VIDEO: Highlights from games played Jan. 27
NEWS OF THE MORNING
No. 1: Popovich: No timetable for Duncan’s return — When the San Antonio Spurs announced on Sunday that Tim Duncan would miss the much-anticipated showdown with the Golden State Warriors on Monday, some thought it might be typical gamesmanship from the Spurs. When they held him out of last night’s game against the Houston Rockets because of the same right knee issue, it created a reason to wonder how Duncan is doing. After last night’s game, coach Gregg Popovich could provide very few details as to when Duncan might be back, but that the big man needs rest and rehab work, writes Michael C. Wright of ESPN.com:
San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich revealed Wednesday that injured forward Tim Duncan underwent an MRI on his sore right knee and said Duncan would undergo a regimen of rest and rehabilitation.
Popovich declined to place a timetable on Duncan’s return.
“I don’t do timetables,” Popovich said. “They never work, because [the situation becomes], ‘But you said it was gonna be [ready].’ When he’s ready, he’s ready.”
Duncan traveled with the Spurs to Oakland, California, to face the Warriors, but the team sent him back to San Antonio to nurse the injury.
Popovich declined to say whether doctors found anything concerning in the results of Duncan’s MRI.
“They’re rehabbing him and doing what they do,” Popovich said. “Unlike you, I’m not the doc. They just tell me when he’s ready to go.”
No. 2: Report: NBA investigating Griffin altercation — As the aftermath of the Blake Griffin situation continues to swirl around the Los Angeles Clippers, the team is doing what it can to focus on games and not off-court issues. That much was evident last night as the Clippers eked out an 85-83 win in Atlanta, moving Los Angeles to 2-0 since the Griffin altercation occured. As the Clippers try to take care of business on the court, the Griffin matter chugs along and according to Dan Woike of the Orange County Register, the NBA is starting to investigate exactly what happened between Griffin and that team equipment manager:
NBA investigators have been interviewing Clippers players and staff members as part of the league’s investigation into the incident between Blake Griffin and assistant equipment manager Matias Testi.
Clippers center DeAndre Jordan and assistant trainer Joe Resendez, who were at dinner with Griffin and Testi, were among those who were questioned by NBA security officials.
The group had dinner Saturday at Sotto Sotto in Toronto before Griffin and Testi got into a fight, with Griffin breaking his right hand.
Other players and staff have either been interviewed or expect to be interviewed by NBA security.
Griffin could be fined and/or suspended by the NBA.
Before Wednesday’s game in Atlanta, Rivers told reporters that Griffin and Testi would both eventually return to the team.
“We do things sometimes that we wish we didn’t do and there’s nothing you can do about it. Once it’s done, it’s done, but we’re a team,” he said. “And we’re still a team and Blake’s part of our team and he’s going to remain part of our team and we have to support him and support everybody. It’s not just the players … everyone is part of our team that’s in our travel group.
“ … Everybody will be back.”
VIDEO: Doc Rivers addresses the media after Wednesday’s win
No. 3: Report: Knicks in early trade talks about Teague — Standing just two games out of the No. 8 spot in the Eastern Conference, the New York Knicks have every reason to fancy themselves as a playoff-type squad. To leap from out of the playoff picture into it, though, may require an upgrade at point guard. According to Fred Kerber of the New York Post, the Knicks are opened up trade talks with the Atlanta Hawks about All-Star guard Jeff Teague:
The Knicks and Hawks have conducted “very preliminary” trade talks concerning point guard Jeff Teague, league sources confirmed. However, a trade seems improbable.
The Knicks are one of several teams to contact Atlanta about the 27-year-old guard. Yahoo! Sports first reported the Hawks talking with multiple teams.
One source claimed there was “nothing to report at this stage” of the discussions between the Knicks and Hawks.
“It makes sense for the Knicks, but what do they have to offer?” one opposing executive said. “Teague is a good player under control for a low figure [$8 million] next year and then he’ll enter the richest free-agency period ever.”
One important question for the Hawks, who currently are seeded third in the East, is whether or not they are ready to hand over the team to 22-year-old, third-season guard Dennis Schroder, who recently sat two games as a DNP (did not play)- coach’s decision.
VIDEO: The Starters ponder Jeff Teague’s trade value
No. 4: Stoudemire: Other players forgot ‘I can still play’ — It has been a long time and many, many seasons since Amar’e Stoudemire was the high-flying, shot-blocking, rim-attacking big man of his heyday with the Phoenix Suns and, to some extent, the New York Knicks. The Miami Heat big man is a mere rotation player now, but has seen his role increase on the team of late. Jason Lieser of the Palm Beach Post has more on Stoudemire, who says he’s far from even thinking about retirement:
There were high expectations for what he might add to the Heat bench when he signed a one-year deal last summer, and he got nothing but praise from teammates for the work he did in training camp. But there was little sign of him when the season began, and he sat out 25 of the first 28 games. With no clarity coming from coach Erik Spoelstra, it was logical to think he might be done.
“A lot of players kinda forgot that I can still play,” Stoudemire said. “This is a great chance for me to remind them that I’ve still got it.”
With his recent reemergence, there might still be a question of how much he has left, but he definitely has something. Stoudemire began playing regularly just after Christmas, essentially setting him up for a 50-game season, and he has been a spark for Miami lately with Hassan Whiteside out.
Stoudemire has not done anything spectacular, but his contributions have been meaningful. He is averaging 7.8 points and 6.3 rebounds in 21.7 minutes while shooting 56 percent over the last four games. Even if he is not a great defender, jumping in with instant scoring and rebounding is helpful enough for the depleted Heat.
“I’ve still got it,” said Stoudemire, who scored 11.5 per game last season and is closing in on 16,000 career points. “I’m not too far removed from doing that. It’s just a matter of finding a nice balance where I can stay consistent.”
“We knew what Amar’e was capable of — that never wavered,” Chris Bosh said. “Other teams sometimes forget, and that works in our favor. We can use that. He gets down there and surprises them and gets us some points, and it’s huge.”
It takes constant upkeep to preserve himself, starting with a diet he says is mostly fish and vegetables. He does extensive weightlifting and cardio work, but thinks his recovery routine is just as important.
Stoudemire always wears NormaTec recovery boots before games to help with muscle soreness and circulation, and he has become well known to Heat fans for the purple stretch band he wears like a necklace on the bench. He uses it between timeouts, before games and every other possible opportunity to stretch and activate muscles.
The team’s off day in New York gave him a chance to do another of his favorite recovery activities: bathing in red wine.
All of this is part of a regimen that Stoudemire believes will keep him in the NBA a few more seasons. He made clear this week he has no thought of retiring soon.
“My body’s been feeling great and strong,” he said. “I feel healthy, my passion is there. If that continues, I’m just gonna feel better and better and I’m gonna play better and better.
“There’s a lot more left in me. No question.”
SOME RANDOM HEADLINES: The Los Angeles Lakers announced they plan to unveil a Shaquille O’Neal statue at Staples Center sometime next season … Speaking of the big fella, he opens up a little bit in this Q&A with Baxter Holmes of ESPN.com … The rosters were released yesterday for the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge … San Antonio Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge says he didn’t delete his Twitter account because of his poor game against the Golden State Warriors … Per a report, latest indications are the Chicago Bulls want to re-sign Pau Gasol (and not trade him) …