Yesterday, it became known Kevin Durant is suffering from a jones fracture in his right foot. How long Durant will be sidelined is, as of now, uncertain, but speculation projects the duration of his absence at about two-months. The Oklahoma City Thunder released the following statement on behalf of Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti regarding Durant:
"After practice yesterday, Kevin made us aware of discomfort in his right foot. We proceeded to perform the necessary imaging studies to determine the cause of his discomfort. At this stage, Kevin has been diagnosed with a Jones fracture. Traditional treatment of this injury requires a surgical procedure and recent NBA cases have resulted in a return to play in 6-8 weeks. We are in the process of collaboratively evaluating the most appropriate next steps with Kevin, his representatives, and Thunder medical personnel. Until a course of action is determined, we are unable to provide a timeline specific to Kevin's case."
NBA injury analyst and certified athletic trainer, Jeff Stotts, wrote a comprehensive report on Durant's injury. I highly suggest this report for anyone interested in learning what exactly a Jones Fracture is. Here's an excerpt.
Named for orthopedic surgeon Sir Robert Jones, a Jones fracture occurs when the fracture is located near the base of the 5th metatarsal. The blood flow to this area is very poor causing the fracture to take a significant amount of time to heal. Furthermore Jones fractures have a high propensity for delayed union or nonunions. In these scenarios, the two bone pieces fail to unite or take a long period of time to connect. As a result of these factors, surgery is often necessary.
Stotts states history suggests Durant is already fighting an uphill battle in recovery.
Is there a place for Glenn Robinson III on the Wolves?
Below are the results of a poll performed on this website on September 26th.
Much has been made about the Wolves proverbial 'logjam' of wing players. They have a few of them. However, despite this, the Canis Hoopus community is still convinced there is a place for Robinson III on the roster, even though Flip Saunders sold two, second round selections during the draft. Historically, at least recently, the Wolves haven't retained second round selections for very long- if at all.
Lorenzo Brown failed to make the final roster last season after being drafted during the second round of the NBA Draft in 2013. In 2012, the Wolves drafted Robbie Hummel during the second round (a player expected to make the final roster this year) but he spent time overseas before signing an NBA contract last season.
Sure, Nikola Pekovic was a steal in the second round of the 2008 draft. Like with anything, there are always exemptions.
Here's a link to the Basketball Reference page with a list of all the Wolves draft selections.
None of the former picks have anything to do with Robinson. This is something I understand. I'm not saying Robinson III won't make the team.
The only reason I bring this up is because Milt Newton spoke with Dave Benz and Jim Peterson during Friday's game against the Philadelphia 76ers.
This is a link to stream the second half of the game. There, you can hear Newton speak with Benz and Peterson. I've transcribed some of their conversation below, mostly just the dialogue I found interesting.
Peterson, to Newton: How balanced do you think the roster is right now, in terms of where you wanted it to be when you first came in?
Newton: Well, I think we're getting there. We have a mixture of young guys and solid veterans. I think we have to continue to help our young guys develop. I think we have a good unit of guys. It's just a matter of getting them to play together. But I think right now, we're on pace to where we want to go.
Benz, to Newton: So, Milt, the biggest obstacle facing you guys now: Is it finalizing that roster by October 27th?
Newton: Yes. We're going to use the entire time we have allot to us to make that decision. We're very pleased with how Glenn (Robinson III) has played in practice, and in that first (preseason) game- he played 12 minutes and was three-for-four (FG shooting). More than that, he looked very comfortable; he let the game come to him and didn't force the issue.
We're going to have a tough decision to make. We'll use the full (amount of) time allotted to us.
Benz, to Milt: ...You are, of course, referencing Glenn Robinson III, the Wolves second round pick you signed to a deal. You've got 16 players right now with partially or fully guaranteed contracts. So, it is going to be interesting to see what unfolds here.
Milt: Yes, we also have to look at depth at each position. And look at situations, where; if one of the starters were to get in foul-trouble, or get injured, where would it leave us in terms of depth at that position.
Jim Pete: ...Coming from his pro-basketball background, his dad being a great player, he (GRIII) could really be one of those surprises for a lot of people on this roster.
Milt: ... He has a quiet demeanor about him. And a quiet demeanor about his game. But you look at his talent, and sometimes, you walk away saying 'he could have dominated that game.' At Michigan, the consensus was he (GRIII) was more willing to blend in with the other guys, as opposed to take-over- which is something he's capable of doing.
The segment ended with Peterson talking about how well J.J. Barea played during training camp. Flip Saunders has said statements, similar to Peterson's, over the previous few weeks.
It sounds like, if the Wolves do retain him, Robinson III has to become more assertive in his playing style. If he is on the final roster the D-League is a place where Robinson III could do that. Listening to him talk during Wolves Media Day, Robinson III didn't seem entirely thrilled about potentially ending up in the D-League. Although, GRIII did say 'if it's the right fit,' the D-League isn't somewhere he would mind going- not like he'd have a choice.
Newton discussed hypothetical injuries to guys on the depth chart. Point guard and power forward are positions where the Wolves lack depth. Ricky Rubio and Mo Williams are there at PG, and perhaps Zach LaVine is the third-stringer, while Thaddeus Young and Anthony Bennett are the Wolves only, true PFs. Robinson III did play PF in college, but has said his true position is the 3-spot, or 'swingman,' as some call it.
I asked how the internet feels about Robinson III's chances of making the team, and received a logical answer.
@ZacharyBD my take is GRIII is younger & cheaper than JJ, lots of upside, & they wouldn't have given GRIII the partial guar. if not wanted.— Chris Gustafson (@ChrisGustafson4) October 13, 2014
Obligatory statement: We'll have to wait and see.
Wolves go to the Vikings game.
Vikings game with the team #NFL #RR
At the instruction of Flip Saunders, the Minnesota Timberwolves arrived at the Target Center at 10:30 AM for practice. From there the Wolves went to TCF Bank Stadium, only to see the Minnesota Vikings fall to the Detroit Lions, 3-17.
Practice resumes Monday and the next preseason game is against the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Here's a link to a feature article on Timberwolves assistant coach Mike Penberthy, written by Jerry Zgoda and published at the Star Tribune.
Believe it or not, I like jazz music, too.
PS: Thank you for the feedback regarding Knee-jerk Notes. I know I said there would be more, alas, I haven't had the time. Soon, I will post more observations. It's good to have basketball back, because now there's more substance to draw content from.
I'm looking forward to covering the Wolves at Canis Hoopus this season. I just felt like saying that.