Archive for the ‘ News ’ Category

Nicolas Batum out with hyperextended knee

Charlotte Hornets guard Nicolas Batum underwent a Magnetic Resonance Image (MRI) today which confirmed the previous diagnosis of a hyperextended right knee. The MRI also showed that Batum withstood no structural damage to his knee.

Batum will be out for Charlotte’s game tomorrow at San Antonio and his status moving forward will be day-to-day. He suffered the injury with 4:48 remaining in the third quarter of the Hornets game at Detroit last night.

The 6-8 shooting guard is averaging career highs of 15.1 points and 5.8 assists per game, along with 7.4 rebounds per game in 36 appearances (all starts) in the 2016-17 season. In nine seasons, Batum holds career averages of 11.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game in 587 contests (534 starts).

Cavaliers and Trail Blazers trade draft picks

The Portland Trail Blazers have acquired an unprotected first round draft pick from the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for a 2018 first round pick, it was announced today by president of basketball operations Neil Olshey.

The 2018 pick sent to Cleveland was originally acquired from the Cavaliers along with Anderson Varejao in exchange for a future second round selection on Feb. 18, 2016.

Portland now holds two first round selections in the 2017 NBA Draft.

Mavericks waive Pierre Jackson

Mavericks waive Pierre Jackson

The Dallas Mavericks have requested waivers on guard Pierre Jackson.

Jackson (5-11, 176) was originally signed by the Mavericks on December 27 and made his NBA debut that night against the Houston Rockets where he registered 7 points, 2 assists and 1 rebound in 11 minutes of action. Jackson averaged 3.0 points, 1.8 assists and 7.1 minutes in his 4 games with Dallas.

The Texas Legends call-up had appeared in 10 games (all starts) for the Mavericks’ D-League affiliate this season. He averaged 29.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 1.9 steals and 35.7 minutes per game while in Frisco.

Jackson holds career D-League averages of 25.9 points, 3.6 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 1.7 steals and 36.9 minutes in 49 games (37 starts) with the Idaho Stampede and Texas Legends. On Feb. 4, 2014, he set the D-League single-game scoring record with 58 points against the Legends (Jordan McRae later broke it with a 61-point game in January 2016 and Russ Smith topped that with 65-point night in March 2016). Jackson was named to the Futures All-Star roster for the 2014 NBA D-League All-Star Game.

Long Island Nets add R.J. Hunter

Long Island Nets add R.J. Hunter

The Long Island Nets, the NBA Development League affiliate of the Brooklyn Nets, have acquired guard R.J. Hunter off waivers.

Hunter (6’5”, 185) appeared in three games for the Chicago Bulls this season before being waived on December 29. In 39 career NBA games with Boston (2015-16) and Chicago (2016), Hunter recorded averages of 2.5 points and 1.0 rebounds in 8.3 minutes per contest. He has also appeared in 13 NBA D-League games between Boston’s affiliate, the Maine Red Claws, and Chicago’s affiliate, the Windy City Bulls, averaging 15.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.9 steals in 32.2 minutes per game. Hunter was originally selected by the Boston Celtics with the 28th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.

Matt Bonner retires, joins Spurs TV broadcast team as a studio analyst

The San Antonio Spurs announced today that former Spurs forward Matt Bonner will join the TV broadcast team as a studio analyst. Bonner will team up with Andrew Monaco in the studio for all Spurs produced home broadcasts and select road contests. The Spurs host the Milwaukee Bucks at the AT&T Center on Tuesday, Jan. 10 and Bonner will make his Spurs TV debut on FOX Sports Southwest’s “Spurs Live” pre-game show at 7 p.m.

In addition to his pre and post-game show duties, the two-time NBA Champion will have a presence on Spurs digital properties.

Nuggets waive Alonzo Gee

Nuggets waive Alonzo Gee

The Denver Nuggets have waived forward Alonzo Gee, it was announced today by General Manager and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly.

