The NBA Playoffs are now in full swing as the first round starts to wind down, and injuries are already playing a major factor. While Blake Griffin is out for the remainder of the postseason (more on him later), backup point guard Austin Rivers expects to return from a hamstring injury in Game 5. Other teams have already shifted their focus towards the offseason. Here's all the latest news and rumors from around the league:
Rajon Rondo could return for end of series vs. Celtics
Chicago Bulls point guard Rajon Rondo has missed the last two games of their series against the Boston Celtics with a broken thumb - and will miss tonight's Game 5 - but could return for the end of the series, according to ESPN's Nick Friedell.
Bulls point guard Rajon Rondo took jumpers before Tuesday's practice, and though he has been ruled out for Game 5 because of a fractured right thumb and wrist injury, his status for Games 6 and 7 remains open.
After injuring the thumb in Game 2, Rondo was expected to be in a hard cast for at least seven to 10 days and then be re-evaluated. But Monday he appeared at practice without the cast and Tuesday he took some jumpers, leading many to wonder if he would return before the end of the series.
The Bulls and Celtics come into Wednesday night's Game 5 tied at 2-2. While Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg said it's still a "long shot" for Rondo's return in the series, he acknowledged there is a possibility of a return.
"This is honestly the first time he's touched a basketball with that right hand," Hoiberg said. "We'll see. We'll see how it goes. He's going to continue to condition and do everything that he can. He was in the weight room yesterday getting a good session in there. It was his first time back in the weight room. He's just getting this whole process started."
Rondo was averaging 11.5 points, 10.0 assists, 8.5 rebounds and 3.5 steals per game in the series while leading the Bulls to a 2-0 lead. The series is now tied, 2-2.
Blake Griffin wants to return to Clippers, not interested in OKC?
Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason, and his hometown Oklahoma City Thunder plan to make a run at him. However, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders says Griffin is expected to stay in Los Angeles.
"There’s this perception (Blake Griffin) would want to go back to Oklahoma City, but I’ve talked to people around that and they find that so laughable. Like, 'Look, it’s where he’s from, but he doesn’t want to play there.' It’s nothing against the city, it’s Blake has found an interesting and fulfilling life living in L.A."
Griffin averaged 21.6 points, 8.1 rebounds and 4.9 assists in 61 games this season.
Kristaps Porzingis still has not met with Knicks
After publicly voicing his frustrations with the team on several occasions late in the season, New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis skipped his exit meeting with the team following the conclusion of the regular season, and he still hasn't spoken with anyone from the front office, according to Colin Ward-Henninger of CBS Sports:
Phil Jackson and the New York Knicks have already alienated one star, and if they're not careful they might do the same to another.
Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis said Monday that he still hasn't spoken to anyone from the team since the season ended April 12. Porzingis spoke at a press conference in Latvia, where he announced he will play for the Latvian national team in the European championships -- a decision he did not clear with the Knicks.
"To be honest, I don't want to comment on anything that happened at the season's end," Porzingis said, according to the New York Post. "Personally I did not have any contact with anybody from the club [since the season ended], so … better that Janis comment on this."
Porzingis averaged 18.1 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game in his season season in the league.Back to the NBA Newsfeed