Archive for January 22nd, 2008

Larry Brown says Knicks spied on him

The AP reports: Coaching the New York Knicks made Larry Brown feel like he was being watched. Brown accused the Knicks of having “spies throughout the arena” during his one season with the team in a story in the February issue of “Philadelphia” magazine. Brown also complained about the way he was treated by the organization. “Imagine when you get to work, they don’t talk to you,” he said. “They had security people standing close to me in press conferences, and spies throughout the arena.”

Przybilla talks with InsideHoops

After Orlando Magic defended home court Saturday night by beating Portland 101-94, had a chance to catch up with Joel Przybilla, who is doing more than just holding down the center position until Greg Oden returns next season. The 7-1, 255-pound Przybilla is averaging 7.3 rebounds a game in just 21 minutes per contest for the Blazers who have won 20 of their last 24 games.

The interview is here.

Shaq out at least 2 weeks

The Miami HEAT announced that center Shaquille O’Neal underwent an MRI today which revealed acute left hip and quadriceps inflammation. He will be sidelined two weeks before being re-evaluated and will continue with treatment during that span.

O’Neal, currently in his 15th NBA season, has appeared in 32 games (all starts) for the HEAT this season, and has averaged 14.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.66 blocks in 28.5 minutes per game while ranking sixth in the NBA in field goal percentage (.581).

Jamison, Butler explain Wizards success

The Washington Wizards are playing terrific basketball lately. Here’s what Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison have to say about it:

Antawn Jamison on the team’s improved defense: “The majority of it has been the mindset.  We were tired of being talked about as a bad defensive team.  Certain individuals, including myself, were not getting it done on defense.  I think we got fed up with it.  We want to do everything possible to make it work. Sometimes we didn’t feel like it was the right thing to do, but we did it.  We bought into the system.  We were struggling with it those first few games, but we continued to believe in it and eventually we did a complete 180.  That’s the gratifying thing about it…to know you believed in it from day one, you bought into what the coaching staff was trying to do, and now to see the rewards from it.  You are starting to see what kind of team we can be, defensively.”

Antawn Jamison on Caron Butler: “I don’t see him just starting to do it…he has been doing it.  A lot of people wonder where this is coming from, but the guy has been doing this since he got here.  Caron is not doing anything different.  He isn’t surprising me, or the rest of his teammates, or the coaching staff at all.  Caron has been doing this since day one.  I’m glad he is getting the recognition he deserves.”

Antawn Jamison on the team’s attitude: “We are having fun.  Defensively we are in sync.  Offensively, we are great.  Right now we feel like, no matter who we play, if we come out and get in plays that we have practiced, we put ourselves in a good position to win games.  I think this team has had more fun than we have had in a long time.  We have a good amount of confidence.  We still have a lot of room for improvement.  We realize that you can’t get too high when things are going your way and you can’t get too low when they are not.  Right now things are going in the direction we want them to go in, but we still have a long ways to go.  We still have the second half of the season to play and hopefully we can get some key guys back and take it from there.”

Caron Butler on the keys to tomorrow’s game against Cleveland: “We need to continue to play good basketball.  We need to protect the paint and go out there with a lot of energy.  Those are the keys to our success: to protect the paint, to make defensive stops, and to get out on transition to create some good offense for us.  Whenever we hold teams to under 90 points is usually when we have a great opportunity to win.  We have to go out and supply a lot of pressure tomorrow night.”

Caron Butler on the team’s defense: “If we aren’t making shots, we need to get stops.  Our defense has been our offense lately.  If we aren’t getting into the flow of our half court offense, somehow we are attacking the paint and getting out on the floor in transition.  Good defense has been the key to our success.”

Caron Butler on LeBron James: “LeBron is a great player.  He knows how to make the supporting cast around him better, and that is what great players do.  He is doing a good job of that.  He is a great facilitator.  He knows when to pick and choose, when to support, and when to be aggressive.  We need to apply pressure.  We aren’t going to stop him, but we need to make things real difficult for him.”

Caron Butler on the Wizards’ recent ‘big’ wins: “We don’t have anything to lose.  Everyone keeps telling us we shouldn’t be beating these people.  We know what the perception is, so we just go out and play loose.  We get fired up and we win games and prove those doubters wrong.”

Wizards-Cavaliers roster connections

Cavaliers guard Larry Hughes appeared in 189 games for the Wizards from 2002-05…  Wizards guard Antonio Daniels and Cavs forward Ira Newble were teammates in San Antonio in 2000-01…  Daniels attended high school at nearby Saint Francis DeSales in Columbus, OH…  Wizards center Brendan Haywood was originally drafted by Cleveland with the 20th overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft…  Wizards assistant Phil Hubbard averaged 10.6 points per game as a player with the Cavaliers from 1981-89…  Wizards Head Coach Eddie Jordan was drafted by Cleveland 33rd overall in the second round of the 1977 NBA Draft.

Rockets notes

Yao Ming finished with 30 points (12-19 FG), 17 boards and three blocked shots vs. Seattle (1/21/08). Overall, it marked Yao’s seventh 30-point outing of the season and his fourth 30-13 game (points-rebounds) of 2007-08: 30 points, 15 boards vs. Dallas (11/21/07); 31 points, 13 rebounds at Phoenix (11/28/07) and 30 points, 16 rebounds vs. New Orleans (1/13/08)… Houston reached the 41-game mark with a record of 22-19 after a 96-89 win vs. Seattle (1/21/08), moving the Rockets to 14-1 this season when holding an opponent to less than 90 points. The Rockets now enter the second half of the season as winners of seven of their last nine games. Houston also holds an active run of three consecutive wins away from Toyota Center (1/4/08-1/9/08), which stands as its best road winning streak of the season.

Nene did have cancer but should be OK

Results of a biopsy performed on a small testicular tumor found on Nuggets F Nenê indicate the tumor was malignant.  Further test results show that the cancer was isolated and did not spread.  Nenê underwent surgery to remove the tumor on Jan. 14.

The tumor was discovered in the very early stages and the recovery rate is extremely high.  In addition, the odds of a recurrence are very small.

Nenê is doing well and is recovering in Denver.

There remains no timeline for his return to the court.

Hawks suspend Zaza Pachulia

The Atlanta Hawks have suspended center/forward Zaza Pachulia for tomorrow night’s game at Denver for conduct detrimental to the team, according to Executive Vice President and General Manager Billy Knight.

Pachulia’s absence from the team will only pertain to Wednesday’s game against the Nuggets, and he will be available to play at Seattle on Friday, January 25.

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