Archive for February 25th, 2009

Mavericks notes after beating Bucks

Wednesday night in Dallas the Mavericks beat the Milwaukee Bucks 116-96. Here are Mavs team notes:

TONIGHT’S KEY RUN: Milwaukee  led 15-7 with 6:15 to go in the 1st quarter. The Mavericks then went on a 58-26 run through the end of the 1st half to take a 65-41 lead into the locker room. During the run, Dallas shot 67.9% (19-28 FGs) from the field while Milwaukee shot 29.4% (10-34 FGs). Dallas made their last 7 FGAs of the 1st half.

MORE NOTES:

Charlie Villanueva scored 19 of MIL’s 23 1st quarter points. He went 8-12 from the field while the rest of the team went 0-12 from the field in the period.
Villanueva’s 19 points were the most in a quarter by an opposing player this season (Paul Pierce 18 vs. BOS, 2/12). He finished the game with 25 points (10-22 FGs, 1-4 3FGs, 4-4 FTs).

Dallas scored 21 fast break points in the 1st half (to MIL’s 4). Dallas averages 15.5 FB ppg (ranks 5th in the NBA). The Mavs finished the game with 30 FB points.

Brandon Bass recorded his 4th double-double of the season with 18 points (5-8 FGs, 8-8 FTs) and season-high tying 11 rebounds (8DR) in 30 minutes.
Josh Howard scored a game-high 27 points (10-16 FGs, 4-6 3FGs, 3-4 FTs) with 7 rebounds, season-high 5 steals and season-high tying 3 blocks in 35 minutes. Howard now has 5 25-point games for the season (his last was 29 at LAC, 12/28).

Over their last 9 wins, the Mavericks are shooting 53.3% (390-732 FGs) from the field. Tonight, they outshot the Bucks 53.4% (39-73 FGs) to 42.0% (37-88 FGs).

Dallas committed a season-high 25 turnovers resulting in 29 MIL points (previous high was 22 vs. LAL (11/11)).

The Mavericks recorded their 6th 20+ point victory of the season, winning by 20 points tonight. Dallas last 2 wins have come by an average of 20.5 points.

MIL came down with an opponent season-low 25 rebounds (18 DR). The Mavericks are now 12-0 when outrebounding the opposition by at least 10 (51-25 tonight).

Dallas is 15-3 when shooting 50% FG and 11-1 when scoring 110+ points.

Tonight’s attendance was 19,558 fans (19,200 capacity). The Mavs have sold out 304 consecutive regular season games at AAC and 362 games including the pre and postseasons. Dallas currently owns the longest running sellout streak in the NBA. The Sacramento Kings previously held the streak.

Michael Jordan girlfriend

The Chicago Tribune reports on Michael Jordan and his girlfriend: Michael Jordan has taken a 30-year mortgage and is playing house in modest suburban Miami with his reported new paramour, Cuban model Yvette Prieto. According to Miami-Dade County records, Prieto, 30, and Jordan, 46, co-own a three-bedroom home that property-appraisal records list as having three bedrooms and 5,500 square feet. None of the neighbors called by the Palm Beach Post realized that the six-time NBA champion is on the deed of the two-story villa. Said the sexy-voiced Prieto: “I can’t talk about the house just yet. Sorry.”

Leon Powe talks to InsideHoops

Boston Celtics muscleman Leon Powe is a tough, smart player. Playing 16 minutes per game, the power forward contributes more than his 6.6 points and 4.4 rebounds would indicate.

InsideHoops.com talked to Powe about the Celtics, what it was like to play in the Finals, his favorite away arena to play in, fun stuff off the court and more.

Read the Leon Powe interview.

Fiba.com reports: Serbia basketball great Vlade Divac on Tuesday became the new president of the country’s Olympic Committee (OKS). Divac, who won numerous medals with the former Yugoslavia in international competition and also enjoyed a long career in the NBA, was confirmed as the new president at the General Assembly of OKS just minutes after his rival, former president Ivan Curkovic, decided to step out of the race. Curkovic explained that his sudden move was made “due to political pressure” that he was under, and “to secure legality of the election” since delegates previously had decided not to vote secretly for the president, which is a requirement under current OKS statutes if there is more than one candidate.

