Archive for May, 2009

ESPN.com reports: Los Angeles Lakers point guard Shannon Brown is being sued in civil court for an alleged sex-related incident with a woman in Denver, Brown’s agent, Mark Bartelstein confirmed to ESPN’s Shelley Smith on Sunday. Bartelstein said the suit stems from an incident when Brown was playing for the Charlotte Bobcats, who played in Denver on Jan. 30. Brown was traded to the Lakers on Feb. 7. Bartelstein said that within 24-48 hours after the woman filed a police report, Denver police fully investigated her claims and “did not even pursue it. Prosecutors found nothing to pursue.”

InsideHoops.com editor says: Remember, folks, always assume these sort of claims are total nonsense, until really, truly proven otherwise. So, until there’s reason to think anything different, Brown didn’t do it.

The AP reports: Overlooked and begging for respect all season, the Orlando Magic can no longer be ignored. After 14 frustrating years, they’ve returned to the NBA finals. Dwight Howard dominated inside for 40 points, Rashard Lewis added 18 and the Magic, a team that can make 3-pointers drop from thin air, hit 12 in a 103-90 victory over LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals on Saturday night. The Magic will be making their first finals appearance since 1995, one year before Shaquille O’Neal bolted as a free agent for Los Angeles, leaving this Florida franchise in ruins… James scored 25 in his worst game of the series, but the 24-year-old was magnificent for most of it, adding to a legacy still in its infancy. But the league MVP had to do most of it alone, as Mo Williams lost his shooting touch and Cleveland’s bench was badly outplayed by Orlando’s reserves. Delonte West added 22 and Williams 17 for Cleveland, which went 0-5 in Orlando.

Nene has broken arm

The Denver Post reports: With a cast covering his left forearm, Nene had a hard time getting dressed after the game. The Nuggets center fractured his arm late in the fourth quarter and left the game with 6:13 to play. Afterward, the Brazilian would not talk to the media about the injury or how it happened.

InsideHoops.com editor says: It obviously must be awful to get eliminated while also getting injured. After Nene has a few days to relax and cool off, I hope he realizes how proud of himself he should be, coming back from illness, rising up to improve as a basketball player, and having a terrific season.

The AP reports: Kobe Bryant had 35 points and 10 assists to lead the Los Angeles Lakers back to the NBA finals with a 119-92 victory over the Denver Nuggets in Game 6 of the Western Conference finals on Friday night. Bryant got plenty of scoring help from Trevor Ariza, Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom as the Lakers shot 57.3 percent from the field to avoid having to play a Game 7 back at the Staples Center.

InsideHoops.com notes: The Lakers outscored the Nuggets by 5 in the first quarter, 8 in the second, 3 in the third and 11 in the fourth. Los Angeles shot 57.3% for the game, Denver 43.8%. Both teams were hot from three-point range, but the Lakers were awesome, nailing 9-of-16 from outside the arc. Trevor Ariza had three of those 3-pointers.

For the Lakers, Bryant had 35 points, 6 rebounds and 10 assists (just 1 turnover). Pau Gasol (8-of-12) had 20 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals. Lamar Odom had 20 points and 8 rebounds. Trevor Ariza (awesome 7-of-9) scored 17. And Luke Walton (5-of-7) scored 10.

The Lakers hit a perfect 24-of-24 free throws, and outrebounded the Nuggets 38-27.

For the Nuggets, Carmelo Anthony (6-of-17, 12-of-15 free throws) had 25 points but little else. J.R. Smith (10-of-17, 4-of-9 threes) had 24 and little else. Kenyon Martin had a quiet 13 points and 5 rebounds. Chauncey Billups got shut down, shooting just 2-of-9 for 10 points and 9 assists (but 5 turnovers). Dahntay Jones, Nene and Chris Andersen did little, though the Birdman blocked 3 shots.

Philadelphia 76ers President and General Manager Ed Stefanski announced today that Eddie Jordan has agreed in principle to become the next head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers.  Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The rumor is that it’s a three-year deal. More info later today.

“I saw first-hand the immense impact Eddie Jordan had in helping the Nets reach two NBA Finals and as the head coach in Washington, he consistently put his teams in a position to win on a nightly basis,” Stefanski said.  “He embodies all the qualities I was looking for in the next head coach of the Sixers and we are very excited to have him in Philadelphia.”

