Archive for February 4th, 2010

Chris Paul out 4-6 weeks

New Orleans Hornets All-Star point guard Chris Paul underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Thursday afternoon for a meniscal repair. Paul is expected to be out approximately four-to-six weeks. Paul underwent the surgery in Pensacola, Florida by Dr. James Andrews. He will be on crutches for the next two-to-three weeks and will begin rehabilitation immediately.

“Obviously this is a tough thing for me,” said Paul. “I have been fortunate through my career as a basketball player to not have suffered many injuries. The main thing is for me to get back healthy and to help this team however I can. Everything happens for a reason and I know I will come back stronger than ever. I have the utmost confidence in Darren Collison to step up in my absence.”

Paul tweaked the knee against the Golden State Warriors last Wednesday night, and then suffered the injury to the knee while chasing down a loose ball in the final seconds of Friday’s game against the Chicago Bulls.

“You never want to be in this position to replace a guard like Chris Paul in the middle of the season,” said general manager and head coach Jeff Bower. “We want to continue to take advantage of the talent and skills that Darren and Marcus have shown over the course of this season.”

Paul has averaged 20.4 points, 11.2 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 2.3 steals in 38 games this season, ranking 1st in assists, 2nd in steals and 16th in scoring in the NBA.  Yesterday, he was named the Western Conference Player of the Month for January after leading the Hornets to a Western Conference-high 12 wins during the month with averages of 20.8 points, 11.9 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 2.4 steals.

Collison, a rookie out of UCLA, has averaged 14.6 points and 8.4 assists as a starter this season in Paul’s absence (5-6 record), including a 17-point, 18-assist effort in the Hornets overtime win in Memphis on Saturday. Paul missed eight games this season due to sprained left ankle.

Paul, a three-time All-Star, will not participate in the All-Star game, but will be on hand to support the Western Conference.

The Los Angeles Clippers today announced that Head Coach and General Manager Mike Dunleavy will step away from his day to day coaching responsibilities and focus exclusively on the team’s personnel matters. The decision was reached mutually during a meeting at the team’s Playa Vista Training Center earlier today. In attendance at that meeting were Clippers’ President Andy Roeser, Dunleavy and Assistant General Manager Neil Olshey, who will continue in his role as Dunleavy’s top aide in Basketball Operations.

Current Clippers’ Assistant Coach Kim Hughes will immediately assume the role of Interim Head Coach, and will retain the position through the remainder of the ’09-’10 season.

Hughes will be available to the media on Friday following the Clippers’ 10:00 AM practice session at the team’s Training Center at Playa Vista.

In defining the move, Dunleavy said, “I’ve had several conversations with our owner (Donald T. Sterling) concerning what we think is best for the team overall. We have discussed the possibility of my concentrating only on Basketball Operations. That option has always been available to me.”

Dunleavy continued, “I’ve come to the conclusion that this is the ideal time for me to direct my efforts toward the many personnel opportunities that lie before us, such as the trade market, the Draft and the free agent process. We fully expect to be active and productive on all those fronts.”

Roeser stated, “We fully agree with Mike that this is the right time to make this change. It just seems clear that the team needs a fresh voice and we hope that our players will respond in a positive way. As we approach the trade deadline, the NBA Draft and the upcoming Free Agent period, our team is very well-positioned from a salary cap standpoint. Mike’s experienced input will be vitally important as we continue to develop our young talented nucleus and shape our team’s future.”

The Clippers all-time franchise leader in wins with 215, Dunleavy has coached the 15th most games in NBA history (1,329) and became the 21st coach in NBA history to win 600 career games on Nov. 29, 2009. Dunleavy coached a Clippers record 540 games since 2003, accumulating a 215-325 (.398) record. In 2005-06, Dunleavy led the Clippers to their best season since moving to California finishing second in the Pacific Division and advanced to within one game of the Western Conference Finals in their first playoff appearance in nine seasons.

Kim Hughes has worked as a Clippers assistant for seven seasons after serving the previous five years with the Denver Nuggets. Hughes started with Denver in 1998 as Director of Scouting before being named Director of Player Personnel and also was a Nuggets assistant coach in 1998-99. Before joining the Nuggets, Hughes spent seven seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks as a head and regional scout. A member of the 1975-76 ABA All-Rookie First Team with the New York Nets, the former University of Wisconsin star (1970-74) played six years in the NBA and ABA and also played professionally in Italy.

