Archive for March, 2010

Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has signed guard Cedric Jackson to a ten-day contract.  Per team policy, terms of the deal were not announced.

As the NBA’s 32nd GATORADE call-up from the D-League this season, Martin (6-3, 190 lbs.) has averaged 16.4 points and 7.4 assists (including a season-high effort of 34 points and 13 assists vs. Dakota on Feb. 26th) in 34 games (24 starts) for the Erie Bayhawks.  Jackson also appeared in eight NBA games this season (three for San Antonio, five for Cleveland), and saw his teams go 8-0 in those contests.  A rookie out of Cleveland State, Jackson is best remembered for connecting on a game-winning three-pointer from three-quarters court in a Cleveland St. upset win at Syracuse during the 2008-09 NCAA season.

Jackson will be in uniform tonight in New Orleans (8:00 pm on CSN, 106.7 The Fan, and 1370 Sports Radio in Baltimore) and will wear uniform #9.

Oklahoma City Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti announced today that the team has assigned guard Mustafa Shakur to the Tulsa 66ers of the NBA Development League.

Shakur, who was signed by the Thunder on March 31, has not appeared in a game for Oklahoma City. In 43 games (all starts) this season with the Tulsa 66ers, Shakur is averaging 20.4 points while shooting 49.8% from the field (312-626 FG) and 40.3% from beyond the arc (50-124 3FG), 7.1 assists, 4.6 rebounds, 2.33 blocks and 39.0 minutes while helping guide the 66ers to a 25-21 record. Tulsa currently owns a half game lead over Reno for the eighth and final D-League playoff spot.

He is expected to be in uniform tonight when the 66ers match-up with the Toros in Austin at 7:30 PM.

NBA fans given Most Valuable Player vote

NBA fans now have one small vote in the league’s Most Valuable Player award voting. The league is giving fans as a collective group the equivalent of one vote out of 125 for who wins the award. More details here.

I am OK with fans getting one small voice here, but it probably shouldn’t ever be made any larger than this. Because team fan bases are not created equal. Some players will always be more popular than others, regardless of how good they are. It’ll never be even, impartial or fully fair.

While tons of fans will vote in honest fashion, many others will just vote for their favorite star whether he’s actually MVP-worthy or not.

And I hate to remind you of what worldwide fans do regarding Yao Ming in NBA Fan All-Star voting.

So, this is nice. Good to get the fans as a group slightly involved. Maybe in the future it should be raised to 1/100th of the voting. But not more than that. And for now, 1/125th is good.

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the club has assigned second-year forward Nathan Jawai to the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the NBA Development League. Jawai has appeared in 39 games for the Wolves this season, averaging 3.2 points and 2.7 rebounds in 10.6 minutes per game.

Jawai was previously assigned to Sioux Falls on Feb. 19 and recalled on Feb. 21. He appeared in two games for the Skyforce, averaging 6.0 points and 3.0 rebounds in 25.0 minutes per game.

Per NBA rules, a first- or second-year player can be assigned to the team’s D-League affiliate a maximum of three times in a season. Sioux Falls, the D-League affiliate for Minnesota and Miami, is led by head coach Tony Fritz and is in second place in the East Conference with a 30-18 record.

Sioux Falls plays back-to-back away games against the Bakersfield Jam on April 2 and April 3 to complete its regular-season schedule. Sioux Falls clinched a playoff berth on March 25. The 2010 NBDL Playoffs are set to begin as early as April 7.

Thunder sign Mustafa Shakur

mustafa shakur

Oklahoma City Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti announced that the team has signed guard Mustafa Shakur. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Shakur, who was originally signed to a 10-day contract by the Thunder on March 16, is a free agent call-up from the Tulsa 66ers, NBA Development League affiliate of the Oklahoma City Thunder.  During his first stint with Oklahoma City Shakur did not see action in five games.

Since his return to Tulsa, Shakur has appeared in three games and helped lead the 66ers to a 2-1 record. This season, the D-League Western Conference All-Star averaged 20.4 points while shooting 49.8% from the field (312-626 FG) and 40.3% from beyond the arc (50-124 3FG), 7.1 assists, 4.6 rebounds, 2.33 blocks and 39.0 minutes in 43 games (all starts).

