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Jalen Brunson Exits Game With Apparent Ankle Injury

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The New York Knicks got a nice win over the Memphis Grizzlies. It did potentially come at a cost. Their first-time All-Star, Jalen Brunson, exited the game with an apparent ankle injury as he poured in 27 points on the night. On the night, Brunson also logged eight assists and also shot 52.4 percent from the field. Isiah Hartenstein claimed that it looked like an ankle sprain from what he saw as Brunson was fouled by Memphis’ G.G. Jackson with five minutes and 31 seconds left in the fourth quarter. New York was also without Julius Randle and O.G. Anunoby in this matchup. Despite this, the Knicks never trailed and the final score was 123-113. There was plenty that was said postgame.

“We built a big lead, and we didn’t close it off as well as we should have,” New York coach Tom Thibodeau said. “But getting the win is the most important thing.”

“In the second half, our defense wasn’t very good,” Thibodeau said. “They shot 3s, we didn’t challenge. They made them.”

“Playing with him for so long, and knowing him, I said ‘are you good?’ and he said ‘I’m good,‘” Donte DiVincenzo said. “I don’t worry about Jalen at all.”

Even Memphis Grizzlies head coach, Taylor Jenkins had plenty to say about his team’s effort in the matchup against the New York Knicks.

“I thought our guys came with the right fight in the fourth quarter,” coach Taylor Jenkins said. “To jump on them and score 39 points, I thought our group came with the right mentality.”

“We turned the ball over too much, and that led to fast-break, easy opportunities for them,” Jenkins said. “Obviously Brunson had a good thing going on.”

The Grizzlies had seven different players who scored in double figures tonight. Vince Williams Jr. was the high point man for the Grizzlies as he finished with 19 points. The main concern of the night is the status of Jalen Brunson.

Jalen Brunson Exits Game With Apparent Injury As New York Knicks Defeat Memphis Grizzlies 

Jalen Brunson’s Importance to the New York Knicks 

To say Jalen Brunson is extremely important to the New York Knicks would be an understatement. He is the engine that drives their team. The Knicks have also provided Brunson an opportunity to unleash his full potential. They have allowed him to flourish as a true number one option. He is a first-time All-Star for a reason and has led the team to the fourth seed in the Eastern conference with a win-loss record of 33-18.

On the year, Jalen Brunson is averaging numbers of 27.3 points, 6.5 assists per game, and an effective field goal percentage of 54.8 percent. It is safe to say this is a career year for the former Dallas Maverick. Brunson’s career averages are 15.8 points, 4.5 assists per game, and an effective field goal percentage of 54.8 percent. The New York Knicks got a steal in Jalen Brunson. Hopefully, his ankle injury is not too serious as the New York Knicks look to continue to climb the Eastern Conference standings.

 



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Shannon Sharpe wonders if next face of NBA should be a married man

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One of the main topics of discussion during this All-Star Weekend was how the younger generation will start to transition into the new faces of the NBA, especially considering how LeBron James is in his 21st year in the league and many other veterans are starting to wind down into retirement. 

In the latest show of First Take, the ESPN panel ran a rather interesting debate over the next faces of the NBA. Shannon Sharpe explained why he considers a player’s relationship status to be an interesting criteria to consider when giving a young superstar the responsibility of leading the pack.

“What about relationship status?” the panelist pondered “Magic [Johnson] and [Larry] Bird was married. LeBron was in a relationship with Savannah. How do we look at it? Because when we look at presidential candidates, we look at candidates, we want them to be secure. We want them to be foundational pieces.”

As for the rest of the First Take panel, they were mostly bewildered over the former NFL’s consideration, as some couldn’t even believe he brought it up. “I’m not gonna lie, I don’t know what the hell you’re asking,” Stephen A. Smith said.

However, host Molly Qerim took the time to consider Sharpe’s question. “I know what you’re saying like the ‘First Lady of Basketball,’” she contributed. “They would say Steph Curry and Ayesha Curry, and we know them. The example, the role models. I get what you’re saying.”

Former player JJ Redick paused, gave it a thought, and then explained why he believes a player’s marital status shouldn’t matter when establishing the new face of the NBA.

“Let’s not act like some of the faces of the league have been perfect with their off-court behavior,” he said. “I don’t necessarily think that’s a precursor, and you’re obviously using Steph and LeBron in sort of the present sense. By and large, those guys are scandal-free. But let’s not act like the past faces of the league have been perfect.”

Redick indirectly was talking about players like Ja Morant, who definitely has the potential and talent to dominate the league for years to come, but has endured many suspension due to his off-court antics.

LeBron and Curry both mention Oklahoma City’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander as potential next face of the NBA

One topic of discussion that has been debated on most shows since the All-Star Weekend is about the next face of the NBA. During the league’s showcase events in Indianapolis, superstars like LeBron James and Stephen Curry agreed that Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is one of next ambassadors of the league.

Shai [Gilgeous-Alexander] and [Anthony Edwards], I feel like those are two of the guys that could continue the torch after I am done, after Steph [Curry], [Kevin Durant], the guys have had carried the standard for years…Those young guys are amazing, looking forward to just see those guys going out and show what they are capable of,” the Lakers star said on Sunday.

The Thunder guard has played in 53 matches so far this campaign, and is currently averaging 31.1 points on 54.6% shooting, 6.5 assists and 5.5 rebounds, so it’s very clear why his fellow stars consider him to be a candidate to lead the NBA.