In June of 2003, Jordan was named the head coach of the Wizards.  Under his leadership, Washington made the playoffs in four consecutive seasons from 2005 through 2008.  During that four-year span, the Wizards posted a combined regular season winning percentage of .521.  In 2005, Jordan guided Washington to a first-round upset of the Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference Playoffs.

Jordan has been a head coach in the NBA for over 500 games across eight seasons with Washington and Sacramento.  His first stint as a head coach came with the Kings at the tail end of the 1996-97 season.  Following his time with Sacramento, Jordan served as the lead assistant coach for New Jersey, helping the Nets capture back-to-back Eastern Conference Championships in 2002 and 2003.

As a collegian, Jordan led Rutgers to the 1976 NCAA Final Four in his Junior year, and was named East Regional MVP. In his senior season, he was named honorable mention All-America, while setting Rutgers all-time career records in assists and steals.  Jordan went on to play seven seasons in the NBA, averaging 8.1 points, 3.8 assists and 1.82 steals and was a member of the Los Angeles Lakers Championship team in 1982.

Steve Blake has right shoulder surgery

Steve Blake has right shoulder surgery

Trail Blazers guard Steve Blake underwent successful arthroscopic shoulder surgery, the Portland Trail Blazers announced today. His recovery time is expected to be 6-8 weeks.

Blake separated his right shoulder trying to fight through a screen in the second quarter of Portland’s game at Philadelphia on January 14, sidelining the guard for five games.  He returned to action on January 26 at the Los Angeles Clippers and re-aggravated the injury in the second quarter, forcing him to miss an additional eight games.

Dr. Neal S. ElAttrache performed the surgery at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles.

Post comments in this forum topic.

Mark Cuban suing the SEC

The Dallas Morning News (Brendan W. Case) reports: Last year, the Securities and Exchange Commission sued Mark Cuban. Now Mark Cuban is suing the SEC.   The billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks is seeking a court order to make the nation’s securities cop turn over documents related to its insider-trading investigation of him. Cuban filed a request for the records in December under the Freedom of Information Act.

The AP reports: With Cleveland’s wondrous season on the line, LeBron James had 37 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists, and Mo Williams, who boldly predicted his team would come back and win this tight-as-can-be series, added 24 points in the Cavaliers’ 112-102 victory over the Orlando Magic in Game 5 on Thursday night… James scored 21 points in the second half—17 in the fourth quarter—and had a hand in 29 of Cleveland’s 34 points in the final 12 minutes. Hedo Turkoglu scored 29 to lead Orlando, and Dwight Howard had 24 and 10 rebounds before fouling out with 2:22 remaining when he was called for his sixth personal foul while trying to stop James on a drive.

Fans discussed the game live as it happened in this forum topic.

Dallas Mavericks guard Jose Juan Barea underwent successful arthroscopic surgery to repair a cartilage injury to his left shoulder. The surgery was performed in Dallas by Dr. Richard Levy of Texas Sports Medicine. A timetable for his return has not been set.

In the 2008-09 NBA season, the 6-0, 175-pound guard averaged 7.8 points and 3.4 assists in 20.3 minutes per game.

If history were grading Orlando’s chances of advancing to The Finals, it would give the Magic an A. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, all time in the postseason there have been 187 best-of-seven playoff series in which a team has taken 3-1 lead. That team has advanced to the next round 179 times or 96 percent. Orlando has won five games on the road during the playoffs, the most wins away from home during a single postseason in team history (previous high was four in 1995). The Magic clinched its first round series with a win at Philadelphia in Game 6, and advanced to the conference finals with a Game 7 victory in Boston, marking the fourth and fifth times that Orlando won a series-deciding game on the road. All time in the playoffs, however, Cleveland, is 42-25 (.627) at home, including winning of eight of its last nine playoff games at The Q. Orlando is responsible for the lone loss, besting the Cavaliers in Game 1. Since the 2006 postseason, the Cavaliers are 21-7 (.750) at home, which accounts for the second most home wins in the postseason over that span behind San Antonio (22-7).

The Los Angeles Lakers took another step towards advancing to their second straight Finals by defeating the Denver Nuggets 103-94 in Game 5 yesterday to take a 3-2 series lead. Teams with a 3-2 lead are 193-33 (.854) all time, with 122 of those series ending in six games. Of those 122 Game 6 wins, more than half (69) came on the road. The last team to win a series after trailing 3-2 was the San Antonio Spurs, which defeated the New Orleans Hornets in last year’s conference semifinals.