With his signing, Shakur becomes the 31st Gatorade Call-Up from the D-League this season.  He will wear uniform #11.

Warriors find great D-League talent

Marcus Thompson II of the Bay Area News Group reports:

Why are the Warriors so good at finding talent in the minors?

“The Warriors are by far the best team at getting talent out of the D-League,” Phoenix coach Alvin Gentry said after Anthony Tolliver and Reggie Williams combined for 54 points against the Suns on March 22. “They should be commended for that as an organization.”

Three of the 20 players called up this season are getting regular minutes with the Warriors and could be in the NBA for good. Throw in swingman Kelenna Azubuike and guard C.J. Watson, past D-League call-ups who have become part-time starters in the league, and the Warriors’ track record is ridiculously successful.

“I don’t think there’s any secret,” general manager Larry Riley said. “We study them a lot. We believe in it. We work at it.”

Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports:

The Los Angeles Lakers are in town on Wednesday.

That doesn’t mean they have to feel welcomed.

Feel free to boo Kobe Bryant. Go ahead and goad Pau Gasol. Let Lamar Odom know there will be no Southern hospitality for the Lakers at Philips Arena.

It seems Hawks fans may need to be reminded, so Hawks coach Mike Woodson will do so. The marquee teams and stars who’ve visited Philips Arena this season have been too warmly received for Woodson’s tastes.

“It shouldn’t be that way,” Woodson said. “There [are] enough people in this city to support the Hawks. I think we are a fun team to watch. We’ve grown definitely over the years, from the time we started to where we are today.

“Sure, I’d like to see more people in their seats and rooting for our guys.”

Instead, the Hawks have seen fans root for opponents in their house.

Mo Williams role change

George M.Thomas of the Akron Beacon Journal reports:

Mo Williams role change

With the addition of forward Antawn Jamison, Mo Williams no longer has to shoulder as much of the scoring burden and can focus on running the Cavs’ offense. Although it’s taken some time, Jamison continues to get better and more comfortable in his offensive role.

It’s not just Jamison changing Williams’ role. There’s LeBron James, of course, and J.J. Hickson who is getting more consistent as a scorer and showing more versatility and confidence. When center Shaquille O’Neal, who had begun to assert himself more offensively in Zydrunas Ilgauskas’ absence, returns from his injury, the number of scoring opportunities might further decrease.

”Obviously he’s a terrific scorer,” Cavs coach Mike Brown said of Williams. ”He’s shown that he can score the basketball a lot of different ways, and he’s done that in the past.

”With the addition of Antawn and LeBron being who he is, with all those different types of options we have, Mo is just trying to find his spot within the team.”

Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has signed guard/forward Cartier Martin to a ten-day contract.  Per team policy, terms of the deal were not announced.

As the NBA’s 30th call-up from the D-League this season, Martin (6-7, 220 lbs.) averaged 17.3 points (including a season-high 37 points vs. Erie on March 6th), along with 4.5 rebounds per game in 31 games (27 starts) for the Iowa Energy.  In 10 games for the NBA’s Golden State Warriors this season, Martin averaged 9.0 points and 4.7 rebounds in 27.6 minutes per game.  He has appeared in 43 career NBA games (three starts), including 33 games with the Charlotte Bobcats last season.

Martin will be in uniform tonight in Houston (8:30 pm on CSN+, 106.7 The Fan, and 1370 Sports Radio in Baltimore) and will wear uniform #20.

Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News reports:

Dirk Nowitzki gets triple-double in Mavs win over Nuggets

Either the Mavericks figured something out on Monday night, or the Denver Nuggets aren’t the same team they used to be. Or maybe it’s both.

The Western Conference’s No. 2 playoff seed now is there for the Mavericks’ taking after they dissected the Nuggets, 109-93, Monday night.

Dirk Nowitzki dominated with his second career triple-double, and the Mavericks took the season series, 2-1. That means any tie between the teams will go to the Mavericks when it comes to playoff seedings.

The AP reports:

Dirk Nowitzki’s scoring and rebounding are a given. The Dallas Mavericks’ All-Star forward also prides himself on his passing.

Nowitzki had 34 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for his second career triple-double, and the Mavericks maintained the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference with a 109-93 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Monday night.

