Archive for November, 2008

Nov 24: Magic 108, Bucks 101

The AP reports: Dwight Howard was still standing, and that’s all that mattered for the Orlando Magic. Howard had 24 points and 13 rebounds as the Orlando Magic outlasted the Milwaukee Bucks 108-101 Monday night in a matchup of injury-depleted teams. Richard Jefferson scored 25 points to lead Milwaukee, which lost Andrew Bogut to a knee bruise in the third quarter. The Bucks were already missing Michael Redd and Luke Ridnour, their starting backcourt, to injuries. Hedo Turkoglu, forced to play some point guard when Jameer Nelson went out with a groin pull, and Rashard Lewis each added 22 points for the Magic. Howard picked up his fourth foul halfway through the third quarter but played eight minutes in the final quarter, scoring 7 points but making only 5 of 11 free throws.

Nov 24: Bobcats 93, Sixers 84

The AP reports: It didn’t take long for rookie D.J. Augustin to unseat Raymond Felton as Charlotte’s point guard. Only Felton didn’t lose his starting job, leaving a tiny backcourt that—at least for a night—got the Bobcats out of their offensive funk. Augustin and Felton, each about six-feet tall, combined for 48 points, 16 assists and 12 rebounds in their third game starting together, and the Bobcats beat the Philadelphia 76ers 93-84 Monday night to snap a four-game losing streak… Augustin scored 25 points and added a career-high 11 assists. Felton had 23 points and seven rebounds. They combined to shoot 16 for 22 with only six turnovers… Elton Brand had 18 points, but made only 6 of 13 shots and fouled out with under a minute left. He was nowhere near as dominant as he was a night earlier in a win over Golden State that got the Sixers to .500 for the first time. Thaddeus Young was held to six points on 2-of-10 shooting. Andre Iguodala added 17 points for the Sixers, who shot 40 percent and had their two-game winning streak snapped.

Zach Randolph and Mardy Collins will not be in uniform for Monday night’s game between the Clippers and New Orleans Hornets.

None of the four players in Friday’s trade between the Clippers and New York Knicks are eligible to play for their new teams until the results of all physicals are known.

There’s no word that anything is wrong.

Bobcats sign Dwayne Jones

Charlotte Bobcats General Manager Rod Higgins announced today that the team has signed forward Dwayne Jones. The Bobcats roster now stands at 14 players. Jones will wear jersey #27.

“This will help the Bobcats frontcourt depth, but Jones is a bench-level player who can generally just provide backup support,” says editor Jeff Lenchiner. “The Bobcats really need a legit center to play alongside power forward Emeka Okafor.”

Jones (6-10, 251 pounds) was signed by the Orlando Magic to attend training camp but was released prior to the start of the 2008-09 regular season. He immediately signed with Efes Pilsen Istanbul of the Turkish League and appeared in their first two games.

Over his three-year NBA career, Jones has appeared in 74 games with averages of 1.3 points and 2.4 rebounds in 8.4 minutes with Cleveland and Boston. Jones was an early entry candidate for the 2005 NBA Draft after three seasons at St. Joseph’s University. He was signed by the Minnesota Timberwolves on August 26, 2005 as an undrafted rookie free agent. Jones was later assigned by the team to the NBA Development League (Florida Flame).

After 26 games in the D-League, where he averaged 8.9 points, 11.7 rebounds and 2.0 blocks, Jones was traded to Boston along with Timberwolves teammates Michael Olowokandi, Wally Szczerbiak and a future first-round pick on Jan. 27, 2006. He appeared in 14 games for the Celtics, posting a career-high 13 rebounds on April 17, 2006 against Cleveland.

Jones was traded the following season to the Cavaliers on Oct. 13, 2006 in exchange for Luke Jackson and appeared in just four regular-season games during the 2006-07 season. He had another stint in the D-League (Albuquerque) as assigned by the Cavaliers and appeared in two games with averages of 11.5 points and 11.5 rebounds, 6.0 blocks and 2.0 steals.

In his first full season as an NBA player in 2007-08, Jones appeared in 56 games with averages of 1.4 points and 2.5 rebounds in 8.1 minutes. He set career-high totals in nearly every statistical category including scoring (78), rebounds (140), blocked shots (25) and minutes played (473). He scored a career-high nine points against New Jersey on Dec. 4 and recorded games of 10-or-more rebounds five times.

