Archive for March 5th, 2009

Stats LLC is buying PA SportsTicker

STATS LLC, a global sports information provider, announced today the acquisition of PA SportsTicker from UK-based PA Sport. Terms were undisclosed. The transaction also sees PA Sport becoming the exclusive distributor of STATS’ content into the UK and signals a mutual desire to work together on varying projects around the globe.

PA SportsTicker has a rich heritage in real-time sports news and information, covering all major sports for the US and Canadian sports fan. The company is a natural successor to Western Union’s original Baseball Ticker, established in 1909. PA SportsTicker’s sports news is honored in a permanent exhibit at Baseball’s Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.

STATS CEO Gary Walrath commented: “We’re eager to deliver to our new clients the best blend of content and services available from SportsTicker and STATS. We also recognize PA Sport’s world-class capabilities, and anticipate the creation of many new and compelling products for our clients and league partnerships, globally, as a result of our collaboration.”

PA Sport Managing Director Ian Campbell added: “This agreement is great news for both STATS and PA Sport. It allows each business to play to its considerable strengths and paves the way for a formidable partnership that will be capable of providing world-class sports information to customers around the world.”

Over time, things tend to change.

For example, in my early years running I was usually only able to juggle two, maybe three supermodel girlsfriends at the same time.

But now, with more experience, I have a regular rotation of 28 supermodels competing for my free time.

As for reality, one thing that hasn’t changed is the ability of basketball players to successfully hit free throws. Which makes sense. But it’s still interesting to consider.

The New York Times (John Branch) reports:

Since the mid-1960s, college men’s players have made about 69 percent of free throws, the unguarded 15-foot, 1-point shot awarded after a foul. In 1965, the rate was 69 percent. This season, as teams scramble for bids to the N.C.A.A. tournament, it was 68.8. It has dropped as low as 67.1 but never topped 70. In the National Basketball Association, the average has been roughly 75 percent for more than 50 years. Players in college women’s basketball and the W.N.B.A. reached similar plateaus — about equal to the men — and stuck there. The general expectation in sports is that performance improves over time. Future athletes will surely be faster, throw farther, jump higher. But free-throw shooting represents a stubbornly peculiar athletic endeavor. As a group, players have not gotten better. Nor have they become worse.

This could continue forever.

Spurs sign Drew Gooden

The San Antonio Spurs announced today that they signed forward/center Drew Gooden for the remainder of the season.  Per team policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Gooden, 6-10, 250 pounds, was waived by the Sacramento Kings on March 1 after being acquired from the Chicago Bulls in a trade on Feb. 18.  This season he has appeared in 32 games, averaging 13.1 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 29.5 minutes while shooting .460 (166-361) from the field and .869 (86-99) from the foul line.  Gooden has posted 11 double-doubles and has scored in double figures in 22 games, including seven contests with 20 or more.  In 31 games with Bulls, he averaged 13.1 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 29.6 minutes, and in his only game with the Kings he posted 12 points and 13 rebounds in 26 minutes.

Originally selected out of the University of Kansas with the fourth overall pick of the 2002 NBA Draft by the Memphis Grizzlies, Gooden has played for five NBA teams (Memphis, Orlando, Cleveland, Chicago and Sacramento).  For his career he has appeared in 491 games, averaging 12.1 points (.470 FG%, .730 FT%), 8.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 28.5 minutes. Gooden enjoyed his best season in 2004-05 with the Cavaliers when he averaged a career-high 14.4 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 30.8 minutes while appearing in all 82 games.

Gooden, 27, has made three trips to NBA playoffs, including the 2007 NBA Finals where the Spurs defeated the Cavaliers.  In 40 career playoff games, he has averaged 10.8 points and 8.7 rebounds in 28.0 minutes.

