Archive for the ‘ NBA Teams ’ Category

In training camp, Nets coach Kenny Atkinson had basketball Hall of Famer Chris Mullin swing by to talk to his team. On Monday, it was track Hall of Famer Michael Johnson dropping pearls of wisdom. Now Atkinson can only hope his Nets pick them up, mired in an NBA-worst seven-game losing skid.

“Just to listen to him, talking about his process and how he was just so dedicated and focused,’’ Rondae Hollis-Jefferson said. “It definitely gives you that sense of I’m going on the right track, but there’s also more things to it than just coming in here every day. Your personal life versus the athlete’s life. We’re athletes 24/7; our image is being watched, so the things that we do when we’re home count to when we come here. Just thinking about that and setting goals for yourself is a big thing.

“In the offseason, this is what I’m training for. … What do I have to do to get there? If you’re thinking about that every day, it’s going to motivate you. You’re going to wake up, get in that car, take that ride and you’re going to be thinking about that: How do I get myself to where I want to be for my goal for this year? That’s something big that he touched on that stuck with me and will stick with me.”

NY Post

Quick Take: A team can only play as well as their roster allows.

Just one game after making his regular season debut, Ian Mahinmi is back on the Wizards’ injury list.

On Monday, Mahinmi, 30, missed Washington’s matchup against the Sacramento Kings. According to Coach Scott Brooks, Mahinmi, who appeared for 14 minutes Saturday night, is experiencing soreness in his right, non-surgical knee. Mahinmi missed the past six weeks after the repair of a partially torn medial mensicus in his left knee. Mahinmi did not participate in the team’s Monday morning shoot-around.

“Just going to be cautious,” Brooks said. “He’s done a great job of putting himself in a position to come back from surgery and he’s just been sore the last couple of days. It’s day to day. We’ll see how feels tomorrow.”

Washington Post

Quick Take: The Wizards are 5-10 through Sunday’s games. Their scoring leaders this season are John Wall (23.5 ppg), Bradley Beal (20.1 ppg), Otto Porter Jr (14.7 ppg), Markieff Morris (12.8 ppg) and Marcin Gortat (11.3 ppg). Their offense has been average this season but defensively they need improvement.

Damian Lillard says Blazers need to get mean

Three of the last four Player of the Week winners in the NBA have used the Portland Trail Blazers’ porous defense as a springboard to earn the weekly honors.

The huge nights from Jimmy Butler, Anthony Davis and Kevin Love left Damian Lillard pondering the missing element behind Portland’s inability to slow down opponents this season. His solution is straightforward: The Blazers need a mean streak.

“That might be the change that needs to be made … is us just not being the nice team (where) everybody likes each other,” Lillard said following Blazers practice on Monday. “That’s a great story, but maybe we’ve got to play a much more mean game.”

From the outside, it seems like teams don’t feel much resistance going against the Blazers’ defense. Portland struggles guarding pick and rolls and locating opposing players in transition.

Oregonian

Quick Take: The Blazers are 9-10 this season. Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum are having excellent seasons. But the Blazers’ main story this season has been their defense. It’s been miserable. The squad has a league-worst defensive efficiency, through yesterday’s games.

The National Strength and Conditioning Association announced that Miami HEAT Assistant Coach/Strength & Conditioning Coach Bill Foran has been named the Professional Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year. Foran, who becomes the fourth recipient of the award, will receive the honor at the NSCA’s Coaches Conference which is held in Nashville, TN from January 4 through January 6. Past winners of the award include Ashley Jones of the Edinburgh Rugby team in Scotland, Casey Bond of the Colorado Avalanche and Joe Kenn of the Carolina Panthers.

Foran, who has been the HEAT’s strength and conditioning coach since its inception and is currently in his 29th season with the organization, supervises a combination of strength training, plyometrics, conditioning, stretching and nutrition to ensure Miami’s players’ produce maximum results on the court. In addition to this honor, Foran was inducted into the USA Strength and Conditioning Coaches Hall of Fame in 2014 and was named as the 2009 Co-NBA Strength Coach of the Year.

