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Sunday, January 21, 2018

Basketball

Joel Embiid hoping to play in back-to-backs before February

Joel Embiid

Joel Embiid may soon be taking a pretty big step towards assuming a normal NBA workload.

Speaking with reporters on Thursday, the Philadelphia 76ers big man said that he hopes to be able to play in back-to-back sets by the end of January, according to Keith Pompey of the Philly Inquirer.

After missing all of his first two seasons due to injury and being limited to just 31 games last season, the 23-year-old Embiid has held up fairly well so far in 2017-18. He has now played in 31 out of the Sixers’ 40 games and is seeing 31.3 minutes a night (up from 25.4 last year).

Embiid has missed seven total games on back-to-back sets so far this season, but the Sixers still have nine such sets left. Some have voiced the opinion that the team is overprotecting Embiid. Finally being available for back-to-backs would go a long way towards putting that narrative to rest.

Bulls say Kris Dunn does not appear to have concussion

Kris Dunn dunk

The Chicago Bulls provided a positive update on the status of Kris Dunn following the point guard’s scary fall late in Wednesday’s game against the Golden State Warriors.

Dunn landed face-first on the court after falling following a dunk in the fourth quarter. He was taken to the locker room to be evaluated. The Bulls later said that Dunn had chipped and dislocated teeth, but he did not appear to have any concussion symptoms.

Dunn’s fall was so bad it appeared to leave teeth marks on the wood floor:

If all Dunn ends up with out of the whole situation is a visit to the dentist, he’ll have escaped what could have been a much worse situation.

Report: LaVar Ball files trademarks for ‘Junior Basketball Association’

LaVar Ball Lakers

LaVar Ball said recently that he is planning to launch his own basketball league that will provide players with an alternative to playing collegiately, and his actions thus far indicate he is serious about the new venture.

According to documents obtained by TMZ, Ball’s company Big Baller Brand has filed applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to secure the rights to phrases like “Junior Basketball Association” and “JBA.” Big Baller Brand is seeking to use the league name and a logo of Lonzo Ball dunking a basketball on athletic apparel, uniforms and other items.

Ball explained the vision for his basketball league last month, noting that he wants to pay high school graduates between $3,000 and $10,000 per month to join. The idea isn’t horrible as an alternative for players who plan to be one-and-done at the college level anyway, but there would be a lot of hurdles to clear for Ball.

With all the drama Ball has created for the Lakers as of late, the team would probably love it if its star rookie’s father had something else to occupy his time. Perhaps Magic Johnson should do what he can to help LaVar get his league off the ground.

Kris Dunn bloodied after landing on face following dunk (Video)

Kris Dunn dunk

Kris Dunn was taken to the locker room after landing on his face following a dunk during Wednesday’s loss to the Golden State Warriors.

Dunn went up for a fastbreak dunk late in the fourth quarter of the Chicago Bulls’ 119-112 defeat to Golden State. He ended up landing on his face:

Dunn was bleeding after the dunk. Some reporters also said he had cracked his teeth.

Once he got up from the floor, Dunn was taken to the locker room.

Dunn had 16 points in 30 minutes before injuring himself.

Jalen Rose tells Paul Pierce he is ‘petty’ for denying Thomas tribute

Jalen Rose

Jalen Rose did not hold back when telling Paul Pierce he thought he was “petty” for the way he handled the whole Isaiah Thomas situation.

Rose and Pierce are both analysts/personalities on ESPN’s NBA coverage and talked Wednesday prior to the network’s coverage of the Lakers-Thunder game. Rose offered his opinion on Pierce telling the Boston Celtics to quash a Thomas video tribute on Feb. 11, which is the same day the team is retiring Pierce’s jersey.

Rose told Pierce to his face he thought he was being “petty” for not sharing the spotlight.

A lot of folks agree with Rose. Thomas receiving a video tribute before the Cavaliers-Celtics game on Feb. 11 probably would not take away much attention from Pierce’s jersey retirement celebration. However, Pierce wants the day to be all about him and does not want to share with Thomas.

At least Pierce has a backer in one of his former teammates, if not one in Rose.

Dwight Howard humorously taunts Wizards after making free throws

Dwight Howard

Scott Brooks’ decision to have Dwight Howard shoot some free throws at the end of Wednesday’s Charlotte Hornets-Washington Wizards game backfired, leading Howard to do some taunting.

After Tim Frazier and Michael Carter-Williams were ejected with about four minutes left in the game, Brooks chose to have Howard shoot MCW’s free throws.

Howard entered the game and nailed both. He then blew a kiss at the Wizards and did the Sam Cassell dance:

The “Big Balls Dance” typically leads to a fine, so those made free throws may prove costly for Dwight.

Tim Frazier, Michael Carter-Williams ejected after altercation (Video)

An altercation during Wednesday’s game between the Wizards and Hornets led to the ejection of two players.

Following a layup by Chris McCullough, Jason Smith was called for a foul as a result of getting tangled up with Michael Carter-Williams. Carter-Williams took exception to the contact and made his way towards Smith before being corralled by teammates. Words were exchanged by members of both teams. That’s when Tim Frazier ran in to join. Obviously upset, Frazier tried to wrestle his way from an official, who was attempting to hold him back.

You can see what transpired in the video below.

Frazier and Carter-Williams were both ejected for their roles.

The incident is the latest of many this week in the NBA. Arron Afflalo threw a huge punch towards Nemanja Bjelica on Tuesday. There was also the postgame fight between the Rockets and Clippers on Monday.

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