Archive for the ‘ NBA Teams ’ Category

Jazz sign Erick Green to 10-day contract

Jazz sign Erick Green to 10-day contract

The Utah Jazz today signed guard Erick Green from the Reno Bighorns to a 10-day contract. Green becomes the NBA’s 13th overall NBA D-League Call-Up of the 2015-16 season.

Following the move, Utah’s roster now stands at 15 players.

Green (6-3, 178, Virginia Tech) has appeared in 23 games (22 starts) for the Bighorns this season, averaging 26.7 points on 53.3 percent shooting, 4.4 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 1.4 steals in 39.0 minutes of action. He has scored in double figures in 22 games, including 20-plus points on 19 occasions. He scored 30-or-more points in nine contests and a career-high 40 points in two games.

The 24-year-old appeared in 46 games (one start) over two seasons for Denver (2014-2015) and averaged 3.2 points in 9.1 minutes. He was waived by the Nuggets on Nov. 5 after appearing briefly in three games this season. Green also spent one season (2013-14) with Sana 1871 Siena.

The Inglewood, Calif. native played four years at Virginia Tech (2009-13), averaging 25.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.3 steals during his senior season. He was named the 2013 ACC Co-Player of the Year and earned 2013 All-ACC First Team honors.

Green will wear No. 18 for the Jazz.

On the OKC Thunder offense

The OKC Thunder are 33-13 this season and getting 26.6 ppg from Kevin Durant, 23.9 ppg from Russell Westbrook, 13.2 ppg from Serge Ibaka, and 11.6 ppg from Enes Kanter. Here’s the Oklahoman reporting on what drives the Thunder offense:

In general, the Thunder offense seems to be moving a bit more fluidly this season. OKC’s assists are up and its point distribution is more spread.

But despite Billy Donovan’s tweaks, the engine of the Thunder’s offense is still its rare individual talent. Nearly everything is predicated off Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook making something happen, often in isolation.

Per NBA.com/stats, the Thunder ranks dead last in the league 263.3 passes per game, more than 10 fewer than the next team (the Detroit Pistons). But despite that, OKC’s offensive rating (points per 100 possessions) is second in the league at 109.2, right behind the Warriors (112.7) and ahead of the Spurs (108.2). The Warriors average 325.2 passes per game, fifth most in the NBA. The Spurs average 339.0, third most.

Tyronn Lue wants the Cavs to play faster

The Cavaliers (30-12, 4th best record in NBA) are getting 25.0 ppg from LeBron James, 15.8 ppg from Kyrie Irving, 15.6 ppg from Kevin Love, and 12.3 from J.R Smith. They recently said goodbye to head coach David Blatt and put assistant Tyronn Lue in charge. Here’s the Akron Beacon Journal reporting:

The Cavs rank 28th in the league in pace, or possessions per 48 minutes. Lue wants to get this team playing faster, but he cautioned Saturday that will take time. This team is used to a slow pace that has proved successful.

When Lue tried to speed that pace up Saturday, all three of his stars asked out of the game early because they were tired. That forced him to use 10 players in the first quarter, jumbled his preset rotation and he struggled to recover. LeBron James didn’t dispute the idea the Cavs aren’t physically ready yet to run Lue’s style of offense.

“We played slow basketball up to this point,” James said. “We walk the ball up a lot. … All of us need to do something different as far as our pace and our conditioning. If he wants us to play faster and you want to be out on the floor, you can’t get tired. And if you do, you’ve got to come out. Something that Coach Lue wants us to do and we’ve all got to accept it.”

The Knicks (22-24 through Sunday’s games) are getting 14.0 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.96 blocks per game from talented 7′3″ rookie Kristaps Porzingis. Here’s the New York Post reporting on his weight fluctuations:

Kristaps Porzingis gets weight changes under control

Kristaps Porzingis realized he would shrink to nothing if he didn’t take the Knicks’ new dietitian’s advice and inhale a grand-style breakfast.

While the rail-thin Knicks 7-foot-3 rookie added 11 pounds from the end of July’s summer league to the start of training camp, Porzingis started to gradually drop weight as the regular season rolled on and his minutes increased.

After going from 227 to 238 pounds over the summer, Porzingis dropped to 233 by December.

