Archive for March 13th, 2009

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has signed guard/forward James White to a second 10-day contract. He was signed to his original 10-day contract by the Rockets on Mar. 3. White joined Houston from the Anaheim Arsenal of the NBA D-League, becoming the 12th GATORADE Call-Up of the season.

White (6-7, 200, Cincinnati), who has been on Houston’s inactive list since his Call-Up, was averaging 25.9 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.18 steals in 34 games (33 starts) for the Arsenal this season. At the time of his Call-Up, White was tied for first in the D-League in points per game and was ranked tied for 12th in the league in field goal percentage. White posted 30 or more points in 12 contests with the Arsenal in 2008-09, including a season-high 47-point performance against Houston’s D-League affiliate Rio Grande Valley Vipers (1/20/09).

Discuss the team and this news on the InsideHoops Houston Rockets forum.

Donte Greene and Bobby Jackson pranks

The Sacramento Bee (Sam Amick) reports: In a season-long series of punishments for rookies failing to execute their locker room duties, Donte Greene’s car recently was filled with popcorn, and Bobby Jackson was believed to be the culprit. Against his better judgment or NBA credo, Greene retaliated Thursday by dousing the outside of Jackson’s white Mercedes with a mixture of dog food, soy sauce and condiments that sent a stench emanating from the car and sent Jackson into a locker room rant not likely to go unresolved.

UPDATE (March 14): The Sacramento Bee reports: The Kings rookie small forward exacted revenge on Bobby Jackson on Thursday, retaliating for a recent popcorn prank on his car by dousing the veteran’s Mercedes with a variety of condiments and dog food after practice. Yet the hijinx that was intended to be in fun wound up reflecting poorly on Greene and sparking little laughter within the organization. Not long after it happened, Jackson’s angered opinion could be clearly heard at the team’s practice facility. And while Greene may not have come to his senses in time to avoid the subsequent fallout, he said he eventually realized the error of his ways. “Let’s just say this,” Greene said with a straight face before Friday’s game when asked if there was any resolution to the matter. “I did a lot of apologizing today.”

Stephen Jackson likes being bulked up

The San Francisco Chronicle (Janny Hu) reports on Stephen Jackson of the Golden State Warriors, who added 10 pounds of muscle and is 6′8″ and 235 pounds: Jackson says his new-and-improved physique is behind his sustained surge, and he’s giving credit to the Warriors’ strength and conditioning gurus Mark Grabow and John Murray. It was Murray who pointed out that Jackson’s lack of strength was causing him to get pushed around without getting his share of foul calls, so the nine-year veteran hit the weight room to bulk up. Jackson now lifts for 30 to 40 minutes after every Warriors shootaround to jump start his game-day routine. He’s also using meal-replacement shakes to boost nutrition. “This is the most I’ve lifted and the most I’ve been in the weight room my whole career, and it’s starting to pay off,” said Jackson, who usually plays at 222 or 223 pounds.

Chris Bosh on Raptors game struggles

The Toronto Star (Doug Smith) reports on the Raptors and their losing ways: “Right now, I think we’re in the process of `just do something,’” said Chris Bosh. “We as a team, we always talk about it, we talk about it, talk about it, talk about it, talk about it. Do we practise? Yeah, we practise great, nobody can get a shot off in practice. But in the games, for whatever reason, it’s different. “Are we going to keep talking about it, or are we going to do it? We’re past talking about it, it’s all about action. “I can sit up here and deliver a positive message every day, I can tell you what I’m going to do every day. But until you see me to do it, it’s a whole different story.”

The Boston Globe (Marc. J. Spears) reports: It started as a gentlemen’s bet before the season between two ultracompetitive Celtics, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce. The issue was free throws. As long as Pierce can stay within 6 percentage points of Allen’s free throw accuracy, he wins. No money was involved. Just pride. At .838, Pierce is just .06 shy of surpassing his career-best mark. But even with that average, he is getting trounced by Allen, who is not only doing the best free throw shooting of his career but seems poised to surpass a longstanding Celtics record and challenge the NBA standard, too. “That dude’s having a super career year, Ray Allen,” Pierce said. “He’s never shot over 92 percent. I thought I’d get within like 6 or 8 percent of him, but he is just running away with it. That’s little stuff we do to push each other. Dang, he’s got his career year. I didn’t know he was shooting 95. He’s killing me.”

