Storyline: Jayson Tatum Injury

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Playing significant minutes at power forward in Tatum’s place and even playing occasionally at center, Brown’s flexibility and intensity have been a needed injection. “I feel like I’m not a position player, I’m a basketball player. 4-3-2, whatever coach needs me to do, I will make the adjustment,” Brown said. “Obviously with Jayson out, there’s a little more opportunity and maybe it was a little more visible. But every time I take the floor, I want to be aggressive.”

Jayson Tatum back on Wednesday?

Stadium:Good news for the Celtics and USA Basketball, per NBA Insider @ShamsCharania: Jayson Tatum has a strong chance to make his return for Team USA in quarterfinals against France on Wednesday.

According to Celtics head coach Brad Stevens, Tatum underwent tests after missing Saturday’s practice. He was cleared to practice two days later after the imaging showed no serious damage. “Jayson’s X-rays and MRI whatever came back looking good,” Stevens said after Monday’s practice. “I don’t know what officially he was diagnosed as but he went through most of practice today and he’ll be at least questionable, probably probable, for tomorrow.”
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August 3, 2020 | 3:32 pm EDT Update
“Zion is not on their injury report,” said Brian Windhorst on his podcast. “They are treating him as though he’s coming back from an injury, but he’s not on their injury report. I cannot make an assumption as to what’s going on there. When you watch him play, he clearly is not in condition to compete at the highest level. As I’ve watched him play two games, I don’t actually think they should have played him at all with the way he’s playing. I talked to a scout who said to me he shouldn’t be out there right now with the condition he is in. He said to me, ‘He’s moving worse than he did in Summer League last summer when he got hurt in his first or second game.’ “I don’t know if that’s because he’s out of condition, or that’s because he’s got something that they’re not discussing. This is one of the things that the Pelicans have to deal with… this is a guy who has a history of knee injuries and is not right either because of conditioning or because of something else.”
1 hour ago via RealGM
Williamson was gone from the Pelicans for over a week and then was under quarantine for a few days when he returned to Orlando. “He does not look right,” said Kirk Goldsberry. “It does not look good. I don’t know if I would go so far as to say he shouldn’t be out there because I don’t know… Something smells fishy here. I don’t know what’s going on. He does not look like the kid that was dominating the league in March.”
1 hour ago via RealGM
Now that the Wizards have lost their first two games at Disney World, that rule is coming back into the forefront. The Wizards are currently tied in the loss column with the Hornets, who aren’t in Orlando but are locked in with the eighth-best lottery odds. What that means is if the Wizards continue to lose, they can’t gain more ping-pong balls for lottery night, which is set for Aug. 25. And now there is a distinct possibility they could have worse odds than a team with a better win percentage than them.
Storyline: Draft Lottery
It would be a cruel twist for the Wizards, who need as much help as they can get in this year’s draft as they hope to find another blue chip prospect to add to their burgeoning young core. Making that pick count is especially important given their salary cap situation with John Wall and Bradley Beal on the books, which has left them with fewer resources to work with. They could get another key rotation player on a rookie contract. The good news is that the lottery rules were changed more permanently before last year’s drawing in order to create more parity in the annual event. It smoothed out the odds to discourage tanking and the results in its first year were as-intended.
August 3, 2020 | 2:49 pm EDT Update
Zalgiris big man Jock Landale will be playing in a different team next season. With the request of the player, Jock Landale and Zalgiris have mutually agreed to part ways, as the Aussie continues to seek out his dream of playing in the NBA. A member of the Australian men’s national team signed a deal with Zalgiris last summer and had a running contract for next season. After the two sides reached an agreement, the 24-year-old addressed the fans and the Zalgiris organization. “I just wanted to reach out and say thank you for everything you’ve done for the past year. It was such an incredible experience coming to Lithuania and playing for such a historic club and a legendary coach. To the organization, I appreciate what you guys have done. Everyone’s got goals and ambitions, and you really helped me reach mine. You’ve got a fan in me for life.”
Storyline: Jock Landale Free Agency
August 3, 2020 | 2:11 pm EDT Update
August 3, 2020 | 12:55 pm EDT Update
While watching Sunday night’s box-office affair between the Houston Rockets and Milwaukee Bucks, perhaps the saying speaks more to the mental exercise of what it takes to play defense and get stops. “Heart and will,” James Harden said. “Everybody says we’re undersized — and they got a couple of offensive rebounds on us just cause they have 7-footers and whatnot — but you gotta just keep fighting, keep fighting. Once we get that ball, we’re out, so it just takes good spirit, fighting and making sure we’re communicating defensively and in our right positions.”
Westbrook finished with 31 points, eight assists and six rebounds, but it’s more important to note how he kept Houston afloat while Harden sat with foul trouble. He constantly put pressure on the Bucks’ defense, forcing them to concede open shots to Green, Tucker, Ben McLemore, and others. In addition, it seemed like him and Harden struck a good balance of when to attack versus when to move the ball and look for others. When Harden struggles offensively, Westbrook is more than capable of picking up the slack. “Yeah, I think we’re comfortable now,” Harden said of the pair’s chemistry. “I think with that training camp, we’re in a good place. We found ourselves.”
Storyline: Harden-Westbrook Dynamic
“We loaded up,” House explained. “We talked. The most important thing was to stop him before he got downhill, of course. We did a good job about locating him before he could get the ball or even after he got the ball to make sure that we were on the help side and that guys were already communicating with one another. That’s been a big help and a big factor for us — communication on defense. So we don’t have those “my bad” moments.” “Very important,” Harden added on their late-game defense. “I think throughout the course of the game we played some really good defense. Obviously, they’re a really good offensive team, but throughout the course of the game we got stops when we needed to.”
Jonathan Isaac suffered a torn ACL on Sunday night and will be out for the remainder of the season, and the injury came at a time when the Orlando Magic star was gaining tremendous popularity. Isaac’s jersey sales have skyrocketed recently, with only LeBron James having a hotter-selling jersey. The increase in sales was likely a response to Isaac refusing to kneel during the national anthem recently.
August 3, 2020 | 11:16 am EDT Update