“Now I’m maintaining it,’’ Porzingis told The Post on Saturday. “I lost a little bit at the beginning of the season. It was hard to maintain that, but I’ve been staying at the same weight and I got to maintain this weight for sure. Once the season is over, I’ll try to get up to 245 pounds for next season.’’

Here’s the New York Daily News reporting on the Nets (11-33, which is the third-worst record in the league) and now-available coach David Blatt:

David Blatt may be coaching option for Nets

The Nets already made their coaching change earlier this month, even if it was not nearly as surprising as David Blatt’s ouster Friday in Cleveland.

Brooklyn already has dropped 10 games in January – including six of seven since interim coach Tony Brown took over for fired Lionel Hollins — with Friday’s 108-86 loss to Utah at boo-filled Barclays Center.

“This was by no means our best effort,” Brown said. “I’m going to keep coaching, but some soul-searching needs to be done. I’m going to keep fighting. I just hope they do, too.”

The Nets’ 1-10 record this month represents just one fewer loss than the Cavaliers totaled all season before Blatt — a candidate with both NBA success and ties to Russian basketball — became available on Friday for Mikhail Prokhorov to possibly consider as the next coach of the Nets.

Thunder at Nets game start time moved to 7:30pm ET

Like much of the Eastern United States, New York City is covered with a ton of snow. So today’s area game is being moved to a later start time.

The NBA announced that the Brooklyn Nets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder game at Barclays Center scheduled for 3:30 pm ET today has been delayed to 7:30 pm ET “due to the impact of severe weather conditions in the New York area.”

Yes, there’s bigtime playoff football on today. But the chance to see Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and friends unleash their basketball magic in person is a great draw. We’ll be at the game.

Cody Zeller out with shoulder injury

Cody Zeller out with shoulder injury

The Charlotte Hornets announced today that forward/center Cody Zeller underwent a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) which revealed a sprained ligament in his right shoulder. Zeller is listed as out and will be reevaluated in one week.

The third-year Indiana product is averaging a career-high 9.0 points (.496), 5.9 rebounds and 0.9 steals in 24.8 minutes per game in 40 contests (27 starts). In three years, all with Charlotte, Zeller has averaged 7.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game in 184 games (75 starts).

Nuggets sign Sean Kilpatrick to second 10-day contract

The Denver Nuggets have signed guard Sean Kilpatrick to a second 10-day contract, General Manager and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced today.

Kilpatrick, 6-4, 210, initially signed with the Nuggets on January 12 and has averaged 2.3 ppg in four games with Denver.

He appeared in 22 games (21 starts) for the Delaware 87ers of the NBA D-League this season, averaging 27.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.14 steals in 38.5 minutes per game. He was the seventh GATORADE Call-Up of the season.

Cleveland Cavaliers General Manager David Griffin announced today that David Blatt has been released from his duties as head coach. Associate Head Coach Tyronn Lue has been named Head Coach. The current Cavaliers assistant coaches and staff remain under contract and will continue working with the team.

“On behalf of the organization, I would like to thank David Blatt for his efforts and commitment to this franchise,” said Griffin. “He spent the last year and a half battling intense scrutiny, working to mold a very willful group and we all recognize that is not at all an easy task.”

“But with that said, when you have the clarity of purpose that our ownership has instilled in this entire organization, decisions often make themselves. Every decision made is an answer to the following question: does it put us in the best position to deliver Championships to Northeast, Ohio.”

“So, today, we are elevating Tyronn Lue, from his role as Associate Head Coach to Head Coach. I am more than confident that he will have the pulse of our team and the buy-in required to enhance the habits and culture that will foster the kind of identity and results we must have.”

Blatt was named the 19th head coach in Cavaliers history on June 20, 2014. During his one and half seasons as head coach, Blatt compiled a regular season record of 83-40 and a 14-6 mark in last year’s playoffs.

“Over the course of my business career I have learned that sometimes the hardest thing to do is also the right thing to do,” said Dan Gilbert, Majority Owner of the Cavaliers. “Our ownership group supports David Griffin’s decision. We would like to thank David Blatt for his work over these past two seasons where the Cavaliers transformed into a playoff team after a rebuilding phase. We believe Tyronn Lue is the right coach at the right time to put us in the best position to take the last but most challenging step to complete our mission to deliver Cleveland an NBA Championship.”

