Archive for April, 2008

Pistons Forward Antonio McDyess underwent successful surgery to repair his broken nose. The surgery was performed by Dr. Gene Rontal at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, MI. this morning.

McDyess suffered the injury in the third quarter of Game 3 at Philadelphia. He’s questionable for Game 4 on Sunday.

Antonio Daniels talks playoffs

The Cavs lead the Wizards 2-1 in the best-of-7 first round playoff series. Here’s Wizards guard Antonio Daniels:

Antonio Daniels on Game Four: “We have to come out with the same energy from Game Three.  That was big.  In my three years here that is the loudest I heard this arena by far.  It was electric in here.  Those fans were amazing.  We have to come out with that same energy, that same enthusiasm. We have to use home to our advantage.”

Daniels on the Playoffs: “This is the best time of the year.  It’s warm outside, there’s great weather, and then you walk in here and the crowd is going crazy like that.   Also, it’s great because every team isn’t here.  You don’t have the opportunity to play in the playoffs all the time.  So when you have the opportunity to do it you have to take advantage of it.  The moment you walk into a playoff game it’s completely different than when you walk into the gym for any of those 82 regular season games.”

Daniels on the Verizon Center crowd: “You really feel the effect of the crowd.  When you walk in there and that crowd is going crazy like that, you fell as a team that you can accomplish anything.  That’s why home court is so important.”

Daniels on coming off the bench: “There’s such a difference between starting and managing the game, and coming off the bench and changing the game.  Coming off the bench and changing the game is something I’ve done for 11 years in my career so it’s something I feel comfortable with.”

Apr. 25: Spurs 115, Suns 99

The AP reports: Phoenix took away Tony Parker’s easy layups just like it wanted to. So he just made jump shot after jump shot after jump shot. The smooth San Antonio point guard burned the Suns for a career-high 41 points along with 12 assists and the Spurs rolled to a 115-99 victory Friday night to take a 3-0 series lead. This was supposed to be a spectacular first-round matchup of potential NBA champions. Instead, it’s been a Spurs smackdown, with Parker leading the way… The Suns cut the lead to 13 points twice in the fourth quarter, the last on Raja Bell’s 3-pointer with 7:35 to play, but Parker countered with his first 3 of the game and the Suns were finished… Amare Stoudemire had 28 points and 11 rebounds to lead Phoenix, which was last swept in a series when Portland did it in a best-of-five matchup in 1998-99. Leandro Barbosa scored 20 points and O’Neal, who finished 9-for-17 from the free throw line, had 19. Steve Nash, defended ferociously by Bruce Bowen, had seven points on 3-of-8 shooting with nine assists… Kurt Thomas, a surprise starter, converted a three-point play with .3 seconds left in the first quarter to put San Antonio up 33-19. Stat Notes: The Spurs shot 56.1%, the Suns 49.4%. The Spurs nailed 6-of-15 three-pointers, while for some weird reason the Suns only took 6, hitting 2. The Spurs hit 17-of-19 free throws, the Suns just 17-of-29. Rebounding, assists and other key stats were fairly even. For the Spurs, Parker had 41 points, 5 rebounds, 12 assists and 2 steals. Duncan had 23 points and 10 rebounds. Ginobili (7-of-11, 4-of-7 threes) scored 20. For the Suns, Amare Stoudemire (13-of-23) had 28 points and 11 rebounds. Leandro Barbosa needed 17 shots for his 20 points. Shaq (5-of-11, 9-of-17 threes) had 19 points and just 6 rebounds with no blocks in 31 minutes. Steve Nash (3-of-8) had a quiet 7 points and 9 assists.

