Archive for November, 2009

Andrew Bogut out 2-4 weeks

Milwaukee Bucks General Manager John Hammond announced today that Andrew Bogut (7-0, 260) suffered a lower left leg strain and contusion in Wednesday’s 99-85 win against New Jersey that is expected to sideline the fifth-year center for two-to-four weeks.  Bogut scored team-highs of 21 points and 11 rebounds in the win and left the game late in the fourth period and did not return to action.

Bogut, 24, was examined by Bucks orthopedic physician Dr. Michael Gordon, M.D., and underwent an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) exam this morning, which revealed the injury.

In nine games this season (all starts), Bogut has averaged 16.1 points, 9.2 rebounds (19th in NBA), 1.9 assists and 1.44 blocked shots (22nd in the NBA) in 33.6 minutes per game.  Bogut ranks 11th in the NBA in field goal percentage (.565), connecting on 65 of 115 attempts from the floor.

Have Bucks opinions? Share them in the InsideHoops Milwaukee Bucks forum.

Pistons shooting guard spot is crowded

Two of the best Detroit Pistons players are shooting guards Ben Gordon and Richard Hamilton. Both are too small to play small forward, and neither one is a true point guard. While they can play together for stretches, it isn’t an ideal, permanent solution.

So far this season, an injury has caused Hamilton to miss all but one game, leaving plenty of two-spot minutes for Gordon. But Rip returns soon. Will there be a rotation issue?

Ian Thompson of Sports Illustrated writes:

Pistons shooting guard spot is crowded

Both Gordon and Hamilton have insisted there will be no friction when Hamilton returns from a badly sprained ankle. Gordon will be willing to come off the bench, which was something his predecessor, Allen Iverson, wasn’t willing to do for Detroit last year.

“It’s about winning,” said Gordon, who was a sixth man in half of his games with Chicago over his five years there. “At the end of the day I know Rip is a winner, and you’re not able to say that about a lot of other guys. I don’t think he sees me as a threat; I think he sees me as someone to help win games.”

At the same time, Gordon’s job, as he sees it, is to continue to push Hamilton for the starting position. “It’s always positive to have some competition out there, and have somebody [who], if you’re not performing well, they can come in and challenge you. Even though we have an understanding that we want to win, we’re also going to challenge each other and that’s going to make both of us better.”

Both players have good attitudes and care about winning, so there’s likely no big problem looming.

Have Pistons opinions? Share them on the InsideHoops Detroit Pistons forum.

Pooh Jeter signs in Israel

The Hoop, a blog quoting hapoel.co.il, reports: Hapoel Jerusalem signed Pooh Jeter(1.79-PG) until the end of the season and they announced it via their official website.

Jeter started the season with Malaga but they released him and so he found the new step in his career in Hapoel Jerusalem. He has already passed with medical examinations so he is ready to play in the next game of Hapoel.

Elton Brand has breakout game

Tom Moore of The Intelligencer reports:

Elton Brand has breakout game

Welcome back, Elton Brand.

With head coach Eddie Jordan thinking long and hard before deciding against a lineup change that would’ve put Brand on the bench and Rodney Carney in the starting five, Brand responded with his best game of the season in Wednesday’s 86-84 victory over the Bobcats at the Wachovia Center.

Brand was a factor at both ends from the outset en route to season-highs in points (19), rebounds (10), blocks (six), steals (three) and minutes (42) for his first double-double since Dec. 12, 2008.

“Pride was definitely a motivating factor,” Brand said. “I thought I was playing OK enough to play in the fourth quarter. I had good starts before, but still didn’t play in the fourth.”

Brand has been a disappointment so far this short NBA season, averaging just 10.6 points and 5.8 rebounds in 28.5 minutes per game. But he’s coming off injury, so perhaps the adjustment was simply taking longer than expected.

Ideally for the Sixers, Brand continues to recover and look like the All-Star type of talent he truly is.

Have Sixers opinion? Share them on the InsideHoops Philadelphia 76ers forum.

