Archive for the ‘ News ’ Category

Detroit (14-6) is off to its best 20-game start since the 2007-08 season. Here are some notes about the current No. 2 team in the Eastern Conference entering Friday’s game against Washington:

The Pistons rank seventh in the NBA in offensive rating after finishing 25th last season.

Leading scorer Tobias Harris (19.1 ppg) is averaging 2.9 three-pointers per game – more than double his career high – and shooting 46.7 percent from beyond the arc, also well above his career high. He was a career 33.2 percent three-point shooter when the season began.

Behind Harris and guards Avery Bradley, Langston Galloway and Reggie Jackson, the Pistons are third in the NBA in three-point field goal accuracy at 39.1 percent. Last season, they ranked 28th at 33.0 percent.

Detroit is also making nearly four more three-pointers per game than last season, improving to ninth (11.4) from 27th (7.7) in that category.

NBA rebounding leader Andre Drummond (14.3 ppg, 15.2 rpg) is shooting 63.0 percent from the free throw line. He entered the season with a career mark of 38.1 percent.

Stan Van Gundy needs two wins to become the sixth active head coach with 500 career victories.

– NBA Newsletter

Hassan Whiteside out with knee injury

The Miami HEAT announced today that center Hassan Whiteside will begin rehab immediately due to a left knee bone bruise. The rehab process will include a strength and conditioning program over the next one-to-two weeks.

Whiteside has appeared in 15 games this season averaging 14.9 points, 12.7 rebounds, 1.60 blocks, 1.07 steals and 26.8 minutes while shooting 58.1 percent from the field. Among league leaders, he ranks third in rebounding average and tied for ninth in blocks per game.

Terrence Ross out with multiple injuries

After further evaluation, including an MRI, Orlando Magic guard/forward Terrence Ross has been diagnosed with a sprained right medial collateral ligament (MCL) and a non-displaced fracture of his right tibial plateau, President of Basketball Operations Jeff Weltman announced. Ross suffered the injury at the 4:38 mark of the second quarter during last night’s victory over Oklahoma City.

He will be out indefinitely and miss a significant amount of time. His return to play will depend on how the injury heals and how he responds to treatment.

Ross (6’7”, 206, 2/5/91) has played in all 22 games this season for Orlando (20 starts), averaging 9.0 ppg., 3.2 rpg., 1.6 apg. and 1.23 stlpg. in 26.2 minpg. He has scored in double figures nine times and had 20+ points once, including a season-high 22 points on Nov. 22 @ Minnesota.

Joe Johnson injury update

Joe Johnson injury update

The following is a team medical update on Jazz forward Joe Johnson:

Johnson re-consulted with a hand specialist on Tuesday and is showing progress to make a return. He will be reevaluated in two weeks. Further updates will be provided when appropriate.

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.

Pontiac Silverdome is being demolished

Any NBA or Detroit Pistons fans who have been around for a while know the Pontiac Silverdome. The Pistons called the Silverdome home from the late 1970’s through the late 1980’s. Well, that venue will soon be just a memory. Here’s the Detroit News reporting:

Plans are set for the public viewing and farewell for the demolition of the Pontiac Silverdome, which is scheduled to begin on Sunday.

The implosion at 8:30 a.m. will be the first phase in a yearlong demolition of the 400,000-square-foot former home of the Detroit Lions.

There will be a public parking and viewing area for the demolition at the Oakland County Water Resource Commission site at 155 N. Opdyke. Vehicles must be parked by 8:15 a.m.

Full article

Former NBA player Ben Gordon has been going through some things in 2017. There have been several incidents this year. Here’s TMZ Sports reporting the latest:

Ben Gordon reportedly arrested in Los Angeles

Ex-NBA player Ben Gordon was arrested in L.A. Monday afternoon — after allegedly roughing up a guy at an apartment building … and leaving with several thousand dollars of his money, TMZ Sports has learned.

Law enforcement sources tell us … the 34-year-old went to the apartment complex where he used to live in an effort to get his security deposit back. We’re told there was a dispute about the money and Gordon allegedly put hands on the guy and threatened him.

Full article

Grizzlies fire head coach David Fizdale

Memphis Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace today announced that the organization has relieved David Fizdale of his head coaching duties. Grizzlies associate head coach J.B. Bickerstaff has been named interim head coach.

Fizdale was named the 13th head coach in franchise history on May 29, 2016 and compiled a 50-51 record (.495) during his two seasons in Memphis, including a 7-12 record (.368) this season.