Lue is in his second season with the Cavs after being hired as the associate head coach in June 2014. He was previously an assistant coach on Doc Rivers’ staff with the Los Angeles Clippers, who captured the Pacific Division title with a 57-25 record in 2013-14. Prior to the Clippers, Lue spent four seasons as a member of Rivers’ Boston Celtics staff, the last two as an assistant coach. He began his time in Boston as the Director of Basketball Development in 2009-10.

Originally drafted by the Denver Nuggets with the 23rd overall pick in the 1998 NBA Draft, Lue played 11 seasons in the NBA, appearing in 554 career games with the Lakers, Washington, Orlando, Houston, Atlanta, Dallas and Milwaukee. The former University of Nebraska star won NBA Championships in 2000 and 2001 with the Lakers.

Clippers trade Josh Smith to Rockets

The L.A. Clippers announced today the team has acquired the draft rights to Maarty Leunen from the Houston Rockets in exchange for forward Josh Smith, the draft rights to Sergei Lishouck and cash considerations.

Leunen, 30, was a stand-out at the University of Oregon and the 54th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft by Houston. Leunen currently plays for Scandone Avellino of the Italian Serie A.

The Clippers signed Smith on July 16, 2015 as a free agent and the 11-year NBA veteran appeared in 32 games (1 start) for Los Angeles this season, averaging 5.7 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 14.3 minutes per game.

Originally selected by the Atlanta Hawks with the 17th pick in the 2004 NBA Draft, Smith has appeared in 868 career regular season games with Atlanta, Detroit, Houston and the Clippers and owns career averages of 14.8 points, 7.6 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.0 blocks in 32.9 minutes.

The rights to Lishouck, 32, were acquired by the Clippers on Jan. 7, 2015 from the Philadelphia 76ers. Originally drafted by the Memphis Grizzlies with the 49th overall selection of the 2004 NBA Draft, Lishouck currently plays for UCAM Murcia in Spain.

Bucks coach Kidd to return next week

Bucks coach Kidd to return next week

Milwaukee Bucks Head Coach Jason Kidd is expected to resume his normal head coaching duties next week when the team returns from its current four-game road trip. Beginning with the Jan. 26 game vs. Orlando, Kidd will be back on the sideline, while his recovery and travel will continue to be monitored by his medical team. Kidd underwent right hip surgery on Dec. 21st and has missed the last 15 games while rehabilitating following surgery.

“I feel great after surgery and am looking forward to getting back on the sidelines full-time next week,” Kidd said. “I received a good report from my doctor last week in New York and I am ahead of schedule on my recovery. Provided everything continues to go well this week, I plan on being back to my normal duties on Monday.

“Joe (Prunty) and the rest of the coaching staff along with the players have done a very good job in my absence and I’m grateful for all of their efforts. We’re all looking forward to continued improvement during the second half of our season.”

The Bucks are currently 19-25 and 8-7 in the 15 games Kidd has missed following hip surgery. Milwaukee has two games remaining on its current road trip (Friday at Houston and Saturday at New Orleans), before returning home to host Orlando on Tuesday, Jan. 26 at 7 p.m. Coach Kidd will be available to the media following Monday’s practice at the Orthopaedic Hospital of Wisconsin Training Center.

Grizzlies sign Ryan Hollins to 10-day contract

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

Hollins (7-0, 240) enters his third stint with the Grizzlies this season. After joining Memphis for training camp, he was re-signed on Dec. 29 and made four regular season appearances before he was waived on Jan. 7. The 31-year-old also played five games, making three starts, for the Washington Wizards earlier this season.

The 10-year NBA veteran has averaged 3.7 points on 58.1 percent shooting and 2.2 rebounds in 490 career games (67 starts) with the Charlotte Bobcats, Dallas Mavericks, Minnesota Timberwolves, Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Clippers, Sacramento Kings, Washington Wizards and Memphis Grizzlies. The Pasadena, Calif. native 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.