Antawn Jamison returns for Wizards

Mike Jones of the Washington Times reports:

After missing the first nine games of the season, Wizards forward Antawn Jamison didn’t show the slightest trace of rust in his season debut against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night at Verizon Center.

Instead, the two-time All-Star put his struggling team on his back and carried it to a 108-91 victory in front of a sellout crowd of 20,173 fans.

Jamison picked up career double-double No. 263, recording 31 points and 10 rebounds, and helped the Wizards snap a six-game losing streak.

“Me coming back and just trying to stop the bleeding a little bit, we found a way to pull it off,” said Jamison, who made 12 of 22 shots from the field and five of six from the foul line. “Guys did a great job of staying focused for 48 minutes.

The Wizards began the season with great hope. The return of Gilbert Arenas inspired many to believe this team could return to glory of a few seasons ago. But they got off to a rocky start and have won just three of their 10 games.

With Jamison back, keep an eye on them over the next week or so and see if they become more of a force.

Share your Wizards opinions on the InsideHoops Washington Wizards forum.

Atlanta Hawks on fire

The AP reports:

When Joe Johnson is scoring and Josh Smith is doing a little bit of everything, the Atlanta Hawks are awfully hard to beat.

The Miami Heat got a sampling of that 1-2 punch Wednesday night.

Johnson made it two consecutive 30-point games, Smith dominated during a decisive first-half run and the Hawks won their sixth in the row, beating Miami 105-90 to reclaim a share of the NBA’s best record with Phoenix.

“It’s just beautiful basketball right now,” Smith said.

Johnson scored 30 points on the heels of a 35-point effort against Portland on Monday. Smith was all over the stat sheet: 16 points, 14 rebounds, seven assists, two blocks and two steals.

It’s still early in the season but Atlanta clearly has to be happy about the way they’re playing.

A big help has been the addition of Jamal Crawford, who is coming off the bench to contribute 16.1 points and 2.8 assists in 29 minutes per game.

The Cavaliers, Magic and Celtics are still considered the best in the East, but the Hawks seem closer to the big three than previously thought.

For now, at least, Hawks basketball is definitely of national interest.

Have Hawks opinions? Share them on the InsideHoops Atlanta Hawks forum.

Rawle Marshall signs in France

Euroleague.net reports: Asvel Basket signed small forward Rawle Marshall to address the club’s need for more scoring punch and athleticism. The contract is through the end of the calendar year with a team option to extend it for the remainder of the season. Marshall (201, 27) arrives from Valencia Basket, where he averaged 7 points on 50% three-point shooting in 19 minutes over four games in the Spanish League this season.

Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group reports:

After Tuesday’s 114-108 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Warriors guard Monta Ellis was faced with the same, obvious question. With Stephen Jackson traded to the Charlotte Bobcats, does he see an opening for him to increase his role?

“I told you all,” Ellis said after totaling 23 points and eight assists, “I’m not putting any more on my back.”

The Warriors are hoping just the opposite. According to team sources, Warriors officials are watching closely to see if Ellis assumes the role as face of the franchise, being the team’s highest-paid, and perhaps best, player. How he responds could determine whether he is around for the long term.

Reports surfaced Tuesday about the Warriors actively shopping Ellis on the trade market, and Ellis’ agent, Jeff Fried, is set to meet with general manager Larry Riley this week, possibly to talk about a trade.

On the one hand, I get what Monta is saying. He’s doing all he can, so he can’t step up and do more, because he’s already doing it. On the other hand, the team needs emotional leaders as well as floor leaders more than ever, and he certainly can have the ball more, create for others more, and raise his star-level even higher. But, he’s apparently not interested in that. Which isn’t really too impressive.

Raptors add Pops Mensah-Bonsu

The Toronto Raptors announced Tuesday they have been awarded forward Pops Mensah-Bonsu on a waiver claim. The 6-foot-10, 235-pound Mensah-Bonsu, who signed with Houston this past offseason, was waived by the Rockets on Friday. He appeared in four games with Houston, averaging 1.3 points and 3.3 minutes.

