Hall of Famer Charles Barkley is “angry” that the NBA moved up the start of the season to decrease the number of back-to-back games and eliminate any teams playing four games in five nights. Speaking at Southern Methodist University on Wednesday, Barkley sarcastically said he wanted to “commend the NBA” for cutting the number of back-to-back games its teams must play. The 2017-18 schedule reduces the back-to-back games to an average of 14.4 per team, down from 16.3 per team last season. No team has more than 16 back-to-backs this season.
“You know, these poor babies can’t play back-to-back games. They’re making 20, 30, 40 million dollars a year. But we want to make it convenient for them. … We can’t stress ’em out. So we’re just going to make it more comfortable for them. The private jets and four-star hotels is not enough,” he said, continuing his sarcastic tone.
Kawhi Leonard Probable for Tuesday Debut
The Spurs listed forward Kawhi Leonard as probable for Tuesday’s road matchup at Dallas, which means it’s likely that the two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year will make his season debut against the Mavericks.
The club originally targeted Saturday’s game at Phoenix as a potential debut for Leonard, but sources on Friday said the forward wanted “a couple more days” to recover from the right quadriceps tendinopathy that has kept him out of all 27 of the Spurs’ games thus far this season.
Source: Michael C. Wright of ESPN
Sources: Hornets’ Cody Zeller Undergoes Surgery, to Miss 6 Weeks
Charlotte Hornets center Cody Zeller will undergo surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee on Tuesday, league sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. He’s expected to miss six weeks.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN
Clips’ Danilo Gallinari Suffers New Glute Injury
On the same night the LA Clippers will welcome back one starter, another starter re-exits the lineup due to injury.
Power forward Danilo Gallinari, who missed 13 games with a glute injury and returned to action this past Wednesday, will miss Monday night’s game against the Toronto Raptors due to what coach Doc Rivers says is a new glute injury suffered in Gallinari’s second game back Saturday against the Washington Wizards.
Source: Lawrence Murray of ESPN