Archive for November 13th, 2008

Beasley defense lacking

The Palm Beach Post (Chris Perkins) reports: Coach Erik Spoelstra said it couldn’t be done, and he was right. The Heat can’t hide Michael Beasley’s defensive shortcomings. But Miami is trying. It put center Udonis Haslem on Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge in Wednesday’s 104-96 loss. It was the fourth time in eight games Beasley defended the opponents’ center instead of its power forward. Eventually in the Portland game, Beasley, who struggles with defensive rotations, had to be taken out altogether. “There were a lot of situations being thrown at him yesterday, and his head was spinning,” Spoelstra said after today’s practice.

Hot stats worth knowing

The Los Angeles Lakers, the NBA’s only undefeated team, are 7-0 for the first time since the 2001-02 season.

Phoenix’s Shaquille O’Neal, who finished with 18 points in the Suns’ home loss to Houston last night, moved passed John Havlicek into 10th place on the all-time scoring list. With 26,402 career points, O’Neal needs 266 points to tie Dominique Wilkins for ninth all time (26,668).

The Lakers’ Kobe Bryant needs three points to tie Larry Bird for 23rd on the all-time scoring list (21,791).

With 2,058 steals, Dallas’ Jason Kidd needs 17 steals to tie Mookie Blaylock (2,075 steals) for 10th all time.

Orlando’s Dwight Howard recorded his first career triple-double with 30 points, 19 rebounds and 10 blocks in last night’s win over Oklahoma City. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Howard became the first player with at least 30 points and 10 blocks in a game since Hakeem Olajuwon (31 points, 10 blocks) accomplished the feat against Dallas on April 13, 1996.

New Orleans’ Chris Paul has recorded at least one steal in 90 straight games, the longest active streak in the NBA. The all-time record is 105 straight games with at least one steal, held by Alvin Robertson.

Miami’s Dwyane Wade has scored at least 30 points in a franchise-record four straight games. Wade is averaging 28.2 points on the season.

Through seven games, Indiana’s T.J. Ford is averaging a career-best 17.1 points, while shooting a career-high .479 percent from the field. He had 17 assists combined through his first four games. He has 28 his last three contests.

–NBA News

Offensive gurus on TNT Thursday

Three of the NBA’s top offensive teams will be in action tonight on TNT as part of the network’s Thursday night double-header. The Cleveland Cavaliers host the Denver Nuggets (8 p.m. ET), followed by the Detroit Pistons visiting the Golden State Warriors (10:30 p.m. ET). Denver’s mission, should it choose to accept it, is to somehow contain the NBA’s most potent weapon: LeBron James. James accounts for nearly 30 percent of his team’s points and has scored at least 40 in three of the last four games. James is averaging a league-high 29.8 points, 8.4 rebounds (25th in the NBA) and 6.9 assists (7th), and is the only player to rank in the top 25 in each category. Denver is the league’s lone team with nine players averaging at least 7.5 points. Chauncey Billups is averaging 15.7 points and 6.0 assists, while leading Denver to a 3-0 record in his three appearances as a Nugget. The 4-3 Nuggets rank seventh overall in scoring (100.1 ppg), while the 5-2 Cavaliers are 10th (99.5 ppg) … The Warriors, who paced the league in scoring last season (111 ppg), rank third thus far at 102.6 ppg. The 5-2 Pistons will need to focus on keeping the 3-5 Warriors out of the middle and off the glass. Golden State ranks first in the league in offensive rebounds (14.4 orpg), third in points in the paint with 47.3 per game and fourth in second chance points with 17.1 per contest. Detroit’s Allen Iverson needs 41 points to tie Elgin Baylor for 19th on the all-time scoring list (23,149) and 69 to tie Adrian Dantley for 18th (23,177).

–NBA News

Wizards quotes

WIZARDS HEAD COACH EDDIE JORDAN

On carrying the momentum from last night’s win: “Our leaders are great leaders.  They continue to echo that message that it’s one game and that we need to continue to do the things that we did last night in each game – 48 minutes of hard, smart basketball with winning plays at the end.  Even if the shots don’t fall we can still rebound, get into people and be physical.  Let’s keep that message and see if we can follow it a little bit more.”

