Archive for November 19th, 2010

Marc Berman of the New York Post reports:

Bill Walker and Shawne Williams fight at practice

Toughness has not been a Knicks trait in years. Yesterday, the Knicks, after breaking their six-game losing streak in Sacramento, were feeling feisty at practice as a skirmish broke out between Bill Walker and Shawne Williams.

Williams was driving to the basket when Walker took him down hard. Williams, who has yet to play this season after making the team as 15th man, shot up from the floor and lunged at Walker, shouting at him about the dirty play. Teammates separated the two players, but Williams kept carrying on, trying to break free to get at Walker. Even Eddy Curry had to restrain the ranting Williams.

It was a bizarre scene the way Williams carried on.

Dorell Wright expands his offensive game

John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle reports:

Dorell Wright expands his offensive game

Aside from Joe Lacob, Peter Guber and David Lee, Wright has been the most influential Warriors newcomer. The small forward, who arrived as a free agent, has started all 11 games and is one of the reasons the Warriors are 7-4. Wright, who turns 25 in December, is averaging 15 points in 38 minutes after averaging 6.5 in 19.5 over six seasons in Miami.

Known previously as a defensive-minded player, Wright has proven to be far more while complementing Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry and providing help under the boards.

In his first eight games, he sunk more than half his three-pointers. Twice, he topped 20 points - after reaching 20 just three previous times in his career - and he makes more than 80 percent of his free throws. Plus, he averages 5.4 rebounds, nearly two more than his career average.

“It’s been good,” Wright said. “Finally, I get a chance to do everything, not just be one-dimensional anymore. I’m able to handle the ball, take open shots, get guys involved - instead of every time I get the ball on the rebound, hold up and look for the point guard as if I can’t dribble. It’s good to get an opportunity, and I’m taking advantage of it.”

Awful Clippers now 1-12

Wednesday in Indianapolis the Pacers, despite missing a few key players, beat the Los Angeles Clippers 107-80.

The Clippers have now lost eight straight games and have one win, 12 losses. They’re a mess.

Lisa Dillman of the Los Angeles Times reports:

The Clippers’ rookies, as well as Craig Smith and Eric Gordon — another Indiana homecoming ruined — had the glazed look of survivors who had stumbled away from a car crash, wondering where to go next.”

Awful Clippers now 1-12

Something has got to change,” said Blake Griffin, who had 12 points and eight rebounds. “After a while, you can’t just say — we do have to keep working — but you can’t just keep working and keep losing. It comes down to who wants it more, a little bit of heart. We just need to find that.”

He wants to be an agent of change. The most obvious form of assistance, of course, would be getting center Chris Kaman back in the lineup. Griffin can do many things, but he’s not a medical miracle worker.

Any other suggestions?

“We’ll work on it tomorrow,” Griffin said. “I’ve got some ideas.”

The problem here is, I’m not sure what there is to change. Aside from Griffin, Eric Gordon and Chris Kaman, there’s simply not a lot of talent on the roster. Rookie guard Eric Bledsoe has looked good, stepping up while Baron Davis sits around being old and washed up, but that’s about it. The struggles may continue.

But, on the bright side, there’s individual players worth keeping an eye on here. Griffin, Gordon and Bledsoe should only keep improving and are worth attention.

New York Knicks forward Danilo Gallinaro last season, and for bits of this short season, has shown off incredible outside shooting ability. The rest of his game is still in development, however.

Still, when hot, he can toss in 25 pretty easily if in rhythm and fed the ball while in proper outside position.

But he seems to want to make sure everyone knows that he’s not someone who is going to take over the league anytime soon.

Howard Beck of the New York Times reports:

Danilo Gallinari declares himself a non-superstar

After six breakthrough quarters, in which he looked very much like a potential star, the 22-year-old Gallinari swiftly punctured the notion of his stardom.

“I know you expect a lot from me, and people expect a lot from me,” Gallinari said late Wednesday night, “but I’m not a superstar, I’m not an All-Star, I’m not LeBron, I’m not those great players. I’m an important player of the Knicks. And that’s what I’m trying to do, to help the team every time. Sometimes, can be these type of games, sometimes not. But as long as we win, it’s all good.”

It was a surprising response, and entirely unsolicited. Gallinari had just posted consecutive 20-point games for the first time this season — 21 in Denver and a season-high 27 in Sacramento — and was simply asked if he needed a performance like this for his confidence.

He could have nodded and offered perfunctory agreement. Instead, he took the question as an opportunity to push back against the outsize expectations that have been thrust upon him since June 2008. Coach Mike D’Antoni once called Gallinari the best shooter he had ever seen. Amar’e Stoudemire has compared Gallinari to Dirk Nowitzki, a perennial All-Star. Nowitzki himself made the comparison last spring, and said that Gallinari was better than he was at the same age.

Remember, English is not Gallinari’s first language. He’s good at it, but still, best not to take things too literally. He’s basically just saying what people know, that he isn’t the next LeBron or Kobe. But hopefully it’s OK for Knick fans to still hope that over the next year or two he emerges into an occasional Dirk Nowitzki.

Jerry Sloan to miss next two Jazz games

The Utah Jazz announced today that head coach Jerry Sloan will miss the team’s next two games in order to attend funeral services for a family member.

Jazz assistant coach Phil Johnson will assume head coaching duties in Friday night’s game vs. San Antonio and Saturday’s game at Portland.   Sloan is expected to rejoin the team prior to the Jazz’s game vs. Sacramento on November 22.

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