Oklahoma City Thunder notebook: Memphis Grizzlies guard Nick Calathes suspended 20 games

His suspension starts immediately, according to a report by Yahoo! Sports, which will make him ineligible to participate in the first-round series with the Thunder.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: April 18, 2014

Memphis guard Nick Calathes has been suspended 20 games by the NBA for violating the league’s anti-drug policy.

His suspension starts immediately, which will make him ineligible to participate in the first-round series with the Thunder.

Calathes, a reserve point guard, tested positive for Tamoxifen, according to a report by Yahoo! Sports.

In 71 games, Calathes averaged 4.9 points, 1.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 16.5 minutes behind starter Mike Conley Jr.

With Calathes suspended for the series, the Grizzlies are likely to rely on recently acquired guard Beno Udrih to fill the void off the bench. Udrich joined the Grizzles as an unrestricted free agent on Feb. 27. The 10-year veteran appeared in 10 games with Memphis this season, averaging 2.7 points, 0.2 rebounds and 0.6 assists in 5.5 minutes.

The report said the NBA is expected to announce the suspension Saturday.

NOTHING WRONG WITH WESTBROOK’S KNEE

Questions persist about the health of Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook, who is returning to the playoffs after being knocked out of last year’s postseason with a knee injury.

But both Westbrook and team officials insist that he is good to go. There are no back-to-backs in the playoffs, and Thunder coach Scott Brooks said the minute restriction Westbrook has been under since returning in the first game after the All-Star break has been lifted as well.

“Going into the playoffs, it’s unlimited,” Brooks said of Westbrook’s minutes. “He can play as I see fit.”

Westbrook attempted to clear up the reason his minutes continued to be monitored despite being healthy when asked what the restrictions say about his health.

“It says you’re being cautious,” Westbrook said. “It says you want to have a long career. It also says that I want to be the best player when it comes to April, May, June.”

TURNING THE PAGE TO THE PLAYOFFS

When the Thunder went 4-4 in its final eight regular season games, displaying some disturbingly inconsistent defense, the team’s mediocre finish seemed to elicit concern from everyone.

Everyone but the Thunder.

With the playoffs getting underway with Game 1 against Memphis on Saturday night, the Thunder has moved past its disappointing finish and turned its attention to the Grizzlies.


by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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