Gee, 6-6, 225, signed with Denver on Nov. 16, 2016, appearing in 13 games and averaging 1.1 rebounds in 6.9 minutes. The seven-year NBA veteran has appeared in 417 career games (213 starts) for Washington, San Antonio, Cleveland, Portland, New Orleans and Denver posting averages of 6.6 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 21.8 minutes.

NBL boss Larry Kestelman will fly to the United States next month to ramp up discussions with NBA officials about Australian teams playing pre-season games in the US.

In an exclusive interview with The Daily Telegraph, Kestelman confirmed his ambitious proposal for the NBL to take on the NBA’s best was well advanced.

His goal is for teams like Sydney and Melbourne to play pre-season matches against some of the NBA’s biggest franchises.

“We are having dialogue with the NBA and I won’t rest until we see the Sydney Kings playing the Warriors or the Chicago Bulls,” Kestelman said.

– Daily Telegraph

The Utah Jazz vs Cleveland Cavaliers home game on Tuesday, Jan. 10 will be broadcast live in virtual reality, as part of NBA Digital and NextVR’s season-long initiative to deliver weekly games in VR through NBA LEAGUE PASS.

This programming marks the first regular schedule of live games delivered in VR by a professional sports league.

The VR broadcasts are fully produced with dedicated announcers, multiple unmanned camera angles and optimized graphics. Game breaks are filled with in-venue entertainment, behind-the-scenes footage from the arena and VR-specific commentary.

“The Utah Jazz are excited to be featured in two virtual reality broadcasts by the NBA this season,” said Utah Jazz President Steve Starks. “We support the NBA’s drive forward in VR innovation and the capability of giving our global fan base courtside seats for Jazz games through technology.”

For local viewers, the VR broadcast of Utah-Cleveland game will be blacked out. More information on the NBA LEAGUE PASS VR Game of the Week is available at http://www.nba.com/vr.

The Utah Jazz game at Oklahoma City on Feb. 28 is also on the NBA VR broadcast schedule.

Sixers waive Hollis Thompson

The Philadelphia 76ers waived Hollis Thompson today.

Thompson appeared in 31 games this season and averaged six points, three rebounds and one assist in 18 minutes per game.

Thompson was originally signed by the Sixers on September 24, 2013 and appeared in 256 games (82 starts), posting averages of eight points, three rebounds and one assist on 42% shooting from the field in 24 minutes per game.

With the move, the Sixers roster currently stands at 14 players.

Sixers center Joel Embiid and Pelicans guard Buddy Hield today were named the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month, respectively, for games played in December.

Embiid, 22, the third pick in NBA Draft 2014, led all rookies in scoring (19.8 ppg), rebounding (6.8 rpg) and blocked shots (2.40 bpg) in December. He also attempted a rookie-high 73 free throws in 10 games, hitting 78.1 percent. The 7-foot center scored 23 or more points in four of his last five games during the month, highlighted by a career-high 33-point performance to go with 10 rebounds in a 108-107 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Dec. 18.

Hield, 23, the sixth pick in NBA Draft 2016, led West rookies in scoring (10.6 ppg) and three-point field goal percentage (47.8) and topped all first-year players in three-pointers made (33). The 6-4 guard scored in double figures nine times in 16 games, including 12 or more points in each of the final three games of December (a 3-0 stretch for New Orleans). On Dec. 15, Hield set career highs with 21 points and five three-pointers in a 102-95 victory against the Indiana Pacers.

Other nominees for the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month were Brooklyn’s Isaiah Whitehead, Dallas’ Dorian Finney-Smith, Denver’s Jamal Murray, Memphis’ Andrew Harrison, Milwaukee’s Malcolm Brogdon, Philadelphia’s Dario Saric and Phoenix’s Marquese Chriss.

Wizards guard John Wall and Rockets guard James Harden today were named the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month, respectively, for games played in December.

Wall led the Eastern Conference in assists (10.7 apg) and steals (2.67 spg) and ranked fifth in scoring (24.5 ppg) as the Wizards (10-5) posted their first 10-win month since December 2014. The reigning Eastern Conference Player of the Week was one of only three players to average a point-assist double-double in December, joining Harden and the LA Clippers’ Chris Paul. Wall, who scored a career-high 52 points in a 124-116 loss to the Orlando Magic on Dec. 6, shot 49.1 percent from the field and 81.4 percent from the free throw line for the month.

