Posted on: February 13, 2012 1:00 pm

Brandon Bass out 10-14 days

Posted by Royce Young

The Celtics are a team that need their depth because they're older and in this lockout condensed season. But one part of it will be missing for the 10-14 days as Brandon Bass because of an inflammation in his right knee.

Via ESPN Boston:
Bass felt some discomfort in the knee during a win over the New York Knicks on Feb. 3. He sat out the following game against the Memphis Grizzlies, but played in three games last week. Rivers said the news came as a bit of a surprise to him, as he was informed by team trainer Eddie Lacerte on Sunday morning that Bass almost certainly will be out through the All-Star break, which begins Feb. 23.

"We knew his knee was bothering him, but then he got the treatment, and he missed that one game," Rivers said. "There was nothing said after the Toronto game. Then Eddie called me this morning and told me he was out, and out for a while. That was a surprise."

The Celtics are already kind of scratching and clawing their way along so losing their top reserve player for two weeks isn't something to just dismiss. Boston needs their depth as much as anyone and have already been hit hard by injuries and other things.

Behind him the Celtics have Chris Wilcox, but he's been starting because of an injury to Jermaine O'Neal. Rookie JaJuan Johnson saw big minutes Sunday against the Bulls and produced relatively well.

Bass, who was acquired for Glen Davis right before the season, is averaging 11.6 points and 6.1 rebounds per game, both career-highs.
Posted on: February 8, 2012 7:13 pm
Edited on: February 9, 2012 4:54 pm

Kyrie Irving (concussion) still day-to-day

Kyrie Irving remains day-to-day. (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore and Ben Golliver 

Update (Thursday): The Cleveland Cavaliers issued a statement on Thursday, indicating that guard Kyrie Irving remains day-to-day after undergoing further examination as he awaits clearance under the NBA's new concussion policy. The Cavaliers next play on Friday night against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Original Post (Wednesday): The Cavaliers unexpectedly announced Wednesday night prior to the Cavaliers' game against the Clippers that Kyrie Irving sustained a concussion after a knee to the head Tuesday night versus the Heat

Irving was evaluated overnight and after being diagnosed with a concussion, is out Wednesday and considered day-to-day. There's no official timeline for his return, which is no surprise since concussion recovery times can wildly vary depending on severity and the ambiguous nature of the recovery process. 

Irving has posted a 21.6 PER this season, shooting 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from the perimeter, and 83 percent from the stripe, numbers which put him close to some of the best rookies in NBA history, while averaging 18 points and 5 assists for the surprising Cavs. 

The NBA has discussed in recent months a new policy procedure for handling concussions. 

Posted on: February 7, 2012 6:39 pm
Edited on: February 8, 2012 8:04 am

Clippers can and must move on without Billups

Chauncey Billups will miss at least eight months after suffering a torn left Achilles tendon. (Getty Images)

By Matt Moore

You have to wonder how angry at fate Chauncey Billups is. 

Billups was traded from Detroit to his hometown of Denver. He was part of a winning team there, advancing to the Conference Finals and giving the Lakers a fight. Things were headed in a good direction for him to finish his career as part of a contender.

Less than 24 months later, facing surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon, there has to be a lot of confusion and resentment over how things got to this point.

After all, it wasn't Billups who wished to leave Denver. He had his agent leak that he would be unhappy being part of any move made. But the Carmelo Anthony saga was bigger than Billups, bigger than any of the other nearly dozen players involved. Billups was sucked up into it and shipped to New York. And Billups went along with it. He was a pro. He tried working in a system that was not suited to his needs, dealt with having his pride damaged by essentially being a tag-a-long to the gunner star Melo and his reality television wife. Here was a player who had a title to his name suffering to the whims of a superstar without jewelry. But he went along with it.

The Knicks were looking at moves. Billups asked them to not trade him. Then the Knicks started talking about bringing in Tyson Chandler, which would mean they'd need to amnesty Billups. Fine with him, he'd still get paid. But the way the amnesty structure was set up in a CBA (which Billups likely did not want but was willing to take like the rest of the players just to end the lockout), another team could claim him off waivers for a portion of his salary. For Billups, that was enough. He'd dealt with being traded like meat, that comes with part of the business. He'd dealt with being baggage to the Melo circus, again, part of the business. He'd done his best in New York like a professional. But if he was going to be waived, he was not going to wind up on a cellar-dweller. 

So he made it known. A professional his whole career, a locker-room leader and NBA champion, he had to openly threaten teams with disrupting their teams if they tried to bring him into a rebuilder.

The Clippers took him anyway.