Kevin McHale may keep coaching Wolves

The St. Paul Pioneer Press (Don Seeholzer) reports: Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor strongly indicated today during a telephone interview that he would like to see Kevin McHale remain as coach and doesn’t see him returning to his former role as vice president of basketball operations. “I think we’re beyond that,” Taylor said. “I think Kevin has taken over coaching. I don’t think he’s making a decision of going back to that or not. I think the decision that he will make is, he said he’d commit with this team to coach them (this season). I think that’s the direction that he’s chosen, I’ve chosen, and I think that’s the direction that we’re looking at. I anticipate that he will be here in coaching.”

Dwight Howard mocks Anthony Johnson

Wednesday night in New York the Orlando Magic are visiting the Knicks and superstar center Dwight Howard is full of energy.

In Orlando’s locker room before the game, Howard was loudly mocking Anthony Johnson. Specifically, his age. Dwight kept yelling how AJ is the oldest player in the NBA.

Johnson (born October 2, 1974), while this was going on, was eating pizza, using the locker room seat as a table, with his back to Howard.

“He saw the real Joe Louis fight!” declared Howard.

“You’re going to make me come over there,” threatened Johnson, still sitting down eating with his back turned to Howard and everyone else. “Don’t make me come over there.”

“Oldest player in the league! Oldest player in the league!” responded a non-fearful Howard.

This was all in fun, of course. Though, I didn’t see Johnson laughing. He probably was, on the inside. Hopefully.

Dwight’s pumped. Let’s see how he performs in MSG this evening.

Spurs forward Tim Duncan was examined by team medical personnel today where it was determined he has right quad tendonosis.  Duncan will not play in tonight’s Spurs-Trail Blazers in San Antonio.  He is considered day-to-day.

Spurs center/forward Fabricio Oberto suffered a non-displaced fracture in his left thumb during last night’s Spurs-Mavericks game.  He will be fitted with a split and is expected to play in tonight’s game.

Scott Brooks Thunder layup drill

The Oklahoman (Darnell Mayberry ) reports: Oklahoma City Thunder coach Scott Brooks has implemented a layup drill he calls “Daily Dozen,” an exercise in which Thunder players must make six layups on each side of the basket — an overhand, underhand, reverse left hand, reverse right hand, baby hook shots and a pull-up jumper inside the key. Brooks said the team has performed the drill consistently in the last week, but he wanted to focus on the drill Wednesday after seeing the Thunder miss several layups against Los Angeles on Tuesday night. “We definitely need to improve on shots right around the basket,” Brooks said. “We’re going to try to get it in three or four times a week.”

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they have signed free-agent forward Pops Mensah-Bonsu to a 10-day contract.

The 25-year-old Mensah-Bonsu had most recently been playing with the Austin Toros, the Spurs NBA D-League affiliate.  In eight games with the Toros, he averaged 26.6 points, 13.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.50 blocks in 39.8 minutes.  His best game with the Toros came on 2/22 vs. Colorado where he had 39 points and 18 rebounds in 47 minutes.

Mensah-Bonsu was signed by the Dallas Mavericks after going unpicked in the 2006 NBA Draft.  During the 2006-07 season he appeared in 12 games with the Mavericks, averaging 2.4 points and 1.0 rebounds in 5.9 minutes.  That season he also appeared in 26 games for the Fort Worth Flyers of the D-League, averaging 15.8 points and 10.4 rebounds in 30.7 minutes.  Mensah-Bonsu was selected to the 2007 D-League All-Star Game where he captured MVP honors after scoring 30 points and grabbing 7 boards.

The 6-10, 240-pound forward was born in London and played collegiately at George Washington University.  He spent four years with the Colonials finishing his career second on the school’s all-time blocks list (141) while earning Atlantic-10 All Conference First Teams honors during his senior year.

