Timberwolves struggling badly on road




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The Timberwolves are 14-18 through Friday’s games, and their home vs away record is shocking: They’re 12-5 when playing in Minneapolis, and just 2-13 as the Away team. Here’s the Minneapolis Star Tribune reporting:

Jeff Teague was playing hurt for over a month on an injured left ankle that finally caused him to sit out the past three games. Teague is expected out for perhaps more than a week…

But now Derrick Rose is on the mend after he tried to play through his own injured left ankle, an injury that forced him out the second half of Friday’s 124-98 loss to the Spurs…

The Wolves are in a precarious spot entering Sunday’s game. Their 2-13 road record is worst in the Western Conference, and five of their next six games are on the road.

“It’s not physical. It all comes down to the mental aspect,” forward Taj Gibson said. “You’re on the road a lot and things aren’t going your way, it’s all a mental block. … We got to be resilient. We can’t worry about things we could’ve done. We have to worry about the future.”

The Timberwolves this season are being led by Karl-Anthony Towns in points (21.0 ppg), rebounds (11.6 rpg) and blocks (1.8 bpg), and by Jeff Teague in assists (8.3 apg) and Robert Covington in steals (2.5 spg).

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Ersan Ilyasova out after surgery for broken nose

Milwaukee Bucks forward Ersan Ilyasova underwent surgery yesterday to repair a fractured nose.

The injury occurred during a December 16 team practice.

Ilyasova is out, and the team hasn’t specified an estimated return date yet.

Ilyasova has played in 24 games (two starts) this season, averaging 7.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 19.9 minutes per game while shooting 43.0 percent from the field.

Chris Paul out with hamstring injury

Following an MRI yesteday afternoon, Dr. Steven Flores of Memorial Hermann has diagnosed veteran star Rockets guard Chris Paul with a Grade-2 left hamstring strain.

Paul will be re-evaluated in approximately two weeks.

The injury was sustained during the second quarter of Thursday’s game against the Heat in Miami. It was a close game, that the Rockets wound up losing, 101-99. Paul played 12 minutes, totaling four points and four assists.

Paul has played in 26 games this season, averaging 15.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 8.0 assists per game. He’s shooting just 41.5% FG, which is by far his lowest in years.

The Rockets are just 16-15 so far this season, which through Friday’s games would place them 9th in the Western conference. They have suffered a massive dropoff in defensive efficiency this season from last year.

Nets coach Kenny Atkinson fined $25,000 by NBA

NBA Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Kiki VanDeWeghe announced this evening that Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson has been fined $25,000 for verbally abusing game officials and failing to leave the court in a timely manner following his ejection.

Atkinson received a technical foul and was ejected with 1:09 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Nets’ 114-106 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Friday, Dec. 21 at Barclays Center.

Wizards sign Ron Baker, waive Okaro White

The Washington Wizards have signed free agent guard Ron Baker.

“Ron is a tough and physical defender who can give us added depth in the backcourt,” said Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld. “He is a hard-nosed player who will have the chance to earn minutes with his competitiveness and intensity.”

Baker (6-4, 220) has averaged 3.3 points, 1.8 assists and 1.5 rebounds over 92 NBA career games (14 starts), all with New York. He was released by the Knicks on Dec. 13 after averaging 1.3 points and 1.2 assists in 11 games on the season. As an undrafted rookie out of Wichita State, Baker averaged 4.1 points, 2.1 assists and 1.9 rebounds for New York during the 2016-17 season. He averaged 13.2 points over his four years as a Shocker, earning All-Missouri Valley Conference First Team honors three times and All-Defensive First Team honors once.

The Wizards have waived forward Okaro White. White, who was originally signed as a free agent on Nov. 21, appeared in three games for Washington this season.

Warriors would reportedly still like to hold onto Patrick McCaw

Remember guard Patrick McCaw? He got some attention while on the most famous team in the world, the championship-winning Warriors. He averaged 4.0 points per game in 2016-17, and that same number in 2017-18. You probably haven’t thought about him in a while. That’s because he hasn’t been on the court this season. Here’s Yahoo Sports with an update on what the Warriors may be thinking about the situation:

The Golden State Warriors are still prepared to match any offer sheet for restricted free-agent holdout guard Patrick McCaw, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

McCaw, 23, has held out this season and stayed away from the team in an attempt to secure a contract of his liking or in hopes that the Warriors would renounce him, setting free the No. 38 pick in the 2016 NBA draft to sign with any team without restriction.

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Bobby Portis injured again, out 2-4 weeks

Injuries have been a season-long problem for the 2018-19 Chicago Bulls.

Bobby Portis, who has played in just nine games so far this season, injured his right ankle in the fourth quarter of yesterday’s game against the Nets. An MRI and repeat physical exam were performed this morning, and he was diagnosed with a sprained ankle.

Portis will be out two-to-four weeks.

The Bulls are 7-25 this season, which as of today is the worst record in the NBA.

Zach LaVine injury update: Out 1-3 more weeks

Zach LaVine injured his left ankle in the fourth quarter of the Bulls game against the Orlando Magic in Mexico City on Dec. 13.

Additional medical opinions taken since then agreed with the original diagnosis of a medial ankle sprain.

LaVine will be out approximately two-to-four weeks from the date of the injury. So, he could be out around one-to-three more weeks.

The young, rebuilding Bulls are 7-25 this season. ZaVine at 23.8 points per game has been their leading scorer.

Raymond Felton and Dennis Schroder suspended one game each

Oklahoma City Thunder guards Raymond Felton and Dennis Schroder have each been suspended one game without pay for leaving the bench area during an altercation and participating in the altercation which spilled over into the spectator stands, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

As part of the same incident, Chicago Bulls center Robin Lopez has been fined $25,000 for escalating the altercation, Thunder forward Jerami Grant has been fined $20,000 for escalating the altercation, and Bulls guard Kris Dunn has been fined $15,000 for instigating the altercation by shoving Thunder guard Russell Westbrook.

The incident, for which Dunn, Westbrook, Grant and Lopez each received technical fouls, occurred with 4:27 remaining in the third quarter of Oklahoma City’s 121-96 victory over Chicago on Dec. 17 at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Felton and Schroder will serve their suspensions tonight when the Thunder visits the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center.

Evan Fournier discusses life on the road

Here’s the Orlando Sentinel reporting on the Magic, who are 8-8 at home and 6-7 on the road so far this season:

The Magic play the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday at Amway Center after two games in Mexico City. Those games were preceded by a trip to Dallas for a game against the Mavericks.

Evan Fournier was just happy to get back in his own bed.

“How about that schedule, though?” Fournier said while shaking his head. “How about that schedule? Oh my God. It’s the worst I’ve ever seen.”

The Magic — who are coming off back-to-back wins — play San Antonio, then travel to Chicago, then are home for four consecutive games before hitting the road for six games in a row.

“It’s just like… we’re never home,” said Fournier, who is in his seventh year in the NBA. “When I got into my bed last night, it felt like I haven’t seen my bed in years. I don’t know. It feels like we’re always on the road.”

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