Keith Pompey: To be clear, Saric is AVAILABLE to play.
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Jessica Camerato: Dario Saric is out tonight. T.J. McConnell will play. #Sixers starters vs. #Lakers: Simmons, Bayless, Redick, Covington, Embiid.
Keith Pompey: Dario Saric has plantar fasciitis.
Jessica Camerato: Dario Saric will not play tonight (precautionary).
Dario Saric is battered and fatigued. The 76ers power forward has played in 157 games of organized basketball in the last 17 months. Not only is he fatigued, it was revealed Tuesday that the rookie has been hampered with plantar fasciitis. Those are the reasons why the Sixers on Sunday instituted a 24-minute per game restriction on him for the rest of the season.
“I’m tired a little bit mentally, physically,” Saric said. “But I try to push myself to what is possible in this part of the season, in this kind of minute restriction. Of course, I have pain in the foot. But I really want to play. I really want to help the team.”
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February 21, 2018 | 9:00 am EST Update
Polk said it’s a “concern” Walker will likely have to reach unrestricted free-agency before he could be re-signed, but that’s a function of the rules. “We love Kemba Walker,” Polk said. “We would like nothing more than for Kemba to end his career here.”
It took years to fully recover from the injury and he wasn’t cleared to play again until May 2017. The rehabilitation process tested him both mentally and physically, but he found a way to reach his goal. “It was essentially a four-year process,” Okafor said. “I just took my time making sure, not only the initial injury (was healed), but to recondition and rehab everything. … (I) figured while I’m waiting for my disc to heal, I can take the time to heal other things. When I come back, (I can) feel nice and bouncy and rejuvenated.”
Charlotte Hornets rookie Malik Monk missed a portion of Tuesday’s practice, while being examined following a car accident in Arkansas over All-Star break. Monk suffered from upper-body soreness when he arrived for Tuesday’s late-afternoon practice, so a team doctor checked him out. Monk returned to practice at Spectrum Center in time to put up some jump shots after most of the other players left the practice court. “They just had to make sure he was OK,” Hornets coach Steve Clifford said. “He wasn’t able to practice today, but he says he feels better. He’s just stiff. So, we’ll just see tomorrow how he feels and where he is at.”
Asked if he anticipates Steve Clifford, who has a season remaining on his contract, being the coach here next season, Polk responded, “I would today.” Like each of Clifford’s previous four seasons, he and his staff will be evaluated in the spring. “Once we get a new general manager on board, we’ll talk about the coaching staff,” Polk said. “Steve has brought a lot of strong organization” to the franchise, Polk said, adding Clifford’s health crisis (a six-week leave to address severe headaches) concerned everyone in management.
February 21, 2018 | 5:07 am EST Update
“He’s not [coming back to Miami]. But the fact when ESPN polled 48 players about what they thought might happen with LeBron that they even mentioned the Heat shows that, at worst, the Heat remain relevant in players’ consciousness,” Winderman wrote. “Basically, the NBA players polled still consider the Heat a desirable landing spot. And that is a good thing. But I cannot fathom, as you pointed out, the Heat having enough on their roster to attract such a level of free agent. There was a time when I thought Hassan Whiteside could have been such a lure, but with his role minimized, I don’t see that as the case anymore.”