“After a thorough evaluation, I decided a change in course was necessary to move forward and provide the team and organization its best chance at success this season and beyond,” Wallace said. “Coach Fizdale represented the Grizzlies and City of Memphis proudly, and we wish him well as he continues his career.”

“Coach Fizdale worked tirelessly to achieve on-court success, and for that, we are grateful. We wish him and his family all the best in the future,” Grizzlies Controlling Owner Robert J. Pera said. “We remain focused on achieving sustainable, long-term success.”

Before joining the Grizzlies as associate head coach in June 2016, Bickerstaff served five seasons (2011-16) with the Houston Rockets, originally as an assistant coach and then as interim head coach, guiding the Rockets to a 37-34 record (.521) to close the 2015-16 season with a berth in the 2016 NBA Playoffs. His previous NBA coaching experience also includes four seasons (2007-11) as an assistant coach with the Minnesota Timberwolves and three seasons (2004-07) as an assistant coach with the Charlotte Bobcats under his father, Bernie Bickerstaff.

Steve ‘Snapper’ Jones has died

Steve “Snapper” Jones, former Portland Trail Blazers player, team announcer and later NBA broadcaster, has passed away in Houston at age 75. Family members and friends confirmed Jones’ death this evening following a lengthy illness. Funeral services will be announced soon by the Jones family.

Jones played 64 games in a Trail Blazers uniform during the 1975-76 season, averaging 6.5 points per game in what would be his final year as a player. He was acquired by the Trail Blazers in October of 1975 for a sixth-round draft pick from the Golden State Warriors. The bulk of his pro career was spent in the American Basketball Association (ABA) where Jones was a three-time ABA All-Star and played for five franchises, including the San Antonio Spurs and Denver Rockets (now Nuggets) – both now teams in the NBA. His nine-year ABA/NBA pro career spanned 704 games, with an impressive 15.2 points per game average.

In more recent years, Jones carved a successful career as an NBA broadcaster, including providing color commentary for CBS Television when the Trail Blazers defeated the Philadelphia 76ers to win the 1977 NBA Championship. His broadcasting resume included work for ESPN/ABC, TBS, TNT, Fox Sports Net, USA Network and NBC, where he was an analyst for the “NBA on NBC” for more than a decade. Jones was also part of numerous Trail Blazers broadcasting tandems, including Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame honoree Bill Schonely.

“Steve was as positive and good-natured a broadcasting partner as I could have had,” said Schonely of Jones, who would be a broadcasting fixture with the Trail Blazers for 26 years. “He loved to call me ‘Pops’ as a nickname, and we worked very well together on Trail Blazers games during some of the early years of the franchise. He was a terrific guy.”

In March 2012, Jones was honored at center court of the then Rose Garden arena (now Moda Center) by the Trail Blazers for his years of service to the franchise as a player and broadcaster. Among his Trail Blazers broadcasting partners along with Schonely were Pat Lafferty, Pete Pranica, Mike Rice and Mike Barrett. Jones moved to Houston in 2008 where he resided until his death.

As a collegiate player, Jones played for the University of Oregon from 1961-64, leading the team in scoring during the 1963-64 season. Born in Alexandria, Louisiana, but raised in Portland, Jones was a standout player locally at Franklin High School, leading his squad to an Oregon state championship in 1959. His younger brother Nick Jones, also a highly-touted player at Franklin and later Oregon, played for the Golden State Warriors and was a member of the Trail Blazers Community Relations staff for several years.

Celtics basketball is a beautiful thing this season. And the magic continued, err, against the Magic. Here’s ESPN.com reporting on the outcome of Friday’s matchup:

Before Friday’s visit to play the Boston Celtics, Orlando Magic coach Frank Vogel offered high praise for Boston big man Al Horford, calling him maybe the “most underrated guy in the league.” Then, his poor Magic team got a reminder of why Horford earned those plaudits.

Horford matched a career high by dishing out 10 assists, seven of which came in the first quarter, as the Celtics bucked their season-long trend of slow starts during a 118-103 triumph over the Magic at TD Garden.

Kyrie Irving scored a game-high 30 points over just 25 minutes, and Terry Rozier snapped out of a recent shooting funk to score a career-best 23 points off the bench. But it was Horford who set the tone after Celtics coach Brad Stevens subtly reminded his team that ball movement would be key to Boston’s avoiding the first-half lulls that plagued the Celtics even during their recent 16-game winning streak.

Full article

Jazz correct pronunciation of Ekpe Udoh

Jazz correct pronunciation of Ekpe Udoh

The Jazz have announced that the accurate pronunciation of Jazz forward/center Ekpe Udoh’s last name is “OO-Doe.” Many listings had the pronunciation as “YOU-Doe.”

