Tom Orsborn: More from Pop on resting players: “We have been in constant contact with the league, and they’ve been great about understanding that sort of a situation. They know full well what everybody is going through. All in all, the decision to do this seemed like the right way to go.”
Tom Orsborn: Pop on resting Murray & Mills at end of a 5-game, 7-day road trip: "As you can imagine, it takes its toll. We just decided with this increased density in the schedule since the All-Star break we needed to help them stay in good shape."
Joe Mussatto: Darius Bazley (left shoulder contusion), Al Horford (rest), George Hill (right thumb surgery) and Josh Hall (left knee soreness) are out tonight at Chicago. Lu Dort (left toe sprain) is questionable. First time Horford will rest in consecutive games.
Kellan Olson: No Justise Winslow for the Grizzlies tonight against the Suns as they gradually work him back. He played yesterday in OKC. Cam Johnson (health and safety protocols) still out for the Suns.
Alykhan Bijani: #Rockets Injury/Status: Dante Exum (NWT-R Calf Strain) Eric Gordon (Out-R Groin Strain) Danuel House (Out-R Knee Contusion) Rodions Kurucs (NWT–L Oblique Strain) Davis Nwaba (Questionable–R Wrist Strain) Victor Oladipo (Out–R Quad; Injury Maintenance) PJ Tucker (NWT) John Wall (Out–L Knee Contusion) Christian Wood (Out–R Ankle Sprain)
Eddie Sefko: Rick Carlisle said that intermittent rest games will be a fact of life going forward. "There will be more of these in the second half of the season. This is certainly no disrespect to Oklahoma." He added that none of the rest games will be pre-announced.
Brad Townsend: Kristaps Porzingis and Luka Doncic are listed as out for tonight's game against OKC. Doncic with right ankle "injury recovery" and Porzingis with left knee "injury recovery."
Connor Letourneau: Steve Kerr on sitting Draymond Green and Stephen Curry tonight: "Very easy. Draymond, we definitely didn't want to play a back to back on the ankle from the other night, and Steph just needs a rest."
Kendra Andrews: Steph Curry (rest) and Draymond Green (left ankle injury management) have officially been ruled out of tonight’s game at Phoenix. @Anthony Slater first reported earlier today. Kelly Oubre Jr. is listed as questionable with a left wrist sprain.
Joe Mussatto: Al Horford (rest) is out tonight. "It really comes down to our medical team," Horford said on deciding which night to sit on a back-to-back. "I just really lean on them and prepare when I need to go, and when I need to sit I'm there to support the guys."
Ryan Ward: Lakers officially rule out LeBron James, Anthony and Marc Gasol for tonight’s game vs. Kings: pic.twitter.com/7THmYOkAHc
Joe Mussatto: Daigneault on the decision to rest Al Horford on the front end of this back-to-back: "We do it purely based on what's physically best for him. He's very much a stakeholder in that process. To be honest with you, I'm not in the room even on those conversations."
Neil Dalal: With 38 games in 68 days in the second half of the schedule the Wizards will likely look for opportunities to rest Bradley Beal, Russell Westbrook, and maybe others at times (whether that be games off and/or limited minutes). Scott Brooks hinted at such just now.
Josh Lewenberg: OG Anunoby will not play tonight, the Raptors say. Sounds like they're giving him some rest in the 2nd night of a back-to-back as he works his way back from the calf injury.
Joe Mussatto: Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will be available tonight after missing the last four games with a left knee sprain. Al Horford (rest) is out on the second night of a back-to-back.
Mirjam Swanson: Tyronn Lue on the Clippers' absent trio, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard and Patrick Beverley: "They're doing better." On Pat: "Just being cautious and holding him out of back to backs."
Kristina Pink: Clippers Injury Report tonight vs Miami: Paul George (Bone Edema Right Toe), Kawhi Leonard (Left Lower Leg Contusion), and Patrick Beverley (Rest-Healthy) are all OUT.
Fred Katz: Scott Brooks on what went into the decision to rest Beal tonight: "He needed some rest.” He adds it has to do with the tough schedule the Wizards are dealing with now. Washington has 16 games in 27 days and leaves on a west coast trip next week.
Paul Garcia: "He can't play back to backs," says Coach Pop of Derrick White as he returns from injury. Pop says White will be out for tomorrow's game against GSW.
Fred Katz: Scott Brooks on if Russell Westbrook will play in tomorrow’s game: "That’s definitely an option tomorrow. We don’t know yet. See how he feels tomorrow morning.” Westbrook has missed half of every back-to-back this year.
Joe Mussatto: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Lu Dort and Theo Maledon are all available for the Thunder tonight. Darius Bazley (low back soreness) and Isaiah Roby (right foot soreness) are questionable. Al Horford (rest) is out.
Omari Sanfoka II: Dwane Casey said Wayne Ellington is probably out tonight with a strained calf. Derrick Rose is also out, resting him on the first half of a back-to-back
Tim Bontemps: Kemba Walker says he won't be playing in one half of back-to-backs for the foreseeable future. Not a surprise, given Boston is trying to build Walker up to be ready for the postseason.
