Archive for December 11th, 2009

Pacers drop Nets to 2-21

In Indiana, playing in front of what looked like about 375 fans (OK, maybe 7,000-8,000), the Pacers beat the New Jersey Nets 107-91. New Jersey drops to a 2-21 record.

Indiana is playing without injured star Danny Granger.

The Pacers had a nice balanced offense as six players scored double-digits. Rookie Tyler Hansbrough came off the bench for 21 points (though he took 18 shots), seven rebounds and three steals. Starting center Roy Hibbert (8-of-17) had 20 points, nine rebounds and three blocks. Troy Murphy added 15 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks. Mike Dunleavy, still working his way back into condition, had 15 points off the bench. Brandon Rush, back to starting at shooting guard, had 10 points and 8 rebounds, though he committed five turnovers. And point guard T.J. Ford had 10 with 3 steals.

The Nets tossed bricks all night and shot 36.3% and hit just 3-of-13 from three-point range. They did earn 29 free throws, hitting 22. They were led by Brook Lopez (just 8-of-23) who had 25 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks. Devin Harris scored 18 (on 16 shots), Rafer Alston had 17 (on 16 shots) and Courtney Lee scored 14 (on 15 shots).

Starting Nets forwards Chris Douglas-Roberts and Josh Boone combined to shoot 4-of-15.

The Nets were out-rebounded 55-41 and out-assisted 22-12. No Net dished more than three assists.

Ike Diogu out for season

Ike Diogu out for season

The New Orleans Hornets announced today that forward Ike Diogu will undergo season-ending micro-fracture surgery to repair his injured left knee. The procedure will take place Tuesday in New York City by Dr. David Altcheck.

“Obviously I am very disappointed to be having this surgery instead of being able to be out there on the court with my teammates,” said Diogu.  “I am committed to being back 100 percent and am going to do whatever it takes to be back playing basketball.”

Diogu (6-9, 250) holds career averages of 5.8 points and 3.1 rebounds in 187 career games with four teams (Golden State, Indiana, Portland and Sacramento). He did not appear in a game this season for the Hornets.

During the 2008-09 season, he averaged 4.1 points and 1.9 rebounds per game, playing 19 games for Portland and Sacramento. He hit on 52.7 percent (39-of-74) from the field last season. He ended the year on a high note, recording a career-high 32 points, and 11 rebounds 4/13 at Denver prior to a season-finale performance of 28 points and a career-high-tying 13 rebounds at Minnesota on 4/15.

Grizzlies aim to sign Von Wafer

With a 9-12 record, the Memphis Grizzlies are doing a bit better than many expected this season.

The Allen Iverson experiment only lasted three games and ended long ago, but the young team has played well. Led by Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph, O.J. Mayo and Marc Gasol, Memphis has a decent core. But they can certainly keep improving and would be aided by a boost off the bench.

Enter Von Wafer, reportedly.

Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal reports:

The Grizzlies are attempting to sign former Houston Rockets guard Von Wafer in an effort to improve their perimeter shooting, particularly from beyond the 3-point arc.

Wafer will join the Grizzlies next week if certain dominoes fall as expected, sources told the Commercial Appeal.

Wafer, a 6-5 Florida State alum, first needs to complete a divorce with his current team, Olympiakos, a European club that reportedly has Wafer under contract for $2 million but for whom he hasn’t logged significant playing time.

Wafer played 63 games for the Rockets last season, averaging 9.7 points and 1.8 rebounds in 19.4 minutes per game. His career three-point shooting percentage is 33.7%, but he hit 39% in 2008-09.

Al Thornton diet change

Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Times reports:

Al Thornton changed diet

The 6-foot-8 Thornton hired a personal chef in the off-season and abstained from greasy foods as he dropped from 235 pounds to 230, but felt his quickness came only in spurts. Thornton couldn’t pinpoint when he fully adapted to his diet, but said his energy level recently has been high.

“It took awhile,” said Thornton, who ate chicken breast, pasta and tomatoes after Thursday’s practice. “Once you do it you can tell there’s a major difference to how you feel and how your body feels. It’s an adjustment. But if you want to do well in this game, sometimes you have to make sacrifices.”

Thornton doesn’t want that sacrifice to include a bench role, but Coach Mike Dunleavy strongly hinted that rookie forward Blake Griffin will take Thornton’s place whenever Griffin fully recovers from the stress fracture in his left knee.

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