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Jose Calderon out 2-4 weeks with hamstring strain

Lakers guard Jose Calderon, who was injured in the first quarter of Saturday night’s game in Memphis, was evaluated and had an MRI by team orthopedist Dr. David McAllister of UCLA Health. The results confirmed a right hamstring strain, which is expected to sideline Calderón 2-4 weeks.

In 14 games (nine starts) this season for the Lakers, Calderón is averaging 4.7 points, 2.6 assists, and 2.2 rebounds in 13.9 minutes per game while shooting 41.7% from three-point range.

Grizzlies sign Toney Douglas

Grizzlies sign Toney Douglas

Memphis Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace today announced the team has signed guard Toney Douglas pursuant to the NBA’s hardship rule.

Douglas (6-2, 195) has appeared in 370 regular season games (65 starts) and averaged 7.8 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 19.2 minutes during his seven-year NBA career with the New York Knicks, Houston Rockets, Sacramento Kings, Golden State Warriors, Miami Heat and New Orleans Pelicans.

Most recently, Douglas was a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 2016 preseason roster. He played in 61 games (18 starts) last season with New Orleans and averaged 8.7 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 20.7 minutes while shooting 41.1 percent from the field, 39.9 percent from three-point range and 84.8 percent from the free throw line.

The 30-year-old has competed in 15 playoff games (three starts) with New York and Miami, including a 10-game postseason run with the Heat in 2013-14. During his stint in Miami, Douglas was coached by then-Heat assistant and current Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale.

A native of Jonesboro, Ga., Douglas was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round (29th overall) of the 2009 NBA Draft after his senior season at Florida State University. While with the Knicks, he scored 29 points and made a career-high nine three-pointers against the Grizzlies on March 17, 2011 at Madison Square Garden.

Magic Johnson rejoining ESPN NBA coverage

ESPN today announced that Earvin “Magic” Johnson, the two-time Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer and sports icon, will return to the company and re-join NBA Countdown as a studio analyst this season, first appearing as part of ABC’s Christmas NBA coverage. From there, Johnson will join NBA Countdown pre-game coverage for the NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC series – the NBA’s marquee game of the week, starting Jan. 21, 2017.

Johnson will re-unite with Michael Wilbon, who is also making his return to NBA Countdown as an analyst this season on Saturday nights. They will join Sage Steele, returning for her 4th season as NBA Countdown host, to form the new Saturday trio.

Saturday editions of NBA Countdown begin at 8 p.m. ET and are 30 minutes long, prior to the 8:30 p.m. game broadcast.

InsideHoops.com says: Magic Johnson’s NBA analysis tends to be on the… basic side of things. But he’s famous, likable, a familiar face to the masses, and a basketball legend.

Stan Van Gundy calls out Stanley Johnson“Stan has to become a much better worker and learner,” Pistons president-coach Stan Van Gundy said Friday before Detroit’s game against the Atlanta Hawks (8 p.m., FSD).

“He just does. He’s a great competitor — if you put him on the floor, he’s going to work really, really hard. But he’s got to get better at all the stuff that leads up to going onto the court.”

Van Gundy specifically pointed to practice and off-days, where Johnson, now 20, sometimes puts in less than 100 percent effort compared to his fellow bench counterparts.

“He’s got to be a better practice guy,” Van Gundy said. “He’s got to be a better workout guy. He’s got to be better with all that stuff. Really working to get better. Once he’s out there competing, you don’t have a problem with that. He’ll play as hard as anybody, but he’s got to understand that’s not the whole thing. It’s preparing to play.”

– Michigan Live

Quick Take: In his rookie season (last year) Stanley Johnson played 23.1 minutes per game and averaged 8.1 points and 4.2 rebounds, on just 37.5% shooting. This season, Johnson is playing 14.9 minutes per game and getting just 4.0 points on 41.7% FG. More is expected of him. But as mentioned above, he’s not even 21 years old yet. Plenty of time for improvement.

Jodie Meeks makes debut for Magic

Jodie Meeks makes debut for Magic

Jodie Meeks made his Orlando Magic debut Friday night, giving hope to an offense that ranked last in the NBA in points per possession and last in 3-point shooting percentage.

Coach Frank Vogel subbed Meeks into the Magic’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center at the start of the second quarter.

Vogel expected to play Meeks for a four- or five-minute burst in each half. Meeks made his first shot attempt, a 3-pointer that put Orlando ahead 28-23.

– Orlando Sentinel

Quick Take: The Magic are 7-12 this season through Thursday’s games. Their shooting has been horrible this season. Any help Meeks can provide in that department would be greatly appreciated.

Oklahoma City Blue center Dakari Johnson today was named the NBA Development League Player of the Month for games played in November. The honor, the first of the 2016-17 season, is also the first of Johnson’s NBA D-League career.

