Blazers bench off to good start

Here’s NBC Sports Northwest reporting on the Trail Blazers, whose bench has been a nice super-early season surprise:

One of the early season storylines during the Trail Blazers’ 3-1 start has been the emergence of a deep and effective bench.

Led by Evan Turner, Ed Davis and Pat Connaughton, the Blazers’ bench has the top offensive rating in the NBA (115.8), the third best net rating, and the third best plus/minus behind Toronto and the LA Clippers.

Never was the bench more on display than during Tuesday’s home opener against New Orleans, when the starters struggled and needed big games from Davis, Turner and rookie Caleb Swanigan to pull out a 103-93 victory.

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Rockets sign Isaiah Canaan

Rockets sign Isaiah Canaan

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has signed free agent guard Isaiah Canaan.

Canaan (6-0, 201) began his career with the Rockets in 2013-14 and has since played for Philadelphia and most recently Chicago last season. He has appeared in 185 career games with 60 starts.

While playing for the Sixers in 2015-16, Canaan averaged a career-high 11.0 points and ranked 15th in the NBA with 176 3-pointers made. Over a two season span from 2014-15 through 2015-16, he joined Mirza Teletovic as the only players to have averaged at least 2.0 3-pointers made while playing fewer than 24.0 minutes per game.

Canaan has hit at least three 3-pointers in a game 56 times during his career, including four or more 29 times, and a career-high 8 for Philadelphia at Oklahoma City on March 4, 2015.

Trevor Ariza out with foot sprain

The Houston Rockets announced today that forward Trevor Ariza suffered a left midfoot sprain in the game against Memphis on Monday, Oct. 23. He will not play during the team’s three-game road trip and will be re-evaluated by team doctors after the team returns to Houston.

Rockets center Nenê will miss the game at Philadelphia on Wednesday, Oct. 25 with left Achilles soreness. He will be day-to-day moving forward.

Cavs lineup undergoes shakeup

With injuries to several key guards, this change is surely temporary, but here’s ESPN.com reporting on what the Cavaliers lineup looked like in their game tonight against the Bulls:

Coach Tyronn Lue not only returned JR Smith to the Cleveland starting lineup in place of Dwyane Wade, but he also started LeBron James at point guard and Tristan Thompson at center — with Jae Crowder and Kevin Love filling out the frontcourt — when the Cavaliers hosted the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night.

The dramatic lineup change was motivated by both the Cavs’ injuries (Isaiah Thomas continues to rehab his right hip while Derrick Rose missed his second straight game with a sprained left ankle) and by the Bulls’ lineup featuring 7-foot Robin Lopez.

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Joe Ingles fined by NBA

Utah Jazz forward Joe Ingles has been fined $15,000 for making contact with the groin area of Oklahoma City’s Steven Adams, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The incident occurred with 8:53 remaining in the 3rd quarter of the Jazz’s 96-87 win over the Thunder on Saturday, Oct. 21 at Vivint Smart Home Arena.

Dante Exum undergoes shoulder surgery

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The following is a medical update on Utah Jazz guard Danté Exum:

Exum underwent a successful procedure Tuesday morning to stabilize the AC joint in his left shoulder. The procedure was performed in Los Angeles by Dr. Neal ElAttrache. Exum will return to Salt Lake City to begin his rehabilitation and will remain out indefinitely. Further updates will be provided when appropriate.

The Australian appeared in 66 games (26 starts) last season for Utah, averaging a career-high 6.2 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 18.6 minutes per contest. Additionally, the 22-year-old saw action in seven 2017 NBA Playoff games, owning averages of 4.6 points and 1.3 assists in 12.0 minutes per game.

Josh Jackson fined by NBA

Phoenix Suns forward Josh Jackson has been fined $35,000 for making a menacing gesture on the playing court and directing inappropriate language toward a fan, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The incident occurred with 6:10 remaining in the 4th quarter of the Suns’ 130-88 loss to the LA Clippers on Saturday, Oct. 21 at Staples Center.

Lakers exercise options on Brandon Ingram and Larry Nance Jr

The Los Angeles Lakers have exercised their team options for the 2018-19 season on Brandon Ingram and Larry Nance Jr., it was announced today by General Manager Rob Pelinka.