Gooden enjoyed a stellar collegiate career at Kansas.  In three seasons with the Jayhawks he averaged 15.6 points, 9.2 rebounds, 1.10 blocks and 1.10 steals in 98 games becoming just the second player in school history (Danny Manning) to record at least 1,500 points, 900 rebounds, 100 blocks and 100 steals.  As a junior, Gooden helped lead Jayhawks to the 2002 NCAA Final Four.  Along the way he was named First Team All-America in 2002 by the Associated Press, Sporting News and Basketball News.  He also was named the 2002 Big 12 Player of the Year and a 2002 Wooden Award First-Team All-American.

Read basketball fan analysis and discuss your own opinion in this forum topic.

Daniel Gibson talks to InsideHoops

Daniel Gibson is a scoring guard in a point guard’s body.

He’s been a solid contributor off the Cleveland Cavaliers bench this season.

Randy Zellea of recently spoke to Gibson about adjusting to Mo Williams being on the team, off court fun, and more.

Here’s the new Daniel Gibson interview.

Allen Iverson OK with bench role

The Detroit Pistons released the following statement from Allen Iverson following today’s practice.

“I’m disappointed that the soreness I’m feeling in my back is going to force me to miss two weeks of action.  After talking with the doctors at Georgetown yesterday they have told me that treatment and rest is the best course of action right now.  Hopefully my back with heal and I’ll be ready to go following this two-week period.

“My goal is to help this team win a championship and I’ve said that from the first day I arrived here in Detroit.  I’m going to do whatever it takes to help us achieve our goals as a team regardless if I’m starting or coming off the bench.”

Read fan discussion and share your own opinions in this forum topic.

Cavaliers sign Joe Smith

The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed free agent forward/center Joe Smith to a contract, Cavs General Manager Danny Ferry announced today. Per league rules, terms of the contract were not released.

Smith, 33, played in 36 games (three starts) this season for the Oklahoma City Thunder and averaged 6.6 points on .454 shooting and 4.5 rebounds in 19.2 minutes per game before being waived on March 1. He is eligible to be on the Cavaliers’ postseason roster.

The 6-foot-10, 225-pounder has played 13 years in the NBA, including spending part of last season with Cleveland after being acquired on Feb. 21, 2008 in a three-team trade in which the Cavs also acquired Wally Szczerbiak, Ben Wallace and Delonte West. In 27 regular season games (one start) with Cleveland, Smith averaged 8.1 points on .512 shooting and 5.0 rebounds in 21.4 minutes per game. He also played in all 13 postseason games during the 2008 Playoffs and averaged 6.6 points on .486 shooting and 4.6 rebounds in 20.3 minutes per game.

Read NBA fan reaction and discuss your own opinion in this forum thread.

Yao Ming angry at NBA refs

The Houston Chronicle (Jonathan Feigen) reports (via blog): “You know what, I had two offensive fouls tonight, three last night, two at the Minnesota game … and you can go on,” Yao Ming said. “Every time a defender player is on the ground, even if he just wants to sit down and have a rest, it’s my offensive foul. That’s unfair. “Why? If I’m on the defensive side and I’m in the same position, the foul is on us. They can’t call it two ways. When I try to post up and they have a head on my shoulder and lean on me and lean on my elbow and try to push me out and have the knee and have the two hands, and no call. I know I have 300 pounds. But the same way people push me, maybe it doesn’t affect much, but I have to really, really limit my strength to push back. “I guess I don’t need to worry about a flopper the next game. I don’t think Shaq is that type of player.”

The Raptors stink

The Toronto Star (Doug Smith) reports: The Raptors have not won more than three straight games this season and they’ve lost to such minnows as Oklahoma City and Memphis. They had an opportunity to make at least a mild statement in New York two weeks ago and they cowered. The friendly confines of the Air Canada Centre have been anything but – Toronto is 12-16 at home this season, hardly confidence-inducing. Still, optimism carries the day, not unexpectedly because the next time an NBA player says publicly his team has no chance might be the first. “I think if we play like that for 48 minutes we’ll win a lot of games in these last 20 games,” Jose Calderon said after Toronto’s latest loss, a 107-97 defeat administered in Houston on Tuesday.

Samuel Dalembert frustrated

Philadelphia 76ers center Samuel Dalembert is having a strange season. He’s rebounding well (8.7 rpg) and blocking shots nicely (1.8 bpg) in just 24.7 minutes per game. And shooting nicely at 49.5%.

