Posted on: November 22, 2010 6:27 pm

Haslem has surgery, things look dire for Heat

Heat forward to undergo surgery, out "several months" as Heat begin to explore replacment options in frontcourt.
Posted by Matt Moore

When the 2010-2011 Miami Heat were formed from the fires of overhyped free agency, there was one core condition to the fragile thin roster they put together around the three mega-contracts. Everyone had to stay healthy.

Hey, Riley! You got a Plan B, there, champ?

Ken Berger confirms a Miami Sun-Sentinel report that Udonis Haslem will have surgery to repair his injured foot, leaving him out for "several months" which puts the Heat in a desperate situation down low. Haslem was the team's leading rebounder to this point, as well as the toughest low-post defender they had, and a competent finisher off offensive rebounds and the baseline jumper drop-off. Without him, the Heat are left with Joel Anthony, Zydrunas Ilguaskas, and (gulp) Juwan Howard as legitimate frontcourt minute-takers behind Chris Bosh. Those names aren't atrocious next to Haslem, but without him, the team is different. Different in makeup, different in lineup flexibility, different in skillset, and different attitude. Everything changes with Haslem out.

And with Haslem joining Mike Miller on the shelf, the next month and a half is going to be very rough for Miami, who already was struggling in trying to figure out how to play together to underwhelming results.

KB reports that the Heat will turn their attention towards Erik Dampier, who they previously said "Thanks, but no thanks" to. Dampier makes a ton of sense for this team, in need of a true center that can rebound, play defense, and not get in the way, but with injury issues of his own, you have to wonder if he's only a temporary solution until he goes down again as well. Meanwhile, Dexter Pittman continues to rot on the bench for no discernible reason behind Jamal Magloire and other members of the AARP.

The Heat will have to waive a player to make room for Dampier as their roster sits at 15, and Pittman is the most likely choice, even though he's a raw player that can bring youth, energy and a bullish attitude along with all that fat off the bench. Magloire may be in better shape but isn't physically capable at this point. But Erik Spoelstra's conservative, cautious ways mean that Pittman is the most likely last man out if the Heat elect to sign Dampier.

(HT: Miami Sun-Sentinel )

Posted on: November 18, 2010 10:33 am
Edited on: January 6, 2011 8:06 pm

Game Changer 11.18.10: The Greg Oden Debacle

Wrapping up and expanding on the announcement that Greg Oden will have microfracture surgery for the second time, ending his 2010-2011 season and possibly his career. Posted by Matt Moore

Each game is made up of elements which help formulate the outcome. Monday through Friday, we'll bring you the elements from the night before's games in our own specialized version of the game recaps. It's not everything that happened, but it's an insight into what lead to the results you'll see in the box scores. This is the Game Changer.  


In lieu of our regular game changer, we're going to provid you with a wrap up of the Oden news. We'll have more on Chris Bosh's big night in Miami later on.

Eye on Oden

Here's a debriefing on what's going on with Oden, as seen throughout our coverage last night.

As you've no doubt heard by now, Greg Oden will undergo microfracture surgery to repair his left knee. He'll miss the entirety of the 2010-2011 season, and then you have to wonder about recovery time beyond that given the wear and tear on him just from surgeries. Ken Berger spoke with executives around the league and it's widely thought that the Blazers won't even make a qualifying offer to him this summer to keep him in restricted free agency, meaning he would be a free agent.

We covered the press conference live from the arena last night and brought you both video and audio of the press conference. Oden's injuries go far beyond just the left knee and we gave you a comprehensive look at his injury history . Royce Young provided some context for Oden's experience in contrast to the rising star of Kevin Durant, and we examined how Oden's trek back to the league compares with some injury-ridden players who came before him.

Ben Golliver went in-depth on Oden's knee and the situation the Portland trainers are now trying to deal with as they begin to come under severe scrutiny once again.

And you can be sure we'll have more coverage as this unfortunate series of events unfolds. There's a genuine sense of regret and sadness around the NBA blogosphere today. We all wanted to see the next great center. Instead we got the next great disappointment, for Oden and for us.

Around the Web

It took John Canzano to put up the tombstone on the Greg Oden era last night, in what had to be a record.

If you're a sadist, or, if you live in Portland and are a masochist, you can read the reaction from Blazers fans to the news first here in letters to Oden , and here on the Blazersedge reaction thread .

At Hardwood Paroxysm, Zach Harper touches on how this isn't an actual tragedy, but it is a basketball tragedy . (Admission: I'm the editor of Hardwood Paroxysm, but I felt this piece was so good it warranted a link.)

Noam Schiller asks us to remember the Blazers.

Here's an FAQ on the injury with Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus.

Here's another timeline of this particular injury .