As a collegian, Jones was named Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Year and two-time All-Defensive Team member two consecutive seasons. He also ranked fifth in the nation in rebounding (11.6) and blocks (3.0) and led the conference in both categories. He was also part of the 2004 Hawks team that went undefeated during the regular season, earning a top seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Players of Week: Wade, Nowitzki

The Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade and the Dallas Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki today were named the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, Nov.17, through Sunday, Nov. 23.

Wade led Miami to a 2-1 week, averaging a league-best 32.3 points and added 9.7 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 3.3 blocks. On Nov. 19, Wade joined Alvan Adams as the only players in NBA history to tally at least 40 points, 10 assists and five blocks in a game, when he tallied 40 points, 11 assists and five blocks against the Raptors. Wade’s 38 points on Nov. 22 marked the 100th 30-point game of his career, while his 14 fourth-quarter points helped the Heat overcome a 15-point deficit to defeat Indiana, 109-100.

Nowitzki averaged 27.0 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists as Dallas went 3-0 on the week. Ranked fourth in the league in scoring (24.7 ppg), Nowitzki posted two double-doubles, including a 25-point, 10-rebound game against Memphis to give the Mavericks their first home-win this season, on Nov. 21. Nowitzki leads the Mavericks in scoring, rebounding and minutes, and has recorded 30 or more points five times this season.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Boston’s Rajon Rondo, Cleveland’s LeBron James, Dallas’ Jason Terry, Denver’s Chauncey Billups, New Jersey’s Vince Carter, Philadelphia’s Elton Brand and Phoenix’s Amare Stoudemire.

Keith Bogans out 4-6 weeks

Orlando Magic guard-forward Keith Bogans will miss approximately four-to-six weeks of action due to a fractured left thumb, General Manager Otis Smith announced today. Bogans suffered the injury during the Magic’s game against Houston on Saturday, November 22.

Bogans (6’5”, 215, 5/12/80) has played in all 13 games (one start) this season for Orlando, averaging 6.4 ppg. and 3.5 rpg. in 24.4 minpg.  He is shooting .362 (17-of-47) from three-point range and has scored in double figures three times.

Last season, Bogans appeared in all 82 games for the Magic, averaging 8.7 ppg., 3.2 rpg. and 1.3 apg. in 26.8 minpg., including 35 starts.  He shot .362 (148-of-409) from beyond the three-point arc.  Bogans also played in all 10 playoff outings, averaging 7.3 ppg., 4.2 rpg. and 1.1 apg. in 29.3 minpg.

Wizards fire coach Eddie Jordan

Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has relieved Head Coach Eddie Jordan of his duties. Ed Tapscott will lead the team as interim head coach beginning immediately.

“This was an extremely difficult decision because I’m personally very fond of Eddie,” said Wizards Chairman Abe Pollin. “He helped bring our franchise back to the playoffs and became engrained in the Washington, D.C., community. I will forever be grateful for his dedication and hard work. However, sometimes circumstances force changes. Our team is not performing to my expectations and I felt it was time to make a change. We wish Eddie and his family all the best.”

Jordan compiled an overall record of 197-224 (.468) during his five-plus-year tenure as head coach of the Wizards (he was originally hired on June 19, 2003). The Wizards have begun the 2008-09 campaign with a 1-10 record.

“Our 1-10 record is not acceptable and, more importantly, the way we have lost those games is not acceptable,” said Grunfeld. “We felt as an organization that it was time to make a change and we’re looking forward to the team moving in a positive direction.”

Tapscott was in his second season with the Wizards as director of player development/programs. In that role, he assisted the coaching staff in game preparation and player development. He has over 25 years of experience in basketball, including front office leadership roles with the New York Knicks and Charlotte Bobcats and a nine-year stint (1982-1990) as head coach of American University. During his time at American, he guided the team to more wins than any other coach in school history.

Assistant Coaches Phil Hubbard, Randy Ayers, Wes Unseld Jr. and Dave Hopla will remain with the team, while Associate Head Coach Mike O’Koren was also relieved of his duties today.

Read and join in fan discussion of this news.

Kings overworked in November

The Sacramento Bee (Sam Amick) reports:  By the time November is done, the Kings will have played a league-high 17 games during the month. Utah, Milwaukee and Oklahoma City will share the distinction, with the Kings and Jazz the only two that will go the entire month without more than one day between any of their games. The Kings have four sets of back-to-back games in all, with two this week (at the Lakers on Sunday and at Portland today; at Utah on Friday and home against Dallas on Saturday). The combination of the two major factors to the season’s start was, quite obviously, far from ideal. Kings coach Reggie Theus said the only solution is to continue focusing on the bigger picture. “One thing is for sure is that you can’t worry about the end result,” he said. “We just have to keep playing and finding a way to play. … But we have to accept where we are, what our goals are, and understand that the fight to get to the next place is always there.”

