Archive for November, 2007

The Dallas Mavericks announced today that they have assigned forward Nick Fazekas to the Tulsa 66ers of the NBA Developmental League.

The Mavericks selected Fazekas in the second round of the 2007 NBA Draft with the 34th overall pick. The former Nevada standout has seen action in two games this season and scored his first points as a professional on Nov. 10 at Portland when he finished the game with 2 points and 2 rebounds.

The 66ers will be in action on Nov. 23 when they face off against the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in their regular season opener.

The Wolves have two players averaging double figures in scoring, led by Al Jefferson’s 19.5 ppg (31st in the league) followed closely by Rashad McCants’s 17.

Minnesota has a host of other players right on the cusp of averaging double figures: Gomes (9.9), Buckner (9.0), Smith (8.6), Telfair (8.4), Ratliff (8.2) and Walker (8.1). Sebastian Telfair ranks first on the team in assists (4.6), also good for 36th in the league. The Wolves leading rebounder is third year forward Al Jefferson. Big Al averages 11.1 rpg which ranks him 11th in the league. Wolves rookie Corey Brewer, who made his first regular season start last Saturday vs. New Orleans, ranks 15th in the league in scoring amongst rookies averaging 4.8 ppg. Brewer also ranks 8th in rookie rebounding (3.9), fifth in three point shooting (4-12, 33%), second in free-throw shooting (89%) and eighth in minutes per game (19.6).

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Defensive Pressure: The Rockets are still dealing the defense this season, ranking sixth in the NBA in points allowed per game (93.5) through Nov. 18. Despite a 115-105 loss vs. Phoenix (11/17/07), Houston has still limited it opponents to 91.4 points per game (457 TP) over five outings at Toyota Center this season.

Double-Double for Scola: Luis Scola followed up a 20-point performance (10-11 FG) at San Antonio (11/16/07) with his first career double-double, finishing with 20 points (10-19 FG) and 11 rebounds vs. Phoenix (11/17/07).

Great Bench Play: Luther Head joined Luis Scola in double-figuring scoring off the bench with a season-high 16 points (6-11 FG, 4-7 3FG) vs. Phoenix (11/17/07). Overall, the Rockets reserves posted a season-best 57 bench points against the Suns.

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Ben Wallace has been awful

Chicago Bulls center Ben Wallace in 9 games this season is averaging 4.4 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.44 steals and 1.22 blocks in 28.1 minutes per outing. He’s shooting 35.6% from the field and 36.4% from the free throw line.

When give more minutes (43) in the November 17 Bulls win over the Clippers, Wallace did step up with 9 points, 13 rebounds, 6 steals and 3 blocks.

But, unfortunately, that game was a rare exception for Big Ben, just like a win was rare for Chicago.

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Wizards coach Eddie Jordan on the upcoming schedule: “Every opponent in the NBA is a quality opponent. We think that we’re coming around. We feel good about where we are and how we’re playing. If we play hard, share the ball, keep our composure, and stay organized, then we have a good shot and we’ll let the winning take care of itself.”

Eddie Jordan on the Wizards’ defensive effort: “We have spent a lot of time on defense. Randy Ayers has done a terrific job with our basic defensive principles, our practice plans and emphasis during the games. He’s been a real key for our defensive presence. Our guys have put in the effort. They have bought into the system. They listen to the principles and how important it is to be a better defensive team so that we can get to another level.”

Eddie Jordan on the offense: “I think we are moving the ball much better than we were last year at this point. The continuity is helping. We understand each other’s games and we understand that our chemistry is important. When you are 0-5, you see the tape. You see how the ball isn’t moved, you see the low assists, and you see the high turnovers. High assists, low turnovers, caring about defense, and moving the basketball – the formula is just right for us to win.”

Eddie Jordan on Nick Young: “You know the direction a roller coaster goes, right? That’s what most young guys go through. He had some tough moments early this season, and all of a sudden he’s at the top of his game. We hope he can stay up there for awhile. I think he understands how it came about. Through defensive effort, he got a few breakaways. He played within the offense and we stayed organized. We saw the match-up that he had, and that was good. We have to try to sustain some type of consistency.”

