The Spurs have made the playoffs 22 straight seasons – tied for the longest postseason streak in NBA history.

San Antonio faces long odds of topping the 1950-1971 Syracuse Nationals/Philadelphia 76ers. The Spurs are four games and four teams out of playoff position in the Western Conference.

Now, San Antonio loses backup center Jakob Poeltl.

Poeltl on Facebook:

As today’s examination showed, I suffered a grade 2 MCL strain of the right knee. I will presumably miss the next two to four weeks. Since knee injuries can be very severe, I’m happy that I didn’t sustain a more serious injury. Nevertheless, this is an annoying situation. We’re in the midst of a very important phase, which is why every missed game hurts twice as much. I hope to be back on the floor as soon as possible.

What an unusual and relatively pleasant way to get an injury update. It’s nice to hear straight from a player about his own health.

LaMarcus Aldridge is also banged up. So, the Spurs have gone small with Drew Eubanks or Rudy Gay at center.

Poeltl is a good defender. He just fits terribly with DeMar DeRozan, because neither spreads the floor by shooting 3-pointers. With DeRozan serving as San Antonio’s go-to scorer, Poeltl had received a limited role. But he’d been productive in that role, and now the Spurs lose that.

He has the best bank shot of any coach in the NBA. Or at any level for that matter.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is away from the team for personal reasons on Tuesday, so Tim Duncan moved into the big chair.

What does that mean? Not much, the machine runs itself in San Antonio.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. Just taller. With a better midrange game.

Kyrie Irving was on the court for just 20 games this season wearing a Nets uniform.

He had bursitis in his shoulder earlier this season, missed 26 games as he tried to avoid surgery, ended up getting a cortisone shot, returned, injured his knee,  and while out aggravated his shoulder. That ended his season.

Tuesday he got surgery, the team announced.

Even without Irving, his scoring, and his shot creation, the scrappy Nets will still make the playoffs, although as a seven or eight seed not expected to last long against the East powers.

Next season the Nets will roll into training camp with Irving, Kevin Durant (coming off his torn Achilles), and the expectations of a contender. There will be a lot put upon Irving and that repaired shoulder to get there.

The defining feature of Jim Boylen’s coaching: late timeouts in already-decided games.

If that weren’t already enough of an indictment of the Bulls coach, he found another way to humiliate Chicago last night.

Tomas Satoransky passed to Ryan Arcidiacono, who’d cut behind the Mavericks defense. But before Arcidiacono finished the open layup, Boylen was granted timeout.

Luka Doncic walked to the bench chuckling. We can’t read his mind, but good luck convincing anyone he wasn’t laughing at Boylen’s gaffe.

At least Chicago beat Dallas, 109-107.

The Knicks spread word that owner James Dolan and Spike Lee shook hands, shared a laugh and resolved their issue at halftime of New York’s win over the Rockets last night. Lee denied shaking Dolan’s hand. The Knicks released a statement that included a photo of Dolan and Lee shaking hands. Lee called the Knicks liars.

Finally, Lee saw the photo.

Sopan Deb of The New York Times:

What a conspiracy theory!

To me, the somewhat-blurry picture looks like a screenshot of a video. A lot of video gets captured at arenas during NBA games – from media, from security cameras. My best guess: After this controversy blew up today, the Knicks found video that showed the handshake and shared a still.

Dolan might have approached Lee with a plan of getting Lee to back down. I could also see Dolan – who’s often surrounded by sycophants – believing the handshake meant he had accomplished goal. Then, he might have had the Knicks put out that he and Lee had resolved everything.

But a quick handshake during a terse exchange means little. Lee was clearly still upset about being being told not to use his desired entrance to Madison Square Garden. Heck, he’s still upset now.

Lee’s discontent is the underlying issue that must be addressed, as fun as it is to dive into conspiracy theories like this.





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