Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge will miss the next two games due to a lower back contusion, the team announced on Thursday. Aldridge suffered the injury when he landed hard on his back at the beginning of the second half of Portland's 103-90 loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday. He had an MRI in San Antonio and will be re-evaluated next week.
Immediately after the fall, it was easy to fear the worst. Aldridge took a while to get up, and he was then helped off the floor by two teammates. The fact that he might only miss two games has to be seen as good news.
The Blazers will play against the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday and the Golden State Warriors on Sunday without Aldridge. Portland has lost four games in a row, held a players-only meeting on Wednesday and sits fifth in the West, with the Warriors 1.5 games back in the standings. Dorell Wright started in Aldridge's place when the All-Star missed five games with a groin injury at the end of February.
Blazers' Williams out at least 2 weeks
The Aldridge news wasn't the only significant injury for the Blazers. Backup point guard Mo Williams went to the locker room halfway through the second quarter of Portland's 109-99 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday and did not return. He missed the game against the Spurs -- his first absence due to injury this season -- and had an MRI in San Antonio, which revealed a right hip strain. Williams will miss at least two weeks, according to the team, and then he will be evaluated again.
Wall fined $15k for 'inappropriate comments'
The comments were made after the Wizards' 99-85 loss to the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday. Wall voiced his displeasure with several aspects of the officiating, including a foul called against him on a Kemba Walker three-point attempt at the end of the shot clock, via CSN Washington's J. Michael:
"I didn't touch [Walker]. All he did was scream," Wall said. "The ref gave him calls all night because he was screaming."
"This was like a playoff game," Wall said. "They called it too tight with certain calls that didn't go our way, but it's still not the reason why we lost."
"I was really upset," he said. "I was mad. I always wait until the three-minute mark of the fourth quarter to get a call. Plenty of times I jumped to the basket. I think I should've been to the line plenty more."
Mike D'Antoni officially closes the door on Steve Nash returning this season for the Lakers. "He's not going to play."— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) March 13, 2014
The 18-year veteran was only able to play 10 games for Los Angeles this season, last seeing the floor on Feb. 11 against the Utah Jazz.
Coincidentally, the latest installment of Nash's "The Finish Line" documentary series was posted on Monday on Grantland. It features Nash discussing the possible end of his season and the negative reaction he's received from a segment of Laker fans for not retiring and giving up his guaranteed money:
Clippers nearing decision on Redick
Los Angeles Clippers shooting guard J.J. Redick has been out of the lineup since Feb. 3 because of a bulging disc in his back and, before playoff time, the team will make a decision about whether or not he will return to the court this season, via Dan Woike of the Orange County Register:
The team will determine in the upcoming weeks whether Redick is healthy enough to rejoin the team. If he's not, the club will likely shut Redick down for the rest of the season in an attempt to have him ready for training camp next year.
It's been a trying season for Redick, who joined the Clippers in the offseason and was supposed to be their full-time starting shooting guard. Before the back injury, he missed 21 games because of a broken right hand and torn ligament in his wrist.
In 30 appearances for Los Angeles this season, Redick is averaging 15.7 points in 28.8 minutes per game on 45.9 percent shooting, including 39.6 percent on threes. Both Darren Collison and Jamal Crawford have started games at shooting guard in his absence, with Collison in the starting lineup and Crawford playing his normal sixth-man role at the moment.