Prior to signing with the Rockets, Mensah-Bonsu, 26, averaged 5.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 13.8 minutes in 19 games with the Raptors. He was signed as a free agent by Toronto on March 6, 2009.

Mensah-Bonsu saw action in three contests with the San Antonio Spurs in 2008-09, averaging 5.0 points and 3.3 rebounds in 6.7 minutes. He appeared in 12 games with the Dallas Mavericks in the 2006-07 season where he totaled 29 points and 22 rebounds in 72 minutes. He also spent part of that season in the D-League with Fort Worth, averaging 15.8 points, 10.4 rebounds and 30.7 minutes in 26 games. He earned 2007 D-League All-Star Game MVP honours with 30 points and seven rebounds.

The native of London, England spent two seasons overseas, playing with Benetton Treviso in 2007-08 and DKV Joventut in 2008-09. He averaged 9.2 points and 8.3 rebounds in 31 regular season games with Benetton. He saw action in just two games with Jovenut before returning to North America to play in the D-League.

A four-year athlete at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., Mensah-Bonsu averaged 12.6 points and 6.7 rebounds in his senior season leading the Colonials to a 26-1 regular season mark and a Top 10 ranking.

Travis Outlaw to have left foot surgery

Trail Blazers forward Travis Outlaw will undergo surgery Wednesday to repair a stress fracture of the fifth metatarsal bone in his left foot, the Trail Blazers announced today.

Dr. Jay Crary will perform the surgery at Southwest Washington Regional Surgery Center in Vancouver, Wash. A timetable for his return will be determined after the procedure.

Raja Bell is a new member of the Golden State Warriors, acquired in the trade that sent Stephen Jackson to the Charlotte Bobcats.

The rugged, defensive-minded shooting guard has been playing hurt and has decided to take care of his bad wrist.

Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle reports (via blog):

Raja Bell to have wrist surgery, could miss extended time

Newly-acquired Raja Bell told The Chronicle on Tuesday that he will have wrist surgery, a decision that adds to the Warriors’ injury woes and could cost the guard the rest of the season.

Bell, who was picked up from Charlotte in the Stephen Jackson trade Monday, will go back east for surgery to repair a partially torn ligament in his left wrist. He’ll miss four or five weeks if the wrist is in decent shape and probably the rest of the season if screws are needed for the repair.

“I’m going into it, assuming it will be a big surgery,” Bell said. “If I wake up and it’s not, it’s icing on the cake. I’m prepared for the worst-case scenario, and I’ll go from there.

He’s probably thinking that it makes no sense to play hurt for a team that is sure to lose and not make the playoffs, and might as well lengthen his career by having the surgery done now.

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

Jameer Nelson to have left knee surgery, out 4-6 weeks

Orlando Magic point guard Jameer Nelson will undergo arthroscopic surgery Wednesday morning to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee.

Nelson was injured in the fourth quarter of Monday night’s game vs. Charlotte and underwent an MRI Tuesday morning.

It is estimated that Nelson will be out four-to-six weeks following the procedure.

Nelson had started all 11 games for the Magic, averaging 13.7 ppg. and a team-high 5.5 apg.

The Magic (8-3) return to action Wednesday night by hosting Oklahoma City at Amway Arena (tip-off 7 p.m.)

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

Thunder forward Shaun Livingston will undergo an arthroscopic procedure on his left knee it was announced today by the team.

“Recently, Shaun has experienced an increase in swelling following activity,” said Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti. “Although his knee is structurally sound, after consulting with the Thunder medical staff and Dr. James Andrews, it was determined that the best course of action was to perform a minor procedure to resolve the swelling and allow Shaun to continue full activity in the coming weeks.”

Dr. Andrews will perform the surgery today, in Birmingham, Alabama. Dr. Andrews will remove staples from Livingston’s knee that have recently caused some swelling in the knee. The staples were originally placed during Livingston’s knee reconstruction that was performed by Dr. Andrews on March 13, 2007.

A timetable for Livingston’s return will be determined after the procedure.