August 3, 2020 | 9:07 am EDT Update
T.J. Warren? Really nice player, an amazing acquisition from the clueless Phoenix Suns, who gave him away for “cash considerations,” but you could have gotten a trillion-to-1 odds on Warren going for 50-plus on the very first regular-season game in the bubble. Or in any game. Anywhere. “We fed the dragon,” Oladipo said, smiling. “A guy that hot, you try to get him the ball, and I thought all our guys were trying to do that,” Pacers coach Nate McMillan said. “T.J. was as hot as I’ve ever seen him. And I thought his teammates did a good job of sacrificing, of screening and getting him the ball and giving him proper spacing. You’ve got to milk him. I thought our point guards (Aaron Holiday and T.J. McConnell), they combined for 18 assists, we had 44 assists in the game, so our ball movement was good, and a lot of that was ending up in T.J.’s hands.”
Even if he remained almost 1,500 miles away, Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum sensed he was not too far from family. His son, Deuce, joined the virtual fan section and became giddy after seeing his dad on the screen in uniform for Sunday’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers. “He’s a fan favorite,” Tatum said. “I was happy he was able to watch the game.” Deuce saw his old man help the Celtics to a 128-124 win over the Trail Blazers by scoring 34 points on 11-of-22 shooting. He also saw Tatum have a bounce-back game coincidentally after getting a haircut here on the NBA Disney campus.

JJ Redick starting podcast company

Now, Redick hopes to expand his platform. In a telephone interview, he said he was set to start his podcast company, ThreeFourTwo Productions, this week with his co-host and business partner, Tommy Alter, along with a new weekly podcast, “The Old Man and the Three,” which ticks the obligatory podcast box of having a pun in its title. “It’s a little play on Hemingway,” Redick said. “I’m the old man in this scenario.”
August 3, 2020 | 2:32 am EDT Update
After Isaac’s injury in early January, Magic officials expected Isaac to miss the remainder of the season and the playoffs, but the pandemic gave him extra time to rehabilitate and strengthen his leg. When players were allowed to return to the Magic practice facility in mid-May for optional individual workouts, Isaac often worked twice a day with team performance staff and medical staff. The current Magic front office has a reputation for being ultra-cautious with the health of its players, especially its younger players. But questions now will be raised whether Isaac was allowed to return too quickly.
Isaac, a 22-year-old forward and potential franchise cornerstone, crumpled to the court and clutched his knee as Magic head athletic trainer Ernest Eugene and athletic trainer and manual therapist Aki Tajima attended to him. A pained expression crossed Evan Fournier’s face. Wes Iwundu looked to the ground, his hands cupped to his face. Fultz prayed. “That was tough, man,” said Aaron Gordon, another of Isaac’s teammates. “That one brought me to tears instantly just because I know how good of a guy J.I. is and I know how hard he works and how hard he has worked to get back.”
“It was very difficult to see him go down like that again, especially the same knee,” said Nikola Vucevic, who saw the injury occur from the Magic bench area. “He was looking great, actually. We were all very happy for him mainly just because he’s a great guy and great teammate. We all have a lot of respect for him, and so for him to go down like that was very difficult to see, especially when you know that he had just came back.”
Storyline: Jonathan Isaac Injury

Mavs make playoffs despite loss

The Dallas Mavericks weren’t in the mood to celebrate the end of the franchise’s three-year playoff drought. The Mavs officially clinched a playoff berth due to the Memphis Grizzlies’ 108-106 loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday afternoon. Hours later, Dallas dropped to 0-2 in the NBA bubble with a 117-115 loss to the Phoenix Suns in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. “Our goal was to make the playoffs, and we achieved that, but for me and for us, we’re going to try to win every game now that we have left in the regular season,” said Mavs center Kristaps Porzingis, who scored 30 points in the loss. “Then, we’ll see where we end up in the playoffs and go from there. This is not a sprint. This is a marathon, and with each day, with each game, with each practice, we want to be a better team and better individually.”