Archive for May 8th, 2008

Duquesne’s Shawn James, who once led all of college basketball in blocked shots, has told that he’s signed with agent Steve Cronin. The full story is here.

He’s a projected second rounder who has a legit shot at going late first round if he does well in draft workouts.

Sonics name Troy Weaver assistant GM

Seattle SuperSonics General Manager Sam Presti announced today that Troy Weaver has been named Sonics assistant general manager.

Weaver was the Director of Player Personnel for the Utah Jazz in 2007-08. He originally joined the Jazz as head scout and served in that capacity for three seasons before his promotion to Director of Player Personnel.

Prior to joining the Jazz, Weaver spent four seasons as an assistant coach at Syracuse, one season at New Mexico and three seasons as an assistant coach with Pittsburgh. While at Syracuse, the team won the 2003 NCAA National Championship led by Weaver recruit Carmelo Anthony.

“Troy comes from a very successful organization in Utah,” Presti said. “He has a terrific array of personnel and coaching experience that will positively impact what we are trying to build here with the SuperSonics.”

Weaver will serve as assistant general manager alongside current assistant general manager Rich Cho, who is entering his 11th season with the Sonics and his eighth as assistant general manager.

Second round playoffs notes

Nineteen teams have recovered from 2-0 deficits to win a best-of-seven series, including two last postseason.

The Utah Jazz defeated the Houston Rockets 4-3 in their first round series after dropping the first two games, and the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Detroit Pistons 4-2 in the Eastern Conference Finals after falling behind 2-0.

New Orleans, which owns a 2-0 lead in its Western Conference semifinals series against San Antonio, is out-rebounding the Spurs by an average of six rebounds (50-44) and is shooting .491 from the field, while San Antonio is at .417. Game 3 is tonight in San Antonio (9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).

New Orleans’ Chris Paul has recorded a points/assists double-double in six of his first seven playoff games, including three 30-point, 10-assist games.

The Celtics own a 1-0 lead in its best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinals series against Cleveland, with Game 2 tonight in Boston (7 p.m. ET, ESPN). In their 76-72 Game 1 victory, the Celtics held LeBron James to only 12 points on 2-of-18 shooting. James, however, fell one rebound and one assist shy of a triple-double, finishing with 12 points, nine rebounds and nine assists. James has made fewer than two baskets once, on Dec. 29, 2004, when he shot 0-of-5 against Houston.

The Los Angeles Lakers took a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven Western Conference semifinals series against Utah, defeating the Jazz 120-110. One of the reasons the Lakers are in control of the series is the defensive effort their frontcourt has made against All-Star Carlos Boozer. Boozer, who led Utah in scoring during the regular season (21.1), was limited to 15 points in Game 1 on 6-of-14 shooting. In Game 2, he was held to just 10 points on 3-of-10 shooting.

The Lakers are averaging a playoff-high 114.7 points, out-distancing the next closest team, New Orleans (102.4 ppg) by 12.3 points. L.A. also is shooting a postseason-best .491 from the field and averaging a playoff-off 26.5 assists.

The postseason’s best defense belongs to Boston, which is allowing only 85.3 ppg on .397 shooting from the field.

Orlando scored a 111-86 home victory in their best-of-seven Western Conference semifinals series against Detroit to avoid going down 3-0. Rashard Lewis recorded a playoff career-high 33 points, shooting 11-of-15 from the floor and 5-of-6 from three. In the first two games of the series, played in Detroit, Lewis scored a combined 38 points, shooting 15-of-41 from the floor and 2-of-12 from three. During the regular season, Lewis shot .483 in home games compared with .429 on the road.

- NBA News

May 7: Lakers 120, Jazz 110

The AP reports: The Los Angeles Lakers celebrated Kobe Bryant’s MVP award the best way possible. Bryant had 34 points, eight rebounds and six assists Wednesday night, and the Lakers beat the Utah Jazz 120-110 to take a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference semifinals and remain the NBA’s only unbeaten team in the postseason… Derek Fisher, who played for Utah last season, added 22 points, Pau Gasol scored 20, and Lamar Odom had 19 points and 16 rebounds for the Lakers, who shot 57.4 percent from the field and made 35 free throws—22 more than the Jazz. Seven Utah players scored in double figures, led by Deron Williams, who had 25 points, including three 3-pointers in the final minute, and 10 assists. Paul Millsap added a career playoff-high 17 points and 10 rebounds, Mehmet Okur scored 16 points and Andrei Kirilenko added 14. Okur and Kirilenko both fouled out in the final minute. Carlos Boozer was held to 10 points—all in the second half. He played less than seven minutes in the first half because of foul trouble… The Lakers led 55-40 before Williams made a 3-pointer for his only points of the first half. It was 63-49 at halftime, and it might have been worse for the Jazz had Millsap not scored 13 points—three more than his previous playoff high. Stat Notes: The Lakers shot 57.4%, the Jazz 44.6%. The Lakers nailed 7-of-11 three-pointers, the Jazz 7-of-18. The big story was free throws: 35-of-43 for the Lakers (Bryant and Gasol had 12 FT attempts each), 13-of-16 for the Jazz. The Jazz had the slight edge in both rebounds and assists, and Utah committed five fewer turnovers than L.A. did. The Lakers blocked 9 shots, the Jazz just one.

For the Lakers, Bryant had 34 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists, but 5 turnovers. Derek Fisher on just 10 shots (and 4-of-5 threes) had 22 points and 3 steals. Pau Gasol on just 11 shots had 20 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 blocks. Lamar Odom on just 10 shots had 19 points and 16 rebounds.

For the Jazz, Deron Williams (9-of-17) had 25 points and 10 assists. And six other Jazz players scored between 10 and 16 points. Andrei Kirilenko had 14 points and 5 assists. Paul Millsap (7-of-13) was the team’s second leading scorer with 17 points and the only good Jazz rebounder tonight with 10 boards.

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