Mike Vorkunov: Dennis Smith Jr and Isaiah Hicks will play and come off the bench for the Knicks tonight against the Wizards
Stefan Bondy: David Fizdale was optimistic Dennis Smith and Emmanuel Mudiay will play again this season, but not Allonzo Trier. Apparently Trier's calf injury flared up against yesterday.
Ian Begley: Dennis Smith Jr. will not play for the Knicks tonight due to a sore lower back. The injury had kept him out of several games last month.
Marc Berman: Dennis Smith Jr. (disk) is back tonight with Fizdale admitting the back "still sore.'': "I’m not going to put Dennis in a tough situation. He’s been down for a while. The back is still sore. But he wants to go. The more minutes he can play with these guys, the better."
Mike Vorkunov: Noah Vonleh, Dennis Smith Jr., and Allonzo Trier are all out for the Knicks tomorrow vs. the Clippers. They'll be re-evaluated next week.
Marc Berman: Fizdale said Dennis Smith Jr. Is at least few games from returning. Back still bothering.
Steve Popper: Dennis Smith Jr. is out tonight with a sore back. Kadeem Allen was recalled from Westchester. Ntilikina is still out. Mario Hezonja is available.
Dwain Price: DSJ didn't practice today because of the stomach flu. Carlisle: "He went to see the doctor, so he'll be listed as questionable for tomorrow." Smith also has missed the past three games with tightness in the middle of his back. The #Mavs host the #Spurs tomorrow at 7:30 p.m.
Dwain Price: DSJ is listed as day to day with tightness in his back. He said: "I was feeling great going into it, and when I woke up (on Jan. 8) it was worse. I'm getting old. That’s all it is. That's what happens with old age. Father Time is undefeated."
Dwain Price: Dennis Smith Jr. missed Wednesday's game against Phoenix with soreness in his back and didn't make the trip to Minnesota for tonight's game against the Timberwolves. Carlisle: "I don't have an update. I hope it's not serious. I don't think it is." @Dallas Mavericks
Dwain Price: Carlisle on Dennis Smith Jr.'s minutes tonight. "We'll kind of go whistle to whistle and see how he’s doing. I think it’ll be difficult for him to play a full compliment of minutes. But hey, he’s 20 years old. We’re happy to have him back. We've missed him." @Dallas Mavericks
Dennis Smith Jr. believes he's very close to returning to action and that he "for sure" will be in uniform before 2018 is history. "I'm making great progress," he said after the final pre-Christmas game Sunday in Portland. "I'm getting better with everything and it's feeling better every day. It'll be soon, I can tell you that, for sure."
"I have no update on Dennis," coach Rick Carlisle said before the two-day Christmas break. "He's doing consistently better and hasn't had setbacks is what I can tell you." Smith has been getting daily therapy on the wrist, but a big part of the recovery is simply hoping Mother Nature takes care of business.
Dwain Price: Rick Carlisle said Dennis Smith Jr. (wrist) will not play tonight against the @Orlando Magic , and he also said he's "900,000 percent sure" Maxi Kleber (elbow) will play tonight.
Tim MacMahon: Mavs PG Dennis Smith Jr. is doubtful for Monday’s home game vs. Magic as he continues to deal with a sore right wrist.
Jonathan Feigen: With Dennis Smith Jr. out, Mavericks rookie Jalen Brunson getting his second start.
Jonathan Feigen: Luka Doncic (illness), Dwight Powell (left knee effusion) and Dennis Smith Jr. (right wrist sprain) are questionable for the Mavericks against the Rockets tomorrow. Expect updates on Paul, Green shortly.
Tim Bontemps: Rick Carlisle says Dennis Smith Jr. is out tonight against the Celtics with a right wrist injury. "It's not right yet. He's not going to go." Says Smith hurt his wrist against Memphis. Wes Matthews, though, will play.
Eddie Sefko: Dennis Smith Jr. is out tonight after rolling ankle in Philly. Right players will see action, including Yogi Ferrell in his 82nd of season.
Dwain Price: Dennis Smith Jr. on his impending comeback: "I’m going to finish the season out. Whenever they think that I’m ready to come back, I’ll be back. Like I said, just finish the year out strong. Like I said, we’re just going to rehab and make sure I’m ready whenever I do come back."
