Archive for January 2nd, 2008

Bulls looking better under Boylan

The Bulls actually look like a real team again under new head coach Jim Boylan. Maybe they’ll soon be a force as it was expected they’d be. The AP reports:

Ben Gordon scored 22 points, Luol Deng added 21 points and 13 rebounds and the Chicago Bulls continued their strong play under interim coach Jim Boylan with a 109-97 win over the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday night. The Bulls, who improved to 3-1 under Boylan, rallied from a 12-point third-quarter deficit when Boylan tweaked his rotation to take advantage of Charlotte’s small lineup.

Lots of teams rally when a big change gets made, though. Let’s see if it continues.

The Knicks continued their losing ways Wednesday night in New York, losing to the injury-riddled Sacramento Kings 107-97. The final score is deceptive. This game wasn’t close at all and for all intents and purposes was really a 20-point Kings win.

In addition to Mike Bibby and Kevin Martin being out the Kings were also without Ron Artest, who had right elbow surgery today. But Brad Miller, John Salmons and Francisco Garcia played like stars.

Miller put up 26 points and 16 rebounds. Garcia shot badly but earned plenty of free throws to make up for it, getting 22 points, 7 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks.

Salmons was king of the court, shooting 13-of-18 for 32 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists and 6 steals.

For the Knicks, Eddy Curry found offense, shooting 10-of-17 (and just 4-of-11 free throws) for 24 points, most of which came in the first half. But he grabbed just 3 rebounds and was totally destroyed when attempting to play defense.

Stephon Marbury returned for the Knicks, coming off the bench to play reasonably well, getting 16 points and 4 assists.

Nate Robinson got 19 points on just 11 shots.

Jamal Crawford was awful, as was Quentin Richardson. And Zach Randolph had one of his worst games of the season and was ejected after throwing his headband in disgust.

The Knicks committed 21 turnovers and 32 fouls.

Rookies of Month: Durant, Jianlian

The Milwaukee Bucks’ Yi Jianlian and the Seattle SuperSonics’ Kevin Durant today were named the Eastern and Western Conference T-Mobile Rookies of the Month, respectively, for games played for the month of December.

Yi averaged 12.1 points and 6.6 rebounds for the month and ranks second in scoring and rebounding among rookies. He also leads rookies in field goal percentage with .503 and is third in minutes per game with 30.6. In addition, he scored a career-high 29 points in a 103-99 win over Charlotte on Dec. 22.

Among rookie qualifiers for the second straight month Durant ranks first in the league in scoring with 19.7 points per game, seventh in rebounding with 4.2, and is tied for first in assists with 2.1. He is also ranked second in the league in field goal percentage with .407, first in free throw percentage and is averaging 1.3 blocks per game. In addition, Durant matched his career high in points with 35 and rebounds with eight and set a new career high in blocks with five on Dec. 7 vs. Milwaukee.

Players of Month: D.Howard, C.Paul

InsideHoops.com NewsWire: The Orlando Magic’s Dwight Howard and the New Orleans’ Hornets Chris Paul today were named Eastern Conference and Western Conference Players of the Month, respectively, for games played Dec. 1 through Dec. 31.

Howard averaged 21.7 points on .598 shooting, a league-high 16.1 rebounds and 2.87 blocks in winning his second consecutive monthly award. Howard recorded 14 double-doubles in December, as the Magic went 8-7. The center had five games of 20-plus rebounds, including a season-high 23 on Dec. 3 at Golden State in a 123-117 overtime win.

Paul averaged 24.5 points, 10.4 assists and a league-high 3.00 steals in guiding the Hornets to a Southwest Division-best 9-5 mark. Paul’s month included two 40-plus-point performances and three games with at least 15 assists. With season averages of 21.5 points, 10.2 assists and 3.00 steals, Paul is attempting to become the first player to average at least 20.0 points, 10.0 assists and 3.0 steals for a season.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month were Atlanta’s Joe Johnson, Boston’s Paul Pierce, Charlotte’s Gerald Wallace, Denver’s Allen Iverson, Detroit’s Richard Hamilton, Houston’s Yao Ming, Philadelphia’s Andre Miller, Portland’s Brandon Roy, and Toronto’s Chris Bosh.

Coaches of Month: Saunders, McMillan

InsideHoops.com NewsWire: The Detroit Pistons’ Flip Saunders and the Portland Trail Blazers’ Nate McMillan today were named the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Coaches of the Month, respectively, for games played in December.

Saunders guided the Pistons to a 15-2 (.882) record last month as Detroit established a franchise mark for wins in December. Holding eight of their last 10 December opponents to 90 points or less, the Pistons are in the midst of a nine-game winning streak. At 24-7, Detroit enjoys a 9.5-game lead in the Central Division. The Pistons handed the Celtics their first home loss of the season on Dec. 19 when Detroit posted an 87-85 victory in Boston.

McMillan led the Trail Blazers to a 13-2 (.867) record in December, which included 13 straight wins from Dec. 3 through Dec. 30. The 13-game winning streak is the second-longest in Trail Blazers history and tops in the NBA this season. At 18-13, Portland is second in the Northwest Division, trailing Denver by one-half game. The Trail Blazers defeated the Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on Dec. 16, their first win in Denver since Feb. 26, 2003.

Other nominees for the Coach of the Month were Atlanta’s Mike Woodson, Boston’s Doc Rivers, Dallas’ Avery Johnson, Golden State’s Don Nelson, New Orleans’ Byron Scott and Philadelphia’s Maurice Cheeks.

Cavs assign Cedric Simmons to D-League

The Cleveland Cavaliers have assigned forward Cedric Simmons to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA Development League, Cavaliers General Manager Danny Ferry announced today.

“We are happy to have the ability to put Cedric in game situations like this. This gives Cedric a great opportunity to finish the last step of his rehab from his ankle sprain,” Ferry said.

Simmons has played in four games for the Cavaliers this season and has grabbed 11 rebounds in 43 minutes. He was acquired by the Cavaliers on September 29, 2007 from the New Orleans Hornets in exchange for David Wesley.

The Vipers are the D-League Affiliate for the Cavaliers, Houston Rockets and New Orleans Hornets.

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