Archive for January, 2009

League denies exception for Mobley

The Bergen Record (Steve Adamek) reports (via blog): The Knicks’ appeal to get a disabled player salary-cap exception for Cuttino Mobley, which would not only have given them a nearly $4.5 million cap slot immediately to use either in a deal or to sign another player, but get his salary (for this season and next) off their cap and enable them to take him off their roster, was denied by the NBA late Friday, team president Donnie Walsh said Saturday morning. The league, Walsh said, essentially determined that Mobley’s heart condition, which forced him to retire shortly after the Knicks acquired him from the Clippers on Nov. 21, but with which he had played before that this season, was a pre-existing condition.

The AP reports: Ben Gordon and Luol Deng each scored 20 points for the Bulls, who defeated the Kings 109-88 for the first time since Jordan scored 33 points in that Nov. 23, 1997, game… Tyrus Thomas had 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Kirk Heinrich added 11 points and seven assists for Chicago, which had lost 13 of its previous 19. The Bulls had little time to savor the win because they are facing Phoenix on Saturday with Noah likely matching up against Shaquille O’Neal instead of the Kings’ Brad Miller… Kevin Martin scored 27 points for the Kings, who have lost eight straight, matching their longest losing streak of the season. Sacramento has dropped 20 of 23 and has the worst record in the Western Conference at 10-38. John Salmons had 16 points and Jason Thompson contributed 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Kings, who shot 37 percent and had 22 turnovers.

Warriors upset Hornets, 91-87

The AP reports: Don Nelson saw Peja Stojakovic guarding Corey Maggette in crunch time and figured it was Maggette’s moment to shine. Maggette wasn’t about to disagree. He scored 12 of his 19 points in last six minutes, helping the Golden State Warriors hold on for a 91-87 upset of the New Orleans Hornets on Friday night… Jamal Crawford scored 17 for Golden State, hitting a 19-foot jumper with 15.4 seconds left—a crushing blow after Stojakovic had pulled New Orleans to 85-82 with 37 seconds left. Chris Paul had 31 points for the Hornets, while David West, returning from back spasms that sidelined him for five games, had 12 points and 15 rebounds.

The AP reports: Deron Williams had 24 points and 12 assists and the Utah Jazz snapped a four-game losing streak with a 110-90 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night… Mehmet Okur scored 20 points and Paul Millsap added 16 points, nine rebounds and tied a career high with seven assists for the Jazz, who capitalized on the Thunder’s 24 turnovers. Kevin Durant had 29 points and 10 rebounds and Russell Westbrook had 20 points but the Thunder couldn’t rally after falling behind in the second quarter.

The AP reports: Carmelo Anthony scored 19 points in his first game back from a broken bone in his shooting hand, lifting the Denver Nuggets to a 110-99 win over the Charlotte Bobcats on Friday night… Nene had 22 points, hitting 10 of 11 shots, and 12 rebounds for his 14th double-double of the season… Raja Bell led the Bobcats with a season-high 27 points, while Boris Diaw added 16 and former Nuggets player Juwan Howard had 11.

The AP reports: Andrew Bynum bulled his way inside to 27 points and 15 rebounds, providing the perfect complement to Kobe Bryant and his 30 points, and the Lakers started a six-game road trip with a 132-119 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night… Minnesota’s recent resurgence has been fueled by rebounding and reliable inside play, but L.A. was simply too deep and too tall. Al Jefferson finished with 34 points and 13 rebounds, but Bynum proved to be just a bit stronger inside. The Lakers have another 7-footer, Pau Gasol, who backed up his All-Star selection with 21 points and nine rebounds… Randy Foye scored 27 points for the Wolves, who rallied from a 20-point hole with an 18-7 run in the fourth quarter but couldn’t get any closer.

The AP reports: Zydrunas Ilgauskas scored 20 points with 11 rebounds in his first game in exactly one month because of a broken left ankle and James added 25 points as the Cavaliers, frustrated in a loss at Orlando on Thursday, improved to 22-0 at home this season and tied the franchise record for the most consecutive home wins, set in the 1988-89 season… Rookie Eric Gordon scored 27 for the Clippers, who stayed close for nearly three quarters before dropping their eighth straight road game as they began a seven-game trip. Los Angeles has lost 18 of 20.

The AP reports: Joe Johnson found his shot, and the Atlanta Hawks found a way to beat the New Jersey Nets. Johnson scored 29 points to shake his January slump as the Hawks won the matchup of high-scoring backcourts and beat the Nets 105-88 on Friday night. Johnson’s backcourt-mate Mike Bibby added 20 points as Atlanta won against New Jersey for the first time in four tries this season… New Jersey’s Devin Harris and Vince Carter form the top-scoring backcourt in the league with their combined average of 43.1 points, about six points better than the third-place Hawks’ combo. But Harris (20 points) and Carter (18) combined to make only 11 of 31 shots against Atlanta.

