Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
While one former Buckeye returns from injury after over a month on the shelf, another is shut down for the season.
Last week brought the sad news that Jared Sullinger was shut down due to a back injury that required season-ending surgery. The injury bug has been hitting former Buckeye basketballers hard lately, with Byron Mullens being on the bench since late December and Mike Conley missing a game the previous week due to a sprained ankle. The good news is that Conley returned quickly and Mullens finally returned to the Bobcats lineup on Monday night.
Mike Conley - PG - Memphis Grizzlies: After suffering a sprained left ankle on January 27th against Philadelphia, Conley returned to the lineup and started both games that the Grizzlies played last week. Conley took a season-high 19 shots, including 9 3-pointers, against Oklahoma City which led to 17 points. The next night Conley scored 18 points on 15 shots against the Wizards. With the trade of Rudy Gay to Toronto you might see Conley take on a little bit more offensive responsibility after Memphis traded their leading scorer.
Daequan Cook - SG - Chicago Bulls: Daequan only appeared in one game last week, Monday night's loss to Indiana. Cook played 12 minutes in the game after Marco Belineli suffered a ankle injury during the game. Later in the game Belinelli did return but Cook saw 11 minutes on the court, scoring 3 points and pulling down 2 rebounds.
Kosta Koufos - F/C - Denver Nuggets: The Nuggets kept rolling last week, winning the 2 games that they played to extend their winning streak to 6 games. Koufos didn't see quite as much time on the floor as he had been seeing recently and his numbers on the week were just a tick below what he had been averaging on the season. In each game Koufos did block 2 shots and currently sits tied for 16th in the NBA with 1.5 blocks per game.
Byron Mullens - F/C - Charlotte Bobcats: Monday night saw the return of Mullens to the Charlotte lineup after missing the last month and a half with a left ankle sprain. Mullens scored 12 points and pulled down 9 rebounds in 28 minutes in the loss to the Heat. A little bit of rust was shown by Mullens when he was stripped by Chris Bosh under the Miami basket with 1:19 left in the 4th. At the time of the turnover Miami was only up by 2 points, but Bosh was able to dunk the basketball which derailed any chances of a Charlotte upset. Even with the turnover it was good to see that Mullens has recovered from his ankle injury and is back out on the court.
Evan Turner - G/F - Philadelphia 76ers: The curious case of Evan Turner continued last week for the 76ers. After scoring at least 20 points in 3 games the previous, last week saw Turner fail to hit double figures in the 3 games that the 76ers played. Turner played at least 30 minutes in all 3 games but couldn't find his shooting touch, going 8-26 from the field in the 3 games. On the bright side for the 76ers, they won all 3 games that they played last week. The 76ers hadn't won 3 games in a row since the end of November.
Jared Sullinger - PF - Boston Celtics: Last week saw a premature end to Sullinger's rookie season as it was announced that Jared will have back surgery. This news comes at the worst time for Jared and the Celtics as Jared had been giving the Celtics strong minutes on the court since Christmas. Just a few days before this came out the Celtics lost Rajon Rondo for the year with a torn ACL, so this only compounds their injury problems. Questions about his back caused Sullinger's draft stock to fall last year, as he slid to the 21st pick after being talked about as a potential lottery pick. Back spasms caused Sullinger to miss some time for the Buckeyes last year, including the game they played at Kansas in December of 2011. Sulinger underwent successful lumbar disc surgery on Friday and is expected to be ready for Celtics training camp in the fall. Hopefully this back injury is just a small speed bump for Sullinger and he goes on to a long and healthy NBA career,