Up here in Canada, it’s Thanksgiving weekend. So to all the Canadians reading Sheridan Hoops, happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy your turkey and stuffing and whatever else. I know I will, but that’s tomorrow.
Today, I’ve got a whole bunch of injury news for you guys. Tops on that list is Trey Burke’s hand injury. Burke was tipped as a strong ROY contender starting on draft day, but now he looks in danger of missing significant time. This looked like a transitional year for the Jazz anyway, but now they’ll be without one of the pieces who could be particularly important in the transition for a little while. The Jazz have to be hoping he’s back before too long and their core starts to gel so they can start making a run at the postseason next year.
We’ve got some news on what the Jazz will be doing to replace Burke in today’s blog, so let’s get to that:
- Andre Miller survived the Great Denver Exodus of 2013. Here’s his take on what went wrong with the Nuggets last season, via Christopher Dempsey of the Denver Post: “Coaches may love Miller’s game, but there probably isn’t a Nugget who is more of a target of fans’ ire. There probably isn’t a Nugget with his ears closed more tightly to that white noise. He hit a game-winning shot in the Nuggets’ first playoff game last spring, but sports-talk radio and social media soon moved on to criticism of his defense, and by the end of the series, the conclusion was he had to go. Those fans didn’t get their way, despite chatter during the summer that Miller was on the trading block. He claims not to have heard any of the criticism and flat-out ignored any trade talk. “It was a tough season last year,” Miller said. “In the regular season, we kind of burned ourselves out. Going into the playoffs, we just didn’t have the legs to play like we played for 82 games. That’s tough to do. I can’t worry about the trade rumors. I do my job every day. Regardless, I show up to work, practice. I’ve never missed a game as a Nugget. I couldn’t care less what people say as far as my preparation and what I do on the court.” “
Bobcats official says center Al Jefferson will be in walking boot for the next several days, at which point his status will be reevaluated.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 12, 2013
- The Thunder will need Serge Ibaka to step up this year if they hope to keep up in the vicious West, writes Jeff Caplan of NBA.com: “The backbone of the Thunder’s top-four defense must also step up as its third scorer, a task made even more essential early on as Westbrook’s recovery from two right knee surgeries is expected to drag four to six weeks into the season. Three weeks, Ibaka said, is all the time he allowed to step away after last season’s playoff disappointment. Three weeks and he was back in the gym with an agenda to expand an offensive arsenal that last season introduced a dangerous mid-range, pick-and-pop jumper. It worked to increase his usage from 15.5 percent in 2011-12 to a career-high 18.0 percent last season, and raised his scoring average from 9.1 ppg to a career-best 13.2 ppg. His usage should rise even higher and the Thunder will need his points to as well. “I’m working on my game and creating my own shot,” Ibaka said. “That is something I’ve been doing all summer, so I hope it will pay off. … I’ve been working on putting the ball on the floor and post moves.” To suggest an offense that has been nothing short of a juggernaut the past few seasons could struggle to score beyond its big two might seem odd. But those past teams included the dynamic Harden and last year featured Kevin Martin as the sixth man. As streaky as Martin was, he delivered 14 ppg and better than 42 percent shooting from beyond the arc, on top of Ibaka’s production.”
Hearing: Utah has previously shown trade interest in Bulls’ Marquis Teague and could well revisit interest depending on Trey Burke timetable
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) October 13, 2013
- Things are not going well in Minnesota. Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports on Rick Adelman’s frustration with his starters: “Upset all week with a starting unit that has started games meekly, Adelman included everybody in Saturday’s postgame, locker-room scolding, even though the starters began the night by falling behind 11-4 early before all five again sat for the entire fourth quarter. He criticized their lack of concentration and preparedness and lamented a second consecutive game when his team had as many turnovers as assists. On Saturday, it was an even 16 in each category, a sure sign his players are not moving and sharing the ball. “I don’t understand,” he said. “Like I told them afterward, we’ve played two games here at home and we’re acting like we’re just going through the motions. We aren’t the San Antonio Spurs and we aren’t Miami. We act like we have plenty of time.” The Wolves have played the last three of these first four games without starting shooting guard Kevin Martin, who again didn’t play Saturday because of a sore Achilles tendon. Alexey Shved started in his place and Adelman took good looks in both halves at a small backcourt that included starter Ricky Rubio and reserve J.J. Barea. The rest: Rubio and Barea combined to shoot 2-for-17. Add Shved’s 0-for-4 night and the three made two of 21 shots.”
Woodson called out Cole Aldrich before game for not playing tough enuff and doesn’t look energetic enough in first few possessions.
— Marc Berman (@NYPost_Berman) October 13, 2013
- Chris Kaman might win the most bizarre injury of the preseason now that we know Michael Beasley didn’t actually punch himself in the face. Mike Bresnahan of the LA Times reports: “The Lakers have experienced Kobe Bryant’s torn Achilles’ tendon, Pau Gasol’s knee problems and Steve Nash’s broken leg over the last year. Now there’s the tobogganing injury sustained by Chris Kaman at the Great Wall of China. One of his fingers was squashed while he was sledding down a slippery concrete track after trekking along the wall for two hours Sunday with Lakers teammates and staffers. His sled, essentially a wheeled cart with a brake, was rammed from behind by teammate Shawne Williams. Kaman instinctively put out his hand as he saw Williams careening toward him and, well, ouch. Visitors to the Mutianyu portion of the wall take a gondola or cable car to the top of a hill where the wall is located. They can return the same way or take the toboggan down. “I didn’t hit the brake the whole time. Guys on the edge were yelling ‘Slow down’ and I just kept going,” Kaman said. “All of a sudden I catch up to this guy close to the bottom, so now I have to brake. Shawne Williams comes behind me without hitting his brake at all and just smashed right into me.””