Archive for November 3rd, 2008

Iverson officially a Piston

The trade that sends Allen Iverson to the Detroit Pistons is now official. Click that link.

In return for Iverson, the Denver Nuggets get Chauncey Billups, Antonio McDyess and Cheikh Samb.

Also, hit the insidehoops front page for more opinions on the trade and updated NBA depth charts.

Nuggets waive Juwan Howard

The Denver Nuggets have waived F Juwan Howard, team Vice President of Basketball Operations Mark Warkentien announced today.

Howard appeared in all three games for the Nuggets this season, averaging 0.7 ppg and 1.3 rpg in 7.3 minutes.

The Nuggets are reportedly about to trade Allen Iverson to the Pistons for Chauncey Billups and Antonio McDyess.

Wade not feeling team yet

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Ira Winderman) reports: Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade said Monday that not only doesn’t he look like himself through the first three games of the season, but he also doesn’t feel like himself. Wade is shooting 41.2 percent from the field through the first week, down from his career 48.1. He is coming off a 5-of-15 performance in Saturday’s 100-87 road loss against the Charlotte Bobcats that dropped the Heat to 1-2. Wade said he still is having trouble finding himself in an offense that features several new players to the rotation, including rookies Michael Beasley and Mario Chalmers.

Roy Hibbert not getting minutes yet

The Indianapolis Star (Mike Wells) reports: Pacers rookie Roy Hibbert is averaging just nine minutes in the first two games, which includes a total of 68 seconds in the second half. O’Brien said it’s not because Hibbert, the No. 17 pick last summer, has done anything wrong. It’s due to the fact that he’d rather go with more experienced players in the second half. “I see a guy growing well,” O’Brien said about Hibbert. “When you’re playing against Detroit and Boston, I’m going to go with veterans down the stretch. “I thought Roy did some good things. He needs to maintain his focus. His work ethic is great and I’m very, very pleased with how he’s developing.”

Mike Conley benched for 4th quarters

The Memphis Commercial Appeal (Ronald Tillery) reports on Mike Conley: The second-year point guard, taken fourth overall in the 2007 draft, hasn’t logged a single minute in the fourth quarter of the Grizzlies’ past two games. He’s yielded to third-year reserve Kyle Lowry, whose defensive toughness, speedy play and adequate decision-making has earned him a role as the closer at that position. So what’s going on with Conley? He’s not injured. “That question requires reflection,” Griz coach Marc Iavaroni said after benching Conley for the entire fourth quarter of a 96-86 loss Saturday at Chicago. “Right now, Kyle is playing with more energy and physicality so I’m going with him.”

Thunder waive John Lucas

Oklahoma City Thunder General Manager Sam Presti announced today that the team has waived point guard John Lucas III.

Lucas averaged 5.0 points and 2.7 assists in three preseason contests. He was inactive for all three of the Thunder regular season games.

The Thunder roster now stands at 14.

Iverson to be traded for Billups

The Denver Nuggets don’t appear to be championship-bound with a core of Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson. The team is good, but may never be great. With Melo the younger player, the Nuggets are giving up on the combo and sending Iverson to Detroit. In return, the Pistons will send point guard Chauncey Billups and power forward/center Antonio McDyess to Denver. first got wind this deal, which has been reported as a rumor in the past, would actually happen from Marc Spears’ Boston Globe blog.

Looking at the trade for the Pistons: Detroit gets a big-time scorer in Iverson who is a natural shooting guard but can pretend to be a point guard. Chances are, Iverson will start at PG, with Richard Hamilton staying at shooting guard, and young talented point guard Rodney Stuckey continuing to come off the bench. Hamilton is too undersized to play small forward for more than a few minutes. Billups is a better floor general than Iverson, but Iverson’s the quicker player and better scorer. As for Antonio McDyess, he was coming off the bench but still important for Detroit. Amir Johnson and Jason Maxiell will have to step up more with Dice gone. And Kwame Brown becomes more important.

Detroit also gets tons of extra salary cap space in the deal.

