Archive for the ‘ NBA Teams ’ Category

Here’s a glimpse of veteran power forward Carlos Boozer now that he’s on the Los Angeles Lakers:

Nick Young undergoes thumb surgery, out 8 weeks

Los Angeles Lakers guard Nick Young will have to unleash his swagger in entirely off-court situations for the time being.

Young, who injured his right thumb in practice last Thursday, underwent successful surgery this morning to repair a torn radial collateral ligament in the thumb. The surgery was performed by Dr. Steven Shin of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic.

Young is expected to miss approximately eight weeks.

Pac-Man logo Hawks court is back

Here’s the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporting on a Hawks development that a lot of old-school fans will appreciate:

The team’s new secondary logo, a revision of the old Pac Man look, is now dominant at center court. The large white-and-red logo replaces the primary logo that had been the centerpiece of the court. The new secondary logo has been popular with the fan base and its use will likely grow in the future. It will eventually replace the current primary logo of the Hawk with spread wings.

“I was pretty excited to see it,” Al Horford said of the new logo at center court. “It’s pretty powerful. I like it.”

The court underwent several other revisions. The free-throw lanes have been painted bright red. The apron surrounding the court is blue. The apron displays “Atlanta Hawks” painted in white block-style letters with red trim along both baselines. The team web site address and Twitter and Instagram handles are painted along the baselines opposite the team benches.

Here’s Michigan Live reporting on the Detroit Pistons:

Jonas Jerebko hoping to rise for Pistons

Jonas Jerebko has been hoping for a fresh start with the Detroit Pistons for three years now.

This season, he might finally get it.

Jerebko is optimistic things will be different for him under new head coach Stan Van Gundy, who so far has liked what he’s seen from the 6-foot-10 forward and employs the type of system that seems well-suited to the Pistons’ second-round pick (39th overall) in the 2009 draft.

“It’s been a rollercoaster,” Jerebko said of his first four seasons in Detroit. “Every year has been a new situation for me. I just feel very comfortable with (Van Gundy’s) way of playing basketball and his way of wanting to play basketball.

Warriors sign Jason Kapono

Warriors sign Jason Kapono

The Golden State Warriors have signed free agent guard/forward Jason Kapono to a contract, the team announced today. This may just be a training camp contract.

Kapono, 33, owns career NBA averages of 6.7 points, 1.7 rebounds and 17.8 minutes in 509 games (87 starts) with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Charlotte Bobcats, Miami Heat, Toronto Raptors, Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers. He last played professionally in Greece in 2012-13, appearing in 17 games for Panathinaikos and posting averages of 7.6 points, 1.6 assists and 1.3 rebounds in 17.0 minutes while hitting 45.0 percent of his three-point attempts.

The nine-year NBA veteran ranks fifth all-time on the league’s three-point percentage list, hitting at a career 43.4 percent clip, and ranks second in the category among active players behind only Warriors guard Stephen Curry (.440). Kapono led the league in three-point percentage with the Heat in 2006-07 (.514), and again the following season as a member of the Raptors in 2007-08 (.483), becoming the only player in NBA history to lead the league in the category in back-to-back seasons.

Originally selected by the Cavaliers in the second round (31st overall) of the 2003 NBA Draft, Kapono won an NBA championship as a member of the Heat in 2005-06. The Long Beach, CA, native and UCLA alum last appeared in the NBA with the Lakers during the 2011-12 season.

Kapono will wear uniform #22.

wizards

The Washington Wizards announced today that the team has waived guards Vander Blue and David Stockton.

The Wizards’ roster now stands at 18.

Nick Young suffers thumb injury

Nick Young suffers thumb injury

Lakers guard Nick Young, who injured his right thumb yesterday in practice, underwent an MRI exam today. Results of the MRI showed that Young has a complete tear of the radial collateral ligament.

Dr. Steven Shin of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic will perform surgery on Young’s thumb on Monday, and an estimate for Young’s return will be given at that time.

