Archive for January 10th, 2010

Kobe Bryant shooting bricks lately

Kobe Bryant shooting bricks lately

Los Angeles Lakers superstar guard Kobe Bryant is averaging 30.1 points, 5.6 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.9 steals on 47.2% shooting (31.7% three-pointers) this season while playing with several hand injuries. Are the lingering finger issues starting to catch up with him?

With Pau Gasol out, Kobe has been in a bit of a mini-slump. Nothing shocking. No reason for alarm just yet. But worth paying attention to.

Right now in the third quarter of a Lakers-Bucks game, he’s shooting 2-of-17.

These are his shooting totals in recent games:

January 8 at Portland: 14-of-37.

January 6 at L.A. Clippers: 10-of-30.

January 5 vs Houston: 9-of-23.

January 3 vs Dallas: 6-of-12.

Obviously 6-of-12 is fine, but 12 field goal attempts suggests he really picked his spots.

Now, Gasol, clearly the best player on the team not named Bryant, has been out injured and hasn’t played since January 3.

So, is Kobe just tossing bricks because that’s just what happens sometimes?

Or because Gasol is out?

Or, are his hand injuries starting to catch up with him?

UPDATE: Jeff Eisenberg of the Press-Enterprise reports:

Bryant said after the game that his recent slump coincides with his decision to remove the hard metallic splint he’d been wearing to protect the fractured index finger on his shooting hand. He put the harder splint back on at halftime, sacrificing flexibility and touch to gain some extra protection.

“The finger felt pretty good so I tried to go without the splint,” Bryant said. “I have more range and movement in the finger without the splint, but I don’t have enough strength to shoot the ball. A lot of shots were going short.”

Keep an eye on Bryant these days, even more than usual.

The Golden State Warriors have signed guard/forward Cartier Martin to a 10-day contract, the team announced today.

Martin, 25, is a call-up from the NBA Development League’s Iowa Energy, where he has appeared in 12 games this season, averaging 14.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.17 steals in 27.1 minutes per contest.  A 6-7, 220-pound swingman who went undrafted out of Kansas State in 2007, Martin began last season with the Energy before being called-up by the Charlotte Bobcats, for whom he played 33 games and averaged 2.6 points and 1.0 rebound in 8.1 minutes per contest.

This past summer, Martin was a member of the Warriors Summer League Team in Las Vegas, where he averaged 19.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.33 steals and 1.00 block in 29.3 minutes over three games.  With his signing, Martin becomes the fifth player to receive a Gatorade Call-Up from the D-League this season.

Golden State’s roster now stands at 16 players.  The Warriors are able to add Martin to the roster under the NBA’s hardship rules, which allow a team the ability to sign an additional player if that team already has 15 players on its Active and Inactive Lists and has four-or-more players unable to perform playing services due to injury or illness for an extended period of time.

Martin will wear uniform #20.

Saturday in Sacramento, the Kings beat the Denver Nuggets 102-100. It was a great game, and the win came in dramatic fashion.

Sam Amick of the Sacramento Bee reports:

Tyreke Evans hits game-winner to beat Nuggets

With the score tied 100-100 after Nuggets point guard Chauncey Billups buried a three-pointer over Evans with 11 seconds left, Kings coach Paul Westphal called for the isolation play that sparked much debate among fans and media in recent weeks…

With seven seconds left, Evans took an inbound pass behind halfcourt and slowly dribbled toward Kenyon Martin. Evans drove left, then pump-faked Martin and Nene in the lane, and spun 360 degrees before burying a 10-footer.

“Coach told me before the other games that if he had a chance to call one-four flat and put the ball in my hands, he would do it again,” said Evans, who had 27 points on 10-of-15 shooting. “I’m just glad he didn’t give up on me and he gave me that opportunity.”

The Kings not only broke a five-game losing streak, they finished in a fashion that lifted their broken spirits.

Spencer Hawes had a big game off the bench for the Kings, shooting 8-of-10 for 10 points and five rebounds.

So far this season, New York Knicks rookie forward Jordan Hill has helped the Knicks about as much as you have.

Unless you buy the team’s jerseys or tickets to see them play. Then, you’ve helped more.

Frank Isola of the New York Daily News reports:

Marcus Landry playing ahead of Jordan Hill

It’s bad enough for Jordan Hill that as a lottery pick on a losing team, he can’t pry himself off the Knicks’ bench.

The worst part, however, is that Hill sits while another rookie, an undrafted one at that, plays ahead of him. Marcus Landry, the Knicks’ rags to riches story, has factored into Mike D’Antoni’s plans recently at the expense of Hill, whose claim to fame right now is that the Knicks selected him last June over Brandon Jennings, who is now starring with the Bucks.

“It’s a little frustrating not playing,” Hill said about his limited role. “But I understand where Coach is coming from. There are veterans in front me.”

Hill this season has played in 11 games and averages 3.8 points and 2.2 rebounds in 8.4 minutes.

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