Gordon Hayward speaks on injury

The Celtics began the season locked and loaded, then right away in Game 1 new small forward addition Gordon Hayward suffered a horrible injury. Here’s Boston.com with some of his written comments today about the entire ordeal:

On his thoughts immediately following the injury: “It was like once my brain figured out what had happened, I was hit with shots of pain. The training staff came running over to me super fast, but however long it was—three seconds, five seconds—I just remember sitting there, looking at my foot the wrong way, and it felt like an eternity. Dr. Rosneck, the Cavaliers doctor, braced me as he explained that they wanted to try and pop my ankle back into place. I held on, and the moment they did it, there was just a massive shot of pain, probably the most pain I’ve ever felt in my life.”

On the current state of the Celtics: “We have such a young, exciting team filled with incredible character guys. I owe it to all of them to find my way to contribute. Some of the younger players will have to grow up a little quicker than was planned. They’re going to be thrust into situations where they’ll have a lot more responsibility. But this will be terrific for their careers. There is nothing better than experience in the NBA, and they’re going to get a lot of it. I still believe that by the end of the season, we can be something truly special.”

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And here’s ESPN.com with more:

Hayward acknowledged that his surgery included both repairing the bone he fractured in his ankle and repairing torn ligaments. While some have wondered if he might be able to return this season, Hayward wrote that he does not expect to be back…

In detailing the moment of the injury in his blog, Hayward wrote, “Immediately, I knew something was off, but when I landed, it wasn’t a huge amount of pain. I rolled over and saw my foot, and it was pointed in completely the wrong direction. My first thought was, ‘Oh. This isn’t good. There’s something very wrong here.’”

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How do you describe Russell Westbrook? Which other athletes should he be compared to? For one fun answer, here’s the Norman Transcript reporting:

Jason Kidd compares Russell Westbrook to Mike Tyson

Milwaukee Bucks coach Jason Kidd had to go to another sport to find a comparison for Russell Westbrook.

“He is the [Mike] Tyson of basketball,” Kidd said before the Thunder’s Tuesday night game in Milsaukee. “From the jump ball, he is coming as Tyson did get off the stool. When the bell rings, he’s coming for you. And whenever he’s on the floor, he plays at one speed, and that’s fast and hard.”

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Grizzlies exercise option on Jarell Martin

Memphis Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace today announced the team has exercised the fourth-year contract option on forward Jarell Martin.

Martin (6-10, 239) has started six of his seven appearances this season and averaged 7.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.29 blocks in 23.9 minutes, all career highs. Selected with the 25th overall pick of the 2015 NBA Draft following his sophomore season at Louisiana State University, the Baton Rouge native has competed in 76 career games (nine starts) with the Grizzlies and averaged 4.8 points and 3.7 rebounds in 14.5 minutes.

In addition, the 23-year-old has appeared in 32 games (25 starts) in two seasons with the NBA G League’s Iowa Energy (now Wolves) and averaged 15.6 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 28.4 minutes.

Memphis Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace today announced the team has exercised the fourth-year contract option on forward Jarell Martin. Martin is now signed through the 2018-19 season.

Martin (6-10, 239) has started six of his seven appearances this season and averaged 7.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.29 blocks in 23.9 minutes, all career highs. Selected with the 25th overall pick of the 2015 NBA Draft following his sophomore season at Louisiana State University, the Baton Rouge native has competed in 76 career games (nine starts) with the Grizzlies and averaged 4.8 points and 3.7 rebounds in 14.5 minutes.

In addition, the 23-year-old has appeared in 32 games (25 starts) in two seasons with the NBA G League’s Iowa Energy (now Wolves) and averaged 15.6 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 28.4 minutes.

Philadelphia 76ers President of Basketball Operations Bryan Colangelo announced today that the team has exercised the third-year options on the contracts of guard-forward Ben Simmons, forward Dario Šarić and guard-forward Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot, as well as the fourth-year option on the contract of guard-forward Justin Anderson.

By exercising their options, these players will be under contract with the Sixers for the 2018-19 season.

Simmons, the first overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, is in the midst of his first NBA season. He became just the third player ever to post a triple-double within the first four games of his career when he registered 21 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists against Detroit on Oct. 23. The Australia native began his career with double-doubles in his first four games as he was the first player to do so since Shaquille O’Neal notched double-doubles in his first 11 career contests in 1992-93.