Bradley Beal fined for grabbing at throat of Evan Fournier

Wizards guard Bradley Beal has been fined $15,000 for grabbing at the throat of Orlando Magic guard/forward Evan Fournier, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The incident, for which Beal was assessed a technical foul, occurred with 7:40 remaining to play in the fourth quarter of the Wizards’ 94-91 win over the Magic on Nov. 25 at Amway Center.

To view the incident, click on this link.

Orlando Magic change starting lineup

Orlando Magic change starting lineup

Frank Vogel made wholesale changes to the Orlando Magic’s starting lineup before the team’s game Sunday night against the Milwaukee Bucks.

First, the team put Jeff Green on the inactive list because of a sore lower back.

Vogel then decided to start D.J. Augustin at point guard, Evan Fournier at shooting guard, Aaron Gordon at small forward, Serge Ibaka at power forward and Bismack Biyombo at center.

Augustin and Biyombo had not started a game this season. Gordon had started Orlando’s first eight games before Vogel moved him to the bench and replaced him with Green.

Orlando Sentinel

Quick Take: The Magic this season have been led in scoring by Evan Fournier (17.0 ppg, though just 42% FG), Serge Ibaka (14.1 ppg), Nikola Vucevic (11.8 ppg) and Elfrid Payton (10.7 ppg). As a team the Magic are shooting just 40.9% FG. They have the least effective offense in the NBA through Saturday’s games, but a very effective defense so far this season.

Dirk Nowitzki still recovering from injury

Dirk Nowitzki’s recovery from right Achilles soreness will not be an overnight process, coach Rick Carlisle said, as news broke that Nowitzki will miss Sunday’s game against New Orleans.

“This is part of the recovery,” Carlisle said. “Getting him better, we’re going to have to take it incrementally. There’s not like there was any big setback. It’s just not the right thing to play him tonight.”

Carlisle said the process is going to go into December and sitting out occasional games is just part of the necessary strategy to get Nowitzki fully healed from the strained right Achilles he’s been fighting since the season began.

Dallas Morning News

Quick Reaction: The Mavs have the worst record in the NBA through Saturday’s games. There’s no reason for Dirk Nowitzki to rush back at this point. He should take his time and make sure he’s fully healthy before returning.

Joakim Noah returns to action for Knicks

Joakim Noah returns to action for Knicks

Joakim Noah was back for the Knicks — well, at least for three quarters.

After missing two games with an illness, Noah returned and started at center in the Knicks’ 113-111 overtime victory over the Hornets on Friday night at the Garden.

Noah played 18 minutes, none in the fourth quarter or overtime, and scored six points and grabbed eight rebounds. Coach Jeff Hornacek, who said he was concerned about a guy returning after an illness, praised Noah, saying he did well, but obviously was not 100 percent.

“Felt pretty good. I feel like it’s solid, coming off of being sick like that, just coming out and playing, it felt good,” said Noah who described his illness as being “sick, fever. I had the flu.”

NY Post

Quick Take: Noah has been playing 23.0 minutes per game for the Knicks this season, averaging 4.5 points, 8.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists. If his defense was more effective, his minutes would likely increase.

Pistons will move to downtown Detroit

Pistons owner Tom Gores said Tuesday that the time is right for his NBA team to move out of its suburban home and into the city to share Little Caesars Arena with the Red Wings.

“This is great for the Detroit Pistons. It is the right call. It’s time for us to do it,” Gores said. “It is an incredible arena. Every fan will believe it’s incredible.”

He said the move will greatly benefit the city economically, creating “thousands of jobs” and “hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.”

Ilitch Holdings CEO Christopher Ilitch and Mayor Mike Duggan were alongside Gores for the announcement.

“For the first time in 43 years, all four Detroit sports teams will be playing in the city of Detroit,” Duggan said.

– Michigan Live

InsideHoops.com Quick Take: This should help downtown Detroit a lot. And Detroit needs it. Can’t complain about this move.

Pelicans waive Archie Goodwin

Pelicans waive Archie Goodwin

That was quick. The New Orleans Pelicans waived guard Archie Goodwin today.