Harden led the league in assists (12.0 apg) and ranked fourth in scoring (28.3 ppg) as the Rockets (15-2) tied a franchise record for wins in a month and outscored their opponents by an average of 12.9 points per game. He became the first player in NBA history with at least 50 points, 15 rebounds and 15 assists in a game when scored a career-high 53 points, equaled a career best with 17 assists and grabbed a Rockets-season-high 16 rebounds in a 129-122 win over the New York Knicks on Dec. 31, one of his five triple-doubles in December. Harden added 9.1 rebounds and 1.53 steals while shooting 45.2 percent from the field and 85.9 percent from the free throw line.

Other nominees for Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month were Boston’s Isaiah Thomas, Cleveland’s LeBron James, Golden State’s Kevin Durant, Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, New Orleans’ Anthony Davis, Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook, Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins, San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard and Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry.

Hornets waive Aaron Harrison

Charlotte Hornets General Manager Rich Cho announced today that the team has waived guard Aaron Harrison.

Harrison (6-6, 212, Kentucky) was originally signed by the Hornets on July 14, 2015. The Kentucky product appeared in 26 games over two seasons with Charlotte, including two playoff outings in 2016.

Charlotte’s roster now stands at 14.

Pelicans sign Donatas Motiejunas

Pelicans sign Donatas Motiejunas

The New Orleans Pelicans signed free agent forward/center Donatas Motiejunas (pronounciation: doh-NAH-tahs moe-tee-YOU-nus) today.

Motiejunas, 7-0, 222, played for the Houston Rockets from 2012-16. In 214 career regular season games, the Lithuanian native holds averages of 7.8 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 19.0 minutes per game. He was set to return to the Rockets this season but the two sides were unable to work things out.

Motiejunas will wear number #12 for the Pelicans.

The team’s roster currently stands at 15 players.

Jimmy Butler scores 52 points against Hornets

The embodiment of the Eastern Conference was on full display at the United Center, as the Bulls and Charlotte Hornets are a little closer to finding out who they are but the difference between good and mediocre is slim.

So slim Dwyane Wade’s absence didn’t tilt the pendulum even more to the Hornets’ direction as they came in with confidence from a win last week, but the tables were turned in a big way.

An unexpected energy boost helped them early and their remaining star closed the night as Jimmy Butler pulled off yet another miracle at the United Center, scoring 27 of his season-high 52 points in the second half to help the Bulls to a 118-111 win over the Hornets Monday night.

Jumper after jumper, most in the face of defensive stopper Nic Batum, Butler did virtually everything in the fourth—and even reached the 50-point plateau for the second time in his career thanks to Hornets coach Steve Clifford picking up a technical late with Butler hitting the free throw.

– CSN Chicago

Quick Take: Butler shot 15-24 FG and 21-22 FT for 52 points, 12 rebounds, six assists, one block and three steals. In general, though, the Bulls are struggling these days. They’re 17-18, but the biggest issue right now is point guard Rajon Rondo, who had been a starter but lately spends entire games sitting on the bench. He played 11 minutes Friday, zero minutes Saturday and zero minutes last night. What will happen with him is unclear.

The Charlotte Hornets announced today that center Cody Zeller has been placed in the NBA’s concussion protocol. Zeller was hit with an elbow to the head late in the fourth quarter of Charlotte’s game against Cleveland on Dec. 31, 2016.

Per the NBA’s Concussion Policy, Zeller will begin the process to return once he is deemed symptom free. No timetable is set for his return and further updates will be provided when available.

The fourth-year Indiana product is averaging 10.7 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.1 blocks on 59.5% field goal shooting in 26.1 minutes per game, marking career-highs in all categories. Zeller has played in 31 games for Charlotte this season (starting in 29 of those contests).

