Warriors’ Livingston out 6-8 weeks with toe injury

Warriors guard Shaun Livingston has surgery on right big toe, expected to be out 6-8 weeks

      
 

 

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Warriors’ Livingston out 6-8 weeks with toe injury (Yahoo Sports)

Golden State Warriors guard Shaun Livingston is expected to be out six to eight weeks after having arthroscopic surgery on the big toe of his right foot. The Warriors said Friday that Livingston’s toe will be in a splint for the first three weeks of his recovery. The team says the procedure was performed Wednesday by Dr. Richard Ferkel at the Southern California Orthopedic Institute in Van Nuys. Golden State signed Livingston to a three-year contract worth about $16 million in July.

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Shaun Livingston Injury: Updates on Warriors Guard’s Toe Surgery and Recovery

The Golden State Warriors received some unfortunate news Friday regarding newly signed guard Shaun Livingston. NBA.com’s official Twitter page provided the details:

Livingston is expected to be in a splint for about three weeks after the surgery before he gradually works his way back. The Warriors signed the guard to a three-year contract this offseason, so they clearly want him healthy before the season begins.

It is encouraging that he had the surgery when we are still more than two months away from the start of the regular season. Presuming there are no complications, we should see him take the floor on opening night with this timetable.

Livingston averaged 8.3 points, 3.2 assists and 3.2 rebounds a game last year for the Brooklyn Nets. He is not much of an outside shooter, but he is a versatile ball-handler who can fill in anywhere from point guard to small forward if needed. He is also a solid defender because of his length and quickness at 6’7″.

What’s more, Livingston will have no issues getting out in transition with Stephen Curry and company.

Of course, he has to get that toe healed before he does that.

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Paul George Calls Team USA Injury ‘Freak Accident,’ Interested in 2016 Olympics

Some debate has pervaded the basketball world after Paul George‘s brutal compound leg fracture at a Team USA scrimmage not only knocked him out of the 2014 FIBA World Cup, but also made any appearance during the 2014-15 NBA season extremely doubtful. 

Should star players suit up for international competitions, or should they treasure their NBA experiences and avoid setting themselves up for rising injury risks?

If it helps you make up your mind, George himself would like to weigh in. During a press conference, the All-Star small forward told the world he viewed this as a freak accident: 

In the rising star’s mind, this isn’t the result of overexertion with Team USA. He’s not going to blame the squad for having the team play on a court which featured a stanchion a bit too close to the baseline. 

This was a freak accident. It could’ve happened to anyone at any time. 

Injuries are an inherent risk when playing a physically tolling sport like basketball, and this just as easily could’ve taken place during an NBA game, in which case the outcry would have been far less significant. Kudos to George for making that clear, and you can infer without too many logical leaps that he supports star players continuing to suit up for their countries.

Especially because, you know, he wants to do that himself.

“We’ve told him we have a spot for him in ’16,” Jerry Colangelo, Team USA’s managing director, told Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com, and he continued with the following: 

We thought it’s the right thing to do. That’s it…We didn’t give thought to all the detail. Just that when a guy goes down and all these things, the circumstances, his career passes before him, he’s out for a year, a year-plus, he’s not able to participate now with us—we wanted to throw that out and say, ‘We’re counting on you. You’ve got a spot in ’16.’

Apparently, it’s a spot George will be taking. 

If he does play in Rio, it’ll probably happen only if he feels strong enough to do so,” wrote Eric Freeman for Yahoo Sports. There’s plenty of time between now and then, but one important part of the process already appears to be out of the way—the mentality. 

PG knows this accident was exactly that—an accident, and a freak one at that. 

A lot can change between now and the summer of 2016, but George’s words—so long as they’re followed up by actions—should all but ensure Team USA doesn’t experience a decline in star power down the road. Following such a devastating injury, the Indiana Pacers star really does have that type of influence. 

 

Do you agree with George? Let me know on Twitter and Facebook.

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USA Basketball moves forward after George injury

Even after George injury, no second thoughts about World Cup for USA Basketball players

      
 

 

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Michigan’s LeVert able to play again after injury (Yahoo Sports)

Michigan's Caris LeVert reacts to a call during the second half of an NCAA Midwest Regional semifinal college basketball tournament game against the Tennessee Friday, March 28, 2014, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Michigan guard Caris LeVert is back playing again after surgery for a stress fracture in his foot.


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Michigan’s LeVert able to play again after injury

Michigan guard Caris LeVert able to play again after surgery for stress fracture in foot

      
 

 

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CBB Players Returning from Injury Who Will Have Biggest Impact in 2014-15

Key players returning from injury are every bit as crucial to the 2014-15 college basketball season as the incoming freshmen and transfers we love to discuss so much.

Injuries are an unfortunate, unavoidable part of college basketball. One loose ball or misplaced patch of condensation can derail a team’s season or a player’s career.

Inevitably, a handful of preseason Top 25 teams will be devastated by injuries to members of their starting fives.

But instead of focusing on injuries of the recent past, we’re interested in what kind of impact players will be able to have in returning from injuries that ruined their 2013-14 season.

Rather than the Civil War, let’s talk about the Reconstruction Era.

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James Harden Discusses Paul George’s Injury, Team USA and Personal Development

James Harden of the Houston Rockets is one of the burgeoning young superstars in the NBA, having transitioned in the last few years from sixth man with the Oklahoma City Thunder to team leader and elite scorer with the Rockets. He talked to Bleacher Report about his growth and his experience with Team USA basketball this summer.

Harden, speaking on behalf of his Foot Locker campaign, is featured in this hilarious new commercial with Charles Barkley and Scottie Pippen about forgetting the past and having a fresh start. He revealed that it’s not just a message in the commercial, but it’s something he practices.

