The New Orleans Pelicans are racking up injuries this season, not wins.
The team announced today medical updates for forward Ryan Anderson, guard Norris Cole, forward Alonzo Gee and guard Jrue Holiday.
Anderson (6-10, 240) has been diagnosed with a sports hernia. He will seek a second opinion from a specialist in Philadelphia later this week. Additional details will be announced appropriately following further evaluation. Anderson has appeared in 66 games (seven starts), holding averages of 17.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.1 assists per contest.
Cole (6-2, 175) is experiencing lower back discomfort and is listed as day-to-day. The Cleveland State product has appeared in 45 games (23 starts), averaging 10.6 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game.
Gee (6-6, 225) suffered a complete rupture of the right proximal rectus femoris and will miss the remainder of the 2015-16 season. The injury occurred during the second quarter of last night’s game against the New York Knicks. Gee holds season averages of 4.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.0 assists in 0.9 steals in 73 contests (38 starts).
Holiday (6-4, 205) has been diagnosed with a right inferior orbital wall fracture. He will miss the remainder of the 2015-16 season. The injury occurred with 56.1 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter of last night’s game against the New York Knicks. The UCLA product has appeared in 65 games (23 starts) while averaging 16.8 points, 3.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 1.4 steals.
Milwaukee Bucks head coach Jason Kidd dropped a bombshell after practice on Tuesday.
Kidd said Giannis Antetokounmpo will be the team’s starting point guard at the beginning of next season.
The 6-foot-11 Antetokounmpo has made the transition from small forward to point guard and recorded four triple-doubles since the change was made in early February.
“We’re going to go forward with him (Antetokounmpo) handling the ball,” Kidd said. “You can call him point guard, point forward, point center, however you want to look at it.”
— Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
The Miami Heat are 43-30 this season, which is the fourth best record in the Eastern conference, slightly ahead of the Boston Celtics. And the story of their season since the NBA All-Star break has been the fantastic play of center Hassan Whiteside. Here’s ESPN.com’s blog with more:
Whiteside’s defense remained the focal point around the team, even on a night when he finished with just one block and struggled at times in his matchup with Nets center Brook Lopez, who countered with a team-high 26 points on 12-of-20 shooting from the field but also had four turnovers. But it was Whiteside’s impact on the other side of the ball that more strongly resonated for the Heat (43-30), who have scored at least 100 points in 13 of their past 14 games and are 14-6 since the All-Star break.
A major component of Miami’s recent success has been Whiteside’s spike in production, which culminated Monday with the athletic 7-footer connecting on all seven of his shots from the field and scoring 15 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter. Most of Whiteside’s baskets came on lob dunks, of which he has totaled 10 in the past two games.
In his 18 games since the All-Star break, Whiteside is averaging 18 points, 13.7 rebounds and 3.4 blocks while shooting 60.5 percent from the field in 30.6 minutes — all off the bench. He started 40 games before he suffered a left hip injury in a Jan. 20 loss in Washington, but has since settled in as a reserve, although Whiteside often plays twice as many minutes as current starting center Amar’e Stoudemire.
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James and Golden State Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, March 21 through Sunday, March 27.
James helped the Cavaliers to a 3-1 week with averages of 29.0 points (first in the Eastern Conference), 8.8 assists (second in the conference) and 8.5 rebounds. James bookended the week with triple-doubles in wins over the Denver Nuggets on March 21 and New York Knicks on March 26. In all four of Cleveland’s games, James scored 25-plus points, grabbed five or more rebounds and handed out five or more assists. James’ Cavaliers sit atop the Eastern Conference with a 52-21 record.
Thompson led the Warriors to a 4-0 week behind an NBA-best 32.3 points. He shot 62.2 percent (28-of-45) from distance and made at least five three-pointers in each of Golden State’s four games. Thompson closed the week with back-to-back 40-point games in wins over the Dallas Mavericks on March 25 and Philadelphia 76ers on March 27. Thompson’s Warriors own the league’s best record at 66-7.
Other nominees for the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Atlanta’s Paul Millsap, Boston’s Isaiah Thomas, Charlotte’s Nicolas Batum, Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki, Detroit’s Andre Drummond, Indiana’s Ian Mahinmi, the Los Angeles Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan, Miami’s Hassan Whiteside, New York’s Carmelo Anthony, and Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.
