Archive for October 29th, 2008

Greg Oden out 2-4 weeks

The Oregonian (Joe Freeman) reports: A debut of despair was supplanted by an evening of relief for the Trail Blazers and rookie center Greg Oden on Wednesday. A magnetic resonance imaging performed on the 7-foot player revealed some relatively good news: Oden has a mid-lateral right foot sprain and only will miss two to four weeks. Oden, who suffered the injury Tuesday night during the Blazers’ season-opening loss at the Los Angeles Lakers, is expected to miss between six and 14 games.

Jason Caffey legal woes continue

A judge has dismissed former NBA player Jason Caffey’s bankruptcy case, clearing the way for several women to sue him for thousands of dollars in child support. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Margaret A. Mahoney dismissed the bankruptcy case Tuesday — which means the mothers of his children can sue for child-support payments. Caffey has 10 children with eight women… Caffey of Mobile, who played for the University of Alabama and won two NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls during the 1990s, filed for bankruptcy protection in August 2007. He listed $1.9 million in debts against about $1.15 million in assets.

Curry and D’Antoni talk it out

The Bergen Record (Steve Adamek) reports: Eddy Curry and Mike D’Antoni, meanwhile, spoke Wednesday morning and said they’re fine now. But D’Antoni also offered this about his non-rotation, former franchise player center: “This is not going to be easy, where we all have lollipops. There’s going to be a lot of tears and yelling and screaming, but there’s going to be certain standards. “It’s easy for me to go, ‘Yeah, OK, let’s let him do what he does so he doesn’t get made.’ But we have standards and we will keep them and expect everybody will.”

Nets team captain is Vince

The New York Post (Fred Kerber) reports:  The Nets have a different team captain for the first time since Jason Kidd was elevated to the honor in 2001. And, as expected, it’s Vince Carter. Hardly a shock, but coach Lawrence Frank kept it a guarded secret in the a.m. so he told the results of the voting before the Nets opened their season here against the Wizards.

Rockets-Grizzlies team connections

Houston acquired Shane Battier from Memphis in exchange for Stromile Swift and the draft rights to Rudy Gay on July 12, 2006 … Rockets guard Steve Francis, who was selected after his junior season by Vancouver in the first round (second overall) of the 1999 NBA Draft, had his draft rights traded by the Grizzles to Houston on Aug. 27, 1999 … in the 2008 NBA Draft, Houston traded the draft rights to Nicolas Batum (25th overall pick) to the Portland Trail Blazers for the draft rights to Darrell Arthur (27th overall pick) and to University of Memphis forward Joey Dorsey (33rd overall pick) … the Rockets then sent the draft rights for Arthur to the Grizzlies for the draft rights to Donté Greene (28th overall pick) and Memphis’ 2009 second-round pick … Andy Greer, an assistant coach with the Grizzlies, joined Memphis after four seasons with the Rockets.

Nuggets exercise Renaldo Balkman option

The Denver Nuggets have exercised the fourth-year option on F Renaldo Balkman’s contract, team Vice President of Basketball Operations Mark Warkentien announced today.

Balkman averaged 5.5 ppg (9-14 FG, .643), 3.3 rpg and 1.25 spg in four preseason games with Denver.

Balkman was acquired by trade from the New York Knicks on July 28 in exchange for G Taurean Green, F Bobby Jones and a 2010 second round draft choice.

In two seasons with New York, Balkman averaged 4.2 ppg and 3.8 rpg in 133 games. He was originally drafted by the Knicks with the 20th overall selection of the 2006 NBA Draft.

The Nuggets open the regular season at Utah tonight at 7:00 pm MT.

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced that the team has exercised the third-year option on forward Corey Brewer and the fourth-year option on guard Randy Foye.

Brewer, a second-year forward from Florida, averaged 5.8 points and 3.7 rebounds in 22.8 minutes per game during his rookie campaign and ranked fourth among all NBA rookies with 0.96 steals per game. Brewer scored in double figures 18 times last season, and his 18 rebounds at Atlanta on Dec. 6 were the most by a Wolves rookie in 12 years.

Foye, the seventh overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft out of Villanova, appeared in 39 games for the Wolves last season after missing the season’s first three months while recovering from a knee injury. A member of the NBA All-Rookie Team in 2007, Foye averaged 13.1 points, 3.3 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game last season.

Warriors sign Don Nelson to extension

The Golden State Warriors have signed Head Coach Don Nelson to a contract extension, it was announced today by President Robert Rowell.  Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not announced.

“We’re elated that Don has elected to sign an extension,” said Rowell.  “He has proven to be one of the most successful and innovative coaches in the history of our game and his continued presence on the sidelines is certainly a prominent asset for our team and organization.  Our fans and players enjoy his entertaining style and we all look forward to the day he establishes the NBA’s all-time wins record for a coach.”

Nelson, 68, is currently the second-winningest coach in NBA history (1,280 wins), trailing only Lenny Wilkens (1,332) on the league’s all-time victory list.  Over the first two seasons of his most recent stint with Golden State, Nelson has posted a combined 90-74 record (.549) and guided the Warriors to their first consecutive winning campaigns since 1990-91 and 1991-92.

“I’m thankful for the opportunity to continue to coach this team,” said Nelson.  “I’ve really enjoyed the last two years in the Bay Area and I’m excited about the future and the potential of our young team.  Additionally, I’d like to thank Chris Cohan, the entire Warriors organization and our great fans for their incredible support.  This is a special place for me.”

