Archive for October 25th, 2008

Blazers exercise four contract options

The Portland Trail Blazers exercised fourth-year options on the contracts of forward/center LaMarcus Aldridge, guard Sergio Rodriguez and guard Brandon Roy, while exercising their third-year option on center Greg Oden.

The moves, announced today by General Manager Kevin Pritchard, keep all four players under contract through the 2009-10 season.

The Trail Blazers acquired Aldridge, Rodriguez and Roy in 2006 draft day trades.

Portland selected Oden with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft.

Marcus Banks may be backup SG

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Ira Winderman) reports: Marcus Banks, who has spent his career previous career stops with the Boston Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves and Phoenix Suns almost exclusively at point guard, exited the Heat’s preseason schedule as a frontrunner to back up starting shooting guard Dwyane Wade, even with his uneven effort in Friday’s 96-93 victory over the San Antonio Spurs. “He’s a combo guard, in my mind,” coach Erik Spoelstra said of the 6-foot-2 sixth-year veteran. “I just look at him as a player. He’s a very good high-pick-and-roll player. He can create, get in the paint for us. “But he also can play some point guard for us.” … By moving Banks to shooting guard, it somewhat reduces the team’s need for second-year Daequan Cook.

Warriors may get rid of Chris Mullin

The San Francisco Examiner (Matt Steinmetz) reports: We already know Chris Mullin isn’t coming back next year. But the fact is, he’s more likely to get fired this season than finish out the final year of his contract as executive vice president of basketball operations. That’s clearly the most logical thing to take away from the news that Don Nelson is negotiating a contract extension … probably a two-year job with an option for a third… Nelson and Mullin are both on the final years of their contracts. Nelson is negotiating an extension; Mullin isn’t.

Hornets backup big-man questions

The New Orleans Times-Picayune (John Reid) reports: The Hornets’ biggest questions remain at the backup power forward and center positions. Whether the team improves from last season will depend how Hilton Armstrong, Melvin Ely, Sean Marks and Ryan Bowen perform off the bench. Armstrong played adequately in the preseason, but he still looked tentative at times. Ely had a good camp and was a productive scorer, but he still must improve as a defender. It did not help Marks to miss all seven preseason games after suffering a strained calf muscle. However, the Hornets’ strongest positions are at shooting guard and small forward. Posey can play both of those positions, and Rasual Butler had a solid preseason at shooting guard. Butler has regained confidence after making 52 percent of his shots during the preseason. Last season, he shot 35 percent.

Oct 24: Lakers 105, Thunder 94

The AP reports: Kobe Bryant, coming back from a knee injury, made a brief appearance at the start of Los Angeles’ final preseason game Friday night and appeared to be moving fine in the Lakers’ 105-94 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder… Los Angeles’ Andrew Bynum had 23 points, eight rebounds and three blocks while playing 29 minutes in the final tuneup for both the Lakers (5-2) and the Thunder (1-6). Bynum was 10-of-15 from the floor. Jordan Farmar had 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting for Los Angeles… Rookie Russell Westbrook scored 23 for Oklahoma City, and Kevin Durant added 15.

Oct 24: Nuggets 106, Clippers 92

The AP reports: J.R. Smith scored 19 points and Linas Kleiza had five of his 18 points in the final 68 seconds, leading the Denver Nuggets to a 106-92 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night in the preseason finale for both teams. Kenyon Martin had 10 points on 3-for-8 shooting after the Nuggets’ victory in Toronto on Tuesday night because of a sprained left (non-shooting) wrist. Allen Iverson played 32 minutes and finished with seven points… Cuttino Mobley scored 21 points for the Clippers, who finished their exhibition schedule 3-4—not counting a 114-109 victory over FC Barcelona.

Oct 24: Heat 96, Spurs 93

The AP reports: Mario Chalmers made a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Miami Heat a 96-93 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night in the final preseason game for both teams… Michael Beasley scored 19 points for Miami (2-5). Udonis Haslem added 18 on 8-of-10 shooting, and Daequan Cook had 17 points. Chalmers, 4-for-4 overall and 3-for-3 from 3-point range, had 11 points. Tony Parker led San Antonio (3-4) with 16 points.

Oct 24: Bulls 129, Bucks 113 OT

The AP reports: Andres Nocioni scored nine of his 26 points in overtime, and Kirk Hinrich had 25 points to help the Chicago Bulls beat the Milwaukee Bucks 112-104 on Friday night in the exhibition finale for both teams… Thabo Sefolosha added 18 points for the Bulls. Richard Jefferson led Milwaukee with 21 points.

Oct 24: Cavs 107, Wizards 80

The AP reports: LeBron James had a preseason-high 26 points, Mo Williams added 15 and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Washington Wizards 107-80 on Friday night in the exhibition finale for both teams. The Cavaliers (3-5) had their highest scoring total of the preseason and committed only nine turnovers in the game at Ohio State’s Value City Arena. The Wizards were 2-5 in exhibition play… Delonte West earned the start at shooting guard in place of Sasha Pavlovic and had two points before spraining his left ankle with 1:40 remaining in the second quarter… The fourth quarter was delayed for 11 minutes after a member of the Cavaliers’ Scream Team dance squad was injured while performing during a timeout. After being attended to by more than a half-dozen medical workers, he was taken off the court on a stretcher and had movement in all his extremities.

Oct 24: Nets 111, Knicks 110

The AP reports: Vince Carter scored 20 points for the Nets, who avenged a loss in New Jersey earlier this week. Devin Harris and Bobby Simmons each added 16… Jamal Crawford had his best game of a poor preseason with 30 points for the Knicks, who may have been distracted after having to answer questions about Thomas from an unusually large media contingent for a preseason game… Down by 18 points with 10 1/2 minutes left, the Knicks cut it to 111-110 on Crawford’s layup with 28 seconds left. New York got the ball back with 4 seconds left, but Crawford’s jumper from the corner was short.

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