Anthony Morrow Injury: Updates on Thunder Guard’s Knee and Return

The Oklahoma City Thunder suffered another blow during their already rough offseason. With Kevin Durant already out for the first part of the regular season, Anthony Morrow may be joining him.  

According to Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman, Morrow suffered a sprained MCL on Thursday:

Mayberry also reported the 29-year-old shooting guard/small forward could miss four to six weeks:

Morrow averaged 8.4 points and shot 45.1 percent from three-point range last season with the New Orleans Pelicans before signing with the Thunder in the offseason.

Signing Morrow provides the much-needed depth that was sorely lacking last season.

Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals illustrated the biggest problem for Oklahoma City last year. Only five different players scored in OKC’s 112-107 loss to the eventual champion San Antonio Spurs.

Morrow alone won’t help the Thunder get over the hump, but his three-point shooting will be invaluable to their offense. Opposing defenses won’t be able to sag off of him, which will in turn open the floor for Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant.

To a certain extent, Oklahoma City is in a holding pattern until Durant returns. Westbrook can ensure that the drop-off isn’t too significant, but the real Thunder won’t arrive until head coach Scott Brooks has his full complement of stars.

Now with Morrow out, an already difficult opening few weeks of the 2014-15 campaign became a little more treacherous.

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Nash injury puts even more on Kobe’s shoulders

Losing Steve Nash hurts because the Lakers already had a dearth of shooters and playmakers.

      
 

 

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Victor Oladipo Injury: Updates on Magic Star’s Face and Return

The Orlando Magic will be without guard Victor Oladipo for an unknown period of time after he suffered a facial fracture in practice that requires surgery.

Orlando provided further details from general manager Rob Hennigan on its official site:

Orlando Magic guard Victor Oladipo will be out indefinitely after suffering a facial fracture in practice Thursday, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today.

Oladipo, who was evaluated Thursday afternoon, will undergo a corrective surgical procedure on Saturday. He was injured after taking an inadvertent elbow during a practice drill.

Oladipo was the second overall pick in last year’s NBA draft. He averaged 14 points, four rebounds and four assists while playing in 80 games as a rookie. The Magic were hoping he’d taken on an even bigger role this season following the exit of Arron Afflalo.

It’s unclear at this stage how much time the guard may miss. He was already sidelined with an MCL injury that prevented him from appearing in any preseason contests. It’s obviously a frustrating start ahead of what could be a breakout season.

 

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Los Angeles Lakers: Steve Nash Injury A Blessing In Disguise?

(November 4, 2013 – Source: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images North America)
Los Angeles Lakers: Steve Nash Injury A Blessing In Disguise?
By Mike Elworth: Owner and Publisher/Hoopstuff…
Yes I feel like a jerk for writing that title, because a player being injured shouldn’t be celebrated and in no way am I celebrating this injury, but for the Lakers this season they are a better team with Steve Nash injured. No Steve Nash for the Lakers means a lot more Jeremy Lin and Jordan Clarkson, which is excellent for the team this season and for multiple seasons.
Jeremy Lin will become the starter for the Lakers this season, who I thought should have started from the day he was traded for. Why? He is the much better player at 26 than Steve Nash at 40. Nash was a distributor and shooter on a team where Kobe Bryant has the ball the most, so a distributor of his caliber wasn’t necessary, they have enough shooting and he just isn’t the best fit with Kobe at guard; Lin is perfect. At 36 Kobe isn’t goin…

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Steve Nash ruled out for season with back injury (Yahoo Sports)

ANAHEIM, CA - OCTOBER 16: Steve Nash #10 of the Los Angeles Lakers warms up before a game against the Utah Jazz at Honda Center on October 16, 2014 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

Los Angeles Lakers guard Steve Nash has been ruled out for the season because of a back injury, putting the two-time NBA MVP’s career in doubt. The Lakers and Nash announced their joint decision Thursday, less than a week before the start of what would have been the 40-year-old Nash’s 19th NBA season.


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Lakers News: Steve Nash’s Season-Ending Injury Creates Big Role for Jeremy Lin

Entering the last year of his current contract, Jeremy Lin has been given a massive opportunity to woo any potential suitors, albeit due to some unfortunate circumstances.

According to a league source cited by Bleacher Report’s Kevin Ding, incumbent starting point guard and future Hall of Famer Steve Nash will miss the entire 2014-15 season as a result of nerve damage in his back.

It’s a shame to see Nash, one of the most enjoyable players on the planet during the last decade, likely end his marvelous career on such a sour note, but as Sports Illustrated‘s Chris Mannix noted, this makes it Lin’s time to step up:

Whether he indeed enters the starting lineup or comes off the bench in favor of the more defensively minded Ronnie Price (as he has the last two preseason games), Lin is going to receive north of 30 minutes per game.