Notable: There have been 20 games this postseason decided by three or fewer points, surpassing the previous high of 19 (2006). Orlando has played in seven of those games, winning three.

–NBA News

The Denver Post (Mark Kiszla) reports after the Lakers beat the Nuggets in Game 5: In an accusation that goes straight to the heart of the sport’s integrity, one member of the Nuggets shook his head in disgust after the game, and could not believe how cheap it was for Los Angeles to buy a 3-2 lead in the Western Conference finals. “The Lakers paid $50,000 to win that game. They got their money’s worth,” said a Denver player, not wanting to be identified for fear of retribution from the league. Was the outcome rigged? I refuse to believe it was. The 16 field-goal attempts the Nuggets missed during the fourth quarter had much more to do with the defeat than any of the 30 personal fouls called against Denver by the referees.

InsideHoops.com editor says: There’s a 98% chance the player was just angry about how things went down, and was just lashing out, and absolutely doesn’t mean it. He probably thinks the refs made some lousy calls, was just venting some frustration, and shouldn’t be taken literally.

The AP reports: With Kobe Bryant luring double coverage then passing to his teammates, the Lakers owned the fourth quarter in a 103-94 victory Wednesday night that gave them a 3-2 lead in the Western Conference finals. Bryant scored 22 points—on just 13 shots—Lamar Odom had 19 points and 14 rebounds despite an aching lower back and Pau Gasol added 14 points and 10 rebounds… Carmelo Anthony scored 31 points, hitting 12 of 13 free throws, and Kenyon Martin and Chauncey Billups added 12 points each for the Nuggets. The teams were tied after the first, second and third quarters for just the fourth time in NBA playoff history… “I thought they got the benefit of the whistle,” George Karl said. “Every player in my locker room is frustrated, from guards to big guys. Gasol goes after at least 20 jump shots, 20 shots to the rim and gets one foul; our big guys have 16. Nene has six fouls, three or four of them don’t exist.”

Australia will have 2009-10 season

Basketball Australia (BA) has announced that eight-teams will participate in its upcoming season of elite men’s basketball in 2009/10, with powerhouse club the Melbourne Tigers agreeing to join the competition.

BA recently announced its intention to move ahead with a season of elite men’s basketball in 2009/10, before launching a new national basketball competition in 2010.

Adelaide, Cairns, Gold Coast, New Zealand, Perth, Townsville and Wollongong all made submissions indicating they wished to participate in the league. On Thursday the Melbourne Tigers also formally agreed to join the other seven clubs for an eight-team competition.

More info on our NBL/Basketball Australia page.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer (Brian Windhorst) reports: The NBA announced this afternoon that is has rescinded the technical foul called on Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard in the second half of Tuesday night’s Game 4 win over the Cavaliers in Orlando. Howard was called for his sixth technical of the postseason when he taunted Cleveland’s Anderson Varejao after completing a layup, despite Varejao wrapping him up in a bear hug under the basket.

InsideHoops.com editor says: That ridiculous tech needed to be rescinded. I’m glad the league did it. The absurd techs being tossed around at any player who shows the least bit of emotion is really angering just about every fan and reporter I know of. Basketball is an emotional sport. Sports in general are emotional. A little bit of taunting, some fist-pumping, a bit of finger-pointing, enthusiasm, etc. are all part of basketball and make the game way more fun.

NBA fines Phil Jackson, Lakers

The AP reports: The NBA has fined Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson $25,000 for his public criticisms of the referees following Game 4 of the Western Conference finals. The Lakers organization was also fined $25,000 Tuesday, the day after the team’s 120-101 loss in Denver that evened the series.

The AP reports: Dwight Howard scored 10 points in overtime and Orlando, raining down 3-pointers like a Florida thunderstorm, withstood 44 points and the last-second fling by LeBron James for a 116-114 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night to take a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference finals… “You can almost taste it,” said Orlando’s Rafer Alston, who scored 26 points… Howard finished with 27 points, 14 rebounds and again made his free throws— 7 of 9—and the Magic made a team playoff record 17 3-pointers. Rashard Lewis and Mickael Pietrus had 17 points each for Orlando… James added 12 rebounds and seven assists, but he had eight turnovers for the Cavs, whose season of seasons is slipping away… Mo Williams, who guaranteed the Cavs would win Game 4 and the series, scored 18 points, none after the third quarter. Delonte West added 17 for the Cavaliers.

Tyson Chandler, James Posey have surgery

Hornets center Tyson Chandler and Hornets forward James Posey both underwent successful procedures recently.

