Dr. A's Weekend Recap - Lakers win IST, Brunson and Kyrie injured

Dr. A's Weekend Recap - Lakers win IST, Brunson and Kyrie injured

This article is part of our NBA Observations series.

Here are 10 NBA stories from over the weekend you might have missed, including the Lakers winning the In-Season Tournament, injuries to Jalen Brunson and Kyrie Irving, and some massive losing streaks for the Pistons and Spurs. 

Beware the 2-game week 

For the first time this season, we will not have any teams playing just two games in the upcoming week. Every team plays three or four times in Week 8, with most of them going four times. The three-game teams are: Lakers, Grizzlies, Timberwolves, Thunder, Magic and Raptors. Every other team plays four games this week, helping to make up for the last two weeks, which were very light schedule-wise. 

Lakers take down Pacers for In-Season Tournament Championship

Anthony Davis went off for 41 points, 20 rebounds, five assists and four blocked shots on 16-of-24 shooting in Saturday's 123-109 win over the Pacers as the Lakers won the inaugural In-Season Tournament. Unfortunately, none of those stats count for Davis' fantasy managers, as the championship game did not count in fantasyland. That's too bad because it was one of AD's best NBA lines of all time. 

LeBron James took home the MVP trophy and had 24 points and 11 rebounds, and Austin Reaves had his best game of the season with 28 points on 9-of-15 shooting and somehow didn't hit a three-pointer. 

The Pacers were led by Tyrese Haliburton's 20 points and 11 assists and might have won the MVP despite being on a losing team had the score been a little closer. He averaged 26.7 points and 13.3 assists on 52 percent shooting throughout the tournament and had two games against the Bucks and Celtics where he racked up 28 assists with zero turnovers to lead the Pacers to the championship game. Bennedict Mathurin scored 20, Aaron Nesmith had 15, and Obi Toppin added 13 points in the loss.  

Jalen Brunson wrecks ankle in garbage time

Brunson suffered a sprained left ankle in the final seconds of Friday's loss to Boston. While Tom Thibodeau said Sunday that Brunson would be good to go on Monday, I'm not so sure. First of all, Brunson shouldn't have been on the court with the Knicks down 10 with less than 30 seconds remaining in a game that was over, but that's how Thibodeau rolls. 

He stepped on Payton Pritchard's foot. The Knicks are underplaying the severity of the injury, but Brunson was visibly upset and in pain when it happened. Hopefully, he's good to go tonight and the injury is much ado about nothing. But if Brunson is out, Immanuel Quickley could be called upon to start for Thibodeau's squad, while Miles McBride and Donte DiVincenzo should also see a boost against the Raptors. Consider Brunson a game-time decision for now. 

Kyrie Irving's foot bum rushed by Dwight Powell

Irving was on the court sitting up with his legs outstretched when Dwight Powell came crashing down with his full body weight on both of Irving's lower legs. He's been dealing with a sore right foot all season long and now has a right heel contusion. He's already been ruled out for Monday's game at Memphis, and his status for Tuesday against the Lakers is still up in the air. Luka Doncic goes crazy every time Irving is out, and guys like Tim Hardaway Jr. and Derrick Jones Jr. should both step up with Irving in street clothes. 

Anthony Edwards now dealing with hip pointer

Edwards is over his shoulder injury but is now dealing with a right hip injury that forced him out of Friday's game after just four minutes. He's listed as questionable against the Pelicans on Monday. If he's out, look for Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Troy Brown Jr. to step up in his absence. 

Kevin Durant's ankle sprain

Durant missed Friday's game due to a sprained right ankle and wasn't able to practice on Sunday, leaving his status in doubt for Tuesday's game against the Warriors. Bradley Beal (back) has been practicing with the Suns and could play on Tuesday after missing 12 games with his injury. If Durant is out again, Eric Gordon should be in line for another big night. Grayson Allen would be worth a fantasy look if he was playing on Tuesday, but he also missed Sunday's practice due to his lingering groin injury. No Allen would also mean more minutes for Gordon. 

Derrick White leads Celtics over Knicks

Despite Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Kristaps Porzingis all being healthy and playing on Friday, it was Derrick White who led the Celtics over the Knicks with a season-high 30 points, three rebounds, three assists, two steals, two blocks and six three-pointers on 10-of-16 shooting in 32 minutes. White has scored at least 10 points in 10 straight games and has averaged 23 points over his last three, along with plenty of rebounds, assists, steals and triples. White is one of the reasons I think the Celtics have the best chance of winning it all this season. 

Rudy Gobert turns back clock for Wolves

Gobert torched the Grizzlies for 16 points, 20 rebounds, a steal and six blocks in Friday's win. While the blocks were a season high, he also had 16 & 20 in Wednesday's win over the Spurs. Plus, he scored a season-high 26 points with 12 boards and three blocks in his previous game, giving him averages of 19.3 points, 17.3 rebounds and 3.7 blocks over his last three games. Ride him while he's hot. 

Wemby's 20 & 20 not enough as Spurs lose 16th straight

Victor Wembanyama went off for 21 points, 20 rebounds, a steal and four blocks in Friday's loss to the Bulls, becoming the youngest player in league history with a 20-20 game. The Spurs tied the franchise record with their 16th straight loss and will look to avoid history against the Rockets on Monday. The Spurs go four times this week, and it will be interesting to see if they let Wemby play in all of them. The good news is that they play on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, so the lack of a back-to-back set works in his favor. Wemby should be in line for a monster week, either way. 

What is going on in Detroit with 19 straight losses

Not to be outdone by the Spurs, the Pistons have lost 19 straight games. The franchise record is 21 straight Ls in the 1979-80 season, and the Pistons will have to beat the Pacers or Sixers on Monday and Wednesday to avoid history. The upcoming schedule is not great for Detroit, and opposing teams do not want to take a loss to this team right now. The Pacers, Sixers (2), Bucks and Hawks are on tap for their next five (presumed) losses, but I could see them beating the Jazz on Dec. 21. If they don't win that one, Detroit's next win may not happen until the calendar hits 2024. I don't know if Monty Williams is tanking, but the fact he's playing a guy like Bojan Bogdanovic over 'the kids' is interesting, if nothing else. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Steve Alexander
Steve 'Doc' Alexander has been covering hoops for more than 20 years and recently joined Rotowire after spending his entire career at NBC Sports.
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