Around the Association: Karl-Anthony Towns Out at Least a Month, Ben Simmons Sidelined by Knee (Again), Mavs Sign Kemba Walker, More

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Around the Association: Karl-Anthony Towns Out at Least a Month, Ben Simmons Sidelined by Knee (Again), Mavs Sign Kemba Walker, More

Chicago Bulls

The NBA season has been much to write home about for Bulls fans, specifically to this point, but just as the Bulls seem to be doing the last week — fingers crossed — the rest of the NBA is cooking with storylines aplenty.

Unfortunately for some teams, this week’s central theme seems to be costly injuries, with Minnesota losing Karl-Anthony Towns for an extended time being the headliner.

Timberwolves Lose Karl-Anthony Towns for at Least a Month

Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns left Monday night’s game against the Wizards after suffering what appeared to be a non-contact injury while running up the court in the third quarter. Towns went down and grabbed the back of his right leg before needed to be helped off the court.

Those types of scenes never look good. However, here’s the good news: an MRI revealed that Towns is dealing with a calf strain, not something more severe like damage to his Achilles tendon.

The bad news is KAT will miss a month, maybe even more, rehabbing the calf strain. The last thing the struggling Timberwolves needed was to lose their All-Star center, averaging 21.4 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 5.4 assists this season. It also doesn’t help that no one on the team has more assists on Rudy Gobert’s buckets.

Now left with the potential of Kyle Anderson and Naz Reid in Towns’ spot for a month or more, the Timberwolves will need their backcourt of Anthony Edwards and D’Angelo Russell to get more involved in helping their blockbuster summer acquisition Rudy Gobert get comfortable in his new environment.

Minnesota is 10-11 this year and was still trying to figure out how to best use their new star in their lineup before the Towns injury, so this could be a significant speed bump for them.

Ben Simmons Sidelined with Knee Soreness … Again

Just when it seemed like Ben Simmons might have been finding his footing in Brooklyn — amid a six-game stretch in which he was averaging 14 points, 11.7 rebounds, and 6.7 assists — he’s now sidelined with another injury, this time a sore left knee.

How serious is the knee injury that caused him to exit Monday night’s Nets-Magic game? Well, as of right now, he’s listed as day-to-day, but the injury has already cost him one game (Tuesday night’s game against the Wizards).

For now, it seems like this injury won’t be something that keeps Simmons sidelined for long, but it’s concerning enough that it happened during his best offensive stretch of the season, one in which he’s averaging career-lows in points (8.9), rebounds (6.8), and assists (6.0). It’s also concerning enough that this is the second time this season that Simmons’ left knee has cost him time after he missed multiple games earlier this season to undergo plasma treatments and have the knee drained.

You’ll remember that during that first absence this season, the Nets were frustrated with Simmons’ lack of availability since they acquired him ahead of last season’s trade deadline.

More on that here:

Searching for Answers, Mavs Sign Kemba Walker

After a failed homecoming in New York — which included a three-week stretch in which Walker was benched — veteran guard Kemba Walker has landed another NBA job, this time with the Dallas Mavericks.

Walker was traded to the Orlando Magic by the Knicks on the night of the NBA Draft but waived by Orlando last month, making him a free agent.

The Mavericks have been struggling of late, losing five of their last seven games and four straight before beating the similarly struggling Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night, narrowly albeit. The addition of Walker is seen as a move to provide a spark for the second unit behind Luka Dončić, if the 32-year-old can stay healthy, but that’s a big if at this point.

Walker struggled to the tune of 11.6 points and 3.5 assists per game in 37 games with the Knicks last season, well below his career averages of 19.5 points and 5.3 assists per game. The Athletic’s Tim Cato believes that if the Mavs can get 10-20 minutes out of Walker a night, they’ll be happy with the addition. Basically, Walker is in Dallas to serve as a third ball handler behind Dončić and Spencer Dinwiddie.

Dončić was on fire last night — see below — but he can’t carry this team to the Western Conference Finals all by himself again. Or can he?

And Ones

  • The Athletic’s Jason Jones spoke to Shaquille O’Neal about his new four-part docuseries on HBO. Shaq talked about the untold truths and the glimpses into his personal life, both past, and present, that fans will get to see in the series.
  • Tyrese Haliburton has been phenomenal this season for the surprising Indiana Pacers.

Which makes it as good a time as any to share this discussion between Sam Amick and Anthony Slater in which they take a look at last February’s Haliburton-Sabonis swap between the Pacers and Kings:

  • Despite losing their head coach to scandal ahead of the season, the Boston Celtics are playing like a team destined for their second straight NBA Finals appearance.
  • Fun Fact: Jerami Grant’s father, Harvey, played in the NBA for the Portland Trailblazers.
  • Tuesday’s Top 5:
  • Here’s where things stand in the NBA this morning:


Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is the Lead NFL Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.