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Chris Towers chat transcript (11/18)

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Player News
Danilo Gallinari will be ready for training camp
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(2:19 am ET) Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari was with the team over the last few games of the season, and he has reportedly made great strides in his recovery from ACL surgery.

Gallinari told the Denver Post he has already progressed to running and jumping as part of his recovery from January surgery. He has progressed so quickly he even dunked for the first time Tuesday, and said he will be fully recovered by the start of training camp.

Gallinari did not play all season after attempting to return from a partially torn ACL, which ultimately required surgery. 


Joel Freeland passes postseason test
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(1:57 am ET) Trail Blazers forward Joel Freeland proved himself ready for the playoffs Wednesday, as he returned from a two-month absence due to a knee injury. Freeland played 18 minutes in the game, scoring six points and adding seven rebounds and two assists in the 110-104 win.

After the game, coach Terry Stotts told NBA.SI.com he has no reservations about relying on Freeland in the team's upcoming playoff series against the Rockets, though he will have to play with a knee brace.

Freeland finished the regular season averaging 3.3 points and 3.9 rebounds in 52 games, appearing in one more contest than his rookie season. 


Mike Conley closes out regular season with overtime win
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(12:29 am ET) Grizzlies guard Mike Conley did not appear limited at all by a hamstring injury Wednesday, as he played 42 minutes in the last game of the regular season against the Mavericks.

Playing for playoff seeding, the Grizzlies held nothing back in a 106-105 overtime win. Conley scored 22 points on 8 of 16 shooting and added four rebounds, five assists and a steal, while turning the ball over three times in the win.

Conley ended up missing 10 games this season, his highest total since he was a rookie, but he played well when healthy. He averaged a career-high 17.1 points per game on 44.9 percent shooting, while adding 2.9 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 1.5 steals in 33.4 minutes per game. 


Anthony Bennett returns off bench in finale
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(12:25 am ET) Cavaliers forward Anthony Bennett was back in action after missing more than a month with a knee injury Wednesday, and played well in the team's final win over the Nets, 114-85.

Bennett was limited to 15 minutes off the bench but shot the ball well, scoring seven points on 3 of 6 shooting. He added seven rebounds and turned the ball over just once in the win.

Bennett's rookie season was an unqualified disaster, as he showed little more than brief flashes of competence in 52 appearances. The No. 1 overall pick struggled with injuries and conditioning, and finished averaging 4.1 points and 2.9 rebounds per game, while shooting just 35.2 percent from the field and 24.5 percent from three-point range.  


Carrick Felix scores 10 in return from knee injury
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(12:22 am ET) Cavaliers guard Carrick Felix closed out his rookie season with a fine performance against the Nets Wednesday, in his first appearance in 38 games after overcoming a knee injury.

Felix played 12 minutes off the bench, scoring 10 points on 4 of 6 shooting, with a pair of 3-pointers made. He added two rebounds and three assists, while turning the ball over just once in the 114-85 win.

Felix was limited to just seven games as a rookie, as a result of a fractured knee. The No. 33 overall pick averaged just 2.7 points per game, but could see an increased role in his second season.   


Greg Oden scores two points in return
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(12:18 am ET) Heat forward Greg Oden tried to knock off the cobwebs in his final tuneup game before the playoffs Wednesday against the 76ers, as he returned from an 11-game absence due to back spasms.  

Oden played 14 minutes in the game, scoring just two points on 0 of 2 shooting. He added five rebounds while picking up three personal fouls in the 100-87 loss.

Playing for the first time in four seasons after overcoming a slew of debilitating knee injuries, Oden gave the Heat more than they expected this season. He appeared in 23 games, the second-highest total of his career, averaging 3.0 points and 2.2 rebounds per game in just 9.2 minutes per game. 


Alan Anderson available, not needed in tuneup
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(12:15 am ET) Nets guard Alan Anderson was in uniform and available to return from an abdominal injury for Wednesday's game against the Cavaliers, but he was never needed in a 114-85 loss.

Anderson ended up missing the final four games of the regular season due to the injury, but appears healthy enough to contribute for the postseason. He finishes the regular season averaging 7.2 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game in 78 games. 


Ronny Turiaf able to play in final game
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(12:09 am ET) Timberwolves center Ronny Turiaf was able to play through a knee injury in Wednesday's game against the Jazz, after missing the team's previous game.

Turiaf played 16 minutes off the bench in the double-overtime loss, scoring 12 points and adding eight rebounds and three blocked shots as the Timberwolves fell, 136-130.

Knee and elbow injuries limited Turiaf to just 31 games for the Timberwolves this season, though he was productive when healthy enough to play. He averaged 4.6 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, the latter of which represents a career high. 


Brian Roberts ends up league leader in FT percentage
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(12:04 am ET) Pelicans guard Brian Roberts returned to play four minutes in Wednesday's game against the Rockets, and that was enough for him to jump onto the NBA's leaderboard.

Roberts scored just three points in the game, all at the free-throw line. His three made free throws gave him 125 made on the season, making him eligible for the free-throw percentage leaderboard, where he finishes the season at the top with a 93.9 percent success rate.

Roberts struggled to play through an ankle injury late in the season, but still stepped his production for the season up in his season year in the league. He finished the season averaging 9.4 points and 3.3 assists in 72 games, including 42 starts.


Ekpe Udoh sits out final game
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(4/16/2014) Bucks forward Ekpe Udoh did not take the floor for the seventh game in a row Wednesday, in the team's season finale against the Hawks. Udoh was a DNP Coach's Decision yet again, as he fell out of the rotation over the season's final few weeks.

Udoh struggled to play through knee issues for stretches this season, and had trouble earning consistent playing time. He finished the season averaging 3.4 points and 3.5 rebounds in 42 games played. 


 
 
 
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