Archive for January 2nd, 2009

The Phoenix Suns have recalled swingman Alando Tucker from the Iowa Energy of the NBA Development League, it was announced today by Suns President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Steve Kerr.

The 6-6, 205-pound Tucker was originally assigned to Iowa on Dec. 26 and appeared in two games, both wins, for the Energy.  The second-year player was selected by Phoenix with the 29th overall pick in the first round of the 2007 NBA Draft. 

The Suns (18-12) tonight host the L.A. Clippers (8-23) at US Airways Center at 7 p.m. as Phoenix attempts to win its third-straight game and improve to a season-high seven games above .500.

The AP reports: The NBA did not take any action against Vince Carter of the New Jersey Nets nor a veteran official who used the word ‘boy’ during a confrontation with the eight-time All-Star during a game Wednesday in Detroit. Referee Derrick Stafford called two quick technicals on Carter after he argued an out-of-bounds call in the second quarter of the Pistons’ 83-75 victory. A furious Carter went after the official following his ejection and seemed to bump Stafford. Carter had to be held back by teammates. “We have spoken to both Vince and Derrick about their exchange during Wednesday’s game, and decided not to take any action with respect to the language that was used or any inadvertent contact that may have occurred,” the league said today in a statement provided in an e-mail from spokesman Tim Frank.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas out 2+ weeks

Cavaliers Center Zydrunas Ilgauskas underwent a follow-up examination of his left ankle at The Cleveland Clinic today.

He originally injured his left ankle during the December 10th game at Philadelphia. Since recovery from the injury had plateaued, another MRI and X-rays were performed. The original MRI taken immediately following the injury was consistent with a lateral ankle sprain.

The results of today’s MRI revealed a small chip fracture in the posteromedial talus of his left ankle, as well as the recovering sprain.

Ilgauskas will now undergo continued treatment including a period of left ankle immobilization to enhance healing over the next two weeks and his status will be updated after that as appropriate.

Pistons assigning two to D-League

The Detroit Pistons announced today that they will assign guard Alex Acker and rookie forward Walter Sharpe to their NBA Development League affiliate, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, on Friday, January 2.

Acker has appeared in five games this season averaging 1.4 points and 0.4 rebounds in 3.0 minutes per game.  He was originally drafted by the Pistons with the 60th overall selection in the 2005 NBA Draft.

Sharpe was drafted by Seattle with the 32nd overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft and was acquired by the Pistons on draft night in exchange for draft rights to D.J. White, the 29th pick in the 2008 NBA Draft.  He has appeared in three games this season, averaging 0.7 points in 2.3 minutes per game.

No timetable has been set for their return.

Nets better on road than home

The New York Times (Jonathan Abrams) reports: In defiance of N.B.A. history and everyday logic, the Nets wear their record inside-out. On the road, they are one of the league’s top teams with a 10-5 record, with as many losses as the Cleveland Cavaliers. At home in the Izod Center, they are 5-12, better than only the Washington Wizards in the Eastern Conference. The end result is that the puzzling Nets are teetering around the break-even mark and in the middle of the pack in the conference. “Right now, we’re a better road team, for whatever reason,” Keyon Dooling said. “It’s kind of unorthodox. But we’ve got to keep chopping wood and trying to get better.” Coach Lawrence Frank has some theories, but solving the problem has been more difficult… According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the 1955-56 Knicks are the only N.B.A. team to finish above .500 on the road (16-13) and below that mark at home (13-15). They went 6-9 in games played at neutral sites. The Boston Celtics, during the 2003-4 season, are the only team this decade to finish below .500 at home (19-22) and qualify for the playoffs, according to Elias.

Dwyane Wade has migraine headaches

The Miami Herald (Michael Wallace) reports: Another bout with migraine headaches forced Dwyane Wade to wear tinted goggles during Friday’s practice at AmericanAirlines Arena. Wade, who missed two practices last month because of migraines, said he wore them to help him deal with sensitivity to lights. He said he did not expect to wear the goggles Saturday. ”I’m just protecting my eyes [after] minor headaches,” Wade said. “They [teammates] said I look like a fool. But that’s all right.”

Kelenna Azubuike emerging

The Bay Area News Group (Curtis Pashelka) reports: Kelenna Azubuike has evolved into one of Golden State’s best all-around players — second on the team in rebounds (158), third in three-point field-goal percentage (.407) and fifth in scoring (13.6 points). “I feel comfortable in any offense,” the 6-foot-5 Azubuike said. “We’ve all just tried to buy into (the new system). It’s helped us play more (as a team).”   Azubuike’s play was one of the few bright spots in the Warriors’ 107-100 loss to Oklahoma City on Wednesday as he scored a season-high 24 points, all in the second half. He was 4 of 6 on three-point attempts and 8 of 12 overall, receiving plenty of open shots thanks to the Warriors’ new offensive philosophy.

Thunder picking mascot

The Oklahoman (Mike Baldwin) reports: When the Thunder unveils its new mascot after the All-Star break, the yet-to-be-named character will tightrope a rail in Loud City, drop from the Ford Center ceiling and trampoline to the rim with the dunk team. “We want the mascot to be athletic and very mobile but also be a character that’s part of photo ops and interaction,” said Brian Byrnes, vice president of ticket sales and services. “It’s above and beyond what the character does at our games.” … “Once we choose the character, there are a ton of minor details,” Byrnes said. “How big are the eye holes? How big are his hands and feet? What’s the weight of the costume, his depth perception? What type of material do we use to make sure he’s athletic? It’s all part of the process.”

Amir Johnson D helping Pistons

The Detroit Free Press (Vince Ellis) reports: Amir Johnson has averaged five points and 6.5 rebounds over the last four games, but most importantly, the Pistons are playing their best defense of the season as Johnson’s athleticism, quickness and long arms have been put to good use. And to think, before that four-game stretch, Johnson got no playing time against the Chicago Bulls and had six other DNPs after starting the first seven games of the season. Curry sat Johnson earlier in the season because of inconsistent play and the coach was experimenting with the starting lineup. But it was a rough time for the fourth-year player who the Pistons drafted out of high school in 2005.

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