Apr. 25: Mavs 97, Hornets 87

The AP reports: With 13 of Chris Paul’s first 16 shots falling out instead of in, and fellow All-Star David West clanging 11 of his first 14, the Hornets couldn’t get into a groove until it was too late. Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry came up big on both ends of the court, pulling Dallas right back into this first-round series with a 97-87 victory in Game 3 on Friday night. Nowitzki had 32 points, 19 rebounds and six assists to get the Mavericks within 2-1. Game 4 is Sunday night in Dallas, where the Hornets haven’t won since January 1998… Terry replaced Jerry Stackhouse as a starter and replaced Jason Kidd as Paul’s primary defender. The MVP candidate went from ringing up consecutive games with at least 30 points and 10 assists—something nobody had ever done in his first two playoff games—to having 16 points and 10 assists… Josh Howard scored 18 points for Dallas, but was only 5-of-16. His performance drew extra scrutiny because hours before tipoff he went on local radio and admitted to using marijuana in the offseason. Team owner Mark Cuban said Howard will be disciplined… Dallas took 22 free throws in the period, compared to just seven for New Orleans. Yes, the Mavericks went to the rim harder than the Hornets. They also were aided by getting into the bonus just 3:17 into the quarter. Stat Notes: The Mavs shot 42.7%, the Hornets just 37.9%. The Mavs were lousy from three-point range at just 5-of-17, while the Hornets nailed 8-of-16 (Pargo had 4 threes, Stojakovic had 3). The Mavs won rebounds 52-43. The Hornets had just 2 steals. For the Mavs, Nowitzki had 32 points, 19 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 blocks. Terry had 22 points, 6 assists and 2 steals. Josh Howard shot just 5-of-16 for 18 points and not a lot else. Jason Kidd had 8 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks and 2 steals. For the Hornets, Jannero Pargo shot 12-of-20 for 30 points. Chris Paul shot just 4-of-18 for 16 points and 10 assists. David West shot just 6-of-20 for 14 points and 9 rebounds. Stojakovic was hot from three-point range but cold elsewhere, going 6-of-20 for 14 points and 9 rebounds. Tyson Chandler had no blocks.

Apr. 25: Sixers 95, Pistons 75

The AP reports: The Sixers added one more surprise victory in a season stuffed with them. The win wasn’t the shocker—it was the way Philadelphia completely thrashed the playoff-tested Detroit Pistons in Game 3 that was the stunner. Andre Miller was spot on with his mid-range jumper and scored 21 points, and the rest of the Sixers ran all over the court in a dominating 95-75 victory Friday night to take a 2-1 lead in their first-round series. Samuel Dalembert had 22 points and 16 rebounds, and the Sixers led by as many as 24 points in their first home playoff game since 2005… The Pistons played nothing like a team that won 59 games in the regular season. Perhaps they took the 76ers lightly or maybe one of the most experienced postseason rosters in the league is finally starting to wear down. Richard Hamilton scored 23 points and Tayshaun Prince had 18. Without them, the Pistons might have lost by 30. Antonio McDyess—who left in the third quarter with a broken nose—Rasheed Wallace and Billups combined for 15 points… The Pistons, who led the league with just 11 turnovers per game, committed 25, easily their season high, and the 76ers jumped all over every costly mistake. They scored 29 points off turnovers and scored 40 points in the paint. Philly scored the easy baskets off lobs and layups that mostly eluded them in Games 1 and 2. Stat Notes: The 76ers shot 45.9%, the Pistons just 40.9%. Both teams were awful from three-point range, combining to go 4-of-22. The Sixers got more free throws, and hit a higher percentage of them. Philly got more boards and more assists. The Pistons committed 23 turnovers. The Sixers had 15 steals, the Pistons only 6. Chauncey Billups shot 2-of-11. Rasheed Wallace shot 1-of-6. Rodney Stuckey shot 1-of-7. Jarvis Hayes also shot 1-of-7. The only Sixer to struggle as badly as those Pistons from the field was Iguodala, who went 2-of-9 and had 6 assists but also 6 turnovers.

Antonio McDyess has broken nose

Pistons Forward Antonio McDyess suffered a broken nose in the third quarter of tonight’s game at Philadelphia.  McDyess did not return to the game and his status for Sunday’s Game 4 is questionable.  An update will be provided when more information becomes available.