On the defense against the Utah Jazz: “I think we got our hands on a lot of balls: deflections, steals, blocked shots. We kept the ball alive on the glass.  That was one of the Utah Jazz’s comments that we controlled the paint.  We started early with a couple of steals and some deflections and you feed off of that. You can feel that frenzied attitude.”

On the Miami Heat: “We need to keep him (Dwyane Wade) off the rim, off the glass and out of the paint. They’re young and they play fairly small.  They open the floor up.  They’re going to feel good at home.  We’re going to go with what was good for us last night – we’ll go sort of big.  We certainly can play small or big just as long as we keep the harmony and the chemistry, and that is what we are trying to develop.”

On JaVale McGee: “His bloodlines are genuine.  He’s been taught the right away – how to compete, how to behave.  He is learning at an early age how to pay attention and how to compete.  No one teaches how to love the game, but he loves the game.  He is a special player right now because of his growth and all of the intangibles.”

WIZARDS FORWARD CARON BUTLER

On the Miami Heat: “It’s going to be tough.  They play with a lot of effort and energy.  Dwyane Wade is definitely back – he’s playing at an unbelievable level right now.  We have to bring it.  It’s not going to be easy to win in Miami, but it’s definitely something we can accomplish.”

On JaVale McGee: “He’s doing great.  A lot was expected of him, and I think he came in and did exactly what he was supposed to do.  He played with a lot of effort and energy.  When you apply that much energy and effort out on the court, good things are going to happen on the offensive end.  Guys are going to reward you and throw the ball up there.  He’s been doing great; he’s been finishing strong and getting the crowd into it.  He was a real big part of our success last night.”

WIZARDS GUARD JUAN DIXON

On getting a win: “We’re happy to get a win.  I thought we played a lot better on the defensive end and we moved the ball a lot more on the offensive end.  As long as we continue to play with the energy we played with last night and execute on the defensive side, I think we’ll be fine.”

On the Miami Heat: “We have to contain Dwyane Wade.  We have to be on point like we were last night (against the Utah Jazz).  Miami has a young team and they have their All-Star (Dwyane Wade) playing at a superstar level right now.  We have to do our part on the defensive end.”

Orlando magic center Dwight Howard put up an insane triple-double stat-line of 30 points, 19 rebounds and 10 blocks in a win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The AP reports: It was the first time a player had at least 30 points and 10 blocks in a game since Hakeem Olajuwon had 31 points, 13 rebounds and 10 blocks against Dallas on April 13, 1996, according to the Elias Sports Bureau… “I’m going to try to do this again,” said Howard, who set a goal of leading the NBA in rebounds and blocks this season. “It felt good, trying to block every shot. And I know Coach is very happy.”

The Orlando Sentinel reports: Howard was ridiculously dominant to start the Magic’s three-game road trip. He blocked a career-high 10 shots to pad his NBA shot-block lead, besting his previous regular-season high of seven, to record his first triple-double. He finished with 30 points and 19 rebounds, and worked on his Tim Duncan-esque bank-shot.

Bulls sign Lindsey Hunter

The Chicago Bulls today signed Lindsey Hunter. Per team policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.  Hunter, a 6-2, 195-pound guard, will be with the Bulls tonight when they host the Dallas Mavericks at the United Center at 7:30 p.m.

Hunter, a 15-year NBA veteran, most recently played with the Detroit Pistons during the 2007-08 campaign.  Last year, he appeared in 24 games and averaged 2.4 ppg and 1.4 apg in 9.0 mpg.

The Utica, Miss native has enjoyed two stints with the Pistons (1993-2000, 2003-08).  He has also played for the Milwaukee Bucks (2000-01), the L.A. Lakers (2001-02) and the Toronto Raptors (2002-03).  For his career, he has posted averages of 8.8 ppg, 2.7 apg, 2.2 rpg and 1.23 spg in 25.5 mpg.  He owns career shooting averages of .389 from the field, .362 from downtown and .746 from the line.