Posted on: November 18, 2010 1:21 am

As Oden goes down again, Durant gets brought up

Posted by Royce Young

It's a shame. That's the word that comes to mind. A shame that Greg Oden is hurt again. A shame he's missing this entire season. A shame that the Blazers season has taken yet another hit and that Oden's career has taken yet another detour.

And a shame that we're never going to get an answer. A shame that we're all going to just have to wonder.

In April 2007, the biggest question wasn't who was going to run for the 2008 presidential election. It was "Oden or Durant?" And after news of Greg Oden's second microfracture surgery that will end his 2010-11 season, we're probably never going to get an answer.

Before I go on, yes, Oden still has a chance to have a professional career. It's not over for him. But the Greg Oden that entered the NBA and was projected to be a game-changing, championship building block of a big man is probably gone forever. The Oden the Blazers took No. 1 overall isn't going to be the Oden that's left after yet another injury and another surgery gets through with him.

Oden and Durant are forever linked.  Because of one year, one draft, one general manager’s decision, whatever happens, the top picks of 2007 stand to be compared for the rest of their respective careers.

Is it fair? No, not really. Is it perfectly natural? Yes, yes it is. Oden was taken ahead of Durant in what some considered a bad pick, even at the time. Oden, the conventional, dominant big man or Durant, the once-in-a-lifetime college superstar? Eventually, Oden won out, at least in former Portland general manager Kevin Pritchard’s mind.

But in 2007, Durant won out, at least in the minds of most every NBA fan. Oden sat on the sideline, watching every game of his rookie season without playing a minute. He had his first microfracture surgery on his right knee before even sniffing a minute of real life run in the NBA. Durant, meanwhile, went on to glide to the Rookie of the Year Award.

Next, 2008. Oden starts his rookie season well, but 13 minutes in injures his foot and misses two weeks. The Sam Bowie rabble-rabbles fire up again. Oden returns after two weeks and plays relatively well. But in late February he bangs knees with Corey Maggette and fractures his left kneecap, and has to miss three more weeks. The tags of “fragile” and “injury prone” are tossed on Oden, two words that are the Black Spot for a big man. Bad knees, plus bad feet, most times equal bad career. You know, Sam Bowie. Rabble, rabble.

Durant again, is playing out of his mind. In his second year, he averages 25.3 ppg with insane efficiency numbers and high shooting percentages. He tosses his name into a group with Michael Jordan and LeBron James in terms of fastest to score 3,000 points. Durant is a revelation in the making. What were once murmurs of “Portland screwed up with Oden” are quickly becoming booming declarations in the forms of columns and articles and radio show banter and whatever else. Everyone that once thought Durant was a better pick than Oden is coming out of nowhere to remind you about it.

And then Dec. 5, 2009. Oden’s second season is off to a nice start. The seven-footer from Ohio State is averaging a solid 11.7 ppg, plus a nice 8.7 rpg and 2.4 blocks per game in just 24 minutes a night. He’s not Bill Russell like some thought, but he’s certainly developing into a worthy center. Keep in mind, it is just Oden’s second season. But like so many feared, six minutes into a game against the Rockets, Oden goes down a large heap clutching his knee. It quickly goes from “Oh, I hope he’s alright” to “Oh no. Oh no. OH NO.” Oden is on the floor writhing in pain. A stretcher comes out. Oden is carted off. His 2009-10 campaign is likely over just like that with a busted left patella.

Durant on the other hand finished the season as the league's youngest scoring champ in history, finished second in the MVP voting, took his team to 50 wins and the playoffs, signed a five-year maximum extension, won a gold medal in Turkey and the World Championship MVP and got enough preseason hype that if converted into a fossil fuel, could power America for the next 200 years.

And now, this. Another microfracture surgery, this time on last season's injured left knee. Greg Oden is the a true Shakespearean basketball tragedy. While Durant is an early MVP favorite and leading the league in scoring again. I don't think two players separated by just one pick could really go in much more opposite directions than this.

It's the reason you can't mention Oden's name without having Durant's follow closely along with it. Another shame in this whole ordeal.

Yes, Oden went ahead of Durant in the 2007. Yes, Durant’s career projects to be more successful than Oden’s. Yes, had Portland taken KD instead, they’d probably be a much better team.  It’s a nice “What If?” that might make Bill Simmons’ fifth reprint of The Book of Basketball (now with more footnotes!) and give talking heads something to chatter about for a while. But this isn’t the time for that. This is no time to smile and say, “Oops, should’ve taken Durant.” It’s a time to shake your head and feel absolutely awful for Greg Oden.