Originally signed by New Orleans on Nov. 7, Goodwin, 6-5, 205, appeared in three games for the Pelicans, averaging 5.0 points in 10.0 minutes per contest.

The Pelicans roster currently stands at 14.

This is the 4th year of Goodwin’s NBA career. His first three seasons were spent with the Suns. Last season, with Phoenix, he averaged 8.9 points in 19.5 minutes per game.

Kings to change frontcourt lineup

Kings to change frontcourt lineup

Sometimes, a coach doesn’t need advanced statistics or analytics to make a decision.

The only numbers Dave Joerger needs to see change are 4-9, the Kings’ record, including four straight losses.

Joerger plans to scrap the big lineup that has opened games most of the season, with DeMarcus Cousins and Kosta Koufos in the frontcourt. Cousins will play center, and Joerger will try to figure out which lineup works best around Cousins for Sunday’s game against the Toronto Raptors.

“That hasn’t been working,” Joerger said of playing big. “That’s not working so it’s not about being big or small.”

– Sacramento Bee

InsideHoops.com Quick Take: Offensively, barely anybody in the league can guard Cousins. That’s really not an exaggeration. Defensively, including just general court awareness, Cousins needs improvement. As for the Kings in general, their offense is decent but their defense has been miserable so far this season.

The L.A. Clippers have assigned center Diamond Stone to the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA D-League.

Stone has appeared in three games for the Clippers this season.

Stone, the 40th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, played one season at the University of Maryland, where he was named the AP Big Ten Newcomer in 2016. The Milwaukee native averaged 12.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 35 games (all starts), helping lead the Terrapins to the Sweet Sixteen.

Bucks assign Rashad Vaughn to D-League

The Milwaukee Bucks have assigned guard Rashad Vaughn to the Westchester Knicks of the NBA Development League, pursuant to the flexible assignment rule, General Manager John Hammond announced today.

Vaughn has appeared in nine games for the Bucks this season and averaged 6.0 points and 1.2 rebounds in 14.5 minutes per game.

The NBA D-League’s flexible assignment system enables the eight independent NBA teams to assign players to the NBA D-League for development or rehabilitation from injury. Upon receipt from an independent NBA team, the NBA D-League will identify any NBA D-League team willing to accept the assigned player. The assigning independent NBA team will then choose the destination for assignment between those teams. If no NBA D-League team is willing to accept the assigned player, he will be assigned to one of the hybrid affiliate teams pursuant to a lottery.

Devin Booker ejected, then squeezes in a quick autograph signing

Usually, NBA players are reprimanded for not leaving the court in a timely manner.

Suns guard Devin Booker received nationwide praise for how he did it after receiving his first career ejection Wednesday night at Denver.

Booker was caught off guard when he was ejected for receiving his second technical foul of the game – and the season. Official Eric Lewis gave Booker and Denver power forward Kenneth Faried a double technical foul with 17.8 seconds remaining in the Nuggets’ 120-104 victory at Pepsi Center.

Booker thought he was about to shoot a free throw before being told he was being ejected after also getting a technical foul late in the second quarter from official Kevin Cutler. Booker gave the official a thumbs up as he walked off the court. As security escorted him toward an exit tunnel, Booker stopped to give a boy an autograph and fist-bumped a man.

Arizona Republic

InsideHoops.com Quick Take: We dig it.

Donald Sterling and the NBA are no longer entangled in any form other than in history books.

The former owner of the Clippers and the NBA have settled all remaining legal disputes, according to Sterling’s attorney, Bobby Samini.

By settling, any funds that were held in escrow from the sale, indemnifying the NBA from legal action taken by Sterling, can be released.

OC Register

Andrew Wiggins putting up huge stats

Andrew Wiggins a dominant offensive player lately

Andrew Wiggins is starting to become the player everyone expected him to be. Dubbed a prodigy in high school, the Timberwolves wing was always supposed to be an NBA superstar, the type of player who can carry the weight of a franchise.

Now, at the tender age of 21, yet two years into his professional career, he appears to set fulfill every expectation.