Pelicans waive Reggie Williams

The New Orleans Pelicans waived guard/forward Reggie Williams today.

Williams, 6-6, 210, was originally signed by the Pelicans on Dec. 10, 2016. In five games, Williams averaged 5.0 points and 1.2 rebounds in 12.6 minutes per contest.

The Pelicans’ roster currently stands at 14.

James Harden gets 53-point triple-double

As often as James Harden had given the Rockets whatever they needed, part of the magic was knowing just what was required at any given time.

On Saturday against the Knicks, that was obvious.

They needed everything.

They needed more points than any Rockets player had ever scored in a triple-double, more points than he had ever scored in a game, and then they still needed more.

When he was through, Harden became the first player in NBA history with 50 points, 15 rebounds and 15 assists in a game, driving the Rockets to a 129-122 win at Toyota Center.

With that, the Rockets went 15-2 in December, matching their most wins ever in a month. They sent it out in style.

Harden had a career-high 53 points, and matched his career high with 17 assists. His 16 rebounds were one shy of matching the most in his career.

Houston Chronicle

Bulls bench Rajon Rondo

Bulls bench Rajon Rondo

Rajon Rondo stood for plenty of moments during the Bulls’ 116-96 beating at the hands of the Milwaukee Bucks, the first full game of his benching after sitting the entire second half Friday night against the Pacers.

The Bulls guard stood at his locker moments later, candidly and honestly answering questions from the media about his future — one that seems to be in doubt some 30 games into his first season as a Bull.

“Absolutely,” said Rondo when asked if he accomplished enough in the NBA for the Bulls to accommodate him on a trade or some transaction to allow him to seek another team should the benching continue.

“Gar (Forman, Bulls GM) and I will have a talk. We’ll talk tonight and go from there. I don’t know if it’s right now, maybe the next 30, 18, 45 minutes. Tonight, before ’17 (the clock strikes midnight).”

By then, one wonders if the Bulls and Rondo will be working on a buyout to free him from the remainder of his contract — one that includes a $3 million buyout that has to be exercised before next July.

“No, I’m not surprised. Not surprised,” Rondo said. “It’s been a tough season. Certain buttons are being pushed and the Bulls are trying to figure things out.”\

CSN Chicago

Quick Take: This is now a common theme with Rondo. If he can’t succeed alongside the likes of Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler, it’s hard to guess who he’d fit in with at this point.

Russell Westbrook gets amazingly fast triple-double

Jim Tucker was popping champagne Saturday night, and not just because it was New Year’s Eve. The 1950s NBAer cult-famous for owning the title of “fastest man to record a triple-double in an NBA game” can rest easy after Oklahoma City’s 114-88 demolition of the L.A. Clippers.

Russell Westbrook forced him to wait nearly until 2017, though.

Westbrook finished with 17 points, 12 rebounds and 14 assists in the win. And more impressively, the rebound he pulled down with under a minute to go in the second quarter gave him a triple-double for the game. He had played only 18 minutes, 42 seconds at that point, about a minute off Tucker’s record for the quickest triple-double ever.

“He really played an incredible floor game,” coach Billy Donovan said. “And I thought he did an incredible job, not even necessarily having to rely on his scoring, but he did a great job in terms of setting everybody else up.”

Tucker went for 12 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists on Feb. 20, 1955.

Norman Transcript

Quick Take: Westbrook is having one of the best seasons in modern basketball history. He’s a basketball wrecking crew, and a must-watch player every night. And one of the top stories of the season.

nba blog

Bucks guard Matthew Dellavedova injured his right hamstring in the team’s victory over the Detroit Pistons Wednesday and will miss the next two games, coach Jason Kidd said after the team’s shootaround Friday at the Target Center.

Kidd said rookie Malcolm Brogdon will start Friday against the Timberwolves, marking his first NBA start after coming off the bench in the Bucks’ first 30 games.

“I don’t think it’s a big deal,” Brogdon said of being in the starting lineup. “When someone goes down, the next man has to step up. Delly can’t be replaced (with) what he brings to the team, his unselfishness.

– Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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