Archive for January 8th, 2009

Latest All-Star votes

The NBA All-Star game voting is ongoing, and today the latest results were revealed.

This is the last update until the voting ends and the final results are released.

Here are the current starters if the voting ended today:

East: D.Wade, A.Iverson, L.James, K.Garnett, D.Howard
West: K.Bryant, T.McGrady, C.Anthony, T.Duncan, Yao Ming

Click the link above to see the exact voting totals and complete info.

The Los Angeles Clippers today signed free agent guard Fred Jones to a 10-day contract.

A six-year NBA veteran, Jones averaged 6.6 points, 1.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 19.6 minutes in five games with the Clippers this season after originally signing as a free agent on December 28th.  Jones was waived by Los Angeles on January 5th.

Jones played 70 games with the Knicks last season, averaging 7.6 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 25.1 minutes. The Clippers are the fifth NBA team for Jones, who has appeared in 378 total games and is averaging 7.5 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists in his NBA career.

A star at the University of Oregon, Jones helped lead the Ducks to the Elite Eight of the 2002 NCAA Tournament and was drafted by the Indiana Pacers with the 14th selection of the 2002 NBA Draft. Jones played four seasons with Indiana, winning the 2004 NBA Slam Dunk Contest as a Pacer before signing with the Raptors prior to the 2006-07 season.

Jones joined Portland midway through the 2006-07 season in a trade, teaming up with current Clipper Zach Randolph and then going to New York along with Randolph in a five-player deal on June 28, 2007.  Jones is expected to be in uniform tonight when the Clippers face the Spurs in San Antonio.

Coach says Knicks have bad habits

The New York Knicks are fun to watch this season. Win or lose, fans get their money’s worth. Madison Square Garden has energy. And on the road, the Knicks are enjoyable. It’s thanks to Mike D’Antoni’s high-paced offense. In my ideal basketball world, every team in the league would play this way.

Entertainment value aside, the Knicks still lose a lot. They’re better than they were last year, but with 13 wins and 20 losses they sit last in the Atlantic Divison, and if the season ended today would be just 12th in the East.

The season is still young, so NY is just 2 games behind the Milwaukee Bucks for the 8th playoff spot.

Yesterday, coach D’Antoni spoke about the team. The New York Post (Marc Berman) reports:

“There really is something to be said about people playing in a losing situation for a while and get in bad habits,” D’Antoni said. “Bad habits you have to break and it takes time.” The Knicks’ offense, once leading the league, has fallen to fourth at 103.9 points per game, with D’Antoni pointing out his “Seven Seconds or Less” attack has noticeably been creaking. He blamed it partly on Nate Robinson and Al Harrington playing too selfishly. The Knicks had just 13 assists Tuesday. “We’re going to get back to running more, that’s on me,” D’Antoni said. “We got too much 1-on-1 playing. . . . We’re just jacking shots up sometimes.”

The Knicks are in Dallas tonight to face the Mavericks.

Sixers set three-point goal

The Philadelphia 76ers are awful at hitting three-pointers. They’re currently tied with the Washington Wizards for the lowest three-point shooting percentage in the league at 30.3%. There are probably fans in the stands who have never touched a basketball that, on a good day, might be able to match that.

OK, not really.

Still, the Sixers brick from outside, and their coach is taking what little action he can.

The Philadelphia Inquirer (Kate Fagan) reports:

After Tuesday’s win over the Houston Rockets, 76ers interim coach Tony DiLeo said he set a three-point goal for each game. DiLeo would not share that goal, saying he wanted to keep it within the locker room. His team, though, was unaware of the information’s classified nature. Before last night’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks, players spoke. “Make at least five a game,” Lou Williams said. “That goal is out there; he gave it to us last night.” The Sixers guard continued: “We have guys that are comfortable with that shot, but we’re more comfortable making plays to the rim. It’s our Achilles’ heel.”

Chances are, little will change. Andre Miller, Andre Iguodala and Louis Williams are lousy from outside. And that’s partially why Elton Brand hasn’t fit in as well as hoped, because he draws attention inside, but defenders can sag off the outside shooters more than they can against other teams.

The Sixers will simply have to work around this, somehow. Or make roster changes.

