Archive for the ‘ NBA Teams ’ Category

Trail Blazers putting up wins lately

The Trail Blazers didn’t just lose four starters during the offseason. They lost four starters who, along with Damian Lillard, comprised a unit that helped Portland win at least 50 games in back-to-back seasons. The revamped Blazers are building a new identity, though, and hanging tough in the Western Conference playoff race. An emerging CJ McCollum (20.7 ppg) has joined Lillard to form one of the NBA’s highest-scoring backcourts, and other young players such as guard Allen Crabbe (11.2 ppg) and center Meyers Leonard (9.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg) have made the most of their expanded roles. The Blazers (23-26) have won a season-high four consecutive games and eight of 10 to move into eighth place in the Western Conference, a half-game ahead of Utah (21-25). Portland is 4-1 on its seven-game homestand, which wraps up with games against Milwaukee on Tuesday and Toronto on Thursday.

– NBA News

Grizzlies sign Ryan Hollins to second 10-day contract

The Memphis Grizzlies announced today that the team has signed center Ryan Hollins to a second 10-day contract.

Hollins (7-0, 240) has averaged 3.1 points and 2.6 rebounds in 10.6 minutes in nine games with the Grizzlies this season. After joining the team for training camp, he was re-signed twice during the season on Dec. 29 (waived on Jan. 7) and to his first 10-day contract on Jan. 21. Between his stay during training camp and his regular season stints with the Grizzlies, Hollins also played five games, making three starts, for the Washington Wizards.

The 31-year-old has averaged 3.7 points and 2.2 rebounds in 495 career games (67 starts) over 10 NBA seasons with the Charlotte Bobcats, Dallas Mavericks, Minnesota Timberwolves, Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Clippers, Sacramento Kings, Washington Wizards and Memphis Grizzlies. A native of Pasadena, Calif., Hollins was selected by Charlotte in the second round (50th overall) of the 2006 NBA Draft following his senior season at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Heat guard Tyler Johnson will undergo shoulder surgery

The HEAT announced today that guard Tyler Johnson will undergo rotator cuff surgery in his left shoulder. The procedure will take place this Wednesday, February 3 at Doctors Hospital in Miami and be performed by HEAT team physician Dr. Harlan Selesnick.

Johnson has appeared in 36 games (five starts) with the HEAT this season averaging 8.7 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 24.0 minutes while shooting 48.8 percent from the field.

Pelicans sign Bryce Dejean-Jones to second 10-day contract

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that the team has signed guard Bryce Dejean-Jones to a second 10-day contract.

Dejean-Jones, 6-6, 203, has appeared in five games (two starts) for the Pelicans, averaging 5.0 points and 3.0 rebounds in 15.8 minutes per game.

Prior to joining New Orleans, Dejean-Jones played for the Idaho Stampede of the NBA Development League, appearing in nine games (seven starts), averaging 19.2 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 2.0 steals in 31.1 minutes per game.

Undrafted out of Iowa State, Dejean Jones was a member of the Pelicans’ 2015 Las Vegas Summer League team and training camp roster. In six summer league contests, Dejean-Jones averaged 12.8 points on .619 shooting from the field, including .500 from three point range, to go along with 1.8 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.2 assists in 21.7 minutes per game. Appearing in all seven preseason contests for New Orleans, Dejean-Jones averaged 8.9 points, 1.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists.

Warriors a feature sports attraction

Here’s the Bergen Record reporting on the Golden State Warriors, who won the 2015 NBA championship and are the favorites to win it again this season:

The stands at Madison Square Garden were crowded two hours before the game began. Kids in Golden State Warriors jerseys and their families waited for a glimpse of the greatest show on hardwood.

And the show arrived. Stephen Curry came out for his pregame ritual of machine-gun-speed dribbling and shots from all over the court — all the way to half-court. When the game began it continued, a stream of beautifully orchestrated passes leading to quick-trigger three-point field goals. Curry was contained for the most part, but the Warriors come in waves. On this night it was Klay Thompson (34 points, 14-of-18 shooting) and Draymond Green (20 points, 9-of-9 shooting, 10 rebounds, 10 assists) who carried them to an easy 116-95 win over the Knicks.

The allure of the Warriors isn’t just the magical display of finesse. To have gotten where they are now, the real magic has been in the hearts and minds of the players, an underappreciated toughness up and down the roster. When they were listless in the first quarter Sunday, coach Steve Kerr huddled up the team, smashed the clipboard, and threw it at the bench.