However, others like Jayson Tatum believe that he is meant to become the next face of the NBA. “I feel like it’s mine to take,” said the Boston forward. “I do feel like, if we win a championship, it would be more distinguished and clear. But I understand I’m in that shortlist for sure.”





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Trail Blazers convert Duop Reath’s deal into a three-year contract

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The Portland Trail Blazers have converted rookie center Duop Reath’s two-way deal into a three-year contract, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.

His standard contract is fully guaranteed through the 2024-25 season and non-guaranteed for the 2025-26 season. Reath, 27, went undrafted in 2018 out of LSU.

However, he did not make his NBA debut until this season with Portland. Reath first joined the Trail Blazers for the 2023 NBA Summer League and signed a one-year deal with the club in October.

He was waived on Oct. 21 prior to the 2023-24 season and later signed a two-way contract with the team.

Through 40 games (11 starts) this season with the Blazers, Reath is averaging 8.9 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 17.4 minutes per game while shooting 47.5% from the floor, 38.5% beyond the arc, and 74.1% at the foul line.

Reath made his NBA debut in Portland’s 116-110 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Nov. 12, scoring 11 points with three 3-pointers. On Dec. 26, he recorded a career-high 25 points and nine rebounds in a 130-113 win over the Sacramento Kings.

The South Sudanese hooper grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds against the Brooklyn Nets on Jan. 7. He logged 17 points in back-to-back games against Phoenix (Jan. 14) and Brooklyn (Jan. 17) as well.

Duop Reath helped Al Riyadi win the 2023 WAL title before joining the Portland Trail Blazers

Furthermore, Reath joined the Dallas Mavericks for the 2018 NBA Summer League. However, he went on to sign a three-year deal with the Serbian team FMP. The former Tiger then joined the Nets for the 2019 NBA Summer League.

On Aug. 1, 2020, he signed a contract with the Serbian team Crvena zvezda for the 2020-21 season. Following the season, the 6-foot-9 center inked a deal with the Illawarra Hawks of the National Basketball League for the 2021-22 season.

Although Reath played for the Phoenix Suns in the 2022 NBA Summer League, a deal was never offered. After that, he signed with the Qingdao Eagles of the Chinese Basketball Association.

The big man averaged 18.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.2 steals, and 2.0 blocks per game in 39 appearances.

In April 2023, Reath joined Al Riyadi Beirut of Lebanon. He made his team debut on April 19 in the West Asia Super League (WASL) and scored 24 points in Al Riyadi’s win over Beirut Club in the division semifinals.

The LSU product helped Al Riyadi win the WASL championship following a team-high 29 points in Game 2 of the finals against Shahrdari Gorgan.





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‘Coach Griff was a great coach’

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Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo opened up about his team’s struggles this season during a recent interview with The Athletic. Milwaukee currently sits in third place in the Eastern Conference standings at 35-21, 8.5 games behind the first-place Boston Celtics.

“Personally, I have to keep on pushing,” Antetokounmpo told The Athletic. “If I have to talk more in the film sessions like I’ve been doing all year, if I have to f—king grab the f—king board and write something down — if I don’t, I don’t know — but you cannot just let opportunities like this go to waste.

“I feel like I don’t want to look back and be like, ‘Damn, I had some great teams, and I wasn’t able to get over the hump.’ We have to stop feeling bad about ourselves. I’m tired of this. We have to stop doing that. Things are not going to be given to us. We have to go and take it.

“Like I’ve played with guys that never felt bad about themselves. Came in, did their job, went home, did their job, went home, did their job. That’s what we have to do. We’re not doing it right now, but hopefully we can do it.”

More importantly, the Bucks are 3-7 under coach Doc Rivers after starting the season 30-13 with Adrian Griffin. On Jan. 24, Milwaukee signed Rivers for a three-year, $40 million contract that runs through the 2026-27 season.

Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo felt first-year head coach Adrian Griffin lacked experience

Antetokounmpo, 29, also discussed why he felt a coaching change was needed.

“I just had to do it. I had to be more vocal this year,” the two-time MVP said. “The last couple of years, I’m used to a specific structure of things, a specific culture, there’s a certain way that you have to do things in order for you to win games, you know?

“And if that level is not being met, as a leader, you have to push that envelope. Push everybody, your coaching staff, your teammates. … Coach Griff was a great coach, a great person to work with, but, at the end of the day, it was his first time.

“He was figuring things out, how to lead a group of guys, how to operate with star players and sometimes, that might be hard. I think everybody did a good job. His coaching staff did a good job too. … I think he did a tremendous job leading us to a 30-13 record, but Coach Doc has won 1,100 games. So it’s totally different.”

Did the Bucks make the right move by firing Mike Budenholzer last year?

Antetokounmpo is the Bucks’ most valuable player, but one could also easily argue that Milwaukee’s former champion coach was just as important to the team. Last season’s first-round series loss to an eighth-seeded Miami Heat squad still looks awful to this day.

However, it was Budenholzer’s only first-round series loss coaching the Bucks. His team won the 2021 NBA Finals against the Phoenix Suns and lost the 2019 Eastern Conference Finals to the Toronto Raptors. If the Bucks end up falling short this year under Doc Rivers, it’s only going to leave fans with more questions than answers.





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