Šarić, who was acquired by Philadelphia in a draft-night trade in 2014 after being selected 12th overall by the Orlando Magic, joined teammate Joel Embiid on the NBA’s All-Rookie First Team a season ago, after finishing second in Rookie of the Year voting. In his debut season, the Croatia native played in 81 games (36 starts) and averaged 12.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 26.3 minutes per game. He was the 11th rookie in franchise history to score at least 1,000 points (1,068) and the first foreign-born member of the group.

Luwawu-Cabarrot was drafted by the Sixers with the 24th overall selection in the 2016 NBA Draft. He went on to appear in 69 games (19 starts), averaging 6.4 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game as a rookie in 2016-17. The 6-6 swingman from France, started the last 18 games of the season while averaging 12.9 points in those contests. He produced a 23-point performance at Toronto on April 2 and a career-high 24-point outing vs. Indiana on April 10.

Anderson, who was acquired by the Sixers on Feb. 23, 2017 from the Dallas Mavericks, has appeared in 29 games for Philadelphia. His best outing as a Sixer came on April 12 at New York, when he tallied a career-high 26 points on 9-of-11 shooting. Against his former team on Mar. 17, Anderson scored 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting and grabbed eight rebounds in 26 minutes. As a member of the 76ers, he has increased his scoring, rebounding and assist averages as well as his field goal and three-point percentages. The third-year man out of Virginia was originally selected by Dallas with the 21st overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.

The Boston Celtics have exercised both the third-year rookie scale option on Jaylen Brown and the fourth-year rookie scale option on Terry Rozier III.

Selected by the Celtics with the third overall pick of the 2016 NBA Draft, Brown, 21, has averaged 7.3 points (44.9% FG, 33.9% 3-PT, 67.5% FT), 3.1 rebounds and 18.5 minutes in 85 career games (27 starts). Named to the NBA’s All-Rookie Second Team in 2016-17, Brown is currently producing 15.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.00 steal through the first seven games (all starts) of his second NBA season.

Now in his third NBA season after being selected by Boston with the 16th pick of the 2015 NBA Draft, Rozier III, 23, has averaged 4.6 points (35.1% FG, 31.1% 3-PT, 76.5% FT), 2.7 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 120 career games over two-plus NBA seasons. In seven games in 2017-18, Rozier III has recorded 9.4 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 24.6 minutes.

The Sacramento Kings have exercised its 2018-19 options on center Willie Cauley-Stein, guards Buddy Hield and Malachi Richardson, forward Skal Labissiere, and center Georgios Papagiannis, according to Kings General Manager Vlade Divac.

Cauley-Stein is entering his third season with the Kings after being selected with the sixth overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. An All-Rookie Second Team honoree as a rookie, Cauley-Stein has registered 7.7 points (.544 FG%, .656 FT%) and 5.0 rebounds in 20.3 minutes per contest over 145 career games played (started 64).

An 2016-17 NBA All-Rookie First Team honoree, Buddy Hield amassed 10.6 points (.422 FG%, .384 3pt%, .852 FT%), 3.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists in 23.2 minutes per game in 82 games with New Orleans and Sacramento after being selected sixth overall in the 2016 NBA Draft by the Pelicans.

Richardson enters his second season with the Kings after being with the 22nd overall pick in 2016 NBA Draft and registered 3.6 points (.412 FG%, .286 3pt%, .789 FT%) and 1.0 rebounds in 9.0 minutes per game in 22 games played.

Selected 28th overall in the 2016 NBA Draft, Labissiere enters his second season with the Kings. As a rookie during the 2016-17 season, Labissiere averaged 8.8 points (.537 FG%, .375 3pt%, .703 FT%), 4.9 rebounds in 18.5 minutes per game in 33 games played (started 12).

Papagiannis also enters his second season with the Kings after being selected with the 13th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft and averaged 5.6 points (.549 FG%, .857 FT%), 3.9 rebounds in 16.1 minutes in 22 games played.

Draymond Green steps up in win vs Clippers

The Warriors haven’t been at their best most of the still-new season so far, but they certainly made a statement in yesterday’s absolute domination of the Clippers. The whole Warriors team did well, including Draymond Green, who was due for a breakout performance. Here’s the San Jose Mercury News reporting:

The shot went off Draymond Green’s hands and sailed into the air. It dropped into the basket, leading the Warriors’ forward to yell and let out an infectious smile.

The fourth-quarter basket technically bore little significance as the Warriors were already on their way toward a breezy 141-113 victory over the Clippers on Monday. To Green, though? The shot meant everything.

“When you’re missing like I’ve been missing, it feels good to make one,” Green said afterwards with a grin. “It pisses you off badly when you miss another one.”