The AP reports: Pau Gasol had 33 points and a career-high 18 rebounds, Kobe Bryant added 21 points and the Lakers rallied from a late deficit for their seventh victory in eight games, 114-106 over the Warriors on Wednesday night. Andrew Bynum had 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Lakers, whose home loss to New Orleans on Tuesday snapped a six-game winning streak for the Western Conference leaders. Los Angeles also lost key swingman Lamar Odom to a bone bruise, trimming their rotation and increasing their dependence on Gasol, who had just 10 points against the Hornets… Jamal Crawford had 25 points and a season-high nine assists for Golden State, and Corey Maggette added 19 points before fouling out of the Warriors’ fifth loss in six games… Trevor Ariza scored a season-high 17 points for the Lakers, playing 33 minutes in Odom’s absence.

The AP reports: LaMarcus Aldridge led the Blazers with 26 points, while Steve Blake had 10 points and 10 assists. Travis Outlaw finished with 14 points. “Travis has made many, may big shots for us, and I’m sure he’ll make many more,” Aldridge said. Tayshaun Prince finished with 26 points for Detroit, and Iverson had 14. Rodney Stuckey added 13 points, but had a season-high six turnovers… The Blazers were without All-Star guard Brandon Roy for the fourth straight game. Roy, averaging 23 points, has a sprained right hamstring.

The AP reports: Paul Millsap extended his NBA-leading streak of double-doubles to 19 games with 27 points and 14 rebounds as the Jazz easily won the first of three meetings against the Hornets, who were exhausted from a win over the Lakers in Los Angeles the night before… Chris Paul had 26 points and seven assists for the Hornets, but got little help from his teammates as Utah controlled everything inside and outrebounded New Orleans 55-26… Mehmet Okur added 20 points for Utah, and Andrei Kirilenko had 13 points and eight rebounds. Kyle Korver had 15 points, Matt Harpring 10, and Deron Williams, who has been fighting a cold, added eight assists.

The AP reports: Nothing, not injuries and trades, can slow down the Denver Nuggets. Chauncey Billups, Linas Kleiza and J.R. Smith scored 21 points apiece to help the Nuggets win their fifth straight game, 108-97 over the Miami Heat on Wednesday night. Kenyon Martin and Nene scored 14 points each for Denver in the Nuggets’ seventh victory in eight games. Denver played without scoring leader Carmelo Anthony, out at least three weeks after fracturing a finger on his right hand Monday… Dwyane Wade had 31 points, and Shawn Marion added 25 for the Heat, 1-3 in their last four games.

The AP reports: The Indiana Pacers are making a habit of beating the NBA’s elite teams, and Danny Granger is making a habit of scoring big. Granger hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer and matched his career high with 37 points in Indiana’s 113-110 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night… Mike Dunleavy scored 14 points for the Pacers in his first game this season. Stephen Graham had 13, Troy Murphy 12, Jarret Jack 11 and Rasho Nesterovic 10. Amare Stoudemire led Phoenix with 23 points and 11 rebounds. Grant Hill and Barbosa had 18 apiece, Steve Nash and Jason Richardson added 16 each, and Louis Amundson had a career-high 14 rebounds and nine points. Nash also had 12 assists.

The AP reports: Randy Foye matched his career high with 32 points in just three quarters and the Wolves won their fourth straight game, beating the Oklahoma City Thunder 129-87 on Wednesday night. “It’s just great to be talking about these wins,” said Foye, who also had six assists in the second most lopsided victory in franchise history… Al Jefferson added 21 points and 13 rebounds for Minnesota, which has won six of its last eight after that demoralizing 13-game skid dropped them to 4-23 on Dec. 23… Russell Westbrook had 16 points and a career-high 12 assists for Oklahoma City, which was overwhelmed in every phase of the game… Kevin Durant, who entered the night leading the Thunder in scoring at 23.9 points per game, scored a season-low nine points on just 3-of-13 shooting, the first time all season he’s been held under 12 points.

