Archive for February 12th, 2008

Warriors team notes

A positive glance at the Golden State Warriors:

The Warriors are 31-20 thru 51 games, marking the first time they have been 11 games over .500 since the end of the 1993-94 campaign.

The Warriors are 16-5 in their last 21 games at ORACLE Arena – and play 6 of their next 7 games at home.

Golden State erased a 23-point deficit Monday night to defeat the Wizards 120-117, marking the 12th time this season that the Warriors have overcome a double-digit deficit en route to victory.

Golden State leads the NBA in scoring at 109.7 points per game and takes on the 2nd-highest scoring team (Phoenix, 109.6) on Wednesday night.

The Warriors are 31-14 (.689) in their last 45 games after starting the season 0-6.

Monta Ellis: Over the last four games is averaging 25.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.8 steals, while shooting 70.9% (39-55 FG) from the field.

Monta Ellis: Netted 34 points in Warriors 105-102 victory Saturday over Sacramento, including 16 points in decisive 4th quarter.

Monta Ellis: Has scored 20-or-more points in seven of the last nine games.

Monta Ellis: Overall this season, is averaging 18.3 points on 52.5% (354-674 FG) from the field.

Stephen Jackson: Over the last seven games, is averaging 25.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists, while shooting 49.2% (58-118 FG) from the field, 47.2% (25-53 3FG) from long range and 88.9% (40-45 FT) from the line.

Stephen Jackson: Registered a season-high 41 points in 120-117 comeback victory over Washington on Monday, including 16 points in the 4th quarter and the team’s final 11 points overall (in last 2:03 of contest).

Stephen Jackson: Has scored 25-or-more points in five of the last seven games.

Stephen Jackson: For the season, is averaging 21.0 points and 4.2 assists (both of which are career bests) along with 4.5 rebounds.

Josh Howard questionable for Wednesday

Forward Josh Howard received an MRI today which confirmed a lower back contusion.   He is listed as questionable for tomorrow’s game against Portland.

In 48 games this season, Howard is averaging career-highs of 20.3 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 36.5 minutes.

The Seattle SuperSonics announced today that the team has recalled guard Mickael Gelabale from the Idaho Stampede of the NBA Development League.

Originally assigned to Idaho on Jan. 28, Gelabale appeared in six games with the Stampede and averaged 17.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 32.5 minutes per game.

Under the affiliation system with the D-League, NBA teams can assign up to two players who are rookies or in their second season to their D-League affiliate. Players can stay with the D-League team for as long as the team wishes, and be recalled back to the NBA at any time. A player can only be sent to the D-League a maximum of three times during the season.

The Stampede, the D-League affiliate for the Sonics and the Portland Trail Blazers, are coached by Bryan Gates, who worked as an assistant for the Sonics during summer league play in Las Vegas and Salt Lake City this past July.

Positive Pacers notes

Some positive notes on the Indiana Pacers:
Danny Granger enters this week’s games having made a career-high 51 straight free throws. The Pacers’ all-time record for consecutive free throws is 61 in a row by Reggie Miller during the 2004-05 season.

On his way to his seventh double-double of the season with 10 points and 14 rebounds vs. Portland, Feb. 9, Jeff Foster tied his season-high with eight offensive boards, which was one more than the Blazers had as a team. Foster is 10th in the NBA with a total of 157 offensive rebounds this season. With those 14 boards, Foster became just the ninth player in Pacers’ history with 4,000 career rebounds.

Ranked among the league leaders in turnovers committed with an average of 16.0 per game, the Pacers have had a total of just 13 turnovers in their last two games. At New York, Feb. 6, the Pacers had a season-low six turnovers, including just one in the second half.

The leading scorer on the team with an average of 18.0 ppg, Danny Granger has averaged 21.4 ppg in his last 18 games. Having hit 95 3-pt field goals this season, Granger is on course to join Reggie Miller and Stephen Jackson as the only players in franchise history to make at least 100 from behind the arc in consecutive seasons. Granger led the Pacers with 110 3-pt field goals in 2006-07.

With more than 30 games left on the schedule, the Pacers’ total of 453 3-pt field goals this season is the fifth highest total in franchise history. At their current rate of 8.88 3-pt field goals per game, the Pacers will hit over 700 3-pt field goals for the first time in their history. The team record for a season is 583 3-pt field goals in 1999-2000.

Ranked among the league’s best shot-blockers off the bench with an average of 1.09 bpg, David Harrison is sixth in the league (among those with at least 30 appearances) with an average of 4.2 blocks per 48 minutes played.

In his last five games, Travis Diener has handed out 32 assists and committed just three turnovers for an assists-to-turnover ratio of 10.67:1. For the season, Diener has recorded 96 assists and just 30 turnovers for a ratio of 3.20:1.

Kareem Rush scored 10 points and hauled in a career-high 11 rebounds vs. Portland, Feb. 9, for the first double-double of his NBA career.

Latrell Sprewell losing home, yacht

Many of you reading the title above will assume this is just yet another joke about former NBA star Latrell Sprewell, who made many millions of dollars playing in the NBA yet insisted he needed money to feed his family. But he actually does have economic problems. The AP reports:

Former NBA star Latrell Sprewell’s home is up for foreclosure and his yacht sold at auction to help pay off the $1.3 million he owes on the boat, according to court filings. Sprewell, who once turned down a three-year, $21 million contract extension from the Timberwolves, saying, “I’ve got my family to feed,” apparently has fallen on tough times.

RBS Citizens NA, or Citizens Bank, filed a foreclosure suit last week in Milwaukee County for the $405,000 home Sprewell bought in the Milwaukee suburb of River Hills in 1994. In court documents, the bank said Sprewell owed $295,138 in outstanding payments plus interest. Sprewell failed to make his monthly mortgage payments of $2,593 from September 2007 to January 2008, the documents said.

