 rebounds, 12 assists vs. San Antonio 11/18/19). Doncic and James are also the only two players in league history to produce a
40-point triple-double for their 21st birthday.