Archive for November 19th, 2007

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.

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