Addressing pervasive criticism of his defense, he said, “I hear criticism all the time, but that’s for y’all and everybody else to talk about, and I’m not focused on it. I’m focused on myself and how can I be a better basketball player and a better person.

“My entire game (needs a fresh start). My entire game…not worrying about the previous year, but just focusing on the next year and the great things to come.

“Every aspect of my game is always in need of improvement. I’m still young and have a long way to go, so, you know—every aspect—whether it’s defensively or whether it’s offensively.”

This could be taken in two ways: Either he’s bristling or not resting on his laurels. Or perhaps it’s a blend of both.

When asked which coaches had influenced him the most, though, he grew excited and seemed happy to give them credit.

“There are a few coaches who have influenced me, starting from my high school coach, Scott Pera, who coached me also while I was in college those two years,” Harden said.

“Then in Oklahoma City, Rex Kalamian, an assistant coach, did a phenomenal job kind of mentoring me, kind of taking me under his wing during my rookie year at OKC.

“And all the coaches here in Houston are kind of embracing me, kind of helping me into that leadership role and take it to that level.”

Generally, those who embrace coaching are genuinely looking to improve and are not ignoring their flaws. Harden might be sensitive to the very fair criticism of his defense, but he’s not blowing it off. He sounds legitimately committed to improving.

He also credited his coaches and his teammates with helping him transition from Sixth Man of the Year to the first option with the starters.

“It would probably be hard for anybody to go from a sixth man to a starting and high-level role, but my coaches and teammates have done a great job of helping me throughout that process,” said Harden. “It’s been difficult at times, and sometimes it’s been great.  You know, as long as you got teammates who are willing to help you and how you help them, it makes the job a lot easier.”

His coaches were working with good clay. He has a natural basketball IQ that lends to efficient scoring. Interestingly, his commercial co-star, Barkley, is the only player to score over 25 points on fewer attempts at such a young age, per Basketball-Reference. I mentioned this to him and asked him about his efficiency. After joking that he wished he’d known it before so he could have something else to talk with Barkley about, he said:

“That’s all off natural instincts. Just basically taking what the defender gives me. I don’t try and overthink the game. That’s when I start turning the ball over and messing up, so I just try and take whatever the defense gives me and just play off instincts.”

His experience with Team USA has also been a growing process, particularly in his “King of the Hill” games with Paul George and Kevin Durant:

“You’re bound to get better,” Harden said. “Obviously Coach K [Mike Krzyzewski] and the other assistant coaches did a great job of coaching us, and we had phenomenal practices.

“Then me, Kevin and Paul put in some extra one-on-ones in after practices, so to play against two of the best—not only offensively but defensively—players in the world, so you’re bound to get better. You’re bound to see your game at another level.”

Harden was the player George was chasing down when he broke his leg, and he recounted his experience of the tragedy.

“I was going up for the layup, and I was fouled, and I didn’t know who it was. And I turned around to help whoever it was up, and I heard the crowd go, ‘Whoa!’

“And I looked…and I mean…I just had to walk away. You know, it was tough to kind of watch.”

On that subject, I asked him about the ironic contrast of Derrick Rose coming back from traumatic injury and making highlight plays in the same game where George went down with one. Harden feels both will be back.

“We hadn’t seen D-Rose in two years, and so from this past week, he looked amazing. You know, he looked like the MVP Derrick Rose. Explosive, very fast, making plays. He looked really good.

“They’re strong guys, though. They’ll bounce back. Derrick hasn’t really been around for two years. People forget about him, but he’ll definitely make his mark. And Paul is a strong kid as well, so he’ll bounce back.”

In spite of George’s injury, Harden was decidedly upbeat about Team USA’s chance in the FIBA World Cup (though this interview was conducted before Durant announced he was pulling out).

“It’s been really good,” said Harden. “We had a strong week this past week in camp. You know, obviously (there was) a devastating injury with PG [George], but other than that, it was a great week. The guys looked very good. It’s a different game, FIBA, with a different ball and different rules, but we got so many great young and talented guys that we should be pretty good.”

It’s easy to look at a young player as a finished project, but Harden will just be 25 next year. He has the IQ and willingness to improve in the aspects of his game he needs to; he just needs time.

The willingness to be coached has been there in high school, college, Oklahoma City, Houston and now Team USA.  If Harden utilizes that to develop his defense, he’ll join the league’s elite players. He’s working on both ends of the court, and that should be good news to Rockets fans.

 

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Manu Ginobili Injury: Updates on Spurs Star’s Leg and Recovery

Manu Ginobili, who played a critical role in the San Antonio Spurs’ fifth NBA championship run, is reportedly dealing with stress fracture in his right leg. The injury is likely to have developed during the playoffs but isn’t expected to impact his status for next season.   

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reports the ailment was discovered before he left for the offseason. Although he’s slated to recover in time for training camp, it likely means he’ll be unavailable to represent Argentina at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup:

Ginobili is seeking a second medical opinion before proceeding, sources said.

The recovery and rehabilitation process for the injury is expected to be two months, and Ginobili should be fully functional for the start of training camp in late September, a source told Yahoo.

The 36-year-old guard is no stranger to the wear and tear associated with nonstop basketball between playing for the Spurs and Argentina. So when he struggled mightily during the finals the previous year there were questions about how much he had left to give.

Ginobili answered those questions with a revitalized postseason performance this season. He averaged 14 points, four assists and three rebounds in 23 playoff games. His return to form paired with better showings from San Antonio’s role players led the franchise to another title.

Although the injury is a disappointing setback for Ginobili, a stalwart for the Argentine national team, it shouldn’t impact the Spurs. Gregg Popovich limits the minutes of his veterans anyway and it keeps the guard from risking further injury over the summer.

San Antonio will need him healthy if it’s going to make a serious bid to repeat next season.

 

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