Brandon Rush's sacral stress reaction 

October, 22, 2014
Oct 22
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The Golden State Warriors likely won't have Brandon Rush available for at least the first game of the 2014-15 regular season due to an issue to his lower back -- a sacral stress reaction.

Clifford's wing rotation 

October, 22, 2014
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The Charlotte Hornets will tip of their 2014-15 regular season next week and at this time head coach Steve Clifford is unsure about the rotation at the "wing" positions -- shooting guard and small forward.

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Nuggets 15th spot goes to ... 

October, 22, 2014
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The Denver Nuggets have until Monday to set their roster for the regular season, but they don't need any more time as they decided on Tuesday night who they are going to keep among those on the bubble.

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Why Ronnie Price will stick with Lakers 

October, 22, 2014
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The Los Angeles Lakers are currently carrying four point guards and they will probably keep all of them when they name their opening regular season roster. When Ronnie Price signed his make-good contract on Sept. 24 it was thought that the nine-year NBA veteran would not make the team, but that thinking has changed due to the injuries to the other three point guards.

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Pistons roster bubble 

October, 22, 2014
Oct 22
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The Detroit Pistons released four players on Monday and are down to 16 on the preseason roster. They have until Oct. 27 to move one more player off the team via waivers or a trade to reach the 15-man limit.

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Sixers to add more new players? 

October, 22, 2014
Oct 22
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All NBA teams have five more days to set their opening roster for the 2014-15 NBA regular season. The Philadelphia 76ers are currently running with a full 20-man roster, which means players will be released no later than Monday.

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NBA update: Extensions and Options 

October, 22, 2014
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First round picks from the 2011 NBA draft or those that signed rookie contracts that year are eligible to sign an extension by Oct. 31. Should deals not get done they will be restricted free agents next July if tendered a qualifying offer by June 30.

So far Kyrie Irving, No. 1 pick in the 2011 NBA draft, has signed a max five-year extension with the Cleveland Cavaliers, while the Morris twins have signed with the Phoenix Suns and the Denver Nuggets completed a deal with power forward Kenneth Faried. That group is now up to five as Nikola Vucevic has reportedly accepted a four-year, $54 million extension from Orlando.

Teams also have until Oct. 31 to pick up the fourth-year team option for 2012 first round picks and third-year team options for 2013 first round picks. Portland's Damian Lillard, Indiana's Solomon Hill, Toronto's Terrence Ross and Jonas Valanciunas and Washington's Otto Porter Jr. and Bradley Beal, Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo and John Henson as well as New York's Shane Larkin had their option picked up prior to Sunday. Yesterday Minnesota picked up the options for Anthony Bennett, Gorgui Dieng and Shabazz Muhammad and Sacramento did the same for Ben McLemore.

