Archive for December 17th, 2008

Corey Brewer has knee surgery

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Corey Brewer underwent successful surgery today to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his right knee. The procedure was performed by Dr. David Fischer at TRIA Orthopaedic Center in Bloomington, Minn. Brewer suffered the injury during the Timberwolves Nov. 29 game vs. Denver and will be sidelined indefinitely as he begins rehabilitation.

Brewer had appeared in 15 games for the Wolves this season, averaging 6.2 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game while shooting 41.1 percent from the field and 41.7 percent from behind the arc.

Wet floor affects Celtics-Hawks game

Wednesday night in Atlanta the Hawks are hosting the Boston Celtics. But aside from each other, the two teams were facing a mutual opponent: a wet floor.

The Boston Globe (Frank Dell’Apa) reports (via blog): Several Celtics and Hawks lost their footing near the basket near the Hawks’ bench during the first three quarters, and the Celtics’ Glen Davis sustained a bruised right knee during pre-game warmups. After Paul Pierce fell with 8:11 remaining in the third quarter, the game was delayed while the floor was mopped dry.

Wolves almost drafted Ilgauskas

The St. Paul Pioneer Press (Don Seeholze) reports (via blog): Zydrunas Ilgauskas is in his 10th season with the Cleveland Cavaliers and recently became the team’s all-time leading rebounder, but his career could have gone much differently. Wolves coach Kevin McHale said before tonight’s game that the team was prepared to select the 7-foot-3 center in the second round of the 1995 NBA draft until he broke his foot during a workout. “Tough kid,” McHale said. “I’m a big fan of Zydrunas. He broke his foot and he was still practicing. He was working out and he said, ‘My foot hurts a little bit.’ … After seeing it was a broken foot, I said that’s a pretty tough dude.”

Jerry Sloan: The eternal coach

Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan has been coaching so long, when he first started basketball was played on ice, and the object of the game was to hurl spears at monsters. Earth was flat. Electricity didn’t exist yet. Neither did light or sound. The continents had not yet separated.

On November 7 the Jazz beat the Oklahoma City Thunder, getting Sloan the 1,000th win of his NBA head coaching career. He is the only coach in league history to pass that win total with just one team.

Second on the list of one-team wins as a head coach is Red Auerbach with 795 (Boston Celtics).

Third is Gregg Popovich with 647 Spurs wins.

Only three NBA coaches have more total wins than Sloan: Lenny Wilkens (1,332), Don Nelson (1,287) and Pat Riley (1,195). Of those three coaches, only Riley (65.6%) has a higher winning percentage than Sloan (60.3%).

Now in his 21st season coaching the Jazz, Sloan is the longest-tenured head coach in NBA history and has the longest current tenure of any head coach in pro basketball, baseball, football or hockey.

Since Sloan became Utah’s coach there have been 225 coaching changes in the NBA.

When Sloan retires, it’s safe to predict that it’ll be on his own terms.

General Utah Jazz notes coming into Wednesday’s game in New Jersey against the Nets.

Deron Williams last season was one of only three players in NBA history to post 1500+ points, 800+ assists with 50% or better shooting in the same season.

Now a starter at small forward, CJ Miles began the season slowly but has doubled his production since November 15.

Starting on November 1, 2006, power forward Paul Millsap has played in 190 consecutive games, which is 7th amongst all active NBA players.

Ronnie Brewer has the most dunks of any Jazz player this season, with 34. Paul Millsap is a close second with 33. Andrei Kirilenko has 23, CJ Miles 15 and desite all his missed games due to injury Carlos Boozer has 10.

According to Jazz team notes, Deron Williams has no dunks yet this season.

Injuries have messed up Utah’s season so far. Jazz players combine to have missed 81 games thus far. The total for all of last season was 45.

Nathan Jawai cleared to play

The Toronto Raptors announced Wednesday that forward-centre Nathan Jawai (pronounced JA-why) has been cleared to begin physical activity. Jawai has been sidelined since training camp.

Jawai, 22, had been held out for precautionary reasons after an abnormality was detected during normal procedural pre-season cardiac screening.

The club acquired the draft rights to Jawai from the Indiana Pacers on July 9. He was the 41st overall selection in the 2008 NBA Draft. He is the first indigenous player from Australia to be drafted by an NBA team.

Ex-Warriors GM Dick Vertlieb dies

The San Francisco Chronicle (Tom Fitzgerald) reports: In 1974, general manager Dick Vertlieb pulled off a controversial trade that immediately helped bring the Warriors their only NBA championship since moving west in 1962. He dealt future Hall of Fame center Nate Thurmond to Chicago for center Clifford Ray and $500,000. Ray teamed with Rick Barry to help the Warriors beat Ray’s former team, the Bulls, in the Western Conference finals before sweeping the Washington Bullets in the NBA Finals. Mr. Vertlieb, a passionate, eccentric club executive who left an even bigger mark on the sports landscape in Seattle, died Dec. 5 in Las Vegas after a long bout of stomach cancer. He was 78. He helped found the Portland Trail Blazers and the Seattle SuperSonics. As the Sonics’ first general manager, he tried to negotiate a sale of the Warriors to a group of investors from the Northwest. He failed, but Warriors owner Franklin Mieuli was so impressed that he hired Mr. Vertlieb as GM.

No Mike Dunleavy yet

With 8 wins and 16 losses, the Indiana Pacers are struggling. A big reason for this is the continued absence of Mike Dunleavy, who has not played a single game yet this season due to a knee injury.

