NBA news roundup: Andre Miller suspended, Kyrie Irving out Thursday

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Andre Miller will miss Denver's next two games because of a suspension. Kyrie Irving will miss his first game of the year on Thursday, while Carmelo Anthony will make his return to action.

The Denver Nuggets have suspended point guard Andre Miller for their games against the Memphis Grizzlies and Los Angeles Lakers this week, via a team news release.

Miller got into a shouting match with head coach Brian Shaw on Wednesday in the middle of Denver's game against the Philadelphia 76ersvia the Denver Post's Chris Dempsey. Shaw had chosen to take Miller out of the rotation, and Miller was insulted.

Shaw commented on the situation, via the team's Twitter account:

It's an embarrassing situation all around for a team in search of its identity, having lost its last eight games playing a style decidedly different than the one that brought the Nuggets success last year and earlier this season.

Kyrie Irving (knee), Nikola Vucevic (ankle) to miss Cavs-Magic on Thursday

Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving will be missing in action for the first time this season when his team faces the Orlando Magicvia Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal. There was initially fear that he had suffered a disastrous knee injury against the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday, but an MRI revealed that it was only a left knee contusion.

Irving is listed as day-to-day, and Cleveland's next game is Saturday in Brooklyn.

Magic big man Nikola Vucevic also will be missing in action, via Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel. He sprained his left ankle in the middle of the first quarter against the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday and, like Irving, it seemed as if it might be serious, via Robbins. That fortunately was not the case, but Vucevic tested the ankle pregame Thursday and was ruled out. Jason Maxiell will start in his place.

Carmelo Anthony (ankle) to return Thursday against Spurs

The New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony will be back in the lineup on Thursday night against the San Antonio Spursvia Al Iannazzone of Newsday. The star forward has missed New York's last three games after hurting his ankle on Dec. 23 in Orlando.

The 9-21 Knicks lost all three of those games by an average of 18.7 points. The Spurs have won their last three by an average of 12.7 points.

Rajon Rondo wants to join D-League's Red Claws, says Danny Ainge

In a radio interview, Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge said that talk of Rajon Rondo spending some time with the Maine Red Claws, their D-League affiliate, started because the sidelined star point guard suggested it, via ESPN Boston's Chris Forsberg:

"He's anxious to practice and to play. It was his idea [to consider Maine], actually, to go practice with the Red Claws and possibly play with Maine Red Claws at some point. But those are still in discussion. I'm not sure when he would do that, but that's probably the next step."

It remains uncertain if Rondo would participate in game action for Maine, something that never has really happened with an established NBA player on a rehab assignment (Amar'e Stoudemire did practice for Erie while on assignment from the New York Knicks). Rondo underwent surgery for a torn ACL in mid-February.

"It really hasn't [happened], but it should," Ainge said of star players competing in games during rehab assignments. "You see it in baseball a lot -- rehab in Pawtucket [the Triple-A affiliate for the Boston Red Sox] and so forth. That's very common."

A Rondo appearance would surely be the most-watched game in D-League history, right?

Arnett Moultrie (ankle) scrimmages with Sixers, expected to play this month

Second-year 76ers forward Arnett Moultrie played in a 5-on-5 scrimmage with his teammates on Tuesday for the first time since having surgery on his ankle before the season started, via Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Moultrie's conditioning understandably isn't up to par yet, but Philadelphia head coach Brett Brown wants to see him harness his athleticism and play with a high energy level when he comes back later in January, via Pompey:

"The knock on Arnett is: Can you do that?" Brown said of bringing consistent energy. "Is that how you play? Is that your [Denver power forward Kenneth] Faried motor?

"Because otherwise, there's a lot of players like Arnett out there that hang around and end up in Istanbul," the coach said. "I think the challenge for him - and my challenge to him - is just what I just said. I think he can be an NBA keeper provided he understands his road map."

Moultrie averaged a modest 3.7 points and 3.1 rebounds in his rookie season, but played just 11 minutes per game and shot 58.2 percent from the field.

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