Originally selected by the Pistons in the first round (10th overall) of the 1993 NBA Draft, the 37-year old Hunter has been a member of 11 playoff teams, including the 2002 NBA Champion L.A. Lakers and the 2004 NBA Champion Detroit Pistons.

Chicago’s roster now stands at 15.

Barclays stands behind Brooklyn Nets

Barclays, a leading global financial services company and the naming rights partner for the future Barclays Center, today affirmed its commitment to the future arena in Brooklyn and the updated timeline for a 2009 groundbreaking. The Barclays Center, which is designed by Frank Gehry, will be the world-class home of the Nets.

“Barclays is unwavering in its commitment to the Barclays Center and we are very pleased with our long-term alliance with our great partners, the Nets and Forest City Ratner Companies (FCRC),” said Gerard LaRocca, Chief Administrative Officer, Americas, at Barclays Capital, the investment banking division of Barclays PLC. “We are very excited about being part of the continued renaissance of Brooklyn and we eagerly look forward to opening night at the Barclays Center.”

“Since we announced our 20-year naming rights partnership in January 2007, Barclays has offered nothing but resolute and great support,” Nets Chief Executive Officer Brett Yormark said. “We deeply appreciate our partnership with such a well-respected and distinguished company, which shares our love for Brooklyn and our strong sense of community.”

“We are thrilled to have Barclays as a partner,” said Bruce Ratner, chairman and CEO of Forest City Ratner Companies, a subsidiary of Forest City Enterprises, Inc., and the chairman of Nets Sports and Entertainment, LLC, which owns the Nets. “The Barclays Center will be one of the most spectacular sports and entertainment arenas in the world.  Even more importantly, it is a centerpiece of a development that will bring thousands of jobs and affordable housing units to Brooklyn.” Forest City Enterprises (NYSE: FCEA and FCEB) has an equity interest in Nets Sports and Entertainment.

In addition to its naming rights commitment, Barclays continues to play a major role as the co-lead in the financing of the Barclays Center. Momentum for the Barclays Center continued recently when the Internal Revenue Service issued a new regulation that confirms that tax exempt bonds may be used to finance the arena.

The multifaceted partnership among Barclays, the Nets, and FCRC includes the Barclays/Nets Community Alliance, which invests $1 million per year in local non-profits that work to improve the lives of young people in Brooklyn and surrounding communities through sports and other activities, including education and health care. Last month, the Barclays/Nets Community Alliance unveiled a new playground at Public School 19 in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, which marked the first of eight Brooklyn playgrounds that the Alliance will fund with a grant to Out2Play, Inc., a non-profit dedicated to building and refurbishing playgrounds throughout the New York City public school system.

Nov 12: Rockets 94, Suns 82

The AP reports: Tracy McGrady scored 22 of his 27 points in the second half, 15 in a brilliant third quarter, as the Rockets pulled away to lead by as many as 19 points… McGrady, 1-for-16 shooting in his previous two games, made 11 of 18 shots, going 9-of-14 in the second half as the Rockets used a tough defense to dominate the Suns and spoil O’Neal’s big night. The Suns center scored 18 points to move past John Havlicek into 10th on the NBA career scoring list. O’Neal also grabbed 13 rebounds… What was mostly a shoving match broke out just after McGrady’s 3-pointer put Houston ahead 74-55 with 27 seconds left in the third quarter. Houston’s Rafer Alston, upset after getting a shoulder from Matt Barnes, shoved the Phoenix player at midcourt… Steve Nash rushed into middle of things and was pushed to the court by McGrady, who in turn was shoved down by O’Neal, who with one arm moved the entire scrum several feet… Yao added 17 points and 15 rebounds for the Rockets, who led by 19 entering the fourth quarter. Aaron Brooks scored 19 and Alston 15 for Houston. The Suns’ Leandro Barbosa scored 18 on 5-for-14 shooting.