Eddie Jordan on the Philadelphia 76ers: “They’re a very athletic team. I think (Samuel) Dalembert may be back, and they are a better team with him. They always play hard, and (76ers Coach Maurice) Cheeks is always changing defenses, so we have to be ready to read the defense, stay organized, and do what we have to do.”

Eddie Jordan on Gilbert Arenas: “It seems like he’s going to play. Our policy is that whenever we can give him some time off, we will. I told him not to eat a lot of turkey on Thursday so he might stay a little lighter in the pants on Friday and Saturday.”

Magic off to their best start ever

The Magic has started the 2007-08 season with an 9-2 record through its first 11 games. It ties for the best start through 11 games in team history. The last time the Magic started 9-2 was back in 1998-99. Orlando has started the season 9-2 after 11 games three other times (1994-95, 1995-96, 1998-99). - NBA News

For the season, Dwight Howard is averaging 22.0 points, 14.2 rebounds and 2.45 blocks per game. Rashard Lewis is putting up 21.4 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.6 assists. Hedo Turkoglu has stepped up to average 17.6 points, 5.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists, though he needs to improve his 43.1% shooting. Jameer Nelson is producing 13.6 points, 4.3 rebounds and 6.6 assists, though his three-point shooting percentage is just 31.0%.

Orlando is playing smart, total team basketball. Stan Van Gundy is doing a terrific coaching job.

Rudy Gay scoring big this season

Averaging a team-high 19.2 points per contest, Grizzlies second-year forward Rudy Gay is second among all 2006 draftees in scoring, nearly doubling his output from his rookie season (10.8 in 2006-07). He has recorded double-figures in eight of nine games this season and has surpassed the 20-point mark four times. He finished with 20-plus in eight games total in his rookie year.

- NBA News

Toronto’s point guard duo of T.J. Ford and Jose Calderon have combined to average 14.2 assists through 10 games this season, more than any other point guard combination in the NBA. Ford currently ranks sixth in the NBA with 8.1 assists, while Calderon is 16th with 6.1 assists. No other team in the NBA has two point guards among the league’s top-20 assist leaders.  - NBA News

The Raptors are trading wins with losses, however, and are just 5-5 for the season. Chris Bosh has had a quiet start, averaging 16.2 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game on just 40.2% shooting.

The Orlando Magic’s Dwight Howard and the Denver Nuggets’ Allen Iverson today were named the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, Nov. 12 through Sunday, Nov. 18. Howard’s 23.3 points, 13.3 rebounds and 2.8 blocks helped lead Orlando to a 4-0 week. His 35 points and 16 rebounds paced Orlando to a 117-116 overtime victory over defending Eastern Conference champ Cleveland. He rounded out the week with 24 points, six rebounds and three blocks in the Magic’s 104-102 over previously undefeated Boston. Iverson paced the Nuggets with 26.7 ppg on 56 percent shooting, to go with 6.3 assists as the Nuggets went 3-0. He hit for a season-high 37 points on 14-for-20 shooting, to go with eight assists in a 122-100 win over Cleveland. He also shot 19-for-21 (.905) from the free throw line for the week.

Magic hand Celtics first loss of season

The Boston Celtics had been a perfect 8-0 and the league’s only remaining undefeated team but Sunday evening they lost 102-104 in Orlando to the Magic. Hedo Turkoglu stepped up in the 4th quarter, especially from three-point range.

Orlando got 44 free throw attempts in the game, while Boston had just 26. Both teams struggled from the charity stripe, however. Dwight Howard alone had 20 free throws, making just 10.

Boston dominated the glass, winning the rebounding battle 41-28. Aside from Kevin Garnett’s 11 rebounds it was a total team effort on the boards.

