Archive for January 21st, 2008

Pistons bench not stepping up

The Detroit Free Press (Jamie Samuelsen) reports: The Pistons are in a mini-slump, losers of three of their last four. What’s different about them recently that wasn’t showing up when they won 11 in a row? The bench is the first thing that really jumps out at me. They only accounted for five points in the overtime loss to the Kings on Friday night. When you feature a starting five that only has two consistent scoring threats in Hamilton and Billups, you do need the bench to be consistent and it hasn’t been lately.

Lakers forward Trevor Ariza suffered a fracture of the fourth metatarsal in his right foot yesterday at practice, it was announced by the team.
 After an examination this morning by Dr. Ken Jung, a foot specialist with the Kerlan- Jobe Orthopaedic Group, it is estimated that Ariza will be out approximately eight weeks.
 Ariza, acquired by the Lakers on November 20 in a trade with the Orlando Magic, is averaging 5.5 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 15.6 minutes.

Lakers sign DJ Mbenga

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed free agent center Didier “DJ” Ilunga-Mbenga to a 10-day contract, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.
 Mbenga, a 7-foot, 220 pound native of the Congo, signed with the Golden State Warriors November 17 after spending three seasons with the Dallas Mavericks prior to their request for waivers on him October 30. In 16 games with the Warriors prior to his release January 6, Mbenga averaged 1.2 points, 1.9 rebounds and 0.63 blocked shots in 8.1 minutes.
 After signing with Dallas as a rookie free agent in 2004, Mbenga, 27, played 79 games over three seasons with the Mavericks, totaling 106 points, 75 rebounds and 35 blocked shots in 374 minutes. In his rookie year of 2004-05, he averaged 4.10 blocks per 48 minutes played while improving to 5.00 blocks per 48 minutes in 2005-06. In 2006-07 he was limited to just 21 games after missing the first 16 games of the year with a left foot tendon strain and suffering a torn right ACL 2/7/07 vs. Memphis.
 In 95 career games including two starts, Mbenga is averaging 1.3 points, 1.1 rebounds and 0.47 blocked shots in 5.3 minutes.
 The Lakers roster now stands at 15.

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