Archive for May 14th, 2008

Raptors exercise option on Jamario Moon

The Toronto Raptors announced Wednesday they have exercised the team option on the contract of forward Jamario Moon for the 2008-09 season. Per team policy, financial terms were not disclosed.

“We are very proud of Jamario for what he has accomplished and for the way he handled himself this year,” said Bryan Colangelo, president and general manager of the Raptors. “Jamario’s path to the NBA and the Toronto Raptors is a great example of perseverance.”

Moon, 6-foot-8, 205 pounds, was signed to a free agent contract July 10, 2007 following stints in the NBA Development League and Continental Basketball Association. He appeared in 78 games this past season, averaging 8.5 points, 6.2 rebounds, second on the team, and a team-best 1.38 blocks. He set a club record for starts by a rookie with 75.

Moon was named to the 2007-08 T-Mobile NBA All-Rookie Second Team, and participated in the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge and Sprite Slam Dunk contest during All-Star Weekend in New Orleans. He ranked first among NBA rookies in steals (1.03), second in blocks (1.38), third in rebounds (6.2), fourth in minutes (27.8) and 10th in scoring (8.5). He became the seventh player in team history to receive NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month honours when he averaged 10.2 points and 5.9 rebounds in January, while shooting .516 from the field and .889 at the foul line.

Houston Rockets Center Yao Ming:

“It is very hard putting into words how difficult it is to see this kind of destruction in Sichuan.  I am very saddened to hear of the large loss of life that has occurred.  My thoughts are with everyone back in my home country of China during this very dark and emotional time.  Right now, the most important thing we can do is to respond quickly to help those who cannot help themselves.  I plan to do whatever I can and would like to thank Leslie Alexander and the Houston Rockets for the support they have already pledged.  I hope that many others around the world will join us.”

Houston Rockets Owner Leslie Alexander:

“On behalf of the Houston Rockets, I want to offer my deepest sympathies to all who have been affected by the earthquake in Sichuan, China on Monday.  Over the past several years, we have formed a strong bond with our friends in China and it is very difficult to see them struggling through this tragic event.  We have already begun the process of reaching out to relief aid agencies and have pledged our financial support to assisting those who have been devastated by this catastrophic event.  I know Yao Ming is fully committed to helping the people of China recover from this horrific experience and I will help him in any way I can.”

Danny Ainge, who got Ray Allen from the rebuilding Sonics and Kevin Garnett from the rebuilding Timberwolves, has won the NBA Executive of the year award.

He beat Mitch Kupchak of the Lakers, who was handed Pau Gasol from the rebuilding Grizzlies, and Jeff Bower of the Hornets, who didn’t steal any players quite on the level of the guys above.

I’d say Ainge deserved the award. The Celtics went from an absolutely awful team to the league’s top game-winner.

More info is here.

Bucks name assistant coaches

New Milwaukee bucks coach Scott Skiles, the head coach most resembling a bulldog, has named officially hired his assistant coaches.

Jim Boylan, Lionel Hollins, Kelvin Sampson and Joe Wolf will join Scott Skiles’ coaching staff as assistants. Skiles’ staff for the 2008-09 season also includes Bill Peterson, assistant coach/player development, who joined the Bucks prior to the 2007-08 season.

More info about each guy is here.

Knicks owner now owns NY Newsday

The New York Times (Richard Sandomir) reports: When there is news in his Cablevision empire, shouldn’t Jim Dolan be there? He is America’s newest newspaper mogul — Cablevision agreed to buy Newsday on Monday — but he was absent Tuesday when his Knicks introduced Mike D’Antoni as their coach.  Now that he is buying Newsday’s ink, I was hoping he would pop in, wearing a fedora with a card saying “Press” tucked into the hat band, schmooze with the Newsday sportswriters in the Wamu Theater’s lobby and tell us how much he loves freedom of the press. You know, that John Peter Zenger sort of stuff. Dolan is an unlikely newspaper owner. The best you could say is that he could live without the news media, unless he owns an outlet, like the MSG Network. The worst you could say is that he loathes the news media enough to have promulgated a restrictive policy in 2003 (revealed last month by The Daily News) that outlined the ramifications of unfair and objectionable coverage. More than that, it reeked of institutional paranoia.

