Archive for April 7th, 2008

On Sunday, after the Knicks, playing at home in New York, upset the Orlando Magic, Isiah Thomas was pretty funny in the post-game press conference.

Not during regular game and team discussion, but at the very end of the conference. A reporter asked about Isiah’s memories of playing against Patrick Ewing, a Magic assistant coach and soon-to-be member of the Hall of Fame.

Isiah thought about it, and with a big grin revealed that the prominent thought that comes to mind when reflecting on Ewing’s basketball career is sweat. Reporters were amused.

I was tempted to ask if Isiah ever remembered slipping and falling due to pools of Ewing’s sweat on the floor, but held back.

Shaun Livingston medical update

Los Angeles Clippers guard Shaun Livingston had his left knee re-examined on Monday, April 7 by Dr. James Andrews of the Alabama Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center in Birmingham, Alabama.

Dr. Andrews examination revealed that Livingston still has some tendinitis that is showing improvement. He will be allowed to pick up the intensity of his on-court workouts by the end of the season. Livingston will continue to maintain strength work and progress with his workouts.

Livingston was originally injured during the first quarter of the Clippers win over the Charlotte Bobcats on February 26, 2007 at STAPLES Center, when he suffered tears to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), medial collateral ligament (MCL) and lateral meniscus.  Livingston also suffered a patella dislocation, in addition to a tibia/femoral dislocation.  Andrews performed the surgery to repair the injuries on March 13, 2007 at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Birmingham.

The Atlanta Hawks’ Joe Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant today were named the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, March 31, through Sunday, April 6.

Johnson led the Hawks to a 3-1 week, which included wins over two playoff-bound Eastern Conference foes, Philadelphia and Toronto. Johnson averaged 25.3 points on .556 shooting from the field, 8.3 assists and 5.5 rebounds. Johnson also shot .455 from distance. For the season, Johnson is Atlanta’s leader in scoring, assists, free-throw percentage, three-point percentage and three-point field goals made.

Bryant helped the Lakers to a 3-0 week, which included wins over the Trail Blazers, Mavericks and Kings. For the week, Bryant averaged 30.0 points, 9.3 rebounds and 6.0 assists while shooting a scorching .688 from three-point range (11-of-17). The Lakers are tied with San Antonio for the second best record in the Western Conference (53-24).

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki, Detroit’s Rodney Stuckey, New Orleans’ Chris Paul, Philadelphia’s Andre Iguodala, Sacramento’s Kevin Martin, Toronto’s Rasho Nesterovic and Utah’s Deron Williams.

Quick notes on Okafor, Moon and Powell

Wednesday’s Washington-Boston matchup marks the fourth and final meeting the two teams this season. Having won two of the previous three meetings, the Wizards can win the season-series with Boston for the third consecutive season. The Wizards, Cavaliers and Magic are the only teams that have defeated the Celtics twice this season.

Toronto’s Jamario Moon is one start away from passing Damon Stoudamire’s Raptors record of 70 starts by a first-year player, which was set during the team’s inaugural season in 1995-96.

Charlotte’s Emeka Okafor is averaging 19.2 points on .686 shooting over the last six games. With season averages of 13.5 points and 10.6 rebounds, Okafor is one of 18 players averaging a double-double. Okafor has 38 double-doubles on the season, tied for the 10th in the league.

Sioux Falls’ Kasib Powell was named the NBA Development League’s Most Valuable Player for the 2007-08 season. Prior to his Call-Up to Miami, Powell was leading the Skyforce with 22.3 points per game, shooting 50 percent from the field and 43 percent from three-point territory, to go with 5.8 rebounds and 2.9 assists.

- NBA News

The Portland Trail Blazers recalled rookie forward Josh McRoberts from the Idaho Stampede of the NBA Development League, it was announced Monday by Trail Blazers general manager Kevin Pritchard.

McRoberts, who was assigned to the Stampede for the second time this season on March 17, averaged 7.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.43 blocked shots and 27.0 minutes in seven games, while shooting 43.1% (22-for-51) from the floor during his second stint there.

In 15 total games with Idaho this season, McRoberts posted averages of 7.7 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 26.8 minutes.

The Duke product is averaging 2.0 points, 0.8 rebounds and 4.4 minutes in five games with the Trail Blazers after being selected by Portland with the 37th overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft.

Utah Jazz general manager Kevin O’Connor announced today that the team has re-assigned rookie guard Morris Almond to the Utah Flash of the NBA Development League (D-League).

Almond, a 6-6, 225-pound guard out of Rice was selected by the Jazz in the first round (25th overall selection) of the 2007 NBA Draft.  He has appeared in nine games for the Jazz this season, averaging 1.4 points and 0.3 assists in 4.3 minutes per game.  He appeared in three games for the Jazz since being recalled on March 29, totaling 10 points (3-6 FG), 2 rebounds and 2 assists in 13 minutes of action.

Almond has appeared in a total of 31 games for the Flash during two previous stints (Dec. 6 – Jan. 8 and Jan. 25 – March 29), averaging a D-League leading 25.0 points, along with 3.5 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 36.8 minutes per game.  He was named D-League Player of the Week (Dec. 17-23) after averaging 43.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 2.0 steals while shooting 32-of-68 (.471) from the field.  During that week, Almond scored a D-League record-tying 51 points in a win over the Austin Toros on December 21.  He later broke the D-League scoring record, posting 53 points in a win at the Bakersfield Jam on January 30.