A day after he vowed he needed to play more aggressively, though, Green did not hinge his performance on how well he shot the ball. Instead, he posted a 16-point performance by blending in a lot of attacking (5-of-8 from the field), a lot of defense (nine rebounds), a good amount of playmaking (six assists) and a little outside shooting (1-of-2).

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Pistons had big week in NBA

The Detroit Pistons capped Week 2 with a comeback victory at Golden State on Sunday, extending their winning streak to three games. One day earlier, Detroit handed the LA Clippers their first loss of the season. The Pistons have shown impressive versatility during their Eastern Conference-best 5-2 start. Tobias Harris already has two 30-point games this season after not recording any last season. Reggie Jackson is healthy again and playing with confidence; his new backcourt mate, Avery Bradley, has provided defense and three-point shooting after arriving in an offseason trade from the Boston Celtics. And Andre Drummond remains a force in the paint. Detroit completes its three-game road trip against the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday at 10:30 p.m. ET on NBA TV.

– NBA Broadcasters Bulletin

Discussion Thread

Grizzlies off to great season start

The spirit of “Grit and Grind” is alive and well in Memphis as the Grizzlies have gotten off to an NBA-best 5-1 start through Week 2, including two wins over the Houston Rockets and a victory against the defending champion Golden State Warriors. Stars Marc Gasol and Mike Conley have embraced the opportunity to lead a collection of tough-minded players with something to prove. Starters Andrew Harrison and James Ennis are former second-round picks. Rookie Dillon Brooks, another second-round pick, has made an immediate impact. Veterans Tyreke Evans, Mario Chalmers and Brandan Wright have fortified the bench along with Chandler Parsons, who scored 24 points against the Rockets on Saturday. Parsons is seeking to regain the form that made him a top free-agent signing two summers ago.

– NBA Broadcasters Bulletin

Discussion Thread

Will Knicks keep Jarrett Jack?

Here’s NY Newsday reporting on veteran guard Jarrett Jack, who has been helpful to the Knicks so far this short season:

Will Knicks keep Jarrett Jack?

Jarrett Jack is the only Knick with a non-guaranteed deal, but he’s making it very easy for the team to keep him.

They will have to do something soon to create a roster spot. The Knicks have been able to carry an extra guy on the roster because Joakim Noah is on the suspended list. Management could try to trade someone for a draft pick or do a two-for-one deal to keep Jack before Noah comes off in two weeks.

Jack became the Knicks’ starting point guard three games ago. Jack’s calming influence on the court helped the Knicks to wins over the Nets and Cavaliers in his first two games. He totaled 14 assists and three turnovers in his first two starts.

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Here’s a fun item on Thunder forward Carmelo Anthony, who has brought to OKC a catch-phrase he apparently yells each time he grabs a rebound. And amusing comments from joke-cracking teammate Steven Adams. The Norman Transcript reports:

Carmelo Anthony’s rebounding has gone viral — and it’s not because of the quality of his boarding.

Anthony has developed a catch phrase: every time he corrals a missed shot, he screams “Get the [expletive] out of here!” It’s loud enough that the microphone on to the rim often picks up the sound.

“I’ve been doing it for a long time,” he said. “I think now it’s just coming with the whole mindset thing, focus, that motivation to want to get that on the rebound attempt and being aggressive on the glass and just kind of motivating myself.”

Of course, Thunder center Steven Adams, who has never, ever cursed in his whole life, has stronger thoughts on Anthony’s on-court profanities.

“I let him get [the rebound]. He doesn’t have to say those harsh words,” Adams said of Anthony calling him off for boards. “He doesn’t have to talk like that, mate…It’s a bit mean. I thought we were on good terms.”

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Hornets exercise option on Frank Kaminsky

Charlotte Hornets General Manager Rich Cho announced today that the team has exercised its fourth-year option on forward Frank Kaminsky.

“We’re happy to have Frank as a part of what we’re developing here in Charlotte,” Cho said. “His work ethic and commitment to improvement are showing early returns this season and we look forward to what the future holds for Frank.”

The 7-0 Wisconsin product is in his third NBA season after appearing in 156 games (19 starts) in his first two seasons in Charlotte. In five games this season, Kaminsky is averaging 14.2 points per game on 45.6% shooting, a mark good for sixth in the NBA in bench scoring. He holds career averages of 9.6 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 23.7 minutes per game in 161 contests. Kaminsky was selected by the Hornets ninth overall in the first round of the 2015 NBA Draft.

