76ers

NBA Notes: Love hurts finger in T'wolves' win

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NBA Notes: Love hurts finger in T'wolves' win

DENVER -- Timberwolves forward Kevin Love left Minnesota's game against the Denver Nuggets after spraining a finger on his right hand in the third quarter.

His return Thursday night was questionable.

Love was sliding past a Nuggets player in the lane when he suddenly clutched at his hand and headed into the training room. Love had 12 points and 17 rebounds before departing. He later returned to the bench.

The All-Star broke his right hand in October and missed the opening nine games of the season.

The Pepsi Center hasn't been kind to Love, who sustained a mild concussion and neck strain after a hit to the head in a game against Denver last April.

- The Associated Press
Jackson hurt falling into waitress
NEW YORK -- Spurs forward Stephen Jackson left San Antonio's game against the Knicks after spraining his right ankle when he crashed into a waitress working the sideline in front of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Jackson was hurt in the first quarter Thursday night when he shot a 3-pointer from the corner. The shot missed and he stepped backward out of bounds and onto the waitress, who was kneeling in front of courtside seats.

It was unclear if the waitress was serving Bloomberg, who was seen eating a box of popcorn shortly after the play.
- The Associated Press

Villanueva to appeal fine for foul
Detroit's Charlie Villanueva was ejected and later fined 25,000 for his flagrant foul on Sacramento's Isaiah Thomas.

Villanueva plans to appeal the fine, and when hearing that Thomas called him a dirty play, the Detroit forward said this, via the Detroit Free Press:

"Dirty player? Not at all, Villanueva said. "He saw an open lane, I tried to block the ball and hes 4-foot-11, a 100 pounds wet so he looks bad. Im not a dirty player. I didnt try to hurt him at all."

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Banged-up Markelle Fultz is latest chapter in Sixers' painful rookie history

Banged-up Markelle Fultz is latest chapter in Sixers' painful rookie history

CAMDEN, N.J. — Brett Brown has been here before. The scenario isn’t as drastic in the past, but it’s familiar nonetheless: starting the season with an injured rookie for the fifth straight year.

Markelle Fultz will begin his first NBA season dealing with ongoing right shoulder and right knee soreness. The No. 1 pick is expected to play on opening night Wednesday, but will come off the bench after appearing in only two preseason games. 

Brown has learned to manage this type of situation after years of experience. Nerlens Noel missed Brown’s entire first season because of an ACL injury. Joel Embiid sat out the following two seasons with foot injuries. Ben Simmons suffered a season-ending foot fracture in last year’s training camp. 

The biggest lesson? 

“To go slow,” Brown said. “To not put them in a position where it’s going to produce some difficult times.” 

Fultz was likely to be a starter when the Sixers traded up to draft him first overall in June. The 19-year-old guard hasn’t had that much experience since then thanks to injuries in both summer league and preseason. 

The Sixers face John Wall, Kyrie Irving and Kyle Lowry in the first three games alone. That would be a tall defensive task if Fultz were to start. 

“This league is driven by men, this league is driven by veterans,” Brown said. “To just put him in that environment is just, I think, poor coaching and I’m not doing it.”

Just as Simmons took advice from Embiid during his injury, he is offering words of wisdom to Fultz.

“[You’ve] got to to take your time and you definitely have to take care of your body,” Simmons said. “Put your body first. There’s no need to rush.”

The Sixers have the backcourt depth to adjust without Fultz in the starting lineup. They have been turning to veteran Jerryd Bayless at shooting guard alongside Simmons, their intended backcourt pairing last season. 

In the meantime, Brown will balance Fultz’s health, his growth as an NBA player, and the team’s success. 

“The end game needs to be developing Markelle Fultz," Brown said. 

Joel Embiid disappointed Brett Brown has him on another minutes limit

Joel Embiid disappointed Brett Brown has him on another minutes limit

CAMDEN, N.J. — Joel Embiid would like to play 48 minutes every game. The Sixers are looking at a maximum of 20 for opening night.

"I don't really know if there's a solid number," Brett Brown said Monday after practice. "I can tell if you were to choose a number, it's somewhere in the teens."

Embiid was hoping for more playing time on Wednesday against the Wizards, his first regular-season game since Jan. 27 (left knee surgery).

"I didn't know about that, but that's very disappointing," Embiid said Monday of the minutes restriction. "I feel great and hopefully that changes based on today's practice and tomorrow's practice."

The Sixers are being cautious with Embiid, who has both a lengthy history of injuries and a massive new contract extension. He clocked 15 minutes in both of his preseason games last week. Embiid felt he could have played twice as many minutes.

While the Sixers aren't ready to go as high as 30 minutes yet, they could exercise some wiggle room based on the flow of the game.

"There will be some minutes restrictions, but it's also a judgment of how is the game being played, not just looking at rote, rigid number," Brown said.

The NBA's new timeout rules could impact Embiid's playing time. The updated format changes include a decrease in the maximum number of timeouts allowed (18 to 14), 75-second team timeouts and fewer timeouts in the final minutes of the game. 

"One of the things that we're doing this year unlike previous years is there's a little bit of a looseness in relation to it doesn't have to be rigid if the game didn't dictate some track meet," Brown said. "This is like I'm coaching in the London Olympic Games again. The game moves. I can have guys at a scorers table for two minutes with no stoppage. So sometimes the torrid pace of a game doesn't favor Jo where you go flying up and down."

In addition to individual games, it remains to be seen if Embiid will be cleared this season for back-to-backs. The Sixers face their first set of consecutive games this Friday and Saturday against the Celtics at home and the Raptors in Toronto.