The AP reports: Michael Redd had no idea what Andre Miller was about to do. Miller wasn’t sure, either. Miller opted for a 3-pointer over Redd with 28 seconds left to finish with 28 points, and the Philadelphia 76ers held on for a rare road win Wednesday night, 110-105 over the Milwaukee Bucks… After Milwaukee’s Richard Jefferson, who finished with 27 points, added a layup, Andre Iguodala made one of two free throws with 17 seconds to play and Charlie Bell missed an off-balance 3 with seconds to play that would’ve tied it… The Bucks again played without center Andrew Bogut, who missed his third straight game because of back spasms.

The AP reports: It’s rarely this easy for the New Jersey Nets, especially in their own building. Vince Carter had 25 points and a season-high 12 assists, and the Nets beat the Memphis Grizzlies 100-89 on Wednesday night for their third straight home victory. Playing without leading scorer Devin Harris (sore right hamstring), the Nets enjoyed one of the most relaxing nights a team could have… Yi Jianlian added 20 points, and rookie Brook Lopez had 17 for the Nets, who are just 8-12 at the Meadowlands even after their longest home winning streak of the season. They are 10-6 on the road and returned to .500 overall at 18-18. Rookie O.J. Mayo scored 26 points, and Rudy Gay had 23 for the Grizzlies, who lost for the sixth time in seven games and fell to 0-9 this season when playing on the second night of back-to-back games.

Celtics fall at home, 89-85 to Rockets

The AP reports: The defending NBA champions dropped their sixth game in eight tries Wednesday night, falling to the Houston Rockets 89-85 on Von Wafer’s go-ahead 3-pointer with 44 seconds left. It was the Celtics’ first loss in Boston since a Nov. 14 defeat to Denver sent them on a 19-game winning streak… Yao Ming had 26 points and eight rebounds, clinching it on a putback with 12.9 seconds left to help the Rockets snap a three-game losing streak and a five-game road skid. “Yao is unstoppable,” said Rockets forward Ron Artest, who scored 17 points playing most of the game in foul trouble… Paul Pierce scored 26 points, and Kevin Garnett had 18 and eight rebounds for the Celtics, who opened the defense of their 17th NBA title with victories in 27 of their first 29 games… Glen Davis scored a season-high 12 for the Celtics.

The AP reports: Down to nine players, the Raptors still easily beat worst-in-the-East Washington 99-93 on Wednesday night by making 54 percent of their field-goal attempts. Andrea Bargnani had 25 points on 8-for-9 shooting… Bargnani went 4-for-5 on 3s, and 4-for-4 on other field-goal attempts. Chris Bosh scored half his 18 points in the fourth quarter and added eight rebounds and six assists… Antawn Jamison scored a season-high 32 points for Washington, which hasn’t had Gilbert Arenas (left knee) or Brendan Haywood (right wrist) all season, and is without starting shooting guard DeShawn Stevenson, who has missed a week and is expected to be out at least another 1 1/2 weeks with a bad back.

The AP reports: Putting on a show for the home folks, Dwight Howard had 23 points and 19 rebounds as Orlando preserved a 106-102 victory Wednesday night in a matchup of the top two teams in the Southeast Division. Orlando nearly squandered a 21-point advantage, catching a huge break when Mike Bibby missed a breakaway layup that should have made it a two-point game with just under 1 1/2 minutes remaining… Josh Smith led Atlanta with 21 points, but he missed all four of his free-throw attempts—the worst culprit in a 14-of-25 performance at the line that came back to haunt the Hawks at the end… Mike Bibby scored 17 points but was only 6-of-17 from the field. Joe Johnson, the Hawks’ leading scorer, was just 5-of-17 for 13 points—matching his second-lowest output of the season.

The AP reports: LeBron James scored 21 points before grabbing an early seat on the bench, Mo Williams added 15 and Cleveland warmed up for its highly anticipated matchup with Boston by blowing out the Charlotte Bobcats 111-81 on Wednesday night, raising the Cavaliers’ record at home to 18-0… Daniel “Boobie” Gibson and Wally Szczerbiak scored 15 apiece and Anderson Varejao 14 as Cleveland shot 60 percent from the floor and improved to 28-6. Raymond Felton led Charlotte with 15 points and Gerald Wallace had 14 for the Bobcats, who went 0-3 against the Cavs this season losing by an average of 22 points per game.

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