Archive for January, 2011

The Suns have signed guard Zabian Dowdell (ZAY-bee-in dow-DELL) to a 10-day contract, the team has announced.

The 6-3, 191-pound Dowdell returns for his second regular season stint with the Suns after signing a 10-day contract on Jan. 9, 2011.  Dowdell, who appeared in two games in his initial tenure with Phoenix, also spent training camp with the Suns in 2010 before being waived on Oct. 19.

Dowdell played 18 games of the 2010-11 season with the Tulsa 66ers of the NBA D-League, where he averaged 14.5 points, 4.6 assists and 2.1 rebounds in 29.3 minutes in 18 starts.  Dowdell, who also spent 10 games with the 66ers in 2009-10, saw both his scoring and assist averages increase in 2010-11.

A four-year performer at Virginia Tech (2003-07), Dowdell was a member of the Suns’ 2009 and 2010 Las Vegas Summer League entries.  As a Hokie, he was a 2006-07 All-ACC First Team honoree and a two-time All-ACC Defensive Team selection.

Bulls assign James Johnson to D-League

Bulls assign James Johnson to D-League

Chicago Bulls forward James Johnson was assigned to the Iowa Energy, the Bulls’ NBA Development League affiliate, it was announced today.  The assignment marks the 34th time in the 2010-11 season an NBA player has been assigned to an NBA D-League affiliate, and it is the first assignment for Johnson, a second-year pro out of Wake Forest.

Johnson (6-9, 245) has appeared in 12 games this season with the Bulls, averaging 3.5 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 10.2 minutes. In 77 career games with Chicago, Johnson is averaging 3.9 points and 2.0 rebounds in 11.4 minutes.

The Bulls selected Johnson in the first round (16th overall) of the 2009 NBA Draft. In two seasons at Wake Forest, Johnson averaged 14.8 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 61 games, and was named an All-ACC Third Team selection both seasons.

Johnson is expected to join the Energy for the team’s home game against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers on Friday.

Nets have Troy Murphy just stay home

Ever dream of being paid millions of dollars to sit around the house, maybe watch some TV, and keep in good shape just in case you have to actually go do something fun that you’d happily do for free anyway? That’s Troy Murphy’s job right now.

Of course, I’m sure Murphy would rather be an active piece of an NBA rotation and be playing basketball. Still, the average fan out there probably doesn’t feel too bad for him.

Fred Kerber of the New York Post reports:

Nets have Troy Murphy just stay home

The on-going confusion regarding Murphy’s status resurfaced when Nets general manager Billy King spoke about the possibility of Murphy rejoining the team. In the morning, coach Avery Johnson was unaware of any impending move and said he would address the matter with King. Last night, he claimed it’s not happening.

“Billy said we’re just going to stay along the same path,” Johnson said of Murphy, who has been told to stay home in case the Nets try to trade him — or hang on to him in case Denver calls back about Carmelo Anthony. “He will not be joining our team.”

Murphy last played on Jan. 7 and basically has been a non-entity. Johnson acknowledged he has no spot for him.

“We tried that [playing him],” Johnson said before the Nets’ 93-88 victory over the Grizzlies last night.

“Right now there’s just no minutes there to play,” said Johnson, who starts Derrick Favors and brings in Kris Humphries off the bench.

Murphy’s NBA career average is 11.8 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game. He’s still useful to any team who needs a big guy who can shoot and rebound.

Marcin Gortat may be rising for Suns

Center Marcin Gortat got signed to a pretty decent contract in Orlando and although he was playing behind Dwight Howard, general opinion was that he’s worthy of getting full-game minutes as a team’s main center. It didn’t happen in Orlando, but now he’s got new life in Phoenix.

Paola Boivin of the Arizona Republic reports:

Marcin Gortat may be rising for Suns

The Suns’ problems are numerous and far-reaching, but one thing is certain: If the team could secure better play at center, this rollercoaster ride of a season wouldn’t be quite so harrowing.

Robin Lopez, are you paying attention?

Marcin Gortat looked more like the center of the future with his effort against Charlotte on Wednesday night at US Airways Center. He finished with a career-high 16 points and added seven rebounds in 29 minutes.