Mensah-Bonsu will wear uniform #54.

Read basketball fan reaction and post your own comments in this forum topic.

Udonis Haslem still rocking cornrows

The Miami Herald (Michael Wallace) reports: With Allen Iverson’s recent decision to cut his hair and do away with braids after 12 years, Heat forward Udonis Haslem might have taken over as the NBA’s king of cornrows. Haslem has sported the look for the past eight years, which dates even before he entered the league in 2004. ”I might be the last man standing with them,” Haslem said Tuesday before the Heat faced Iverson’s Pistons. “If I ever do cut them, it won’t be during the season. It’ll be in the summer. I’d have to wait to see how my head is shaped. So if it’s messed up, I have all summer to grow it back.”

NBA D-League expands to Portland, Maine

The NBA Development League has awarded an expansion team to Portland, Maine for the 2009-10 season, NBA D-League President Dan Reed announced today at a press conference at Portland High School. The team, which is the first expansion franchise awarded for the 2009-10 season, will play at the Portland Expo Center.

The franchise will be owned and operated by Maine Basketball, LLC, which is principally owned by Bill Ryan Sr., the chairman of TD Banknorth Group and Bill Ryan Jr., who owns and operates Oxford Plains Speedway. Jon Jennings, a partner in Maine Basketball, LLC and former Boston Celtics assistant coach, will serve as the team’s president and general manager.

Today’s announcement, the NBA D-League’s first foray into New England, was held in front of the school’s student body while featuring Reed, Celtics Team President Rich Gotham, the Celtics Dancers, and a speech by the Portland High Student Body President Brian Furey.

“Expansion to Portland is another example of the health and growth of the NBA D-League,” said Reed. “We are very pleased to add Bill Ryan Sr., Bill Ryan Jr., and Jon Jennings to our ownership ranks, as they bring a wealth of business, sports operations, and basketball experience on behalf of the team and the community.  I’m confident that fans throughout the state of Maine will enjoy our world-class level of basketball featuring current and future NBA players, as well as appreciate the team’s family-friendly environment, affordable prices, and positive impact on the Portland and Maine community.”

“I’m overjoyed to bring NBA D-League basketball to Portland,” said Jennings.  “We’ve already established strong relationships with the people of this community, and we can’t wait to get underway next season.  I know that this team will have a long and exciting future in Maine.”

Portland will be affiliated with two NBA team parent-clubs, which will be able to assign their first and second year players to the club a maximum of three times during a season. Thus far, the 2008-09 NBA D-League season has had 22 NBA players assigned on 24 occasions to NBA D-League affiliates as players continue to develop their game. An announcement regarding Portland’s NBA team affiliations will occur during the offseason.

The AP reports: All the focus was on the return to Phoenix of Raja Bell and Boris Diaw. Instead, Steve Nash, Shaquille O’Neal, Jason Richardson and their teammates spoiled the party. Nash scored 22 points before leaving with an ankle injury, O’Neal and Richardson each had 20, and the Suns beat the Charlotte Bobcats 112-102 Tuesday night, spoiling the return of Diaw and Bell to US Airways Center… Diaw finished with a season-high 27 points, along with nine rebounds and six assists. Bell scored 23 with three rebounds and three assists. The Suns, however, had more balanced scoring. Leandro Barbosa added 17 points and Matt Barnes 14.

The AP reports: Playing for the first time this season without Tim Duncan, who sat out with a sore right knee, Tony Parker had 37 points and 12 assists as the Spurs crushed Dallas 93-76 on Tuesday night in the worst offensive effort to date for the Mavericks… Spurs forward Michael Finley scored 16 against his former team, and Josh Howard led the flat-looking Mavericks with 19 points… Dirk Nowitzki scored 14 points for the Mavericks, who are also still without one of their biggest offensive weapons, Jason Terry. The standout sixth man missed his sixth game with a break in his non-shooting hand.

