Archive for December 4th, 2009

Nets get first win of season

michael redd

Friday night in New Jersey the Nets finally won their first game of the 2009-10 NBA regular season, beating the Charlotte Bobcats 97-91. It was the first game for new Nets interim head coach Kiki Vandeweghe.

The game was fairly close from start to finish, with the Bobcats leading by one point after the first quarter, by four at the half, and by one after three quarters. But the Nets stepped up big in the fourth and now have one win and 18 losses.

Nets center Brook Lopez (12-of-22) scored 31 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. Courtney Lee, starting at shooting guard, shot 11-of-16 (3-of-4 three-pointers) for 27 points, four rebounds and three steals. Point guard Devin Harris, still not completely healthy, shot just 2-of-14 but hit 11-of-13 free throws for 16 points and 8 assists.

As a team, New Jersey shot just 39.1%, but they fought hard and had 87 field goal attempts, while the Bobcats only took 73 shots.

Terrence Williams struggled off the New Jersey bench, shooting 2-of-12. But like his teammates, the rookie hustled hard all game.

Charlotte struggled with ball control with 18 turnovers. The Nets had just seven.

For the Bobcats, point guard Raymond Felton shot 11-of-14 (4-of-4 threes) for 28 points, five rebounds and four assists. Shooting guard Stephen Jackson shot 10-of-23 for 28 points. Gerald Wallace had an amazing stat-line: 13 points, 20 rebounds, five assists and two blocks. And starting center Tyson Chandler added 13 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks.

But, no one else on the Bobcats did much of anything. Boris Diaw was an awful 1-of-6 with six assists, and the Bobcats bench combined to shoot 2-of-13 for just five points and one assist between three reserves who got minutes.

The next Nets win may come sooner than it took to get their first. Sunday the team will visit New York to face the beatable Knicks. Tuesday, they head to Chicago where they’ll meet the inconsistent Bulls. On Wednesday, the Nets host the Golden State Warriors. And Friday, they head to Indiana to play the Pacers. It wouldn’t surprise to see the Nets win at least one of those games.

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

The New Jersey Nets have named Del Harris as an assistant coach, Nets President Rod Thorn announced today.  Harris joins Tom Barrise, John Loyer, Roy Rogers and Doug Overton as a member of Interim Head Coach Kiki Vandeweghe’s staff.

Harris, 72, joins the Nets following one season as an assistant with the Chicago Bulls were he helped first-year coach Vinny Del Negro reach the playoffs.

Prior to his time in Chicago, Harris was an assistant coach with the Dallas Mavericks from 2000-08.  During that time, Harris worked closely with Vandeweghe and Nets point guard Devin Harris.  Harris brings 50+ years of coaching experience to the Nets including 30+ seasons in the NBA.  As a head coach, Harris amassed a career record of 556-457 (.549) in parts of 14 seasons with the Lakers, Bucks and Rockets, reaching the playoffs 11 times.  Harris received the NBA’s Coach of the Year award in 1995 after guiding his Lakers to a 48-34 (.585) record, finishing third in the Pacific Division.

Harris also has international coaching experience as he coached Nets forward Yi Jianlian and Team China in the 2004 Olympics, where the team finished eighth out of a field of 12.  He also coached seven seasons in Puerto Rico’s National Superior League (1969-75), posting a 176-61 record and winning three national championships (1973-75).

Before entering the NBA ranks, Harris was the head coach of Earlham College from 1965-74 finishing with a 175-70 (.714) record.

The Plainfield, Indiana native attended Milligan College in Tennessee where he played four years of basketball with career averages of 18.0 points and 9.5 rebounds.

Knicks City Dancers comic book

The Knicks City Dancers are unveiling the first-ever NBA dance team comic book at two autograph signing sessions held at Madison Square Garden, Sunday, Dec. 6. Members of the team will be on hand during “Knicks Kids Day” in the Expo Center before the Knicks take on the Nets and again in the Double Teamed Store during halftime. During the second session in the Double Teamed Store, the dancers will provide an autographed copy of their comic book to all fans with the purchase of any item from the arena stores, while supplies last.

