Archive for February 14th, 2008

Dirk replaces Kobe in 3-Point Shootout

Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki will replace Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (dislocated pinkie finger, right hand) in the 2008 NBA Three-Point Shootout, to be held on NBA All-Star Saturday Night, Feb. 16, at New Orleans Arena.

Nowitzki, who won the Three-Point Shootout in 2006 at All-Star in Houston, will compete in the event for the fifth time. He also competed in 2000, 2001, and 2007.

Although he is unable to participate in the Three-Point Shootout with the injury, Bryant will play in Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game.

The Three-Point Shootout will be televised live nationally as part of the NBA All-Star Saturday Night, which will also feature the Shooting Stars, Slam Dunk and Skills Challenge. TNT and ESPN Radio’s national coverage will begin at 8 p.m. ET from New Orleans Arena. The NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 17, will air live on TNT, ESPN Radio and in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.

Kobe hopes to delay finger surgery

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant has been diagnosed with a complete tear of the radial collateral ligament, an avulsion fracture, and a volar plate injury at the MCP joint of the small finger of this right hand, it was announced today. The damage occurred when Bryant dislocated the finger in the Lakers’ game at New Jersey on February 5, and was aggravated in last night’s game at Minnesota.

Bryant was examined today in Los Angeles by Dr. Steven Shin, a hand specialist with the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Group.

Dr. Shin has recommended surgery to repair the ligament, which would cause Bryant to miss approximately six weeks.

“My current thinking is to give my finger some treatment and rest for a few days, and hope I can still continue to compete at a high level after that rest,” said Bryant. “I would prefer to delay any surgical procedure until after our Lakers season, and this summer’s Olympic Games. But, this is an injury that myself and the Lakers’ medical staff will just have to continue to monitor on a day-to-day basis.”

Timberwolves half-season highlights

Even though the Minnesota Timberwolves have struggled in the win/loss column in the first half, fans have witnessed a number of electric individual and team performances this season. Let’s take a look at a few of the better individual performances of the first half of the 2007-08 season:

Nov. 14 vs. Sacramento: Wolves 108, Kings 103- Rashad McCants established a new career-high in points, pumping in 33 (13-22 FG, 4-7 three-pointers, 3-5 FT) to lead the Wolves to their first victory of the season.

Dec. 6 at Atlanta-: Wolves 89, Hawks 90- Minnesota lost a heart breaker to the Hawks on a Joe Johnson buzzer-beater but it was Wolves rookie Corey Brewer who shined in defeat. Minnesota’s 2007 first-round pick (7th overall) totaled a career and NBA rookie season-high 18 rebounds to go along with six points, five rebounds and a career high-four steals.

Dec. 8 vs. Phoenix- Wolves 100, Suns 93: The Wolves would win their third game of the season thanks in large part to the monstrous game from Big Al Jefferson. Big Al abused Amare Stoudamire, going off for a then career high tying 32 points and 20 rebounds, becoming only the second player in Wolves history with a 30/20 effort.

Dec. 11 at Washington- Wolves 88, Wizards 102: It was Craig Smith’s turn to shine, this time in a losing effort in Washington. Craig tallied a career-high 36 points (14-22 FG, 8-9 FT) and eight rebounds.

Dec. 15 at Milwaukee- Wolves 92, Bucks 95: For the second time in a week, Wolves forward Craig Smith reached the 30-point mark, scoring 30 points and hauling in 10 rebounds effort in a loss in Milwaukee.

Dec. 17 at Miami- Wolves 87, Heat 91: Big Al recorded his second 20-point 20-rebound game of the season in Miami, recoprding 22 points, 20 rebounds, two steals and a block.

Dec. 21 vs. Indiana- Wolves 131, Pacers 118: Wolves guard Sebastian Telfair played all 48 minutes on way to a career night at the Target Center. The fourth-year guard tied a career-high with 27 points (11-18 FG) and dished out 11 assists in the Wolves 20-point come-from-behind victory.

Jan. 4, vs. Denver- Wolves 107, Nuggets 118: Wolves guard Rashad McCants bests his previous career high of 33, putting home 34 points (12-18 FG, 3-5 three-pointers, 7-7 FT) in 32 minutes off the bench for the Wolves.

Jan. 15 vs. Golden State- Wolves 98, Warriors 105: Antoine Walker comes off the bench to score a season-high 26 points including four three-pointers and 10 rebounds.

Jan. 21 at Golden State- Wolves 109, Warriors 108: Minnesota claimed it’s second road victory of the season in Golden State on MLK Day thanks in large part to a career day from forward Ryan Gomes. Gomes put home a career-high 35 points and a season-high 11 rebounds. Guard Marko Jaric also had a huge game for the Wolves, falling two rebounds shy of his first triple-double of the season. Jaric finished with 16 points (3-7 from three), 10 assists, eight rebounds and three steals, all in a season-high 46 minutes of action.

