Archive for the ‘ NBA Teams ’ Category

Cavs beat Pistons for 5th straight win

The Cavs got off to a rocky start this season. Not a big surprise, with new point guard Isaiah Thomas out, lots of new players, and many lineup changes. But lately they’re winning and looking proper and Monday won their 5th game in a row. Here’s Michigan Live reporting:

The hot-shooting Cavs basically ran the Pistons out of their own building in the first half Monday, racing out to a 27-point lead, and kept pouring it on the second half, on the way to a 116-88 victory at Little Caesars Arena.

The Pistons (11-6) had their six-game home winning streak snapped.

Cleveland didn’t even need a prolific output from LeBron James. He did his damage early and finished with 18 points and nine assists in 27 minutes. Kevin Love collected 19 points and 11 rebounds. Jae Crowder scored 18 points.

The Cavaliers shot 52.5 percent from the floor (42-of-50), including 48.5 percent from 3-point range (16-of-33).

These aren’t your early-season Cavaliers, that started 5-7.

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Tim Hardaway Jr dealing with foot issue

Injuries are the worst. The NBA is at its best when everybody is healthy. But real life happens. Tim Hardaway Jr is active tonight as the Knicks host the Clippers but he’s playing through a foot issue, and it’s not yet clear how he’ll be affected in the coming days or weeks. Here’s the New York Daily News reporting:

It sounds like Tim Hardaway Jr. is suffering from plantar fasciitis in his left foot – an ailment that has derailed entire seasons in the NBA — but he opted Monday to play through the pain.

Cautioning that he wasn’t a doctor, coach Jeff Hornacek said Hardaway’s injury “is probably similar” to plantar fasciitis given its symptoms. He also understands that the pain could get worse for New York’s $71 million investment.

“We’ll have to see. I’ll see how he responds after playing (Monday), after having a couple days off,” Hornacek said. “Hopefully he gets through the game and comes in tomorrow and says, ‘Oh yeah, okay, it didn’t get worse. It might be getting a little better.’ We just have to play that by ear.”

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Nuggets coach Michael Malone suspended

Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone has been suspended one game without pay for entering the court, halting play and making contact with a game official, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The incident occurred with 6:20 remaining in the second quarter of Denver’s 127-109 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Nov. 19 at Staples Center.

Malone will serve his suspension tonight when the Nuggets face the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Arena.

The NBA also rescinded the ejection fine given to Nuggets’ center Nikola Jokic, who properly received a technical foul for his actions but should not have been ejected from the game.

J.J. Barea receives October NBA Cares Community Assist Award

Dallas Mavericks guard J.J. Barea has received the October NBA Cares Community Assist Award in recognition of his continuous relief efforts in Puerto Rico following devastation caused by Hurricane Maria, the NBA announced today.

The award recognizes an NBA player each month who best reflects the passion that the league and its players share for giving back to their communities.

Kaiser Permanente and the NBA are honoring Barea for his work to immediately initiate aid for Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. Coordinating five trips to the territory where he was born and raised, Barea used the Mavericks’ team plane, with help from owner Mark Cuban, to personally deliver much-needed supplies in the days after the hurricane. Working with partners in North Texas, Barea has provided more than 100,000 pounds of supplies to the island, including 32 generators, 14,000 pounds of water, 10,000 pounds of food and 3,000 pounds of medical supplies, diapers, clothing, cleaning products and toiletries on the first trip alone.

Barea also launched a fundraiser on YouCaring.com for families affected by the hurricane that has raised more than $250,000, and personally raised nearly $500,000. Additionally, he worked with the Mavericks to donate 100 percent of all single-game ticket sales from their Oct. 25 game against the Memphis Grizzlies to Puerto Rico, generating an additional $114,000 for the island’s recovery.

“Puerto Rico is such a small island and I think help is going to be needed there for at least the next year, maybe longer,” said Barea. “This effort is something I will carry with me forever, and anything I can do to help people put things back in order is a must for me.”

Before the Mavericks’ home game against the Boston Celtics tonight, NBA Cares Ambassador Bob Lanier will present the award to Barea during an oncourt ceremony. In addition, Kaiser Permanente and the NBA will donate $10,000 to the J.J. Barea Foundation.

David Lee is retiring from NBA

David Lee had an excellent NBA career. A fun player to watch. Athletic. And big for us is, he cut without the ball, like you’re supposed to do in basketball. He could have kept playing, but apparently felt now was a good time in life to call it a career. Here’s the New York Post reporting:

The former two-time All-Star, Knicks first-round pick and Warriors world champion announced his retirement on Sunday with an Instagram post, saying his 12 seasons in the NBA were over.