Lopez, meanwhile, started the game and finished with four points and two rebounds in 15 minutes.

The Suns hope the competition serves both well as they attempt to solve the riddle that is Lopez.

They see a 7-footer with athleticism, a sold work ethic and a promising upside.

Since becoming a member of the Suns, Gortat is only averaging 8.8 points and 6.8 rebounds in 24.2 minutes per game, but those numbers should rise as the season progresses.

Usually, losing weight is a good thing. Especially in today’s world of fattening, unhealthy foods. General advice for the average person is, if you manage to be thin, do what you can to stay that way.

For pro athletes, though, things aren’t always so simple.

Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star reports:

roy hibbert

Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert spent the summer cutting all “bad foods” out of his diet and living in the gym so that he could get in the best shape of his life.

Now Hibbert, who has struggled for almost two months, is about to bring back some of those “bad foods” so that he can put on weight.

“I talked to (strength and conditioning coach) Shawn Windle, and he said I need to start drinking a lot of protein shakes and eat more throughout the day,” Hibbert said. “I had been trying to eat healthy the whole year, but he said I can mix in some bad food sometimes, too, just to put some more weight on.” …

Hibbert said he weighs about 248 pounds and would like to get back to about 260.

Hibbert this season is averaging 12.2 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.7 blocks per game for the 16-26 Pacers.

John DeShazier of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports:

Entering this season, the Hornets looked like a lottery team. More, the franchise looked as if it had taken the economical route when selecting its coach, a first-timer who never had served as a lead assistant in San Antonio or Portland.

Yes, he came highly recommended, but for all anyone knew, those were nothing more than courtesy platitudes.

So far, Williams has made the recommendations appear to be more than professional courtesies spouted by friends. So far, Williams has been about the best salesman — and he and his staff have been about the best teachers — in the league.

Simply, the Hornets have been transformed under Williams, from a team that periodically defended to one that prides itself on making stop after stop after stop. New Orleans is the stingiest team in the league, allowing 90.9 points per game, and the brakes are being applied by players who aren’t great individual defenders, but collectively have learned to lock down.

The AP reports:

Hornets match club record with 10th straight win

Chris Paul had 18 points and 17 assists, and the New Orleans Hornets matched a franchise record with their 10th consecutive victory, beating the Golden State Warriors 112-103 on Wednesday night.

David West added 22 points as New Orleans kicked off a three-game West Coast trip by equaling the club’s longest unbeaten run, also produced from Feb. 21-March 13, 1998. The Hornets also avenged a disappointing seven-point home loss to the Warriors back on Jan. 5 with their fifth straight road victory.

New Orleans, owner of the NBA’s longest active winning streak, also got 19 points from Trevor Ariza and 11 from former Warrior Marco Belinelli.

Monta Ellis scored 26 points in another big night for his bid to become Golden State’s first All-Star since Latrell Sprewell in 1997. Stephen Curry added 20 points and six assists a day after spraining his troublesome right ankle during practice and the Warriors shot 50.7 percent.

The San Antonio Spurs today announced they have signed forward Larry Owens to a second 10-day contract. Owens signed his first 10-day contract with the Spurs on January 16 becoming the second call-up of the 2010-11 NBA Development League season.

Owens, a 6-7, 210-pound forward, has appeared in five games for the Spurs, averaging 1.8 points in 5.2 minutes per game. He is shooting .600 (3-5) from the field and .333 (1-3) from three-point territory.

Owens spent the past two seasons with the Tulsa 66ers.  This year he started in all 23 games for Tulsa, averaging 12.7 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 31.1 minutes while shooting .462 (108-234) from the field, .373 (25-67) from three-point range and .743 (52-70) from the foul line.  He scored in double figures 18 times, including a season-high 22 points vs. Iowa on November 26.  Owens recorded a double-double in the season opener with 16 points and a season-high 13 rebounds at Bakersfield on November 19.

Magic waive Jason Williams

Magic waive Jason Williams

Jason Williams, also known as “White Chocolate” for his old flashy days when he could run around and play basketball and stuff, hasn’t been much of a factor on the Orlando Magic this season. And now the team has  waived guard Williams, President of Basketball Operations Otis Smith announced today.  The Magic’s roster stands at 13.

