Some big pieces of NBA news came down on Wednesday, although they’re not ones that Lakers, 76ers, and Hornets fans will like all that much.
All-Stars LeBron James and Joel Embiid are both expected to miss game time due to their respective injuries. Meanwhile, Hornets guard Malik Monk has been slapped with an indefinite suspension by the NBA due to a drug violation.
To learn more about those major developments and the implications on the different teams, just read on below, SBOTOP NBA fan!
LeBron James to miss Warriors game with sore groin
LeBron James will sit out the Lakers’ Thursday night game against the Golden State Warriors due to a sore groin.
The 35-year-old dropped a season-high 40 points last time out in their win over the New Orleans Pelicans as he faced off against phenom Zion Williamson for the first time. That win was the Lakers’ sixth in a row and eighth in their last nine games.
James has had issues with his groin over the last year or so. He suffered a torn left groin against the Warriors in December 2018, which is the most significant injury of his career to date. That injury caused him to miss over a month as the Lakers missed the playoffs.
LeBron has come back much healthier this season and is averaging 25.5 points, 7.7 rebounds and a league-best 10.6 assists per game for the Lakers. And despite aggravating that groin injury last Christmas, he has still played 54 out of the Lakers’ 56 games this season.
Even with James’ absence, though, the NBA 2020 vantage should still have the Lakers significantly favoured against the struggling Warriors, who have the worst record in the league at 12-46 and have lost seven games in a row.
James’ health is crucial to the Lakers’ hopes of winning the championship this season, so they should practice extra precaution with James’ groin injury and prevent it from getting worse.
Joel Embiid exits with shoulder sprain as Sixers lose to Cavs
Philadelphia 76ers centre Joel Embiid left Wednesday night’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first quarter due to a left shoulder sprain. He was ruled out for the remainder of the contest as the Sixers lost, 108-94.
Embiid will have an MRI on Thursday to determine the severity of the injury.
Sixers head coach Brett Brown said he was unsure whether Embiid will be able to play in the team’s next game, which is Thursday at home against the New York Knicks.
Embiid appeared to injure his shoulder in a collision with Cavaliers centre Ante Zizic. Embiid held his shoulder and looked in pain as he went to the free-throw line.
Embiid was coming off a career-high 49 points in a win against the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday as the Sixers continued to play without fellow All-Star Ben Simmons.
Simmons has missed three of the last four games since the All-Star break due to a nerve impingement in his lower back. He played in their big matchup against the Bucks but lasted just five minutes as the Sixers lost by 21 points. There is currently no timetable for his return.
If Embiid does miss some time, the Sixers will have to rely on veteran Al Horford to take over at centre. Horford has had a disappointing first season in Philadelphia, averaging just 11.6 points and 6.7 rebounds. Backup big man Kyle O’Quinn is also likely to see added minutes.
Hornets’ Malik Monk suspended indefinitely for drug violation
Charlotte Hornets guard Malik Monk has been suspended indefinitely without pay by the NBA for violating the league’s anti-drug program.
Monk missed the Hornets’ Wednesday night game against the New York Knicks, which they won 107-101, and will only be reinstated when Monk complies with the league-mandated program.
The suspension begins with Charlotte’s game Wednesday against the New York Knicks and will continue until Monk is determined to be in full compliance with the program.
The third-year former No. 11 overall pick has not lived up to the hype he had coming into the league. He is averaging 10.3 points and 2.9 rebounds in 21 minutes per game this season and has produced few NBA 2020 highlights.
However, he had been playing much better of late, averaging 17 points on 46 per cent shooting over a 13-game stretch.
Monk’s suspension will be a significant blow to the Hornets’ backcourt depth. Aside from Devonte Graham and Terry Rozier, Cody Martin and Nicolas Batum are their remaining guard options on the roster.
The Hornets are currently 10th in the Eastern Conference, six games back of the Orlando Magic for the eighth and final playoff spot. They were unlikely to make it in even before Monk’s suspension, and his absence will now make it even more difficult to overcome that deficit over the last quarter of the season.
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