The Boston Celtics are in a transitional period. They’re rebuilding, and their best player, guard Rajon Rondo, is injured yet again, and may wind up being traded later this season. On the brighter side, they have some nice young talent. And they have Avery Bradley, who is proud to play super-aggressive defense, and aims to be an even better defender this season. Here’s ESPN Boston reporting:

Avery Bradley hopes to make all-defense first team

Coming off the best offensive season of his career, one that helped him secure a lucrative long-term extension, Boston Celtics shooting guard Avery Bradley said his primary goal for the 2014-15 season is reestablishing his reputation as a defense-first player.

“I want to be on the first team all-defense,” Bradley said Thursday when asked about his individual goals for new season. “I made the second team two years ago. That’s my No. 1 goal this year, but obviously I want to improve in every part of my game.”

Bradley averaged a career-best 14.9 points per game last season and shot nearly 40 percent from beyond the 3-point arc. At times, he was maybe Boston’s most aggressive shooter as reflected in a career-high 13.8 shots per game (up four attempts per game from the previous season). Maybe due in part to a new system and a rebuilding team, Bradley’s advanced defensive numbers — among the glitziest in the league two years ago — eroded a bit and he wasn’t the sort of shutdown presence that he’s shown he can be.

Here’s Arizona Sports reporting on the Phoenix Suns offensive plans, which involve running, and more running.

Phoenix Suns offensive plan: More running

Push the pace.

It is the one phrase that has been spoken the most thus far here at Phoenix Suns training camp.

“We want to play even faster than we did last year,” forward P.J. Tucker said.

Last year, the Suns ranked eighth in the NBA in pace of play, a statistic used to measure the number of possessions per 48 minutes.

“We want to pick that up. We want to be one, two or three,” head coach Jeff Hornacek said. “Really try to get the ball out of bounds and go with it. Put pressure on the other teams. We have a deep team so we feel we can do that. And that’s us pushing these guys to get in that type of shape you need to be to do that.”

Here’s the Akron Beacon Journal reporting on the Cleveland Cavaliers as they adapt to a new head coach and some very high-profile new players:

Mike Miller raves about Cavs coach David Blatt

David Blatt spent his first few weeks on the job downplaying his offensive ingenuity and reminding people he likes to coach defense, too. Yet after the first week of practice, it’s clear on which side Blatt has made an impression on this veteran team.

“His offensive stuff is borderline genius,” Mike Miller said this week. “Once we get a hold of it, it’s going to be a big weapon.”

Indeed, Blatt conceded the first handful of practices with the Cavaliers have been an offensive cram session in moving and spacing. Based on Wednesday’s Wine & Gold scrimmage, the Cavs are fast learners.

They moved well, spaced the floor properly and found a surprising rhythm given how little time they’ve spent together. Of course, they were only playing each other. The real tests will come once the exhibition games begin (the opener is Sunday against Blatt’s former team) and then when the regular season commences on Oct. 30.

Here’s the Charlotte Observer reporting on the Hornets. And yeah, that’s “Hornets.” The Bobcats are gone. They are the Hornets now. You knew that already, but preseason is approaching so it’s worth repeating.

Gary Neal playing well in Hornets training camp

Charlotte Hornets coach Steve Clifford made a bold statement Monday about shooting guard Gary Neal’s value.

“Our offense, once he got here, was totally different,” Clifford said.

Bold but not inaccurate. In the 25 regular-season games that followed Neal being traded to Charlotte, the then-Bobcats averaged 104.3 points per game, compared to 95.3 before his arrival. The Bobcats’ shooting percentage improved from 43.7 percent pre-Neal to 45.3 percent with him.

That’s not to say the offensive improvement was exclusively Neal’s doing. For instance, rookie power forward Cody Zeller shot far better from the field in April than in February.

Here’s the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporting on the Bucks:

jason kidd

Bucks coach Jason Kidd said to expect multiple lineups during the preseason as he tries to find the right combinations with his young team.

The team completed a morning non-contact practice session on Day 2 under Kidd, with a contact session scheduled later Wednesday. The team will be off on Thursday.