The Peoria, Illinois native has appeared in two games this season for the Thunder. Livingston has averaged 1.0 point and 1.5 rebounds in 10.0 minutes per contest.

Dikembe Mutombo named NBA global ambassador

NBA Commissioner David Stern announced today that Dikembe Mutombo will join the NBA in the newly created position of global ambassador.  Mutombo will report to Executive Vice President, Social Responsibility & Player Programs, Kathy Behrens.

After retiring from a playing career that spanned 18 seasons, Mutombo will now work to grow and celebrate the game through numerous international NBA events including Basketball without Borders. In addition, he will work closely on NBA Cares outreach efforts with Hall of Famer Bob Lanier who serves as Special Assistant to the Commissioner.

“Dikembe’s extraordinary accomplishments on the court and in the community demonstrate why he is one of sports’ outstanding humanitarians,” said Commissioner Stern.  “His commitment to using the values of our game to improve the lives of so many is an example of the special role we have in being leaders in social responsibility. We know the impact programs such as NBA Cares and Basketball without Borders have in being catalysts for change on a global scale, and Dikembe’s continued contributions will be invaluable in our global efforts to bring attention to important social issues.”

Mutombo started the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation to improve living conditions in his native Democratic Republic of Congo in 1997. His commitment to improving the health, education and quality of life for the people in his birthplace, the Democratic Republic of the Congo led to the construction and opening of the Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital and Research Center, a $29 million, 300-bed hospital in Kinshasa named after his late mother.

His efforts as a global ambassador for UNICEF, spokesman for international relief agency CARE  to further HIV/AIDS awareness, and prevention and his work with the Polio Eradication Campaign to protect African youth from childhood diseases that have virtually disappeared in developed countries yet still threaten children in the Congo everyday have earned him numerous accolades. Mutombo has been the recipient of the President’s Citizenship Award, J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award, the National Civil Rights Museum Sports Legacy Award, and induction into the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame.

“I am looking forward to working closely with Dikembe as he enters this next phase of his brilliant career.  I have seen first hand the impact and inspiration he provides,” said Lanier. “His passion for improving the lives of people in Africa and elsewhere is a great example of how NBA players understand their obligations to the global community.”

Regarded as one of the top post defenders of all time, Mutombo will also play an important role in the mentoring of current players. His on-the-court honors include four NBA Defensive Player of the Year awards through a career that also saw him named to eight All-Star Game appearances, and a place on three All-NBA teams and six All-Defensive teams.

Mutombo holds degrees in linguistics and diplomacy from Georgetown University.

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

Luke Walton out 6+ weeks

Lakers forward Luke Walton was examined today by back specialist Dr. Robert Watkins and has been diagnosed with a pinched nerve.

Walton is expected to be out a minimum of six weeks.

The Lakers this season are off to a 7-3 start. Walton plays a very minor role on the team, averaging 3.7 points in 10.6 minutes per game.

Julius Hodge returns to Australia

Julius Hodge dominates in return to Australia

The spectacular National Basketball League return of controversial American Julius Hodge has seen the newly-signed Melbourne Tigers guard win the NBL Player of the Week award for Round Eight.

Hodge, whose last stint in the NBL ended in an acrimonious split with former team Adelaide, was signed by the Tigers last week.  Despite having little time to learn his new club’s offences, Hodge still managed to score 22 points and add nine rebounds, seven assists and three steals in his debut in Melbourne colours on Saturday night.

Hodge connected on 9-of-21 of his shots from the field and helped keep the Tigers in close contention with the visiting Townsville Crocodiles.  Unfortunately his efforts still saw the Tigers fall short, with Melbourne losing to the Crocs, 98-91.

The flamboyant superstar said he was pleased with the award but focused on getting his team wins.

“I’m honoured to win the NBL Player of the Week,” he said upon hearing the news of his award.  “Hopefully this Saturday night the team and I can improve and get back on track with a win against the Taipans at The Cage.”