Pelicans sign Josh Smith

Pelicans sign Josh Smith

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today the team has signed forward Josh Smith after receiving an injury hardship exemption by the NBA.

Smith, 6-9, 225, most recently played for Sichuan Blue Whales of the Chinese Basketball Association, appearing in 26 games in China, Smith averaged 18.8 points, 10.6 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.0 blocks.

A 12-year NBA veteran, Smith has appeared in 891 career regular season games (772 starts) with Atlanta, Detroit, Houston and the Los Angeles Clippers, holding career averages of 14.6 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.9 blocks in 32.5 minutes per game. Additionally, Smith has appeared in 73 career postseason games (60 starts), averaging 14.6 points, 7.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.5 blocks in 31.6 minutes.

Selected 17th overall by Atlanta in the 2004 NBA Draft out of Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.), Smith was named to the NBA All-Defensive Team in 2010.

Smith will wear #5 and be available for New Orleans’ game tonight against the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Smoothie King Center.

Bulls exercise options on Bobby Portis, Kris Dunn, Denzel Valentine, Jerian Grant and Cameron Payne

The Chicago Bulls have exercised third-year options on guards Kris Dunn and Denzel Valentine, and fourth-year options on guards Jerian Grant and Cameron Payne, along with forward Bobby Portis. By exercising their options, all players will be under contract with the Bulls for the 2018-19 season.

The Bulls acquired Dunn in a Draft-night trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves last offseason in which Dunn, Zach LaVine and the rights to Lauri Markkanen were exchanged for Jimmy Butler and the draft rights to Justin Patton. In his rookie year with the Timberwolves, Dunn played in 78 games (7 starts) and averaged 3.8 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists. He ranked sixth among rookies in assists, second in steals and fourth in blocks. Dunn has missed the start of the 2017-18 season while rehabbing the dislocation of his left index finger.

Valentine was selected 14th overall by Chicago in the 2016 NBA Draft. The Michigan State product saw time in 57 games and averaged 5.1 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game his rookie year. Valentine hit at least one 3-pointer in 15 consecutive games from March 8 to April 4, and hit multiple 3-pointers in seven games in a row from March 8 to 18, both of which were the longest such streaks on the team last season. He scored a career-high 19 points with five 3-pointers made at Washington on Jan. 10. This season, Valentine is averaging 10.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.3 assists through four games.

Grant has played in 67 games for the Bulls after completing his rookie year with the New York Knicks (76 games). He was acquired by the Bulls, along with Jose Calderon and Robin Lopez, in a trade for Derrick Rose, Justin Holiday and a 2017 second-round pick on June 22, 2016. Grant has career averages of 5.9 points, 1.9 rebounds and 2.3 rebounds per game, but through four games (4 starts) this season is averaging 10.8 points, 4.0 rebounds and 7.3 assists. He has posted his first two career double-doubles in his last six regular season games: April 10, 2017, and Oct. 24, 2017.

Payne was traded to Chicago on Feb. 23, 2017, along with Joffrey Lauvergne and Anthony Morrow, for Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott and a 2018 second round draft pick. The former Mr. Basketball in Tennessee has career averages of 5.0 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists through 88 games. He only appeared in 31 games in 2016-17, missing time due to a right foot injury, but in the 10 games he played with the Bulls, Payne averaged 4.9 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 12.9 minutes. He has not played in 2017-18 while recovering from offseason surgery on his right foot.

Selected by the Bulls 22nd-overall in the 2015 NBA Draft, Portis has appeared in 126 games (17 starts) with career averages of 6.9 points and 5.0 rebounds. He was the 25th player in Bulls history to have a double-digit scoring career debut (10 points in 10 minutes at Charlotte on Nov. 3), and was the first Bull to post a double-double with 20 points and 11 boards in one of his first five career games since Elton Brand in 1999 (at New York on Dec. 19). He scored a postseason-high 19 points with nine rebounds in his playoff debut on April 16 at Boston. Portis has not played in 2017-18 while serving an eight-game team suspension.

NBA notes, Oct. 26, 2017

Cleveland’s Isaiah Thomas guest-starred as himself on Wednesday’s episode of Law & Order: SVU, one of his favorite television shows. “To be a part of SVU is something I’ll tell people about forever,” Thomas said.

Brooklyn is the first team to score at least 115 points in each of its first five games since the 1985-86 Pistons. The Nets have opened 3-0 at home for the first time since the 2002-03 season.

