Archive for January, 2009

Monday NBA stars

NBA.com reports: Shaquille O’Neal, Suns, scored 29 points as Phoenix wrapped up a six-game East Coast swing with a 103-87 win over Washington. O’Neal went 10-for-14 from the field and 9-for-10 from the free throw line…  Dwyane Wade, Heat, finished with 35 points and Miami held Atlanta without a field goal for nearly 131/2 minutes during one first-half stretch in a 95-79 victory…  Chris Paul, Hornets, had 27 points, 15 assists, 10 rebounds and seven steals for his fifth triple-double of the season, and the Hornets defeated Philadelphia 101-86…  Brandon Roy, Trail Blazers, scored 33 points on 11-of-15 shooting to lead Portland to a 113-88 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers…  Al Jefferson, Timberwolves, had 23 points and 10 rebounds, lifting Minnesota over short-handed Milwaukee 90-83.

Jannero Pargo signs in Greece

Euroleague.net reports: Olympiacos Pireaus has made up for the loss of an injured starter by signing more offensive firepower in the person of guard Jannero Pargo, last with Dynamo Moscow. Pargo (188, 30) posted 13.2 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists in five Eurocup games in this, his first season in Europe, for Dynamo. Pargo had played the previous six seaons with four NBA teams: New Orleans, Chicago, Toronto and the Los Angeles Lakers. He averaged 8.1 points last season with New Orleans. Olympiacos needs help after its third-best scorer, Josh Childress, was lost for at least a month more due to a sports hernia that was operated on last week.

James White rocking the D-League

NBA.com (Matthew Brennan) reports: James White is unstoppable on offense at the NBA D-League level, averaging 29.8 points in January including a D-League season high 47 last week. He has come a long way in developing his all-around game since his assignment to Austin two seasons ago, and has to be at the top of the list regarding any call-up discussion. I am looking forward to seeing him play at All-Star Weekend (both in the D-League game and maybe the Dunk Contest), but will be surprised if he is not on an NBA roster by then.

Questioning the Pistons rotation

The Detroit Pistons have been a losing team lately, dropping 7 of the 9 games they’ve played since January 10: They lost big in Utah, lost a close home game against Charlotte, lost a close game in Indiana, lost in Oklahoma City, lost at home against New Olreans, won at Memphis, won big at home against Toronto, lost big at home against Dallas, and lost a close game at home against Houston.

It’s not Michael Curry’s “fault,” necessarily, but he has yet to come up with a solution to the problem of a roster with plenty of talent but with too many good players at the small spots and not enough good big guys.

The Pistons now start Rodney Stuckey and Allen Iverson in the backcourt, Tayshaun Prince and Amir Johnson at forward, and Rasheed Wallace at center. The key guys off the bench are Richard Hamilton, Jason Maxiell and Antonio McDyess.

I question the decision to start Iverson while using Hamilton as a bench reserve. The reverse makes more sense. Hamilton clearly has chemistry with Prince, Wallace, McDyess and the other key Pistons. Iverson is the newcomer. He’s the guy that has to keep learning to fit in.

A scorer who is better at putting the ball in the basket than in the hands of teammates, if I was coaching Detroit, I’d use Iverson as instant points off the bench.

And if Iverson doesn’t want to come off the bench? Tough. Deal with it. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, obviously another change would be made.

–Jeff

Kenny Adeleke signs in Germany

Euroleague.net reports: With center Patrick Femerling sidelined for the whole Top 16, Alba Berlin signed rebounding ace Kenny Adeleke (25, 205) on Tuesday. The American power forward with Nigerian origin started the season for Lukoil Academic Sofia, but was released in December, after the Bulgarian champion had lost all options to reach the Last 16 of the Eurocup.

The Memphis Grizzlies have reassigned Kevin O’Neill to the new role of special assistant to the general manager, Grizzlies General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace announced today.

“Kevin O’Neill was instrumental in our draft preparations last year, which resulted in bringing O.J. Mayo and Darrell Arthur to the Grizzlies,” Wallace said. “Kevin is a very valuable resource for us. He has the rare combination of college coaching experience, as he was recently a head collegiate coach for a NCAA Tournament-caliber team, and he has a perspective of a NBA coach. We are eager to have Kevin’s input in our draft evaluation process again this year.”

O’Neill, a 29-year coaching veteran in the college and pro ranks, was named an assistant coach on June 17, 2008 after serving as the interim head coach at the University of Arizona last season, where he guided the Wildcats to a 19-15 record (.559) and the school’s 24th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance.