The Knicks City Dancers are “Keeping the Rhythm of New York” in their 19th season as one of the premiere dance teams in the NBA. The squad embodies the talent, energy and diversity of New York City and have branded their “Super Hero” costume (featured on the cover of the comic book) to represent the empowered and classy “super women” of New York. Each dancer is profiled in the comic book to give their fans an up-close look at their favorite dancer, while providing them with an exclusive collectable item. Throughout the season, the dancers appear at all home games and serve as team representatives at numerous community events.

The San Antonio Spurs announced today that they have assigned guard Malik Hairston to the Austin Toros, the NBA Development League team owned and operated by the Spurs.

Hairston has appeared in eight games with San Antonio this season where he averaged 0.8 points in 4.1 minutes.

Last season Hairston split the year between San Antonio and Austin.  In 15 games with the Spurs he averaged 3.3 points and 1.9 rebounds.  In Austin, he earned All-D-League Honorable Mention after averaging 22.9 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.7 assists in 30 games.

Hairston was selected by the Phoenix Suns with the 48th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft and was acquired by San Antonio in exchange for the draft rights to Goran Dragic. He spent the 2008 training camp with San Antonio where he averaged 5.3 points and 4.5 rebounds in six preseason games before being waived on 10/26.

Bucks coach Scott Skiles suspended

Milwaukee Bucks head coach Scott Skiles has been suspended one game without pay for his actions directed at a game official and for not leaving the court in a timely manner following his ejection, it was announced today by Stu Jackson, NBA Executive Vice President Basketball Operations.

The incident occurred with 29.7 seconds remaining in the first period of the Bucks’ 104-102 loss to the Washington Wizards on Wednesday, Dec. 2 at Bradley Center.

Skiles will serve his suspension tonight when the Bucks visit the Detroit Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

Kevin Love cleared to play

Kevin Love to play tonight

The Minnesota Timberwolves are expected to welcome forward/center Kevin Love back tonight as they visit the New Orleans Hornets.

With a 2-16 record, the Wolves are desperate for any help they can get. Love is key and, in the eyes of, the second best player on the team, behind Al Jefferson.

Love was hurt in preseason. This will be his first game of the 2009-10 regular season.

The Wolves this season haven’t looked anything remotely close to competitive. They’re scoring 91.6 points per game while giving up 104.4 ppg.

Love brings rebounding as well as scoring. He’ll help make the team look worthy of being in the NBA.

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

Earl Boykins helping the Wizards

Michael Lee of the Washington Post reports:

When the Washington Wizards signed Earl Boykins three weeks ago, they were depleted at the point guard position and simply needed to fill a hole. But after the team got off to a ragged start this season, Boykins is actually helping to make the team whole.

The Wizards are 5-4 since Boykins joined the team on a non-guaranteed contract on Nov. 11. And, as they prepare to face the Toronto Raptors on Friday at Verizon Center, the Wizards (7-10) have won four of their past five games and appear to be turning a corner with the 5-foot-5 Boykins running the show in the fourth quarter in three of those victories. His most triumphant performance came during their 104-102 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night, when Boykins scored 11 points in the final 10 minutes, including the game-winning free throws with one second remaining.

Share your opinion on the Washington Wizards forum.

Raptors defense is terrible

The 7-13 Toronto Raptors are struggling to play defense in a very big way. Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun reports:

Raptors defense is terrible

Just how terrible has the defence been? Well, for starters, the club is on pace to be the worst defensive team since 1977-78.

A little-known but telling statistic called defensive rating has been kept since that season. The rating measures how many points-per-100 possessions a team gives up and the lowest in history, shared by three teams, is 114.7.

The Raptors, losers of five in a row and 11 of 15 following Wednesday night’s 146-115 slaughter at the hands of the Atlanta Hawks, have a defensive rating of 118.3.

Granted, the team has brought that mark of shame down from the 120-plus it sat at early last month and it likely will fall further into the simply horrific column, rather than historically horrific, but something fundamentally is wrong with this team.

The Raptors are scoring 105.3 points per game, but giving up 111.0. And opponents are shooting 48.5% against them.

If this keeps up, we could see a roster shakeup in the not-so-distant future.

Basketball blog