Archive for November 22nd, 2010

Report: Heat will sign Erick Dampier

The Miami Heat have been hit with a few key injuries, losing Mike Miller before things even got started, and a few days ago losing Udonis Haslem for what coudl be months.

Haslem, a power forward, provides rebounding, defense and toughness that few players on the current roster are able to replace.

Also, center Joel Anthony, who had been starting, hasn’t lived up to the Heat’s high hopes and now spends plenty of time on the bench.

Enter free agent center Erick Dampier.

Ken Berger of CBS Sports reports:

Heat will sign Erick Dampier

Erick Dampier has a one-year offer from the Miami Heat and is expected to sign it Tuesday, CBSSports.com has learned.

The 35-year-old center arrived in Miami Monday night and, pending his passing of a medical exam, will join the team to replace Udonis Haslem, who is out until at least February with a torn ligament in his foot. The deal is for one year at the prorated veteran’s minimum, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

The Heat will have to release a player to create a roster spot for Dampier, likely Dexter Pittman or Jamaal Magloire.

It’s a good move for the Heat, and not particularly shocking. The team has reportedly been considering adding Dampier for a long time now, long before Haslem’s injury.

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

Raptors assign Ed Davis to D-League

Raptors assign Ed Davis to D-League

The Toronto Raptors announced Monday rookie forward Ed Davis will participate with the Erie BayHawks of the NBA Development League for a short-term rehabilitation and conditioning stint. Davis sustained a meniscus tear in his right knee prior to the start of training camp and has been cleared to resume game action. He will continue to be included on the Raptors roster, but will be placed on the team’s inactive list.

“This is a great opportunity for us to gauge where Ed is physically with regard to his knee and his overall basketball conditioning,” said Raptors President and General Manager Bryan Colangelo. “This is a perfect example where the D-League can be used as a ready-made and convenient tool in getting an injured player back on the court.”

Davis, 21, was the 13th overall draft choice by Toronto in the 2010 NBA Draft. The 6-foot-10, 225-pounder from the University of North Carolina averaged 12.6 points (3rd on the team) and 6.0 rebounds (2nd on the team) in the 2010 NBA Las Vegas Summer League. He shot .632 (24-of-38) from the field and tied for the team lead with nine blocks.

Davis is the fifth Raptor to play in the D-League. Solomon Alabi joined the BayHawks on November 15. Nathan Jawai was designated on two occasions in the 2008-09 season to the Idaho Stampede. P.J. Tucker was assigned twice to the Colorado 14ers during the 2006-07 season and Pape Sow was assigned to the Arkansas Rimrockers in the 2005-06 campaign.

Erie, which is led by head coach Jay Larranaga, has been appointed as Toronto’s D-League affiliate for the 2010-11 season.

Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has signed guard/forward Alonzo Gee.  Per team policy, terms of the deal were not announced.

Gee (6-6, 220 lbs.), who appeared in five games this season for the San Antonio Spurs, returns to Washington following an 11-game stint with the Wizards last season.  Gee averaged 7.4 points and 3.0 rebounds in 16.5 minutes during those 11 games, including a career-high 19-point effort at Charlotte on March 26.

Gee was initially signed to a ten-day contract by the Wizards last season on March 7 and was inked to a second ten-day contract on March 18 before signing with San Antonio for the remainder of the season.  Gee was waived by the Spurs on November 16.

Hudson appeared in six games for Washington this season, totaling two points, six assists and one rebound in 26 minutes of play.  Hudson was initially signed on September 24.

Suns defense sinking to bottom of NBA

Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic reports:

Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade (2nd-R) drives to the basket as Phoenix Suns' Hedo Turkoglu (2nd-L) defends, during their NBA basketball game in Miami, Florida November 17, 2010. REUTERS/Joe Skipper (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

The addition of forward Hedo Turkoglu and other individuals’ drop-offs have turned the Suns into arguably the NBA’s worst defense. They entered Sunday as the second-worst scoring defense (109.0) to Minnesota and were tied with Sacramento for the worst defensive field-goal percentage (48.9).

The Suns are 9-19 when guard Steve Nash does not play, and he is expected to miss a third consecutive game Monday at Houston because of a groin strain. Nash is no defensive savior, but he could at least lead by example with effort.

Gentry told the team that Grant Hill gave the necessary effort Saturday but had few followers. Charlotte scored 30 more points than its season average after it had played Friday at Miami.

“We better rethink who we are, and we better start playing hard, and we better start competing,” Gentry said.

The Suns have faced 10 playoff teams in 13 games and are playing their seventh game in the past 11 days Monday.

Have an opinion? Share it on the Phoenix Suns forum.

The AP reports:

pau_gasol

Gasol scored 28 points without missing a shot, Kobe Bryant added 20 points and the Lakers took a 30-point lead in the first half of their fourth straight victory, 117-89 over the Golden State Warriors.

Gasol went 10 for 10 from the field, 8 for 8 from the free-throw line, and had nine rebounds and five assists. Until Gasol shredded Golden State’s shoddy interior defense, Charles Barkley and Matt Barnes were the only players ever to produce games of at least 20 points, five rebounds and five assists without missing on at least five shots from the field and the line.

“Matt told me, ‘Welcome to the club,’” Gasol said. “I said, ‘Happy to be in there.’ It’s kind of weird that it happened that way. It’s weird, but it’s obviously a good sign.”

Barnes scored 24 points and hit seven shots — five 3-pointers — without a miss at Minnesota on Friday night. While Barnes was impressed by Gasol’s copycat effort, he noted the 7-foot Spaniard’s advantages as well.

“He was playing against little midgets, though,” Barnes joked. “That’s not something you play for, but 10 for 10, 8 for 8, he topped me. It’s amazing.”

UPDATE: THE BOY DIED

Police say they are investigating the death of a 2-year-old boy who fell 50 feet from a Staples Center luxury suite after a Lakers game.

Officer Julie Sohn said Monday the child abuse unit is investigating because of the boy’s age.

The Los Angeles Times, citing unnamed people familiar with the case, says the parents of Lucas Anthony Tang of Garden Grove had been searching for him when they learned he had fallen Sunday night.

Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times reports:

A young boy fell from a luxury suite after the Lakers’ game Sunday against the Golden State Warriors, tumbling into the lower bowl at Staples Center.

The boy was believed to be from 2 to 5 years old and was transported to an undisclosed hospital. The boy was moving his arms and legs as he was moved onto a stretcher, according to a witness who declined to be identified.

Red-hot Spurs are 11-1

Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News reports (via blog):

The Spurs enter tonight’s game against Orlando riding a 10-game winning streak, having not lost since Oct. 30 against New Orleans — a team that by night’s end Sunday had matched them at 11-1.

It is the Spurs’ longest winning streak since taking 11 straight from Feb. 11-March 6, 2008, so long ago that only four members of this year’s team were around to experience it.

The comparison from early last season is like night to day. At this time a year ago, the Spurs were 6-6 and had required a two-game winning streak just to get to .500.

At the time, the Spurs were integrating seven new roster pieces, notably Richard Jefferson and Antonio McDyess. They also had a few proven holdovers, such as Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, physically unable to pick up the slack while everyone else got on the same page.

In retrospect, it was a perfect storm for a disappointing start.

“It is time-consuming, and lot of patience is involved,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich reflected. “It’s a lot of concentration on the part of the players to try and pick things up quickly. It’s a communication-teaching situation that doesn’t happen right off the bat.”

Have an opinion? Share it on the San Antonio Spurs forum.

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