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

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has recalled guard Jermaine Taylor from Houston’s single-affiliation NBA D-League partner Rio Grande Valley. Taylor was assigned to the Vipers on Jan. 28.

“Jermaine made the immediate impact we had hoped for with a pair of 30-point games with the Vipers,” said Rockets Vice President of Basketball Operations and Rio Grande Valley General Manager Gersson Rosas. “He really made the most with his extended minutes with the Vipers, which shows us his ability to apply the things he has learned during his time with the Rockets and translate that into furthering his basketball development.”

Taylor (6-4, 210, Central Florida) averaged 21.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.25 steals in four games (one start) with Rio Grande Valley. He also posted back-to-back 30-point outings with the Vipers at Albuquerque, netting 30 points (11-14 FT) on Feb. 2 and scoring 32 points (14-23 FG) on Feb. 3. A rookie out of Central Florida, Taylor has averaged 2.4 points and 0.2 assists in 13 games with the Rockets this season. Taylor, who had his draft rights acquired by Houston from Washington on June 25, 2009, was selected by the Wizards in the second round (32nd overall) of the 2009 NBA Draft.

Utah Jazz are red hot

The Utah Jazz have come alive, winning 11 of their last 12 games and seven straight, and playing like a legitimate championship contender for the first time in recent memory.

A huge reason why has been the play of Andrei Kirilenko, who has moved into the starting lineup.

In his last five games, AK-47 is averaging 18.0 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 3.6 apg, 2.0 spg and 2.6 bpg.

Tim Buckley of the Deseret News reports:

Utah beat Portland 118-105 on Wednesday night at sold-out EnergySolutions Arena, doing so behind a season-high 28 points from center Mehmet Okur and a collective season-high 62.7 percent shooting from the field aided by Okur’s 10-for-13.

It was the seventh straight win and 11th in their last 12 games for the 30-18 Jazz, who also got 22 points and a season-high eight assists from Kirilenko, a 13-point and 13-assist double-double from Williams and 16 points off the bench including 6-for-6 field shooting from rookie Wesley Matthews.

Meanwhile, Carlos Boozer has been out. Yet the team is winning.

More from the Deseret News:

He said he felt “a little too tight, a little too sore” to play in Wednesday’s win over Portland.

But Carlos Boozer, injured one week earlier at Portland, continues to eye Saturday’s home game against Denver for a return from his moderately strained and slightly torn right calf muscle injury. “I’m feeling good. Feeling good,” the Jazz’s usual starting power forward said Wednesday. “I’m working out, getting better.

“There’s still a little tightness in it,” Boozer added, “but it’s gotten a lot stronger in the last couple days. It’s still on course.”

Aside from AK-47’s play, Paul Millsap has been terrific in Boozer’s absence.

Ross Siler of the Salt Lake Tribune reports:

 Although  Paul Millsap  has opened eyes with his play in the past week while  Carlos Boozer has been out with a strained right calf, his teammates insist that nothing about Millsap’s improved game has come as a surprise to them.

“I saw that this summer, just given the chance, given the time,” Deron Williams said. “I’ve been a fan of Paul Millsap all along so I’ve always been one of his supporters. He’s just getting the chance to show what he can do right now while Booz is out.”

For now, the Jazz are worth taking very seriously out West.

Marcus Thompson II of the Oakland Tribune reports:

Lately, Warriors games have been like that song on the radio that you get tired of hearing.

Monta Ellis scores 46 in loss to Mavericks

Guard Monta Ellis goes out and dominates. The rest of his teammates struggle to score and, eventually, the opponent double-teams Ellis. Warriors wind up losing.

It happened again in Wednesday’s 110-101 loss to the Dallas Mavericks. Ellis had his best scoring night as a pro, totaling a career-high 46 points on 17-for-23 shooting. He would’ve topped 50 had he not missed five free throws.

“A remarkable performance by Monta,” Warriors coach Don Nelson said. “Didn’t have a great supporting cast, but he fought and kept us in the game, gave us a chance to win.” …

“It doesn’t mean anything to me, this being my career game,” said Ellis, who had 37 points and eight assists his last trip to American Airlines Center. “I just want to win. We’ve lost seven straight now, so I’m not looking at the career high. I look at that we’ve got to find a way to turn it around.”

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