Brook Lopez good as starter

The New York Post (Tim Bontemps) reports on Nets rookie center Brook Lopez: The Stanford product, who was the 10th pick in the draft in June, has seen his production increase dramatically since a promotion to the starting lineup. After averaging a bit over four points and five rebounds a game as a reserve, Lopez’s averages have jumped up to 14.6 points and nine rebounds as a starter over the past five games. “He had a couple games coming off the bench where he was struggling a little bit,” Frank said. “I think getting in the role of a starter kind of got his confidence back in the right direction, and I think he’s been very, very consistent. You don’t necessarily have to play through him and he still gets those numbers.”

Anthony Randolph defending well

The San Francisco Chronicle (Janny Hu) reports: Rookie Anthony Randolph has all the tools to be an offensive star, but, for now, it’s his defense that’s leading the way. The lanky forward entered Sunday’s game averaging about one point and one rebound for every two minutes played - highlighted by his 10-point, nine-rebound and four-block gem in just 13 minutes against Chicago on Friday. He showed his rough edges against the Sixers with six points (on 3-for-10 shooting) and three turnovers to go with four rebounds and two blocks in 28 minutes.

Nov 23: Lakers 118, Kings 108

The AP reports: The Lakers committed 18 turnovers Sunday night, which the Kings converted into 30 points. But Kobe Bryant was good when he had to be, scoring 24 points and dishing out six assists to help the defending Western Conference champs beat the Kings 118-108 and improve the NBA’s best record to 11-1… All five Lakers starters reached double figures in points by the third quarter, as they won for the fourth straight time since losing to Detroit at home. Andrew Bynum had 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Pau Gasol chipped in with 16 points… John Salmons led Sacramento with 24 points and reserve Bobby Brown added 21. Kevin Martin was sidelined for the eighth consecutive game with a sprained left ankle and Mikki Moore missed his fourth straight because of a sprained right ankle.

Nov 23: Nuggets 114, Bulls 101

The AP reports: Carmelo Anthony scored 21 points and the Denver Nuggets rallied for a 114-101 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Sunday night… Anthony was struggling with his jumper, shooting less than 30 percent over his last four games. However, he finished 6-of-11 from the floor on Sunday, including a big 3-pointer late in the fourth quarter. He also had 13 rebounds and a season-high eight assists. “Melo was great,” said Chauncey Billups, who finished with 21 points and eight assists as the team moved to 8-2 since his acquisition… Ben Gordon scored 28 points for the Bulls, hitting 5-of-7 3-pointers. He also hit all nine of his free throw attempts. Gooden finished with 21 points as the Bulls lost for the ninth time in 10 visits to the Mile High City… Derrick Rose finished with 15 points, including a dazzling move in the third quarter where he flew down the lane, faked going to the left side of the basket, brought it back to the right, avoided Anthony’s block attempt and put it in, eliciting a gasp from the crowd.

Nov 23: Wolves 106, Pistons 80

The AP reports: Randy Foye got the message. After two days of listening to his coaches and teammates urge him to play with more intensity, the Minnesota Timberwolves guard did just that on Sunday. Foye had 23 points and a career-high 14 assists, and the Timberwolves beat the Detroit Pistons 106-80 for their first road victory of the season… “We weren’t happy with the way we lost to Boston, and we knew we were playing a similar team tonight,” said Ryan Gomes, who scored 20 points… Al Jefferson had 19 points for Minnesota and reserve Craig Smith scored 16. Tayshaun Prince led the Pistons with 20 points, but Jason Maxiell was the only other player to reach double figures with 12.

Nov 23: Sixers 89, Warriors 81

The AP reports: Elton Brand had 23 points and 12 rebounds, Andre Iguodala added 15 points and the Philadelphia 76ers moved above .500 for the first time this season with an 89-81 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Sunday… Thaddeus Young contributed 12 points and Samuel Dalembert had 16 rebounds for the Sixers, who improved to 7-6 and snapped a five-game losing streak to the Warriors… Kelenna Azubuike scored 16 while C.J. Watson and Stephen Jackson had 12 apiece for Golden State, which dropped its second in a row. Andris Biedrins and Brandan Wright had 10 apiece.

