Archive for December 22nd, 2008

Thunder sign Nenad Krstic to offer sheet

Oklahoma City Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti announced today that the team has signed center Nenad Krstic to an offer sheet.

Under terms of the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement the New Jersey Nets, who retained Krstic’s rights when he signed with Triumph Lyubertsy of Russia’s Superleague A, now have seven days to match the multi-year offer. Per team policy the terms of the offer sheet were not disclosed.

An source associated with the Nets says that the team is leaning towards not matching the offer.

Krstic (7-0, 213), the 24th overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft by the Nets, is averaging 10.4 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1 block in 21 minutes per game for Triumph in Superleague play. The Serbian national holds NBA averages of 11.3 points and 5.7 rebounds in four seasons with New Jersey.

Coach: Refs frustrate D.Howard

Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy is sticking up for Dwight Howard in regard to the officiating. The Orlando Sentinel (Brian Schmitz) reports: “I think (Howard) is very frustrated they way the game is being called right now,” Van Gundy said. “It’s different in this league. The real good perimeter players seemed to really get the benefit of every call, any touch. The real good big guys, it seems it’s just the opposite.
“That they let people do more in there. I think it’s part of the an ongoing thing — they won’t say that — but I think the league is trying to do everything it can to make it a perimeter league and not a post-up league.”

Jordan Farmar needs surgery

Lakers guard Jordan Farmar, who suffered an injury to his left knee in Friday night’s game at Miami, was examined by Lakers’  team doctor Steve Lombardo today in Los Angeles.  In seeking an additional opinion, Farmar also was examined by Dr. Byron Patterson.

Both doctors concurred with the original diagnosis of a torn lateral meniscus, and have recommended surgery.

Farmar is currently weighing his options, and the Lakers will issue an update when he has made a decision.

Players of Week: Nelson, Paul

The Orlando Magic’s Jameer Nelson and the New Orleans Hornets’ Chris Paul today were named the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, Dec. 15, through Sunday, Dec. 21.

Nelson helped the Magic to a 3-0 week, including wins over the Spurs and Lakers. The fifth-year guard led or tied for the team lead in scoring in each game, including a career-high-tying 32-point effort in Orlando’s 109-98 win at Golden State. Shooting a blistering .593 from the field and .556 from three-point range, Nelson, who also added 5.3 apg and 4.0 rpg, has keyed Orlando’s recent success – the Magic has won eight of nine.

Paul led the Hornets to a 3-0 week, averaging 23.7 points, 10.0 assists, 5.3 steals and 4.3 rebounds. The fourth-year guard set an NBA record for consecutive games with a steal (107 and counting), surpassing the 105-game mark set by Alvin Robertson. Paul recorded eight swipes in a 99-90 win over the Kings on Dec. 20.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Boston’s Kendrick Perkins and Rajon Rondo, Charlotte’s Boris Diaw, Cleveland’s LeBron James and Delonte West, Golden State’s Jamal Crawford, Houston’s Tracy McGrady, Miami’s Dwyane Wade, Phoenix’s Amar’e Stoudemire and Portland’s Brandon Roy.

Carmelo Anthony out two games

Denver Nuggets F Carmelo Anthony will not play tonight or tomorrow night vs. Portland in order to rest his right elbow contusion.

For the season, Anthony is shooting 42.0% from the field and 42.9% from three-point range for 20.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 0.96 steals per game.

With 17 wins and 10 losses, the Nuggets are tied for first in the Northwest division with the Portland Trail Blazers.

If the playoffs began today, Denver would be the 4th seed in the Western conference.