Nov 12: Kings 103, Clippers 98

The AP reports: With Kevin Martin sidelined, Beno Udrih knew he had to look to score more than usual… Udrih had a career-high 30 points, five rebounds and seven assists, and the short-handed Sacramento Kings never trailed in beating the Los Angeles Clippers 103-98 on Wednesday night for their first road victory of the season… Sacramento played its second game without Martin, who is out at least a week after spraining his left ankle in a victory over Golden State on Sunday… Brad Miller added 16 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists, Thompson had 16 points and 11 rebounds, and John Salmons scored 13 points for the Kings (4-5), who started the season with four straight road losses by an average of 20 points. They followed that with three wins in four home games before beating the Clippers… Al Thornton led the Clippers (1-7) with 20 points. Ricky Davis scored 12 of his 16 in the fourth quarter, Marcus Camby added 13 points and Baron Davis had 12 points and 11 assists, but shot 4-of-15.

Nov 12: Bucks 82, Spurs 78

The AP reports: Andrew Bogut had 10 points and 17 rebounds, Richard Jefferson scored 16 of his 19 points in the second half and the Milwaukee Bucks held on after a big run to beat Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs 82-78 on Wednesday night… The Bucks, without Michael Redd for the fifth straight game because of a sprained right ankle and in the midst of a three-game losing streak, used a 21-2 run straddling the third and fourth quarters to take control in a game that featured two struggling offenses without some of their biggest stars… The league’s model of consistency (Duncan) had 24 points and scored 14 of the Spurs’ 19 points in the fourth quarter in a rally that fell just short when he missed a “bunny” shot that would’ve tied it with 5 seconds to play.

Nov 12: Lakers 93, Hornets 86

The AP reports: Kobe Bryant scored 20 points, highlighted by a tough 3-pointer over James Posey with just over a minute left, and the Los Angeles Lakers improved to 7-0 with a 93-86 victory over New Orleans on Wednesday night… Derek Fisher hit four 3-pointers and also finished with 20. He had 18 through the first three quarters, leading what to that point had been a dominant effort by Los Angeles, which never trailed… Chris Paul led New Orleans (4-3) with 30 points and 13 assists, scoring 16 points in the fourth quarter… Bynum and Pau Gasol each scored 14 for Los Angeles, and Trevor Ariza added 10 points. Bynum also had four blocked shots, setting the tone with a block on Hornets center Tyson Chandler on the game’s opening possession. West had 21 points and 12 rebounds. Peja Stojakovic had 10 points but was only 3-of-13 shooting. Chandler had 10 rebounds.

Nov 12: Knicks 132, Grizzlies 103

The AP reports: The Knicks set a franchise record with 19 3-pointers, hitting 56 percent from beyond the arc, and Wilson Chandler scored a career-high 27 points in New York’s 132-103 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies. Chandler missed only one of his 12 shots in the game, and Nate Robinson made all eight of his, including five from long range, part of New York’s 19-of-34 performance from 3-point territory… Jamal Crawford added 25 points and eight assists for the Knicks, who shot 59 percent from the field. Memphis entered the game allowing teams to shoot only 41.9 percent from the field, sixth-best in the league. Robinson scored 21, while Zach Randolph had 18 points and 10 rebounds… Rudy Gay led Memphis with 20 points, while O.J. Mayo, who had surpassed 30 points in his last two games, scored 17. Marc Gasol finished with 16 points for Memphis, which lost for the first time at home this season.

Nov 12: Blazers 104, Heat 96

The AP reports: Rudy Fernandez scored 25 points, including a clutch spinning jumper as the shot clock expired with 44.9 seconds left, and the Blazers celebrated Oden’s comeback from a sprained right foot with a 104-96 victory over the Miami Heat on Wednesday night. Brandon Roy scored 22 points and LaMarcus Aldridge added 14 for the Trail Blazers. Oden, the 2007 No. 1 overall pick who missed all of last season and hadn’t played since getting hurt in this season’s opener, finished with three points and two rebounds in 16 minutes… Michael Beasley and Daequan Cook each scored 11 points for Miami, while Chris Quinn scored 10 and Udonis Haslem finished with 11 rebounds. Miami had 19 turnovers that Portland turned into 26 points.