Ingram, the second overall selection in the 2016 NBA Draft, appeared in 79 games (40 starts) as a rookie last season, averaging 9.4 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.1 assists, en route to All-Rookie Second Team honors. Ingram has started all three games this season, tallying 14.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 28.8 minutes.

Selected 27th overall in the 2015 NBA Draft, Nance Jr. played in 126 games (29 starts) over the last two seasons, notching 6.3 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.1 steals per game. In three games (three starts) this season, Nance Jr. is averaging 11.3 points (.556 FG%), 7.0 rebounds, 1.0 blocks and 1.0 steals in 22.0 minutes.

Clippers to host WWE Night on October 28

The L.A. Clippers today announced that the team will host WWE Night at STAPLES Center on Saturday, October 28 against the Detroit Pistons at 7:30 p.m. WWE Superstars The Miz, Becky Lynch, Enzo Amore and Darren Young will be in attendance to participate in WWE-themed elements throughout the run of show.

All fans that purchase tickets with the promo code ‘WWE’ will receive a throwback WWE-style Clippers T-Shirt, and 10 lucky fans who purchase the WWE package will win a pre-game meet & greet opportunity with one or more of the WWE superstars. In addition, there will be WWE prize giveaways throughout the night, including tickets to Monday Night RAW on December 4 at STAPLES Center and Pay-Per-View chairs from past events.

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has signed free agent guard Briantê Weber to a two-way contract. Weber will immediately be transferred to Houston’s single-affiliation NBA G League partner Rio Grande Valley.

Weber (6-2, 175) was eligible for the 2015 NBA Draft following his senior season at Virginia Commonwealth University. Over the past two seasons, he has played for Memphis, Miami, Golden State, and Charlotte.

Last season, Weber was named All-NBA D-League Second Team after averaging 16.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 7.3 assists and 3.3 steals in 31 games for the Sioux Falls Skyforce.

NBA rosters have expanded from 15 to 17 players with the additional spots available for players under two-way contracts. Teams may have up to two players under two-way contracts who will spend the bulk of the regular season in the NBA G League and not more than 45 days with their NBA team. Only players with four or fewer years of NBA service are eligible to sign two-way contracts, which can be for either one or two seasons.

CJ Wilcox out after knee surgery

Portland Trail Blazers two-way guard CJ Wilcox underwent successful arthroscopy on his right knee today, it was announced by president of basketball operations Neil Olshey.

The procedure was performed by Dr. Evan Ellis at Southwest Washington Surgery Center.

The Trail Blazers signed Wilcox to a two-way contract on August 9. He is expected to miss 6-8 weeks.

The Denver Nuggets have assigned rookie Tyler Lydon and transferred rookie Monte Morris to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers and transferred rookie Torrey Craig to the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the NBA G League, President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced today.

Craig, 6-6, 215, appeared in four preseason games for Denver, averaging 6.8 minutes per game. He also played in six summer league games (two starts) for the Nuggets, averaging 11.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.33 steals and 1.00 blocks per game.

Lydon, 6-10, 225, was acquired by Denver along with Trey Lyles in a draft night trade with Utah. He appeared in all five of Denver’s preseason games, averaging 1.0 points and 1.0 rebounds in 5.3 minutes per game.

Morris, 6-3, 175, was selected by Denver with the 51st pick of the 2017 NBA Draft. He played in three preseason games for the Nuggets, averaging 3.0 points and 4.3 minutes per game.

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry has been fined $50,000 for throwing his mouthpiece in the direction of a game official, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The incident, for which Curry was ejected, occurred with 43.6 seconds remaining in the 4th quarter of the Warriors’ 111-101 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday, Oct. 21 at FedEx Forum.

As part of the same incident, Warriors forward Andre Iguodala has been fined $15,000 for verbally abusing a game official.

Nets assign Isaiah Whitehead to G League

Nets assign Isaiah Whitehead to G League

Brooklyn Nets guard Isaiah Whitehead has been assigned to the Long Island Nets, the NBA G League affiliate of the Brooklyn Nets.

