With a lot happening in the NBA right now, as the season gets going again today following the end of the All-Star Break, we’ll give you all the updates from around the league.
New Orleans On Shaky Ground
We start in New Orleans, where things could get interesting. The team was quick to act in hiring interim GM Danny Ferry after firing Dell Demps. Ferry has a solid NBA track record, but it’s very interesting because shortly after his hire, he’s already trying to talk to the league about making them re-think their stance on Anthony Davis and what benching him could mean. The team was told they would be fined north of $100K per game that they sit him for. If they sit him for the rest of the season, they would owe $2,300,000. Will the league soften its stance? It just might. But to think Ferry just got here and is looking to do that is very interesting. It’s got to be awkward to be part of the Pelicans organization right now.
Joel Embiid Out
The Sixers announced that Joel Embiid had his knee scoped during the All-Star Break and would miss the next week. Part of the announcement included the fans of the NBA’s new favorite team. Embiid will be undergoing “load management” so as to not overuse him during the regular season and keep him fresh for the impending playoff run. This is a very big deal because the team has struggled mightily with him off the floor, especially considering the fact that he has been dominant all season. They will miss him while he was out, as will all of the fantasy owners (myself included).
Dwight Howard Makes His Return
It’s been a long time since we’ve seen him on the court, but welcome back Dwight Howard! The 8X All-Star has only appeared in nine games this year and has not played a game since November. The Wizards have been rolling with Thomas Bryant for months now, and the hope in getting Dwight back is to have 48 minutes of rim protection and slide Jeff Green back into a reserve role. They have a lot of depth in DC, but Howard was supposed to put the team of Wall and Beal over the top. All he has done is ride the bench since his spinal surgery. He’s averaged 12.8 points (lowest since rookie year), 9.2 rebounds (career-low), and 0.4 blocks (career-low). It’s sad to see that injuries have killed his season just a year after he was completely healthy.
Denver Gets Gary Harris Back
After FINALLY getting Isaiah Thomas back last week, Denver will be getting Gary Harris back in their lineup tomorrow. The expensive, $21 million a year guard has only appeared in 32 games this season, constantly shuffling in and out of the lineup. His 14.8 ppg marks the lowest total in that category in three years, while his FG% is 6% lower, and his 3PT% is 8% lower. His steal total is way down, and he has not had a great year. They are very lucky to have Malik Beasley around as such a reliable fill-in for Harris. We shouldn’t expect him to play too many minutes right away based on the depth of the team, but it’s nice to see him back.
Goran Dragic is Back
Welcome back, Goran! This has been the first time in his career that Goran Dragic has had an injury derail his season. He’s used to playing through pain and playing a physical brand of ball, but he’s only played 14 games this year. He was elected to the All-Star Game last season, and he has followed it up with a 13-3-5 line, with his second-lowest field-goal percentage that he has posted during his 11-year career. Miami needs him to play well immediately, as they try to make their playoff push in D-Wade’s final season.