Festus Ezeli C GS 3 hours ago
Ezeli didn't practice Saturday due to an illness, the San Jose Mercury News reports.
Ezeli ramped up his workload during the Western Conference finals due to Marreese Speights' strained calf and occasional foul trouble from Andrew Bogut, earning at least 10 minutes in all five games of the series. During that stretch, Ezeli averaged 6.8 points (on 60 percent shooting), 6.0 rebounds, 0.8 assists, and 0.8 blocks in 16 minutes. Speights is displaying signs that he may be available for The Finals, which start Thursday, but Ezeli has shown himself capable to produce when called upon.
Kyrie Irving PG CLE 21 hours ago
Irving (knee) said that he is feeling good after a few days of rest, the Cleveland Plain-Dealer reports. He missed two of the four games against the Hawks in the Eastern Conference finals.
Irving only averaged 13.0 points in his two games against Atlanta, but the Cavaliers will need more production from their All-Star point guard to compete with the Warriors. In the two games against Golden State in the regular season, Irving provided 23.5 points but only made 37.5 percent of his field goals.
Mario Chalmers PG MIA 1 day ago
Chalmers underwent an arthroscopic procedure to repair an inflamed Plica in his right knee Friday.
The minor surgery took only 20 minutes, and Chalmers is expected to begin rehabbing the knee immediately. The team issued a statement saying Chalmers will be ready for training camp, so it doesn't look to be anything that will carry over into 2015-16.
Donatas Motiejunas PF/C HOU 1 day ago
Motiejunas (back) said Friday that he expects to be ready for the start of training camp, Calvin Watkins of ESPN reports.
Motiejunas is progressing well in his recovery from back surgery in April, and he remains on track to resume basketball activities around mid-summer. Barring a setback, the big man should have no trouble working himself close to full health before camp kicks off in the fall. In his third NBA season, Motiejunas started 62 contests and averaged career-bests across the board, putting up 12.0 points and 5.9 rebounds in 28.7 minutes per game during the regular season. The 24-year-old was sidelined for the entirety of the Rockets' run to the Western Conference Finals.
Klay Thompson SG GS 1 day ago
Thompson has been diagnosed with a concussion, Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Confusion has surrounded the situation since Thompson took an inadvertent knee to the head courtesy of Houston's Trevor Ariza in the fourth quarter of Wednesday's Game 5. Thompson, who suffered a laceration near his ear, was taken to the locker room for stitches, but he returned later in the fourth quarter, finishing with 20 points in 22 minutes. After the game, Thompson's father told a radio station that his son vomited on the way home, but reports Thursday insisted that team doctors had not diagnosed a concussion. One day later, the Warriors have issued a statement indicating that Thompson will not return to on-court activities until he's cleared by league concussion protocol. With six days before the Finals begin Thursday night, Thompson's availability for Game 1 likely will not be impacted.
Anderson Varejao PF/C CLE 1 day ago
Varejao (Achilles) will not return at any point during the Finals, Sports Illustrated reports.
Earlier Friday morning, ESPN's Brian Windhorst reported that Varejao "could be activated" if the Cavs were to suffer a frontcourt injury, but this latest story seems to squash any possibility that the Brazilian could play in the Finals. Varejao tore his left Achilles in late-December and has been working toward returning for the start of the 2015-16 season. The Cavs have not provided detailed updates on his progress, so it's unclear whether Varejao is even close - health-wise - to returning to the court.
Corey Brewer SG/SF HOU 1 day ago
Brewer said Friday that he wants to return to Houston next season, Calvin Watkins of ESPN reports.
Brewer has the option to opt out of his contract for next season, and while he's yet to announce his decision, it's considered a formality that he'll opt out in hopes of landing a longer-term deal. Houston would likely love to bring the defensive-minded swingman back, but if he receives a lucrative offer from another team as an unrestricted free agent, the Rockets, who have other needs to fill, may not be able to so. Brewer averaged 11.9 points and 3.6 rebounds in 56 regular season games this season after coming over from Minnesota via trade.
Dwight Howard C HOU 1 day ago
Howard has been suspended one game after accumulating his fourth flagrant foul point during the postseason, Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports reports.
Howard committed a hard foul on Golden State's Andre Iguodala during Wednesday's Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals. Initially called a common foul on the floor, the league reviewed the play and has upgraded it to a Flagrant 1, stating that Howard made "unnecessary contact with his forearm to the neck area." As a result, the center will be subject to a one-game suspension, which he will serve during the first game for which he is "eligible and physically able to play," per a league press release. Assuming he's not injured to start next season, Howard will serve the suspension during Game 1 of the 2015-16 campaign.
Cody Zeller PF/C CHA 2 days ago
Zeller, after playing all 82 games in his rookie season, played just 62 in his sophomore campaign after a shoulder sprain he suffered from in early March cut his season short, but he still managed to show drastic improvements on both sides of the floor in 2014-15. Zeller finished the season with averages of 7.6 points and 5.8 rebounds in 24 minutes per game.
There were a lot of questions surrounding Zeller as he entered his second NBA season, as most weren't sold on Zeller's ability to be a legitimate power forward in the league. He still struggled scoring the ball through most of the season, but he was consistently aggressive on the boards and a solid defender in the post who was agile enough to move across the floor. The highlight of Zeller's season was his career night where he managed a career-high 20 points on 8-of-8 shooting and seven rebounds in 33 minutes in a win against the Celtics. Additionally, just before he went down with the shoulder injury, Zeller put together a six-game stretch where he scored in double figures in every outing and averaged 12.2 points and 7.3 rebounds over that stretch. So, while Zeller was not consistently effective this past season, he did show quite a bit of promise. Zeller, however, is not set in stone as the team's power forward of the future, as rookie power forward Noah Vonleh also showed promise towards the end of the season. Both bring great size and athleticism, and with the two of them likely to both be on the team for the next couple of seasons, it'll be interesting to see who emerges as the favorite to hold the position for the foreseeable future. If Zeller wishes to outlast Vonleh, he will need to work on his jump shot, something Vonleh already has in his arsenal, and Zeller has said he has been practicing stretching his game out to the three-point line and is becoming more comfortable on the outside.
Klay Thompson SG GS 2 days ago
Thompson (head) has cleared tests and does not have a concussion, Sam Amick of USA Today Sports reports.
It has been deemed that Thompson's injury is a contusion, rather than a concussion, which is great news for the Warriors. If Thompson did have a concussion, not only would the injury have been much more severe, but he possibly would have been at risk of missing Game 1 of the finals. Now, with just a contusion, it is more than likely that the sharp shooter will be ready to go come Game 1.