The assignment marks Whitehead’s first career stint with the LI Nets and also marks Long Island’s first assignment of the 2017-18 season. In 73 games (26 starts) with Brooklyn last season, Whitehead recorded averages of 7.4 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 22.5 minutes per contest.

Celtics hope to utilize Marcus Morris soon

The Celtics came into the season optimistic about their new stars. Then, right away, Gordon Hayward was lost, and Boston’s hopes were put into a tailspin. But at least some partial relief should soon be on the way. Here’s the Boston Herald reporting:

Celtics hope to utilize Marcus Morris soon

The Celtics are not going to find one player to replace Gordon Hayward, but they are a little closer to adding a big forward who can score.

Marcus Morris is hoping to get into the rotation this week after arriving late to training camp because of his legal matter in Arizona and then dealing with left knee soreness that cost him the club’s first three games. Brad Stevens said Morris will be reevaluated this week, but if he can participate in today’s practice, there is at least a chance that Morris could see time against the Knicks here tomorrow night.

As one would expect, the Celts are being cautious.

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The Miami Heat have assigned center A.J. Hammons to their NBA G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce. Derrick Walton Jr. will also join the Skyforce as part of his two-way contract.

Hammons, who was selected in the second round (46th overall) by Dallas in the 2016 NBA Draft, appeared in 22 games with the Mavericks last season and averaged 2.2 points and 1.6 rebounds in 7.4 minutes of action while shooting 40.5 percent from the field. Additionally, he was named the 2016 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and to the All-Big Ten First Team during his senior season at Purdue.

Hassan Whiteside dealing with knee bruise

Here’s the Palm Beach Post reporting on a very key member of the Heat:

Hassan Whiteside dealing with knee bruise

Center Hassan Whiteside will miss his second game because of bruised left knee when the Heat host the Atlanta Hawks tonight and coach Erik Spoelstra will go with the same starting five from Miami’s home-opening win against Indiana.

Whiteside sat out the 112-108 victory Saturday after bumping knees with Magic center Nikola Vucevic three nights earlier. The Heat are giving no timetable for his return, only saying he is day-to-day.

“He’s feeling better, he’s doing more but he won’t play tonight,” Spoelstra said today after the team’s shootaround. “Stay with the routine and he’s doing a great job at that.”

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Julyan Stone injured, out 4-6 weeks

Julyan Stone injured, out 4-6 weeks

Charlotte Hornets guard Julyan Stone has suffered a Grade 2 strain of his left hamstring. The injury occurred in practice on Sunday, Oct. 22 and he did not travel with the team to Milwaukee.

Stone is listed as out for tonight’s game against the Bucks and his expected recovery time is estimated at four to six weeks. Further updates on his status will be provided when available.

Stone, a 6-6 guard and fourth-year player out of Texas-El Paso, appeared in the Hornets first two games and averaged 3.0 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 9.0 minutes per game. For his career, he has averaged 1.4 points, 1.1 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 49 games with the Denver Nuggets, Toronto Raptors and Hornets. Stone signed with Charlotte as a free agent on Aug. 23, 2017 after playing with Reyer Venezia Mestre of the Lega Basket Serie A in Italy.

Milos Teodosic out with a plantar fascia injury

Clippers guard Milos Teodosic suffered a plantar fascia injury in his left foot during the second quarter of the Clippers’ game against Phoenix on October 21. Teodosic will be out indefinitely.

Teodosic, 30, has started in two games this season, and has averaged 5.5 points and 4.0 assists in 16.0 minutes. He appeared in four games for the Clippers in the preseason (three starts), and averaged 6.8 points, 5.5 assists and 1.00 steals in 24.9 minutes.

Jonas Valanciunas out with ankle sprain

Jonas Valanciunas out with ankle sprain

Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas is out with a sprained left ankle.

Valanciunas travelled with the team on its six-game road trip, which begins Monday against San Antonio.
The injury occurred after Valanciunas landed on the foot of the Philadelphia 76ers’ Dario Saric in the second quarter of Saturday night’s game. He did not return.

His condition will be evaluated on a regular basis.

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