It’s expected to compare the two players. I get that. It was a controversial pick at the time and it stands to be evaluated for a long time. It’s what we do as sports fans. We play the armchair GM and judge and scrutinize and play the “What If?” game. When somebody makes a decision to take one guy over another, we have to pick it apart. What if the Pistons had taken Carmelo instead of Darko? What if the Hawks took Chris Paul instead of Marvin Williams? What if Shaq decided to be a synchronized swimmer as a child? Things might be different, but who really knows? Maybe Durant gets swallowed up in Portland’s scheme and never evolves into the machine he is now. Maybe Oden lands in OKC and never is in a situation that gets him hurt and becomes an All-Star center. You just can’t say for sure. You can’t.

The thing is, Durant has always viewed the fact Portland passed him over as motivation. He hasn't been shy about that. That's who he is. He's competitive and the fact he was slighted has always given him a small chip on his shoulder like he still has something to prove.

But I can promise you, this news bummed KD out. He didn't want it this way. He didn't want people to come and pat him on the back and say, "See, Portland should've taken you, huh?" under these circumstances. He wanted to earn that. On the court. By outplaying Oden. Not by outlasting him.

Oden once told Henry Abbott that it "bothers him a lot" to see KD playing well. But he meant it because it just illustrates his issues. Oden said, "Kevin’s good and that team is good and him being the captain of that team… he’s playing well. And when I see him playing well I get mad at myself.”

Well it bothers me a lot too for those reasons, Greg. And I'm sure it bothers KD too. We all want to have the opportunity to get the Great Debate of 2007 settled. But it never looks like we truly will. A shame indeed.
Posted on: November 18, 2010 12:05 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:50 pm

LiveBlog: Blazers Oden press conference updates

With the news coming from a Blazers press release that Greg Oden's season is done before it began as he is soon to have microfracture surgery on hs left leg, the Portland Trail Blazers have scheduled a 12 EST press conference to discuss the injury. Ben Golliver is live at the arena and we'll be updating relevant information to you as well as hopefully some media from the event. Check back here for more info. Here's audio of the presser via Ben Golliver


  • 12:07 a.m. ET: Blazer president Larry Miller preemptively defends Portland's medical staff during his opening statement.
  • 12:09 ET: Nate McMillan: "A young man that's devastated." Says situation was "shocking news" ... Says he told Oden "he has to stay positive." Says "Some things you just can't explain."
  • 12:11 ET: McMillan backing his training staff: "We as society want to find someone to point the finger at... Sometimes things just happen."
  • 12:13 ET: Trainer Jay Jensen with his voice getting emotional: "This is a really tough day for us... Greg doesnt deserve what's happened."
  • 12:15 ET: Trainer Jay Jensen says Oden had normal exam just two weeks ago. But then knee was drained Tuesday. Swelled up multiple times this week.
  • 12:18 ET: "Defect in articular surface" in Oden's left knee was then revealed by MRI. Jensen says it was like a "kick in the gut."
  • 12:19 ET: Rich Cho on his medical staff: "I support them 100 percent."
  • 12:22 ET: As for the articular cartilage issue, Oden has a "9 iron divot of grass" like hole in his cartilege, says Jensen.
  • 12:23 ET: Jensen says it's in a totally different location than patella fracture but "certainly something in his workout in LA that triggered this." This injury is "very similar" to injury that led to microfracture in Oden's right knee, Jensen said.
  • 12:26 ET: Jensen on whether Oden will come back from injury: "I believe in Greg Oden..." says Oden's work ethic "gives me hope."
  • 12:28 ET: Jensen: "Greg is 22 years old... He has his whole life and basketball life ahead of him... I think he has a tremendous future ahead of him."
  • 12:31 ET: McMillan: "I will address the team tomorrow... For us, it's part of the game... We're hurt for him ... "We have to pull together, stay together, we have a game tomorrow."
  • 12:32: ET: Jensen on whether injuries cause him to reevaluate what he's doing: "Are you kidding me? ... Yeah, we ask ourselves all the time ... "There are a lot of things in medicine the aren't black and white. There are gray areas."
Posted on: November 15, 2010 7:50 pm
Edited on: November 15, 2010 10:20 pm

Robin Lopez sprains multiple ligaments in knee

Suns center suffers two sprains in left knee, out several weeks. Posted by Matt Moore

When Amar'e Stoudemire headed on his happy way to New York, it was expected that Robin Lopez would be the recepient of the mantle of "best Suns big." Unfortunately, that plan is on hold.

The Suns announced today that Lopez has suffered a sprain of both his MCl and PCL in his left knee. Lopez wasn't playing terribly well to begin with and has been hampered with injuries most of the season, but this just sets him back that much further.

The sprains are expected to keep him out an undetermined number of weeks, which is going to mean lots and lots of time for Channing Frye and more time for Hedo Turkoglu at power forward.

Get excited, Suns fans.