With San Antonio’s 4-0 start, coach Gregg Popovich has moved within two victories of passing Phil Jackson (1,155) for sixth place on the NBA’s all-time coaching wins list.

Cleveland’s LeBron James needs 75 points to become the seventh player in NBA history to reach the 29,000-point mark.

On Wednesday, 24-year-old Andre Drummond of Detroit became the second-youngest player to reach 5,000 career rebounds. Dwight Howard did it at age 23 in 2009.

– Via NBA News newsletter

The Warriors have the same core roster this season as last, so on paper they’re still the best team in the NBA. However, on the court so far, they’ve been disappointing. The season is still brand new. So, no reason to panic. Way too early. Still, here’s the San Jose Mercury News/Bay Area News Group reporting:

So far this season, Golden State is yet to put together a 48-minute game where they look good on both ends of the court, but outside of pride, what’s their incentive to go all-out for a full game? This Warriors roster is so talented, they can win with mediocre all-around performances on a near nightly basis.

Offensively, the Warriors are fine so far this season. The Golden State offense doesn’t seem to be fully operational, but the talent on the court at any given moment is so lopsided that it hasn’t mattered — the Warriors are going to put roughly 120 points on the board every single night.

The issue for Golden State — the reason they’re 3-2 on the season and could easily be 2-3 with a 0-2 home record — is the defense.

“Our defense has been horrible,” Green said. “Nobody’s communicating.”

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Having a star-filled team as the Celtics do is great, but when the bulk core of the team has changed, it’s a major challenge for the squad’s head coach to quickly transform them into a contender. It’s a nice problem to have — having talent — but it’s still a daunting task when the talent has little experience playing together. But things get even tougher when the team goes through training camp and preseason, then loses a key star to injury just as the regular season begins. Here’s ESPN Boston reporting:

Brad Stevens was already facing a unique challenge entering the 2017-18 season, when the Celtics brought back just four players from a 53-win team and essentially asked him to rebuild a puzzle that took four seasons of perpetual piece-shifting to construct.

Then six minutes into Boston’s season-opener last week in Cleveland, Hayward fractured his ankle as he landed awkwardly after going up for an alley-oop. The team is operating under the notion that Hayward will not play again this season as he begins what Stevens has suggested is at least a five-month recovery.

With new Celtic Marcus Morris still working his way into game shape after missing the start of training camp while on trial in Arizona and Marcus Smart sidelined early in the season with an ankle injury, Stevens found himself operating with a roster in which six of his 12 available bodies were rookies.

At one point late in Tuesday’s win over the New York Knicks, Stevens had a lineup of Jabari Bird (a rookie second-round pick on a G-League two-way contract), Shane Larkin (who played in Spain last season), Abdel Nader (a 2016 second-round draft pick and the G-League Rookie of the Year while stashed domestically last season), Semi Ojeleye (a 2017 second-round pick), and Daniel Theis (a 25-year-old German import this offseason) on the floor.

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Manu Ginobili cheered on road in Miami

Here’s the San Antonio Express News with a feel-good report about a legendary visiting player being treated kindly on the road in Miami:

Manu Ginobili cheered on road in Miami

Heat fans showed their appreciation for Spurs guard Manu Ginobili by giving the 40-year-old future Hall of Famer a standing ovation when he exited Wednesday night’s game for good with 1:52 left.

“It’s always great when it happens on the road,” Ginobili said. “I am kind of spoiled here because there’s so many Argentinians. When I come here, I see all them come to support me and it feels like home. It’s great. Of course, I am thankful.”

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Pistons enjoy big win vs Timberwolves

The Timberwolves were without Jimmy Butler, but still, nice win by the Pistons. Here’s the Detroit News reporting:

After another slow start, the Pistons got it together quickly.

And did they ever get it together.

After falling into another hole in the first quarter, the Pistons responded with their best quarter of the season — a 40-point second-quarter outburst — and cruised in the second half.

That was more than enough to fuel a 122-101 blowout victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night at Little Caesars Arena.

Tobias Harris had 34 points, Avery Bradley added 20 points and Andre Drummond 15 points and 15 rebounds for the Pistons (3-2), who embark on a three-game west-coast trip this weekend.

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Wade Baldwin undergoes thumb surgery

Portland Trail Blazers two-way guard Wade Baldwin underwent successful surgery to repair an ulnar collateral ligament tear in his right thumb, it was announced today by president of basketball operations Neil Olshey.

The procedure was performed by Dr. Michelle Carlson at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

The Trail Blazers signed Baldwin to a two-way contract on October 19. He is expected to miss six weeks.

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