“Don’t judge me on preseason because we’re going to play a lot of different combinations and there will be a lot of people starting and playing the role of coming off the bench,” Kidd said. “We’ll figure it out.”

Kidd said he already has been impressed with the way big men John Henson and Larry Sanders have played together in the opening practices.

Miami Heat big-man Chris Andersen is towards the end of his NBA career, and is attempting to make the necessary adjustments. Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel reporting:

Chris Andersen hopes to improve jumpshot

He still plans to play with high energy in his 13th season, but will do it at a smarter pace.

“I was told a long time ago, even though I’m called Birdman, you can’t jump forever,” Andersen said Wednesday. “Like [Shaquille O’Neal] says, you have a certain amount of jumps in your career.”

Step one in the transformation process is becoming a well-rounded player, especially on offense. Andersen, 36, explained why he’s been shooting jumpers after practices during training camp, mostly from the elbow and baseline.

Translation: he wants more scoring opportunities with less wear on the body.

“I’ve been blessed to be able to jump at 36 so I want to be able to use that a couple more times but I want to be able to shoot it, too,” Andersen said. “That’ll prolong my career three years, maybe.”

Enjoy these video highlights of rookie Andrew Wiggins from a recent Minnesota Timberwolves late-night public scrimmage:

Rick Fuson named president of Pacers

Jim Morris, president of Pacers Sports & Entertainment, will move into the role of vice chairman and Rick Fuson will succeed Morris as president in addition to continuing his role as chief operating officer, PS&E chairman and CEO Herb Simon announced Tuesday.

Both moves are effective immediately.

“This is not about change but continuity,” Simon said. “Jim Morris will maintain his important leadership role in fostering and sustaining relationships in the community and throughout the state of Indiana. Rick Fuson over many years has shown himself to be a brilliant manager and trusted steward of PS&E and all its assets and will continue to do so.”

Fuson, 61, joined the Pacers’ organization in 1984 as director of special events for Market Square Arena. He oversaw the construction and opening of Bankers Life Fieldhouse in 1999. He was promoted to executive senior vice president of PS&E in 2001 and chief operating officer in 2008. He is responsible for the operation of all aspects of the business and facilities elements of PS&E and Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Morris, 71, a long-time community and civic leader and one of the principle architects of Indianapolis highly acclaimed strategy of using sports to foster economic development, joined PS&E in 2007 as a special consultant to then President/CEO Donnie Walsh. He was named president in 2008.

“I am honored and humbled by this tremendous opportunity,” said Fuson. “We are extremely fortunate to have Jim Morris in the role of vice chairman. He is an exemplary representative of PS&E and a pillar of our community. I am grateful to have worked side by side with Jim, Donnie Walsh, Larry Bird, Kelly Krauskopf and the great people of PS&E for over 30 years and I so look forward to our future. There is no better owner in sports than Herb Simon and his commitment to our franchises and community makes this a great place to work and live.”

“Pacers Sports & Entertainment was strong before I got here and I am proud of every piece of the operation: the ongoing success of the Pacers and the Indiana Fever, the multitude of entertainment events we host, the sales and marketing team, the finance department, our community relations efforts and Bankers Life Fieldhouse itself, which is operated so efficiently and magnificently,” said Morris. “It is an absolute thrill to work for an extraordinary owner in Herb Simon, and with such gifted people as Rick Fuson, Larry Bird and Kelly Krauskopf. PS&E is in terrific hands.”

The Denver Nuggets will open training-camp with 19 players after signing forwards Jerrelle Benimon, Alonzo Gee, Pops Mensah-Bonsu and Marcus Williams, Nuggets General Manager and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced today.

Benimon, 6-8, 245, went undrafted in 2014 out of Towson University where he was named the CAA player of the year in both his junior and senior seasons. The forward averaged 18.7 points while ranking second in the nation in rebounds (11.2 rpg) and third in double-doubles (21) during his final collegiate campaign in 2013-14. Benimon played for the Miami Heat in the Orlando Summer League and for the Nuggets in the Las Vegas Summer League, averaging 10.7 points, 11.3 rebounds (2nd overall) and 1.7 assists in three games.