The Suns beat the Lakers last night due in part to them hitting 700 3-pointers.
Category: NBA
Posted on: November 12, 2010 4:27 pm
Edited on: November 12, 2010 8:15 pm

Report: David Lee to miss two weeks

Posted by Royce Young

The Warriors will be without power forward David Lee for two weeks due to an infected elbow, according to FoxSports.com. Lee injured the elbow when Wilson Chandler's face smacked into it and cut deep into it. Chandler actually lost half a tooth on the play.

The cut was so deep, Lee said he could see his bone. And as a result, it's gotten infected and now he's on the shelf. InsideBayArea.com also reports that Lee will have surgery on the arm as well to help clear out the issues. You can't really see that great what happened on the play, but here's video of it.

The San Francisco Chronicle had some details as to what was going on with the big cut yesterday.

“I know, I know, it’s an elbow scratch,” Lee said. “But I was in the worst pain of my life.”

Lee was injured in Wednesday’s victory over the Knicks, when his elbow caught Wilson Chandler’s face on a rebound and knocked out two teeth. Lee completed the game with a three-layered tape job that couldn’t completely restrain the blood from coming to the surface, and he had his best game of the season (28 points, 10 rebounds).

At 8 a.m., however, he woke up in excruciating pain with swelling in his forearm and biceps. By 8:30 a.m., Lee and head athletic trainer Tommy Abdenour were on their way to a Chicago emergency room.

The hospital started an IV and got Lee started on a series of antibiotics. During an X-ray, Lee said blood was dripping off both sides of the machine.

“Now I know what it feels like to give birth,” Lee said. “… I’m a pretty good interview when I’m on Vicodin, huh?”

Well that's pretty darn gross. Blood dripping off both sides of the machine? Three-layered bandages couldn't hold back the blood? I guess it's not hard to see how that thing got nasty.

The Warriors will likely go with Brandan Wright at power forward but will be hurting seriously without Lee. Alongside Andris Biedrins, he's really given the Warriors a decent frontcourt, especially in the rebounding department. Plus, with Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry driving, Lee is a quality mid-range jumpshooter.

But props to Lee for finishing out the game despite battling a cut so bad that blood was literally everywhere. Who says the Warriors are a finesse team?
Category: NBA
Posted on: November 10, 2010 10:09 am

Kaman to miss 2-3 weeks with ankle injury

Posted by Royce Young

Another hit for the sliding Clippers. This time, it's starting center and All-Star Chris Kaman.

Kaman rolled his ankle against the Hornets Tuesday and is expected to miss two to three weeks because of the injury. Kaman underwent X-rays, which showed no structural damage.

Kaman told the L.A. Times after the game, "We just ran one of our plays we only run a couple of times a game, and Rasual [Butler] threw the ball up there a little bit, trying to lead me to the basket," Kaman said. "I think Chris Paul tried to come on the weak side to try to steal it and put his foot right where my foot was supposed to go. Basically, I just rolled my ankle right over right then and it was pretty painful for a second, and then it kind of let up. I've rolled my ankle about 10, 12 times in the past eight years. I knew it was going to be a good one."

DeAndre Jordan will likely start in Kaman's spot with potentially Blake Griffin seeing a little time at center.

Kaman's averaging 12.7 points and 8.6 rebounds per game this season which is down from last season and a little disappointing considering what Griffin is adding next to him. Kaman's shot has been off and he's been forcing things much more. He's taking more shots, missing more shots and having trouble getting settled in to the flow of the game.

The Clippers are already slipping away from any preseason aspirations and Kaman's injury will just about seal the deal on it. But without Kaman in the lineup, there's an opportunity there for Jordan to develop a little while also letting Griffin get more time in multiple block positions.
Posted on: November 9, 2010 11:13 am
Edited on: November 9, 2010 11:14 am

Marvin Williams could miss up to two weeks

Posted by Royce Young

Atlanta head coach Larry Drew said starting small forward Marvin Williams may be out as much as two weeks because of a knee bruise he sustained last Wednesday against the Pistons, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 

Williams will be examined this week to get an official timetable and diagnosis.

So with Williams out and forward Mo Evans also out with a knee, the Hawks don't really have a small forward left to play. The likely plan in to start Josh Smith at small forward (fun!) and move Al Horford to the 4 and Jason Collins in to start at center. There's also the potential to start Jamal Crawford and have Joe Johnson play small forward. 

Smith has played small forward a bit in the past and his main issue is since he'll be more on the perimeter, is that he'll take bad, low percentage shots. Smith made big improvements last season in his shot selection but putting him at the 3 is kind of like dangling a donut in front of a fat kid.

As far as when Williams could return, it's a bit up in the air. "After the first week, it will be about how much he can tolerate the pain," Drew told the paper.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com