“Coach Kerr got on us pretty good,” Thompson said. “He had a terrible clipboard throw, but other than that, he was very animated on the sideline. We responded well to it. He told us we were playing very embarrassing and to pick it up.”

Here’s ESPN.com reporting on Rockets center Dwight Howard, who is averaging a modest 14.4 points, 11.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game this season for the 25-25 squad.

Rockets want some techs against Dwight Howard rescinded

The Houston Rockets have petitioned the NBA to rescind the four technical fouls administered to center Dwight Howard in the past two games, according to a source.

Howard was ejected for picking up two technical fouls in each of the past two games. He leads the NBA with 12 technicals this season and is tied with the Clippers’ Blake Griffin with two ejections.

Howard was ejected from Saturday’s loss to the Washington Wizards for pushing Nene Hilario in the fourth quarter after they were tangled with each other. It was Howard’s second technical of the game. He picked up the first technical with 6 minutes,16 seconds to play in the opening quarter after getting fouled by Jared Dudley, who grabbed Howard in the upper body. Howard was trying to show the referees what Dudley was doing to him by putting his hands behind Dudley’s neck when he was given the technical.

Suns fire coach Jeff Hornacek

Suns fire coach Jeff Hornacek

The 14-35 Phoenix Suns weren’t expected to come anywhere close to competing for an NBA championship this season, or even be one of the league’s better teams, but they certainly seemed capable of being respectable. But through Sunday’s games they are tied with the Minnesota Timberwolves for the 4th worst record in the league. And this morning, they took action.

The Suns announced today that they have relieved Jeff Hornacek of his duties as head coach following his two-plus seasons in the position. The Suns plan to have an interim head coach in place by Tuesday.

Hornacek was named the 16th head coach in franchise history on May 28, 2013, returning to the team with whom he spent his first six professional seasons as a player. In two-plus seasons as head coach of the Suns, Hornacek’s teams compiled a 101-112 (.474) record, including a 14-35 (.286) mark this season. In Hornacek’s inaugural season of 2013-14 the Suns went 48-34 followed by a 39-43 record last season.

Randy Wittman to miss two games

The Washington Wizards announced today that Head Coach Randy Wittman will miss the team’s next two games (Feb. 1 at Oklahoma City and Feb. 3 vs. Golden State) due to the passing of his brother.

Assistant Coach Don Newman will assume head coaching duties for the next two games. Wittman is expected to return to the sidelines for the team’s game on Feb. 5 vs. Philadelphia.

DeMarcus Cousins suffers sprained ankle

DeMarcus Cousins suffers sprained ankle

Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins suffered a sprained left ankle late in the fourth quarter of tonight’s game at Memphis.

X-rays taken after the contest were negative and Cousins will be listed as day to day moving forward.

The Kings are 20-27 this season. Cousins is averaging 27.0 points, 11.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.4 blocks per game and was recently selected as a reserve for the 2016 Western conference NBA All-Star team.

The second-leading scorer on the Portland Trail Blazers (22-26) this season is shooting guard C.J. McCollum, who is averaging 20.7 points, 3.6 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game. Here’s the Oregonian with more on his game:

CJ McCollum is great at mid-range jumpshots

As NBA teams across the league look to maximize shot attempts at the rim and beyond the three-point line, Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum is capitalizing on a market inefficiency. He’s become a master of the mid-range and developed into one of the league’s most lethal scorers in the often forgotten area between the lane and three-point line.

“It’s been a part of my game for life. It’s tougher to finish in the lane so you’ve got to find different areas to score efficiently and the mid-range contested shot is a shot a lot of teams will live with,” McCollum says. “And it’s a shot I’m willing to live with as well just because I’ve gotten so many shots at it and I’m comfortable with it.”

McCollum is shooting 46.6 percent on mid-range shots season, according to NBA.com. He’s attempted the 12th most mid-range shots in the league and has the highest field goal percentage of anyone in the NBA who has taken at least 250 such shots. He’s shooting better than noted mid-range gunners Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, Dirk Nowitzki and, yes, even LaMarcus Aldridge.

Paul Millsap has minor ankle sprain

Paul Millsap has minor ankle sprain

In Thursday’s game at Indiana, Paul Millsap suffered a left ankle sprain with 2:50 remaining in the second quarter. He left the contest and did not return. X-rays were negative. He is listed as probable for tomorrow’s game at Miami.