For Orlando, Dwight Howard shot 7-of-9 for 24 points and 3 blocks. He had just 6 rebounds. Rashard Lewis shot 6-of-11 for 22 points and 3 assists, but just 2 rebounds. Jameer Nelson took 15 shots to get 18 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists. Hedo Turkoglu took 13 shots for 16 points and 6 rebounds. And Keith Bogans needed 10 shots to get 10 points.

For Boston, Paul Pierce shot 10-of-17 for 28 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals. Ray Allen needed 17 shots to get 19 points, plus 5 rebounds. Rajon Rondo, a bright spot for the Celtics today, shot 8-of-9 for 18 points and 5 rebounds, though he dished just 3 assists. Kevin Garnett was quiet offensively, shooting 7-of-13 and not getting a single free throw attempt for 14 points, 11 rebounds and 1 assist. He fouled out.

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The Golden State Warriors have assigned center Kosta Perovic (COAST-a PEAR-a-vich) to the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA Development League, Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Mullin announced today.

Perovic, 22, has not appeared in any of Golden State’s first seven games during the 2007-08 regular season, spending the first five games on the inactive list.  The 7-2 center, who was originally drafted by Golden State with the 38th overall selection in the 2006 NBA Draft out of Serbia, is a rookie this season after staying overseas to play the 2006-07 campaign in Serbia.

Perovic is the sixth player assigned to the D-League from the NBA following Ramon Sessions (Milwaukee Bucks), Kyrylo Fesenko (Utah Jazz), Steve Novak (Houston Rockets), Brandon Wallace (Boston Celtics) and JamesOn Curry (Chicago Bulls).

The D-League is way ahead of last years pace in terms of NBA player assignments. During the 2006-07 season there hadn’t been one NBA player assigned at this point. The first player sent to the NBA Development League occurred on November 22, 2006 when Ryan Hollins of the Charlotte Bobcats was assigned to the Fort Worth Flyers from the Charlotte Bobcats.

Perovic joins a Bakersfield club led by head coach Jim Harrick who won the 1995 NCAA Championship with UCLA. The team tips off their second season in the NBA Development League on November 24 when they visit the Austin Toros, the affiliate of the defending NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs.

The Toronto Raptors announced Sunday that following further evaluation and testing by team medical personnel, centre Rasho Nestervoic is expected to be sidelined for one to two weeks with a Grade 2 sprain of his right ankle.

Nesterovic sustained the injury at the six minute mark of the third quarter of Wednesday’s game versus Utah. He will not join the team on its upcoming road trip to Dallas (Tuesday) and Memphis (Wednesday).

Warriors sign DJ Mbenga

The Golden State Warriors, who with a 1-6 record have been one of the league’s worst teams in the still-young season, have signed free agent center DJ Mbenga to a contract, it was announced today by Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations, Chris Mullin.  Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not announced.

Mbenga (Ben-ga), 27, was not drafted by an NBA team, but was signed as a free agent by the Dallas Mavericks prior to the 2004-05 season.  He played three seasons with the Mavericks (2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07) prior to being waived before the start of this season (October 30).  A native of the Congo, Mbenga has averaged 1.3 points and 0.9 rebounds in 79 career regular season games.  He appeared in a career-high 43 games with the Mavericks during the 2005-06 campaign and logged a career-best 237 minutes overall.

Mbenga will join the Warriors in New York on Monday and will wear uniform #28.

Warriors waive Stephane Lasme

The Golden State Warriors have waived forward Stephane Lasme, it was announced today by Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations, Chris Mullin.

Lasme, 24, was selected by the Warriors in the second round of the 2007 NBA Draft (46th overall).  He appeared in one regular season game (11/8 vs. Dallas) and did not register a stat line. The 6′8″ native of Gabon, Africa appeared in four preseason games with Golden State, averaging 5.0 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.25 blocked shots in 16.3 minutes.

Lakers need to be on national TV more

The Los Angeles Lakers only have 328,238,101,204,104,111,428 games on national television this season. It isn’t enough.

