Archive for October 16th, 2008

Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that center Brendan Haywood had successful surgery to repair a torn dorsal scapho-lunate ligament in his right wrist.  He originally suffered the injury on Thursday, October 2 during the Wizards’ training camp in Richmond, VA.

The procedure was performed by Dr. Michelle Carlson at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.  Haywood is expected to make a full recovery after missing four to six months while recovering from the surgery.  He will spend the next 10 weeks in a cast before he begins the rehabilitation process.

Thunder exercise two options

Oklahoma City has exercised the third-year team options on both guard/forward Kevin Durant and forward Jeff Green for the 2009-10 season it was announced today by General Manager Sam Presti.

Durant and Green were both members of the 2007-08 T-Mobile NBA All-Rookie First Team and participated in the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge at the NBA’s All-Star Weekend.

Durant, 20, was named the 2007-08 NBA Rookie of the Year after averaging 20.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.4 assists in 80 games.  The Washington D.C. native was named NBA Rookie of the Month five times and became just the third teenager to average 20 or more points per game.

Green, 22, concluded his rookie campaign with averages of 10.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists in 80 games.  The Georgetown product averaged 10.5 points per game, fourth among all rookies last season.

Kings exercise option on Spencer Hawes

The Sacramento Kings today picked up the option on forward Spencer Hawes for the 2009-10 campaign, it was announced by Kings’ President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie.

Hawes, currently in his second NBA season, was selected by Sacramento in the first round (10th overall) of the 2007 NBA Draft as an undergraduate out of Washington. He averaged 4.7 points (.459 FGs, .190 3FGs, .655 FTs) and 3.2 rebounds as a rookie last season.

InsideHoops.com editor here, typing on my pocket pc phone. I was on my way to the Celtics at Nets preseason game and discovered that there is no longer a bus to the Meadowlands from the Port Authority.

It is now even harder to get to Nets games from Manhattan.

Now you must go to Penn Station and take the NJ transit train to Sekaukus. (I still don’t know how to spell it.) It is the first stop on the train. The good news is, the train leaves constantly, at least during rush hour.

Once you get to Sekaukus you go outside to the bus stop area where an unlabelled bus was waiting to take people to the Meadowlands. A group of fans were waiting and had no idea the bus 50 feet away was the Nets bus. I went over, asked, then yelled over to everyone.

On the bus now. Should be at the game soon.

Also, in the port authority I met two fans from Spain (a guy and his girl) who were trying to get to the game. So I brought them with me to make sure they got to the game. They are from Madrid and have now tod me six times that they’d have gotten lost without the help. Yay me.

And then, getting off the bus I asked the driver what the gate is, to know where to exit after the game. She had no idea, and seemed confused by my even asking the question. Obviously after walking for a minute I saw for myself what the gate area was but I bet most fans who came from NYC, a huge number of which are tourists who speak very limited English, may have to wander a while after the game.

Anyway, forward this blog entry to any NYC Nets fans you know.

–Jeff

Raptors backup PG competition

Now that TJ Ford is gone, traded to the Pacers in the offseason for Jermaine O’Neal, Jose Calderon is the official point guard of the Toronto Raptors. But who is his prime backup? The Toronto Sun (Mike Ganter) reports:

Up for grabs, it now appears, are the backup minutes to point guard Jose Calderon. Those minutes initially appeared destined to find their way to Will Solomon, the former Memphis Grizzlies player who has spent the past six years honing his craft in the European leagues. And that may still wind up being the case, but rather suddenly Croatian rookie Roko Ukic is getting some consideration there as well… “Right now we are giving (Solomon) an opportunity,” head coach Sam Mitchell said. “I haven’t decided yet because Roko is getting better every day. Roko is doing some things and I have to get him more (court time). I’m probably going to be trimming Jose’s minutes back a little bit and start playing those two guys more so I can really, really get a good look at both of them.”

The Raptors host the Timberwolves for a preseason matchup tonight.

Discuss the team on the InsideHoops Toronto Raptors message board.

James Jones to miss 3 months

The Miami HEAT announced today that forward James Jones will undergo surgery on Saturday, Oct. 18 to repair a ruptured extensor tendon in his right wrist. The rupture occurred during practice on Oct. 15. After consulting with HEAT team physician Dr. Harlan Selesnick, the surgery will be performed by Dr. Ann Ouellette. Following surgery, Jones will have his wrist placed in a cast and he is expected to be out for three months.

Jones was signed by the HEAT as a free agent on July 9.

Nash OK after sprain

Steve Nash sprained an ankle yesterday, but good news reported by the Arizona Republic (Paul Coro):

It sounds like Steve Nash is going to be just fine. Suns general manager Steve Kerr was called by head athletic trainer Aaron Nelson at halftime of Wednesday night’s 102-100 victory in Atlanta to let him know that Nash had suffered a mild right ankle sprain. Nash tried to continue and wants to practice today but the Suns aren’t going to let him do that or play on Friday. This is where the emphasis on resting Nash will come into play more this season. A year ago, Nash probably talks the staff into letting him play. This year, they will use any chance to give him a break and be safe at the same time. Plus, Goran Dragic could use the minutes and the practice situation of having the onus of running a game plan. You can see instincts in Dragic but he is still feeling his way around an overwhelming amount of new things.