Fred Katz: Russell Westbrook is OUT tonight against the Heat, the Wizards say. Westbrook will rest on the second half of a back-to-back. Raul Neto (left groin) is out once again, as well.
Brad Townsend: Carlisle on Porzingis: "I think there's a good chance that, eventually, he'll be playing back-to-backs. I'm just not exactly sure when." Carlisle says he believes Porzingis is working steadily toward meeting that threshold.
Tim MacMahon: Mavs are listing Kristaps Porzingis as questionable for tonight’s game vs. Suns due to injury recovery. They are being cautious about playing Porzingis in back-to-backs — but the Mavs are desperately in need of a win after losing 7 of 9.
Shams Charania: Nets say Kevin Durant (injury recovery) has been ruled out tonight vs. Oklahoma City.
Eddie Sefko: Kristaps Porzingis (knee maintenance) will not play tonight vs. Houston, the fifth game in seven nights for the Mavericks. Victor Oladipo out for Rockets for load management. Rick Carlisle says he's doing exceptionally well.
Salman Ali: Stephen Silas on holding out Victor Oladipo: "The long-term health of Vic is most important and that's how we're approaching it with all of our guys."
Mike McGraw: Otto Porter listed out tonight vs Lakers. Donovan talked this week about possibly resting him on back-to-backs to keep his back healthy. Could open up minutes for Hutchison's return. Wendell Carter (quad) also out. #Bulls
Tony East: Victor Oladipo, whose Rockets are playing on the second night of a back-to-back tonight, is out this evening. He’s still resting on one of the nights of B2Bs, even on his new team.
Omari Sanfoka II: Blake Griffin (injury management) and Derrick Rose (left knee soreness) are out for tonight's game against the Sixers.
John Karalis: Kemba Walker minutes restriction will be similar tonight. Brad Stevens suspects Kemba will "be more and more angry with me" as the keeps the restriction around 20 minutes or so
Brian Robb: Brad Stevens says Rob Williams will be limited to 10-15 minutes tonight in his return to floor.
Anthony Slater: Warriors have a home back-to-back against the Spurs and Knicks coming up. No plans to rest anyone on either side of it, per Steve Kerr.
Nick Friedell: Kerr gave some of his veterans a day off in advance of the upcoming back to back against the Spurs and Knicks. Kerr said as of now everybody’s minutes will remain the same — but he wants to see how the games play out.
Roy Parry: In addition to Evan Fournier being out tonight vs. Milwaukee, Magic F James Ennis also will not be available due to right hamstring injury management, the team said. For more Magic coverage tonight, follow @OS_ChrisHays and go to OrlandoSentinel.com.
Dane Moore: Ryan Saunders says that Karl-Anthony Towns won't necessarily miss all back-to-backs. Saunders says "the plan is fluid". Saunders says this situation is unique because KAT happened to return on the front-end of a back-to-back.
Josh Robbins: The decision not to play Aaron Gordon (left hamstring injury management) was taken because this is the first game of a back-to-back, Steve Clifford said. Clifford added the hope is that Gordon won't need to be held out any more games in back-to-backs for the rest of the season.
Cayleigh Griffin: #Magic injury report gets longer as Aaron Gordon is OUT (Left Hamstring; Injury Management) Aminu, Carter-Williams, Fultz, Isaac, and Okeke are also out. Fournier is questionable (Back; Low spasms)
Jim Owczarski: The #Pistons will have Blake Griffin back tonight off rest while Josh Jackson (ankle) is considered questionable. They lost Killian Hayes for a long while the other night. The #Bucks, once again, will be without Pat Connaughton, Torrey Craig and Sam Merrill.
Tom Azarly: Kawhi Leonard, who isn't listed on the Clippers injury report, is expected to play tonight against the Warriors. It'll be his first back-to-back set since April of 2017.
Eric Woodyard: Pistons’ Blake Griffin (left knee injury management) and Josh Jackson (right ankle sprain) are out today vs. Milwaukee, according to the injury report.
Mark Medina: Steve Kerr said it's clear how much he will increase Draymond Green's workload. He was at 18 minutes on Friday against Portland. Kerr: "We're not going to all of a sudden throw him out there for 30 minutes tomorrow."
Duane Rankin: #Suns injury report vs. Nuggets Dario Saric (right quad soreness, injury management) OUT. Part of #Suns plan in bringing Saric back as this is 2nd of back-to-back for Phoenix. Played at Utah last night. Abdel Nader (concussion protocol) and Jalen Smith (left ankle sprain) OUT
Josh Robbins: Al Horford (rest) and George Hill (neck spasms) will not play tonight in Oklahoma City against the Magic, said Thunder coach Mark Daigneault.
Brandon Rahbar: Daigneault on if Horford will rest on every back to back: “Remains to be seen but we’ve had success (with Gallinari). It’s certainly not us dictating to Al, we’ve had conversations with him. We’re going to have him on a plan this year to have him play at a high level all season.”