A seven-year veteran in the NBA coaching circles with the New York Knicks (2000-01, assistant), Detroit Pistons (2001-03, assistant), Toronto Raptors (2003-04, head coach), Indiana Pacers (2004-06, assistant) and Memphis (2008-09, assistant), O’Neill was a well-known figure on the college scene as the head coach at Marquette University (1989-94), Tennessee (1994-97) and Northwestern University (1997-2000).  The Great Midwest Conference Coach of the Year in 1993 and 1994 (Marquette) has also seen duty as an assistant coach at Arizona (1986-89) under Hall of Famer Lute Olson, the University of Tulsa (1985-86) and the University of Delaware (1983-85).

Roy leads Trail Blazers past Clippers

The AP reports: Brandon Roy scored 33 points on 11-of-15 shooting to lead the Portland Trail Blazers to a 113-88 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night… Travis Outlaw scored 16 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter and keyed the run that gave the Trail Blazers breathing room. Greg Oden went 7-of-7 from the floor and 2-of-4 from the line for 16 points and had six rebounds. Al Thornton scored 23 for Los Angeles, which lost for the 16th time in 18 games. Steve Novak added 21 points, and Fred Jones had 19 points and seven assists. Brian Skinner, back after missing two games with flulike symptoms, had eight points and 10 rebounds in the loss.

Thunder beat Nets 94-85

The AP reports: Kevin Durant scored nine of his 18 points in the decisive third quarter, and the Thunder enjoyed big advantages at the free throw line and on the boards to beat the New Jersey Nets 94-85 Monday night in front of just 5,000 fans. Russell Westbrook had 13 points and eight rebounds, and Jeff Green scored 13 for the Thunder. Oklahoma City took 38 free throws, 20 more than the Nets, and outrebounded the opponent for the eighth time in nine games… Rookie Brook Lopez, who had a career-high 31 points in the first meeting, scored 18 for the Nets. Carter, averaging 21.6 points per game, had just eight on 2-of-12 shooting. Devin Harris (21.8) scored 10 and was 4-of-17.

The AP reports: Al Jefferson had 23 points and 10 rebounds as he roamed the paint freely and Ryan Gomes added 22 points, lifting the Timberwolves over the short-handed Bucks 90-83. Minnesota improved to an NBA-best 10-2 in 2009 and Jefferson thwarted the Bucks when it counted in the fourth quarter with Milwaukee also missing center Andrew Bogut for the seventh straight game with back spasms… Richard Jefferson, who finished 3-of-15 from the field, hit a jumper, but Al Jefferson answered when he kicked out a pass to Gomes for a 3-pointer as the shot clock expired with 1:46 left… Milwaukee’s Ramon Sessions, who had 18 points replacing Redd, said Gomes’ shot was deflating.

The AP reports: Chris Paul had 27 points, 15 assists, 10 rebounds and seven steals for his league-leading fifth triple-double of the season, and the New Orleans Hornets defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 101-86 on Monday night… New Orleans, badly outscored inside while missing center Tyson Chandler (ankle) and David West (back), made up for it with 14 3s as a team… James Posey and Rasual Butler had 13 points apiece, including three 3-pointers each for the Hornets. Thaddeus Young had 22 points and Andre Miller 19 for the Sixers, who lost for only the second time in their past 10 games. Andre Iguodala scored 17 points for Philadelphia, and Louis Williams added 11 points.

The AP reports: The NBA’s leading scorer, Wade finished with 35 points on 13-for-19 shooting and the Heat held the Hawks without a field goal for nearly 13 1/2 minutes during one first-half stretch, beating Atlanta 95-79 on Monday night… Daequan Cook scored 16 points and Chalmers added 12 points and six assists for Miami (24-19), which moved a season-best five games over .500. Udonis Haslem had a game-high 13 rebounds. Miami had a season-high 12 blocked shots and allowed the Hawks seven assists — the fewest by any Heat opponent this season. Joe Johnson scored 19 points for Atlanta. Marvin Williams added 17, Josh Smith had 14 points and 10 rebounds and Flip Murray finished with 14 points for the Hawks.

The AP reports: Wilson Chandler was removed from the starting lineup after his recent struggles and responded with 18 points in a 104-98 win over the Houston Rockets on Monday night. Fellow reserve Nate Robinson continued his strong play to lead New York with 19 points… The Rockets were playing without center Yao Ming (sore right knee) for the second straight game. Yao went out just as Tracy McGrady and Ron Artest were returning from injuries of their own. Artest (right ankle) had 24 points in Sunday’s win at Detroit, but struggled to 4-of-19 shooting against the Knicks. McGrady (left knee) had 20 points with more then five minutes left in the game then missed his last five shots.

