Archive for the ‘ NBA Teams ’ Category

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.

The Knicks were in control of the Cavs Monday in New York. And then the 4th quarter happened, and Cleveland came away with a win. As for Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis, here’s the New York Post reporting:

It was a rare off night for Kristaps Porzingis. Maybe it was LeBron James. Maybe it was the new contraption on his elbow.

With James hounding him at times, Porzingis fell short of his now-usual 30 points. And for the first time he wore a long white right elbow sleeve for his bursitis, a condition that may need postseason surgery.

Previously Porzingis, who has admitted to lingering swelling, had only donned the sleeve during practice so it wouldn’t affect his shooting motion. But after shooting just 7-of-21 for 20 points in the 104-101 Knicks’ collapse, he may ditch it. It was only the fourth time in the 12 games he’s played this season he didn’t score at least 30 points.

“It was for extra protection for the elbow,’’ Porzingis said. “It didn’t help as much. If I fell on it, it hits so hard, the little protection didn’t do anything.’’

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The Thunder won on Sunday, against a vastly inferior opponent in the Mavericks. OKC did this without the services of center Steven Adams or forward Carmelo Anthony. Here’s the Oklahoman reporting:

Carmelo Anthony’s back had been bothering him, but not enough to miss a game.

That changed on Sunday, suddenly and late.

Less than an hour before the Thunder tipped off a 112-99 win against the Dallas Mavericks, Oklahoma City announced Anthony would sit with back soreness. Thunder coach Billy Donovan said he didn’t know until about an hour before tip that Anthony would be out.

“The one thing I really admire about Melo is, he loves to play,” Donovan said after the game. “Even for a guy that’s been in the league in his 15th year, he loves to play. He went through the walk-through. He tried to do everything he could to get himself to play.”

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Rudy Gobert out at least four weeks with leg injury

Jazz center Rudy Gobert was examined Saturday by the Utah Jazz medical staff and underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) testing. The MRI revealed a right tibia contusion.

The injury took place when Heat guard Dion Waiters, while hustling for a loose ball, dove recklessly into Gobert’s legs.

The 7-1 center will be reevaluated in four weeks.

The 2017 All-NBA Second Team center is currently averaging 13.9 points, 10.5 rebounds and a league-best 2.5 blocks per game in his fifth NBA season. He has totaled eight double-doubles on the year and dating back to last season has totaled 244 blocks, the most in the NBA during that span.

The Jazz are 6-7 this season. They have six players averaging double-digit scoring: Rodney Hood, Ricky Rubio, Donovan Mitchell, Gobert, and Derrick Favors. The team faces the Timberwolves tomorrow.

Further updates will be provided when appropriate.

Knicks waive Mindaugas Kuzminskas

The Knicks have waived forward Mindaugas Kuzminskas.

Kuzminskas, 6-9, 215-pounds, averaged 6.3 points over 14.9 minutes in 68 games during his rookie season for the Knicks in 2016-17 after signing as an undrafted free agent on Jul. 9, 2016. The Lithuania-native has appeared in one game this season.

“The respect this franchise has for Mindaugas cannot be overstated,” Knicks General Manager Scott Perry said. “His professionalism and work ethic were greatly appreciated by his teammates, coaches and the entire staff. This decision was extremely tough for us. We wish him nothing but the best moving on with his playing career.”

According to ESPN.com, “Kuzminskas, 28, is in the final season of a two-year contract that was fully guaranteed for $3 million this season. New York needed to open a roster spot to make room for [Joakim] Noah, who will return from a suspension for the use of a banned substance on Monday against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Noah served the final 12 games of the 20-game suspension this season. It was originally issued in late March.”

Pelicans waive Josh Smith

Pelicans waive Josh Smith

The New Orleans Pelicans have waived forward Josh Smith.

Smith, 6-9, 225, was originally signed by New Orleans on October 28.

It’s unclear if Smith will be back in the NBA. He’s only 31 but his game appears to be in serious decline.

The Pelicans roster currently stands at 17, including two two-way players.

Chris Paul Rockets return should be soon

The Rockets (9-3) have been one of the best teams in the NBA this season, and they’ll soon have Chris Paul, who has played just one game for them so far, back in the mix. Here’s the Houston Chronicle reporting:

Chris Paul may return for Rockets in near future

Rockets guard Chris Paul remains out for the Rockets, but looked significantly closer to a return as he joined the team for Friday’s light practice.

The practice was not much of a test of his readiness to return, still not projected until next week. Friday’s practice between games and before a back-to-back was more of a walk-through than a full practice and not as much of a test as his workouts have been.