The AP reports: The Houston Rockets got a validating victory on Tuesday night to continue climbing up the Western Conference standings. Ron Artest scored 21 points, Aaron Brooks had 20 and the Rockets moved past Portland in the West with a 98-94 victory over the Trail Blazers. Luis Scola had 15 points and 11 rebounds—his fifth straight double-double — for the Rockets, who came in trailing Portland by a half-game for fourth place in the conference… Brandon Roy scored 24 and LaMarcus Aldridge added 21 points with eight rebounds for the Blazers, who’ve lost nine of their last 10 games in Houston.

New-look Bulls ease by Magic

The AP reports: Just about everything went right for the Bulls in this game. Derrick Rose scored 22 to lead the Bulls, who got strong efforts from their three newcomers in a 120-102 victory over the Orlando Magic on Tuesday night. The three Bulls acquired at the trade deadline combined for 37 points in their home debuts. Tim Thomas scored 17 points, John Salmons 11 and Miller had nine points, seven rebounds and five assists. All three came off the bench and each played more than 20 minutes… Dwight Howard led Orlando with 26 points and 12 rebounds. Hedo Turkoglu had 16 points and Courtney Lee 14… Ben Gordon scored 20 points and Joakim Noah had 14 points and eight rebounds for the Bulls.

The AP reports: Kobe Bryant scored 10 of his 36 points in a 3-minute span of the fourth quarter to stave off the Thunder’s comeback bid and lead the Lakers to a 107-93 victory on Tuesday night. He didn’t emerge from the Lakers’ training room until about 40 minutes after the game, but he was in a good mood when he did… Kevin Durant scored 32 to lead Oklahoma City in its sixth straight loss. It was his ninth time scoring at least 30 points in the last 10 games, and the 13th time in 17 games, during a surge that’s landed him right behind Bryant in fourth place in the NBA in scoring. Rookie Kyle Weaver followed his career-best 19-point outing by scoring 16, and Russell Westbrook finished with 14 points for the Thunder.

The AP reports: Not only did Dwyane Wade continue his run of career highs, he sent the Detroit Pistons to a new low. Wade scored 31 points and set a personal best with 16 assists, leading the Miami Heat to a 103-91 win Tuesday night and handing the Pistons their seventh straight loss—Detroit’s longest slide in more than seven years… Daequan Cook scored 16 points, Jermaine O’Neal added 14 and Jamario Moon had 12 for the Heat, who took control with a 22-8 run to close the third quarter. Allen Iverson scored 22 points and Tayshaun Prince added 18 for the Pistons (27-28), who fell under .500 this late in a season for the first time since 2000-01. Antonio McDyess shot 8-for-10 and scored 17 for Detroit.

The AP reports: Playing short-handed is nothing new for the Cleveland Cavaliers. With starting shooting guard Delonte West inactive two days after returning from the right wrist fracture that sidelined him for 16 games, the Cavaliers relied on a team effort to beat the Memphis Grizzlies, 94-79 on Tuesday night. Daniel Gibson scored 19 points and Mo Williams added 18. The Cavaliers never trailed, making for a relatively easy night for LeBron James, the NBA’s second-leading scorer. James scored 15 points in 30 minutes and didn’t play the fourth quarter, thanks to Cleveland’s big lead throughout the game. Rudy Gay and Hakim Warrick scored 13 points apiece for Memphis, which lost its fifth straight.

The AP reports: Chris Bosh knows there’s no place for politeness in an NBA playoff drive. Bosh and Andrea Bargnani each scored 26 points, Anthony Parker had 24, and the Toronto Raptors beat Minnesota 118-100 on Tuesday, their 10th consecutive victory over the Timberwolves. Jose Calderon had 15 points and 13 assists for Toronto, with Jason Kapono adding 11 points and Shawn Marion 10… Randy Foye scored 25 and Ryan Gomes had 23 for the Timberwolves, who have lost 11 of 13.

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