Emmanuel Mudiay more aggressive lately

The Denver Nuggets (16-26) are getting 10.7 points (just 31.6% FG), 3.4 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game from athletic rookie guard Emmanuel Mudiay. Here’s the Denver Post reporting:

Emmanuel Mudiay more aggressive lately

Nuggets rookie Emmanuel Mudiay has a different look about him of late, a more confident, aggressive turn in his play that has shown up in each of his last two games.

“I feel good,” Mudiay said. “I think I’m getting myself, getting my groove back. I’m just going to keep working on my game and keep my confidence going.”

The dunks are part of it. He dunked on Miami’s Hassan Whiteside last Friday, which was three games ago. He had two-hand monster dunk late in the Indiana two days later at a point when the Nuggets needed the points.

If it seems like he’s attacking the rim more lately it’s only because he is. Eight of his 10 shots against the Pacers were at the rim. He was 4-of-8 in those attempts. Six of his 14 shots in the Nuggets’ last game, against Oklahoma City, were at the rim. He made four of the six, including a breakaway dunk.

Here’s ESPN.com reporting on the Milwaukee Bucks (19-25, winners of 6 of their last 10 games), who should get their head coach back soon:

Bucks coach Jason Kidd should return soon

Milwaukee Bucks coach Jason Kidd is returning to the bench to resume his coaching duties next week, league sources told ESPN on Thursday.

Kidd, who underwent hip surgery shortly before Christmas, plans to return next week — ahead of schedule — as the Bucks return from a four-game road trip that still has stops Friday and Saturday in Houston and New Orleans.

A very tough season for the New Orleans Pelicans just got tougher. At 14-27 through Tuesday’s games, they have the sixth worst record in the league. And now starting shooting guard Eric Gordon (14.9 ppg on 41% shooting) will miss serious time.

The team announced today that guard Eric Gordon underwent successful surgery this morning to repair his fractured right ring finger. Gordon sustained the injury during the third quarter of last night’s 114-99 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. His expected timetable to return is 4-6 weeks.

Gordon, 6-4, 215, has appeared in 41 games this season for New Orleans, averaging 14.9 points, 2.7 assists, 2.1 rebounds and 1.0 steals in 33.4 minutes per contest.

Look, people. Pregame NBA dance routines from players are important. They set the tone. Bad dance routine? Expect a loss. That’s just the way it is.

OK, maybe not quite. Perhaps we’re just being silly. Still, pregame dance routines are fun, so we support them and any coverage they receive.

Here’s ESPN.com reporting:

Cameron Payne says there’s a simple name for it.

“Swagdaddies,” he says.

Hyphen?

“No hyphen. One word. Swagdaddies.” With an emphasis on swag.

Payne has used that word to describe other things, like a ridiculous Euro step, but in this case is talking about his now moderately infamous pregame dance routine — if you want to call it that — with Russell Westbrook. It goes like this: Actually, it doesn’t go like anything. You’ve just sort of got to see it. And then watch the next game’s routine, because no two are the same.

“Every game is something new,” Westbrook said.

Nuggets front office staff get contract extensions

The Denver Nuggets have signed General Manager and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly, Assistant General Manager Arturas Karnisovas and their staff to multi-year contract extensions, President and Governor Josh Kroenke announced today.

“Over the past few years Tim, Arturas, and the rest of our front office staff have worked tirelessly in reshaping our roster and our entire organizational vision for the future,” said Kroenke. “Whether through the draft, trades, or free agency, we have an excellent mix of players and are extremely well positioned moving forward.”

Connelly took over as General Manager and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations in 2013 after spending the previous three seasons with New Orleans serving as their Assistant General Manager. Prior to his time in New Orleans, Connelly spent 10 years with the Washington Wizards organization where he rose to director of player personnel.

Karnisovas came to Denver after spending five years with the Houston Rockets organization, where he most recently was the Director of Scouting. He spent four years with the NBA league office prior to that.

“We’re excited and honored by this opportunity to continue what we have started here in Denver,” stated Connelly. “We have a locker room full of dedicated players and staff, led by head coach Michael Malone, who look forward to winning in this great city for years to come. As a staff we would like to thank Josh and the entire Kroenke family for their continued support; we are unbelievably fortunate to work for such committed ownership.