“An epic night celebrating my retirement with my friends and family!” the 34-year-old wrote with pictures of the display and his group of revelers. “Thank you to my amazing fiancée [Caroline Wozniacki] for planning the surprise!”

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Marcus Smart struggling with shot

The Celtics are on a huge roll lately, winning 15 games in a row. Yet things can get even better. Here’s the Boston Herald reporting on guard Marcus Smart, whose shot has been missing in a big way lately:

Marcus Smart struggling with shot

The Celtics guard still tends to hit his biggest shots late, like his put-back for a 103-95 lead in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s win in Atlanta, and continues to make game-changing plays that have nothing to do with shooting the ball.

But Smart is admittedly bothered by his recent shooting drought. Including Saturday’s 3-for-8 performance, the Celtics guard has shot 13-for-60 (.216) over his last six games, and 27.3 percent both overall and from 3-point range this season.

“It does affect you, especially if you’ve been working all summer,” said Smart, who spent time working out with Chauncey Billups in Denver this summer. “At the same time, I don’t take as many shots. We got other guys out here, they’re playing very well, so my job is to get them the basketball and do whatever I can, go back down the court and play defense and get involved in the game.”

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Chris Paul recently returned to action for the Rockets. That’s big news. And it obviously affects the rotation. Here’s the Houston Chronicle reporting:

With the Rockets at full strength for the first time since the season-opener, they began spreading the playing time across the rotation extended by one player with the return of Chris Paul.

Paul on Saturday was still limited to just 24 minutes. Luc Mbah a Moute, in his first game back after sitting out in Phoenix with an illness, played just 21 minutes, including the final minutes after the benches were cleared. But even Saturday, the Rockets got a taste of how things will change.

Only James Harden, who played 36 minutes, logged more than 30 minutes. His time will likely decrease once Paul is up to his usual playing time with Harden returning about two minutes earlier in the second and fourth quarters than he would have had Paul been cleared to play more.

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Markelle Fultz injury update

Philadelphia 76ers guard Markelle Fultz was examined and evaluated today by Dr. Ben Kibler, Medical Director of the Shoulder Center of Kentucky at the Lexington Clinic, for the soreness and scapular muscle imbalance that he has been experiencing in his right shoulder. The soreness is dissipating and the muscle balance is improving, and Fultz will continue with physiotherapy and begin progressing toward full basketball activities. Fultz will be re-evaluated in approximately two to three weeks. His return to gameplay will be determined by how the shoulder responds to progressive basketball training and practices in the interim.

Summer bball action will change a bit in 2018. The Orlando Magic won’t be holding their usual league, which means the already-dominant main NBA-run league in Vegas will presumably become even bigger. Here’s the Orlando Sentinel reporting:

The Orlando Magic will not hold their annual summer league in Orlando next year and will participate instead in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, team officials told the Orlando Sentinel.

The decision is a radical departure for the Magic, who ran and managed their own summer league in Central Florida 14 times since 2002…

Eight teams participated in the Orlando Pro Summer League this year and played five games apiece. In addition to the Magic, the other teams were the Charlotte Hornets, Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Miami Heat, New York Knicks and Oklahoma City Thunder.

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Cavaliers guard Derrick Rose remains out with a sprained left ankle. He received additional imaging and evaluation today at Cleveland Clinic Sports Health by Cavaliers team physician Dr. James Rosneck and Dr. Brian Donley.

Due to continued symptoms, the ankle will be immobilized in a boot for the next week and he will also undergo an extended treatment process over the next two to three weeks.

His status will be updated as appropriate

Delon Wright out with shoulder injury

The Toronto Raptors announced Friday that test results confirmed guard Delon Wright sustained an injury consistent with a dislocated right shoulder. The injury occurred in the second quarter of Toronto’s game November 15 at New Orleans.

Wright had surgery on the same shoulder Aug. 1, 2016 following an NBA Summer League game in Las Vegas.

Wright will travel with the team to New York City next week for further consultation with Dr. Riley Williams at the Hospital for Special Surgery.

President of Basketball Operations Bryan Colangelo announced today that the Philadelphia 76ers have restructured the terms of forward Robert Covington’s contract for the current season and signed Covington to a multi-year contract extension.

