Let’s take a quick look around the NBA at some interesting news and notes for this first week of November.
Westbrook Leaves With Sprained Ankle
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook was forced to leave Monday night’s game with what the team is calling a left ankle sprain. The play happened late in the third quarter when Westbrook was battling for a rebound with Pelicans’ star Anthony Davis. Westbrook landed awkwardly on the ankle and slapped the floor before limping to the locker room with the help of the training staff. The team announced that X-ray results were negative and that they would have a better idea of the severity of the sprain on Tuesday. The Thunder were able to regroup for a 122-116 victory in what is their fifth straight victory of the season. Westbrook missed the first two games of the season for the Thunder after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery in September.
Draymond Green Gone With Injury
The Golden State Warriors could be without forward Draymond Green for a short time as he left Monday night’s game with a foot injury. Green underwent X-Rays and the results were negative, but head coach Steve Kerr did not have an update on his status after the Warriors 117-101 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies. The injury occurred during the first quarter of the game, but Green was able to return to the court for a brief run in the second quarter. The Warriors decided to keep the All-Star out of the contest in the second half after examining him at halftime. Green finished the game with four rebounds and two assists in the Warriors‘ victory.
Larry Drew To Coach Cavaliers
The Cleveland Cavaliers announced that they have hired Larry Drew to be the interim coach for the remainder of the season. Drew will also receive a partially guaranteed salary for the 2019-2020 season as a part of this deal. If the Cavaliers decide to part ways with Drew at the end of the season, they have agreed to pay him a buyout as per terms of this agreement. Cleveland fired head coach Tyronn Lue on October 28 after the Cavaliers got off to an 0-6 start to the season. The Cavaliers have gone 1-2 since Drew took over the head coaching job with Cleveland. The former Atlanta Hawks head coach went 8-1 as interim coach of the Cavaliers a season ago.
Jeff Bzdelik Returning To Houston
The Houston Rockets have announced that they are bringing back former associate head coach Jeff Bzdelik. Bzdelik is being hired as the defensive coordinator, and he will report to the team on a full-time basis after Thanksgiving. The 65-year-old defensive guru retired right before the start of training camp but has resolved some issues that will allow him to return to the team. Bzdelik coached the Denver Nuggets from 2002 to 2004 and also spent time coaching at the collegiate level. Under his guidance, the Rockets were one of the top defensive teams in the NBA a season ago, but Houston is allowing over 112 points per game this season. Houston is off to a 3-5 start after recording the most regular season wins in the NBA a season ago.
Chandler Expected To Sign With LA
Longtime NBA veteran Tyson Chandler is expected to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers later this week after the Suns bought out the remainder of his contract. Chandler was in the final year of his four-year contract with Phoenix and was set to make about $13.5 million this season. The 18-year veteran played in seven games so far this season with the Suns, averaging just over 13 minutes per game. He averaged 3.7 points and 5.6 rebounds per game with Phoenix playing as mostly a backup to rookie Deandre Ayton. Chandler must pass through waivers before selecting a new team, but sources have indicated that he plans to return home to Los Angeles. Chandler played high school basketball in Compton, California before being drafted by the Los Angeles Clippers with the 2nd pick in the 2001 NBA Draft. He was a member of the 2011 Dallas Mavericks team that won the NBA Championship.