With Marc Gasol already out indefinitely and Tony Allen hobbled too, the Grizzlies will have to push forward without yet another pivotal piece after announcing swingman Quincy Pondexter is out indefinitely with a stress fracture in his right foot.
There has been no hotter team in this young season than the Pacers, and no more noteworthy emergence than that of Paul George. Something in that combination apparently fueled Kevin Durant in Oklahoma City’s drubbing of Indiana on Sunday night.
The Thunder star finished with 36 points (on 14-of-23 shooting), 10 rebounds and five assists as the Thunder rolled 118-94. George typically manages to slow down even the most skilled wing scorers, but he had no such luck containing Durant in a game that got away from the Pacers rather quickly.
The Knicks are neck-deep in basketball misery, but are slowly nearing a bit of good news. After missing more than four weeks of action, Tyson Chandler — an essential component of New York’s rotation who was sidelined by a fracture in his right fibula — participated in non-contact drills on Monday, according to the team. This only puts Chandler more or less on schedule (perhaps even slightly behind), but his return can’t come quickly enough for a Knicks team fighting just to keep its head above water.
Nearly eight months after tearing his Achilles tendon, Kobe Bryant made his long-awaited return on Sunday. The results were unspectacular: Bryant scored just nine points on 2-of-9 shooting in 29 minutes, and notched eight rebounds, four assists, and eight turnovers. Below is a sampling of reaction to Kobe’s performance, whether from a big-picture lens or an analytical microscope.
• Bryant’s return to the court was a production. There was a trailer released on Friday to tease fans and build hype. Bryant’s pregame introduction warranted its own music cue, with the loved-and-hated Bryant stalking stoically through a crowd of his high-fiving teammates to John Williams’ “Imperial March.” NBA TV scheduled for the occasion, fans flooded into STAPLES Center, and an otherwise unremarkable matchup against the Raptors became an event.