Archive for December, 2009

Allen Iverson has arthritis in left knee

Allen Iverson has arthritis in left knee

In his five games since returning to the Philadelphia 76ers, guard Allen Iverson is averaging 15.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 4.2 assists in 34.4 minutes per game. He’s shooting 41.0% on the Sixers, a bit under his career 42.5% FG average.

But he’s getting up there in age and recently missed some games.

Tom Moore of Philly Burbs reports:

Allen Iverson is 34 years old.

While he doesn’t think that’s too old to still be a factor, he admits he really felt his age when an MRI last week showed that he has arthritis in his left knee. The injury forced him to miss the 7-20 Sixers’ last two games, including Friday’s victory in Boston, and will keep him out tonight in Washington and Saturday in Utah. He’s expected to return next Monday in Portland.

“That was the worst part about the whole thing,” he said with a laugh after Monday’s practice. “Y’all could’ve said anything but arthritis. That sounds so old, but it’s something I’ve got to deal with. At least the fans and everybody else concerned about me will know exactly what it is.”

Iverson said the reason he got arthritis in the knee, which had to be drained three times in a five-day span, was because he overcompensated for his sore right shin.

No word if Iverson will be walking with a cane and getting into playing bingo in his old age just yet.

Dwyane Wade shooting is off

Israel Gutierrez of the Miami Herald reports:

Everyone who has seen [Dwyane] Wade play more than once is trying to figure out why, exactly, a player in his prime with an improving team around him is having the worst shooting season of his life.

The scientists are coming from his own front office (that would be Riley) and national and local experts alike, all of them attempting to devise the perfect theory for the most unusual development in what has been an otherwise predictable season.

Everyone seemed to have settled on the conditioning theory, because it seems to make the most sense.

This season, Wade is not coming off an Olympic run, and he is not coming off a summer where he built his legs back up from scratch, and he is not playing with as much to prove as he did last season, when he led the league in scoring and was third in MVP voting.

The Houston Chronicle reports:

Rockets guard Chase Budinger on Sunday was ruled out for two to three weeks with a sprained right ankle, following an MRI. Budinger turned the ankle on a drive in the second quarter on Saturday.

Budinger is averaging 8.2 points and three rebounds, making 40.9 percent of his shots.

The Rockets are not expected to add a player to their open roster spot with Budinger out.

Lakers beat writers stranded in New York

A huge snowstorm struck the Northeast United States on Saturday, and as a result beat writers covering the Los Angeles Lakers were all unable to make it to Detroit for Sunday’s Lakers at Pistons game (6 p.m. ET start time).

Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register reports (via blog):

Phil Jackson has cited the drain of travel distance to road cities being one reason why it’d be harder for the Lakers ever to go 72-10 the way the center-of-the-country Chicago Bulls did.

Well, here’s a reminder that cold-weather teams such as Chicago (and everyone else in the Eastern Conference who has to go more regularly to cold-weather cities) have travel issues brought on by snow and ice that the warm-weather Lakers rarely encounter.

The Lakers made it from Newark, N.J., to Detroit (or more accurately, they flew into Pontiac, Mich., to be closer to the arena in Auburn Hills) in the wee hours of Sunday morning despite an incredible snowstorm that began Saturday and grounded pretty much all commercial planes in the Northeast. It wasn’t an easy feat, and the club had booked hotel rooms in Newark for the night with the expectation that their plane might not be able to get in the air amid the still-descending snow.

None of the writers who travel separately from the team plane will make it to cover the Lakers-Detroit game, which is pretty much a historic development. Personally, I’ve never not been able to get to the next city because of weather.

I assume the reporters will still write game articles today, but from hotel rooms for a change.

The New York Knicks recently signed forward Jonathan Bender, who had fallen out of the NBA due to injury problems and was not expected to be heard from again.

But in Bender’s first game as a Knick he looked like a perfectly solid backup, playing 14 minutes and finishing with nine points, two rebounds and an assist.

Marc Berman of the New York Post reports:

On his first possession, with the Clippers on a 16-0 run, Bender snaked in from the perimeter on a drive and made a nifty layup over Marcus Camby.

“I didn’t know what to expect,” said Walsh who, while with the Pacers, made a trade for Bender soon after he was drafted with the fifth overall pick by the Raptors out of high school as an 18-year-old. “After that I said, ‘OK, that’s what I remember.’ “On his next touch, Bender drilled a left-corner 3-pointer. He also made an emphatic block of a Baron Davis’ floater — the cleanest block by a Knick this season. And he committed a flagrant foul on Eric Gordon, battering him to the floor as Gordon drove for a layup. The tough display was a rarity for a Knicks big man.

Bender said that would not have been a flagrant foul four years ago.