Euroleague December MVP: Lior Eliyahu reports: It was an unpredictable situation for one of the dominant teams in Euroleague history. Five years had passed since the last time Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv faced a losing record halfway through a Euroleague regular season. Entering this month, however, the team sat next-to-last in Group A with a 2-3 record and only five more regular season games left. Three weeks later, to the delight of Maccabi’s fans, predictability has returned. Maccabi not only is qualified early for the Top 16, but also ready to challenge for first place. Plenty thanks for that turnaround go to forward Lior Eliyahu, Euroleague Basketball’s choice as December MVP. Just when Maccabi needed a go-to guy, Eliyahu became just that, posting three consecutive double-doubles to lead Maccabi to a trio of huge wins. Eliyahu started the month by pulling off the highest performance index rating all season in a victory over then co-leader Cibona. He followed that with almost identical double-doubles in points and rebounds to spark Maccabi’s first road wins of the season, at Air Avellino and Le Mans. In the process, Eliyahu vaulted to top-ten status among all Euroleague players in index rating, scoring and rebounding. Most importantly, however, Eliyahu helped put Maccabi back in its accustomed place as a Euroleague contender, and in so doing made himself a more-than-deserving choice as MVP of December.

Euroleague Week 8 MVP: Sani Becirovic reports: Lottomatica Roma not only advanced to the Top 16 with a tense overtime victory on Thursday, but its star guard also became the Week 8 MVP. No sooner did Sani Becirovic receive his trophy as November MVP in an on-court ceremony before the game than he went out and started earning the weekly honor, too… Pat Burke of Asseco Prokom also posted monster numbers in Week 8. Burke had 18 points and 20 rebounds in his team’s road loss against Zalgiris. Burke finished the game with a 33 index rating and became just the eighth player to pull down at least 20 boards in a Euroleague game. Felipe Reyes of Real Madrid and Paulius Jankunas each had index ratings of 28.

Spurs sign Malik Hairston

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they have signed guard/forward Malik Hairston.  Per team policy terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The 6-6, 215-pound Hairston has spent the season with the Austin Toros, the Spurs affiliate in the NBA Development League. In 11 games with the Toros, Hairston averaged 19.5 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.6 assists.  He was named this week’s D-League Performer of the Week after averaging 24.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 4.3 assists in three Toros wins.

The former Oregon Duck spent training camp with San Antonio where he averaged 5.3 points and 4.5 rebounds in six preseason games.  He was waived by the Spurs on 10/26.  Hairston was selected by Phoenix Suns with the 48th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft.  He was acquired by San Antonio in exchange for the draft rights to Goran Dragic.

Celtics win 18 straight games

The Boston Herald (Mark Murphy) reports: The Celtics defeated the Knicks, 124-105, to tie a franchise record originally set by the 1981-82 team with 18 straight wins. Now 26-2, they also pulled even with the 1969-70 Knicks and 1966-67 76ers for the league’s best start through 28 games. This historic run, however, doesn’t mean there aren’t imperfections. It doesn’t mean that the C’s occasionally take their eyes off the ball. “We have things that we’re talking about all the time - the bench playing better, cutting down on turnovers, a long list of things,” coach Doc Rivers said before the game. “Because you’re winning games, people think you’re throwing stuff out there when you talk like this. But it’s true.”

Jeff Green needs to rebound

The Oklahoman (Mike Baldwin) reports: Thunder coach Scott Brooks has harped for weeks that Jeff Green needs to improve his 5.5 rebounding average. He’s even sent Green text messages on game days. Green responded with a 10-rebound performance Sunday night. “I was guarding one of the best rebounds in this league in Ben Wallace,” Green said. “I tried my best to keep him off the boards. When the ball went up, I tried my best to go get boards, and they were dropping right in my hands. And Nick (Collison) and Kevin did a good job blocking their man out.”

Marco Belinelli getting minutes

The Bay Area News Group (Marcus Thompson II) reports: Finally, guard Marco Belinelli said he has made it to the NBA. Sure, he has been in the league since the Warriors’ drafted him with the No. 18 overall pick in 2007. And he’s certainly collected more than a third of the nearly $5 million he will earn over his first three seasons. But Belinelli said it wasn’t until now that he felt as if he’d arrived. For the first time in his career, he said he feels as if he is part of the team. He’s getting minutes, providing offense and growing with teammates. There’s no telling how long this will last, as the Warriors’ injured players figure to return and Coach Don Nelson’s whims are likely to change. In the meantime, Belinelli is enjoying the experience.