But he’s scoring just 6.3 points per game, barely dishes any assists, and putting stats aside, he simply hasn’t been too special.

The Philadelphia Inquirer (Kate Fagan) reports:

During Saturday’s loss to New Orleans, Dalembert played only 12 minutes, 47 seconds, and the Sixers were easily outrebounded. Dalembert started the game with the assignment of guarding power forward David West. West scored 14 points in the first quarter, and Dalembert’s minutes were limited for the rest of the game. Was Dalembert frustrated watching his team be outrebounded? “You can see me,” he said. “I’m very frustrated on the bench. . . . It’s very upsetting, but I cannot go out there and sub myself in.”

With Elton Brand out, it’ll be interesting to see if Dalembert gets more consistent minutes sometime later in the season. But time is running out.

The AP reports: Rudy Gay scored 20 of his season-high 35 points in the third quarter and the Grizzlies completed their two-day stint at Staples Center with a 118-95 victory on Wednesday night, snapping an eight-game losing streak… Rookie center Marc Gasol had 20 points, along with eight rebounds and a career-high 10 assists. Hakeem Warrick, the only player left from the Grizzlies’ 2005-06 playoff team, added 17 points. Al Thornton scored 25 points for the Clippers, who lost their fourth straight and have lost 30 games by double-digit margins—the most in the league, one more than Memphis. Grizzlies rookie O.J. Mayo had 18 points nearly a year after playing his final regular-season game for USC.

Roy leads Blazers over Pacers 107-105

The AP reports: Brandon Roy was a bit taken aback when he got a call with 1.7 seconds left that would alllow the Trail Blazers to potentially beat the Pacers on a pair of free throws. But he wasn’t too stunned to make the shots, and the free throws were among Roy’s 28 points in Portland’s 107-105 victory over Indiana on Wednesday night… Marquis Daniels had 28 points for Indiana. Troy Murphy had 11 points and 13 rebounds for his ninth straight double-double. A 14-0 run early in the fourth quarter gave the Blazers a narrow lead, which they held until T.J. Ford’s jumper put the Pacers back up 99-97.

The AP reports: Carlos Boozer had his best game since returning after missing three months with a knee injury, scoring 20 points and pulling down 17 rebounds as the Utah Jazz increased their winning streak to nine with a 101-94 win over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday… Deron Williams scored 10 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter, including a 20-foot jumper with 21 seconds left after Houston got within three points. Williams also had 14 assists for the surging Jazz, who went 17-for-17 from the foul line and won their 10th straight home game. Ron Artest scored 25 points to lead Houston and Yao Ming had 19 points, seven rebounds and six assists before fouling out with 1:23 left.

The AP reports: Perhaps inspired by a tongue-lashing from their owner over their lackadaisical play in their previous game, the Mavericks bounced back by beating the rival San Antonio Spurs 107-102 Wednesday night. Josh Howard scored 29 points, including a key layup in the final minute, and Jason Kidd hit a clutch 3-pointer with 31 seconds left to seal the victory—but that was only part of the show. Jason Terry fed Kidd for that 3, then grabbed a rebound that led to the game-icing free throws with 10.8 seconds left. Dirk Nowitzki had 24 points, 12 rebounds and five assists, and Erick Dampier had nine points, four rebounds and pestered Tim Duncan into a bad night. Duncan was 7-for-21, with only eight points over the final three quarters… Tony Parker scored 37 points and Roger Mason had 23. Duncan had 19 points and 12 rebounds, but wasn’t his usual dominating self as the Spurs lost for the third time in four games.

The AP reports: John Salmons had 23 points and seven rebounds, Joakim Noah added 14 points and 17 rebounds and the Bulls beat the Golden State Warriors 110-88 Wednesday night. Brad Miller finished with 19 points and six rebounds, Derrick Rose finished with 14 points and six assists, and the Bulls pulled into a tie with Milwaukee for eighth place in the Eastern Conference… Stephen Jackson led the Warriors with 19 points and six assists. Jamal Crawford scored 11 points on 4-for-15 shooting and Corey Maggette finished with 14 points and nine rebounds for Golden State, who led by 13 points in the first quarter.