Chandler had a procedure performed on his left ankle to relieve inflammation. In addition, he also had a procedure done on his left toe to improve function. Both procedures were performed in New York City.

Posey had a corrective procedure performed on his right knee in Miami.

Both players will be fully recovered prior to training camp.

Kevin Garnett has right knee surgery

Kevin Garnett has right knee surgery

The Boston Celtics announced today that forward Kevin Garnett underwent successful right knee arthroscopy and removal of posterior knee bone spurs today at the New England Baptist Hospital. The surgery was performed by Team Physician Dr. Brian McKeon and was assisted by Dr. Michael Belkin and Dr. John Richmond.

“After this successful surgery, Kevin can now begin to focus on rehabilitating his knee, returning to top physical shape and fully preparing for the 2009-10 season,” Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge remarked.

Garnett appeared in 57 games this season for the Celtics averaging 15.8 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.11 steals and 1.19 blocks in 31.1 minutes per game.  Garnett became the youngest player in NBA history to have played in 1,000 career games when he played against the Bulls on October 31, 2008 at the age of 32 years and 165 days.  Garnett was named to the 2009 NBA All-Defense First Team for the second consecutive season and his 10th consecutive season of being named to either the First or Second Team. The Farragut Academy product was named to his 12th All-Star game this past season and his 12 appearances are second-most among active players behind only Shaquille O’Neal.

“I expect Kevin to return to active duty in full force and be that consummate two-way professional that he has shown all of us throughout his fantastic NBA career,” Celtics Head Coach Doc Rivers added.

Cavs must step up in Orlando tonight

After sweeping through the first two rounds of the Playoffs, the Cleveland Cavaliers find themselves in, if not a must-win situation, at least an almost-must-win scenario tonight in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals (8:30 p.m. ET, TNT). The Orlando Magic leads the series 2-1 as it continues its success over Cleveland. In NBA history, only eight teams have been able to wipe out 3-1 deficits to win best-of-seven series. It happened last in 2006 in the first round the Playoffs, as the Phoenix Suns defeated the Los Angeles Lakers after dropping two of the first three games. It’s occurred twice in the conference finals: Washington (vs. San Antonio) in the 1979 Eastern Conference Finals and Boston (vs. Philadelphia) in the 1981 Eastern Conference Finals.

Versus the Cavaliers, Orlando has won 10 of the last 14 games played at home, and three of the last five at Cleveland. Orlando is 5-2 this postseason at Amway Arena and has an all-time postseason home record of 27-18 at home. The Magic finished 32-9 (.780) at home during the regular season, which was the most wins at home since going 37-4 in 1995-96.

After allowing only 78.1 points per game over the first two rounds, the Cavaliers are surrendering 101.0 points per game to Orlando. Five Magic players in this series are averaging double figures in scoring: Dwight Howard (21.3 ppg), Rashard Lewis (20.0 ppg), Hedo Turkoglu (16.3 ppg), Mickael Pietrus (13.0 ppg) and Rafer Alston (11.0 ppg).

In three games against Orlando this postseason, LeBron James is averaging 41.7 points on .531 shooting, 5.7 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 1.3 blocks and 1.7 steals. In 11 playoff games this year, James is averaging 35.3 points on .531 shooting, 8.8 rebounds, 6.7 assists and 1.9 steals. James’ 28 career 30-point games is the most in the NBA since he made his playoff debut in 2006. He has seven career 40-point games in the postseason, including three this year, which is also the most in the league since 2006. James is the third player in NBA playoff history to compile at least 300 points, 80 rebounds and 60 assists in the first 10 games of a single postseason. It marks the second time in his career that he amassed these totals in a postseason.

Notable: There have been 19 games this postseason decided by three or fewer points, which ties the mark for most games decided by three points or less in an entire postseason (2006). For the first time in NBA history, the conference finals began with four games decided by three points or less. The 12 2009 first round games decided by three or fewer points tied the mark for most such games in the first round. There were 12 games decided by three or fewer points in the first round in 1984.

–NBA News

The National Basketball Association (NBA) today announced that as part of the league’s ongoing commitment to growing the game in Mexico, preseason basketball will return to the country when the Phoenix Suns face the Philadelphia 76ers on Oct. 18 in Monterrey. This marks the NBA’s second visit to Monterrey and the 18th game in Mexico overall, the most NBA games held in any country outside the United States and Canada.

See more info on the NBA Mexico game.

Basketball blog