Last season, Nelson guided the Warriors to a 48-34 record, marking the team’s best record since 1993-94 and just the ninth time in franchise history (since 1946) and the third time since 1975-76 that the team has amassed 48 victories in a single season.  Additionally, Golden State’s 48-34 (.585) record in 2007-08 marked the best record for a non-playoff team since the NBA adopted its current 16-team postseason format prior to the 1984 NBA Playoffs.

Nelson returned to Golden State prior to the 2006-07 campaign, leading the Warriors to a 42-40 record that season and their first trip to the NBA Playoffs in 13 years.  Additionally, he guided Golden State to a First Round triumph over the top-seeded Dallas Mavericks, marking the first time that a #8 seed had defeated a #1 seed in a seven-game series in NBA history.

Entering in his 30th season as an NBA head coach in 2008-09, Nelson has compiled a 1,280-954 (.573) record in 2,234 regular-season games in 29 years.  Only Wilkens has coached more NBA games (2,487). In fact, as Nelson embarks on his 45th year in the NBA as a player, coach, general manager or consultant, only Wilkens has more combined games as a player and head coach than the 3,287 that “Nellie” has registered in his career.

Spurs exercise Ian Mahinmi option

The San Antonio Spurs announced today that they have exercised the third-year team option on center Ian Mahinmi’s rookie scale contract. Mahinmi is now signed through the 2009-10 season. Per team policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We are very excited about Ian Mahinmi’s development,” said Spurs General Manager RC Buford. “We’ve literally seen him grow up in front of our eyes, since he joined us he’s grown more than an inch and gained over 30 pounds. He is a talented young man who has continued to work hard and improve as a basketball player. Being named to the D-League First Team last season – in his first year in the States – is an indication of what a bright future he has.”

Mahinmi, who turns 22 on November 5, is entering his second season with the Spurs. He split the 2007-08 campaign between San Antonio and the Austin Toros, the NBA Development League team owned and operated by the Spurs. Mahinmi started the season in San Antonio, appearing in six games with the Spurs, averaging 3.5 points in 3.8 minutes, before being assigned to the Toros on 11/21.

Mahinmi was named to the 2008 All-NBA Development League First Team. In 46 games with the Toros, he averaged 16.8 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.70 blocks in 29.6 minutes while shooting .615 (276-449) from the field and .766 (219-286) from the line. Mahinmi ranked 19th in the D-League in scoring, second in field goal percentage, eighth in rebounding and ninth in blocks. For the season Mahinmi posted 16 double-doubles. He scored in double figures 38 times, with 20-or-more 17 times and 30-plus four times. Mahinmi scored a season-high-tying 32 points (11-15 FG, 10-16 FT) and grabbed a season-best 17 rebounds vs. Utah on 12/21.

Oct 28: Lakers 96, Blazers 76

The AP reports: Kobe Bryant had 23 points, 11 rebounds and five assists Tuesday night, leading the Los Angeles Lakers to a 96-76 season-opening victory over the Portland Trail Blazers and spoiling rookie Greg Oden’s debut, which was cut short by another injury. Bryant orchestrated a well-balanced offense for the Lakers, who also played tenacious defense. Pau Gasol had all of his 15 points in the first half as Los Angeles moved in front to stay. Trevor Ariz added 11 points and Andrew Bynum, back after sitting out the last part of last season with a knee injury, had eight points and three rebounds… Travis Outlaw led Portland with 18 points and Rudy Fernandez had 16.

Pacers team notes

In addition to leading the team with an average of 15.1 ppg, T.J. Ford also led the Pacers with 38 assists (4.75 apg) and 12 steals (1.5 spg) in preseason.

Among those that played at least half the preseason games, Roy Hibbert led the team with an average of 6.0 rpg. He was also the team’s top offensive rebounder with a total of 18 and the best shot-blocker with 15 rejections. Hibbert recorded one of the Pacers’ two double-doubles in preseason with 12 points and 12 rebounds in the team’s win vs. Memphis, October 17.

The Pacers finished the 2008 preseason with a record of 4-4, their 16th preseason at, or above, .500 in the last 19 years. All-time, the Pacers have had a sub-.500 record in preseason just seven times.

Led by Roy Hibbert’s four, the Pacers blocked 13 shots against the Memphis Grizzlies at Conseco Fieldhouse, October 17. That was the most blocked shots by any NBA team during the preseason. The Pacers had four different players block at least two shots in that game.

The Pacers will start the season with a game on the road for the fifth time in the last six seasons, as they visit the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday, 10/29. The Pacers head into that game having lost six in a row to the Pistons. But, their last win against Detroit came at The Palace of Auburn Hills, December 9, 2006.

When the Pacers host the defending NBA Champion Boston Celtics on opening night, it will mark just the third time in the Pacers’ 33 NBA seasons that they have hosted the league’s defending champion in their home opener. The only other times that the Pacers played the reigning champion on opening night were in 1976 when they also hosted the Celtics in their very first NBA home game, and in 1983 when the Philadelphia 76ers provided the opposition on opening night.

JTerry says do not overlook Mavs

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Jeff Caplan) reports: Jason Terry has a message for opponents and pundits overlooking the Dallas Mavericks. “I can see that they’re doubting us and it’s been a long time since we’ve had that doubt about this team and this organization,” said Terry, who appears set to take on the sixth-man role when the regular season opens at home Thursday against the Houston Rockets. “So I think guys are going to be ready and teams are going to come in kind of like, ‘Oh yeah, we ran through the Mavericks last year, they’re the same old team,’ but it’s going to be a big shock to them.”

InsideHoops.com editor says: The Mavs should be considered a very good team, but a clear notch below a squad deserving of being called a true championship contender. They could surprise, though, but chances are they’ll be in the low/mid West playoff mix.

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