Archive for the ‘ News ’ Category

Report: Blake Griffin needs minor knee surgery

Clippers forward Blake Griffin is expected to undergo a minor knee surgery that will sideline him through the remainder of the month.

News of the surgery, which could allow for a January return, was first reported by Yahoo Sports.
Griffin played in the Clippers’ 117-110 loss to Washington on Sunday, scoring 26 points to go with seven rebounds and seven assists.

– OC Register

Quick Take: The Clippers have proven in the past that they can continue to play well while Blake Griffin is out. Still, it’s unfortunate that they need to go through this again. Hope Griffin recovers soon.

Russell Westbrook dishes career-high 22 assists

Russell Westbrook could have taken a 3-pointer, but he stutter-stopped and drove left. The slight hesitation and a screen from Steven Adams was enough to provide a mismatch Westbrook identified immediately.

When he picked up his dribble, the 7-foot Adams was on the weak side towering over Westbrook’s initial defender, 6-5 P.J. Tucker. Westbrook saw it and lofted a perfectly-weighted pass over Tucker to Adams for an easy layup.

It was one of a gamut of brilliant passes from Westbrook, as the assists reached double digits before the points or rebounds in his league-leading 13th triple-double.

In the Thunder’s 114-101 win, Westbrook finished with 26 points, 11 rebounds and a career-high 22 assists.

Oklahoman

Quick Take: Victor Oladipo was out, so Westbrook had to do even more than usual. His production is incredible. Westbrook is doing things few players in the modern era of pro basketball are capable of doing.

Hassan Whiteside clarifies comments about DeAndre Jordan

Hassan Whiteside added clarification to comments he recently made about Clippers center DeAndre Jordan.

The Miami Heat shot-blocking center took time pregame to clarify that he never meant any disrespect when he said a day earlier of Jordan, “He catches lobs. I shoot jumpers, catch lobs and block shots. I do a lot. He just catches lobs.”

Whiteside stressed Friday his point was that with Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and J.J. Redick alongside, Jordan had more leeway to focus on his All-NBA-level shot-blocking and rebounding.

“Definitely misconstrued,” Whiteside said in front of his locker. “First, I would never diss another big fella. I’m all for the big guys in the game. I was just saying on the offensive end, our roles are different. Obviously, he’s a top-three rebounder and one of the best defensive players in the game. I didn’t think I had to explain that, but I see I do. Quote me on that.”

– South Florida Sun Sentinel

Quick Take: Whether all in fun or actually serious, a little trash-talking never hurt anybody. It’s part of the game. Especially if there’s some truth to it. Anyway, this whole thing is no big deal. And it’s fun.

Nerlens Noel frustrated by lack of playing time

Back on the court for just his second game of the season, Philadelphia 76ers center Nerlens Noel expressed frustration over his limited playing time in Friday night’s 100-89 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Noel, who made his season debut Sunday after recovering from offseason knee surgery only to sprain his left ankle and miss Wednesday’s game, had two points in eight minutes against the Lakers. Afterward, he aired his frustration.

“I think I’m too good to be playing eight minutes,” said Noel, the No. 6 pick in the 2013 draft. “That’s crazy. Need to figure this s— out.”

– ESPN.com

Quick Take: Nerlens just got back on the court. The first step is for him to stay healthy, fit into the rotation, and earn additional playing time. 

Chris Andersen out for season with torn ACL

Cavaliers center Chris Andersen suffered a non-contact right knee injury today during practice at Cleveland Clinic Courts. After undergoing evaluation at the facility, an MRI administered at Cleveland Clinic Sports Health by team physician Dr. Richard Parker confirmed that Andersen suffered an ACL tear that will require season ending surgery. Andersen’s status and recovery time will be updated following his surgery.

Andersen, who signed as a free agent this summer, appeared in 12 games this season with averages of 2.3 points and 2.6 rebounds.

Grizzlies waive Toney Douglas

Grizzlies waive Toney Douglas

Memphis Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace today announced the team has waived guard Toney Douglas.

Douglas (6-2, 195) came off the bench in seven games for the Grizzlies and averaged 5.8 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 17.8 minutes after he was signed on Dec. 5 pursuant to the NBA’s hardship rule.

Drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round (29th overall) of the 2009 NBA Draft following his senior season at Florida State University, the 30-year-old Jonesboro, Ga. native has appeared in 376 regular season games (65 starts) and averaged 7.8 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 19.2 minutes during his eight-year NBA career with the New York Knicks, Houston Rockets, Sacramento Kings, Golden State Warriors, Miami Heat, New Orleans Pelicans and Memphis Grizzlies.

Jerryd Bayless has season-ending wrist surgery

The Philadelphia 76ers announced that guard Jerryd Bayless underwent successful surgery this morning to repair a torn ligament in his left wrist, which will be immobilized for the next 12 weeks.

The surgery was performed by Dr. Michelle Carlson of the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.

