Archive for March, 2009

The AP reports: Carmelo Anthony was having his way with the Dallas Mavericks all night, scoring as easily on long jumpers as he was on drives to the basket. So how come, Dirk Nowitzki wondered, the Mavs didn’t smother him with the game on the line? Anthony squirted through traffic for a go-ahead layup with 12.2 seconds left, then added a free throw in the final seconds to cap a 43-point performance that lifted the Denver Nuggets to a 103-101 victory over the Jason Kidd-less Mavericks on Friday night. “We messed up,” Nowitzki said. “They set a little screen and he came off it. That can’t happen.”

The AP reports: Chris Paul got mixed up with Nate Robinson. James Posey threw the ball at a referee. The New Orleans Hornets showed plenty of emotion—just not until they’d shown too little while falling behind the New York Knicks. Al Harrington scored 23 points, David Lee added 18 points and 11 rebounds, and the Knicks snapped a six-game losing streak Friday night with a 103-93 victory over the frustrated Hornets, who were hit with two technicals and an ejection in the fourth quarter. “I just think if we would have come out with that type of passion in the third quarter, then we would have won the game,” said Hornets coach Byron Scott, adding it was a “terrible” loss for a team in the middle of the Western Conference playoff race.

The AP reports: With Kevin Garnett watching, Glen Davis helped keep the Boston Celtics hustling and winning. Davis, who moved into the starting lineup as Garnett was held out with a sore knee, had 19 points and matched his career high with 12 rebounds to lead the Celtics past the Atlanta Hawks 99-93 on Friday night. Ray Allen led Boston with 22 points and Paul Pierce had 21, but Davis was the key while filling in for Garnett. Boston coach Doc Rivers said his team won with “mental toughness.”

The AP reports: On a night that Kobe Bryant tossed up an air ball with his first shot, sprained his right ankle and finished 5-of-19 from the field, the Los Angeles Lakers still showed why they are the top playoff seed in the Western Conference. Bottom line—there’s more to the Lakers than Kobe. Pau Gasol had a season-high 36 points and 11 rebounds, and the Lakers (58-14) guaranteed the road to the Western Conference championship will run through downtown Los Angeles with a 103-95 victory over the New Jersey Nets on Friday night. “It’s just one more step toward our goal,” said Gasol, who was 14 of 19 from the field and three assists shy of a triple-double. “Now we’re just looking to the next game. We still have three games left on the road trip.”

The AP reports: LeBron James has taken plenty of hard hits in his career, but didn’t like the one he took from Minnesota’s Jason Collins on Friday night. “It was borderline dirty,” James said after scoring 25 points in Cleveland’s 107-85 victory, the Cavaliers’ 11th straight win. The play in question occurred in the third quarter when James broke through a double team at the top of the key and drove into the lane. As James was heading toward the basket, Collins struck him in the face with his upper arm. James went to the floor and Collins was charged with a flagrant foul. “That’s not part of the game,” James said. “Hard fouls are a part of the game. That was a little bit overboard.”

The AP reports: The Orlando Magic are showing few signs of slowing down. Rashard Lewis scored 19 points, Hedo Turkoglu added 18 and the surging Magic beat the Milwaukee Bucks 110-94 on Friday night. Dwight Howard added 18 points and eight rebounds in another strong defensive effort for Orlando, which held Milwaukee to 39.1 percent shooting. The Magic (54-18) have won five straight and 12 of their last 14 to stay percentage points ahead of Boston for the Eastern Conference’s second seed. “We’re just trying to find that rhythm that you can stay in,” Magic point guard Rafer Alston said. “It’s all about finding that groove going into the playoffs.”

Bosh, Marion lead Raptors past Thunder

The AP reports: The Toronto Raptors put this one away early. Chris Bosh had 21 points and 13 rebounds, Shawn Marion added 20 points and 11 rebounds and the Raptors opened up a big lead in the first quarter before cruising to a 112-96 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night. “Everybody was on the same page,” Marion said of Toronto’s 17-2 scoring surge. “We got stops when we needed to, everybody was stepping up and it just started clicking.” The Raptors, who led by as many as 25, avenged a 91-83 road loss to the 2-24 Thunder on Dec. 19. Bosh called it “a good win,” but said he wasn’t motivated by revenge.

The AP reports: Desperate to remain in playoff contention, Boris Diaw and the Charlotte Bobcats came up big against the Philadelphia 76ers. Diaw scored 24 points and Ray Felton added 20 points for the Bobcats, who won 100-95 on Friday night and moved within 2 1/2 games of idle Detroit for the eighth playoff seed in the Eastern Conference. “We did a tremendous job in the first half,” Bobcats coach Larry Brown said. “The rebounding and shooting is what kept is in it. We did a great job on the boards. Winning on the road, against a quality team, is a real good win for us.” The Sixers, who have been outrebounded by 10 in four of the last 21 games, were led by Andre Iguodala with 25 points.