Gee, 6-6, 219, has appeared in 277 career NBA games (173 starts), posting averages of 7.9 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.00 steals in five seasons with the Cavaliers, Spurs and Wizards. Gee was undrafted in 2009 after playing four years at the University of Alabama. He averaged 15.0 points and 7.2 rebounds and was named Second Team All-SEC as a senior. Gee appeared in 65 games (24 starts) for the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2013-14.

Mensah-Bonsu, 6-9, 235, has four years of NBA experience and three seasons of international experience after going undrafted out of George Washington University in the 2006 NBA Draft. He’s appeared in 62 career NBA games for New Orleans, Toronto, Houston, San Antonio and Dallas, averaging 2.9 points and 2.9 rebounds per game. Mensah-Bonsu averaged 8.7 points and 6.3 rebounds in 55 games for Galatasaray of the Turkish League during the 2013-14 season.

Williams, 6-7, 203, was drafted by the San Antonio Spurs with the 33rd overall pick of the 2007 NBA Draft after he averaged 16.6 points and 6.7 rebounds as a sophomore at the University of Arizona. The forward has averaged 1.1 points and 3.0 minutes in 13 career NBA games over parts of two seasons with the Spurs and L.A. Clippers. He also appeared in 89 games for the Austin Toros of the NBA D-League from 2007-2010, averaging 21.6 points, 6.8 rebounds and 4.4 assists. Williams has spent the last three seasons with the Shanxi Zhongyu Brave Dragons of the Chinese Basketball Association.

Justin Hamilton

The Miami HEAT announced today that center Justin Hamilton underwent a procedure at South Miami Hospital on Monday to repair an atrial flutter (abnormal heart rhythm).

After experiencing light-headedness during practice, he was sent to Doctors Hospital where the diagnosis was discovered.

He will remain sidelined for a few days and can then begin non-contact exercises for approximately three weeks before being re-evaluated prior to re-joining the team for practice. Hamilton is expected to make a full recovery.

Here’s the Washington Post blog reporting from Monday’s Wizards Media Day:

Bradley Beal says Wizards have best backcourt in NBA

“I think we’re definitely the best back court in the league,” Beal declared at his team’s Media Day at Verizon Center Monday. “Just in terms of what we’re capable of doing, the confidence that we have in that. At the same time we got to prove it.”

Beal and Wall have a case. They are the Wizards’ cornerstone players and led the team to the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2004-05 last spring.

Wall, 24, enjoyed the breakout season many have been waiting for since he was drafted first over all in 2010, becoming an all-star for the first time and leading the NBA in total assists.

Here’s the Bay Area News Group reporting on the Golden State Warriors:

David Lee not mad at past trade rumors

Warriors forward David Lee heard the offseason trade rumors involving Kevin Love and said they didn’t leave him feeling unwanted by the team.

“There was no hard feelings,” Lee said Monday. “There can’t be. Our front office is trying to improve the team, and Kevin Love is a great player.

“It happened, and I’m not mad at anybody. I don’t feel bad. It’s just this is a business.”

Lee, the Warriors’ highest-paid player making $15 million this salary, would have likely been shipped to Minnesota had the trade gotten done. Instead, Love was dealt to Cleveland and Lee got to joke about pondering a move to the Midwest that wasn’t to be.

Jason Terry sees big things for Rockets

There is optimism and there is OPTIMISM. New Rockets guard Jason Terry predicts big things for his squad. Here’s the Houston Chronicle reporting:

Jason Terry sees big things for Rockets

“As far as the roster goes, when you have two studs such as James Harden and Dwight Howard, you have a realistic shot at winning the championship,” Terry said.

“That’s what it’s about for me. I have one. I lost one. Now I just want another opportunity.

“I see us going all the way. If you look at the Western Conference, everybody’s gotten better. People look at our team and they’re trying to figure us out. I just think we have the talent. I think it’s about us going out every day, competing against each other, creating a championship environment. If we do that, I think we’ll put ourselves in a position at the end of the year to do something very special here.”

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