“While it’s unfortunate Jerryd will miss the remainder of the season, we feel confident that today’s procedure will resolve his wrist injury and related discomfort,” said Sixers President of Basketball Operations Bryan Colangelo. “Jerryd is to be credited with his committed and professional approach in making every effort to avoid this outcome.”

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, “Bayless signed a three-year, $27 million contract with the Sixers in July. So he’s part of their future plans.”

On October 21, the Sixers medical staff identified the source of the left wrist soreness to be a ligament injury and at that time both he and the team elected to pursue non-surgical treatment options to address the injury.

During his second game of the season vs. Memphis on November 23 – in which he had 18 points, six rebounds and six assists in 30 minutes – multiple falls to the floor resulted in significant impact to the wrist. Bayless and the team then consulted with multiple wrist and hand specialists, who concluded that surgery was needed.

Bayless was signed by the Sixers on July 13, 2016 and appeared in three games this season, posting averages of 11 points, four rebounds and four assists in 24 minutes per game.

Luke Walton reflects on Craig Sager

Whenever Luke Walton turned on a nationally televised NBA game, the Lakers coach did not just tune in to watch a star player or scout an opponent. Walton also wanted to see sideline reporter Craig Sager.

“Part of the fun and entertainment of what we do is seeing Craig in his crazy suits. He was phenomenal at his job,” Walton said. “He brought something every night he was on TV.”

So it was no surprise when the Lakers and the NBA community were in mourning Thursday over the passing of Sager, 65, who had spent the past two years fighting cancer. All NBA teams will observe a moment of silence in Sager’s memory, including when the Lakers (10-18) play the Philadelphia 76ers (6-19) on Friday at Wells Fargo Center.

“I can’t imagine how hard that has got to be, to put on that face and come and do the job that you love knowing that you’re not at your best,” Walton said. “You’re still out there fighting that fight and not letting it beat you. He’s not just staying home all day. He’s out there still living his life as long as he can. It’s incredible. He’s a strong, strong man.”

– OC Register

Derrick Favors should return soon for Utah Jazz

Derrick Favors won’t know until Wednesday if he’s going to play against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Vivint Smart Home Arena.

But at least the signs are positive for the Utah Jazz starting power forward.

Favors practiced on Monday morning, doing almost everything, according to coach Quin Snyder. He was made available to the media, which doesn’t happen unless it looks as if he’s going to play. He will practice on Tuesday and go through Wednesday morning’s shootaround.

So even if he doesn’t make it back into the lineup by Wednesday night, Favors’ rehabilitation from a bone contusion is trending upward.

– Salt Lake Tribune

Quick Take: The Jazz are 15-10 this season, which is the 7th best record in the Western conference, and half a game behind the 6-seed Thunder. They’ve played well despite multiple injuries to several of their most important players. Definitely keep a closer watch on the Jazz once Favors is back.

Pelicans sign Reggie Williams

Pelicans sign Reggie Williams

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

Williams, 6-6, 210, most recently played for the Oklahoma City Blue of the NBA Development League. In 11 games this season for the Blue, Williams has averaged 17.1 points, shooting .459 from the field, including .419 from three-point range, 5.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 33.3 minutes per contest. His signing marks the sixth GATORADE Call-Up of the season from the D-League, and the second by the Pelicans.

Undrafted in 2008 out of Virginia Military Institute where he was a two-time NCAA Division I scoring leader (2007, 2008), Williams has appeared in 200 career regular season games with Golden State, Charlotte, Oklahoma City and San Antonio, holding averages of 7.9 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 18.3 minutes per game.

Williams will wear #5 for the Pelicans and be available for their game Saturday night in Los Angeles against the Clippers. New Orleans’ roster currently stands at 15.

Pelicans waive Anthony Brown

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that the team has waived guard/forward Anthony Brown.

Brown, 6-7, 211, who was originally signed by New Orleans on Nov. 21, appeared in nine games for the Pelicans, averaging 3.9 points and 2.5 rebounds in 15.9 minutes per game.

New Orleans’ roster currently stands at 14.

Ian Mahinmi having knee checked out

Ian Mahinmi having knee checked out

Ian Mahinmi, who has appeared in just one game for the Wizards this season because of injuries to both knees, will get another MRI on his right one Friday, league sources tell CSNmidatlantic.com.

Mahinmi was the Wizards’ most expensive offseason acquisition this summer and set to back up Marcin Gortat in the middle. However, he required surgery to repair torn cartilage in his left knee before the season tipped and then developed soreness — believed to be tendinitis, league sources told CSN — in the right knee after playing just 14 minutes vs. the San Antonio Spurs on Nov. 26.

– CSN MidAtlantic

Quick Take: The Wizards have gotten a total of 14 total minutes in one game of action from Mahinmi so far this season. Hopefully he’s able to produce soon. The team needs him.

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.

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