Glen Davis car accident

The Boston Globe (Frank Dell’Apa) reports: Glen Davis missed the game recovering from a concussion and whiplash suffered in an auto accident on the Massachusettts Turnpike on the way to the game. He was released from Brigham & Women’s Hospital last night, according to director of press relations Jeff Twiss. President of basketball operations Danny Ainge was with Davis at the hospital.

Pistons winless on Sundays

The Detroit News (Chris McCosky) reports: By almost every definition, the Pistons are an average team right now. They have the fifth-best record in the Eastern Conference (14-11) and have one fewer loss than the Heat. And average teams don’t often overcome 18-point deficits on the road, especially against a Hawks team that right now is younger, bigger and stronger at almost every position. “They were just too much for us,” Allen Iverson said, after the Hawks beat the Pistons, 85-78, at Philips Arena. “They were better than us tonight.” Like the Lions, the Pistons remain perfect on Sunday — perfectly winless, 0-6.

Dec 21: Cavs 102, Thunder 91

The AP reports: LeBron James scored 31 points and Mo Williams provided the kind of scoring punch expected out of him when he was brought in to be LeBron’s sidekick as Cleveland finished a four-game road trip with a 102-91 win Sunday night over the Oklahoma City Thunder… Mo Williams, who was brought in this offseason to reinforce for LeBron in a three-team trade that also involved the Thunder, scored 20 points and Delonte West hit his first five shots and finished with 18 points against his former team. Kevin Durant scored 26 for the Thunder, who were playing for the first time since snapping a franchise-record 11-game home losing streak. Russell Westbrook added 24 points and matched his career-high with 11 assists and Jeff Green scored 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.

Dec 21: Celtics 124, Knicks 105

The AP reports: Rajon Rondo scored 18 of his 26 points in the quarter to help the Celtics tie a franchise record with their 18th straight win, beating the New York Knicks 124-105 Sunday night. The win improved Boston’s record to 26-2, matching the NBA mark for the best start by a team with two losses. The Celtics can break the record at home against the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday night… He was 12-of-14 from the floor for the game… Ray Allen had 18 points, Paul Pierce 17, Garnett 12 and Kendrick Perkins 12 for the Celtics… Quentin Richardson led the Knicks with 29 points and Nate Robinson had 23. Duhon added 20 with 10 assists… Celtics F Glen Davis was injured Sunday in an automobile accident on the Massachusetts Turnpike around 2:30 as he drove to the Garden.

Dec 21: Mavs 97, Wizards 86

The AP reports: On a night when Jason Kidd took over the game in the fourth quarter, the Wizards again imploded in the fourth. Kidd had 11 assists—six in the game’s final 6:05 as Dallas sent Washington to its sixth straight loss, 97-86 Sunday night… Jason Terry scored 25 points and Dirk Nowitzki added 23. Kidd, who is averaging 9.3 points, missed all seven of his field goals and had just a single point, but as the Wizards languished in the fourth quarter for the fourth straight game, it was Kidd’s game… Antawn Jamison led the Wizards with 22 points—all in the first three periods—Butler had 18 and Mike James 17.

Dec 21: Hawks 85, Pistons 78

The AP reports: Mike Bibby wasn’t with the Hawks for any of those past losses to the Pistons, and the new point guard in the Atlanta lineup made an obvious difference, scoring a season-high 27 points in an 85-78 win against Detroit on Sunday… Bibby made 10 of 13 shots from the field, including each of his six 3-point shots… Joe Johnson had 19 points and seven assists. Al Horford added 11 points and 11 rebounds and Josh Smith also had 11 points for Atlanta… Rodney Stuckey and Wallace each had 20 points for Detroit. Richard Hamilton had 16 points for Detroit before he was ejected with 1:14 remaining and Atlanta leading 83-76.

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