The NBA season is in the home stretch with a month left until the playoffs, making each game more and more meaningful. While a number of teams are in a "tank race" towards the bottom of the league in order to improve their draft standing, the playoff race is heating up in both conferences. The Rockets and Warriors have cemented themselves as the top two seeds in the Western Conference, but seeds 3-10 are all separated by just four games. In the East, only 3.5 games separate seeds 3-8.
With that as the background a pair of key injuries that could impact the playoff race highlight today's NBA News & Rumors Roundup:
Latest on Gordon Hayward's possible return
Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward has been out since suffering a gruesome injury in the team's season-opening loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, but despite the progress he is making in his recovery, ESPN's Ramona Shelburne reports that Hayward will not play again this season.
"I texted some Boston people and everyone who I would be in touch with and ask about it was like, ‘[Gordon Hayward] is not coming back. We wouldn’t do that to him, his career is way too important,'" Shelburne said on the Dan Le Batard Show. "I know what [Jeff Van Gundy] was saying by calling baloney on all that when he was like, ‘If [Boston] gets to the Finals, [Hayward] is gonna come back and do a Willis Reed.’ All I can tell you is, everyone in Boston that I’ve talked to seems to be saying there’s just no chance they would let him do that or put him in that position."
Hayward was one of Boston's major offseason acquisitions this past offseason, signing a four-year, $128 million deal. He averaged a career-high 21.9 points per game last season for the Utah Jazz.
Pau Gasol has "bad" shoulder injury
San Antonio Spurs big man Pau Gasol suffered a shoulder injury in Monday's win over the Memphis Grizzlies following a collision with his brother, Marc, and teammate Tony Parker told reporters that Gasol will miss some time with the injury.
"He hurt his shoulder, and he told me it was bad," Parker said. "We will see, but I'm pretty sure he's not going to play against Golden State."
Gasol is averaging 10.7 points and 8.4 rebounds per game this season.
Nuggets, Grizzlies will change logos
Both the Denver Nuggets and Grizzlies will change their logo and color scheme for next season, according to SportsLogos.net.
Grizzlies' logo is changing :/ pic.twitter.com/uldx9VUJdO— 2024 NBA Champs (@DiehardGrizzly) March 5, 2018
Memphis' logo chance only includes a dark gray outline of their current logo and the color will be incorporated into their uniforms. Denver is making a more drastic change by changing primary colors.
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