Young New Zealand Breakers’ star Tom Abercrombie was unlucky to miss out on the award for Round Eight after a superlative performance of his own.  Abercrombie helped the Breakers to an 83-74 victory over ladder leaders Perth at the North Shore Events Centre on Thursday night.  Abercrombie scored 23 points and added three rebounds and one block, while shooting 56% from the field and 50% from the perimeter.

The Round Seven winner of the Player of the Week was also a candidate for the award once more in Round Eight.  Adelaide’s Adam Ballinger scored 17 points and added seven rebounds in the Sixers’ 83-76 home win over second-ranked Wollongong on Saturday night.  Ballinger’s teammate at Adelaide, Cortez Groves, was also in the hunt for the award after scoring 15 points and adding nine assists and three rebounds.

Wollongong’s Mat Campbell was another leading candidate, as was Gold Coast’s Ayinde Ubaka.  Campbell, who is known as ‘The Saviour’ after he spearheaded the ‘Save The Haws’ campaign in the off-season which pulled the club back from the brink of extinction, had 22 points, seven rebounds and two assists in his team’s loss to Adelaide.  Ubaka had 17 points, eight assists and three rebounds for the Blaze on Friday in Gold Coast’s 93-77 home win over Townsville.

Other leading contenders for Player of the Week in Round Eight included Stephen Weigh (Perth), Cortez Groves (Adelaide), Peter Crawford (Townsville), Daniel Johnson (Melbourne), Greg Vanderjagt (Gold Coast), Shawn Redhage (Perth), Anthony Petrie (Gold Coast), Russell Hinder (Townsville) and Julien ‘Skip’ Mills (Cairns).

Talk world hoops on the InsideHoops minor league and international basketball forum.

Grizzlies waive Allen Iverson

Grizzlies to waive Allen Iverson

The Memphis Grizzlies today released the following statement from General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace.

“The Grizzlies and Allen Iverson have come to a mutual agreement that because of personal matters that forced him to leave the team on November 7, Allen will step away from the game at this time, allowing him to focus on those matters.

“As a result, we will be ending our contractual agreement with Allen, which will allow both parties to move forward. We wish Allen the best.”

EARLIER MONDAY:

The Memphis Grizzlies experiment with disgruntled guard Allen Iverson will reportedly end.

According to Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal, the two sides have agreed to part ways. The team will waive Iverson.

It has not been reported what the terms of the agreement are and how much money Iverson will come away with.

Iverson has been unhappy coming off the Grizzlies bench, behind young guards Mike Conley and O.J. Mayo. Though, he was still regaining health as the season began, and it’s possible he might have gained a starting spot in the near future. But even coming off the bench early on was simply more than he could take.

Iverson only played three games — all losses — for the Grizzlies this season, the last being against the Sacramento Kings on November 2. He came off the bench all three times, and averaged 12.3 points and 3.7 assists in 22.3 minutes per game.

NOVEMBER 17 UPDATE

The Memphis Grizzlies waived guard Allen Iverson, the team announced today.

The 6-0, 165-pound guard averaged 12.3 points and 3.7 assists in 22.3 minutes in three games with the Grizzlies this season after signing as a free agent on Sept 10, 2009.  The 2000-01 NBA Most Valuable Player and 10-time All-Star became the 16th player in league history to score 24,000 career points on Nov. 4 at Golden State, netting a season-high 18 points.

The 34-year-old holds career averages of 27.0 points, 3.7 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 2.21 steals on 42.5 percent shooting in 41.4 minutes in 889 games (877 starts) over 14 seasons (1996-09) with the Philadelphia 76ers, Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons and Memphis Grizzlies.

The roster now stands at 14 players.

The Grizzlies will seek their second consecutive victory tomorrow when they host the Los Angeles Clippers at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 18 at FedExForum.

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

Grizzlies want Allen Iverson decision

Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal reports:

Grizzlies want Allen Iverson decision

Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley says Allen Iverson’s time is up.

Heisley told Iverson’s agent, Leon Rose, that his client must decide soon whether he’ll play or retire because the Grizzlies won’t deal with the uncertainty beyond this week.

Iverson, 34, has been away from the Grizzlies for the past 10 days on a personal leave of absence.

