Archive for January, 2009

House helps Celtics crush Kings

The AP reports: Eddie House is all warmed up and ready for the 3-point shooting contest on All-Star weekend. All he needs is an invitation. The Boston sharpshooter scored 28 points on a career-high eight 3-pointers, going 8-for-9 from beyond the arc on Wednesday night to lead the Celtics to their ninth straight win, 119-100 over the Sacramento Kings… John Salmons scored 22 points, and Jason Thompson had 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Kings, who lost to Boston by 45 earlier this season. Sacramento is 0-20 against the Eastern Conference—the only NBA team that has been blanked by entire conference so far.

The AP reports: Nate Robinson ‘s high-energy, high-flying style is the kind of play that pumps up a crowd. It’s probably not a coincidence that as the backup guard has broken out of a slump, the Knicks are rolling at home. Robinson had another big fourth quarter, scoring 20 of his 24 points in the final 10 minutes, to lead New York past the Atlanta Hawks 112-104 on Wednesday night… Marvin Williams had 28 points and Josh Smith added 26 for Atlanta. Point guard Mike Bibby scored just five points on 2-of-13 shooting… New York’s David Lee had his ninth straight double-double with 17 points and 16 rebounds. Duhon had 16 points and 11 assists.

Calderon big as Raptors beat Nets

The AP reports: With Jose Calderon back in the lineup, the Toronto Raptors are hoping the second half of the season is a lot better than the first. Calderon had 17 points and 11 assists and the Raptors escaped with a 107-106 victory over New Jersey on Wednesday night after Nets point guard Devin Harris missed a wide-open 16-foot jumper at the buzzer… Anthony Parker added 21 points, and Chris Bosh had 18 for the Raptors, who shot almost 56 percent and had six players in double figures. Andrea Bargnani had his streak of 15 straight games of at least 15 points stopped, scoring eight. Vince Carter had 27 points to lead the Nets, who rallied in the final minutes by hitting four of their 15 3-pointers. Harris added 25 points and 10 assists, but he missed the biggest shot of the night after Calderon had left the door open by missing a jumper with about 21 seconds to play.

Balanced Wade helps Heat beat Wizards

The AP reports: Dwyane Wade knew he was on the cusp of a triple-double. He didn’t mind getting a break instead. Wade had 14 points, nine rebounds and nine assists before sitting out the entire fourth quarter, and the Miami Heat pulled away in the second half to beat the Washington Wizards 93-71 on Wednesday night… Daequan Cook and Michael Beasley each had 16 points for the Heat, who’ve won three straight, all against Southeast Division rivals. Udonis Haslem scored 14 points, and James Jones and Mario Chalmers had 10 each for Miami, which closed the game on a 44-21 run… Antawn Jamison had 21 points and 12 rebounds for Washington, an NBA-worst 9-36. Caron Butler added 18 points, and Darius Songalia had 10 for the Wizards.

Ford drives Pacers past Bucks 107-99

The AP reports: T.J. Ford’s driving skills keep improving. Even when Danny Granger isn’t around to help co-pilot—and even though his ailing back still isn’t 100 percent. The veteran guard maneuvered around Milwaukee’s standstill defense Wednesday night, repeatedly exploiting the gaps to match a career high with 34 points and leading the Pacers past his former team 107-99… Ford wasn’t the only Indiana player who exploited the middle of Milwaukee’s defense. Jarrett Jack followed Ford into the lane, finishing with 14 points. Mike Dunleavy and Rasho Nesterovic also had 14 each… So Charlie Villanueva and Richard Jefferson produced the points. Villanueva finished with 28 points and eight rebounds before fouling out. Jefferson added 19 points and guard Ramon Sessions had 16 points.

2009 All-Star rookie game rosters

The 2009 NBA Rookie Challenge game info has been released. It’s the All-Star event that happens on Friday where the best rookies from this year face the best “sophomores” (second-year players) — who were rookies last year.

For some reason the actual official title of the event is the “Rookie Challenge and Youth Jam.” But I have no idea what “youth jam” is or how it relates to this actual game or event. Maybe some youth are dunking nerf basketballs on mini-hoops nearby, before the game, or something.

Anyway, as for the Rookie game, it should be a pretty decent matchup! I hope it turns into the wild dunk fest that usually breaks out, especially at the end. That stuff is fun.

InsideHoops.com provides full NBA All-Star weekend coverage. We’ll begin updating that entire section this afternoon.

Charlotte Bobcats forward Gerald Wallace was diagnosed with having 30-40 percent of his left lung collapsed and a non-displaced fracture of the fifth rib following a CT-Scan at Centinela Hospital in Los Angeles. He did not accompany the team to Portland.

Wallace had a chest tube inserted into the lung to help restore it to functional capacity, but will remain in the hospital over the next 48 hours for observation. Additional information about his progress and a timetable for his return will be updated in the coming days ahead.