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First Cup: Wednesday

October, 22, 2014
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  • Joe Freeman of The Oregonian: Chris Kaman endured a bizarre injury Tuesday night that would be fitting for his reality web series. The Trail Blazers' backup big man suffered a head laceration when Denver Nuggets center Timofey Mozgov inadvertently gnawed on it during the Blazers' 93-75 victory at Coors Events Center. While playing defense, Kaman backed into Mozgov in an effort to box him out as a Denver player attempted a shot from the perimeter. But as Kaman pushed Mozgov, the 7-foot-1 center toppled on Kaman's back and chomped down on his head with his teeth. "I went back pretty hard and I must've hit him in the chest," Kaman said, retelling the story. "He kind of folded over and his teeth went down on my head." Kaman instantly cupped his head, felt a gash and blood. He was pulled from the game and taken to the locker room, where he was given three stitches. After the game, he was wearing a big bandage on his balding head, but said he felt "pretty good."
  • Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post: Alonzo Gee has made the Nuggets roster, a move set in stone when the Nuggets released forward Quincy Miller after Tuesday night’s preseason game against Portland at the Coors Events Center. Miller occupied the only roster spot available for competition on the team, and had hoped to hold onto it. But the play of Gee, a free agent signee who had been traded a number of times during the summer in salary cap moves, was too much for the young player to overcome. The Nuggets trimmed Miller from the roster with one game remaining in the preseason. Marcus Williams and Jerrelle Benimon also will be waived from the Nuggets roster, bringing it down to the mandated 15 ahead of the Oct. 27 deadline. Miller took to Twitter to thank fans who wished him well late Tuesday night.
  • Judd Zulgad of 1500ESPN.com: Miserable might not be a strong enough word to describe Anthony Bennett's rookie season. The Cavaliers surprised many by taking the Toronto native first overall and Bennett did nothing to prove them wrong. He had undergone shoulder surgery in May 2013 and he dealt with injury issues throughout last season. He averaged only 4.3 points and 3.0 rebounds. When he did begin to regain his health, Bennett started to take off some of the weight that was slowing him down. He continued that into the offseason and then, after he was traded, he joined new teammates Shabazz Muhammad and Ronny Turiaf in working with San Francisco based athletic trainer Frank Matrisciano. Matrisciano's claim to fame is the fact he has trained Navy SEALs. His work over several weeks with Bennett and Muhammad was obvious when they returned to Minnesota having shed any flab they were carrying and looking chiseled. Bennett is now listed as carrying 245 pounds on his 6-foot-8 inch frame. ... One factor that is easy to overlook about Bennett is the fact he's only 21 years old and won't turn 22 until March. He played one season at UNLV before declaring for the draft. That means in many ways he likely was completely unprepared for what would come with being the surprise No. 1 pick in the NBA last season.
  • Candace Buckner of The Indianapolis Star: Through six preseason games, it has become abundantly clear that the Indiana Pacers will need time to mesh as a unit. Almost just as much, they require stability. The first five need minutes together on the court while the rest of the rotation needs the steady drum of routine. These will remedy those problem passes and reticent touches through the exhibition season, where the Pacers have failed to reach triple digits in five of six chances. Though Indiana demands these simple solutions, the team has neither the luxury of time nor the blessing of stability -- facts that also came into focus during its 107-89 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night. David West did not make the trip. Rodney Stuckey did not play. C.J. Watson did not change out of his warm-up suit. And later in the night, George Hill left the game, his left knee swelling, to pile on the team's woes during a preseason that has produced more injury reports than traces of promising play. "It takes time," center Roy Hibbert said. "Especially with guys out, it's going to take even more time."
  • Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman: When Kevin Durant was in the lineup, Russell Westbrook could afford the occasional bad shooting night. Those 4-of-14’s could be masked by KD’s 12-of-18’s. But with Durant gone — carrying with him that extreme efficiency — Westbrook’s makes-to-takes percentage will likely carry more weight. If he’s off, it’s tough to see the Thunder beating many good teams. In the final three preseason games, Westbrook went a combined 14-of-43 from the field. OKC lost each by wide margins. Against Utah, he had his dominant spurts — he followed a nice first-half post-up of Dante Exum by swiping the rookie and slamming in the open court. But his mid-range jumper has been off. And that’s hurt the offense. Westbrook was 6-of-16 on Tuesday night, and the Thunder was outscored by 20 points with him on the court. Can’t happen in Portland next Wednesday.
  • Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune: Dante Exum recently found out that he and Oklahoma City Thunder rookie forward Josh Huestis are third cousins through their parents. While Exum is well known as Utah’s lottery pick in June’s NBA Draft, Huestis is also a first round pick, a former all-conference forward at Stanford and a part of OKC’s future. "It’s certainly a blessing," Exum said. "To have family so close to where you’re playing is a great thing. We all just learned this a few days ago, so I’m excited to get to know them." Huestis is expected to play in the NBA Developmental league this season. He’s a 6-foot-8 small forward who parlayed a great senior season at Stanford into being selected in the first round. The Thunder see him as a wing defender who can hit 3-pointers, spotting up while Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook do the bulk of the playmaking. The two are related through their fathers. Cecil Exum and Poncho Hodges are second cousins. Both played professional hoops, which is how the Exum family moved and planted roots in Australia. Exum said he will meet Huestis for the first time on Tuesday night. ... "The chances of two kids so close to relation getting picked in the same draft are slim to none," Hodges said. "I’m now an OKC and Utah Jazz fan."
  • Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle: By halftime, the Rockets might already have considered the night a success. Dwight Howard had shown signs of picking up speed toward being ready for the season opener next week against the Lakers in Los Angeles, and he took a giant step in that direction Tuesday against Miami.Howard put in a pair of lefthanded jump hooks, but the more impressive part of his night was the explosiveness around the basket. By halftime, Howard had 15 points and eight rebounds in a 90-85 preseason loss to the Heat. With his first touch of the second half, Howard turned on Chris Bosh, used a basic drop step to his left, and dunked over him. Howard finished 7-of-10 for 19 points in 28 minutes.
  • Ava Wallace of The Miami Herald: With just one preseason game left before the Heat’s home opener on Oct. 29, coach Erik Spoelstra is still missing one important piece to his puzzle. Forward Josh McRoberts, who has been recovering from toe surgery that he had over the summer, has yet to make his debut with the team. The free-agent acquisition is expected to be Spoelstra’s starting power forward when he’s cleared to play. McRoberts sat again in the Heat’s game against Houston on Tuesday. “If you ask him he would’ve wanted to play tonight,” Spoelstra said. “We’re being very patient and diligent with this. It’s still early, everybody’s anxious, he’s anxious, everybody wants to see him out there, he’s been able to practice now, that’s what I care about." With the start of the regular season looming, the Heat is still in flux — Spoelstra went with five different starting lineups across seven preseason games, to mixed results. But Miami might have to wait to find stability until McRoberts returns.
  • Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic: The budding chemistry between Bledsoe and Plumlee was short-circuited last season by Bledsoe's injuries. Apparently, nobody has seen anything yet. At least, nobody outside Suns practices has. Bledsoe has an affinity for tossing lobs to Plumlee in half-court sets even more than transition. Plumlee has an equal liking to slamming them, although his preseason began with his hands being shaky on any sort of pass until recent preseason games. Plumlee said he was overexcited in early games but is finding his pace and rhythm. That has been most apparent in pick-and-rolls with Plumlee driving down the middle of the floor. ... Plumlee said he worked on catching passes in traffic to build on his breakthrough season with better habits. That has meant being more cognizant of going to the ball to avoid deflections and snatching the ball with a firm, two-handed catch.
  • Bill Oram of The Orange County Register: After missing three games because of a sprained ankle, Lin demonstrated just how much of a difference he can make for the Lakers. Offensively limited without him, the Lakers were far more varied with their offseason acquisition in the fold. Lin finished with 15 points, five assists and four rebounds but, more importantly, he meshed well with Kobe Bryant. “Jeremy makes a huge difference,” said the Lakers’ superstar, who finished with 27 points, “creating shots for others. We’ve got somebody else who can penetrate, make plays for others and put pressure on the defense. It’s a really big difference.” Acquired in an offseason trade with Houston, Lin was penciled in as the Lakers backup behind Steve Nash, but the presumed starter in case Nash’s health limited his time on the court. With Nash out for the foreseeable future, it may be Lin time.
  • Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle: Festus Ezeli hadn’t played in a basketball game in more than 750,000 minutes, so waiting nearly nine minutes before getting called to sub into Tuesday night’s game against the Clippers seemed like nothing. The Warriors’ backup center, who has been sidelined with right knee surgery and subsequent right shin inflammation since playing his last game May 16, 2013, remarkably didn’t show any rust in the team’s 125-107 win. Head coach Steve Kerr actually wanted to wait until late in the second quarter to give Ezeli his first playing time in 17 months, but the stars aligned for the big man’s wait to end sooner. Starting center Andrew Bogut missed the game with an illness, and reserve centers Ognjen Kuzmic and Marreese Speights each quickly got into foul trouble. With 3:05 remaining in the first quarter, Kerr called timeout and then sent Ezeli onto the court. He made an almost immediate impact, swatting a Jared Cunningham layup attempt, making a short turnaround jumper and dunking an alley-oop pass from Andre Iguodala in the quarter’s final two minutes.
  • Robert Morales of the Los Angeles Daily News: We wrote Monday about how newly acquired backup post Spencer Hawes likes playing alongside fellow Seattle native and sixth-man Jamal Crawford. Safe to say, the feeling is mutual. “I’ve know Spence since he was 17,” Crawford said. “Every summer, when we play pick-up, we play together. We’ve always been on the same team, even when he was with Philadelphia and I was with New York. For us, we have a great synergy. But we’re just trying to complement the guys that are out there.” Crawford is 34, Hawes 26. Crawford is averaging 21.3 points through five exhibition games. Only teammate Blake Griffin and Golden State’s Klay Thompson are averaging more and they are both at 21.6 points per game. Crawford is shooting 60.7 (17 of 28) percent from 3-point range.