Johnson (7-0, Kentucky) led Oklahoma City to a 6-3 record behind averages of 19.7 points, 8.6 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.1 blocked shots (tied for fourth in the NBA D-League). He scored at least 20 points in six games and tallied four point-rebound double-doubles.

On Nov. 26, he recorded 20 points (on 7-for-11 shooting from the field) to go with six rebounds and a career-high five blocks in a 107-104 victory over the Canton Charge. Johnson closed the month by scoring a career-high 28 points, grabbing a season-high-tying 11 rebounds and handing out a season-high five assists in a 117-108 loss to the Los Angeles D-Fenders on Nov. 29.

Other players who received consideration for the monthly award were Austin’s Patricio Garino, Fort Wayne’s Julyan Stone, Grand Rapids’ Ray McCallum and Kevin Murphy, Los Angeles’ Justin Harper, Maine’s Jalen Jones, Westchester’s Chasson Randle and Windy City’s Spencer Dinwiddie.

The Fort Wayne Mad Ants’ Steve Gansey today was named the NBA Development League Coach of the Month for games played in November.

Gansey led Fort Wayne to a 6-0 record in November, the NBA D-League’s only undefeated team for the month. The Mad Ants ranked third in the league in scoring (117.7 ppg) and second in assists (24.5 apg). Gansey oversaw standout performances by Julyan Stone, who led the NBA D-League with 11.2 assists, and Travis Leslie, who paced the team with 19.3 points. On Nov. 27, Fort Wayne erased a nine-point fourth-quarter deficit in a 95-94 victory over the Iowa Energy – the only game in November that the Mad Ants did not score at least 120 points.

Gansey is in his second season as Fort Wayne head coach after posting a 20-30 record last season. He began his coaching career as a Mad Ants assistant from 2009-14, including a stint as interim head coach in the 2011-12 season. Gansey served as the associate head coach for the Canton Charge during the 2014-15 season before returning to Fort Wayne, the NBA D-League affiliate of the Indiana Pacers.

Other coaches who received consideration for the monthly award were Los Angeles’ Coby Karl, Northern Arizona’s Tyrone Ellis, Texas’ Bob Mackinnon and Westchester’s Mike Miller.

Andre Drummond fined for elbowing Roy Hibbert

Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond has been fined $15,000 for striking Charlotte Hornets center Roy Hibbert in the back of the head with an elbow, it was announced yesterday by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The incident, for which Drummond was assessed a Flagrant Foul 2 and ejected, occurred with 4:09 remaining in the second quarter of the Pistons’ 112-89 win over the Hornets on Nov. 29 at Spectrum Center.

To view the incident, click on this link.

The Cleveland Cavaliers’ Tyronn Lue and the Golden State Warriors’ Steve Kerr today were named the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Coaches of the Month, respectively, for games played in October and November.

Lue guided the reigning NBA champion Cavaliers to an Eastern Conference-best 13-3 record during October and November, matching the best 16-game start in franchise history. Cleveland, which began the season with six straight victories, ranked second in the NBA in scoring (111.3 points per game), three-point field goal percentage (39.0) and three-pointers made (13.8 per game). The Cavaliers sank a team-record 21 three-pointers in a 137-125 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Nov. 23.

Kerr led the Warriors to an NBA-best 16-2 record in October and November, including 12 victories in a row entering December. Golden State paced the NBA in scoring (117.6 ppg), assists (31.1 apg), field goal percentage (50.2) and blocked shots (6.6 bpg). The Warriors notched at least 30 assists in 10 consecutive games, the longest streak in franchise history, and they registered a team-record 47 assists in a 149-106 win against the Los Angeles Lakers on Nov. 23.

Other nominees for the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Coaches of the Month were Charlotte’s Steve Clifford, Chicago’s Fred Hoiberg, Houston’s Mike D’Antoni, the LA Clippers’ Doc Rivers, the Lakers’ Luke Walton, Memphis’ David Fizdale, San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich and Toronto’s Dwane Casey.

Kings at Sixers game postponed

The Sixers’ game against the Kings at the Wells Fargo Center has been postponed because of moisture on the court. There was no immediate word on a rescheduled date for the game.

Arena staff members tried using wet mops to fix the issue to no avail.

“The Philadelphia 76ers announced that tonight’s game against the Sacramento Kings has been postponed due to an issue with the surface of the court and with player safety in mind,” the team said in a statement. “Arena officials worked diligently to address the issue, but NBA officials determined that the court was not suitable for play.”

– CSN Philly

Quick Take: The InsideHoops Twitter account decided to get silly as the game started to be in doubt and tweeted “Trust the mopcess.” Unfortunately, the mops were unable to do the job. The best reaction after the non-game was from Sixers center Joel Embiid, who tweeted the following: Well The court was tanking tonight…. #TrustTheProcess

Sixers assign Nerlens Noel to D-League

Sixers assign Nerlens Noel to D-League

The Philadelphia 76ers assigned Nerlens Noel to the Delaware 87ers of the NBA Development League today.