Wiggins has averaged 33 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists in his past six games, shooting 51 percent from the floor and 53 percent from three-point range. He ranks eighth in NBA scoring at 27.4 points a game, and is the league’s leader in three-point shooting at 54 percent…

Wiggins has been aggressive nearly every night, as shown by his 94 free-throw attempts, ninth-most in the NBA.

St Paul Pioneer Press

The Dallas Mavericks have signed free agent guard Jonathan Gibson. And in a related move, the Mavericks also requested waivers on forward Quincy Acy.

Gibson (6-2, 185) was a standout for the Mavericks at the Samsung NBA Summer League in Las Vegas and received an invite to Mavericks training camp in Dallas. He averaged 7.1 points, 3.0 assists, 1.6 rebounds and 14.8 minutes in seven preseason contests with the Mavericks.

The native of West Covina, Calif., spent last season with the Qingdao DoubleStar Eagles in China. He averaged 42.0 points in 36 games with the Eagles. In addition to his incredible scoring production, he registered 6.7 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 2.1 steals while shooting .509 from the field, .413 from behind-the-arc and .861 from the free throw line in Qingdao.

Gibson went undrafted in the 2010 NBA Draft after four successful seasons at New Mexico State where he averaged 11.8 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 131 career collegiate games. In his senior season with the Aggies, Gibson averaged 17.5 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.4 steals in 34 games on his way to All-WAC Second Team honors.

Gibson will wear No. 3 for the Mavericks.

Acy (6-7, 240) was originally signed by Dallas on July 20, 2016 and saw action in six games this season. He averaged 2.2 points and 1.3 rebounds in 8.0 minutes per game.

Pacers having rebounding problems

Here’s the Indianapolis Star with some insight on the Pacers, whose lack of size is probably hurting their ability to rebound the ball:

Roy Hibbert, David West, Andrew Bynum. None of those Indiana Pacers’ trees of yesteryear will come striding through the Bankers Life Fieldhouse doors anytime soon — at least not in a Pacers uniform.

But the truth is any one of them could help this team in one of their biggest areas of need: rebounding.

Entering Friday, the Pacers are 23rd in the league in total rebounding — averaging 42.3 per game — and have been out-worked on the glass in 10 of 12 games. That’s led to a differential of minus-4.7 per contest, the fourth lowest ratio in the league.

It should not come as much of a surprise to the Pacers or their fans that Indiana has struggled to pull down missed shots. With team President Larry Bird’s offseason emphasis on making this team a sleeker, faster unit, the roster was hit with an almost inevitable consequence.

Players got small. According to FiveThirtyEight.com, the Pacers entered the season the third-shortest team in the league.

Lakers assign Ivica Zubac to D-League

The Los Angeles Lakers have assigned center Ivica Zubac to the Los Angeles D-Fenders, it was announced today.

Zubac was selected by the Lakers with the 32nd overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft and has appeared in three games for the team this season.

The center is expected to be in uniform when the D-Fenders host the Rio Grande Valley Vipers at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 17, at the Toyota Sports Center.

The Timberwolves are off to a 3-7 start this season. Too early to panic, especially with a new coach in charge and changes that will materialize in the weeks to come. But a few things are clear: their offense looks very good, while Wolves defense needs big improvement. Here’s the St Paul Pioneer Press reporting:

Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau has acknowledged Minnesota’s offense is further along than he thought it would be. The Timberwolves are fourth in the NBA in offensive efficiency and shooting a league-best 42 percent from three-point range.

“The issue,” he said, “is our defense — and the commitment to being consistent with it.”

Among 30 NBA teams, the Timberwolves are tied for 28th in defensive efficiency. Opponents are shooting 48.1 percent from the field, the worst mark in the NBA — and that includes a 116-80 victory over Memphis for which the Grizzlies rested its best players. Both of those numbers are worse than where Minnesota finished last season.

None of that lines up with the Tom Thibodeau way. The Wolves coach has churned out top-five defenses at every stop, from his work as an assistant in Houston and Boston to his recent head coaching tenure in Chicago. This offseason, 60 percent of NBA general managers voted Thibodeau as the coach with the best defensive schemes. Defense is his trademark.

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