“Definitely not,” Bender said. “When Gordon goes to the rack, he bumps into you. I just put my arm out.”

One game doesn’t mean much, but Bender does look like an NBA player again, and that’s a success story all by itself.

Nets struggles continues

Fred Kerber of the New York Post reports:

All the tortures of a season of misery returned for the Nets. There was the mandatory lousy shooting (.378), a requisite injury as Chris Douglas-Roberts sprained his right ankle with 4:47 left, and the near-obligatory loss, though one far easier to accept with the effort but a loss all the same, the Nets’ seventh straight.

“We have to try to find a way to bring it every night. It’s as simple as that. For whatever reason, we aren’t,” said Douglas-Roberts, (20 points), who went for X-rays (negative) and was able to walk afterwards, which he found encouraging. “We don’t have the luxury to turn it on and off.”

Especially against the likes of the Lakers, who got a big night from Kobe Bryant, celebrating his waiting-to-be-signed extension with 29 points, 10 rebounds and five assists amid chants of “MVP” from a storm-thwarted announced crowd of 17,190. Pau Gasol (whose own three-year deal should be done before Bryant’s) had a 14-point, 14-rebound double-double.

The Boston Celtics announced today that guard Lester Hudson has been recalled from the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League. Hudson appeared in three games for the Red Claws averaging 16.3 points, 6.0 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game.

Hudson, a 6’3” guard, has appeared in 13 games for the Celtics this season and registered season-highs of six points and three assists against Philadelphia on November 3.

Matt Bonner breaks hand

Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News reports:

Matt Bonner breaks hand

At some point late in the first quarter of Saturday’s Spurs-Pacers game at the AT&T Center, Matt Bonner broke the fourth metacarpal — the bone in the meaty part of the hand that leads to the ring finger — on his right hand.

X-rays taken at the arena showed a partial fracture, and the initial diagnosis does not appear to indicate a need for surgery to repair the bone. Bonner will be re-examined on Monday before a final timetable for his return is announced, but he is certain to miss a significant number of games. He is optimistic his hiatus will last no more than a month.

“It’s not broken all the way through, so it should heal itself in about four weeks,” he said. “That’s about it.”

Agent wants Nate Robinson free of Knicks

Agent wants Knicks to trade Nate Robinson

High-jumping New York Knicks guard Nate Robinson is an exciting player who can score, leap very high and make lots of questionable court decisions. The Knicks have played relatively well lately, and they’ve done so with Nate not getting off the bench.

But Robinson’s agent had had enough and wants a change.

Howard Beck of the New York Times reports:

Nate Robinson has been locked out of the Knicks’ rotation and pushed to the edge of irrelevancy. His future surely lies beyond New York, and his agent is now pushing to accelerate the process.

Aaron Goodwin, who has represented Robinson for his entire career, said it was time for the Knicks and Robinson to part ways.

“I want to do what I can to get Nate out of New York,” Goodwin said in a telephone interview Saturday afternoon. “There’s no reason to allow this kid’s career to get rotted by what’s going on here in New York.”

It is not yet clear whether Goodwin will seek a trade or a buyout of Robinson’s one-year, $4 million contract. He spoke briefly Saturday with the team president, Donnie Walsh, and the two agreed to discuss the issue again in a few days.

Marc Berman of the New York Post reports:

“I have asked the Knicks to move Nate,” Goodwin told The Post “At this point it’s personal. I don’t think Mike [D’Antoni] has [ever] done anything to show it’s basketball-related. I felt that way talking to Walsh during the Chicago game when they went 4-of-23 in the third quarter and the gentleman didn’t look for Nate to help out. They had a 39-point second half and for whatever reason he didn’t consider Nate.”

Robinson signed a one-year, $4 million contract days before training camp and the player needs to give his approval for a trade under CBA law because it was a one-year deal. If Robinson is traded to a team that makes the playoffs, he would get an additional $1 million bonus.

The Knicks want to keep their salary cap room for next season. It’s tough to see the Knicks trading Robinson. Better for them to keep his expiring contract around.

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

Carl Landry has teeth repaired

Carl Landry has teeth repaired

Rockets F Carl Landry was forced to leave last night’s game in Dallas at the 9:28 mark of the second quarter following a collision with Mavericks F Dirk Nowitzki which resulted in damage to five teeth.

Landry was treated this morning by Rockets team dentist Dr. Thomas O’Brien who performed a series of procedures including a root canal and two dental bridges to repair the damage.

Landry will not play tonight against the Oklahoma City Thunder and will be listed as day-to-day moving forward.

The 6-9, 248-pound power forward is having an excellent season for the Rockets, averaging 16.0 points and 5.9 rebounds in 25.9 minutes per game.