Here are other pronunciation guides for other Jazz players:

Danté Exum (DAHN-tay x-umm)
Rudy Gobert (go-BARE)
Joe Ingles (ING-uhls)
Raul Neto (Hah-OOL Nett-oh)
Thabo Sefolosha (TAH-bo sef-a-LOW-sha)
Ekpe Udoh (EPP-ay OO-Doe)

Delon Wright out with shoulder injury

Delon Wright out with shoulder injury

Toronto Raptors guard Delon Wright visited specialist Dr. Riley Williams at the Hospital for Special Surgery on Wednesday in New York. After consultation with Williams, it was decided no surgery is required at this time, the team announced.

Wright will continue his rehabilitation with team medical officials. There is no timetable for Wright’s return, but updates will be provided when appropriate.

Wright’s right shoulder was dislocated in the second quarter of a game at New Orleans on Nov. 15th. He had surgery on the same shoulder in August, 2016 after sustaining an injury during an NBA Summer League game in Las Vegas.

The 25-year-old guard has averaged 7.6 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 20.9 minutes this season for the Toronto Raptors.

Patrick Beverley undergoes season-ending surgery

The L.A. Clippers today announced that guard Patrick Beverley underwent an arthroscopic lateral meniscus repair, and a microfracture procedure, on his right knee. The surgery was performed by Dr. Walt Lowe at the Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, in Houston.

Beverley is expected to miss the remainder of the 2017-18 NBA season.

Beverley, 29, has appeared in 11 games for the Clippers this season, averaging 12.2 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.73 steals in 30.3 minutes per game.

“The hits just keep rolling,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “That’s a tough one because you could see him trying to get back. He plays the one game and then his knee was really bothering him. We sent him back to have a look at it and he ended up having surgery, where we thought it would just be the meniscus. It turned out to be a lot more. So he’s out for the season. We just want him to get healthy.”

The New York Knicks have hired Dan Sabreen as vice president of public relations, effective November 27. Mr. Sabreen joins the Knicks after spending more than a decade at CBS Sports, where he most recently served as VP of communications.

As vice president, Mr. Sabreen will serve as the Knicks chief communications strategist with oversight of all public relations activities for the team. He will be responsible for developing and executing communications plans for all announcements; working closely with the team’s management, coaching staff and players on media appearances; driving proactive publicity efforts focused on non-traditional media outlets and collaborating with marketing on the creation of compelling content for social media.

Mr. Sabreen will also manage the execution of game-night operations for media, as well as alumni relations. He will oversee a seasoned public relations staff.

“We are thrilled to have someone of Dan’s caliber joining our communications team,” said Steve Mills, president of the New York Knickerbockers. “Dan brings 15 years of experience in guiding and promoting some of sports’ most well-known properties. His relationships, along with his keen understanding of media will be a valuable addition as we continue to seek opportunities to build on the New York Knicks’ legendary brand.”

Mr. Sabreen joins the Knicks after 12 years at CBS Sports. Most recently, as vice president of communications, he was responsible for helping to oversee publicity efforts for all CBS Sports properties, including broadcast, cable and social media.

Before joining CBS Sports Network (then CSTV) in 2005, Mr. Sabreen oversaw public relations for Sports America, Inc., where he led media relations strategy for the company and its various events and properties, including the McDonald’s All-American Games, Jordan Brand Classic and Aflac All-American High School Baseball Classic.

He started his career in 2002 as an account executive at the public relations agency, Goodman Media International, Inc.

Mr. Sabreen graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication.

John Henson undergoes eye procedure

Milwaukee Bucks center John Henson will miss tomorrow’s game at Phoenix following a successful eye procedure this morning in Chicago by Dr. Parag Majmudar. Henson is scheduled to join the team later this week in preparation for Saturday’s game in Salt Lake City against the Utah Jazz.

In 16 games (9 starts) this season, Henson is averaging 6.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.6 blocked shots in 22.5 minutes per game.

Mirza Teletovic out after knee surgery

Milwaukee Bucks forward Mirza Teletovic underwent successful arthroscopic surgery today to repair cartilage in his left knee. The surgery was performed by Dr. David Altchek at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York under the supervision of Bucks team physician Dr. William Raasch.

Teletovic is expected to be sidelined for four weeks.

In 10 games this season, Teletovic is averaging 7.1 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.0 assist in 15.9 minutes per game while shooting 46.7 percent from 3-point range.

The Bucks are 8-8 this season: 5-4 at home and 3-4 on the road. They’d being led in scoring by Giannis Antetokounmpo (29.7 ppg), Khris Middleton (18.7 ppg), Malcolm Brogdon (13.1 ppg) and recent backcourt addition Eric Bledsoe (12.2 ppg in six games as a Buck).