Andrei Kirilenko has faded

The Deseret News (Tim Buckley) reports: When the season started, the plan was to bring versatile Andrei Kirilenko off the bench but perhaps play him what amounts to starter minutes. But it hasn’t exactly gone that way in the 12 games Kirilenko has played since returning from January ankle surgery. Before surgery, partly because various teammates were injured, Kirilenko played 30 minutes or more in 22 of 38 games — including one regulation-length game with 42, and 50 in a double-overtime loss at Houston. Since then, he hasn’t played more than 26 minutes. He’s often used almost exclusively now in the second and fourth quarters, and isn’t subbing in for center Mehmet Okur like at times previously. Sloan said the forward from Russia no longer is on restricted minutes, and the coach believes he’s fully healthy.

Larry Hughes was bummed out on Cavs

The New York Post (Marc Berman) reports:  A Cavaliers source admitted Larry Hughes played in a depression-like state his last 2 ½ seasons in Cleveland. His stay was a disappointment, considering the Cavs signed him to a five-year, $70 million deal to be James’ running mate. “Just watching him play in Chicago early this season, you could see the difference, he looked like he was having fun,” the Cavs’ source said. But it didn’t work in Chicago either, as Hughes fell out of favor with new coach Vinny Del Negro and didn’t play the last five weeks before the Feb. 19 trade to the Knicks.

This is primarily an NBA blog, but when something happens in basketball that everyone should know about, we usually mention it. And that’s the case here:

The AP reports: Syracuse and Connecticut played a game for the ages Thursday night and into early Friday. When it was over, everybody in Madison Square Garden was exhausted and, except for the losing team, exhilarated. Telling someone that No. 18 Syracuse beat No. 3 Connecticut 127-117 in six overtimes in the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament is equivalent to saying there’s a star in the sky… The game finished one overtime short of the record set in Cincinnati’s 75-73 victory over Bradley on Dec. 21, 1981. Paul Harris had 29 points and 22 rebounds, while Eric Devendorf had 22 points and Rautins had 20, all but two on 3-pointers. The Orange made 40 of 51 free throws, but Connecticut made just 24 of 42… A.J. Price had 33 points and 10 assists for the Huskies (27-4), while Stanley Robinson had 28 points and was one of three Connecticut players with 14 rebounds. Hasheem Thabeet had 19 points, 14 rebounds and six of the Huskies’ 16 blocked shots.

The AP reports: LeBron James had his third straight triple-double—34 points, 13 assists, 10 rebounds—and the Cavaliers pulled away over the final seven minutes to beat the sinking Suns 119-111 on Thursday night… Mo Williams, who scored a career-high 44 the first time the teams met this season, added 30 for Cleveland, including 6-of-10 3s. Matt Barnes scored 21 and Steve Nash 20 as the Suns extended their losing streak to six games, their longest in six seasons… The Cavs’ Delonte West left with a sore lower back halfway through the third quarter after crashing in to Nash for an offensive foul. X-rays were negative.

The AP reports: Scoring the last of his 23 points on a 3-pointer with 1:46 left, Kobe Bryant and the Lakers became the first team in the West to secure a playoff spot with a 102-95 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night… Tony Parker and Michael Finley had 25 points apiece for the Spurs, who trailed by as much as 18 points before mounting a furious fourth-quarter comeback… Pau Gasol had 23 points and 11 rebounds for the Lakers. Lamar Odom had 12 points and 10 rebounds in his return from a one-game suspension for leaving the bench during an altercation in Monday’s loss to Portland. Tim Duncan had 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Spurs, whose lead over the Rockets in the Southwest Division was cut to two games. San Antonio plays at Houston on Saturday, when the Rockets will becoming off a Friday night game at Charlotte.

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