NBA Updates 3/17

By: Kento Kato

– There are some unknowns over LaMarcus Aldridge and his heart condition. While it was described as being minor, heart problems have to be taken seriously and carefully. He went through a battery of medical tests today but there is no real timeline yet.

– Andre Iguodala was fined $10k for his racially charged remarks about his coach.

– Through Feb. 1, Jimmy Butler was shooting 45.7 percent from the field, 34.8 percent from the 3-point line, attempting 9.5 free throws a game and pulling down 6.5 rebounds a game, all while averaging 24.6 points a night, according to ESPN Stats & Information. But he suffered a heel injury at that time. In the 10 games Butler has been able to play since sustaining the injury, he is shooting just 37.6 percent from the field, 30.8 percent from beyond the arc, attempting 8.1 free throws a game and pulling down 4.8 rebounds, while averaging 20.2 points a game. Butler is Chicago’s go-to guy and if they hope to make a playoff push, Butler will have to get back to form, and he knows it. When asked about his recent play, Butler, said, “I have to start making shots. Finishing, all of that stuff that I’m supposed to do, so to speak. I have to be better. I will be better. There’s nothing else to say about it.”

– Nikola Mirotic came over to the NBA in 2014 with high hopes but over his first few seasons, his offense has been inconsistent and his defense has been bothersome. It seems as if the Bulls, or at least head coach Fred Hoiberg, has had enough since Mirotic recently told reporters that he was told that he has been taken out of the rotation.

– As we keep it in the Windy City, Dwyane Wade defended their coach when he said that the team is in it together. There seemed to be an understanding that the team was struggling but for now, the team seems to be in unison as they continue to try to make a playoff push.

– Sources wondered about the Cavaliers signing Larry Sanders right after the trade deadline, but they opted for Andrew Bogut. With Bogut recently breaking his shin, sidelining him for the rest of the season, the Cavs signed Larry Sanders today. Sanders hasn/’t played since the 14-15 season in which he averaged 7.3 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks. Sanders may not be the veteran or winning player that Bogut is and he lacks the play-making that Bogut has so often shown, but Sanders is more mobile and younger and gives them, what could be, a motivated, and explosive shot-blocker.

– DeMarcus Counsins has often been characterized as immature, selfish, reckless, and uncontrollable. While he is one of the most talented players in the league, he is more often considered to be a problem. He has earned much of this with his technical fouls and troublesome comments and activities. He has continued to be in the media the last few weeks as he was traded from Sacramento to New Orleans and following his departure, Vlade Divac made it clear that they were happy to move on from him. But Matt Barnes, a former teammate of Counsins’, recently commented on Counsins’ time with Sacramento. Barnes said that the trade talks impacted everyone on the team and said that in the end, Sacramento treated him in a bad way. He referred to how the Kings’ adamantly told reporters that they were not going to trade Counsins but did so without any consultation. Counsins was recently benched for much of the 4th quarter and overtime in a win against the Hornets but told reporters that he was not mad at all about it. “The team was in a good rhythm,” Cousins said Monday. “They were playing a good stretch of basketball. I wasn’t mad at all. We pulled out a good win. I’m not mad at all.”

– After being injured for much of the last few years, Chandler Parsons has suffered another injury. The Grizzles forward will miss the rest of the season with a partial tear in the left meniscus. This is not the one he had an operation on last year, but this will be the third straight year in which he has had season-ending knee surgery.

– Phil Jackson has tried to convince reporters that he does not care if his Knicks do not run an offense that relies mostly on the triangle offense. But players and coaches have made it clear that it still seems to be part of the plan. It does not help Phil’s case that he was there in person with the players a few days ago to talk to the guards on the team about some of the triangles tendencies and its spacing. Jeff Hornacek has been put in a tough position as he was brought in to run a bit of the triangle but that is nowhere near the type of offense he wants to run and the Knicks just do not have the personnel to run the triangle. If Jackson really wanted to run the triangle, he should have coached, and even then, it probably would not have worked. The Knicks do not have Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Shaq, or Scottie Pippen and last I checked, Phil Jackson hadn’t one a ring running the triangle without at least, one of those guys.

– Even more frustrating for Knicks’ fans is the fact that Phil’s adamancy to run the triangle has supposedly only made things more confusing for the players. The Knicks’ second-year star, Kristaps Porzingis was recently quoted saying that the dysfunction of the team and its lack of identity has led to confusion “from top to bottom” in the organization and elaborated saying, “A lot of stuff that’s not clear,” he said. “So it’s hard to play like that.” According to Porzingis, it has been seemingly random whenever they do run the triangle. “We’ve been switching things up because at any point of this season, we never played like we wanted to,” Porzingis said. “It was like, ‘Maybe this will work, maybe this will work.’ So we’re kind of looking for stuff. Coaches, they obviously try to do the best job they can and [are] giving us as much as they can so we have the information. But we never really got it all together and were able to execute the way we should have. It’s been a lot of confusion.”

– Goran Dragic missed the Heat’s last game with an orbital contusion in his right eye as they lost to the Pacers by 4. He suffered the injury on Saturday and expected to play Sunday but the injury worsened over night and was completely shut on Sunday. Team doctors have assured the team that there will be no long-term damage and the Heat hope to have him back by their next game on Wednesday.

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