-- Amare Stoudemire needs another surgical procedure on his right knee and will miss at least six weeks. There are only about 5 1/2 weeks left in the regular season. The New York Knicks are battling the Indiana Pacers for the No. 2 seed in the East, but that fight just got a lot tougher.
-- Kobe Bryant's sensational performance Friday night lifted the Los Angeles Lakers to an overtime win over the Toronto Raptors. It also pulled the Lakers within a half-game of the Utah Jazz for the final playoff spot in the West. Remember, the Cavs need the Lakers to make the playoffs in order to swap the Miami Heat's first-round pick (which the Cavs own) with the Lakers' pick.
-- Derrick Rose has been medically cleared to return to the court, but is choosing not to do so until he can dunk off his left foot, according to an ESPN report. Bulls General Manager Gar Forman denied to the Chicago Tribune on Saturday that there was any rift between the two sides.
-- Dwight Howard came under fire this week when he told a Los Angeles television station that his team in Orlando was "a team full of people who nobody wanted."
His former Magic teammate, J.J. Redick, fired back and said Howard has never been one to take responsibility. But one of the unlikeliest people came to Howard's defense in former coach Stan Van Gundy. "He did not, in my opinion, mean to say, 'I didn't play with good players in Orlando,'" Van Gundy told the L.A. Daily News. "He was basically trying to defend himself in his demeanor, saying he can be smiling and still be serious about winning. What he meant to say is, 'We had an underrated or under-the-radar team in Orlando and we won a lot of games, and I was the best player on that team and this was my demeanor. So what's the problem now?"'
Howard told management to fire Van Gundy last season, then he left anyhow. He makes his first return to Orlando since leaving on Tuesday.
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