Zeller (hip) said he expects to be back Monday for a Martin Luther King Day matinee against the Knicks. “Yes definitely hopeful. We’ll see what happens [Sunday] morning,” Zeller said. “It’s nothing major. It’s just a lot of soreness, trying to move, not moving the way I want to. I just needed a day to hopefully get it to all calm down and I’ll be back soon. “I probably did something awhile back but it’s become worse. I was hoping over time it’d go away, and over time it’s kind of built.”
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Michael Gallagher: Trevor Booker and Tyler Zeller are available. Spencer Dinwiddie is OUT.
Michael Gallagher: Nets Injury update for tonight’s game at Portland: RHJ is available. Trevor Booker (back) and Tyler Zeller (illness) are OUT.
Zeller has not played since Dec. 29 as a result of an illness that remained a mystery to both him and doctors for quite some time. The illness was eventually determined to be an issue with his inner-ear, which he said resulted in his balance being thrown off and him feeling “a little out of it” over the past three-plus weeks. Zeller fully participated in Monday’s practice and Tuesday morning’s shootaround with no issues, which gave him confidence to return to the lineup tonight. “I felt good,” he said Tuesday morning of his participation in practice. “I felt as good as I could.”
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January 16, 2018 | 9:59 pm EST Update
After the Mavericks’ shootaround at Pepsi Center on Tuesday, Dennis Smith Jr. clearly laid out his thoughts on the Verizon Slam Dunk event that will be on Saturday night, Feb. 17, in Los Angeles. “That’s something I’d like to do,” the 20-year-old said. “If I’m given the opportunity, I’m definitely willing to do it. That’s the event that I watched a lot growing up, and it’s probably the most exciting event of the All-Star weekend, except the actual game.”
If the league sticks with four dunkers, that means that a lot of quality rim-benders will be left out. “I don’t know when it happens,” Smith said, adding that he has not heard anything yet about the possibility of being in the event. “But it feels like I should be given the opportunity. It’s not my decision, though.”
Allan Horton: Bjelica postgame on his altercation with Afflalo… “I was just trying to protect myself & thank god I reacted that way [moving back to avoid the punch]. He was wild, I don’t know what’s wrong with that guy but I was just trying to protect myself.”
LeBron James reclaimed his kingdom in China from Stephen Curry — arguably the most popular current NBA star in China — in terms of jersey sales, according to the latest NBA China jersey and merchandise sales for the 2017-18 season.
Kobe Bryant, who retired at the end of the 2015-16 season, finally dropped from the top ranks of jersey sales in China. Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers were No. 1 on jersey and team merchandise lists at the beginning of 2017 and fell only to No. 2 by the end of last season.
January 16, 2018 | 9:14 pm EST Update
The reigning slam dunk champion won’t be back in time to defend his crown but would like to see Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell participate in Los Angeles just like the rest of the world. “Definitely. Just based off the highlights that I’ve seen and just watching his game. I like his game,” Glenn Robinson III said. “I know a lot of people do and a lot of fans is excited and that’s the most important part. So I think that he definitely is going to be on that list to be in it.”