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Earlier this season, Howard was sidelined for 11 games with a strained knee. Now, it appears that same knee will keep him out for a significant time once again.
Wojnarowski didn’t provide a timetable for Howard’s return, but said that Howard could “miss extended time.” He has a buildup of fluid in his knee, and is seeking a second opinion before making any decisions.
That’s a tough blow for the Rockets, who currently sit at 32-14. This season, Howard has averaged 16.3 points, 11 rebounds and 1.4 blocks.
Howard wasn’t selected as an All-Star on Thursday, missing out on the festivities for the first time since he entered his prime as a player. Wojnarowski adds that this injury will likely keep him from getting into the game as an injury replacement as well (although it already seemed he was a long shot, as Portland’s Damian Lillard and Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins are viewed as the bigger snubs in the West). The last All-Star game that didn’t include Howard was in 2006.
This isn’t a shock, as the Magic have failed to live up to expectations this season.
The organization wanted to emerge as a playoff team this year, as they felt their young players were ready to take the next step in their development and the addition of veterans like Channing Frye, Ben Gordon, Willie Green and Luke Ridnour would help.
However, that hasn’t happened, as Orlando still sits near the bottom of the NBA standings at 15-34. They are lottery-bound once again, and Vaughn continues to struggle as a head coach.
Earlier this week, I tweeted about how Rob Hennigan and Vaughn view some of Orlando’s players very differently and suggested that the Magic may part ways with Vaughn rather than the players currently in Vaughn’s doghouse.
Some believe ORL will keep Harkless/Nicholson and move on from Jacque Vaughn instead to see if a new coach could get more out of those guys.
— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) January 27, 2015
That remains true. A number of players have had issues with Vaughn with this season, and his rotations have been questioned by many including league insiders, media and fans.
It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Vaughn fired midseason and, if it doesn’t happen now, an exit this summer seems inevitable.
Once the team got rid of Nate Wolters (a young guard who seemed part of their future) to bring in Martin, it seemed clear that they were going to keep him for the remainder of the season.
The Bucks view Martin as an excellent leader and veteran presence on a young team that’s trying to stay in the Eastern Conference playoff picture. Martin and Jason Kidd played together back when they two were on the New Jersey Nets, so there’s trust and chemistry between the player and coach as well.
Martin has appeared in eight games for the Bucks this season and averaged 1.3 points and 1.1 rebounds in 5.9 minutes per game. Martin signed his initial 10-day contract with the Bucks on Jan. 9, and was signed to a second 10-day deal on Jan. 19.
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