AN ARENA NEAR YOU — Welcome to another edition of the CSN Insider notebook, where we’re once again looking at all the hot-button topics that has folks abuzz in the NBA.
There’s been a lot of talk about teams giving players nights off, also known as “strategic rest”… which, as you can imagine, hasn’t been a huge hit with fans or the NBA league office.
But even that may not be enough to keep core guys from getting hurt.
Unfortunately, the Chicago Bulls know all about this.
Dwyane Wade, who has been held out at times this season as a precautionary measure, suffered a right elbow fracture in a loss to Memphis last week which ended his first (and maybe last?) season in Chicago. Without Wade down the stretch, it’s unlikely the Bulls will make the playoffs.
CSN Chicago Insider Vincent Goodwill examines not only the injury and its impact on the Bulls, but also the long-term implications of Wade’s player option to return next season to a roster that may or may not include fellow All-Star Jimmy Butler.
D-Wade one (season) and done in Chicago?
Veterans know their bodies better than trainers, so when Wade heard the “click-click” in his right elbow in the third quarter of the Bulls’ loss to the Memphis Grizzlies last Wednesday, he feared the worst.
“I told them … it was pretty much a dislocation at the time, and [the elbow] went back in, so [we're] kind of dealing with the aftermath of what that looks like,” Wade said. “This is what it looks like.”
Wade is out for the regular season and there doesn’t appear to be a lot of hope for an improbable playoff showing, should the Bulls come back to qualify for the eighth spot.
The Bulls (33-37) are 10th in the East, a game behind Detroit and Miami, which are tied for eighth.
Looking forward, one wonders if Wade’s future is tied to the player he came to Chicago to aid: Butler. The Bulls have been noncommittal about Butler’s long-term standing in Chicago. And although he has a $23.8 million player option for next season, there’s no guarantee Wade returns for the second year of his contract.
Will Wade want to ride out another season of uncertainty with young players, especially if Butler is moved? It’s certainly a question that deserves to be asked, although he won’t answer it at this point.
“At this point, it’s too much cart in front of the horse,” Wade said Thursday. “Couple hours removed but definitely too soon.” — by Vincent Goodwill
Smart, Brown dust-up in the past now?
At the end of Celtics practices, often you’ll find Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown playing one-on-one. It’s apparent to anyone who has seen them play against each other that both are very competitive and stubborn.
Well, those competitive juices almost got out of hand against Minnesota on Wednesday, as they engaged in a shouting match that ultimately ended with Jae Crowder stepping in between them.
Neither player spoke after the game as they boarded a plane that night for New York City to take on Brooklyn. Prior to the Nets game, which the Celtics won 98-95, both players apparently made up and all is good … for now.
“It was two passionate guys, at the end of the day, (who) want to win,” Brown told CSN’s Abby Chin.
“It was nothing, really,” Smart echoed similar sentiments. “We had different views on things, like any other team. And you know it’s over with and it’s on to the next one.”
The brouhaha seemed to stem from Brown’s not allowing a play to develop, instead cutting it short for a drive to the lane and then not getting back defensively.
The replay showed Brown had a lane to the basket that was closed quickly by the Timberwolves and resulted in his missed shot. It was the kind of aggressive offensive play the Celtics have come to expect from Brown, who was taken with the No. 3 pick in last June’s NBA draft.
What was lost in this dust-up was what so many on the outside recognize.
The Celtics have a young but very talented group of players who are trying to do the seemingly impossible: continue developing their games and grow as future leaders while simultaneously helping the team win.
This wasn’t the first time the Celtics have some of their youngsters blow up at one another, and it won’t be the last. The only thing that’s not decided is whether it’ll be as public as it was against Minnesota, or will they manage to keep it in-house? – by A. Sherrod Blakely
Raptors due for a shake-up?
Even before it was determined that Kyle Lowry’s right wrist injury would need to be surgically repaired, the Raptors were struggling. His absence by itself meant a lineup change, but Toronto might need to make one at another position besides Lowry at the point.
The Raptors may give some thought to moving DeMarre Carroll to the bench and inserting P.J. Tucker, acquired from Phoenix near last month’s trade deadline, into the starting lineup.
Carroll, Toronto’s big offseason addition two years ago, has failed to live up to the high expectations the Raptors had for him.
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