Archive for January 12th, 2009

Tracy McGrady out 2 weeks

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that guard Tracy McGrady is expected to miss the next two weeks for physical conditioning.

“Tracy was not able to execute his standard pre-season training regimen due to his offseason procedure. He has been fighting through this in order to help the team get past a difficult early season schedule. Coach Adelman and I felt that it was in his best interest to take these two weeks to get himself physically prepared for the second-half of the season.”

The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed forward Jawad Williams to a 10-day contract, Cavaliers General Manager Danny Ferry announced today.

Williams (6-9, 220 pounds) has played in three games this season with the Cavaliers. In four total minutes, Williams scored two points and recorded one steal. He was waived by the Cavaliers on January 7th.

The Cavaliers roster now stands at 15.

Injuries strike Bulls

Getting injured is lousy. No one knows this better than me. Had it not been for that cold I got in 8th grade that made me blow my nose a lot for several days in a row, I’m positive I’d have been a far greater basketball player than Kobe Bryant.

But seriously, it’s hard to win in the NBA without several of your top stars, and that’s what the Chicago Bulls (16 wins, 21 losses) have been trying to do.

The Chicago Sun-Times (Brian Hanley) reports:

The Bulls have been without their captains — Drew Gooden, Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich — for sustained stretches. Deng has missed the last eight games with a sprained ankle and might be back tonight, when the Bulls host Portland. Hinrich (thumb surgery) has targeted Thursday against Cleveland as a possible return date. Gooden, who has posted double-doubles in all three games since an eight-game absence because of a sprained ankle, said there was no need for a players-only vent session. ”It’s no time right now to press a panic button where we need to have a mandatory meeting and stuff like that,” he said. ”Guys know what they need to do. Any time a meeting needs to be called, it will be called.” Coach Vinny Del Negro said the players need to take more ownership of the team.

Just one game out of the 8th Eastern conference playoff spot, there’s plenty of time left in the NBA season for Chicago to improve themselves. It’ll mostly have to come from the big guys, as solid but unspectacular Drew Gooden (13.3 points, 9.1 rebounds per game, not much else) has been the lone consistent contributor.

–InsideHoops.com editor Jeff Lenchiner

Atlanta Hawks slumping

The Atlanta Hawks (22 wins, 14 losses) were smoking hot from December 12 and on. They had won nine of 10 games, including wins against the Cavaliers, Pistons and Nuggets. But lately they’ve taken a dive, dropping four of their last five games. It doesn’t help that key big-man Al Horford is out indefinitely with a bone bruise in his right knee - likely a short-term injury.

“We’re just not playing with any intensity, and it’s coming from the way we’re starting these games,” said Mo Evans to Sekou Smith of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “You saw Philly jump on us at the start. And then at the end of the game, they were still outrebounding us and getting to all the loose balls when we’re the team that needs to be playing with a sense of urgency. “In my opinion, there seems like a complacency on our team right now, like we already clinched a playoff seed or home court advantage or something and we’re barely out of the starting gate of this season.”

Joe Johnson to the Journal-Constitution: “I don’t think we’re playing together on either end of the floor… We’re just not helping one another. We’re not playing with any energy, and really, you have to put it on the starting five because we’re not doing [expletive] at the start of these games.”

The Hawks now head out West, for a tough game in Phoenix, followed by games they should be able to win on the road against the Warriors and Clippers.

Bynum leads Lakers past Heat 108-105

The AP reports: Andrew Bynum scored a season-high 24 points including a go-ahead follow shot with 18.5 seconds remaining, Vladimir Radmanovic added a season-high 18 points, and the Lakers beat the Miami Heat 108-105 to become the first Western Conference team to reach 30 victories. Bryant had 19 points and seven assists, but shot just 5-of-14. Gasol had 14 points and 18 rebounds to match his career high, but shot 4-of-15… Derek Fisher had 13 points and a season-high 11 assists and Sasha Vujacic added 10 points for the Lakers (30-6), who won for the ninth time in 10 games… Wade led the Heat (19-17) with 27 points and nine assists, and rookie Michael Beasley scored 16 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter. Cook added 17 points, and Shawn Marion and Quinn added 12 points apiece.

The AP reports: The Sacramento Kings will take whatever bright spots they can find. Beating a short-handed Dallas team counts as one. Kevin Martin scored 21 points, Francisco Garcia had seven during a key fourth-quarter stretch, and the Kings ended their five-game losing streak with a 102-95 victory over the Mavericks on Sunday night… Beno Udrih had 16 points, five rebounds and six assists for Sacramento, which hadn’t won since beating the Los Angeles Clippers 92-90 on Dec. 30. John Salmons and Brad Miller added 13 points apiece for the Kings in only their second win in the last 10 games against the Mavericks… Jason Terry scored a season-high 33 points for Dallas, including 15 in the third quarter. Dirk Nowitzki added 15 points and eight rebounds for the Mavericks, who were coming off their most lopsided defeat of the season, a 128-100 loss to Phoenix on Friday.

Josh Howard didn’t play.

The AP reports: Jamal Crawford scored 32 points and hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 11.3 seconds left in a pell-mell fourth quarter, and Golden State snapped its five-game losing streak with a 120-117 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Sunday night. The final minutes were a sublime exchange between Danny Granger and Crawford, who hit four 3-pointers and didn’t miss any of his eight free throws. Granger, who scored 15 of his career high-tying 42 points for Indiana in the fourth quarter, went 14-for-14 from the free throw line and added seven rebounds… Kelenna Azubuike added 21 points and eight rebounds for the Warriors, hitting a free throw with 5.6 seconds left as road-weary Golden State opened a seven-game homestand with its first victory since Dec. 29… Marco Belinelli scored 17 points for Golden State before spraining his right ankle with 6:45 to play.

Stephen Jackson didn’t play.

The AP reports: Dwight Howard scored 24 points, Jameer Nelson had eight of his 22 in the final two minutes, and the Magic beat the San Antonio Spurs 105-98 on Sunday night. Hedo Turkoglu added 21 points for the Magic (30-8), who are tied with the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers for the NBA lead in victories. Orlando has won four straight and 13 of 15 games… Tony Parker scored 31 points for the Spurs (24-12), but missed a pair of layups in the final two minutes as San Antonio closed the game by missing six of seven shots… In the matchup against Howard, Tim Duncan had 18 points, hitting 7-of-14 from the floor and all four foul shots along with 10 rebounds. Howard was 9-of-12, going 6-of-7 on free throws and grabbed 14 rebounds.

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