Ralph Lawler talks to InsideHoops

Los Angeles Clippers TV broadcaster Ralph Lawler is a legend and one of the best in the business.

InsideHoops.com was with him the other day and had a great conversation.

Read our Ralph Lawler interview and share it with other Clippers fans.

Jermareo Davidson done for season

Golden State Warriors forward Jermareo Davidson underwent successful surgery today to repair a stress fracture in his left foot (fifth metatarsal), the team announced.  The surgery was performed by Dr. John Belzer and Dr. Keith Donatto at the Presidio Surgery Center in San Francisco.

Davidson, 24, appeared in 14 games this season for Golden State, averaging 3.0 points and 2.4 rebounds in 7.9 minutes per contest.  He will be sidelined for the remainder of the season and the foot will be immobilized for approximately one month.

Fabricio Oberto out 2 games

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that Fabricio Oberto will miss the team’s next two games (3/27 vs. L.A. Clippers and 3/30 at New Orleans) due to atrial fibrillation.

Yesterday Oberto felt abnormal sensations in his chest. After being seen by the team’s medical staff he had an EKG which confirmed he was experiencing atrial fibrillation.  He then underwent a cardioversion which restored his heart to its normal rhythm.

Over the next four days Oberto will receive daily EKG exams to confirm that his heart maintains its normal rhythm. Barring any unforeseen complications, he is expected to be available for the Spurs-Thunder game on 3/31.

Tyson Chandler out 1-2 weeks

The New Orleans Times-Picayune (John Reid) reports (via blog): Hornets center Tyson Chandler will miss the next seven to 14 days because he will have his inflamed right ankle immobilized. Chandler will miss his fifth consecutive games tonight when the Hornets play the New York Knicks. He did not travel with the team on the trip.

Nets bench Yi Jianlian

New Jersey Nets forward Yi Jianlian has played fairly awful basketball for a long time now. Coach Lawrence Frank is finally taking action. The Bergen Record (Al Iannazzone) reports (via blog):

Lawrence Frank announced this morning that Ryan Anderson will start at power forward for Yi Jianlian tonight against the Lakers.

And, the New York Post (Fred Kerber) reports (via blog):

Since returning from a broken pinkie, Yi has played 18 games and done squat: one double figure scoring game; pretty much one game (Portland) where he noticeably defended; 6.0 scoring average and .357 shooting over the 18. “Too much hesitation,” Yi said, admitting his confidence is somewhere between the sub-basement and Hell. “Yeah it’s hard for me right now. I know what happening. I must just be professional and keep doing my stuff, doing my thing.”

The Nets are weak at both forward spots, and changes need to be made this summer.

Discuss the Nets on the InsideHoops New Jersey Nets forum.

The New York Knickerbockers President of Basketball Operations Donnie Walsh announced today that free agent guard Joe Crawford has been signed to a 10-day contract. Crawford, a member of the Los Angeles D-Fenders, became the 18th Call-Up of the 2008-09 NBA Development League season.

Crawford, 6-5, 210-pounds, was selected in the second round of the 2008 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers with the 58th overall pick. The Detroit, MI-native played with the Lakers during the 2008 preseason before being waived on Oct. 22. Crawford then signed with the NBA Development League’s Los Angeles D-Fenders and averaged 20.8 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.0 steals in 43 games.

Demetris Nichols’ 10-day contract had expired and the club elected not to re-sign him. The Knicks roster stands at 14 players.

The AP reports: LaMarcus Aldridge scored a season-high 29 points and added 12 rebounds to help Portland snap the Phoenix Suns’ six-game winning streak with a 129-109 victory Thursday night. McMillan thinks that Aldridge, who is in his third season, is well on his way to consistent double-doubles. He leads the team with 18 this season. Portland led 100-79 after three quarters, following Rudy Fernandez’s jumper and buzzer-beating 3-pointer from 25 feet. The Suns sat their starters most of the rest of the way. Fernandez came off the bench to score 23 points. The rookie from Spain made a career-high five 3-pointers. Brandon Roy added 26 points and nine rebounds for the Blazers, who led by as many as 29 points.

The AP reports: John Salmons scored 27 points, Tyrus Thomas came up big again and the Chicago Bulls beat Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat 106-87 on Thursday night for their sixth win in seven games. The Bulls took control in the third quarter, outscoring the Heat 32-14, and moved into a seventh-place tie with Detroit in the Eastern Conference… Wade scored 31 points after hitting just five of 24 shots the previous night in a 90-88 loss at Indiana, but solid efforts by Chicago’s Ben Gordon, Kirk Hinrich and Tyrus Thomas to back Salmons helped the Bulls avoid a four-game sweep. Gordon scored 18 points for the Bulls, who lead Charlotte by three games and Milwaukee by 3 1/2. Thomas added 15 points and 12 rebounds, and he was particularly good in the third, scoring seven points and blocking two shots.