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Joakim Noah suspension will soon end

The Knicks have a frontcourt logjam that is about to be further complicated by the return from suspension of center Joakim Noah. Production-wise, he’s been a disappointment. Salary-wise, he’s too well-paid to keep on the bench. What to do? Here’s the New York Post:

Joakim Noah suspension will soon end

Joakim Noah doesn’t know how much or if he’ll play with the club’s center glut, but he’s delighted his drug suspension is about to end.

Noah will miss his 12th and final game Saturday when the Knicks host the Kings, then be back on the 15-man roster for a Monday home game against the Cavaliers.

The Knicks will then have four centers vying for playing time – unless they trade one of them by Sunday night. The Knicks have gauged backup Kyle O’Quinn’s trade value across the first 11 games and it’s increased because of his solid play as Enes Kanter’s backup. After the Bucks traded center Greg Monroe for Eric Bledsoe, it’s been reported they are looking for another reserve center.

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Celtics TV ratings are up

The Celtics are winning both on the court and in the TV ratings world. Here is Boston.com reporting:

The Celtics aren’t just winning a lot of basketball games – nine in a row entering Wednesday’s matchup with the Lakers. They’re also winning over fans, who have gravitated to this thoroughly entertaining team rapidly and in large numbers despite the offseason trade of popular Isaiah Thomas and the injury to star free agent Gordon Hayward on opening night.

NBC Sports Boston carried nine of the Celtics’ 10 games before Wednesday. Compared to the same span a season ago, household viewership is up 139 percent overall. Among men, it is up 193 percent, and viewership among adults is up 188 percent over the same period in 2016-17.

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Jayson Tatum injury update

There’s relatively good news on the Celtics injury front. Here is NESN reporting:

Boston Celtics fans can exhale a bit. Celtics rookie forward Jayson Tatum, who’s played very well in a starting role through the first 12 games of the season, was ruled out for the second half of Wednesday night’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers because of right ankle soreness. The C’s announced Thursday night that MRI results came back negative.

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Knicks face roster decision

Somebody from the Knicks will either be cut or traded soon. For more on this, here’s the New York Post:

Knicks general manager Scott Perry admits he has a big roster decision “looming’’ as center Joakim Noah returns Monday after his 12-game drug suspension is over, indicating a trade is still possible.

The Knicks have to remove someone from the roster to make room for Noah, whom they apparently have no choice but to keep for now because of his four-year, $72 million contract. If a player is waived, point guard Ramon Sessions is a strong candidate. Perry hardly gave him a vote of confidence Wednesday.

“We know that is looming,’’ Perry said before the Knicks’ 112-99 loss to the Magic. “We’re going to have to address the roster. We’ve been working through the process for a few weeks. By Sunday at 5 p.m., there’ll be a resolution one way or another. Whether it’s a trade or waive an individual.’’

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Al Horford enters concussion protocol

Al Horford enters concussion protocol

The Boston Celtics, who after losing the first two games of the regular season are on a nine-game winning streak, will be without Al Horford as they face the Lakers tonight.

The team announced today that Horford will be out tonight, after entering the NBA’s concussion protocol.

Horford’s first symptoms linking him to a possible concussion occurred this morning (Nov. 8). Initially struck in the head on a foul called in the second quarter of Boston’s Nov. 6 contest at Atlanta, Horford did not experience any concussion-like symptoms during the game nor immediately following.

He will continue to be monitored as he progresses through concussion protocol.

This season for the Celtics, Horford is averaging 14.6 points, 9.2 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game. His shooting has been outstanding: 53.1% FG, and 47.4% from three-point range.

The Pistons have been one of the league’s early-season surprise success stories. They’re playing very solid basketball and have been a team to watch in the East. Here’s Michigan Live reporting on changes their offense has undergone:

Throughout his extensive head coaching career that includes more than 800 NBA games, Stan Van Gundy was obsessed with the pick-and-roll offense. He estimates he’s utilized it 90 percent of the time.

Getting out of his comfort zone wasn’t easy. But changes were needed following the Detroit Pistons’ disappointing 2016-17 season.

So, Van Gundy switched to a motion offense, where center Andre Drummond is the hub, and everyone is involved. The early results have been promising. The Pistons are 7-3 heading into Wednesday’s game against the Indiana Pacers at Little Caesars Arena (7 p.m., Fox Sports Detroit).

“I think it is the best way for us to play and it’s just going to take time to get better at it and being committed to it,” Van Gundy said. “I think everybody likes the fact that everybody is involved. There’s nobody standing around. I think we got unselfish people. I think our guys are not guys who need shots, but I think it’s natural that everybody wants to feel like they’re involved in the game and their hands get on the ball.

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