Billy: No timetable on injured Green
It isn’t often Bulls coach Billy Donovan talks about one of his players still unable to run or cut in the rehab process and isn’t talking about point guard Lonzo Ball.
On Monday, however, Donovan talked about a possible timetable for forward Javonte Green to return from a procedure on his right knee and didn’t offer a whole lot of great news.
While Donovan said Green hasn’t had any setbacks, he also gave no clarity about when Green would return to the rotation.
‘‘He’s not running right now,’’ Donovan said. ‘‘He’s biking. They really haven’t done anything dynamically with him. Lateral, straight-ahead running, any of that stuff. He continues to progress. Obviously, the All-Star break coming up will be another important period for him.’’
In the 28 games Green has played this season (including one start), he has averaged 5.9 points and 2.9 rebounds. But he is tied for second on the team in plus/minus with a plus-55.
The Bulls announced Green’s surgery in early January, and the All-Star break was a checkpoint for him to have a more detailed timetable for a return. Donovan still was holding on to that.
‘‘No, I just think there’s kind of a buildup that they normally do,’’ Donovan said when he was asked whether Green has had any setbacks. ‘‘He is doing some things, some mobility stuff in the weight room. I haven’t heard of any setbacks.’’
Green wasn’t the only defensive-minded player sidelined, either. Guard Alex Caruso missed his second consecutive game with a sprained foot. It was the eighth game Caruso had missed this season with an assortment of injuries.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich never has hidden his growing
frustration with the league turning more three-point-centric, and he reiterated his stance before the game against the Bulls.
‘‘We should have a four-point shot and a five-point shot, so you can make it a total circus,’’ Popovich said. ‘‘Just make it a carnival for the fans, so they can scream when someone hits a fivepointer. It’s very boring.’’
He then was asked whether he thought the league ever would feel
pressure to change the three-point distance.
‘‘It can’t change because analytically it’s true,’’ Popovich said. ‘‘We play some teams that are obviously more talented, but we’ll have more assists, more free throws, more points in the paint, more fast-break points and maybe we make seven threes and they make 14 . . . . Game over.
‘‘The other stuff is minimized because of the emphasis the threepointer has on the game.’’
Kyrie Irving’s trade from the Nets to the Mavericks was the latest example of the power stars wield in the NBA.
‘‘It’s a player-driven league, and I think players probably look at it from the perspective of, ‘Listen, I can be traded at any point, and if I don’t feel like this is a great fit for me and I want to see something different,’ there’s an avenue or an opportunity for them to go in there and speak,’’ Donovan said.
Veteran center Andre Drummond had a similar take.
‘‘It’s the NBA for you,’’ he said. ‘‘In a matter of a tweet, it can change the whole dynamic of the season. I think him going to Dallas is a huge thing; it’s huge news right now. Hopefully it works out for him.’’