Originally selected in the first round (seventh overall) of the 1998 NBA Draft, Williams played in 777 career NBA regular season games with Sacramento, Memphis, Miami and Orlando, averaging 10.6 ppg., 5.9 apg., 2.3 rpg. and 1.20 stlpg. in 29.7 minpg.  He has also played in 67 career playoff contests, averaging 8.3 ppg., 3.3 apg. and 1.9 rpg. in 25.9 minpg.  Williams was named to the NBA All-Rookie Team in 1998-99, currently stands as Memphis’ all-time leader in assists (2,041) and helped Miami capture the 2005-06 NBA Championship.

John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com reports:

Orlando reserve point guard Jason Williams, who has been upset for weeks over his lack of playing time, was released by the Magic on Wednesday prior to the game against the Indiana Pacers.

Williams has been vocal this season about his displeasure over his lack of playing time and did not accompany the team on the trip to Indianapolis. The 12-year NBA veteran appeared in just 16 games all season with the Magic, mostly in mop-up roles as the Magic’s third or fourth point guard.

Williams was signed late in the summer as the Magic’s third point guard, but said back in December he’s had a difficult time dealing with not being a part of the regular rotation. Magic President of Basketball Operations/GM Otis Smith said originally that the team would decide Williams’ fate upon getting back to Orlando after Friday’s game in Chicago, but instead decided to waive Williams Wednesday afternoon.

Williams (#44, 6’1”, 190, 11/18/75) played in 16 games this season for Orlando, averaging 2.1 ppg., 1.5 apg. and 1.4 rpg. in 10.7 minpg.

This could be the last we see of him in the NBA.

The Toronto Raptors announced Wednesday they have signed guard Trey Johnson to a 10-day contract. He is the sixth Call-Up of the 2010-11 NBA Development League season. To make room on the roster the Raptors released Sundiata Gaines early from his 10-day contract.

Johnson, 6-foot-5, 215 pounds is the leading scorer in the D-League this season averaging 25.8 points for the Bakersfield Jam. He has scored in double-digits in each of his 26 games, posting 20 or more points on 22 occasions and 30 or more in five games and a season-best 43 on December 15 at Austin. Johnson is also averaging 4.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists while shooting .510 percent from the field.

Johnson is in his fourth season with the Jam. He owns career D-League averages of 20.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 4.7 assists in 36.2 minutes. His head coach during the 2007-08 season was current Raptors assistant coach Scott Roth.

A product of Jackson State in Mississippi, Johnson played four games with the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2008-09 campaign totaling four points and one rebound. In October he went to training camp with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Gaines was signed to a second 10-day contract Monday. He appeared in six contests with the Raptors averaging 5.8 points, 1.8 assists and 15.0 minutes.

Toronto’s roster stands at 15 players.

Spurs assign James Anderson to D-League

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they have assigned rookie James Anderson to the Austin Toros of the NBA Development League.

Anderson, a 6-6, 215-pound guard, has been out since November 11 when he was diagnosed with a stress fracture in the fifth metatarsal of his right foot. Before the injury, he appeared in six games for the Spurs, averaging 7.0 points and 1.5 assists in 17.7 minutes per game. He is shooting .424 (14-33) from the field and .500 (10-20) from three-point land.

Anderson is the first player the Spurs have assigned to the Toros this season. The Toros host the Reno Bighorns today at 11:00 a.m. at the Cedar Park Center.

Eric Gordon out 3-4 weeks with wrist injury

Los Angeles Clippers’ guard Eric Gordon did not travel with the team to Dallas for tonight’s game against the Maverick’s so he could remain in Los Angeles for further examination on his right wrist, injured in a fall this past Saturday in a game versus the Golden State Warriors.

Gordon was examined today by Dr. Steve Chin at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Clinic. He was examined previously by Clippers’ team physician/orthopedist Dr. Steven Shimoyama and Dr. Roy A. Meals, a orthopedist specializing in hand-related injuries.

Their joint diagnosis is that Gordon is suffering from a sprained right wrist combined with a small bone chip fracture. He is expected to return to action in three to four weeks.