The AP reports: Kobe Bryant scored 30 points and helped the Los Angeles Lakers beat Detroit 92-77 Thursday night, snapping a nine-game losing streak on the Pistons’ home court… At this point, the once-mighty Pistons simply are hoping to make the playoffs. They were without Allen Iverson (back), Richard Hamilton (groin) and Rasheed Wallace (calf) against the Lakers… Detroit reserve Will Bynum had career highs with 25 points and 11 assists and helped his banged-up team outscore the Lakers 30-14 in the second quarter to lead 42-39… Detroit’s Antonio McDyess had 14 points—making him its only double-digit scorer other than Bynum—and 12 rebounds.

The NBA Board of Governors voted to approve a playing rules change in regards to “too many players on the court”, which will take effect beginning Friday, March 27.

Under the playing rules change, when a “too many players on the court” violation is called, a technical foul will be assessed against the offending team and the non-offending team will have the option of either accepting or nullifying the game action that occurred during the violation.

Option 1 — Accept Game Action

The non-offending team can opt to ACCEPT all play that occurred during the violation, including any points scored, with no adjustment of the game clock.

Option 2 — Nullify Game Action

The non-offending team can opt to NULLIFY all play that occurred during the violation, other than any acts of unsportsmanlike conduct or flagrant fouls or any points scored from free throws as a result of such actions.

Under this option, following the technical foul, the game clock would be reset to the time when the ball was put into play with too many players on the court and, depending on how the ball was originally put into play, play would resume in accordance with the following:

1) If the original play commenced with a throw-in, then the ball would be returned to the original throw-in spot and play commenced with a throw-in.

2) If the original play commenced with a missed free-throw attempt where the ball remained in play, then play would be commenced with a jump ball held at center court between any two players who were on the floor at the time play was suspended due to the violation.

3) If the original play commenced with a jump ball, then play would be commenced with a jump ball held at the original jump-ball spot between the same two players who participated in the original jump ball.

Jazz assign Kosta Koufos to D-League

Utah Jazz general manager Kevin O’Connor announced today that the team has assigned rookie center Kosta Koufos to the Utah Flash of the NBA Development League (D-League) and recalled second-year center Kyrylo Fesenko. Guard Morris Almond is also currently on assignment with the Flash. Per league rules, NBA teams are only permitted to have two players on D-League assignment at any given time. Koufos is expected to be in uniform when the Flash host Anaheim on Friday, March 27 at 7 p.m.

In 48 games this season (seven starts) the 7-1, 265 pound Koufos has averages of 4.7 points, 2.9 rebounds and 0.4 assists. Koufos has been inactive 13 times this season and DNP-CD 10 times. Koufos last appeared in a game on February 17 against Memphis, scoring two points and grabbing one rebound in a 117-99 home win. The center notched his career-high when he scored 18 points and 10 rebounds in a 97-88 win over Dallas on December 2 in Salt Lake City.

Selected by the Jazz out of Ohio State in the first round (23rd overall selection) of the 2008 NBA Draft, Koufos averaged 14.4 points, 6.7 rebounds and 0.5 assists in his only season with the Buckeyes. The Canton, Ohio native was also named the postseason NIT MVP after leading Ohio State to the 2008 title. Koufos, who holds dual American and Greek citizenship helped lead Greece to a silver medal in the 2007 UMCOR U18 European Championships after averaging 26.5 points, 13 rebounds and 3.5 blocked shots.

In 18 games with the Jazz this season (one start) the 7-1, 278 pound Fesenko has averages of 2.4 points, 1.8 rebounds and 0.2 assists. Fesenko has been inactive 30 times and DNP-CD 14 games. In 14 games with the Flash, Fesenko has averages of 12.2 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 25.6 minutes per contest.

Originally selected by Philadelphia in the second round (38th overall selection) of the 2007 NBA Draft, the Jazz acquired Fesenko’s rights in a draft night deal that sent the draft rights to Herbert Hill (55th overall pick) and trade considerations to the 76ers.

Gilbert Arenas retires from blogging

Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas is great at scoring, getting injured and blogging. And he’s just announced that the last item on that list is off his agenda. The Washington Times (Mike Jones) reports:

Gilbert Arenas has officially retired from blogging. The Wizards guard and the original NBA player-blogger said in the locker room just a bit ago “I’m retired from that. At first it was fun, but then it seemed like it was turning into a double-edged sword. Your words can work against you.”

I used to skim-read some of his blog entries, but as great as they were, I rarely made it through the whole thing. That’s on me, though. These days I check so much content I rarely make it through anything. Anyway, Arenas should definitely become a broadcaster of some kind when his playing days are over, though, because the man has lots of funny, insightful thoughts to share on just about everything.

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