The AP reports: Shaquille O’Neal kissed Caron Butler on the head, got a technical for hanging on the rim and thumped Andray Blatche into a knee-buckling injury. He also scored 29 points, grabbed eight rebounds and blocked three shots… O’Neal and the Phoenix Suns wrapped up a six-game East Coast swing Monday night with a 103-87 win over the Washington Wizards, who suffered the indignity of falling behind the Oklahoma City Thunder to take sole possession of the NBA cellar… Amare Stoudemire added 22 points and 15 rebounds, Leandro Barbosa scored 23 points, and Steve Nash had 14 points and 15 assists for the Suns, whose 53-38 rebounding advantage helped overcome their 17 turnovers. Caron Butler scored 28 points, and Jamison had 27 points and 13 rebounds for the Wizards, but they didn’t get much help as Washington lost for the 10th time in 12 games. The rest of the team scored 32 points on 17-for-41 shooting.

The Dallas Mavericks are hiring Darrell Armstong as an assistant coach according to the following report — The Dallas Morning News (Eddie Sefko) reports: Armstrong is ready to embark on his coaching career and would join Carlisle’s staff in an assistant coach/developmental coach role.

Weather won`t stop Nets at Thunder game

The following statement is from Dan Mahoney, Oklahoma City Thunder Vice President of Corporate Communications regarding the Oklahoma City weather conditions:

“Tonight’s game between the Thunder and the New Jersey Nets will be played as scheduled at the Ford Center. The visiting team and the officials have arrived, so the game will be played.

“The Thunder urges fans to be safe, use extreme caution and allow extra driving time when coming to the game.”

Zach Marbury to Venezuela

The New York Times (David Waldstein) reports: Zach Marbury, who will turn 29 on Feb. 4, will dig out his passport later this week and fly to Venezuela after coming to terms on a one-season deal with Los Guaros De Lara in the gritty, physical Liga Profesional de Baloncesto, known as the L.P.B. It’s not the N.B.A. and it’s not even one of the more highly regarded leagues in the world. But it is professional basketball, and Zach Marbury, who like his brother is a point guard, says he is ready to do whatever it takes to participate again. “I just want to play,” Zach said Saturday in a telephone interview from Southern California, where he has been working out with his brother in preparation for his international career. “I feel I’m doing what I have to do to get to the N.B.A. “Do you think I want to go to Venezuela? No I don’t. But I have to because I believe it’s the path God has chosen for me, so I’m ready to accept and make the most of it.”

Nene having great season

The Denver Post (Mark Kiszla) writes: In a season full of pleasant surprises for Denver, the biggest one has been Nene. “I’ve been so, so, so impressed with Nene, from his skill level to his IQ for the game. He’s an all-star, man. Without a doubt. When Nene’s on a good team, he’s unstoppable,” Billups said Sunday, when Denver trounced Utah 117-97. While Anthony is the Nuggets’ most talented player and Billups is the team’s most valuable player, Nene is the one player who will determine how far Denver goes in the playoffs… For a man who doesn’t like to be called a center, Nene is playing as strong as anyone between Houston (Yao Ming) and Los Angeles (Pau Gasol) at his reluctantly adopted position. And that includes you, Shaquille O’Neal.

The AP reports: Corey Maggette scored 20 points as the Golden State Warriors ended a two-game slide Sunday night with a 107-92 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers… Anthony Morrow added 17 points and Kelenna Azubuike had 16 points for the Warriors, who beat the Clippers for the fifth straight time. Andris Biedrins had 12 points and 14 rebounds… Eric Gordon scored 21 points for the Clippers, who lost their seventh straight on the road and 15th in 17 games overall. Al Thornton added 17 points and Ricky Davis had 15. Rookie center DeAndre Jordan grabbed a season-best 20 rebounds to go with eight points.

The AP reports: Chauncey Billups can’t fathom having a game like Nene did Sunday night. Nene tied a career high with 28 points and sank every one of his dazzling dozen shots in Denver’s 117-97 rout of the Utah Jazz… J.R. Smith scored 13 of his 22 points in the first quarter, setting the tone for Denver’s rare rout of Utah, which fell 4 1/2 games behind the first-place Nuggets in the Northwest Division with its third straight loss and second in 24 hours… Chauncey Billups added 22 points and Linas Kleiza came up with 18 off the bench for the Nuggets, who had lost 10 of their previous 13 against Utah.

The AP reports: Al Jefferson scored a season-high 39 points and carried the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 109-108 overtime victory over the Bulls on Sunday night for their ninth win in 11 games… Rookie Kevin Love added 19 points and a tied a career high with 15 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who completed their biggest comeback of the season… Joakim Noah—who bounced back from his scoreless performance against Toronto to score 14 points and had a career-high seven blocked shots—had the unfortunate task of guarding Jefferson for most of the night… Ben Gordon led six Chicago players in double figures with 23 points. Luol Deng had 22 points for Chicago, while Rose added 18 and Andres Nocioni 15.

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