Tyler Hansbrough staying in school

Tyler Hansbrough wants to make one more run at the national championship. The North Carolina star will have to wait a little longer to find out whether two of his high-scoring teammates will be back to help him.
The Associated Press national player of the year said Friday that he will return for his senior year. However, sophomores Ty Lawson and Wayne Ellington will declare for the NBA draft, though they won’t hire agents leaving open the possibility of their return.
Hansbrough, a six-foot-nine forward, averaged 22.6 points and 10.2 rebounds.

Grant Hill of the Phoenix Suns is the recipient of the Joe Dumars Trophy presented to the 2007-08 NBA Sportsmanship Award winner, the NBA announced today.

Hill, a 12-year veteran and the recipient of the 2004-05 Sportsmanship Award, was one of six divisional winners which included Detroit’s Antonio McDyess, Houston’s Shane Battier, Portland’s Brandon Roy, Toronto’s Chris Bosh and Washington’s Antawn Jamison. This marks the first time that a player has received the award more than once.

The NBA will donate $25,000 on behalf of Grant Hill to HopeKids, a non-profit organization based out of Phoenix which provides ongoing events and activities along with a support community for children with cancer and other life-threatening medical conditions to send the message that hope can be a powerful medicine.

The NBA will donate $10,000 each to the divisional winners’ charities of choice:  America Red Cross for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts on behalf of McDyess; The Giving Fund on behalf of Battier; the Lenny Wilkens Foundation, which believes that every child deserves access to quality healthcare and the opportunity to receive a competitive education, on Roy’s behalf; The Toronto Raptors Foundation on behalf of Bosh; and Washington Sports and Entertainment Charities, Inc. to benefit local initiatives in the Washington, D.C. area on Jamison’s behalf.

For the fourth consecutive year, NBA players voted on this award, with eleven points given for each first-place vote, nine points for each second-place vote, seven points for third, five points for fourth, three points for fifth and one point for each sixth place vote received.  Each team nominated one of its own players for this award, then former NBA players Mike Bantom, Eddie Johnson, Tom “Satch” Sanders, Kenny Smith and Steve Smith, the 2000-2001 Sportsmanship Award recipient, selected the six divisional winners. 

Apr. 24: Rockets 94, Jazz 92

The AP reports: Scoring seven points in a quarter is normally nothing for Tracy McGrady. With his team down 2-0 in the opening round of the playoffs, it meant everything to the Houston Rockets. McGrady scored all of those seven in the final 3:29, finally snapping out of a fourth-quarter slump and finishing with 27 to lead Houston to a 94-92 victory over the Utah Jazz on Thursday night that gave the Rockets life in a series that could have been headed for a sweep… Rafer Alston added 20 points and five assists in his first game in nearly two weeks. Carl Landry had 11 rebounds and two blocks, swatting away Deron Williams’ shot that could have won it for the Jazz just before the buzzer. Landry also sacrificed his left front tooth, courtesy of an elbow from Utah’s Carlos Boozer in the second quarter, and had a huge gap in his post-game grin… The Rockets, who are without 7-foot-6 center Yao Ming, outscored Utah in the paint 40-26… Carlos Boozer had 15 points and 13 rebounds, and Mehmet Okur scored 12 and pulled down 11 boards for the Jazz, whose poor free throw shooting caught up with them in the fourth quarter when McGrady started scoring. The Jazz went 20-for-33 from the foul line, getting 11 more chances than Houston (16-for-22) but failing to capitalize. Stat Notes: For the Rockets, T-Mac had 27, 5 rebounds and 7 assists. Alston had 20 points (4 threes) and 5 assists. Luis Scola (just 4-of-13) had 16 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and 4 blocks. Carl Landry grabbed 11 rebounds. For the Jazz, Deron Williams had 28 points and 12 assists. Boozer had 15 with 11 rebounds. Mehmet Okur (just 3-of-13) had 12 with 11 rebounds.

