"We're going to miss him for sure, but we're hopeful he…

“We’re going to miss him for sure, but we’re hopeful he can get back sooner rather than later,” Suns coach Monty Williams said before Phoenix’s home win over Denver on Sunday. “He’s a huge part of our team, culture and we just have to wait and see, but just feel for him cause he was playing so well.” Dario Saric is expected to miss at least the entire regular season as he’s rehabbing from tearing his right ACL in Game 1 of the 2021 NBA Finals.
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A source close to the Knicks indicated New York may also have a potential trade partner in the Houston Rockets, who are eager to move John Wall. Like Walker, Wall has had his share of injuries that have factored heavily in him not playing at the level that made him an All-Star from 2014 to 2018. In fact, Wall hasn’t played in an NBA game since April 23, 2021. And while Wall not playing in Houston was agreed upon by both sides earlier this season, he and the Rockets are reportedly having conversations about a return to the active roster.
It was the first meeting of the teams since the dustup between Jokic and Miami’s Markieff Morris on Nov. 8. Morris committed a hard take foul that the Nuggets felt was overzealous; Jokic responded with a shove into Morris’ back. Morris has now missed 11 games with what the Heat have described as a neck injury. Jokic said he hasn’t talked to Morris since. Heat fans booed Jokic every time he touched the ball, and the reigning MVP didn’t seem to mind. “I played in Serbia, brother,” Jokic said.
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Storyline: Jokic-Morris Beef
Jokic, 26, has not talked with Morris since the shoving leading to him receiving a one-game suspension. His adversary has been sidelined with a neck injury missing the next 11 games. His brothers, Strahinja and Nemanja, were in attendance, as promised. They were sitting behind the Nuggets bench. “To be honest, they were coming to Miami every year that was possible. They missed the last couple of years because of COVID with no fans,” the reigning NBA MVP explained, “It is very cool to have them by your side.”
Among the people who have reached out to Blake Griffin since the Nets benched the veteran center/forward has been DeAndre Jordan, whom Steve Nash sat last season for more than a month. Griffin cannot help the team on the court, so he is trying to see how he can contribute from afar. “I have had great examples, DeAndre last year — he is a guy that I talked to, that reached out,” Griffin said Monday at practice, his first time speaking publicly since the Nets minimized his role. “A lot of the guys from last year reached out. [Jordan] did a really great job with it. I told him that. That is how I am going to try to do it as well.” Griffin said he understands why LaMarcus Aldridge is starting over him, but the outright benching came as a surprise. “LA has been playing unbelievable,” Griffin said of Aldridge. “So I totally get starting him, especially [with] Joe [Harris] out. “Being completely out of it though, I didn’t necessarily see that coming.”
Jonas Valanciunas wasn’t exactly a marksman when he entered the NBA in 2012. In fact, in his first five seasons in the league, he went 1-of-4 from 3-point range. But those days are long gone. Valanciunas hit his first seven 3-pointers on Monday night — all in the first half — as he helped lead the New Orleans Pelicans to a 123-104 win over the LA Clippers. The 6-foot-11, 265-pound bruiser has slowly started to add the three-point shot to his game since 2017, but he’s never had a night like Tuesday when he scored a career-high 39 points to go along with 15 rebounds. “Guys were calling him Dirk Valanciunas,” Pelicans coach Willie Green said, referencing Dallas Mavericks great Dirk Nowitzki. “But we want him shooting the ball when he’s open and mixing it in. He still wants to go to the post, which I love about him. He’s a physical guy. But just explaining to him how it’s going to open our offense up with his ability to shoot the ball the way he can, it was amazing to see tonight.”