Nov 23: Celtics 118, Raptors 103

The AP reports: With Rajon Rondo running at full speed, the Boston Celtics’ offense has found a new gear. Ray Allen scored 21 points and Boston led from the start in winning its fifth straight game, 118-103 over the Toronto Raptors on Sunday. Rondo, Kevin Garnett and Tony Allen each scored 15 points for the Celtics, who have won 11 of 12 since a Nov. 1 loss to Indiana… Kendrick Perkins had 12 points and Paul Pierce and Eddie House each had 11 in helping Boston score a season high. Its previous best was 110 points in a Nov. 18 victory over New York… Chris Bosh led Toronto with 24 points, while Jose Calderon had 14 points and nine assists. Andrea Bargnani and Anthony Parker had 14 apiece for the Raptors, who are 2-4 at home.

Pistons will sign Antonio McDyess

The Boston Globe (Marc Spears) reports: As expected, free agent Antonio McDyess has decided to return back to the Detroit Pistons, according to his agent Andy Miller tonight… The Celtics were among 18 teams that were interested in the 2001 NBA All-Star and president Danny Ainge made calls to Miller and McDyess. Indications from the beginning, however, were that McDyess would return to Detroit although he can’t officially sign until Dec. 7.

24 is on tonight

For all you fans of the Fox show 24, there’s a two-hour 24 “event” called “Redemption” on tonight at 8 p.m.

When I first heard about it, I assumed that the new season was finally starting. It’s been what, two years now? But it appears that “Redemption” is just a special and not the start of anything.

I have no idea if 24 is actually having a new season or not anytime soon, or ever. It’s one of the only shows I kept up with over these last few years. If anyone knows the deal, email me at editor at insidehoops dot com.

Zach Randolph OK with trade

Former Knick Zach Randolph is now with the Clippers. Although Randolph was mentioned in NBA trade rumors fairly regularly, it’s still often a shock when a deal actually happens. But he seems cool with it. The Newark Star-Ledger (Dave D’Alessandro) reports:

Zach Randolph was upbeat about the trade and understood the Knicks did it to clear salary-cap space for the 2010 free-agent class. But he said that, even before he was traded, the Knicks players had the sense that the team is more focused on the future than the present. “Yeah, definitely,” he said. “They’re looking for 2010. That’s why they did it, that was their goal. I wish the best of luck for them. The organization has been great, Donnie (Walsh) and coach (Mike) D’Antoni have been great and all the players have been great.” Randolph, who was the Knicks’ leading scorer and rebounder with 20.5 points and 12.5 boards per game, didn’t want to comment on the conflict between Stephon Marbury and D’Antoni on Friday night, when the guard allegedly refused to play.

This deal also means it’s worth watching the next few Clippers games, to see how Baron Davis continues to adjust to his new teammates, and how the Clippers handle having Randolph, Chris Kaman and Marcus Camby on the roster together. Who starts, who sits? Randolph absolutely can’t pretend to be a small forward, because whoever he guards at the position would go right past him. It’ll be an interesting frontcourt to watch, at least for the next few days as they sort things out.

Nov 22: Jazz 103, Grizzlies 94

The AP reports: Mehmet Okur had a season-high 23 points to lead the Utah Jazz to a 103-94 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night. Okur was 9-of-15 from the field, including missing only one of his five shots from 3-point range, as the Jazz won the sixth straight game in the series. Ronnie Brewer, who was 10-of-14 from the floor, added 21 points, Morris Almond had 11, and Ronnie Price 10. O.J. Mayo led Memphis with 23 points, and Rudy Gay added 21. Darrell Arthur had 16 points and nine rebounds, and Mike Conley finished with 14 points and eight assists. The Jazz were short-handed. Guard Deron Williams missed his 12th game because of a sprained ankle, Carlos Boozer sat out with a strained left quadriceps, and Kyle Korver was sidelined by an inflamed right wrist.

Nov 22: Suns 102, Blazers 92

The AP reports: Shaquille O’Neal had 19 points and 17 rebounds to power the Phoenix Suns to a 102-92 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night. Amare Stoudemire added 17 points, Steve Nash had 16 on 6-for-7 shooting, and Grant Hill scored 15 for the Suns, who beat the Blazers for the second time in Phoenix this season. The Suns’ Raja Bell scored all 14 of his points in the second half. O’Neal’s performance included a head-first dive over the first two rows of seats trying to save a loose ball with 2:55 to play. Brandon Roy scored 26 points for Portland. Steve Blake added 22, 14 in the third quarter. Greg Oden, in his first matchup against the massive O’Neal, had five points, one rebound and five fouls in 14 minutes off the bench.

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