The move is for health reasons. The assignment is part of Noel’s ongoing rehabilitation program for his left knee.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, “the move is similar to what Jerryd Bayless did on Nov. 14 to get in some practice time. The Sixers will host the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night at the Wells Fargo Center. As a result, there won’t be a practice opportunity for Noel. He will practice down there on Wednesday.”

In a related move, the team has recalled Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot from the Sevens.

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.

Xavier Munford named D-League Performer of Week

Xavier Munford of the Greensboro Swarm today was named NBA Development League Performer of the Week for games played Monday, Nov. 21, through Sunday, Nov. 27.

Munford (6-3, 180, Rhode Island) helped Greensboro to a 2-1 week behind averages of 27.7 points (fourth in the league), 4.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.7 steals. On Nov. 21, he scored a season-high 34 points on 13-of-26 shooting to go with three rebounds and three assists in a 116-111 loss to the Delaware 87ers. On Nov. 25, he recorded 26 points on 9-of-14 shooting to go with seven rebounds, four assists and four steals in a 109-88 victory over the Erie BayHawks.

Munford is in his third NBA D-League season and first with Greensboro. He is averaging 22.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.6 steals. Last season, Munford was selected to play in the NBA D-League All-Star Game as a member of the Bakersfield Jam before signing with the Memphis Grizzlies on March 16. He appeared in 14 games with the Grizzlies, averaging 5.7 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists.

Other top performers considered included Canton’s Chris Evans, Iowa’s Wayne Selden Jr., Los Angeles’ Josh Magette, Texas’ Manny Harris and Windy City’s J.J. Avila.

Kevin Love and Kevin Durant named NBA Players of Week

Cavaliers forward Kevin Love and Warriors forward Kevin Durant today were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, Nov. 21 through Sunday, Nov. 27.

Love led the Cavaliers to a 3-0 week behind an East-leading 30.7 points to go with 9.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.3 steals. He connected on 19-of-29 three-point attempts (65.5 percent) and made all 21 of his free-throw attempts. On Nov. 23, he scored a season-high 40 points, grabbed eight rebounds and handed out three assists in a 137-125 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers. Love set an NBA record with 34 first-quarter points, the second-highest total in any quarter in league history.

kevin durant

Durant helped the Warriors to a 4-0 week behind averages of 24.8 points, 8.3 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 2.75 blocked shots (tied for second in the West). He connected on 9-of-18 attempts (50.0 percent) from three-point range. On Nov. 23, he scored 28 points (on 11-for-15 shooting from the field) and added six rebounds and five assists in a 149-106 win over the Los Angeles Lakers. He closed the week with 28 points, 10 rebounds, a career-high six blocks and five assists as Golden State extended its winning streak to 11 games with a 115-102 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Nov. 26.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving and LeBron James, Golden State’s Stephen Curry, Houston’s James Harden, New Orleans’ Anthony Davis, New York’s Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis, Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid, Phoenix’s Eric Bledsoe, Portland’s Damian Lillard, Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins and Toronto’s Kyle Lowry.

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.

Notes from around the NBA

- Chicago Bulls: Coach Fred Hoiberg’s team has won five of its last six games, including a 3-1 start to its six-game road trip. Jimmy Butler scored a season-high 40 points in Sunday’s victory over the Lakers, his eighth consecutive game with at least 20 points.

- Jrue Holiday, Pelicans: New Orleans is 2-0 since his return as Holiday finished with 21 points and seven assists in a win over Portland and 22 points and nine assists in an overtime victory against Charlotte.

- Memphis Grizzlies: Winners of four consecutive games, the Grizzlies held Dallas to 64 points and Minnesota to 71 points in their two most recent victories.

- Jonathan Gibson, Mavericks: The 29-year-old rookie guard scored 26 points against Orlando on Saturday in his second career game, becoming the first undrafted player in 24 years to score that many points in one of his first two games. Gibson, who was signed on Nov. 17, spent last season in China and led Dallas in scoring at Samsung NBA Summer League 2016 in Las Vegas.

- Alan Williams, Suns: The Phoenix native has recorded point-rebound double-doubles in each of his last two games. Like Gibson, the 23-year-old Williams is an undrafted player who starred in China and thrived at Samsung NBA Summer League (where he was the top rebounder in each of the last two years). Williams’ mom, Jeri, was recently sworn in as the first female chief of the Phoenix Police Department.

- Jamal Murray, Nuggets: The rookie guard scored 16 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter in Sunday’s win over the Jazz – which followed a recent 19-point performance against the Trail Blazers.

- Cody Zeller, Hornets: The fourth-year center leads the NBA in field goal percentage at 62.3, up from a career-high 52.9 last season.

– Per NBA News

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.

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.

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