Looking at the trade for the Nuggets: Gone is Iverson and in comes Billups, who is better than Iverson at running an total team offense. Billups is also a stronger, more physical defender. Billups doesn’t draw defensive attention like Iverson does, but he can do a better job setting up JR Smith, Carmelo Anthony (who can also create his own offense anytime he wants), Kenyon Martin and Nene.

Also, Billups is a Denver guy.

Mo Williams still adjusting to Cavs

The Cleveland Plain Dealer (Brian Windhorst) reports:  The Cavaliers aren’t off to a great start at 1-2 heading into tonight’s game against the Mavericks, but the sky certainly isn’t falling. Yet Mo Williams, touted far and wide as the injection the Cavs needed, seems to be taking the offense’s somewhat shaky start hard. It has only been three games, two of them on the road at juggernauts Boston and New Orleans, and Williams hasn’t played all that poorly, averaging 13.3 points and 4.3 assists. But his body language and comments hint he seems to be putting quite a bit of pressure on himself to perform, an affirmation of his competitive nature. “Personally, I’m just not there yet. I’m still trying to get comfortable,” Williams said. “I’m trying not to lose any sleep over it. Tomorrow is a new day.”

Daequan Cook defending well

The Miami Herald (Michael Wallace) reports: Heat guard Daequan Cook has seen an increase in playing time because of his improved play on defense, not just because he regained his shooting touch. Cook, who had been mired in a preseason slump, has emerged as the first guard off the bench. Cook, who scored 13 points in each of the first two games of the season, has impressed on defense, where he had struggled with poor footwork and bad technique. ”For me, it was being focused, being patient and realizing what’s going to get me out on the floor is defense,” said Cook, who is averaging 25 minutes a game. “On the defensive end you get looked at more.”

Nov 2: Thunder 88, Wolves 85

The AP reports: Russell Westbrook sparked a comeback with back-to-back steals on the defensive end and then scored the go-ahead basket for the last of his 14 points as the Thunder beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 88-85 Sunday night for their first victory in their new home… Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 18 points despite a 7-for-21 shooting night. Green added 13 points, Chris Wilcox scored 12 off the bench and Collison had 10 points and 10 rebounds for his first double-double. Minnesota’s Al Jefferson had 24 points and 13 rebounds for his third straight double-double to start the season, but the Thunder clamped down late on him. Craig Smith added 13 points, Gomes scored 12 and Mike Miller had 10… Foye was 0-for-10 and had his only two points on free throws.

Nov 2: Bucks 94, Knicks 86

The AP reports: Richard Jefferson and Ramon Sessions each scored 18 points, and the Bucks used a strong defensive effort to shake off Michael Redd’s injury and beat the Knicks 94-86 on Sunday night. Redd added 16 points, making all three 3-point attempts, before leaving with a sprained right ankle with Milwaukee leading by 16 late in the third quarter. Charlie Villanueva also scored 16, while Andrew Bogut had 13 points and 11 rebounds… Quentin Richardson had 28 points and nine rebounds for the Knicks, who have shot under 38 percent in their past two games, making D’Antoni’s offensive system look awful. With Stephon Marbury again inactive, they went scoreless for more than 3 1/2 minutes to start the third quarter and never recovered. They clanged jumpers, botched layups and finished at 37 percent for the game. Stat Notes: For the Knicks, Q-Rich shot 11-of-18 for his 28 points and 9 rebounds. Zach Randolph (just 6-of-17) had 15 points and 13 rebounds. Nate Robinson on 11 shots had 14 points, 5 rebounds but more turnovers than assists off the bench. Chris Duhon did little. Jamal Crawford was an awful 0-for-6 for 1 point and 4 assists. David Lee played 20 minutes and did almost nothing. For the Bucks, all five starters scored in double figures, plus Luc Richard Mbah a Moute had 11 off the bench.

Warriors sign Rob Kurz

The Golden State Warriors have signed free agent forward Rob Kurz, Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Mullin announced today.

Kurz appeared in four of Golden State’s six preseason games, averaging 4.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.8 assists in 14 minutes per game. He was originally signed as a free agent training camp invitee on September 9 and subsequently waived on October 27.

To make room for Kurz on the 15-man roster, the Warriors have transferred guard Monta Ellis to the suspended list.  Kurz will wear uniform #31.

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