The AP reports:

Houston’s Carl Landry was taken to a hospital after breaking teeth in a collision with Dirk Nowitzki during the second quarter of Friday night’s game between the Rockets and Mavericks.

Nowitzki drove into the lane and missed a short jumper with 9:28 left in the second quarter. He was fouled by Landry, who was hit in the mouth on Nowitzki’s follow-through.

The Houston Chronicle reports:

The Mavs’ Dirk Nowitzki and the Rockets’ Carl Landry were lost early in the second quarter when Landry cut off Nowitzki on a drive, catching Nowitzki’s right elbow in the mouth, dislodging or breaking parts of five of Landry’s teeth.

Landry was taken to the emergency room and will see an oral surgeon today to determine the extent of the damage. Nowitzki needed 30 minutes for pieces of Landry’s teeth to be removed from his elbow.

After they left, the Rockets answered the Dallas runs as they could not in the previous two meetings this season, won by the Mavericks by an average of 24.5 points after the Rockets had taken early leads. The Mavericks seemed to lose their poise, drawing six technical fouls, some at the worst possible times.

Michael Lee of the Washington Post reports:

He was driving into the lane, hitting finger rolls and off-balanced runners off the glass. He was completing crossover dribbles, stepping back and draining three-pointers, and confidently whirling back with his hand raised high. And, he was setting up teammates with open jumpers and layups.

More importantly, Gilbert Arenas was smiling, having fun and cracking jokes with his teammates. Arenas was playing freely and delivered the type of flashback performance for a full game that the Washington Wizards have only seen glimpses of ever since his left knee betrayed him more than two years ago. Feeling unburdened back in his native West Coast, Arenas erupted for season-highs of 45 points and 13 assists as he led the Wizards to a 118-109 victory over the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena on Friday.

“I’ve been the coy fish for a couple of games. I’m just trying to get back in attack mode,” Arenas, a native of Los Angeles, said. “Since I came on this West Coast trip, I don’t have that pressure of Washington standing on my shoulders. I get to play freely and game by game, since we’ve been on this trip, I felt good.”

Have Wizards opinions? Express them on the Washington Wizards forum.

Mikki Moore out 3+ months after right ankle surgery

Golden State Warriors center Mikki Moore underwent successful surgery today to remove bone spurs in his right ankle, the team announced. The surgery was performed by Dr. David Porter in Indianapolis, IN.  Moore is expected to be sidelined for a minimum of three (3) months.

This season Moore was not contributing a lot to the Warriors, averaging 5.0 points and 3.0 rebounds in 17.7 minutes per game.

With a 7-18 record, the Warriors are currently 14th out of 15 Western conference teams, ahead of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Read fan reaction or share your own opinion in this forum topic.

The NBA Development League today issued suspensions to four players following two separate altercations during Reno’s 98-90 victory over the Bakersfield Jam in Reno on Tuesday, Dec. 15, it was announced by Chris Alpert, NBA D-League Vice President of Basketball Operations and Player Personnel.

Reno’s Cezary Trybanski received a two-game suspension, while Bakersfield’s Amara Sy and Rodney Webb were each suspended for one game.  Jared Newson, who was waived by the Jam due to injury prior to the game but was seated near the bench in street clothes, received a one-game suspension.

Trybanski was suspended two games for attempting to strike Bakersfield’s Terrence Gamble and for punching Webb.  Webb is being suspended for one game for striking Trybanski in the chest and for escalating the altercation between Trybanski and Gamble.  Newson was suspended one game for leaving the bench area during the altercation.

Sy is being suspended for one game for striking an opposing player in the groin during a separate incident in the same game.  That incident occurred with one minute left to play in the fourth quarter.

Trybanski will serve his two-game suspension beginning tonight when Reno plays the Sioux Falls Skyforce in Sioux Falls and on Dec. 21 when the team travels to play the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.  Webb will serve his one-game suspension tonight when the Jam hosts the Idaho Stampede.  Newson will serve his suspension when and if he is reacquired by an NBA D-League team.  Sy will also serve his suspension tonight against the Stampede.

Brandon Jennings fined for Twitter post

Brandon Jennings fined for Twitter post

Brandon Jennings of the Milwaukee Bucks has been fined $7,500 for posting a message on his Twitter account in violation of NBA rules, it was announced today by NBA Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations Stu Jackson.

On Saturday, Dec. 12, a message was posted on Jennings’ Twitter account immediately following the Bucks’ 108-101 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers in Milwaukee.

Jennings “tweeted” the following message in the locker room immediately after the game: ‘Back to 500. Yess!!! “500″ means where doing good. Way to Play Hard Guys.’

Players are not allowed to post on blogs, Twitter, etc. directly before, during or after a game.

Have a reaction? Share it in this forum topic.