Apr. 24: Wizards 108, Cavs 72

The AP reports: DeShawn Stevenson, who started the (LeBron James) “overrated” talk and invited Soulja Boy to the game, had a “can’t-feel-my-face” 19 points. Caron Butler (17 points) and Antawn Jamison (15) also found their games. James didn’t have his. And, yes, those 15 first-half Cleveland turnovers had a lot to do with it, too… James said Washington’s tactics in the first two games were like a “Hack-a-Bron” strategy, but there was nothing like that this time. He finished with 22 points on 10-for-19 shooting from the field and took only four free throws… The one major issue for the Wizards is Gilbert Arenas, who started for the first time since November but injured his surgically repaired left knee in the first half. He walked off the court late in the first half with an obvious limp and a bone bruise. He is listed as day-to-day. Stat Notes: The Wizards had multiple players contribute modest point totals, while the Cavs had LeBron scoring 22, Devin Brown score 10, and no one else even reached double-digits. The Wizards shot 52.1%, the Cavs just 39.7%. The Wizards nailed 8-of-19 three-pointers (Stevenson 5-of-7 threes), the Cavs went just 2-of-16 (both from Devin Brown). The Wizards got to the line more than the Cavs, and shot better when they got there. The Wizards had 13 steals, the Cavs just 4.

Apr. 24: Raptors 108, Magic 94

The AP reports: With a quick start and quality point guard play, the Toronto Raptors turned the tables on the Orlando Magic. T.J. Ford scored 21 points, Jose Calderon had 18 points and 13 assists, and the Raptors beat the Magic 108-94 on Thursday night, cutting Orlando’s lead to 2-1 in their first-round playoff series… Dwight Howard had 19 points and 12 rebounds for the Magic, while Hedo Turkoglu added 26 points and Rashard Lewis scored 19… Jamario Moon had 11 points and 10 rebounds in his return to the starting lineup for Toronto, while Bosh and Jason Kapono each scored 15 points and Anthony Parker 10… Keith Bogans scored 12 for the Magic, who trailed by as many as 23. Orlando guard Jameer Nelson collapsed with back spasms as he was walking back the locker room after the game and was seen writhing on the floor in pain… With Jamario Moon back in the starting lineup in place of Rasho Nesterovic, the Raptors had the energy they needed.

Gilbert Arenas back in starting lineup

The AP reports: Gilbert Arenas was listed in the starting lineup Thursday night for the Washington Wizards, who needed a spark after going down 0-2 in their playoff series against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The three-time All-Star started for the first time since Nov. 16, his last game before having a second surgery on his left knee. He missed 66 straight games and had been used as a reserve since returning late in the regular season.

Ron Artest has left thumb surgery

Sacramento Kings forward Ron Artest underwent successful surgery today to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb.  Dr. Michelle Carlson performed the procedure at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

Artest will wear a removable splint for six weeks and return to full basketball activities in approximately eight to 10 weeks.

Former NBA referee Darell Garretson dies

The AP reports: Darell Garretson, the longtime NBA referee who also directed the league’s officiating staff, has died. He was 76. The National Basketball Referees Association said Wednesday that Garretson died Monday at his Mesa home. The union said Garretson’s health had been in decline following surgery and various illnesses… Garretson began his career as an NBA referee in 1967.

Apr. 23: Lakers 122, Nuggets 107

The AP reports: Kobe Bryant had 49 points and 10 assists, and the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Denver Nuggets 122-107 to take a 2-0 lead in their first-round playoff series… Bryant, who was 18-for-27 from the field and finished one point off his career playoff high, scored 20 points in the first quarter to get the Lakers off to a fast start, and 19 over the last seven minutes to keep them safely ahead… Pau Gasol added 18 points and 10 rebounds and Luke Walton scored 18 points for the Lakers. Lamar Odom, hampered by foul trouble throughout the second half, was held to four points, four rebounds and six assists, but in the end it didn’t matter. Allen Iverson had 31 points and six assists to lead the Nuggets. Carmelo Anthony added 23 points, J.R. Smith had a career playoff high 21 and Marcus Camby had 17 rebounds for Denver. Kenyon Martin, who fouled out with 5:47 remaining, scored 10 points… Linas Kleiza made just his 14th start of the season in place of Anthony Carter, giving Denver more firepower and additional size.

