Good afternoon, folks. Injuries are really killing my content, here. Let’s talk NBA.
Injury bug keeps biting
It’s already been a week since it was announced that both Eric Bledsoe (MIL) and P.J. Washington Jr. (CHA) would miss roughly two weeks due to respective injuries.
The Bucks haven’t exactly missed Bledsoe, going 3-1 since his absence, including a seven-point win over the Los Angeles Lakers. Second-year guard Donte DiVincenzo has assumed the starting role in Bled’s place, but it’s been mostly pure domination from Giannis Antetokounmpo that has guided the Bucks to recent victories. Bledsoe has been having another All-Star-caliber season, so Milwaukee will surely need him back later in the season at full health, but for right now, they can coast on the Greek Freak for another week or two.
Washington’s Hornets were struggling when the rookie forward was in the lineup. Without him, it hasn’t gotten any easier. The Hornets are now 1-3 in games without Washington, including a two-point loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Charlotte was riding a three-game win streak before Washington went down with the finger injury.
Both Bledsoe and Washington should make a return sometime after Christmas and hopefully before the new year begins. But there’s been one more injury that has caught me by surprise. Karl-Anthony Towns has now missed three consecutive games for the Minnesota Timberwolves with a knee sprain. Minny has lost all three games, but were already on a seven-game losing streak before Towns went down. With the loss to Portland on Saturday night, the Wolves are now riding a losing 10-game skid.
Over the course of his first three NBA seasons, KAT did not miss one game. He played in all 82 games all three years before he finally missed two games in the middle of last season after getting into a car accident. This season, Towns has already sat out five games (although two were due to a suspension after the Joel Embiid incident). There hasn’t been any definitive answer as to how long Towns will be out, either. The Wolves are 10-18 right and plummetting fast. Eventually, there’s going to reach a point where keeping Towns off the court in favor of his future health becomes the No. 1 priority.
Fox drops 22 in first game back as a starter
De’Aaron Fox sat out over a month (17 total games) thanks to a sprained ankle he suffered in practice, but he’s been back on the court the last three games for the Sacramento Kings and found his way back into the starting lineup on Saturday. While the Kings fell to the Memphis Grizzlies 119-115, Fox was the most effective he’s been since the injury. The former Kentucky guard posted a BBNBA-high of 22 points on 8-13 shooting (2-3 from deep) in addition to three rebounds, four assists, and three steals.
Point Book makes another appearence in Phoenix
The Phoenix Suns’ usual starting point guard, Ricky Rubio, has been dealing with several nagging injuries throughout the early stages of the season. As a result, Devin Booker has shifted all around the backcourt, switching from lead guard to off-ball sniper on a game-by-game basis. In a 139-125 loss to the Houston Rockets – behind 47 points from James Harden – Booker registered 19 points, six rebounds, and nine assists on 6-16 shooting from the field.
It was the sixth straight loss for the Suns.
Other BBNBA notes
- The New York Knicks were on the receiving end of another blowout loss, this time coming against the Bledsoe-less Bucks in the second game of a back-to-back. Julius Randle contributed 20 points, eight rebounds, two assists, and zero turnovers while Kevin Knox went for 19 points, four rebounds, two steals, and three blocks on 7-12 shooting from the field and 4-6 from beyond the arc. Knox has now registered double-digit scoring games in his last four outings.
- In a win over the Towns-less Wolves, Skal Labissiere went for 11 points, eight rebounds, two assists, and two blocks in a 113-106 victory for the Portland Trail Blazers.
- Malik Monk added 10 points, two rebounds, three assists, and two steals for the Hornets, who lost to the Utah Jazz, 114-107.
Check out the full stat sheet below.
|De'Aaron Fox (SAC)||115-119 L @ MEM||22||8-13 (2-3)||3||4||3||0||3||+4||30|
|Julius Randle (NYK)||102-123 L vs. MIL||20||9-17 (1-4)||8||2||0||0||0||-12||32|
|Kevin Knox (NYK)||102-123 L vs. MIL||19||7-12 (4-6)||4||0||2||3||2||+8||24|
|Devin Booker (PHX)||125-139 L vs. HOU||19||6-16 (0-3)||6||9||0||0||5||-14||34|
|Skal Labissiere (POR)||113-106 W vs. MIN||11||5-9 (1-2)||8||2||0||2||1||+5||26|
|Malik Monk (CHA)||107-114 L vs. UTA||10||4-9 (2-5)||2||3||2||0||2||+9||17|
|Patrick Patterson (LAC)||134-109 W @ SAS||3||1-5 (1-5)||6||1||1||0||0||+3||19|
|Trey Lyles (SAS)||109-134 L vs. LAC||0||0-2 (0-2)||4||1||0||0||0||-10||14|
|Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (CHA)||107-114 L vs. UTA||DNP-CD||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Wenyen Gabriel (SAC)||115-119 L @ MEM||DNP-Inactive||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)||106-113 L @ POR||DNP-Knee||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Eric Bledsoe (MIL)||123-102 W @ NYK||DNP-Leg||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|P.J. Washington Jr. (CHA)||107-114 L vs. UTA||DNP-Finger||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|John Wall (WAS)||108-125 L @ PHI||DNP-Foot||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
TODAY IN THE NBA
3:30: Mavericks @ Raptors
6:00: Hornets (Kidd-Gilchrist, Monk, Washington-out) @ Celtics (Kanter)
7:00: Pacers @ Bucks (Bledsoe-out)
7:00 (NBATV): Clippers (Patterson) @ Thunder (Diallo-out, Gilgeous-Alexander, Noel)
9:30 (NBATV): Nuggets (Murray) @ Lakers (Davis, Rondo)