The AP reports: Without Michael Redd’s scoring punch, the Milwaukee Bucks hope a stifling defense can carry them into the playoffs. It was good enough to shut down the Toronto Raptors. Charlie Villanueva had 26 points and 13 rebounds, Richard Jefferson added 17 points and the Bucks beat the Raptors 96-85 Friday night, their first win since leading scorer Redd suffered a season-ending knee injury… Bogut returned to the lineup against the Raptors after missing eight games with back spasms and scored 13 points. Luke Ridnour added 15 points for Milwaukee.

Iguodala, Green lead Sixers past Wizards

The AP reports: Willie Green scored a season-high 20 points, Andre Iguodala also had 20 and the Philadelphia 76ers kicked off a seven-game homestand with a 104-94 win over the pesky Washington Wizards on Friday night. The Sixers built a 15-point lead in the first half, then watched it evaporate against the worst team in the NBA once Dalembert was lost with a sprained left ankle… Thaddeus Young filled in with 18 points and nine rebounds in 43 minutes… The Wizards gamely rallied and briefly went ahead late in the third quarter, only to lose their fifth straight game. Antawn Jamison had 25 points and 15 rebounds for the Wizards, Caron Butler scored 20 points and Dominic McGuire had 16.

Dunleavy leads Pacers past Heat

The AP reports: Danny Granger’s partner is back. Mike Dunleavy scored a season-high 30 points, and the Indiana Pacers beat the Miami Heat 114-103 on Friday night. Dunleavy, a leading candidate for the league’s most improved player award last season, missed the first 34 games this season with a sore right knee. He had struggled with his shot since his return, but found his form against Miami. He was 10-for-18 from the floor, including 4-for-8 on 3-pointers… Dwyane Wade scored 24 points for the Heat, who had their three-game winning streak snapped. Mark Blount scored 17 points, and Michael Beasley had 11 points and 11 rebounds for Miami.

The AP reports: The Boston Celtics finally got a game. The result, though, was the same. Kevin Garnett scored 22, Paul Pierce had 20 points and Ray Allen added 14, leading Boston to an 86-78 win over the Detroit Pistons on Friday night. The Celtics, who have won 10 straight, took their last seven by double digits, including three victories by 20-plus points… Detroit’s Allen Iverson scored 19 points, moving past Hall of Famer Charles Barkley and into 16th place on the NBA’s career scoring list.

The San Antonio Spurs announced today that they have recalled Malik Hairston from the Austin Toros of the NBA Development League (D-League).

Hairston is currently the fifth leading scorer in the D-League with 21.1 points per game.  In 23 games for the Toros this season he has also averaged 5.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists. Hairston was named D-League Performer of the Week on 12/22 after helping lead the Toros to three straight wins while averaging 24.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 4.3 assists

Hairston was signed by the Spurs on 12/22 and was inactive for three games before being returned to Austin on 12/26.  He was selected by the Phoenix Suns with the 48th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft and was acquired by San Antonio in exchange for the draft rights to Goran Dragic.  He spent training camp with San Antonio where he averaged 5.3 points and 4.5 rebounds in six preseason games before being waived on 10/26.

Tarence Kinsey out 3-5 weeks

Cavaliers guard Tarence Kinsey left last night’s game at Orlando with 1:21 remaining in the fourth quarter with a right ankle sprain. He was re-evaluated at Cleveland Clinic Sports Health today. He is estimated to be out three to five weeks. His status will be updated as appropriate.

Tracy McGrady has minor ankle sprain

The Houston Chronicle (Jonathan Feigen) reports: The Rockets’ run of relatively good health could be over after one game. Tracy McGrady left Friday’s practice with a sprained left ankle. The injury is not considered serious, with McGrady listed as “a game-time decision” to play Saturday against the Golden State Warriors.

No All-Star spot annoys Carmelo Anthony

Denver Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony was an All-Star starter last season. This year, he’s not even on the team as a reserve.

Averaging 21.1 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists on 43.7% shooting (his lowest field goal percentage since 2004-05), Melo has played in just 31 of Denver’s 46 games. His missed action due to injury certainly played a big role in being left out.

Still, the proud player isn’t going to pretend he didn’t want to make it.