I can tell you that when buys mansions and yachts, we pay cash, in full, with no mortgage. That’s just how we roll, son.

Wizards - Warriors team connections

Gilbert Arenas was drafted 31st overall by Golden State in 2001. And Arenas and Antawn Jamison were teammates in Golden State from 2001-03.

Warriors Head Coach Don Nelson coached Jamison in Dallas in 2003-04.

Jamison averaged 14.8 points and 6.3 rebounds, and was named NBA 6th Man of the Year under Nelson.

Antonio Daniels and Golden State’s Stephen Jackson were teammates in San Antonio in 2001-02.

Golden State’s Chris Webber averaged 20.9 points and 9.6 rebounds in 212 regular season games for Washington from 1994-98.

Rockets notes after beating Blazers

Monday night the Houston Rockets, playing at home, defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 95-83.

With a 95-83 win tonight, the Rockets have won 11 of their last 12 games, including an active run of four consecutive victories at Toyota Center (1/29/08-2/11/08) to set the team’s longest winning streak at home this season. Houston also captured its seventh victory in a row, which stands as the team’s longest winning streak since the 2004-05 Rockets captured their final seven games of that season (4/7/05-4/20/05).

Houston has won the last three games by a double-digit margin: 92-77 (+15) vs. Cleveland (2/7/08), 108-89 (+19) vs. Atlanta (2/9/08) and 95-83 (+12) tonight. It marks the first time since March 2007 for the Rockets to grab three consecutive victories by 10 or more points (3/16/07-3/20/07).

The Rockets have held the Trail Blazers to less than 20 points in seven of 12 quarters played this season, including 19 points in both the second and third quarters of tonight’s games. Overall, Houston has limited Portland to 80.7 points per game in 2007-08. The Rockets have also won five of the last six meetings between these teams.

The Rockets had all five starters in double-digit scoring for the first time this season. Overall, Houston has had five players reach double-figure scoring totals in five of its last six games.

Yao Ming led the Rockets with 25 points (11-13 FT) to go along with his seven rebounds. Yao is averaging 28.2 points (141 TP) and 12.8 rebounds (64 TR) over the last five outings he has played at Toyota Center.

Rafer Alston, who finished with 17 points and seven assists, has scored a combined 25 points (8.3 ppg) on 9-of-13 (.692) shooting in the third quarter of the last three games, including 5-of-6 from 3-point range.

Luis Scola has averaged 11.8 points on 41-of-70 (.586) shooting since entering the starting lineup vs. Utah (1/27/08). Scola has helped the Rockets to a 7-1 (.875) record over his first eight NBA starts.

LaMarcus Aldridge posted 22 points on 10-of-26 shooting, setting a career high in field goal attempts (prev. high: 23 on 12/3/07 at Memphis). Aldridge has now scored over 20 points in each of his last three games after hitting the 20-point mark just twice in his previous 17 outings.

Brandon Roy had 15 points, five rebounds and a game-high eight assists in his return outing for Portland. Roy had missed the last two consecutive games (family matters).

James Jones out 3-5 more weeks

Trail Blazers forward James Jones will be out of action an additional 3-5 weeks to rest his sore left knee, Portland general manager Kevin Pritchard announced today.

“James ability to knock down the three-point shot has proven to be one of the keys to our success here in the early going,” said Pritchard. “Originally, we felt holding him out through the All-Star break would be enough, but after consulting with our medical staff we feel an additional few weeks of rest is the best course of action.”

Prior to being sidelined on February 4, Jones averaged 9.1 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 23.2 minutes in 34 games for Portland this season. Jones is currently second in the NBA in three-point shooting percentage at .483.

Rockets - Blazers team connections

Rick Adelman still ranks as the second winningest coach in Trail Blazers history behind Jack Ramsay, racking up a record of 291-154 (.654) in the regular season and a 36-33 (.522) mark in the postseason.

Adelman twice coached the Trail Blazers into the NBA Finals, qualifying Portland for the playoffs in all six of his seasons.

Elston Turner also served as an assistant coach with Portland.

T.R. Dunn was drafted by Portland with the 41st overall pick of the 1977 NBA Draft, spending his first three NBA campaigns with the Trail Blazers.

R.J. Adelman, who was a four-year letterman in basketball at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, earned his law degree from the University of Oregon in 2001.

Pat Zipfel joined Houston after serving three seasons as an advance scout with Portland.

Rockets guard Aaron Brooks was an All-Pac-10 standout at the University of Oregon.

Guard Steve Francis, who returned to the Rockets after having his contract bought out by Portland, was part of a multi-player deal that sent Zach Randolph from the Trail Blazers to the Knicks on June 28, 2007.

In nearly six seasons with Portland, Rockets guard/forward Bonzi Wells posted averages of 13.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 310 games with the Trail Blazers.

Portland center Joel Przybilla was selected by Houston in the first round (9th overall) of the 2000 NBA Draft before Milwaukee acquired his draft rights.

Lakers sign DJ Mbenga for rest of season

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed free agent center Didier “DJ” Ilunga-Mbenga for the remainder of the season, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

Mbenga, a 7-foot, 220 pound native of the Congo, signed a second 10-day contract with the Lakers on February 1st after signing his first 10-day contract with the Lakers on January 21st. In 8 games with the Lakers, Mbenga has averaged 2.3 points, 2.1 rebounds and 0.75 blocks in 7.1 minutes. Earlier in the season, Mbenga 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 103 career games including two starts, Mbenga is averaging 1.4 points, 1.2 rebounds and 0.50 blocked shots in 5.4 minutes.

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