Dwain Price: I just talked to Dennis Smith Jr. He said he's doing fine. And he's still wearing the walking boot. Smith sprained his left ankle with 3:30 remaining in the 3rd quarter of last night's game against Brooklyn. @Dallas Mavericks
Eddie Sefko: Rick Carlisle said Mavericks may have "dodged a bullet" with Dennis Smith Jr. injury. Won't be on crutches tonight
The good news, as painful as the sprain may be: the injury is not season-ending. Smith will be able to fully recover without any long-lasting issue. Said coach Rick Carlisle: "X-rays were negative. He won't require crutches. I have no timetable at this time. We probably dodged a bullet. I would think he's doubtful for Tuesday, but that's all I know." Added Junior: "Very relieved. ... I don't want to say I'm going to be ready for the next game, but they're going to make sure I can get back this season, for sure."
Eddie Sefko: Dennis Smith Jr. will play tonight against Rockets after sitting a game for knee soreness.
Mark Followill: Dennis Smith Jr out tonight with left knee soreness. Carlisle anticipates he might play tomorrow vs Houston
Earl K. Sneed: Dennis Smith Jr. (left hip strain) will play vs. Detroit, per Rick Carlisle. #DALvsDET
Earl K. Sneed: Rick Carlisle says Dennis Smith Jr. (left hip strain) is “optimistically questionable” Wednesday vs. Detroit. He went through an intense workout Monday and Tuesday. #DALvsDET
Earl K. Sneed: Dennis Smith Jr. (left hip strain) went through @Dallas Mavericks shootaround. #DALvsPHX
Tim MacMahon: Mavs rookie PG Dennis Smith Jr. (left hip strain) is listed as questionable for Monday's game against the Suns. Smith has missed the last five games.
Mavs rookie PG Dennis Smith Jr. (hip) will not play on the upcoming road trip, coach Rick Carlisle said.
Earl K. Sneed: Rick Carlisle says there’s no timetable for Dennis Smith Jr. (left hip strain) to return: “Him getting 100 percent healthy is our No. 1 priority.” Smith will meet with the team physician when the @Dallas Mavericks return home.
Earl K. Sneed: To be clear, Dennis Smith Jr. (left hip strain) is progressing, per Rick Carlisle. Mavs just don't want to put a timetable on his return until they're sure he's 100 percent.
Earl K. Sneed: Dennis Smith Jr. (left hip strain) says he hopes to return sooner than Rick Carlisle’s two-game prediction: “I don’t know about two (games). I know one is mandatory. We’ll see how I feel tomorrow.”
Earl K. Sneed: Per Rick Carlisle, Dennis Smith Jr. (left hip strain) is still questionable tonight vs. Milwaukee. #DALatMIL
Eddie Sefko: Rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. did not go through practice on Thursday to rest a sore hip area. Not believed to be anything serious. Status to be updated Friday in advance of Milwaukee game.
Eddie Sefko: Dennis Smith Jr. says his left knee is fine and he'll play tonight at Utah 8 pm tip. Said the "questionable" designation doesn't apply 2nite
Earl K. Sneed: Rick Carlisle says the @Dallas Mavericks are monitoring Dennis Smith Jr.'s left knee closely: "This is a greater workload than he's ever hard."
Tim MacMahon: Mavs rookie PG Dennis Smith Jr., who missed the last two games due to left knee effusion, is questionable for Monday against the Warriors.
Eddie Sefko: Rick Carlisle on any news re: Dennis Smith Jr.s, left knee: "Nothing that I’m going to report.” Don't overreact to that. Just nothing new.
Smith tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in August 2015, the summer before his senior year of high school. He experienced swelling in the knee after shootaround Friday, and the decision was made to not start him less than an hour before the game.
Earl K. Sneed: Per @MavsPR, Dennis Smith Jr. is out for the @Dallas Mavericks vs. Sacramento with left knee effusion. #DALvsSAC
Earl K. Sneed: Dennis Smith Jr. (left ankle sprain) says he will play for the @Dallas Mavericks tonight in Charlotte. He'll have a lot of family in the crowd.
