Archive for December 9th, 2007

Ben Udrih puts name on map

SI.com’s Ian Thompson reports: Beno Udrih (Sacramento Kings) has gone from a 5.2-point scorer over three in-and-out years with San Antonio to a 14.3-point starter in his brief time with the Kings. The 25-year-old point guard has added 4.0 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 1.2 steals in his 35.2 minutes as the Kings have gone 6-5 since his Nov. 10 debut (though the return of Ron Artest from a season-opening suspension of seven games has a lot to do with it, too). While sidelined with a broken finger in the preseason, Udrih was traded by San Antonio and waived by Minnesota before arriving in Sacramento for the minimum $826,046 as a replacement for Mike Bibby, who underwent preseason thumb surgery. The 6-3 Udrih showed he had recovered from the loss of Gregg Popovich’s confidence in him by haunting San Antonio with a career-high 27 points in a 112-99 Kings’ win last week. If Udrih keeps this up, he’ll make it easier for the Kings to eventually trade Bibby and further hasten their rebuilding.

Rudy Gay stepping up

SI.com’s Ian Thompson reports: Rudy Gay, Memphis Grizzlies — He ranks second among NBA sophomores in scoring with 18.1 points, a mark that leads the Grizzlies and represents a big hike over the 10.8 points he averaged as a rookie. Memphis has amped up the tempo to 103.8 points (sixth highest in the league) and the 6-9 Gay is their arrowhead, a versatile athlete who is improving his decision-making with the ball. “He’s picking up the whole idea of seeing what are they giving me,” coach Marc Iavaroni said. “If the defense says you should be going to the basket, then you should be going to the basket. If they give you a shot, then it’s your duty to take that shot.”

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