According to ESPN.com, it is a four-year, $62 million extension that “will include a $15 million renegotiation bump on Covington’s $1.57 million salary this season, plus an additional four years that will keep Covington under contract through the 2021-22 season.”

“Robert Covington is a prime example of what hard work, dedication and commitment can lead to. Rob’s growth as a player on both ends of the floor makes him one of the most versatile and effective wings in the league, while his contributions of character and professionalism feature prominently in our evolving organizational culture. This extension is both well-deserved, and a really great story,” Colangelo said.

Through 14 games this season, Covington holds averages of 16.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.5 steals in 31.1 minutes per game. His scoring average, 50 percent mark from the field and 49.5 percent mark from three-point range (eighth in the NBA) all represent career-highs.

The fifth-year forward has converted on 50 three-pointers this season, which ranks fourth in the NBA and he is one of just nine players in the league with at least 20 steals and 10 blocks in 2017-18. After leading the league in deflections per game a season ago, and finishing fourth in the league’s Defensive Player of the Year voting, his average of 3.4 deflections per contest this season places him fourth among NBA players.

Covington is one of 14 NBA players to make at least 500 three-pointers since the start of the 2014-15 season, while his 524 three-pointers in a 76ers uniform rank fourth in franchise history, behind Hall of Famer Allen Iverson, Kyle Korver and Andre Iguodala. He has finished second on the team in steals in each of his seasons in Philadelphia and is one of 17 players league-wide with at least 350 steals in that timeframe. Just five players have both 500 threes and 350 steals in that span.

Covington signed with the Sixers on Nov. 15, 2014 after being waived by Houston. In 217 games (178 starts), he holds averages of 13.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.6 steals in 28.6 minutes per game with Philadelphia. Covington originally was unselected in the 2013 NBA Draft after four seasons at Tennessee State and signed a free-agent contract with the Rockets in July 2013.

The Memphis Grizzlies say that point guard Mike Conley will undergo therapy and treatment to help promote healing and alleviate soreness in his left heel and Achilles following consultations with physicians and the Grizzlies’ medical staff. There is no timetable for his return at this time. Further updates will be provided in approximately two weeks.

Conley (6-1, 175) has appeared and started in 12 of the Grizzlies’ first 14 games this season and has averaged 17.1 points, 2.3 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.00 steals in 31.1 minutes in his 11th NBA season (all with Memphis).

Mavericks sign Antonius Cleveland, waive Gian Clavell

The Dallas Mavericks have signed guard/forward Antonius Cleveland to a two-way contract. In a related move, the Mavericks requested waivers on guard Gian Clavell.

A native of Memphis, played four seasons at Southeast Missouri State University (2013-17) before going undrafted in 2017. As a senior in 2016-17, he averaged 16.6 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.4 steals and 32.9 minutes in 33 games (all starts) for the Redhawks on his way to being named All-Ohio Valley Conference First Team.

Cleveland played on Portland’s summer league team in 2017 and spent the 2017 preseason with Golden State. He appeared in six games for Golden State’s G League affiliate, the Santa Cruz Warriors, in 2017-18, averaging 14.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.3 steals in 25.9 minutes.

He will wear number 44 for the Mavericks.

The 2017-18 season will mark the first year NBA two-way contracts will be implemented. NBA teams are allowed to have up to two players under two-way contracts who will spend the bulk of the season in the NBA G League and not more than 45 days with their NBA team.

Two-way players are paid a corresponding daily amount based on the number of days they play in each league. Only players with four-or-fewer years of NBA experience are able to sign two-way contracts, which can be for either one or two seasons.

Clavell saw action in seven game for the Mavericks this season averaging 2.9 points and 1.0 rebound in 9.1 minutes per game.

A key member of the Miami Heat, after receiving a relatively huge new contract, has been struggling this season. Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel reporting:

Heat forward James Johnson struggling this season

Forward James Johnson continues to struggle. He was 1-for-5 in 27 minutes Wednesday.

Johnson, who signed a four-year, $60 million contract, has been unable to come close to his production of last season, and he is hard-pressed for an answer.

“I’m killing myself every night, every day. It’s just been terrible performances out of me and not just from an offensive standpoint, the defense,” he said. “Our second unit, Tyler and me, we should come in and have that same affect we had last year and we haven’t been able to do that.”

Spoelstra said he is confident Johnson will get back on track: “We believe in James. It’s still early. He cares and he wants to do the right play. He’s a giving player. … I think it will work itself out if we simplify his mind.”