Nov 12: Magic 109, Thunder 92

The AP reports: Dwight Howard recorded his first career triple-double with 30 points, 19 rebounds and 10 blocks Wednesday night and the Orlando Magic beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 109-92… Howard had a highlight reel full of dunks—a two-hander off an offensive rebound, a right-handed jam off a pass from Hedo Turkoglu and another two-handed slam off an alley-oop from Anthony Johnson. He also pulled up when he was all alone on a fast break and gently laid the ball in with two hands… Jeff Green had 25 points and 10 rebounds, Russell Westbrook added 13 points and Earl Watson and Desmond Mason each scored 12 for the Thunder. Mickael Pietrus and Jameer Nelson each had 17 points, Turkoglu scored 15 and Rashard Lewis added 13 for the Magic against the team he played nine seasons with before it relocated from Seattle. Nelson had a career-high 10 rebounds.

Nov 12: Wizards 95, Jazz 87

The AP reports: Caron Butler and Antawn  Jamison scored 15 consecutive Wizards points during the fourth quarter. The duo’s spurt ended with Jamison’s 3-pointer that put Washington ahead 84-82 with 2 minutes left. “The deciding factor,” said Jazz point guard Deron Williams, who had eight points, seven assists and six rebounds in his second game of the season… Butler finished with 27 points and nine rebounds, while Jamison had 21 points and eight boards. They combined for 20 points in the final period, including Butler’s 3-pointer with 30 seconds left that made it 91-82…  McGee set personal NBA bests with 13 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks. “I was impressed,” said Carlos Boozer, who paced Northwest Division-leading Utah with 20 points.

Nov 12: Pacers 98, Nets 87

The AP reports: T.J. Ford had 18 points, nine assists and eight rebounds, and the banged-up Indiana Pacers won their third straight game with a 98-87 victory over the New Jersey Nets on Wednesday night. Marquis Daniels and Jeff Foster added 16 points apiece as the Pacers beat the Nets for the second time in three games. Vince Carter scored 28 points and Jarvis Hayes added 15 for the Nets, who lost their third straight game with point guard Devin Harris sidelined with a sprained ankle. New Jersey turned the ball over 18 times, leading to 25 points for Indiana.

Nov 12: Celtics 103, Hawks 102

The AP reports: NBA finals MVP Paul Pierce hit a fallaway jumper with 0.5 seconds left to give Boston a 103-102 victory over Atlanta on Wednesday night, handing the Hawks their first loss of the season and their first since the Celtics ousted them en route to their unprecedented 17th title… Pierce scored 34 points in all, Kevin Garnett had 25 with 12 rebounds and Rajon Rondo had 10 assists for the Celtics. Joe Johnson scored 28 for Atlanta, finding an open Marvin Williams for the go-ahead 3-pointer with 7.4 seconds left before Pierce answered at the other end, faking out a pair of defenders and sinking the game-winner… Ray Allen scored 17 points, eight of them during an 18-2 run in the second quarter that turned a 44-28 deficit into a tie game at halftime.

Nov 12: Sixers 106, Raptors 96

The AP reports: Elton Brand scored a season-high 25 points, Andre Miller and Andre Iguodala each had 18, and the Philadelphia 76ers snapped a three-game losing streak by beating the Toronto Raptors 106-96 on Wednesday night. Willie Green scored 17 points and Marreese Speights had 12 for the 76ers, who won for the first time in four road games this season… Chris Bosh had 30 points and 12 rebounds, but Toronto still lost for the fourth time in five games after starting the season 3-0. Jermaine O’Neal added 19 points and 11 rebounds, and reserve Andrea Bargnani scored 15 for the Raptors.

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