D.J. Stephens of the Iowa Energy was today named NBA Development League Performer of the Week for games played Monday, March 21 through Sunday, March 27. It’s the first Performer of the Week honor of his career.
Stephens (6-5, 188, Memphis) led Iowa to a 3-0 week, averaging 24.7 points (sixth in the league) on 61.4 percent shooting to go with 8.0 rebounds, 2.0 blocks (tied for fifth), 1.3 assists and 1.3 steals. He connected on 11-of-18 three-point attempts (61.1 percent – eighth in the league).
For the season, he is averaging just 8.2 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.3 blocks.
Other top performers considered were Austin’s Keifer Sykes, Bakersfield’s Terrico White, Idaho’s J.J. O’Brien, Reno’s Erick Green, Rio Grande Valley’s Will Cummings, Sioux Falls’ Jarnell Stokes and Texas’ Andre Dawkins.
With Sunday’s win over Philadelphia, the Warriors joined the 1995-96 and 1996-97 Bulls as the only teams to win at least 66 games in consecutive seasons. Golden State became the 15th team ever to win 66 games and joined the Celtics, Lakers and Bulls as the only franchises with multiple 66-win seasons. The Warriors must go 7-2 to break the 1995-96 Bulls’ record for wins in a season (72). Six of their final nine games are at home, where Golden State has won a record 53 straight regular-season games over two seasons. The Warriors won 18 straight home games to end their 2014-15 campaign.
— NBA Broadcasters Bulletin
The Cavaliers’ LeBron James notched his third triple-double of the season in Saturday’s 107-93 win over the Knicks. It was the 42nd triple-double of James’ career, moving him one ahead of Fat Lever and into third place on the list for most triple-doubles over the last 30 years, behind Jason Kidd (107) and Magic Johnson (65). James, who is averaging 28.4 points over his last five games, is poised to make a big move on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. He’s currently in 13th place with 26,665 points, three shy of Dominique Wilkins (26,668). Next up for James is Oscar Robertson (26,710). The Cavaliers host the Rockets on Tuesday in the first game of a doubleheader on TNT (8 p.m. ET).
— NBA Broadcasters Bulletin
After dropping consecutive games to the Celtics and Rockets, the Raptors got back in the win column on Saturday against the Pelicans. Toronto’s 49th victory tied the franchise record for wins in a season, set in 2014-15. The first crack at 50 comes tonight when the Raptors host the streaking Thunder, which has won seven straight, including Saturday’s 111-92 win over the Spurs. Toronto (49-23) trails Cleveland (52-21) by 2.5 games for the top spot in the East, and has a six-game lead over the Hawks (44-30) for third place. The Raptors are one road victory shy of matching the franchise record (22), set in 2013-14 and matched last season. They play five of their remaining 10 games on the road.
— NBA Broadcasters Bulletin
The Atlanta Hawks are 44-30 this season, which is the third best record in the Eastern conference — though the Boston Celtics are only half a game behind them. Their best player this season has been power forward Paul Millsap, who caught a shot to his head but will keep on playing. Here’s the Atlanta Journal Constitution reporting:
Atlanta Hawks power forward Paul Millsap sported a big bandage over his left eye.
It was the protective covering for a cut that required 10 stitches to close, sustained in Saturday night’s win over the Pistons. The injury won’t force him to miss Monday night’s game against the Bulls.
“It was just a head bump,” Millsap said Monday morning at Hawks shootaround. “Hurts like hell. It wouldn’t affect me at all. … Everything is good to go.”
The Detroit Pistons have signed guard Lorenzo Brown to a second 10-day contract.
Brown, a 6-5, 189-pound guard holds NBA averages of 3.3 points, 2.3 assists, 1.7 rebounds and 13.2 minutes in 63 career games with the Philadelphia 76ers, Minnesota Timberwolves and Phoenix Suns. He was signed to two 10-day contracts with the Phoenix Suns this season and averaged 2.5 points, 1.4 assists, 0.9 rebounds and 7.6 minutes in eight games.
A second-round selection (52nd overall) by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2013 NBA Draft, Brown most recently played for the Detroit Pistons NBA Developmental League affiliate, the Grand Rapids Drive. In 25 contests with the Drive, he averaged 18.3 points, 5.9 assists, 5.5 rebounds and 2.1 steals.