Danny Granger has been fantastic, TJ Ford and Troy Murphy have been very solid, and Marquis Daniels has stepped up and tried to make the most of extra minutes while he still has them. But the team needs help and won’t be getting it from Dunleavy just yet. The Indianapolis Star (Mike Wells) reports:

Pacers coach Jim O’Brien said on his weekly radio show Tuesday that the earliest guard Mike Dunleavy will return to the lineup is some time in January. Dunleavy, the Pacers’ second-leading scorer last season, has not played this season because of bone spurs in his right knee. He is doing limited court work as the Pacers’ medical staff determines if he can do more.

Indiana is actually a decent team. They’re only being outscored by an average of 2.5 points per game this season. But for now, they’ll likely continue to struggle.

Dec 16: Lakers 116, Knicks 114

The AP reports: Kobe Bryant scored nine of his 28 points in the last 7 1/2 minutes, and the Los Angeles Lakers rallied from a 15-point halftime deficit to beat the New York Knicks 116-114 Wednesday night. Trevor Ariza scored the go-ahead basket with 1:03 remaining to give the Lakers (21-3) their 14th win in 16 games. Nate Robinson, who scored a season-high 33 points, had a chance to give New York the lead, but missed a short jumper with about 12 seconds to play… The Lakers played without Pau Gasol, who has strep throat. Gasol, averaging 18.0 points and 9.3 rebounds, came to Staples Center for the game, but was sent home. Lamar Odom made his first start of the season in Gasol’s place and had season-high totals of 17 points and 12 rebounds. Fisher had 15 points and a season-high seven assists; Luke Walton scored a season-high 14 points, Ariza added 13, and Andrew Bynum had 13 points and 11 rebounds… David Lee had 18 points and 14 rebounds, and Quentin Richardson also scored 18 points for New York.

Dec 16: Blazers 109, Kings 77

The AP reports: Brandon Roy scored 29 points before sitting out the fourth quarter, and the Portland Trail Blazers snapped a three-game losing streak Tuesday night with a 109-77 victory over the struggling Sacramento Kings. Playing with a splint on his injured right pinkie finger, Roy fell just short of scoring 30 points for the fourth straight game…  LaMarcus Aldridge had 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Blazers, who stopped their longest skid of the season. John Salmons had 16 of his 21 points in the first quarter for the Kings and he didn’t score in the second half. Sacramento fell to 1-1 under interim coach Kenny Natt, who took over for the fired Reggie Theus on Monday. Francisco Garcia was the only other Sacramento player in double figures with 12 points on 2-of-8 shooting.

Dec 16: Rockets 108, Nuggets 96

The AP reports: Tracy McGrady did it all, Yao Ming dominated inside and Ron Artest provided support off the bench. Finally, the Houston Rockets showed a glimpse of how good they can be. McGrady notched his fourth career triple-double and first this season, Yao scored 32 points and the Rockets beat the Denver Nuggets 108-96 on Tuesday night. McGrady had 20 points and reached season highs in rebounds (14) and assists (10) for his first triple-double since last December. Artest scored 20 points and backup point guard Aaron Brooks added 18 for the Rockets, who’ve won five of their last seven games despite a seemingly unending rash of injuries… Carmelo Anthony scored 22 and J.R. Smith had 17 for the Nuggets, who had a four-game winning streak snapped.

Dec 16: Clippers 98, Thunder 88

The AP reports: What the Los Angeles Clippers used to get from Elton Brand they’re now getting from Zach Randolph, and it’s proving to be a winning formula. Randolph had 22 points and 13 rebounds for his fourth straight double-double, and rookie Eric Gordon fueled a 10-point run in the fourth quarter as the Clippers put away the Oklahoma City Thunder 98-88 Tuesday night to stretch their win streak to three… Eric Gordon, who scored the first six points in a 10-0 run that provided the Clippers with an 87-73 lead, also finished with 22 points. Baron Davis scored 19, Marcus Camby added 13 points and 15 rebounds, and Al Thornton had 12 points as all of the Clippers starters’ reached double figures. Kevin Durant led Oklahoma City with 23 points, and Jeff Green and Chris Wilcox scored 13 apiece.

Dec 16: Hornets 91, Grizzlies 84

The AP reports: Chris Paul tied a record for steals, and his New Orleans Hornets played enough good defense to pull out a victory over the Memphis Grizzlies. Paul had 18 points, nine assists and five steals, James Posey scored nine of his 15 points in the fourth quarter, and the Hornets beat the Grizzlies 91-84 on Tuesday night… David West also scored 18 points, but shot 5-of-16. Paul was just 3-of-10 from the field but made 11 of 12 free throws. Rudy Gay led Memphis with 28 points and O. J. Mayo added 20.

Dec 16: Bobcats 110, Bulls 101 OT

The AP reports: D.J. Augustin scored a career-high 29 points in a one-on-one matchup of point guards with No. 1 pick Derrick Rose, and the undermanned Charlotte Bobcats snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 110-101 overtime victory over the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night. Augustin forced overtime by hitting three free throws with 19 seconds left after Rose fouled him on a 3-point attempt, a call that the Bulls vehemently protested… Derrick Rose was held to six points on 3-of-16 shooting, with seven assists. He had a potential game-winning shot blocked by Emeka Okafor at the end of regulation and Okafor blocked him again just before Augustin’s free throws put Charlotte ahead 105-100… Ben Gordon scored 25 points and Tyrus Thomas added 22 for the Bulls, who dropped to 3-10 on the road and failed to reach .500 for the first time in a month. Luol Deng had 15 points, but missed a key stretch at the end of regulation and OT after his legs cramped up… Okafor added 20 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks, and Raymond Felton scored 21 points as the Bobcats persevered with a small lineup.

Basketball blog