Michael Lee of the Washington Post reports (via blog):

Gilbert Arenas not yet living up to giant contract

Gilbert Arenas had to understand when he signed the deal that he would be viewed as the $111-million guy — if he was unable to produce. No one talks about Kobe Bryant’s salary or LeBron James’s salary or Dwight Howard’s salary because they are getting things done for their organizations.

Right now, Arenas is struggling to regain the form that earned him the salary, but when you put your name on the dotted line, criticism comes with the territory. The bigger the money, the bigger the profile, the bigger the scrutiny. You either live up to the deal and nobody mentions it, or you don’t.

When Arenas made three all-star appearances and a playoff series victory from 2004-07, most viewed the six-year, $65-million contract he signed as a bargain. But with the team going 26-79 since he started his latest deal (with Arenas playing just two games last season), the contract is going to be figuratively tattooed on his forehead.

Richard Sandomir of the New York Times reports:

Mikhail D. Prokhorov has survived the N.B.A.’s background examination, helping the billionaire Russian oligarch take another step toward acquiring 80 percent of the Nets and 45 percent of the proposed Barclays Center in Brooklyn. He is said to be Russia’s richest man…

The N.B.A.’s decision to make known its clearance of Prokhorov’s background came a day after his company, Onexim Sports and Entertainment Holdings, closed on the deal to pay Forest City Ratner Companies, which is developing the Barclays Center as the part of the Atlantic Yards project, $200 million for his stakes in the team and the arena.

Prokhorov has also agreed to fund up to $60 million of the Nets’ losses until they move into the arena in 2012 and assume 80 percent of the team’s $207 million in debt. He has an option to buy up to 20 percent of Atlantic Yards.

Larry Hughes out 2 games

The AP reports:

Larry Hughes out 2 games

New York Knicks guard Larry Hughes is expected to miss the next two games because of a strained left groin.

Hughes, who is averaging 12.3 points a game, was unavailable Thursday night against the Chicago Bulls and is not expected to play Friday against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Blazers sign Anthony Tolliver

The Portland Trail Blazers today signed Anthony Tolliver of the Idaho Stampede.  Tolliver is the second Call-Up of the 2009-10 NBA Development League Season, and joins 65 other NBA players with NBA D-League experience.

Tolliver has appeared in all seven of Idaho’s games this season, averaging 20.7 points, 9.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 36.9 minutes.  He has recorded three double-doubles this season, including a season-high 30 points, to go with 11 rebounds, in a win over the Reno Bighorns on Nov. 30.  For his efforts, Tolliver was named NBA D-League Co-Performer of the Week for games played Nov. 27-Dec. 6.

The Call-Up marks the second of Tolliver’s career, as he was signed by the New Orleans Hornets on Jan. 21, 2009.  Prior to his call-up last season, Tolliver appeared in three games for the Iowa Energy, averaging 10.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 28.3 minutes.  Before joining the Energy during the 2008-09 campaign, Tolliver played in 19 games for the San Antonio Spurs, averaging 2.7 points and 2.2 rebounds in 10.9 minutes.  During his time with the Spurs, Tolliver was assigned to the team’s NBA D-League affiliate Austin Toros where he saw action in six games and averaged 17.8 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists.

A four-year contributor at Creighton University, Tolliver averaged 8.1 points and 4.9 rebounds in 124 career games.  As a senior, he averaged 13.4 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.7 blocks in 33 games en route to being named First-Team All-MVC, to the MCV All-Tournament Team, earning the Senior CLASS Award All-America honors and a nod as a Second-team CoSIDA Academic All-America.

Tolliver is expected to join Portland today and be available tonight when the team hosts the Phoenix Suns at the Rose Garden.

Mikki Moore to have right heel surgery

The Golden State Warriors have had plenty of injuries this season and the trend will continue now with center Mikki Moore.

Marcus Thompson of the Contra Costa Times reports (via blog):

Mikki Moore to have right heel surgery

He held on as long as he could, but center Mikki Moore is now going to have surgery to repair bone spurs in his right heal. The Warriors are down three centers.

Could that mean Anthony Randolph is back in the starting lineup? Nelson said he would lean on Randolph more. Remember, the last time he played at home, Randolph set a career high against Dwight Howard.

We first reported this back on Dec. 1. Mikki told me the bone spur was causing him significant pain as it was digging into his Achilles tendon. He said that was the reason his dunks were getting blocked (like it did at Philadelphia) because he couldn’t jump without pain. He knew then it would take surgery to fix the problem, which has plagued him since last season. But Moore said he would deal with the pain and the limited mobility because he didn’t want to leave the injuy-depleted Warriors even more depleted.

Even at full health the Warriors are not a playoff team, but it would still be nice to see how well they can play with an actual full, healthy roster. Hopefully we get to see that in the somewhat near future.

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