Jan. 23 vs. Phoenix- Wolves 117, Suns 107: Big Al tormented Amare Stoudamire for the second time at home, leading the Wolves to their second home-victory of the season against Phoenix. Big Al scored a career-high 39 points to go along with 15 rebounds in the Wolves seventh win of the season.

Jan. 27 vs. New Jersey- Wolves 98, Nets 95: Big Al set a new career high in points for the third time this season, tallying 40 points and 19 rebounds, including four late free-throws to seal the 15-point fourth quarter comeback win. With the 40-point effort, Big Al became just the eighth player in Wolves history to score 40+ points.

Jan. 30 vs. Chicago, Wolves 83, Bulls 67: Jefferson tallied his third 20/20 game of the season, this time abusing Ben Wallace to the tune of 26 points and 20 rebounds.

Feb. 4 vs. Houston, Wolves 86, Rockets 92: Wolves guard Sebastian Telfair dished out 12 assists, the most by a Wolf since Anthony Carter dealt 13 vs. Milwaukee on Mar. 4, 2005.

Lakers assign Coby Karl to D-League

The Los Angeles Lakers have assigned guard Coby Karl to the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA Development League, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

Karl, who became the 11th NBA player assigned to a D-League affiliate this season on November 28, played 10 games with the D-Fenders, averaging 18.3 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.5 assists in 38.4 minutes while shooting .435 from three-point range and .492 from the field.

Karl is expected to play tonight at Tulsa, Sunday at Rio Grande Valley and Tuesday at home against Tulsa.

Signed by the Lakers as a free agent on July 30, 2007, Karl has appeared in 11 games this season, averaging 1.3 points and 0.9 rebounds in 3.7 minutes.

The 6’5” guard from Boise State averaged 14.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 4.0 assists as a senior and was named First Team All-WAC.  Karl’s 1,698 career points ranks third on Boise State’s all-time scoring list while leaving Boise State as the all-time leader in games played (127) and three-pointers made (266).

Rajon Rondo stepping up

NBA.com reports: Rajon Rondo certainly is doing his part in the absence of Kevin Garnett. Rondo is making significant contributions all over the floor, posting 12 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, two steals and two blocks as the Celtics earned a 104-97 road win over the Pacers on Tuesday. In Sunday’s win over the defending-champion Spurs, Rondo had a season-high 12 assists to go along with 11 rebounds, the third time he’s led the Celtics (40-9) on the boards since Garnett went down. Boston has won four straight without KG, who also will miss the Celtics’ home game against the Knicks on Wednesday, their last before the break.

Melo loves battling rivals

NBA.com reports: Carmelo Anthony can not get enough of playing against the Miami Heat and Dwyane Wade. Melo was at it again on Tuesday, posting 22 points and 11 rebounds as the Nuggets won a one-point overtime thriller for their seventh straight win over Miami. Anthony has won eight of 10 meetings against D-Wade since both entered the league in 2003. Melo was fresh off a 27-point performance in Sunday’s win over the Cavaliers and LeBron James, also part of the draft class of 2003. While Wade and James have enjoyed more postseason success, Anthony has gotten the better of the two in the regular season. He is 8-2 against LeBron’s Cavs, the reigning Eastern Conference champs. Melo has rebounded nicely from an ankle injury that slowed him in late January. In his previous five games entering Tuesday’s action, Anthony averaged 31.6 points and 9.0 rebounds while shooting 55.7 percent from the field.

Video of Devean George’s explanation

Last night the Mavericks were set to get Jason Kidd in a trade from the Nets, but Dallas’ Devean George blocked his involvement in the deal, probably just delaying (but possibly killing) the whole thing.

Here is a YouTube video from George’s post-game interview, explaining what he’s doing and why.

Devean George shoots 0-of-11, wins honor

Dallas Mavericks swingman (or whatever position he sorta plays) Devean George, after messing up the Jason Kidd-to-Mavericks trade by using a contract clause to avoid being traded, started at small forward as the team was at home facing the Portland Trail Blazers. In 33 minutes, George shot 0-of-11, including 0-of-4 from three-point range. And he missed both free throw attempts, finishing with 0 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal.

The Mavericks won 96-76, so it didn’t really matter.

But in honor of Devean’s play InsideHoops.com awards him our newly-created ‘Jackass of the Day’ award.

Note that we now retire the existence of this award for today but reserve the right to revive it in the future should another player be worthy of it.

Now, to be fair to George, it isn’t his fault that he’s involved in such a big transaction. He’d probably have done this even if the deal was him to the Nets for a pair of sneakers. He’s just looking out for himself like every player in the league (and most people on planet Earth) tend to do.

But by doing this and then going out and looking like a complete scrub against the Blazers, he deserved some sort of award.

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