His first 16 double-doubles this season were for points and rebounds. But with the Nuggets throwing double-teams at him, Nowitzki passed to open teammates for easy baskets.

Nets beat Spurs for 10th win of season

Nets beat Spurs for 10th win of season

Playing in New Jersey, the Nets Monday night beat the injury-riddled San Antonio Spurs 90-84 for their 10th win of the season.

With the victory, the Nets surpass the nine-win mark, the lowest in NBA history.

The Spurs were playing without stars Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.

For the Nets, center Brook Lopez (7-of-14) led with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Courtney Lee (7-of-13) had 19 points and six rebounds. Devin Harris (6-of-16) added 17 points and dished nine assists without a single turnover. As a team, the Nets only shot 37.6%, and they were outrebounded as well.

The Spurs were led by George Hill (8-of-19), who scored 19. Richard Jefferson, playing against his former team, had 16 points, five rebounds and five assists. Tim Duncan was kept in check, hitting just 6-of-15 for 13 points, 12 rebounds, and as many turnovers as assists. As a team, the Spurs hit just 41.5%.

New Jersey is now 10-64. Their remaining schedule includes games against the Wizards, Bulls and Pacers, so it’s possible the team can add to their current win total.

Spurs sign Alonzo Gee

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they have signed forward Alonzo Gee from the Austin Toros of the NBA Development League. Per team policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.

The 6-6, 220 lbs. Gee had previously been playing with the Washington Wizards where he signed his first of two 10-day contracts on 3/7.  In 11 games -including two starts- with Washington he averaged 7.4 points and 2.9 rebounds in 16.5 minutes.  He scored a career-high 19 points in his first career start on 3/26 at Charlotte. Prior to joining the Wizards, Gee had appeared in 36 games for the Austin Toros where he averaged 21.0 points and 6.6 rebounds in 38.2 minutes. Gee has recorded four double-doubles for the Toros this season and notched a season-high 34 points vs. Sioux Falls on 1/6.

In his four years at Alabama, Gee averaged 12.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 128 career games.  Gee started 96 consecutive games with the Crimson Tide and finished his collegiate career 11th in school history in scoring (1,630) and 18th in rebounds (730).  An All-SEC selection in both his junior and senior seasons, he is only the 11th player in Alabama history to score at least 1,500 points and grab 700 rebounds.

Gee will wear #23.

Kings waive Joey Dorsey

The Sacramento Kings today waived forward Joey Dorsey.  Dorsey was acquired from the Houston Rockets as part of a three-team trade on February 18, 2010, and averaged 1.5 ppg (.444 FGs, .400 FTs) and 2.3 rpg in eight contests off the bench with Sacramento.

The 24-50 Kings are currently 13th in the Western conference standings.

The Kings roster now stands at 13 players.

Eddy Curry season over

Marc Berman of the New York Post reports:

Eddy Curry season over

The nightmare Eddy Curry saga took an even darker turn when the Knicks’ maligned center revealed he has something torn in his calf that will take six to eight weeks to rehabilitate.

Curry is lost for the season as his comeback from knee surgery never materialized. He’s played 10 games in two seasons and is under contract for next season.

Curry was slated to return in San Antonio two weeks ago before he sustained calf tightness that turned into a sharp pain.

A Knicks official said Friday the MRI exam revealed the calf injury showed only a strain. But the team announced today that Curry has a torn myofascial band in his right calf.

Steve Adamek on the Bergen Record blog reports:

Donnie Walsh practically growls when the subject of a contract buyout is brought up, but that now seems like a foregone conclusion (unless the Knicks believe someone will trade for his expiring contract next season) if Eddy and his people are willing to accept about 90 cents on the dollar so he can walk this summer.

That should give the Knicks enough extra salary-cap room this summer to guarantee enough space for two max contracts (if they want to spend it all, of course). And it means the next team that signs Curry (and he’s just 27 and almost 7 feet tall, so no doubt someone will) will probably make up that difference and more, figuring the investment if he fails will be minimal.

InsideHoops.com note: Curry played in just seven games this season, averaging 3.7 points and 1.9 rebounds in 11.7 minutes per outing.

