NBA Rumors: Marcus Smart Out At least Two Weeks, Plus News About Kristaps Porzingis, The Houston Rockets, And More

Here are some NBA Rumors about Marcus Smart, Kristaps Porzingis, Houston Rockets, plus more.

The Boston Celtics will be without its starting point guard Marcus Smart at least two weeks according to Chris Forsberg of ESPN due to a lower leg injury he suffered against the Brooklyn Nets on Friday. Forsberg wrote that Dr. Mark Adickes, co-medical director of the Ironman Sports Medicine Institute at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, said “A two-week return is possible, but 4-6 weeks is a more conservative and likely timetable.”

Smart was injured when he banged knees with Brooklyn’s Thomas Robinson in the fourth quarter during the Celtics win 111-101 win over the Nets.

The official diagnosis of Smart’s injury is a subluxation of the proximal tibfib joint. Adickes, who is a former NFL lineman and previously worked with the Houston Rockets’ medical staff, explained what that means exactly.

“The proximal tibfib joint is where the top of the fibula, the little bone on the outside of the leg, is attached to the tibia, the large shin bone.

“If you have a subluxation, the contact tore ligaments as the fibulae head actually moved out of place and then returned to an anatomical position. I liken this injury to an MCL in that it is a soft-tissue injury that has great blood supply and generally heals on its own, provided the fibula is in the correct position.”

With the timetable given, Smart will miss at least seven games and could miss 20 or more as the Celtics (7-6) fear. Sunday’s game against the Nets — the second of the home-and-home series the teams played — was the fourth game Smart has missed this season. Boston is 2-2 in games without Smart this year.

This is the second consecutive season the 21-year-old has missed a significant portion of the season. Forsberg reports that Smart missed 10 games last November due to an ankle injury and two more games in December from an Achilles strain. Then during Las Vegas Summer League action, Smart dislocated two fingers diving for a loose ball.

Avery Bradley stepped back into the starting lineup on Sunday after coming off the bench in the previous four games. Bradley poured in a season-high 27 points against Brooklyn as he knocked down 7-of-14 three-pointers. He also had four rebounds, one assist, two steals, and one block.

Known primarily for his defense, Bradley has scored in double-figures eight times and is averaging 15.0 points as he is shooting 47.5 percent from the field, as well as 43.1 percent from the three-point line. He also gets 3.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.5 steals a game.

In other NBA news, ESPN’s Johnette Howard reports that New York Knicks rookie Kristaps Porzingis has already alleviated Phil Jackson’s fears that he might be too slight to develop into a star player. The 20-year-old is one of the major reasons that the Knicks are 8-7 on the season.

“I’m not scared — I’m not scared of anybody,” Porzingis told Howard. “I’m skinny and I’m light. Strong guys can still push me around. But I will fight back, and be aggressive and never back down from anybody. If I want to succeed at this level, I can’t be scared of anybody.”

Porzingis posted his third 20-point game in New York’s loss to Miami (95-78) on Monday. He finished the game with 20 points, on 7-of-18 shooting, including 3-of-5 from beyond the arc, along with 14 rebounds and two blocks. Porzingis now has six double-doubles on the season.

The seven-foot, three-inch center from Latvia leads the team in rebounds as well as blocks and is second in points.

Despite the fact that Kobe Bryant is shooting a career-low 33.1 percent from the field, Lakers coach Byron Scott has no plans to tell him not to continue to shoot the ball, according to ESPN’s Baxter Holmes.

“He’s had 20 years of experience in the league,” Scott told the team’s beat reporters. “We might not have six players that have 20 years in this league combined. He has that privilege, basically. From a coaching standpoint, I want Kobe to be Kobe. Other guys haven’t earned that right yet.”

Former NBA first round picks Jordan Hamilton and JaJuan Johnson has left the Russian club Krasny Oktyabr.

Houston Rockets interim coach J. B. Bickerstaff told Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle that he wants the Rockets to push the tempo, per NBA The Rockets (5-9) are currently No. 9 in pace after ranking second last season.

“That’s one of the things we’re focused on now,” Bickerstaff told the Houston media. “We want to be speedy. We want teams that come in here in the first five minutes of the game … to be overwhelmed by our speed. We have the athletes. We have the skilled players who can get up and down and do those things.”

Houston is 1-2 with Bickerstaff in the first seat.

Kemba Walker scored 21 of his season-high 39 points to help the Charlotte Hornets (8-6) to overcome a 17-point deficit to start the fourth quarter and earn a 127-122 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Monday night. Walker shot 16-of-23 from the field and was 4-of-6 from beyond the arc. The victory was the Hornets fourth in five games.

The Hornets are a much better three-point shooting team this year than they were last season, which, in turn, has given Al Jefferson more operating room in the low-post, according to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer.

Despite the fact that Steve Kerr is not coaching Golden State, he has been a constant presence at Warriors practice, according to USA Today’s Sam Amick. The Warriors, under interim coach Luke Walton, go for their unprecedented 16th consecutive win to start the season when they face the Los Angeles Lakers tonight.

Adam Zagoria of tweeted that despite concerns that Kyrie Irving could be out past New Year’s, he is expected to return before January.

[Image by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images]