While on D-League assignment with the Austin Spurs, Walter “Edy” Tavares suffered a right hip bruise in the second quarter of last night’s game against Idaho. He didn’t return to the contest, and is listed as probable for Austin’s game tonight vs. Idaho.

The New York Knicks today signed forward Thanasis Antetokounmpo - from the Westchester Knicks - to a 10-day contract. His signing marks the 15th NBA D-League call-up of the season.

Antetokounmpo, 6-7, 205-pounds, is averaging 10.3 points, on 50.2-percent shooting, 4.4 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.26 blocks over 27.7 minutes in 27 games (25 starts) for the D-League’s Eastern Conference-leading Westchester Knicks (16-11) this season.

The Athens, Greece-native was originally selected by New York in the second round (51st overall) of the 2014 NBA Draft, attending training camp in 2015 before being waived on Oct. 23, 2015, returning to Westchester for the second straight season. He is the older brother of Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist set to return

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist set to return

The Charlotte Hornets announced today that forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has been cleared for game action and is expected to be in uniform for tonight’s contest against the Portland Trail Blazers at the Moda Center. Kidd-Gilchrist underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder on Oct. 6 after suffering the injury in the team’s first preseason game at Orlando on Oct. 3.

In 55 games last season, Kidd-Gilchrist averaged a career-high 10.9 points, a career-best 7.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 28.9 minutes per game. Kidd-Gilchrist was selected by Charlotte in the first round (second overall pick) of the 2012 NBA Draft and owns career averages of 9.0 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 26.2 minutes in three seasons with the team.

Suns sign Jordan McRae to 10-day contract

The Phoenix Suns today signed guard Jordan McRae to a 10-day contract. McRae ranks third in the NBA Development League with an average of 23.1 points in 28 games with the Delaware 87ers this season, including a D-League record 61 points in his most recent outing on Tuesday.

In addition to 23.1 points, McRae is averaging 5.2 assists, 4.5 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 35.5 minutes in his second D-League season, both with the 87ers. In a 130-123 overtime win over the Canton Charge on Tuesday, McRae shot 21-of-34 from the field and 16-of-18 from the free throw line to score an NBA D-League single-game record 61 points, the highest individual point total in any NBA or D-League game this season.

The 14th D-League-to-NBA Call-Up this season, this is McRae’s first career NBA regular season signing. Originally selected by San Antonio with the 58th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft then traded to Philadelphia on draft night, McRae played professionally in Australia in 2014-15 before joining Delaware for the season’s final 13 games and averaging 18.4 points. A 6-5, 179-pound guard, McRae played for Philadelphia at NBA Summer League in 2014 and 2015, also playing with the 76ers this past preseason before being waived on Oct. 26.

A native of Savannah, Ga., McRae played collegiately at the University of Tennessee where he averaged 13.3 points in 114 games over four seasons. McRae earned First Team All-SEC honors as a senior in 2013-14 when he ranked fourth in the conference with a scoring average of 18.7 points, helping the Volunteers to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament.

McRae will wear number 52.

The Suns’ roster now stands at 15.

Magic sign Keith Appling to second 10-day contract

The Orlando Magic have signed guard Keith Appling to a second 10-day contract, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today. His first 10-day contract was signed on January 18.

Appling (#15, 6’1”, 185, 2/13/92) has appeared in two games for the Magic averaging 3.0 ppg. in 7.5 minpg. Prior to joining the Magic with his first 10-day contract, he played in 17 games this season with the Erie BayHawks of the NBA Development League, averaging 16.8 ppg., 5.6 apg., 4.1 rpg. and 2.12 stlpg. in 31.3 minpg. He was leading the BayHawks in scoring, assists and steals at the time of his call-up. Appling appeared in five preseason games with Orlando, averaging 1.2 ppg. in 8.7 minpg., before being waived on October 19.

Orlando plays at Boston tonight (Friday, January 29). Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.

Here’s the Boston Herald on yesterday’s announcement that one of the 2016 All-Star game reserves for the East squad is Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas, who is averaging 21.6 points, 3.0 rebounds and 6.6 assists per game this season:

Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas makes All-Star team

Isaiah Thomas’ so-called chip — the one that has driven the Celtics guard ever since he lasted until the final pick of the 2011 NBA draft — has carried him to a new level.