Despite dealing with an ankle injury throughout preseason, Lin has already earned praise from a pair of Los Angeles Lakers legends.

Magic Johnson recently applauded the fifth-year point guard’s ability to create offense off the dribble:

Kobe Bryant, via the Orange County Register‘s Bill Oram, echoed that sentiment: “Jeremy makes a huge difference…creating shots for others. We’ve got somebody else who can penetrate, make plays for others and put pressure on the defense. It’s a really big difference.”

Going back to the days of “Linsanity,” the 26-year-old’s best attribute has always been his ability to collapse a defense. However, he has improved as a shooter. Last year with the Rockets, he set career highs in three-point percentage (35.8), three-pointers made per 36 minutes (1.4) and true-shooting percentage (57.2).

Especially while Nick Young is sidelined, the Lake Show need a consistent second option on offense behind Bryant. Lin, who has played well as both a scorer and distributor in the preseason, is now the clear candidate to fill that role.

Of course, while Lin is important to the Lakers’ success, the reverse is also true. If Lin wants to take that next step as an individual player, there’s really no better way to do it than spending an entire season in the same backcourt as Bryant.

Lin has already talked about learning from the 16-time All-Star, via Sports Out West’s Bob Garcia and Lakers Nation’s Serena Winters:

While news of Nash’s season-ending injury is disheartening, positives will emerge from it. A larger role for Lin is chief among those.

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Brandon Rush Injury: Updates on Warriors Guard’s Back and Return

The Golden State Warriors have one of the most talented backcourts in the NBA. On opening day, though, they could have slightly less depth, as Brandon Rush continues to deal with back spasms.

Yahoo Sports’ Marc J. Spears has the details:

The San Francisco Chronicle‘s Rusty Simmons noted the official diagnosis:

Although he hasn’t done much in the last two seasons, the 29-year-old Rush is capable of adding a decent scoring punch as part of the second unit. With Shaun Livingston also doubtful for the season opener, per Spears, the Warriors’ bench is going to be significantly thinner in the backcourt.

Of course, when you have Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson that doesn’t really make a huge difference. The Splash Brothers are likely to play as much as they can handle against the Sacramento Kings, while Leandro Barbosa and potentially Andre Iguodala will see more minutes at the 2.

Still, Rush is good for about eight to 10 minutes per game. If Steve Kerr doesn’t want to run his stars too much to begin the year, he’ll be hoping to get Rush and Livingston back soon.

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Durant struggling to deal with injury (Yahoo Sports)

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - OCTOBER 14: Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder during the game against the Memphis Grizzlies at the Chesapeak Energy Arena on October 14, 2014 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. (Photo by Richard Rowe/NBAE via Getty Images)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Thunder forward Kevin Durant says he has been antsy since finding out he will miss the early part of the season with a broken bone in his right foot.


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Andrea Bargnani Injury: Updates on Knicks Star’s Hamstring and Return

New York Knicks center Andrea Bargnani has missed time in the preseason due to a hamstring injury. Now, his return to the court is uncertain for the season opener against the Chicago Bulls. 

Al Iannazzone of Newsday passed along the latest on Bargnani’s injury:

Ahead of the 2013-14 season, Bargnani was acquired from the Toronto Raptors to help the team offensively. The 7’0″ center tallied just 13.3 points and 5.3 rebounds per contest in 42 games for the team.

Knicks’ coach Derek Fisher provided an update prior to the team’s latest preseason game, via Peter Botte of the New York Daily News:

“He hasn’t been able to practice the last few days so it wouldn’t be smart to jeopardize him by putting him into game action tomorrow,” Fisher said.

Despite a disappointing season in 2013-14, Bargnani still adds value to the team’s frontcourt. However, if Bargnani misses more time, veteran Samuel Dalembert will be asked to take a more heightened role after averaging 6.6 points and 6.8 rebounds for the Dallas Mavericks last season.

 

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WATCH: Paul George takes court for first time since leg injury

Clear signs of a speedy recovery from Indiana Pacers perennial All-Star Paul George. Three months after suffering a harrowing compound fracture this past July, George was recently filmed letting shots up during a Pacers shoot-around Monday night after practice. George seemed overjoyed to rub off the three month rust with a variety of mid-range and three point jumpers. Many are ruling the injury to cost George the entire 2014-15 NBA season, but the anxious George is pushing for a mid-season return. Although he looks to move extremely well this early in the recovery process, Paul George is nowhere near game shape. I repeat, nowhere near! To risk a quick comeback at 80% for a meaningless couple of matchups at the tail end of season could turn into Derrick Rose 2.0! Come back fully restored next season at superstar level to help the Indiana Pacers compete for a strong playoff run, in the race for a Eastern Conference title. The post Paul George Takes The Court For First Time…

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