6 NBA things to know for Nov. 11
Jeff Case, NBA.com
Get up to speed on the latest NBA news, plus a quick look at stories we’ll be following closely today:
1. A banner night in San Antonio: Is there any point guard in San Antonio history more beloved than Tony Parker? We doubt it. His place in franchise annals secure, he will join Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili — his former Spurs Big 3 stars — as a recent star to have his jersey number retired. The No. 9 will lift to the AT&T Center rafters in a postgame ceremony after the Spurs take on the Memphis Grizzlies (7:30 ET, League Pass). When that happens, Parker will be the 10th jersey retired by the Spurs.
2. The Kawhi-Toronto reunion, Chapter 1: After an emotional win last night, Toronto gets a second dose of the feels as it pays a visit to the LA Clippers. Other than it being a solid East-West showdown, there’s the whole seeing-Kawhi-Leonard-in-another-team’s-uni-against-them thing the Raptors and their fans must process. One thing to watch? Try the benches — the Clippers have the NBA’s highest-scoring one (50.6 ppg) while the Raptors’ reserves rank 24th.
3. Life without Gordon in Boston: There’s no timeline for how long the Celtics will be without Gordon Hayward. What is known is that timeline begins tonight against the Mavs (7:30 ET, League Pass) as East-leading Boston aims for an 8th straight win. Hayward’s absence slides Marcus Smart into the starting lineup and it will be intriguing to see who can fill Smart’s vital reserve role in Boston’s reshuffled lineup.
4. Draymond back in action: Given the way how injuries have sacked the Warriors this season, you might be thinking Draymond Green — like his superstar cohorts Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson — might be done for 2019-20. However, he says he’s ready to suit up vs. Utah (10:30 ET, League Pass) as he is officially listed as probable for the game. Green last played on Nov. 1 and has been sidelined since then with a left index finger injury.
Some news: Draymond Green is trending toward a return tonight at home vs Jazz. He missed the last five games because of a torn ligament (and small bone chip, I’ve been told) in left index finger. Warriors listing Green as probable.
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) November 11, 2019
5, Griffin making his debut: There’s no doubting this one, as Griffin told reporters after Sunday’s practice that he is playing tonight vs. Minnesota (7 ET, League Pass). Detroit will surely be glad to have him back — but maybe not for his play around the basket. Last season, Griffin made 189 3-pointers, the second-highest single-season mark in team history. With the Pistons near the bottom of the NBA in terms of shooting balance (they rank 24th in the percent of 3-pointers attempted), Griffin should help space the floor.
"𝙄'𝙢 𝙥𝙡𝙖𝙮𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙤𝙢𝙤𝙧𝙧𝙤𝙬."
— Detroit Pistons (@DetroitPistons) November 10, 2019
6. Two notable (and historical) anniversaries: Shaquille O’Neal burst on the scene in 1992 as the No. 1 overall pick and never let up from the moment he debuted on Nov. 11, 1992 against the Miami Heat. Dirk Nowitzki took a few seasons to find his rhythm, but by 2014 he was one of the NBA’s top players, an NBA champion, an MVP and a Finals MVP to boot. On Nov. 11, 2014, he passed Hakeem Olajuwon to become the top international scorer in NBA history.