Tim Hardaway Jr dealing with foot issue

Injuries are the worst. The NBA is at its best when everybody is healthy. But real life happens. Tim Hardaway Jr is active tonight as the Knicks host the Clippers but he’s playing through a foot issue, and it’s not yet clear how he’ll be affected in the coming days or weeks. Here’s the New York Daily News reporting:

It sounds like Tim Hardaway Jr. is suffering from plantar fasciitis in his left foot – an ailment that has derailed entire seasons in the NBA — but he opted Monday to play through the pain.

Cautioning that he wasn’t a doctor, coach Jeff Hornacek said Hardaway’s injury “is probably similar” to plantar fasciitis given its symptoms. He also understands that the pain could get worse for New York’s $71 million investment.

“We’ll have to see. I’ll see how he responds after playing (Monday), after having a couple days off,” Hornacek said. “Hopefully he gets through the game and comes in tomorrow and says, ‘Oh yeah, okay, it didn’t get worse. It might be getting a little better.’ We just have to play that by ear.”

Full article

Nuggets coach Michael Malone suspended

Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone has been suspended one game without pay for entering the court, halting play and making contact with a game official, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The incident occurred with 6:20 remaining in the second quarter of Denver’s 127-109 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Nov. 19 at Staples Center.

Malone will serve his suspension tonight when the Nuggets face the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Arena.

The NBA also rescinded the ejection fine given to Nuggets’ center Nikola Jokic, who properly received a technical foul for his actions but should not have been ejected from the game.

J.J. Barea receives October NBA Cares Community Assist Award

Dallas Mavericks guard J.J. Barea has received the October NBA Cares Community Assist Award in recognition of his continuous relief efforts in Puerto Rico following devastation caused by Hurricane Maria, the NBA announced today.

The award recognizes an NBA player each month who best reflects the passion that the league and its players share for giving back to their communities.

Kaiser Permanente and the NBA are honoring Barea for his work to immediately initiate aid for Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. Coordinating five trips to the territory where he was born and raised, Barea used the Mavericks’ team plane, with help from owner Mark Cuban, to personally deliver much-needed supplies in the days after the hurricane. Working with partners in North Texas, Barea has provided more than 100,000 pounds of supplies to the island, including 32 generators, 14,000 pounds of water, 10,000 pounds of food and 3,000 pounds of medical supplies, diapers, clothing, cleaning products and toiletries on the first trip alone.

Barea also launched a fundraiser on YouCaring.com for families affected by the hurricane that has raised more than $250,000, and personally raised nearly $500,000. Additionally, he worked with the Mavericks to donate 100 percent of all single-game ticket sales from their Oct. 25 game against the Memphis Grizzlies to Puerto Rico, generating an additional $114,000 for the island’s recovery.

“Puerto Rico is such a small island and I think help is going to be needed there for at least the next year, maybe longer,” said Barea. “This effort is something I will carry with me forever, and anything I can do to help people put things back in order is a must for me.”

Before the Mavericks’ home game against the Boston Celtics tonight, NBA Cares Ambassador Bob Lanier will present the award to Barea during an oncourt ceremony. In addition, Kaiser Permanente and the NBA will donate $10,000 to the J.J. Barea Foundation.

David Lee is retiring from NBA

David Lee had an excellent NBA career. A fun player to watch. Athletic. And big for us is, he cut without the ball, like you’re supposed to do in basketball. He could have kept playing, but apparently felt now was a good time in life to call it a career. Here’s the New York Post reporting:

The former two-time All-Star, Knicks first-round pick and Warriors world champion announced his retirement on Sunday with an Instagram post, saying his 12 seasons in the NBA were over.

“An epic night celebrating my retirement with my friends and family!” the 34-year-old wrote with pictures of the display and his group of revelers. “Thank you to my amazing fiancée [Caroline Wozniacki] for planning the surprise!”

Full article

Markelle Fultz injury update

Philadelphia 76ers guard Markelle Fultz was examined and evaluated today by Dr. Ben Kibler, Medical Director of the Shoulder Center of Kentucky at the Lexington Clinic, for the soreness and scapular muscle imbalance that he has been experiencing in his right shoulder. The soreness is dissipating and the muscle balance is improving, and Fultz will continue with physiotherapy and begin progressing toward full basketball activities. Fultz will be re-evaluated in approximately two to three weeks. His return to gameplay will be determined by how the shoulder responds to progressive basketball training and practices in the interim.

Basketball blog