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Kevin Love no lock to make All-Star team

Charley Walters of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports:

Kevin Love no lock to make All-Star team

This season, the Wolves have a player — Kevin Love — worthy of selection for the Feb. 20 game in Los Angeles, where Love played collegiately for UCLA.

The 6-foot-10, 250-pound Love, who is just 22 years old, leads the NBA with 39 double-doubles while averaging 15.6 rebounds and 21.4 points. His streak of 30 straight double-doubles is the league’s longest since Garnett’s 37 straight over the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons.

It will be unjust if coaches don’t select him as a reserve next week for the Western Conference team.

But Love doesn’t sound confident of selection.

“It’s going to be really tough (to make it),” Love said following Monday night’s loss to Houston at Target Center. “But it would be a tremendous honor, being out there in L.A., where except for my immediate family I have basically all my family and friends.

“If I’m not chosen, I won’t be too bitter because wins come at a premium in this league and a lot of coaches look at that and want to choose guys on winning teams.”

The Wolves have just 10 victories in 44 games this season. Love speculates chances of his selection at less than 50-50.

Jazz move CJ Miles into starting lineup

The Utah Jazz are struggling lately. Deron Williams is frustrated. People aren’t happy. Minor changes are being made.

Jody Genessy of the Deseret News reports:

Jazz move CJ Miles into starting lineup

For the third consecutive game, the Utah Jazz will have a different lineup when they take to the Staples Center court tonight.

The Jazz’s starting small forward spot now belongs to C.J. Miles.

The sixth-year pro will replace Gordon Hayward in the opening lineup after the rookie replaced usual starter

Andrei Kirilenko at the 3 spot for one game (a 96-85 loss at Philadelphia).

This latest change comes on the heels of a four-game losing streak back East and just in time for a brutal back-to-back that includes tonight’s game against the two-time-defending-champion Los Angeles Lakers and Wednesday night’s home game against the NBA-leading San Antonio Spurs.

“The biggest thing I want to see is how our team responds,” Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. “We’ve lost the last eight quarters we’ve played. We need to see if we can get some life and get back into this thing.”

The Jazz are still a winning team at 27-17, sitting at 6th in the Western conference.

Bucks sign Garrett Temple to 10-day contract

The Milwaukee Bucks have signed guard Garrett Temple (6-5, 180) to a 10-day contract, General Manager John Hammond announced today.

Temple, 24, has appeared in 30 NBA games (four starts) in stints with San Antonio, Houston and Sacramento over the last two seasons with career averages of 4.6 points and 1.1 rebounds in 11.8 minutes. He appeared in three games earlier this season with San Antonio.

Undrafted out of Louisiana State University, Temple has appeared in 48 games (41 stats) the last two seasons in the NBA’s Development League (D-League) and averaged 14.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.2 steals while knocking down 37.5 percent of his 3-pointers. He has split the 2010-11 D-League season between Erie and Rio Grande Valley and averaged 13.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.0 steal and shot 38.7 percent from three in 18 games (11 starts).

The Bucks roster is now at 15 players.

Chris Bosh may not return for 1-2 weeks

The Miami Heat have not been at full strength lately, and it appears another week or two will go by before that situation is rectified.

Joseph Goodman of the Miami Herald reports:

Chris Bosh may not return for 1-2 weeks

Heat forward Chris Bosh indicated Monday that he could be sidelined for an extended period of time due to his high ankle sprain.

Bosh injured his ankle more than a week ago when Omer Asik of the Chicago Bulls fell on his leg while diving for a loose ball. A week after the sprain, Bosh was still experiencing too much pain to run on a treadmill. On Monday, Bosh sat out another practice. Guard Eddie House also did not practice due to an ankle sprain.

“It’s quite boring to be me right now at work,” Bosh said. “I’m still just trying to feel it out. It’s a different situation. I’ve never had a high ankle sprain. I don’t really know how to gauge anything.”

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Bosh isn’t “ready for anything full speed, or side-to-side or with contact.” The coach also didn’t refute questions that Bosh could be out one or two more weeks.

The Heat are currently 31-13 and are the second seed in the Eastern conference, behind the Boston Celtics.

Gregg Popovich will be head coach of NBA 2011 West All-Star team

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich will coach the Western Conference All-Stars for the 2011 NBA All-Star Game, to be played on Sunday, Feb. 20, at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.