I propose that every single Lakers game be televised not just on both ESPN and TNT but also on CBS, NBC, Fox, ABC and whatever the WB is called these days, as well as on HBO, Cartoon Network, Lifetime, MTV, VH1 and every other main station. All at the same time.

/end sarcasm

Gary Payton probably retiring

It appears GP may be calling it a career.

Speaking to ESPN.com, Payton, the scoring point guard with such impressive defensive abilities he was nicknamed The Glove, will probably hang up his sneakers. Quotes from GP coming late Friday night.

Denver Nuggets C Steven Hunter underwent  successful arthroscopic surgery on his right knee this morning.
 
 The surgery was performed by Nuggets team  physician Dr. Steve Traina.
 
 Hunter is expected to be out for six weeks.
 
 Hunter has averaged 1.3 rpg in four games for the  Nuggets this season.

Nets sign Eddie Gill

The New Jersey Nets have signed free agent guard Eddie Gill, Nets President Rod Thorn announced today.  Per team policy, terms of the contract were not released.

Gill, a member of the Nets’ 2007 training camp roster, appeared in four games during the preseason, including two starts, and averaged 4.3 points, 3.8 assists and 2.5 rebounds.  He was waived by the Nets on October 25, 2007 and was then selected Number One overall in the 2007 NBA Development League Draft by the Colorado 14ers.

A five-year NBA veteran, Gill began his career by appearing in eight games for the Nets during the 2000-01 season before making stops in Memphis, Portland and Indiana.  The 6’0” guard has averaged 3.1 points and 1.1 assists in 167 career games.  While playing for the Nets in 2001, he was credited with scoring the eight millionth point in NBA history during a game against the Boston Celtics on 4/15/01.

At 7-0, and with four of the seven wins coming by 20 points or more, the Celtics are off to their best start since the 1972-73 season when they opened 10-0. The franchise’s best start of all time came in 1957-58 when Boston reeled off 14 straight victories to open the season.

Paul Pierce is leading the team in scoring at 23.4 points plus 5.0 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 2.0 steals per game. But Kevin Garnett is truly dominating and has averaged 21.0 points, 14.0 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 2.9 steals and 1.4 blocks per game. And Ray Allen is putting up 20.6 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists. Allen and Pierce are shooting 49.0% or better, and KG is hitting 54.6% of his shots.

Eddie House, Rajon Rondo, Kendrick Perkins and James Posey add scoring. Perkins is averaging just 5.1 rebounds per game in 26 minutes. He needs to raise that number.

The Celtics as a team are shooting a fantastic 50.1% from the field.

Spurs vs Mavs is always a big game

The Dallas Mavericks won their first Southwest Division title last season, unseating the two-time defending Southwest champion San Antonio Spurs. It didn’t stop the Spurs from earning a fourth NBA title. The Texas powerhouses meet for the first time this season tonight (8 p.m. ET, TNT) when the Spurs visit Dallas in search of their fifth straight victory.

Dallas won three of four meetings last season en route to a league-best 67-15 record, ending the Spurs’ reign in the Southwest. The Mavericks, however, were upset in the first round of the playoffs by Golden State. San Antonio, eliminated from the playoffs two seasons ago by Dallas, took advantage and won another NBA title.

Both teams have gotten off to strong starts this season, with the Spurs (7-1) holding the best record in the Western Conference. They made a season-high 13 three-pointers on 27 attempts to beat the Los Angeles Lakers 107-92 on Tuesday for their fifth victory by at least 10 points.

Meanwhile, the Mavericks (5-2) have averaged 106.2 points in winning four of their last five contests. Jason Terry had 25 points - including 12 in the third quarter - as Dallas beat Philadelphia 99-84 on Tuesday. Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki averaged 27.3 points and 8.3 rebounds while shooting 51.7 percent from the field against the Spurs last season. Duncan averaged 19.0 points and 7.5 boards while shooting 51.9 percent against the Mavericks.

- NBA News

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