InsideHoops talks with Darrell Armstrong

The New Jersey Nets finished the 2007-08 regular season with 34 wins and 48 losses, failing to make the NBA playoffs. Veteran point guard Darrell Armstrong, whose pro career began in 1994, played 11.0 minutes per game as a backup. While his stats are low, his leadership drive is high. contributor Randy Zellea recently met with Armstrong for an exclusive interview.

Read it here.

Apr. 23: Celtics 96, Hawks 77

The AP reports: Rajon Rondo outplayed Mike Bibby and helped the Boston Celtics silence Atlanta and its blustery point guard. Kevin Garnett had 19 points and 10 rebounds, and Rondo added 12 points, eight assists and six rebounds to lead Boston to a 96-77 victory over Atlanta on Wednesday night and a 2-0 lead in the first-round series. Paul Pierce returned from a first-quarter knockdown to score 14 points, and Kendrick Perkins added eight points and nine rebounds for the Celtics. Josh Smith, who helped take Pierce down and appeared to land on him and roll over his head, had 13 points and eight rebounds for Atlanta. But it was Bibby, who called the locals fair-weather fans during the week, who drew the ire of the sold-out Boston Garden crowd… The Hawks came out feisty and physical. Just 82 seconds in, Joe Johnson fouled Pierce to keep him from an easy layup. Smith came in from the side and slammed Pierce to the floor and landed on top of his chest before rolling over his head. Notes: Bibby shot 2-of-7 for 12 points and just one assists. The entire Hawks team had just 10 assists, while the Celtics had 23. The Celtics had 15 steals, the Hawks just 4. The Hawks didn’t hit a single three-pointer.

Apr. 23: Pistons 105, Sixers 88

The AP reports: The Detroit Pistons looked a lot like the team that reached the last five Eastern Conference finals. Rasheed Wallace scored 11 of his 16 points in the first quarter and had plenty of help at both ends of the court in a 105-88 series-evening victory over the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 2 on Wednesday night… Wallace was one of four Pistons scoring in double figures as they took a 17-point halftime lead, while the 76ers had only Andre Miller, who scored 11 of his 14 points in the first half… Richard Hamilton finished with 20 points and seven assists, Tayshaun Prince and Antonio McDyess both added 16 points and rookie Rodney Stuckey had 12 after being held scoreless in his playoff debut… Philadelphia reserves Louis Williams (17), Reggie Evans (13) and Rodney Carney (11) all scored career playoff highs. Stat Notes: The Pistons shot 54.9%, the Sixers just 39.5%. Both teams struggled from three-point range but the Sixers were worse at just 1-for-6. The Sixers got 35 free throw attempts but only hit 23, while the Pistons went 11-of-15. The Pistons dished 26 assists, the Sixers just 12.

CP3 is owning J-Kidd

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Jeff Caplan) reports on the first two games of the Hornets-Mavericks first round playoff series: Jason Kidd, the veteran playmaker the Mavs acquired in February to better compete in the playoffs, has been a non-factor offensively and has struggled defensively to hang with Hornets point guard Chris Paul. “I have to do what I do best,” Kidd said. “I have to try to control the tempo and somehow try to get my fingerprints on the next 48 minutes of the game.” Kidd finished the Game 2 debacle with seven points on 3-of-10 shooting and eight assists. His younger counterpart shined again with 32 points and 17 assists. In the two games, Paul has outscored Kidd 67-18 and has dished 10 more assists. “We have to look at the defensive side first before we look at the offensive side,” Kidd said. “We have to get stops.”

Bulls mascot sued for errant high five

The AP reports: An errant high five has prompted a dentist to sue the Chicago Bulls for the actions of mascot Benny the Bull. Don Kalant is alleging in the lawsuit filed Monday that he raised his hand to get a high-five from Barry Anderson, who plays the mascot. But instead of slapping Kalant’s palm on February 12th, Anderson grabbed his arm as he fell forward, hyperextending Kalant’s arm and rupturing his biceps muscle.

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