Archive for April 4th, 2008

Prior to Thursday night’s game with the Houston Rockets, Martell Webster experienced flu-like symptoms and dizziness. Webster was taken to a local hospital where he stayed overnight for observation. Further testing today revealed an irregular heartbeat.

Webster has been discharged from the hospital and is scheduled to see the team’s cardiologist early next week. He will miss Sunday’s game with the San Antonio Spurs.

Yi Jianlian out for season

Milwaukee Bucks Director of Player Personnel Dave Babcock announced today that rookie forward Yi Jianlian (7-0, 238) will miss the remaining eight games of the season after suffering a sprained medial collateral ligament (MCL) in his left knee during the Bucks win over Washington on Wednesday, April 2.

Yi, 20, underwent an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) exam yesterday afternoon. After evaluation and further testing by Bucks orthopaedic physician Dr. John Heinrich, M.D., it was determined that a period of 2-3 weeks will be needed to rest and rehabilitate his injured knee before returning to basketball activity.

In 66 games this season (49 starts), Yi averaged 8.6 points and 5.2 rebounds in 25.0 minutes. Among rookies who qualify, he ranks T-7th in scoring, 5th in rebounds, 2nd in free throw percentage (.841), 5th in blocked shots (0.85) and 7th in minutes played.

Yi was named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for December when he averaged 12.1 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.1 blocked shots in 16 games. He scored a season-high 29 points in the Bucks 103-99 win over Charlotte on December 22.

West playoffs are wide open

I’d say the Spurs should still be considered the favorite to come out of the West in the playoffs.

The Hornets have the most wins in the conference, but they’re new to being this good, and when things get turned up in the playoffs their lack of experience, both individually and as a team, could limit them.

The Lakers are winning more than expected, and although they’re armed with Kobe Bryant and loads of fun to watch because they play brilliant team basketball, it’s tough to say they’d beat a healthy Spurs squad when it counts.

The Jazz showed flashes of greatness in the playoffs last year, but it’s tough to say they’re any better this season.

The Suns are a bit underrated. They could be a true force in the post-season, especially since they’ve gotten used to playing with Shaquille O’Neal these past few weeks.

I have a tough time believing in the Rockets as far as a championship goes. Their giant winning streak was awesome, but I’m just not convinced they’ll go more than a round in the postseason.

The Mavericks, like the Suns, also may be slightly underrated. They have just as good a chance to reach the Western conference finals as anyone else.

Assuming that Dallas makes the playoffs and either the Nuggets or Warriors do, both Denver and Golden State are offensive teams that don’t play defense, and that can shock an opponent or two, but you don’t win a championship that way, ever.

Sports Illustrated (Ian Thompson) reports: Here are the five most expensive payrolls this season and the anticipated win total for each of those teams — 5. Miami Heat, $75.5 million, 14 wins… 4. Cleveland Cavaliers, $81.5 million, 45 wins… 3. Denver Nuggets $82.7 million, 50 wins… 2. New York Knicks $95.3 million, 22 wins… 1. Dallas Mavericks $105.4 million, 51 wins… Averages: $88.1 million, 36.4 wins.

And, Thompson also reports: Here are the five most expensive payrolls this season and the anticipated win total for each of those teams — 30. Memphis Grizzlies, $53.4 million, 21 wins… 29. Charlotte Bobcats, $54.2 million, 31 wins… 28. Atlanta Hawks, $56.0 million, 38 wins… 27. Orlando Magic, $58.1 million, 51 wins… 26. Golden State Warriors, $59.3 million, 50 wins… Averages: $56.2 million, 38.2 wins.

Cavs sign Lance Allred

The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed center Lance Allred for the remainder of the season and for the 2008-09 season. He was signed to a 10-day contract on March 13 and to his second 10-day contract on March 25. Allred has played in two games this season for the Cavaliers.

Apr. 3: Rockets 95, Blazers 86

The Rockets opened up a lead in the second quarter and held on for the win. For Houston, Tracy McGrady (14-of-29) had 35 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals. Aaron Brooks, Luther Head, Bobby Jackson and Dikembe Mutombo all scored in the low double-digits, and rebounding was spread across the board. It was a true team effort outside of T-Mac’s big point total. Houston was red-hot from outside, nailing 11-of-22 three-pointers. For the Blazers, LaMarcus Aldridge (10-of-20) had 23 points but just 4 rebounds. Jarrett Jack (8-of-15) had 19. Steve Blake, Travis Outlaw (just 5-of-18) and Channing Frye also reached double-digit points. Brandon Roy remains out of action.

Apr. 3: Kings 110, Clippers 98

The AP reports: Kevin Martin hit four 3-pointers while scoring 26 points, and the Sacramento Kings avoided a four-game sweep by the last-place Los Angeles Clippers with a 110-98 victory Thursday night. Francisco Garcia scored 17 points and Mikki Moore added 16 for the Kings, who took a 20-point lead in the third quarter of their fourth victory in five games… Corey Maggette scored 28 points and Elton Brand had 15 points and nine rebounds in his second game back from a 74-game absence for Los Angeles. Injured veterans Chris Kaman, Cuttino Mobley and Tim Thomas sat out their second straight game for the Clippers, who still beat the SuperSonics on Wednesday night in Brand’s first game of the season after surgery on his Achilles’ tendon. Clippers rookie Nick Fazekas, who played college ball two hours away at Nevada, scored a career-best 18 points.

Apr. 3: Bulls 101, Cavs 98

The AP reports: Ben Gordon made five clutch free throws down the stretch and Larry Hughes scored 19 of his 25 points in the second half against his former team, rallying the Bulls to a 101-98 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night. The Bulls, with nothing to play for in the season’s final weeks, overcame a 17-point deficit in the second half and snapped a six-game road losing streak… Hughes, traded by the Cavaliers to Chicago at the Feb. 21 deadline, added nine assists and eight rebounds in 45 minutes. Gordon scored 24 points and Luol Deng and Andres Nocioni had 15 each… Zydrunas Ilgauskas scored 23 points for the Cavaliers, who are trying to nail down the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference.

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