Wizards have below .500 record at home

Here’s CSN MidAtlantic reporting on the Wizards, who are 10-8 on the road this season yet a disappointing 9-13 at home:

Six teams have a sub-41 winning percentage at home: Wizards, Nuggets, Nets, Lakers, Timberwolves and 76ers. Overall, the Wizards are 19-21 this season, having reached .500 last week before losing two straight. Those other five teams are a combined 54-156 (.346).

Portland’s 3-point shooting barrage highlighted a major difference for Washington at home over the last two season.

Opponents are shooting an NBA-best 40.1 percent from beyond the arc (on 23.4 attempts per game) at Verizon Center this season. That’s a steep fall from last season’s 32.1 clip.

Overall visiting teams are sinking 47.3 percent of their field goal tries in Washington. That’s also the worst in the NBA. Last season, opponents made 42.2 percent.

Magic sign Keith Appling to 10-day contract

The Orlando Magic have called-up guard Keith Appling from the Erie BayHawks of the NBA Development League and signed him to a 10-day contract, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today. In addition, guard Devyn Marble has been recalled from Erie.

Appling (#15, 6’1”, 185, 2/13/92) has played in 17 games this season with Erie, 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.

Not drafted by an NBA franchise in 2014, Appling appeared in 38 games last season with both the Los Angeles D-Fenders and Erie BayHawks of the NBA Development League, averaging 10.5 ppg., 3.9 apg. and 2.7 rpg. in 24.4 minpg. He also played with the Orlando Magic “White” team during the 2015 Southwest Airlines Orlando Pro Summer League, averaging a team-high 15.6 ppg., 3.0 apg., 1.2 rpg. and 3.00 stlpg. in 26.2 minpg.

Appling played in 142 games (123 starts) during four seasons at Michigan State University from 2010-14, averaging 10.6 ppg., 3.3 apg., 3.0 rpg. and 1.06 stlpg. in 29.8 minpg. He finished his collegiate career tied for third on the Spartans’ all-time list in games started, fourth in games played, seventh in free throws made (389), eighth in three-point field goals attempted (413) and steals (151), ninth in assists (465), tenth in free throws attempted (520) and 18th in points scored (1,509). Appling was named Second Team All-Big Ten as a junior (2012-13) by the league’s coaches and named Third Team All-Big Ten as a sophomore (2011-12). He helped Michigan State reach the Sweet Sixteen three times during the NCAA Tournament (2012-14) and the Elite Eight in 2014.

Marble (#11, 6’6”, 200, 9/21/92) has appeared in six games this season with Orlando, averaging 0.3 ppg. in 2.3 minpg. Originally selected in the second round (56th overall) by Denver, his draft rights, along with Evan Fournier, were acquired by Orlando in exchange for Arron Afflalo on June 26, 2014. Marble has also played in 14 games this season with Erie, averaging 14.8 ppg., 5.2 rpg., 2.2 apg. and 1.57 stlpg. in 30.9 minpg.

The Orlando Magic and the Erie BayHawks are in the second year of a three-year single affiliation partnership. Orlando became the 16th NBA team to have a one-to-one affiliation with an NBA D-League team. The partnership, also referred to as a “hybrid affiliation,” allows an NBA team to control the NBA D-League team’s basketball operations, while the existing local ownership maintains primary responsibility for the team’s off-the-court business operations and community initiatives.

Suns sign Lorenzo Brown to second 10-day contract

The Phoenix Suns announced today they have signed guard Lorenzo Brown to a second 10-day contract.

Brown signed his first 10-day contract with the Suns on Jan. 8. The 25-year-old guard has appeared in three games with Phoenix, totaling 13 points and six assists in 34 minutes.

A 6-5, 189-pound guard, Brown is a third-year NBA player who appeared in 55 total games with Philadelphia in 2013-14 and Minnesota in 2014-15. Originally selected with the 52nd overall pick by Minnesota in the 2013 NBA Draft, Brown played in 29 games (seven starts) with the Timberwolves last season seeing action in each of their final 22 games. Brown has four career double-digit scoring games, including a career-high 13 points in his final appearance of last season on April 15 against Oklahoma City.

The sixth Call-Up of 2015-16 at the time he signed with the Suns on Jan. 8, Brown averaged 16.4 points, 6.1 assists, 5.3 rebounds and 1.9 steals in 16 games this season with the Grand Rapids Drive of the NBA Development League.

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