Dominic McGuire out for season

An MRI performed in Indianapolis today on Sacramento Kings’ swingman Dominic McGuire confirmed a torn right plantar fascia.

McGuire will miss the remainder of the 2009-10 season.  He averaged 0.8 ppg and 1.3 rpg in 10 games (two starts) after being acquired from Washington on February 18th.

JJ Redick rocks Nuggets

The AP reports:

JJ Redick rocks Nuggets

J.J. Redick had 23 points and career highs of eight assists and seven rebounds in place of an injured Vince Carter, helping the Orlando Magic beat the Denver Nuggets 103-97 on Sunday night.

He was 8-for-15 shooting and played a career-high 46 minutes after Carter sprained his right big toe. The Magic also got a big boost with 19 points from Anderson for their 13th win in the last 15 games.

Redick got another lift at halftime, too, when he saw his former Duke team about to clinch a spot in the Final Four. But he pointed to his minutes — and what he did with them — as his proudest moment of the night.

“I think sometimes as a player when you know you’re not going to come out, you don’t force things and you move the ball and you make the extra pass,” Redick said.

Rodrigue Beaubois scores 40 on Warriors

The AP reports:

Rodrigue Beaubois unleashes huge 40-point game on Warriors

Rookie guard Rodrigue Beaubois played just 48 seconds and went scoreless Wednesday night when the Dallas Mavericks lost to Portland.

Beaubois made up for lost time Saturday night and made a strong case for more playing time, scoring a career-high 40 points in the Mavericks’ 111-90 victory over the Golden State Warriors.

“I felt great,” Beaubois said. “I thought I couldn’t miss so I kept shooting.”

Beaubois made 9 of 11 3-pointers, was 15 of 22 overall from the field, made his only free throw and had eight rebounds to help the Mavericks snapped their two-game losing streak. The 6-footer from Guadeloupe had 26 points in the first half, two more points than his previous career game high.

InsideHoops.com adds:

Beaubois also had eight rebounds, three assists and three steals.

Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman reports:

“What’s missing now is we don’t have great rivalries,” Magic Johnson said. “L.A.-Boston, people stayed home on Sundays. They couldn’t wait to see the games. We had all these great names playing against each other. And then we played the game the right way…So we need rivalries back in the game, because that’s what people come out to see. That’s what they’re passionate about.”

The only way to rekindle relevant rivalries like the Lakers-Celtics matchups in the ’80s or the Chicago-Detroit series’ in the ’90s, Johnson said, is through the playoffs.

“You got to get in the playoffs and those teams got to be consistent,” Johnson said. “Right now, when you think about Dallas and San Antonio, they don’t like each other. I like that. I want to see you scratching and clawing and fighting. Phoenix and San Antonio, they don’t like each other. That’s what we need. We see some of it going on, but we need more of it.”

NBA fines Caron Butler

NBA fines Caron Butler

Dallas Mavericks guard Caron Butler has been fined $25,000 for directing inappropriate language toward fans, it was announced today by Stu Jackson, NBA Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The incident occurred with 9.9 seconds remaining in the 2nd period of the Mavericks’ 101-89 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday, March 25 at the Rose Garden.

Heat sign Alade Aminu to 10-day contract

The Miami Heat announced today that they have signed forward Alade Aminu to a 10-day contract. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Aminu, a 6’10”, 235-pound forward, has appeared in 46 NBA Development League games (31 starts) averaging 13.6 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.00 steals in 27.6 minutes of action while shooting 51.8 percent from the field. The 2010 NBA D-League All-Star split this season appearing in 37 games (22 starts) with the Erie BayHawks and most recently nine games (all starts) with the Bakersfield Jam where he posted averages of 19.3 points, 9.2 rebounds, 1.89 steals, 1.22 blocks, 1.1 assists and 33.1 minutes.

Undrafted out of Georgia Tech in 2009, Aminu played four seasons for the Yellow Jackets appearing in 105 games (26 starts) and averaged 6.8 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.00 blocks and 17.0 minutes while shooting 53.2 percent from the field. He finished his colligate career sixth in school history in blocks with 105.

Aminu was originally signed as a free agent by the Heat on September 28, 2009 and participated in training camp with Miami this season. He did not appear in a preseason game and was released on October 8, 2009.

He will wear number 34.

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