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Lonzo Ball is a very promising NBA rookie whose shot is in need of serious improvement. He’s been their starting point guard, and that will apparently continue, at least for now. Not a surprise, but still interesting now that it’s been confirmed by Lakers coach Luke Walton himself. Here’s ESPN.com reporting:

Lonzo Ball will remain Lakers starting PG

Coach Luke Walton says rookie Lonzo Ball remains the Los Angeles Lakers’ starting point guard and that there is no talk of moving the No. 2 overall draft pick to the bench.

Struggling with his shot, Ball has not played in the fourth quarter of the Lakers’ past two games — a win against the Phoenix Suns and a loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. Walton instead rode with the strong play of sixth man Jordan Clarkson.

“He’s our starting point guard,” Walton said of Ball after practice Thursday. “So there’s no discussion, no talks as of now of moving Lonzo to the bench. Nah. He’s our starting point guard.”

Okaro White undergoes foot surgery

Miami Heat forward Okaro White has undergone surgery to repair a fifth metatarsal fracture in his left foot. The 85-minute procedure was performed by Dr. Thomas San Giovanni and HEAT team physician Dr. Harlan Selesnick at Miami Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Institute at Doctors Hospital.

White has appeared in six games (four starts) with the HEAT this season averaging 3.3 points and 1.8 rebounds in 13.3 minutes while shooting 43.8 percent from the field.

A timetable for his return has not been set.

The Heat are 6-8 this season and have lost their last two games. They’re led in scoring by Goran Dragic (19.9 ppg), Dion Waiters (16.6 ppg), Hassan Whiteside (15.7 ppg), James Johnson (11.8 ppg) and Tyler Johnson (10.3).

Nets put up good fight vs Celtics

The Celtics came to Brooklyn Tuesday and left town with their NBA-leading 13th win in a row. Boston looked great in the first quarter, but then the Nets stepped up and made a game out of it. Here’s the New York Post with more:

Facing the hottest team in the NBA was going to be an uphill climb for the Nets under the best circumstances. But doing it without their two point guards — and arguably two best players — proved too much to handle.

With D’Angelo Russell out indefinitely with a knee injury and Jeremy Lin already sidelined for the season, also with a knee injury, the Nets were game, but woefully shorthanded against the Celtics. And scalding-hot Boston predictably proved to be too much, with the Nets falling 109-102 in a tightly contested affair Tuesday.

Hearing Boston fans take over the Barclays Center was just salt in the Nets’ various wounds, and listening to them serenade New Jersey-bred Celtics star Kyrie Irving with chants of “MVP!” as he took free throws with two minutes left was an added insult. But to be fair, Irving looked the part, dominating in his return from a facial fracture and then giving his shoes to some troops seated courtside.

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And for more on the “relationship” between these two teams, here’s ESPN Boston:

In the aftermath of that late-game alley-oop, the remaining Nets fans were left to watch Brown and Tatum engage in a celebratory body-bump near midcourt. It was a painful reminder of what could have been.

Both Brown and Tatum, along with Irving, were delivered to Boston by direct result of the draft picks the Nets sent the Celtics as part of the 2013 blockbuster that sent Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Jason Terry to Brooklyn.

This was the first time since 2013 that Boston played a game against Brooklyn that didn’t have implications on a future pick, and Celtics fans had often utilized the hashtag #Netspick while basking in Brooklyn’s recent struggles. On Tuesday, Celtics fans simply enjoyed watching the exploits of their past picks.

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Nic Batum set to return for Hornets

The Hornets are about to get a super versatile piece of their roster back in the form of Nic Batum, who reportedly may return as early as tomorrow. Here is the Charlotte Observer reporting:

Barring a “drastic” and unexpected setback, Nic Batum will play — and start — Wednesday against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Charlotte Hornets’ nationally-televised home game Wednesday.

That was coach Steve Clifford’s statement, after Batum practiced for a third consecutive day. He has missed the Hornets’ first 11 regular-season games and most of the preseason, after he tore a ligament in his left elbow Oct. 4. Playing Wednesday (8 p.m., ESPN) would mean Batum returns at the minimum of the projected six to eight weeks he’d miss with the injury.

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Joe Johnson out with hand injury

Jazz forward Joe Johnson consulted with a hand specialist on Tuesday and is showing progress to make a return. He will be reevaluated in two weeks.

Now in his 17th season, Johnson (6-7, 240, Arkansas) has appeared in seven games averaging 6.4 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 19.2 minutes per contest.

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