And Billups was not happy about it, but in the end, his professionalism won out. He didn't show up surly. He didn't show up angry. Even when once again he became a part of a freakshow with the trade of Chris Paul, he did his thing. They wanted him to move to shooting guard. Sure thing.

And now, this.

Maybe he would have gotten injured anyway. Maybe his Achilles was a ticking time bomb. And he still gets paid, after all. The full amount of his contract. But consider that it's likely that Billups' career ends this way:

He suffered a potentially career-ending injury playing for a team who signed him off amnesty waivers after he specifically asked them not to using a clause in the CBA which he did not want from a team he didn't want to be sent to in the first place due the Melo drama which had nothing to do with him.

His season is over. He will not play for Team USA this summer. His career may be over. 

It is not difficult to come to the conclusion that Chauncey Billups deserved better than this. 

As for the Clippers, many will begin talks that this damages their team irreparably. But a quick look at the roster confirms that the Clippers are in as good a position to survive this as any team can be. They have a number of options. Observe: 

1. Move Caron Butler to shooting guard, start Ryan Gomes. Butler has flourished in the small forward position, stretching the floor. But he can just as easily move to two-guard. Ryan Gomes can fill the gap at small forward and from there out, the Clippers employ a large number of three-guard lineups anyway.

2. Start Randy Foye, keep Mo Williams off the bench, Butler stays at the three. This is what the Clippers have done when Billups has missed games due to a myriad of injuries. Foye is not at all Billups, but he is younger and more athletic. What's more, Foye is less likely to force the issue and try and score on his own, more likely to facilitate both Chris Paul and Blake Griffin along with Butler.

3. Start Mo Williams, bring Foye off the bench. Mo Williams has been a potential sixth man of the year candidate this season and has played exceptionally well. He would likely welcome a move to the starting lineup for his pride's sake and despite not having Billups' size, can work just fine next to Paul as a shooter. Williams is a scoring point regardless, and with the Clippers using Paul as a decoy on many possessions anyway, Williams can create with Griffin and DeAndre Jordan just as well.

4. Sign J.R. Smith, use either he or Mo Williams off the bench. Smith is due to be released from this obligations with the Chinese Basketball Association sometime in the next three to six weeks depending on playoffs. The Clippers are being heavily discussed as a suitor for him, and it would be a natural fit. They don't have the cap space to offer him a long term deal, but he could come in immediately, be given as many shot as he can find room for, and play for a team in contention. This scenario makes the most sense, whether it's him or or Williams off the bench.

The Clippers will miss Billups' on-floor leadership, his scoring, his defense, and his experience. But Billups also hasn't been a very productive player due to age. He fit well on the Clippers, but with their guard depth, they're well-suited to withstand this blow in time. It doesn't make it any better, but it's still a huge loss, but it's not one that creates a crisis in their backcourt. This team has too much talent left and too much at stake not to press forward.

Posted on: February 6, 2012 11:22 pm
Edited on: February 8, 2012 8:01 am

Chauncey Billups (torn Achilles) done for season

Billups could possibly be done for the season with a serious Achilles injury. (Getty Images)
Posted by Royce Young and Ben Golliver

Update (Tuesday): The Los Angeles Times reports that the Los Angeles Clippers' worst fears have been confirmed. Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro told the paper that an MRI test has revealed a torn left Achilles' tendon for guard Chauncey Billups, an injury that will cause him to miss the rest of the 2011-2012 NBA season. 

The Clippers confirmed the news in a statement on their website on Tuesday.
Billups underwent an MRI today at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio which confirmed the injury. He will return to Los Angeles on Thursday for further evaluation. A date for surgery is yet to be determined.

Billups, who was claimed off of amnesty waivers after he was released by the New York Knicks, will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Original Post (Monday):

The Clippers' dream season might have been dealt a major blow.

With 5:48 left in the fourth quarter, Chauncey Billups injured his left Achilles tendon. But not just a tweak type of thing. Billups was helped off the court and didn't return.

According to the L.A. Times, Billups will be evaluated Tuesday when the team arrives in Cleveland.

“He’s going to be re-evaluated,” coach Vinny Del Negro told reporters after the game. “He’s got an Achilles injury. I don’t know the severity of it but it’s kind of bittersweet. We will see what happens but we will re-evaluate it tomorrow.”

HoopsWorld reports that Billups could potentially be finished for the season.
Many of Billups teammates commented in the locker room that Billups was “done”, hinting that the Achilles was more than a strain and was in fact a full tear.

Billups left the locker room with his foot in a boot and walking with the aid of crutches and did not speak to media.

One of the Clippers coaches commented under his breath that losing Billups was “a damn shame” shaking his head.

Yahoo! Sports adds this via a source: "Doesn't look good. MRI tomorrow. I'm sick for him."