The Rocky Mountain News (Chris Tomasson) reports:

“A little bit,” Anthony told the Rocky Mountain News on Friday morning in his first public comments about whether he was disappointed in not being selected Thursday to the NBA Western Conference All-Star team. “But it ain’t nothing I can control. It is what it is. I’m happy for Chauncey (Billups) making it, though.” Billups, a guard, was selected by Western Conference coaches as an All-Star reserve for the Feb. 15 game in Phoenix. But Anthony, after being selected the past two years, was left off after missing 10 games with a broken right hand. “Of course,” Anthony said when asked if he didn’t make the team because of his injury. “I didn’t think I did nothing wrong. My game didn’t do nothing wrong. That’s the only thing that could have (cost Anthony). It is what it is. There’s nothing I can complain about.”

There aren’t any small forwards on the entire West All-Star team.

I think had Melo not missed so many games he’d have been picked ahead of Hornets power forward David West.

Chris Douglas-Roberts is a rookie guard on the New Jersey Nets. And just because his shoulders look like they were put on backwards doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve respect.

Still, rookies have to know their place. Especially those who will have to keep working hard to prove they belong in the league.

The New York Daily News (Julian Garcia) reports:

Rookie guard Chris Douglas-Roberts was knocked down a peg by assistant coach Doug Overton Thursday. During a drill that only a few players were participating in, Overton screamed, “Shut the — up. You’re a rookie!” Douglas-Roberts then stood with his shirt pulled up over his face while he waited to get back on the court. He looked to be on the verge of tears as he returned to the locker room after practice ended.

That’s tough love, folks.

Teammates call Mo Williams an All-Star

Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Mo Williams is having a great season, but wasn’t named an NBA All-Star reserve.

Shooting 46.7% from the field, Williams is averaging 17.0 points, 3.3 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game.

Orlando Magic point guard Jameer Nelson, who did make the All-Star team, is shooting better than Mo Williams, getting more steals and dishing more assists.

Still, it’s somewhat close. And Mo’s teammates are outraged. The Cleveland Plain Dealer (Mary Schmitt Boyer) reports:

“It’s a tragedy,” Ben Wallace said. “I think it’s an injustice. It’s a fraud. We’ve got the best record in the league, and we’ve only got one guy going. You always make it the next year, after the year you were supposed to make it. It’s a travesty and a sham and a mockery. It’s a shamockery.” Said LeBron James: “It just shows the disrespect that basketball in Cleveland continues to get. I haven’t seen the All-Star list yet, so I can’t comment on who’s in it. But it’s definitely disrespectful that we continue to do work every year with nothing to show for it. They always say when you win, individual accolades will take care of itself. But sometimes it doesn’t happen.

I like that. A sham, and a mockery. A shamockery. I’m going to go outside now and start yelling those words at random strangers on the street here in NYC, while waving my arms around wildly. But not tell them what I’m actually outraged about. This has nothing to do with Mo or Jameer. It just sounds fun.

Hoop Dreams Sequel: Hoop Reality

Hoop Reality is the sequel to the groundbreaking, Academy Award nominated 1995 documentary Hoop Dreams.Narrated by “Hoop Dreams” star Arthur Agee, “Hoop Reality” explores what happened during the last decade from where “Hoop Dreams” left off, following the original basketball hero past his dream and into reality, examining where life has carried him over the decade, and taking a look at where he is today, as the torch gets passed to the next dream seeker. Along the way he mentors and inspires the up-and-coming basketball star, Patrick Beverly, who leads his team, the Marshal Commandos, for the first time since the original Hoop Dreams, to the State Finals. Directed by Lee Davis. (As quoted by the production company)

It’s said to be coming in March of 2009.

Here is the Hoop Reality trailor video clip:

The Memphis Grizzlies have signed forward Darius Miles for the remainder of the season, Grizzlies General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace announced today.

The 6-9, 235-pound forward has averaged 5.7 points, 2.6 rebounds and 0.80 blocks in 12.1 minutes in 10 games with the Grizzlies this season.

The seven-year NBA veteran originally signed with the Grizzlies as a free agent on Dec. 13 (and was later waived on Jan. 7) after missing all of the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons following microfracture surgery on his right knee.  The 27-year-old signed consecutive 10-day contracts with Memphis on Jan. 10 and on Jan. 20.

Miles signed a free-agent contract with the Boston Celtics on Aug. 22, 2008 and appeared in six preseason games, averaging 1.8 points and 1.3 rebounds in 10.4 minutes before his release on Oct. 20.

The third overall pick in the 2000 NBA Draft, Miles became the first player in league history drafted straight out of high school (East St. Louis High School) to earn All-Rookie honors when he posted 9.4 points and 1.54 blocks for the Los Angeles Clippers in 2000-01.

The Bellville, Ill. native holds career averages of 10.5 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.14 blocks in 27.4 minutes in 422 career games (190 starts) with Memphis, the Los Angeles Clippers, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Portland Trail Blazers.

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