The 5-foot-9 Celtics guard was named as a reserve to the Eastern Conference All-Star team last night after a vote by the coaches.

A jubilant Thomas sent out a chain of tweets, including, “I am honored to be selected as an all star & represent the @Celtics, Joining the greatest of @Celtics who have played in the all star game.”

He also paid tribute to his teammates and Celtics fans, tweeting, “I’m VERY GRATEFUL for ALL the SUPPORT I have been given by the greatest fans in the world & of course the @celtics organization,” and, “This is a TEAM award, none of us succeed without our TEAMMATES & their support ON and OFF the court. So thanks to my TEAM and coaching staff.”

Warriors assign Kevon Looney to D-League

The Golden State Warriors have assigned forward Kevon Looney to the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA Development League, the team announced today.

Looney made his NBA debut last night in Golden State’s 127-107 win over Dallas, tallying two points and two rebounds in six minutes. He has appeared in five games with Golden State’s D-League affiliate this season, averaging 8.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 18.2 minutes in Santa Cruz.

Carmelo Anthony knee issue seems minor

The Knicks are 22-25 this season and are getting 21.3 points, 7.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game in the 42 games star forward Carmelo Anthony has played this season. Here’s the New York Post reporting on Melo’s knee situation:

Carmelo Anthony knee issue seems minor

Carmelo Anthony won’t play Thursday night in Toronto, but said he’s happy to be out of the woods.

Call off the alarm bells. Most of Anthony’s left knee soreness has gone away and he believes he will play Friday against the Suns at the Garden. He said he has no worries about any structural issues related to his surgically repaired torn patellar tendon.

If the Knicks weren’t playing on consecutive nights, Anthony probably would have given it a whirl against the Eastern Conference-power Raptors, who are looking for the franchise-record 10th straight win. Instead, Anthony will miss his second straight game and sixth of the season. The Knicks are 0-5 in the games he’s missed.

For one night only, the Washington Wizards will be known as the Baltimore Bullets when they host the Denver Nuggets on Jan. 28 at 7:00 p.m. for Throwback Night presented by CSN.

The team will wear their Baltimore Pride uniforms for Throwback Night, which pay homage to the uniform worn by the Baltimore Bullets from 1969-73 while updating the color scheme to the Wizards’ current red, white and blue. They will also be referred to as the Baltimore Bullets for all in-game entertainment, television graphics and the team’s social media platforms throughout the night.

The following alumni are scheduled to be recognized during the game: Terry Dischinger, Earl Monroe, Bernard King, and Bob Dandridge.

A special throwback performance will take place at halftime featuring DJ Kool of “Let Me Clear My Throat” fame and recording artist Sugar Bear, who will perform his chart-topping hit “Da Butt.” In addition, game entertainment elements for that night will feature graphics reminiscent to the eras when many of the alumni in attendance played.

The concourse will feature various activities such as face painting, poster making, throwback music and a photo booth station.

Fans can also view the organization’s proud past with the team’s franchise history display, which is located on the concourse outside of section 112. The display, which was added earlier this season, features examples of all of the uniforms in franchise history as well as a narrative highlighting historical facts and photos.

The Wizards franchise called Charm City home beginning in 1963, playing as the Bullets at the Baltimore Civic Center and featuring future Hall of Famers Walt Bellamy and Gus Johnson. Fellow Hall of Famers Earl Monroe (1967-71), Wes Unseld (1968-73) and Elvin Hayes (1972-73) also were part of the Baltimore franchise before the team relocated to Landover, Md., prior to the 1973-74 season.

Mike Longabardi has joined Cavaliers Head Coach Tyronn Lue’s staff as an assistant coach, General Manager David Griffin and Head Coach Tyronn Lue announced tonight.

Longabardi spent the last two-plus seasons as an assistant coach with the Phoenix Suns. Prior to that, he spent six seasons as an assistant coach with the Boston Celtics under Doc Rivers, four of which with Coach Lue. While with the Celtics, he helped them reach three Eastern Conference Finals and two NBA Finals, including winning the 2008 NBA title. Before joining the Celtics, he was an assistant coach for the Houston Rockets under Jeff Van Gundy.

A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Longabardi played at Newberry College (S.C.) then transferred and graduated from Frostburg State University (Md.).

Basketball blog