After the loss to the Toronto Raptors, he mentioned hearing something pop, but had the confidence that he would be able to play without missing any time. According to a release from the team today, he has been ruled out for roughly a month as he lets his foot heal. The MRI results came back with the foot sprain that will sideline him for nearly a month. The medical staff can perform miracles with older, seasoned players, but an injury is an injury.
That time frame could easily result in Gortat missing the remainder of the season.
Right now there are 41 days left in the season; Gortat will miss somewhere between 21-28 of those days. He could come back if he heals for the final eight games but with a team that is currently 19 games under .500, it may be best for the long-term health of Gortat to sit out the rest of what has been a disappointing season.
Jermaine O'Neal is also out indefinitely while taking care of a family matter with his daughter, leaving the Suns without a true center outside of the recently acquired Hamed Haddadi.
The center position has been one of the few bright spots for the team this season with the combination of O'Neal and Gortat. Now they are without both for the foreseeable future.
This season Gortat has dipped in overall productivity averaging 11.1 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game.
Despite playing a mere seven minutes for the Toronto Raptors coming into the game since he was traded to them, Sebastian Telfair went from scout team quarterback to leading his new team to a victory over his former team.
Like his native New York brethren has said before: He came. He saw. He conquered.
And it was very personal.
The Phoenix Suns traded Telfair at the deadline to make room for the younger point guards they are trying to groom into NBA players. That is a part of the business. Though going from a bottom five team in the west to a bottom five team in the east is not the ideal situation for a veteran who evolved into one of the better back-up point guards in the league over the past two seasons.
Over the course of his career, Bassy has been traded a total of six times, but in none of those situations did he feel like he had a home within the franchise. He had that here.
"I loved the city and the fans. I learned a lot here and grew as a person," Bassy said after the game.
Portland, Boston, Minnesota, Los Angeles (Clippers), and Cleveland have all traded the veteran point guard throughout his career as a part of a package. Then, Phoenix traded him to make it six times in an eight year career as he has become a victim of circumstance everywhere he has landed.
He came out with an energy and played 26 minutes, the equivalent of his final three games with the Suns before he had to update his passport and head to Canada.
During his final three games with the Suns, he logged a total of 26 minutes and didn't get a lot of time on the court as the team was focused on the development of Kendall Marshall and Diante Garrett. Nobody was supplanting Goran Dragic as the starter so the backup minutes were split three ways and there had to be an odd man out. For one night, Bassy was no longer the odd man out in this arena.
The intention may not have been to come in and outplay the collective roster at the point guard position, but that is exactly what he did by himself. His intensity on the defensive end frazzled and disjointed the Suns offense, stepping up and guarding the likes of Dragic, Marshall, Garrett, Michael Beasley, and anyone who caught the ball and was in his crosshairs.
"Knowing your personnel and knowing what guys want to do, knowing their plays definitely had an advantage tonight."
After two years in this system and with most of these players, Bassy was able to call out the plays to his team as his former team began to set them, leading to a U.S. Airways Center record 29 turnovers by the Suns. That passion that Bassy played with out there was on full display as he had something to play for tonight beyond just a win.
One game is not definitive proof anyone made a mistake, but Bassy left a lasting memory for those who made the "mistake" of trading him.
"I was thinking about going out there and competing. I was here and I was somewhere where I was comfortable and happy, but someone took that away from me. I wouldn’t say I was bitter, but I would be ashamed of myself if I wasn’t a little bitter or take this a little personal."
Marcin Gortat came down on
a Raptor ankle the ground late in the first quarter and exited the game. He had a strong eight point, four rebound performance going through 11 minutes and thanks to some nifty pick and roll play, finished with an impressive 4-6 shooting result in what's otherwise been an inconsistent season for the Polish big man.
Early reports suggest that Gortat will miss some time:
Phoenix Suns end win streak with loss to Toronto Raptors
"I just heard a pop," said Gortat, who has appeared in 182 consecutive games since the Suns traded for him. "I’ll be able to play. Well, I say ‘yeah.’ but the doctors say ‘no.’ I’m out for a few days. Maybe weeks."
Ankle injuries are highly variable from player to player. Some guys' tendons are more malleable than others and, of course for the Suns, there's absolutely zero reason to rush him back into action even with Jermaine O'Neal out for a few days attending to his daughter.
X-rays are reportedly negative for the Polish Ankle. Marcin will likely have an MRI on Wednesday to learn more about the soft tissue situation.
Hamed Haddadi got his first minutes this decade, finishing with just under ten total and a box score line that doesn't merit repeating in public. The Suns were forced to play small for good portions of the game with Markieff Morris playing as an undersized center.
The Suns very well could be facing DeMarcus Cousins and the Sacramento Kings on Friday without Gortat or O'Neal. Who's your Haddadi now?
Here's a screen shot of the moment when Gortat hurts his ankle. It appears he just came down funny.