Three things to Know: Dončić, Durant, Zion, injuries dominate West playoff chase Raptors’ VanVleet doesn’t hold back in ripping referees after loss Durant reportedly could miss rest of season with Grade 2 ankle sprain Durant out for Suns’ home debut after tweaking ankle in warm ups NBA Power Rankings: Bucks stay on top, Knicks vault up to third

“Three Things You Need to Know” is NBC’s five-day coverage of last night in the NBA. Check Every weekday morning for what you missed the night before, plus the gossip, drama, and dunks that make the NBA a must-watch.

1) Luka Doncic leaves the game due to a thigh injury; Zion out for at least another two weeks

This is worrisome: when asked how he felt after the game, Luka Doncic replied: “Not good.”

Doncic was clearly slowing down Wednesday’s entire game due to a hip problem, which he admitted after a game he played for about a week (via Andrew Lopez at ESPN) – “It seems that this was the second game after the break for the All-Star Game … I didn’t make it in this one.”

The biggest concern is non-contact injuries. Doncic left the game in the third quarter to avoid returning and will have an MRI on Thursday to better understand what is causing his hip pain.

The Mavericks are taking a little break because they’re on hiatus until Saturday when they face the Grizzlies in the minority.

With or without Doncic, the Mavericks’ defense is terrible, and the Pelicans took full advantage. CJ McCollum scored 32 points — 16 in a row for one point — and the Pelicans won a much-needed 113–106 win as they battled for the play-in.

Not that it was good news for New Orleans: the team announced that Zion Williamson — who has been absent since Jan. 2 due to a hamstring problem (which he made worse at some point) — will remain on the sidelines and will be re-examined in two weeks.

It’s fair to ask if we’ll see Zion again this season. Even if he returns, will the Pelicans have time to build chemistry and get back in shape like they did right after Thanksgiving last year when they looked like a team that could pose a real playoff threat?

2). Durant misses home debut with ankle injury

Kevin Duran was supposed to make his debut at home in Phoenix on Wednesday night when it happened during the warm-up.

Durant got up and continued warming up, but shortly before the start of the game, it was announced that he would miss the game due to pain in his left ankle.

There is concern within the team that this is a grade 2 ankle sprain that would see him out for 4-6 weeks, until the end of the regular season and possibly the playoffs. reports Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic.

It would be a real punch in the gut for the Suns and their playoff dreams. Durant is averaging 26.7 points and 7.3 assists per game on ridiculously effective shooting (80.8 true shooting percentage with the Suns), and Phoenix has been 3-0 since he joined the roster.

The Suns still easily beat the Thunder 132–101, 44 points behind them. Devin Booker.

If Durant is out before the end of the regular season, the Suns will stay afloat and make the playoffs, but they won’t have a chance to develop the chemistry and good habits needed to succeed in the postseason (and that’s if he returns). before the start of the playoffs). If this is a serious ankle sprain, that’s bad news in Phoenix.

3) Fred VanVliet gets his penalty when he digs an official

The standard NBA fine for disparaging an umpire during a post-game interview is between $25,000 and $35,000, depending on what was said and when that player or coach publicly criticized the umpire.

Fred VanVleet of the Raptors had had enough and decided that if he was fined, he would get his money.

Many league players have to pay a fine to VanVleet because he just spoke for them. Not specifically about Ben Taylor, but about judging in general.

The Raptors lost to the Clippers 108–100. Kawhi Leonard scoring 24 points and Paul George 23.

Fred VanVliet was going to get his $25,000 (or, in this case, maybe $35,000).

VanVleet had had enough and didn’t hold back to rip the referees, especially referee Ben Taylor, in his post-match comments. VanVliet made sure to make it clear that there was more than one referee involved.

“I’ll take the fine, I don’t care. I thought Ben Taylor was awful as hell tonight. Most nights out of three [referees] there are one or two that just ruin the game. So it was a couple of games in a row. Denver was tough, obviously. You go out tonight competing pretty hard, in the third quarter I get the fucking technology that changes the whole game dynamics, changes the whole game.

“Most referees try really hard, I like a lot of referees, they try really hard, they’re pretty honest, they communicate well, and there are others who just want to be f*cking. It just ruins the game. Nobody comes to see this shit, they come to see the players. I think we are losing some of the fabric of what the NBA is and what it was….

“What are we doing? There’s a fine line obviously, I understand that, but I think the jurisdiction and power we’ve had this year with some of our officials in this league is out of control. I’ll take my penalty.” for saying it, but it’s fucking funny.”

Note that VanVleet does not foam at the mouth here, he is calm and rational. He explains how he sees things. Many league players have to pay a fine to VanVleet because he just spoke for them.

VanVleet was right. I understand being a referee is hard – these men and women go out every night and do their best just to hear from the players/coaches/fans that they suck. NBA referees are the best in the world at their job (watch some college/FIBA games and answer me). They deserve more respect than they get.

But all too often, at least some judges seem to hunt down this disrespect and then lash out at handing out specs when they don’t deserve it.

Like that Jordan Pool received a few nights ago.

Or late technical information about Scotty Barnes that quick trigger that Scott Foster dealt changed the game late game.

And that’s just in the last couple of days. While the players need to show a little more respect for the umpires in general, the umpires need to keep their egos at the door. Unfortunately, being the person everyone yells at is part of the job.


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