NBA News & Notes: Parsons has season-ending knee surgery, Utah on the rise

March 25, 2016

In the DSH's latest NBA News and Notes report, we take a look at the Utah Jazz's' recent improvement, and examine the latest injury to the Dallas Mavericks:

Mavericks' Parsons has Knee Surgery

The Dallas Mavericks playoff hopes were dealt a blow this week, as the team announced that forward Chandler Parsons underwent arthroscopic knee surgery to address an injury to his right medial meniscus.  Parsons will miss the remainder of the 2015-16 season.

Parsons had shown improved play in recent weeks prior to his surgery.  The surgery was performed by team physician Dr. Daniel Worrel at The Carrell Clinic in Dallas.

Over his final 30 games of the season (since Jan. 12), Parsons averaged 18.3 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 34.3 minutes. He shot 52 percent (204-of-392) from the floor and 47.5 percent (75-of-158) from deep in his last 30 games.

Although Dallas has an aging roster, team officials had hoped that if the team could get into the playoffs, its mix of veteran players, star Dirk Nowitzki, and the versatile Parsons, could do some damage in a seven-game series against the West's elite.  With Parsons now out, the Mavericks chances of even making the playoffs have become diminished.

Parsons (6-10, 230) finished the year with averages of 13.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 29.5 minutes in 61 games (51 starts). He shot 49.2 percent (320-of-651) from the field and 41.4 percent (104-of-251) from 3-point range.

Talking Smack

  • Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports: “[T]his is [Derrick] Rose’s finest stretch of basketball since multiple knee injuries have limited his career in the past four seasons. That Rose is even playing at this level is a testament to his strength, determination, commitment and work ethic.”

  • Rachel Brady, The Globe and Mail: “Bismack Biyombo grew up modestly in a family with seven kids in Lubumbashi, a city in southern Democratic Republic of the Congo. … The player who grew up in such a needy part of the world has brought valuable talents to this Raptors team. … And he appreciates what basketball has done for him.”

  • Kareem Copeland, Associated Press: “[Rodney] Hood’s skill-set meshes well with the Jazz. First and foremost is the ability to run the pick-and-roll. His 6-foot-8 frame allows him to see and shoot over defenders, but he’s a willing passer and playmaker. Hood is a strong ball-handler from playing point guard in high school.”

  • NBA's Statement on the recent Legislation in North Carolina: "The NBA is dedicated to creating an inclusive environment for all who attend our games and events.  We are deeply concerned that this discriminatory law runs counter to our guiding principles of equality and mutual respect and do not yet know what impact it will have on our ability to successfully host the 2017 All-Star Game in Charlotte.”

OKC's Stars are on a Roll

With triple-doubles in his last three games, Thunder guard Russell Westbrook is playing like, well, Russell Westbrook, who happens to be the last player to post triple-doubles in four straight appearances (Feb. 24 – March 4, 2015). Westbrook’s six triple-doubles in March are the most by a player in a calendar month since Michael Jordan had seven in April 1989, part of a string of 10 in 11 games for Jordan, including seven straight.

Meanwhile, fellow Oklahoma City All-Star Kevin Durant is doing Kevin Durant things, namely putting the ball in the basket at a high rate. Durant has scored at least 20 points in 56 straight games, which ties his personal high, set in 2013-14. Kobe Bryant and Allen Iverson are the only other players over the last 25 years to have this type of streak.

The Thunder welcomes the Spurs on Saturday (8 p.m. ET, NBA TV).

Utah Fights for 8th Seed

The Thunder aren't the only team playing well of late.  Utah (35-37) has won six of eight, including Wednesday’s 89-87 comeback victory at Houston, to move into a tie with Dallas (35-37) for eighth place in the Western Conference, a half-game behind the Rockets (36-37).

Prior to their recent loss to OKC, the Jazz had allowed only 87.1 points per game during its 6-1 run, lowering its opponents’ season average to 96.4 points, the NBA’s second-best mark.

The last seven Utah games prior to their OKC loss have also featured strong play from recently acquired guard Shelvin Mack, who is averaging 16.7 points, 7.9 assists and 4.9 rebounds, and solid performances from forward Derrick Favors, who scored the game-winning basket on Wednesday as part of a 17-point, 15-rebound, four-assist, and three-block effort.

The Numbers 

  • Cavaliers forward LeBron James (26,608) needs 61 points to pass Dominique Wilkins (26,668) for 12th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. James trails No. 11 Oscar Robertson (26,710) by 102 points.
  • The playoff-bound Raptors (48-22) are two victories from the first 50-win season in franchise history. They won 48 games in 2013-14 and 49 games in 2014-15.
  • Timberwolves rookie center Karl-Anthony Towns on Wednesday extended his franchise rookie record for double-doubles to 42 (sixth in the NBA).
  • Hornets guard Jeremy Lin is averaging 22.0 points on 62.5 percent shooting in his last three games.
  • Celtics forward Amir Johnson is shooting 77.5 percent (31-of-40) with averages of 10.8 points and 10.0 rebounds in his last six games.
  • Grizzlies guard Tony Allen, 34, made all 12 of his field goal attempts and scored 27 points in Tuesday’s loss to the Lakers, becoming the second-oldest player in NBA history (behind Karl Malone) to shoot 12-of-12 or better from the field in a game. Allen is averaging 15.0 points on 53.1 percent shooting in his last 10 games.
  • Pistons forward Marcus Morris has made 18-of-25 (72.0 percent) from three-point range in his last seven games.
  • The Warriors have won their last 33 regular-season games in which guard Klay Thompson has scored 25 or more points.
  • Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard has 804 career three-pointers, the most by any player in his first four NBA seasons. Klay Thompson held the previous high of 784.
  • 76ers swingman Hollis Thompson has scored in double figures in 11 of his last 12 games, averaging 13.0 points.
  • Nets swingman Bojan Bogdanovic is averaging 16.8 points on 47.8 percent shooting in 15 games since the All-Star break compared with 9.4 points on 42.8 percent shooting in 54 games before the All-Star break.

D-League's Sean Kilpatrick Signs Deal with Nets

Twenty-eight NBA D-League prospects have been called up to the NBA this season, including Sean Kilpatrick, who was so impressive over two 10-day contracts with the Nets that the team signed him to a multiyear contract on March 19.

In 11 games with Brooklyn, the 26-year-old guard from New York is averaging 13.4 points and shooting 53.7 percent from both the field and three-point range, highlighted by a career-high 25-point performance against Charlotte on Tuesday. Kilpatrick earned his new deal after starring for the NBA D-League’s Delaware 87ers this season and playing eight games with the Nuggets. He also appeared in four games with the Timberwolves last season, his first as a professional after a standout college career at Cincinnati.

Guard Russ Smith of the Delaware 87ers scored an NBA D-League-record 65 points in Wednesday’s 140-129 loss to the Canton Charge. The previous record of 61 points was set by another 87er, current Cavaliers guard Jordan McRae, on Jan. 26.

By Staff of and news services

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