The injury occurred after Wallace was fouled by Lakers center Andrew Bynum as he drove the lane in the fourth quarter with 2:22 left to play in regulation. He was immediately taken off the floor and received x-rays at the arena. Preliminary pictures were inconclusive, which prompted Lakers team physicians to arrange the additional examination.

The Bobcats defeated the Lakers at Staples Center in double-overtime 117-110.

Gerald Wallace hospitalized

Charlotte Bobcats guard/forward Gerald Wallace may have a collapsed lung. The Charlotte Observer (Rick Bonnell) reports: Wallace was injured in the fourth quarter of the Bobcats’ double-overtime victory over the Lakers when center Andrew Bynum hip-checked Wallace to the floor on a drive to the basket. Bynum was called for a flagrant foul, and Wallace had to be helped to the locker room by teammates.

UPDATE: The latest health updates are here.

The AP reports: Boris Diaw had 23 points, nine rebounds and nine assists, reserve Shannon Brown scored five of his 14 points in the second overtime, and the Bobcats continued their surprising recent domination of the Lakers by beating them 117-110 on Tuesday night… Gerald Wallace scored 15 points before leaving with 2:08 left in the fourth quarter after a flagrant foul by Andrew Bynum knocked him to the floor… Raymond Felton had 22 points, a career-high 11 rebounds and nine assists, Emeka Okafor had 18 points and 11 rebounds, and Raja Bell added 17 points for the Bobcats. Bryant had eight rebounds and five assists to go with his 38 points. Bynum added 24 points and 14 rebounds and Derek Fisher scored 14 for the Lakers (35-9), who lost for just the fourth time in 27 home games.

The AP reports: Manu Ginobili made all eight of his foul shots in the fourth quarter, scoring 10 of his 13 points in the final period to help the Spurs hold off the Utah Jazz 106-100 on Tuesday night. Ginobili made 11 of 12 foul shots, saving the Spurs from an embarrassing night at the line and keeping the Jazz from rallying at the end. “Until that horn goes off, you’re worried about whatever may happen,” said Tim Duncan, who had 24 points and nine rebounds for the Spurs… Tony Parker added 24 points and six assists for the Spurs, who have won five of six. Matt Bonner scored 20, going 6-for-7 on 3-pointers as the Spurs went 11-for-20 from beyond the arc. “They started off the second half really hot, knocking down 3s,” said Ronnie Brewer, who led Utah with 23 points… Deron Williams had 19 points and 13 assists and Mehmet Okur had 22 points and a season-high 17 rebounds for Utah, which lost its fourth straight.

The AP reports: Chauncey Billups scored 14 consecutive points in the third quarter and finished with 29 to lead the Denver Nuggets to a 100-85 victory Tuesday night, sending the Grizzlies to their 10th straight loss Hollins’ debut as coach… The Nuggets got 20 points from J.R. Smith and 16 points from Linas Kleiza. Chris Anderson had five of Denver’s 15 blocked shots, a season high… Rookie guard O.J. Mayo led the Grizzlies with 19 points. Gay, Kyle Lowry and Darius Miles scored 13 apiece.

The AP reports: Mickael Pietrus came back from his broken wrist as good as new. He had 27 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Orlando Magic to a 135-111 victory Tuesday night over the Indiana Pacers. Pietrus, who missed the previous 12 games with a broken right wrist, came off the bench to lead a well-balanced Magic attack. Seven players reached double figures scoring, including Rashard Lewis with 24 points and Dwight Howard with 22… T.J Ford, had 23 points for the Pacers and Granger, who came into the game averaging 26.1 points, had only 10.

The AP reports: Mo Williams scored a career-high 43 points with 11 assists and strengthened his argument to be in Phoenix among the NBA’s stars next month, and LeBron James recorded his 20th career triple-double as the Cleveland Cavaliers improved to 21-0 at home, beating the Sacramento Kings 117-110 on Tuesday night… LeBron James scored 23 points with 15 rebounds and 11 assists, his third triple-double this season. He picked up assist No. 10 in the third quarter with a pass to Williams, who knocked down three consecutive 3s—all off feeds from James—in a span of 1:05. Williams was so good, James only had to take 10 shots… Kevin Martin scored 35 points and John Salmons 21 for the Kings, who lost their sixth straight and dropped to 0-19 against the East with a date in Boston on Wednesday.

Grizzlies waive Steve Francis

The Memphis Grizzlies reached a buyout agreement and waived guard Steve Francis, Grizzlies General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace announced today.

The 6-3, 210-pound guard has not appeared in a game with the Grizzlies or Houston Rockets this season after he was acquired from Houston on Dec. 24, 2008 along with Memphis’ own 2009 second round draft pick and cash considerations in exchange for a conditional 2011 second round draft pick.