With San Antonio’s 113-102 win over the Golden State Warriors Monday, the Spurs (38-7, .844) have clinched the best record in the conference through games played Feb. 6.

This season, Popovich has guided the Spurs to the league’s best record, earning consecutive Western Conference Coach of the Month honors for games played in October/November and December. The Spurs have enjoyed double-digit winning streaks of 12 and 10 games this season.

In his 15th season as head coach, Popovich has led the Spurs to four NBA titles (1999, 2003, 2005 and 2007) and is one of only five coaches in NBA history to have guided his teams to at least four championships. Popovich entered the season with a career mark of 736-362 and a winning percentage of .670, which ranked fourth in NBA history. His playoff career winning percentage of .618 (102-63) is the eighth best in NBA annals, while his 106 playoff wins are the third most in league history.

Popovich coached the West team during the 2005 All-Star Game in Denver, which the East won 125-115.

The coach of the East All-Stars will be determined by the team with the best record in the conference through games played Feb. 6. The Orlando Magic’s Stan Van Gundy, who coached last year’s East squad, is not eligible to coach this year’s All-Star Game.

The 2011 NBA All-Star Game will air live on TNT and ESPN Radio in the U.S., and reach fans in more than 200 countries and territories in more than 40 languages.

The AP reports:

Heat guard Dwyane Wade wore tinted glasses for practice on Monday as he continues recovering from a migraine headache.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra says Wade “looked fine” in the workout. Wade added the glasses to protect his still-sensitive eyes from light, one of the triggers of a migraine.

Mavericks sign Peja Stojakovic

The Dallas Mavericks announced today that they have signed forward Peja Stojakovic. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Stojakovic (6-10, 229) is a 12-year NBA veteran and joins the Mavericks as a free agent. He holds career averages of 17.2 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 34.0 minutes while shooting .450 from field goal range, .401 from behind-the-arc and .895 from the foul line. He has played in 779 career games (652 starts) with Sacramento, Indiana, New Orleans and Toronto.

The native of Belgrade, Yugoslavia is a three-time NBA All-Star (2002, 2003, 2004) and was named to the All-NBA Second Team in 2003-04. He ranks fifth all-time on the NBA’s three-point field goal list with 1,718 career made three-pointers, just one behind fourth-place Dale Ellis (1,719) and 14 behind teammate Jason Kidd (1,732) who is in third place. Stojakovic has made six or more three-point field goals in 32 career games which places him second in that category behind only Ray Allen’s 45 games with six or more from behind-the-arc.

Stojakovic has played in 76 career postseason games and reached the Western Conference Finals in 2002 with the Sacramento Kings when they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in seven games. He holds playoff averages of 16.2 points and 5.7 rebounds in 36.3 minutes per game.

The Toronto Raptors announced Monday they have signed guard Sundiata Gaines to a second 10-day contract.

Gaines was signed to his original 10-day contract on January 13. He appeared in five games with Toronto averaging 5.8 points, 2.0 assists and 14.6 minutes. He had a high of 10 points in back-to-back games January 19 at San Antonio and January 21 at Orlando.

Gaines, 6-foot-1,195 pounds has appeared in 45 regular season games with Minnesota, Utah and Toronto averaging 3.5 points, 1.2 assists and 7.9 minutes. He was signed by Minnesota on November 12 and saw action in eight games totaling 21 points, six assists and 65 minutes. He was released by the Timberwolves on January 4.

Gaines played in 32 games with Utah in the 2009-10 season. He signed two 10-day contracts with the Jazz in January before being inked for the remainder of the season on January 25. He averaged 3.3 points, 1.2 assists and 6.8 minutes. He appeared in five postseason games where he totaled 11 points (5-for-6 FG) in seven minutes.

Gaines also played in the NBDL last season with the Idaho Stampede. He averaged 23.9 points with 4.7 rebounds and 6.9 assists in 14 games.

A 2008 product of the University of Georgia, Gaines began his professional career with NGC Cantu in the Italian League in the 2008-09 season. He averaged 13.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 30 outings.

Toronto’s roster now stands at 15 players.

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