May 13: Hornets 101, Spurs 79

The AP reports: Back pain couldn’t keep David West from taking the court with aggression. The San Antonio Spurs couldn’t stop him from dominating… West had career playoff highs of 38 points, 14 rebounds and five blocked shots, lifting New Orleans to a 101-79 victory over the Spurs on Tuesday night and a 3-2 series lead… Chris Paul had 16 of his 22 points in the second half and added 14 assists for the Hornets, who’ve never advanced past the second round of the playoffs in the franchise’s 20-year history. Manu Ginobili led San Antonio with 20 points and Tony Parker had 18. The Hornets held Tim Duncan to 10 points, though Duncan was a force on the glass with 23 rebounds… Guarded mostly by Tyson Chandler, Duncan was 5-of-18 shooting, but Chandler left the game early in the fourth quarter with a bruised left foot. Meanwhile, a trainer put an ice pack on West’s back after he left the game in the final minutes as the Hornets All-Star forward grimaced in pain… While Stojakovic managed only nine points, he recognized who had the hot hand. His pass to the corner set up Peterson’s fourth 3, which put the Hornets ahead 68-54. Paul then added two free throws, giving him 12 for the quarter, and West scored his 30th point of the game on a jumper over Parker, giving the Hornets a 72-58 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Stat Notes: The Hornets shot 44.7%, the Spurs 37.7%. The Hornets nailed 8-of-15 three-pointers, the Spurs were also good, hitting 9-of-23. The Hornets also hit 25-of-33 free throws, the Spurs just 12-of-18. The Hornets rebounded better, had a few more assists, a few less turnovers, and won the steals category 8-1.

For the Hornets, David West (16-of-25) had 38 points, 14 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals and 5 blocks. Chris Paul (just 6-of-18, but 9-of-11 free throws) had 22 points and 14 assists. Morris Peterson scored 12, Jannero Pargo 10. Peja Stojakovic only scored 9, but somehow managed to grab 11 rebounds.

For the Spurs, Manu Ginobili (just 5-of-15) had 20 points and 7 assists. Tony Parker (7-of-14) had 18 points and little else. Tim Duncan (awful 5-of-18 and just 0-of-1 free throws) had 10 points, an awesome 23 rebounds, but little else. Bruce Bowen (4-of-5) scored 10. Kurt Thomas was an awful 1-of-6. Mike Finley was also 1-of-6. Brent Barry went 1-of-4.

May 13: Pistons 91, Magic 86

The AP reports: Detroit set an NBA playoff record with just three turnovers and made just enough shots and stops to advance to their sixth straight Eastern Conference final with a 91-86 win Tuesday night over the Orlando Magic in Game 5 of the second-round series. Richard Hamilton scored 31 points, made victory-sealing free throws late in the game and Tayshaun Prince had a key block to help Detroit eliminate Orlando. The Pistons are the first franchise to play in six conference finals in a row since the Los Angeles Lakers went to eight straight in the 1980s… The Pistons were 28-of-32 at the line and didn’t turn the ball over once after the first quarter even though Rodney Stuckey was filling in for Billups. Orlando made just 16 of 28 free throws and had a playoff-high 21 turnovers, which turned into 34 points for Detroit… Detroit led by 10 with 3:49 left, but was clung to a 85-84 lead with just under a minute left after Hedo Turkoglu made back-to-back shots. Stat Notes: The Magic shot 48.4%, the Pistons just 36.1%. But Detroit took 83 shots, Orlando just 64. Orlando was better from three-point range. But Detroit made 28-of-32 free throws, Orlando just 16-of-28 (Dwight Howard’s free throws were a miserable 6-of-15). But the big story was turnover: Detroit had an amazing 3 for the entire game, while Orlando had 21.

For the Pistons, Richard Hamilton (just 7-of-20, but 16-of-16 free throws) had 31 points and 4 steals. Antonio McDyess (6-of-9) had 17 points and 11 rebounds. Rodney Stuckey (5-of-10) had 15 points and 6 assists. Rasheed Wallace (just 7-of-20, 0-of-6 threes, no free throw attempts) had 14 points, 7 rebounds and 3 steals. Tayshaun Prince (just 4-of-13) had 10.

Fo the Magic, Hedo Turkoglu on 15 shots had 18 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists, but 5 turnovers. Dwight Howard (4-of-8, awful free throw shooting) had 14 points, 17 rebounds and 3 blocks. Rashard Lewis (awful 4-of-13) had 14 points, 7 rebounds, just 1 assist with 6 turnovers. Jameer Nelson (6-of-7) had 14 points and 4 assists. Maurice Evans scored 11.

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