Joe Mussatto: Al Horford (rest) is listed as out tonight against the Magic. Ty Jerome (left ankle sprain) is also out. George Hill (neck spasms) is questionable.
Rod Beard: #Pistons injury report for Monday at #Hawks: OUT: Blake Griffin (left knee injury management) Derrick Rose (rest) QUESTIONABLE: Jahlil Okafor (right ankle sprain) PROBABLE: Sekou Doumbouya (right foot soreness) #DFS
Malika Andrews: The Nets will decide tomorrow morning if Kevin Durant will play in this back-to-back, Steve Nash says. The Nets face the Hornets tonight and the Grizzles tomorrow.
Jovan Buha: Vogel says the Lakers will approach every back-to-back assuming LeBron James and Anthony Davis are going to play, but they will evaluate each one on a case-by-case basis.
Quinton Mayo: Russell Westbrook WON’T play tonight (rest) Wizards announce.
Alex Schiffer: Durant said he's going to talk to Nash and the training staff about the Nets upcoming back-to-back. Wants to play as much as he can, including Sunday, but wants to do what's best.
Ava Wallace: Scott Brooks said the team is still deciding how to handle Russell Westbrook and Davis Bertans' minutes with a back-to-back this weekend. Brooks has said Westbrook won't play back-to-backs. Bertans' minutes will "slowly increase."
March 22, 2023 | 9:21 pm EDT Update
Walt “Clyde” Frazier said he’d been “meandering” all day on Wednesday, one day after the loss of his longtime friend, captain and championship teammate, Willis Reed. “It took me so long to get dressed today,” the famously fashionable Frazier said softly before working Wednesday’s game between the Knicks and the Heat as the longtime analyst for MSG Networks. “It’s been devastating. After seeing him on the video for the 50th anniversary, I didn’t know he was that far gone. Everybody was really surprised.”
Law Murray: Clippers injury report for Thursday night: – Paul George (right knee) out – Norman Powell (left shoulder) out – Brandon Boston Jr. (tailbone) out – Jason Preston (G-League) out – Moussa Diabaté (2-way) out – Xavier Moon (2-way) out
Damichael Cole: A loud standing ovation for Ja Morant in his return to the floor. pic.twitter.com/0LrY2x5Afb
March 22, 2023 | 8:24 pm EDT Update
Mike Brown on Domantas Sabonis: He's as close to Draymond Green as a big man
Sabonis leads the NBA in rebounding and is dishing a career-high 7 assists per game. Every teammate — even Fox — knows to run the wings when Sabonis grabs a defensive board. “He is as close to Draymond Green as any big man I’ve seen in terms of someone who can get it off the glass, bring it up, and make the right play,” says Brown, who coached Green as an assistant in Golden State for six seasons.
During Sabonis’ rookie year in Oklahoma City, Russell Westbrook invited Sabonis to early-morning workouts to go through the nuances of pick-and-roll, says Billy Donovan, who coached that Thunder team. They drilled how to read a defender’s feet, when Sabonis could slip screens, how Sabonis could make himself available for pocket passes. (One of Sabonis’ rookie duties was supplying Westbrook with Snapple for team flights, Sabonis and others on that team recall.) Sabonis was astonished that Fox ceded so much ball handling to him right away, including letting Sabonis rush the ball up after rebounds. “I was really surprised,” Sabonis says. “He has been with the Kings forever. This is his team. He really let me do my thing. Not many franchise point guards would let their big man bring the ball up. He ran with me. He set screens for me. That’s what shocked me most. That’s what made the transition so easy. Neither of us care who is who. We just want to win.”
Sabonis suffered an avulsion fracture in his right thumb and ligament damage in his hand. Fixing it required surgery that would cost between six and eight weeks. The Kings were 17-14, sixth in the West, only a couple games ahead of No. 11. Sabonis wanted to keep playing. “In my mind, sitting out was not an option,” he says. “Six to eight weeks — we can’t risk that.” He asked the team’s medical staff to wait to see if the swelling would subside. It did — enough. He joked that he didn’t use his right hand anyway. After consulting with doctors, trainers, and Sabonis’ agents, the decision was made: He’d play on. The training staff nicknamed him “Wolverine” for his apparent imperviousness to pain.
“He didn’t always understand — this should come from you,” Brown says. “To tape that thumb up and say ‘I’m playing,’ it sets the tone for the whole team. If he and De’Aaron are doing things like that, everyone else falls into line.”
In the weeks before the trade, Thunder officials had talked to Sabonis about playing him more at center — the position he preferred. He pictured himself in Oklahoma City long-term. As free agency approached, Sabonis heard rumors the Thunder might sign Blake Griffin and worried he could end up traded as a result. When news broke that the Clippers had re-signed Griffin, Sabonis was relieved and went to bed to rest up for his summer league game the next day. Minutes later, Thunder officials called to tell him he had been traded. “I was in shock,” he says. “Like, are you joking? I was not so happy.”