What does Tannehill need to work on? 

October, 21, 2014
Oct 21
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On Sunday, Ryan Tannehill had his first multi-touchdown, zero-interception game of the season, as he completed 25 of 32 pass attempts for 277 yards. The Miami Dolphins ended up beating the Chicago Bears 27-14, pushing them to 3-3 on the season.

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Expectations increasing for TE Allen? 

October, 21, 2014
Oct 21
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On Sunday, Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen caught a 32-yard touchdown pass and finished the game with three receptions for 52 yards. It's already his fifth touchdown in seven games, three of which came in the red zone. That's a role that Allen said he wasn't expecting to be used in this season.

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The Chicago Bears have lost three of their past five games, including Sunday's 27-14 loss at home to the Miami Dolphins. QB Jay Cutler makes for an easy target when it comes to the Bears' struggles on offense -- and WR Brandon Marshall reportedly called him out in the locker room Sunday -- but perhaps opposing defenses simply have figured out coach Marc Trestman's system.

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Wayne looking iffy for Week 7 

October, 21, 2014
Oct 21
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After hurting his elbow during Sunday's game, Indianapolis Colts WR Reggie Wayne downplayed the injury afterward.

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Will McCown replace Glennon Sunday? 

October, 21, 2014
Oct 21
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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been playing without QB Josh McCown since he tore a ligament in his thumb back in Week 3, leaning, instead, on second-year QB Mike Glennon. However, McCown returned to practice Monday with his first significant throwing session since he got hurt.

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Rajon Rondo back for opener? 

October, 21, 2014
Oct 21
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Rajon Rondo has been unavailable for game action during the preseason to allow his fractured left hand to heal. The Boston Celtics will tip off their regular season on Oct. 29 against the Brooklyn Nets and head coach Brad Stevens did not rule out a return for his starting point. For his part, Rondo is unsure when he will get clearance for all basketball-related activity.

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Could Price end up with Dodgers? 

October, 21, 2014
Oct 21
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Last week, the Los Angeles Dodgers named former Tampa Bay Rays executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman as their new president of baseball operations. He was the man responsible for trading away David Price to the Detroit Tigers prior to the trade deadline, a move born of financial necessity.

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