Almond will join the Flash for tonight’s home game vs. Idaho.

The Phoenix Suns recalled rookie swingman Alando Tucker from the Albuquerque Thunderbirds of the NBA Development League, it was announced today by Suns President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Steve Kerr.

In his third and final stint with the Thunderbirds after being assigned on March 14, Tucker averaged 28.9 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 37.4 minutes in 10 games. Tucker shot 57.7 percent from the field, including 44.2 percent from three-point range, in his most recent stretch with Albuquerque, helping to lead the team to a 6-4 record. In 21 total games (19 starts) in Albuquerque this season, the Wisconsin product owns averages of 27.7 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.6 assists.

Tucker was selected by Phoenix with the 29th overall pick in the first round of the 2007 NBA Draft and has appeared in five games with the Suns, averaging 2.4 points and 0.6 rebound in 4.6 minutes.

Hakeem Olajuwon, who led the University of Houston to three straight Final Fours and the Houston Rockets to back-to-back NBA titles; Patrick Ewing, who captured the 1984 NCAA title at Georgetown before capturing two Olympic gold medals and becoming an 11 time NBA All-Star; Adrian Dantley, an unstoppable offensive player at Notre Dame and in the NBA, Pat Riley, who has led two NBA teams to five NBA championships; women’s basketball pioneer and Immaculata University coach Cathy Rush; dynamic ESPN television broadcaster Dick Vitale; and Detroit Pistons and Shock owner Bill Davidson were announced today as the seven members of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2008.  The announcement was made today in San Antonio, TX site of the 2008 NCAA Men’s Final Four.

Ewing, Olajuwon and Riley were elected in their first year of consideration for election into the Hall of Fame, while Dantley, Davidson, Rush and Vitale have been named Finalists in prior years.

Praise the Hornets

Fox Sports (Mike Kahn) writes: With 10 days left in the NBA regular season, it’s time we recognized the Hornets for what they’ve been all season – the most consistently effective team in the Western Conference. Their 12-point win over the Warriors Sunday afternoon told us everything we need to know. MVP candidate Chris Paul had the fourth triple-double of his career — 16 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds, plus 5 steals — and hit a 3-pointer with just less than eight minutes left that broke a tie and allowed the Hornets to end the game with an 18-6 run. To better reflect what Paul was about Sunday (and the entire season for that matter), consider that he fired an airball that turned into an assist and a lob pass that actually went through the hoop. Consequently, the 54-22 Hornets have equaled the most wins in franchise history, have a two-game lead in the loss column over the Spurs and the Lakers for the top seed in the conference, and their 17-10 mark against the other eight playoff contenders in the West is also the high-water mark in the West. The 54 wins also mark the most ever for coach Byron Scott, now in his eighth season overall as a head coach and fourth with the Hornets. He never won that many coaching the Nets to the NBA Finals twice.

Apr. 6: Rockets 105, Clippers 79

The AP reports: Rookie Aaron Brooks came off the bench to score 18 points, and five teammates reached double figures in Houston’s lopsided victory over the short-handed Clippers… Rookie Luis Scola scored 16 points, Luther Head added 15, McGrady had 13 points, eight rebounds and nine assists, Bobby Jackson had 12 points, five rebounds and four assists, and Battier scored 11 for the Rockets, who shot 48.1 percent and outrebounded the Clippers 51-33… Houston’s Rafer Alston, averaging 13.2 points and 5.4 assists, missed his third game due to a sore left hamstring… Josh Powell had a career-high 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Clippers (23-54), who have lost 21 of their last 25 games. Elton Brand, playing just his third game of the season, had 19 points and eight rebounds in 36 minutes, and Cuttino Mobley added 11 points for Los Angeles.

Apr. 6: Lakers 114, Kings 92

The AP reports: Kobe Bryant scored 29 points, Vladimir Radmanovic matched his season high with 21 and the Lakers stayed on track for the Pacific Division title with a 114-92 victory over the Kings on Sunday night. Radmanovic hit five 3-pointers and tied his career high with 14 rebounds after a pleading pregame pep talk from coach Phil Jackson, while Pau Gasol added 20 points and nine rebounds as the Lakers won their fourth straight… Lamar Odom, who’s 19-of-22 in his last two games, had 16 points, seven rebounds and seven assists as the Lakers snapped their longtime rivals’ four-game winning streak with an outstanding second half, with Bryant scoring 14 points and hitting three 3-pointers in the first 6:02 after halftime… Kevin Martin scored 22 points for the Kings, who simply seemed exhausted after winning at Denver one night earlier.

Apr. 6: Sonics 151, Nuggets 147 2OT

The AP reports: Kevin Durant scored a season-high 37 points and fellow rookie Jeff Green had a season-high 35 to lead the Seattle SuperSonics to a 151-147 double-overtime victory over Denver on Sunday night, damaging the Nuggets’ playoff hopes. Green, whose previous high was 23 points, scored 24 in the second half and overtime. His five quick points to start the second overtime gave the draft lottery-bound Sonics (18-59) the winning cushion… Carmelo Anthony, who scored 47 points Saturday in a 118-115 loss to Sacramento, led the Nuggets with 38 points. Allen Iverson added 26 points and Kenyon Martin had 22.

Basketball blog