The 31-year-old former three-time All-Star (2002, 2003, 2004) has averaged 18.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and 6.0 assists 37.6 minutes in 576 career games (543 starts) in nine seasons with Houston, Orlando Magic and New York Knicks.

The Grizzlies’ roster currently stands at 13 players.

The Memphis Grizzlies named Barry Hecker an assistant coach, General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace announced today.

With over 35 years of basketball experience in the professional, collegiate and high school ranks, Hecker joins the Grizzlies after a stint with the China Basketball Association (CBA) where he was an assistant coach with the Jiangsu Nangang Dragons during the league’s 2008 playoffs.

Along with his work in the CBA, Hecker spent 16 seasons (1986-98, 2001-05) with the Los Angeles Clippers, first serving as the team’s director of scouting (1986-94) and then moving to the bench for four seasons (1994-98) as an assistant under head coach Bill Fitch.  Hecker would later spend four seasons (2001-05) as the club’s director of player personnel/assistant coach.

Before his first stint with the Clippers, Hecker spent two seasons (1984-86) as the player personnel director for the Cleveland Cavaliers, helping assemble a core of players including Mark Price, Brad Daugherty, Ron Harper and Johnny “Hot Rod” Williams, that would turn the Cavaliers into a perennial Eastern Conference power in the late-1980s and early-1990s.

Hecker basketball executive experience also includes two seasons (1999-01) as the interim head coach, assistant coach and player personnel director for the Las Vegas Bandits of the International Basketball League (IBL), where he assisted current Grizzlies Head Coach Lionel Hollins in the 2000-01 season.

A popular and frequent speaker on the basketball clinic circuit, Hecker has been the director of numerous camps, including those run by Hall of Famer Adrian Dantley, Tyrone “Muggsy” Bogues, Xavier McDaniel and Andrei Kirilenko.  Internationally, Hecker has been invited as a guest speaker at clinics in China, Italy and Turkey.

The Washington, D.C. native received his bachelor’s degree from Frostburg State (MD) where he played basketball and baseball.  He earned his master’s degree in education from George Washington University and was a Ph.D. candidate at Florida State.  Hecker’s head coaching credits also include B.S. Leiden of the Dutch Professional League (1975) and Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah (1976-78).

The club also announced today that Andy Greer and Ron DuBois are no longer with the team and that Kevin O’Neill has been assigned to the new position of special assistant to the general manager.

Post your basketball opinions on the InsideHoops Memphis Grizzlies message board.

Andray Blatche out 2-4 weeks

Injury continues to strike the Washington Wizards.

Wizards forward/center Andray Blatche was diagnosed today with a strained left knee.  He is expected to miss 2-4 weeks.

The injury originally occurred at the 4:11 mark of the fourth quarter in Monday night’s game vs. Phoenix.

For the season, Blatche is averaging 10.1 points and 5.4 rebounds on 48.1% shooting in 23.4 minutes per game.

Share your basketball opinions on the InsideHoops Washington Wizards message board.

Qyntel Woods signs in Poland

Euroleague.net reports: Asseco Prokom made Qyntel Woods its second addition ahead of the Top 16 on Tuesday by signing the forward for the remainder of the season. Woods (203, 27) arrives from Fortitudo Bologna, where he averaged 14.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists over 23 minutes in four Eurocup games this season. The Polish champs will be Woods’ second Euroleague club after he made his competition debut last season with Olympiacos – one of Prokom’s Group E opponents in the Top 16.

The Boston Globe (Marc Spears) reports (via blog): Celtics forward Brian Scalabrine was taken to New England Baptist Hospital after suffering a concussion at practice today, and coach Doc Rivers said he expects the forward to be out for an extended period of time. Scalabrine originally suffered a concussion against Dallas last Sunday and received another when he bumped into teammate Patrick O’Bryant while trying to get a rebound at practice today.

Hollis Price, Mo Taylor to Italy

Euroleague.net reports: Armani Jeans Milano made a pair of major additions to its roster in time for the Top 16. Head coach Piero Bucchi’s squad signed playmaker Hollis Price and power forward Maurice Taylor. Price (186, 29) arrives from Dynamo Moscow, but was among the best playmakers in his debut Euroleague campaign last season with Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius. Taylor (206, 32) last with Sacramento of the NBA, will play in Europe for the first time. His contract is for Euroleague games only.

Charles Gaines signs in Israel

Euroleague.net reports: Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv made one more move before the start of the Top 16 with the addition of high-flying forward Charles Gaines until the end of the season. Gaines (203, 28) will mark his second stint in the Euroleague after playing for DKV Joventut Badalona in the 2006-07 season, when he averaged 10.3 points and 6.3 rebounds.

Basketball blog