Earl K. Sneed: Dennis Smith Jr.: "Being a gamer, one of my goals is just to not miss any games after my ACL injury. I missed a whole year with that."
September 26, 2021 | 12:48 pm EDT Update
Where do you feel you rank among the top point guards in the game? Ja Morant: Top 5. If you’re Top 5, who else is there with you? Ja Morant: Morant: Steph (Curry). I’m a big Chris Paul fan. I’d say Dame (Lillard) and (Russell) Westbrook. It’s tough. The point guard position is so loaded. Some guys have to get left out.
Your teammate, Jaren Jackson Jr., was the No. 2 breakout player, according to a poll of 15 NBA executives I did for HoopsHype. What do you expect from a healthy Jaren this season? Ja Morant: To me, personally, I think he’s No. 1 if he’s healthy. He’s been battling some injuries that set him back. A healthy Jaren is definitely the number one breakout player this season. He’s just a special talent that’s gifted. He’s 7-foot-1, can shoot the three, can put it on the floor, and can play inside. He does so much on the floor. As long as he stays healthy, which we need him to be, he’s definitely number one.
What do you think of Dillon Brooks as a defender and as a player overall for this team? Ja Morant: Dillon is an important piece to this team offensively and defensively. I’ve been saying a lot now that I feel like he doesn’t get the credit he deserves for his defense, especially against some of the top guys. Some of them probably won’t admit it, but I feel like most of the games when they struggled, Dillon was guarding them. Soon, that’ll come that he gets his respect for that. Offensively, how he’s able to score the ball from all three levels is big-time for us.
Speaking of locker rooms, what are the expectations in the locker room for the Grizzlies this season? Where do you guys think you can compete on what type of level? Ja Morant: I feel like we can compete with the top teams in this league. We all have that mindset, and this chip on our shoulder we go out and play with each and every night. Now, it’s continuing to buy in and keep gelling as a team and getting better with chemistry. Having more guys step up and talk who’ve been in the game for a while to help the young guys come along. Our goal this year is to continue to be better in all areas and better than we were last year.
Granted, all of that stuff is a lot easier to say in the offseason than it is to actually feel when a player is on the outside looking in. But while it could just be a bunch of PR-friendly cliches being spewed, this team also really could be that committed to winning. Ellington certainly thinks so, and during a recent appearance on BallIsLife’s “Noble and Roosh Show,” he also outlined a few other reasons he thinks guys will be all right with not playing as much as they have in the past: “I think we have one of the older rosters, so I think guys are able to be mature about that. We understand that everybody’s not going to be able to play 30 minutes a game, so there’s going to be sacrifice. There’s going to be sacrifices that need to be made, and I think that’s part of the understanding. “But also, understanding that with the older roster, guys aren’t going to be able to play. Guys aren’t going to play every single game. I think you’re going to see sometimes guys get rested and that’s where the ‘Next Man Up’ mentality comes into play.”
It’s why he also likes that the team made sure to add a few younger players as well: “I think it’s a great combination, man, of basketball IQ, championship experience, hunger with the guys wanting more. You got a mix of guys that haven’t won championships who are hungry for championships. You got some young guys in Kendrick Nunn, Malik Monk, THT, you got some young guys that are dogs. I think it’s a great mix of veterans and some mid guys and some young guys. I think the roster was constructed beautifully.”
Jonathan Isaac: Misrepresentation only allows for others to attack straw men, and not reason with the true ideas and heart of their fellow man. It helps no one! True journalism is dying! I believe it is your God given right to decide if taking the vaccine is right for you! Period! More to follow
September 26, 2021 | 6:15 am EDT Update
“The NBA should insist that all players and staff are vaccinated or remove them from the team,” NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar tells Rolling Stone. “There is no room for players who are willing to risk the health and lives of their teammates, the staff and the fans simply because they are unable to grasp the seriousness of the situation or do the necessary research. What I find especially disingenuous about the vaccine deniers is their arrogance at disbelieving immunology and other medical experts. Yet, if their child was sick or they themselves needed emergency medical treatment, how quickly would they do exactly what those same experts told them to do?”