Since it’s preseason and NBA league pass doesn’t operate yet, I still haven’t seen the new, slower Suns play yet. I will be at Celtics at Nets tonight, to see Boston’s bench go out it with all the young kiddies on New Jersey.

Avery Johnson joins ESPN

Former NBA point guard and head coach Avery Johnson has also joined ESPN as an NBA studio analyst, mainly joining host Stuart Scott and analyst Bill Walton on ESPN’s NBA Shootaround pregame show throughout the season and postseason.  Johnson, who contributed to ESPN’s NBA Playoff coverage earlier this year, will also contribute at times to ABC’s GMC NBA Countdown.

“Avery has excelled in every professional endeavor and we know his success will carry over to his on-air role,” said Norby Williamson, ESPN executive vice president, production.  “His experience and passion for the game will resonate with our fans.”

“I’m excited to join the ESPN family of networks and, specifically, to join the NBA broadcast team,” said Johnson.  “ESPN and ABC has an abundance of terrific talent and I’m glad to launch my career in broadcasting with the premiere sports network.”

Johnson most recently served as coach of the Dallas Mavericks (2004-08), guiding the franchise to a .735 winning percentage (194-70).  His team advanced to the Finals in 2006 and Johnson was rewarded with NBA Coach of the Year recognition.  During the 2007 season, Johnson became the fastest coach to reach 150 wins.

Johnson, an NBA champion with the San Antonio Spurs in 1999, had a 16-year NBA career including time with the Seattle SuperSonics (1988-90), Denver Nuggets (1990-91; 2001-02), Spurs (1991, 1992-93, 1994-2001), Houston Rockets (1992), Golden State Warriors (1993-94, 2003-04) and Dallas Mavericks (2002-03).  Johnson earned the NBA Sportsmanship Award in 1998.

Oct 15: Clippers 116, Kings 112

The AP reports: Kevin Martin scored 29 points in less than 22 minutes for Sacramento, but rookie Eric Gordon scored 33 points and led the Los Angeles Clippers’ fourth-quarter rally for a 116-112 victory over the Kings in an exhibition game Wednesday night… Fellow rookie Mike Taylor had another impressive game with 21 points and nine assists for the Clippers, who are unbeaten in three exhibition games. Cuttino Mobley added 17 points and Jelani McCoy had 12 for Los Angeles, which held the Kings scoreless after Bobby Jackson’s free throw with 2:54 to play.

Oct 15: Nuggets 120, Jazz 119 OT

The AP reports: J.R. Smith and Linas Kleiza each finished with 19 points but were criticized by Karl for wanting to cheat out on the fast break instead of focusing on rebounds that would have sealed the win earlier. Deron Williams tuned up for his homecoming at Champaign, Ill., by scoring 22 points and collecting eight assists for Utah. Next up for the Jazz superstar is a trip to face the Chicago Bulls on Friday night at Assembly Hall on the Illini campus, where Williams is revered for leading the Illini to the 2005 NCAA championship game, where they lost to North Carolina… Carmelo Anthony finished with 16 points and five rebounds in 26 minutes, his first game action since the Americans beat Spain in the gold medal game in China.

Oct 15: Rockets 101, Grizzlies 97

The AP reports: Von Wafer scored 17 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter, D.J. Strawberry added 20 points and the Houston Rockets put on a 3-point shooting clinic in beating the Memphis Grizzlies 101-97 in a preseason game Wednesday night… Aaron Brooks finished with 14 points and nine assists for Houston, while Rafer Alston scored 13. Darrell Arthur, the rookie from Kansas, and Rudy Gay led Memphis with 14 points each. Darko Milicic and Mike Conley had 12 points apiece. Hakim Warrick and Quinton Ross finished with 10 each. While the Rockets were hitting 18 shots from outside the arc, Memphis was 4-of-12 on the night.

Oct 15: Suns 102, Hawks 100

The AP reports: Grant Hill made an 18-foot jump shot with 5.6 seconds left and the Phoenix Suns beat the Atlanta Hawks 102-100 in a preseason game Wednesday night… Raja Bell scored 18 points and Boris Diaw added 15 points for Phoenix. Steve Nash scored 11 points before leaving with a sprained right ankle with a little more than two minutes left in the first half… Flip Murray led the Hawks with 23 points, including 15 in the first half. Al Horford, starting at forward, had 15 points and six rebounds. Zaza Pachulia, starting at center, had seven points and 10 rebounds.

Oct 15: Pacers 100, Mavs 93

The AP reports: Danny Granger had 18 points and rookies Brandon Rush and Roy Hibbert scored 15 apiece, leading the Indiana Pacers to a 100-93 victory over the Dallas Mavericks in a preseason game Wednesday night… Antoine Wright scored 14 points, James Singleton added 11 points and nine rebounds, and DeSagana Diop contributed 10 points and eight rebounds for the Mavericks, who dropped to 3-1 in the preseason.

Oct 15: Bucks 98, Warriors 94

The AP reports: Andrew Bogut scored 18 points and Luke Ridnour added 16 Wednesday night, leading the Milwaukee Bucks past the Golden State Warriors 98-94 in an NBA exhibition game. Milwaukee trailed most of the night but Bogut took control in the second half with 13 points. Kelenna Azubuike led the Warriors with 24 points while Corey Maggette added 16… Bucks rookie Joe Alexander, who finished with 11 points, was the crowd favorite in this southern Chinese city. He’s the first NBA player to be born in Taiwan and can speak Mandarin.

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