“I’ve treated this like Allen told me it was – a personal leave,” Heisley said. “But either he’s retiring or coming back to play. I’m not upset with Allen. We’ll be happy to accommodate Allen. If he retires, then he retires. If he wants to come back, we’ll gladly accept him back. But I have personally made it clear that there’s going to have to be a decision made. We’re expecting an answer in a couple of days.”

UPDATE: The Commercial Appeal reports that the team and Iverson agree to part ways. He’ll be waived: http://www.insidehoops.com/blog/?p=5036

I think it’s amazing that a team has to actually still pay a player to take a personal leave like this.

Have a reaction? Share it or read other fan opinions in this forum topic.

Warriors trade Stephen Jackson to Bobcats

Charlotte Bobcats General Manager Rod Higgins announced today that the team has acquired guards Stephen Jackson and Acie Law from the Golden State Warriors in exchange for guard Raja Bell and forward Vladimir Radmanovic.

According to the AP/NBA.com, “Charlotte takes on Jackson’s contract, which has three years and $27.7 million left after this season. Golden State inherits Radmanovic’s deal, worth about $13.5 million over this season and next. Bell and Law are in the final year of their contracts.”

“We are excited to add a player of Stephen’s caliber to our franchise,” Higgins said.  “He is coming off arguably the best season of his career and we believe he will help our team on both ends of the floor with his scoring and defensive abilities.  He also brings experience going deep into the playoffs, including winning an NBA Championship with San Antonio.  In addition, Acie Law is a talented, young player who provides us with added depth at point guard.”

The 6-8 Jackson is in his tenth NBA season, with career averages of 15.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.3 steals in 608 games played for New Jersey, San Antonio, Atlanta, Indiana and Golden State.  He averaged career highs of 20.7 points, 6.5 assists and 5.1 rebounds last season.  In 179 games played for the Warriors since joining the team during the 2006-07 season, Jackson has averaged 19.4 points, 5.0 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 1.4 steals in 37.9 minutes.

In nine games played so far this season, Jackson is averaging 16.6 points, 4.7 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 1.56 steals, ranking 30th in the NBA in assists and 24th in steals.

Law, who was the 11th overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft by Atlanta, is in his third NBA season, with career averages of 3.7 points, 1.8 assists and 1.0 rebound in 116 games played for Atlanta and Golden State.  In five games played this season for Golden State after being acquired from Atlanta on June 25, Law is averaging 6.2 points, 1.4 assists, 1.2 steals and 0.4 rebounds in 13.2 minutes played.

Bell and Radmanovic were each acquired by the Bobcats in trades last season, with Bell joining the Bobcats on December 10, 2008, as part of a five-player trade with Phoenix and Radmanovic coming to Charlotte on February 7, 2009, from the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for Shannon Brown and Adam Morrison.

A nine-year NBA veteran, Bell played in 50 total games for the Bobcats, averaging 12.9 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 35.2 minutes.  In five games played this season, Bell is averaging 12.0 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.0 assists.

Radmanovic played in 40 total games for the Bobcats, averaging 7.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 20.2 minutes.  In eight games played this season, the eight-year veteran is 4.9 points, 3.6 rebounds and 0.9 assists.

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

Erick Dampier had health scare

Eddie Sefko, special to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, reports:

The Mavericks survived a scary situation Sunday evening that had nothing to do with a 95-90 win over the Detroit Pistons.

When Erick Dampier left the pregame warmups because he wasn’t feeling right, nobody was quite sure what was happening. Minutes later, with emergency medical personnel working on Dampier, he was whisked by ambulance from the Palace of Auburn Hills to a Pontiac, Mich., hospital.

By the end of the game, the Mavericks received news that Dampier’s symptoms had subsided. No team personnel divulged what those symptoms were, but an NBA official said that doctors had ruled out any serious health issues, including H1N1 (swine flu).

Dampier apparently was lightheaded when he left the arena, but was feeling much better at the hospital, giving the Mavericks a huge sigh of relief.

Glad to hear that Erick is OK.

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