The AP reports: The Oklahoma City Thunder are finding ways to win without their top two scorers. Russell Westbrook and Thabo Sefolosha made big baskets in the final 2 minutes Wednesday night, leading the Thunder to an 88-83 victory over the Washington Wizards for their first three-game winning streak of the season. Oklahoma City, which beat Dallas on Monday, was without both Kevin Durant (sprained ankle) and Jeff Green (back spasms) for the second straight game, with Durant missing all three wins… Antawn Jamison had 29 points and 10 rebounds for the Wizards, who have been banged up all year and played without Caron Butler for the second straight game. Andray Blatche and Darius Songaila scored 14 points each.

The AP reports: Paul Pierce scored 31 points and hit a game-winning 17-footer with 20.9 seconds to play—the last of three perfect plays down the stretch—to lead the Celtics to a 115-111 victory over the New Jersey Nets on Wednesday night… Devin Harris, who had 25 points and 11 assists for New Jersey, missed a floater with 45.6 seconds to go and that set the stage for Pierce’s game winner… Rajon Rondo added 20 points as the Celtics shot 61.2 percent from the field in beating the Nets for the third time this season. Perkins had 17 points and 13 rebounds.

The AP reports: Larry Hughes scored 23 points to continue his turnaround from a rocky start with his new team, and the Knicks snapped a three-game losing streak with a 109-105 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night… Al Harrington had 20 points and 10 rebounds, and Danilo Gallinari scored a career-high 17 points for New York, which got March off to a good start after a 3-10 February that damaged its hopes of making the playoffs in D’Antoni’s first season. Wilson Chandler finished with 18 points, and David Lee had 13 points and 14 rebounds for his 24th straight double-double… Al Horford had 20 points and 13 rebounds for the Hawks, who are trying to hold off Miami and Detroit for fourth place in the East but lost for the fifth time in seven games. Joe Johnson scored 18 points, Marvin Williams 17 and Josh Smith 16 as Atlanta’s lead over the Heat dropped to 1 1/2 games for home-court advantage in the first round.

The AP reports: Dwyane Wade scored 35 points and tied his career high with 16 assists, Michael Beasley and Daequan Cook both had career highs on the way to a combined 55 points off Miami’s bench. The Heat spoiled Shaquille O’Neal’s first trip back to South Florida since last year’s trade with a 135-129 win over the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night… Beasley scored 28 points—the most by a Heat player besides Wade this season—and nine rebounds. Cook added 27 points and Miami led for all but a portion of the opening minutes on the way to the second-highest point total in franchise history… O’Neal finished with 22 points and eight rebounds before fouling out with 1:08 left. Steve Nash led Phoenix with 29 points and 10 assists, and Jason Richardson added 22 points for the Suns.

The AP reports: LeBron James scored 23 points, Delonte West had 13 with a career-high eight steals and the Cavaliers became the first team to clinch a spot in the NBA playoffs by beating the Milwaukee Bucks 91-73 on Wednesday night in a potential first-round series preview… Mo Williams scored 15 against his former team and Zydrunas Ilgauskas added 14 for Cleveland, which lowered its magic for winning the Central Division to six. Richard Jefferson scored 29 for the Bucks, currently clinging to the No. 8 spot in the Eastern Conference. Milwaukee was held to a season-low 73 points and 37 percent shooting by the Cavs, who are holding opponents to 88 points on their home floor.

Best Shawn Kemp dunks

Former NBA star Shawn Kemp was a dunk machine on the Seattle Sonics.

Playing power forward, Kemp threw down nasty dunks on anyone who came even remotely close to him.

Nicknamed “Reign Man,” (not “Rain Man”), Kemp in his prime years (around 1992-2000) was good for around 18 or 19 points and 10 or 11 rebounds per game. And at least one highlight dunk each night.

Here is a video of the best Shawn Kemp dunks of all time:

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