Obviously more information will be available Tuesday once Billups has all the necessary tests done, but if the Clippers have indeed lost Billups for the remainder of the season, that could change their positioning in the Western Conference. Not only is he a steady veteran player, but he's also their starting shooting guard. Subtract him and the Clippers' backcourt suddenly gets very thin with either Mo Williams or Randy Foye having to step into the starting five.

Billups, 35, would likely miss 12 to 16 months if it's an Achilles tear. Regardless of what it is, it appears to be a significant injury that will cost him some time. 

Posted on: February 6, 2012 8:58 pm
Edited on: February 6, 2012 9:03 pm

Derrick Rose has back spasms, does not return

Posted by Royce Young

Derrick Rose left Chicago's game against the Nets in the first half with back spasms and did not return.

Part of the reason though might be due to the fact the Bulls were absolutely blasting the Nets at the time Rose left. The Bulls led 35-14 after a quarter and 62-37 at the half. Rose played just 10 minutes and scored four points on 2-3 shooting, zero assists and two turnovers.

Rose has missed a few games this season because of a toe injury, but the back spasms likely won't sideline him for much more than just the second half against New Jersey.
Posted on: February 6, 2012 8:09 pm
Edited on: February 7, 2012 5:54 pm

Carmelo Anthony out 1-2 weeks with strained groin

Posted by Royce Young

Update Tuesday 11:45 a.m.:  The Knicks announced Tuesday Carmelo Anthony is out 1-2 weeks with a strained right groin. So Linsanity better be sustainable or the Knicks could come completely apart. On the other hand, this might give the Knicks a chance to find some chemistry and success offensively without Melo. If the Knicks, who have won their past two games behind strong play from undrafted guard Jeremy Lin, keep winning without Melo, that's just going to get awkward. 


Just when things were finally starting to look the tiniest bit positive for the Knicks, Carmelo Anthony had to leave Monday's game against the Jazz in the first quarter because of a strained groin.

Anthony injured the groin just running up the floor and did not return to the game. He will be evaluated and a timetable will be set after that. Melo had just returned from a stint on the bench to rest list of injuries that included a bad wrist, back and ankle.

The Knicks were already shorthanded without Amar'e Stoudemire, whose brother was killed in a car accident earlier in the day.

Posted on: February 5, 2012 5:02 pm

Carl Landry out 3-4 weeks with knee sprain

Posted by Royce Young

The Hornets will be without power forward Carl Landru for the next couple weeks as the team announced Sunday that Landry will miss 3-4 weeks with an MCL sprain.

The injury occured Saturday against the Pistons after a collision with Jason Maxiell in the third quarter.

Obviously in response to losing Landry, the Hornets signed forward Lance Thomas for 10 days. Thomas, a 6-8 second-year pro out of Duke, was in training camp with New Orleans and saw brief playing time in two of the Hornets' first three regular season games before being waived on Dec. 31. He spent his first pro season in the D-League.

Not a massive blow to the Hornets as the team is just 4-20 and has lost five straight. They've been without Eric Gordon for pretty much the entire season as well as center Chris Kaman who was being shopped in trade talks. Kaman has returned, but the team isn't built to win right now, which isn't the goal. It's a rebuild for the Hornets and though obviously Monty Williams and the team wish they could have Landry out there, losing him for a couple weeks isn't the end of the world.
Posted on: January 31, 2012 1:22 pm

Richard Hamilton likely to sit for 'a while'

Richard Hamilton will sit for "a while" to heal an injured groin and leg. (Getty Images)
Posted by Royce Young

Richard Hamilton was a pretty nice addition to the Bulls. But they would definitely like it more if he were playing. Hamilton has missed 12 of Chicago's 23 games this season because of a groin injury and right thigh bruise.

And he's likely to miss more, via the Chicago Tribune:
Hamilton admitted that he likely will sit for a while in an attempt to put the groin and right thigh bruise issues in his rearview mirror for good.

"It's frustrating, but I have to get healthy," Hamilton said.

It's the right move. Although Deng's situation will be a hovering story line all season because he has opted to try to avoid surgery, the ligament already is torn. And doctors have told him he can't make the injury worse by playing.
Hamilton said that he feels "like I'm playing on one leg sometimes." Which isn't the kind of Rip Hamilton the Bulls have in mind playing next to Derrick Rose. They want the guy running off screens, defending good 2-guards and providing an extra scoring punch in the Chicago backcourt.

They don't really need him in January and February. When they need Hamilton is in April and May, and possibly June. So if that means missing a couple games right now, then so be it. The Bulls want Hamilton healthy and ready to go for the postseason. Chicago should be just fine without him in the near future.
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