Archive for January, 2011

Mavericks trade Alexis Ajinca to Raptors

The Dallas Mavericks announced today that they have traded center Alexis Ajinca, a second round draft pick and cash considerations to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for the draft rights to forward Georgios Printezis.

Ajinca (7-2, 248) played in 10 games with 2 starts for Dallas this season. He averaged 2.9 points, 1.7 rebounds and 7.5 minutes per game as a Maverick. Ajinca was originally acquired via trade from Charlotte on July 13, 2010.

Printezis (6-9, 230) was the 58th pick of the 2007 NBA Draft by the San Antonio Spurs before Toronto acquired his rights from San Antonio for a future second round pick. Printezis is a native of Athens, Greece and plays professionally in Spain.

The Mavericks roster currently stands at 14 players.

Eric Gordon has sprained right wrist

Los Angeles Clippers guard Eric Gordon will not travel with the team to Dallas this afternoon due to a sprained right wrist.

Gordon, who suffered the injury in a fall during the second quarter of the Clippers 113-109 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Saturday, January 22 at STAPLES Center, will remain in Los Angeles to undergo further evaluation and treatment and is listed as a game time decision for tomorrow’s game against the Mavericks.

In 41 games played this season, Gordon has averaged a team-high 24.1 points per game.

The Portland Trail Blazers have signed center Chris Johnson of the NBA Development League’s Dakota Wizards to a 10-day contract, it was announced today by General Manager Rich Cho.

The NBA granted Portland a hardship exception, allowing the team to sign Johnson (6-11, 210 lbs) and expand its roster to 16 players. He is the fourth call-up of the 2010-11 NBA Development League season.

Johnson, 25, is averaging 17.2 points, 9.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 3.07 blocked shots in 27 games (all starts) with Dakota this season.

The LSU product is shooting 51.0% from the field and scored a career-high 34 points to go with 14 rebounds Jan. 22 vs. Rio Grande Valley.

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has recalled guard Ishmael Smith from Houston’s single-affiliation NBA D-League partner Rio Grande Valley.  Smith is expected to join the team in Minnesota in time for tonight’s game against the Timberwolves.

The rookie guard was originally assigned to the Vipers on 1/17, and averaged 12.8 points, 7.0 assists and 4.0 rebounds in four games (one start) with Rio Grande Valley.  During his assignment, Smith led Rio Grande Valley to a perfect 4-0 record, and in his last game with the Vipers against the Dakota Wizards on 1/22, posted his first career double-double with 11 points and 10 assists in 37 minutes to fuel a 114-101 Vipers win.  Smith is the second Rockets player to be assigned to the Vipers and recalled this season; following rookie forward Patrick Patterson, who played in nine games for Rio Grande Valley during a month-long assignment from 11/9-12/13.

Smith (6-0, 175, Wake Forest), who earned a roster spot a

Melo hits six threes, drops 36 on Pacers

The Indiana Pacers today learned the hard way that Carmelo Anthony is still on the Denver Nuggets.

The AP reports:

Melo hits six threes for Nuggets, drops 36 on Pacers

Carmelo Anthony gave the home crowd nothing to boo about Sunday night, scoring 36 points in the Denver Nuggets’ 121-107 victory over the Indiana Pacers, who lost their fifth straight.

Anthony had been subjected to jeers by the home crowd as trade talk intensified last week, but on this night, the Denver fans showed him plenty of love, especially when he was raining 3s from all over the court as he put on a spectacular 23-point show in the third quarter.

Anthony’s career-best six 3-pointers all came in the third period as the Nuggets turned a close game into a laugher—a reversal of their game in November when the Pacers made their first 20 shots of the third quarter and rolled to a 144-113 win in Indianapolis.

Anthony’s previous high was five 3-pointers back in 2003, his rookie season.

Nene added 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Nuggets, who led by 25 and improved to 20-5 at the Pepsi Center, where they haven’t lost consecutive games all season. Tyler Hansbrough had 27 points and 10 rebounds for Indiana, which trailed 59-51 at halftime.

The Nuggets are still likely to send Melo, who has still refused to sign Denver’s contract extension offer, to another team before February’s trade deadline.

The AP reports:

A Chicago man has been sentenced to 13 years in prison after pleading guilty to robbing former NBA star Antoine Walker at gunpoint at his home in 2007.
Demorris Hill was tried late last year for the robbery, but the jury wasn’t able to reach a unanimous verdict…

Two other men also have been convicted in the robbery, and a third is awaiting trial.

Hill is also charged in a similar robbery at the suburban Chicago home of New York Knicks Center Eddy Curry.

The AP reports:

Jason Kidd says the Nets will have to finish building their arena in Brooklyn, N.Y. before free agents consider joining them there in 2012.

Kidd, who led the Nets to consecutive NBA finals in 2002 and ’03, says not having a building causes players to wonder whether it will ever be completed.

Kidd made his comments before his Dallas Mavericks played the Nets on Saturday night.

InsideHoops.com editor says: At the very least, free agents would probably want to be one hundred percent convinced that the building will be completed on time and the Brooklyn move is happening as scheduled. So far everything seems to be a go.

Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has signed guard Mustafa Shakur from the NBA Development League’s Rio Grande Valley Vipers to a 10-day contract 

Shakur (6-4, 195) has averaged 16.7 points, 5.0 assists and 4.7 rebounds this season through 23 games with Rio Grande Valley.  He spent time in training camp with the New Orleans Hornets earlier this season and has previously had stints with Oklahoma City, Sacramento and the D-League’s Tulsa Thunder (where he averaged 19.3 points, 6.9 assists and 4.5 rebounds during the 2009-10 season). 

Hornets hold Hawks to 59 points

Sometimes, a team is at its worst and puts up a really awful performance. And then you can be even more terrible and play like the Atlanta Hawks yesterday.

The AP reports:

Hornets hold Hawks to 59 points

Josh Smith slumped in front of his locker, trying to figure out how a team that played so hard in an overtime win at Miami could return home and get blown out by 41 points.

That’s just what happened Friday night. Coming off a victory over LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the mighty Heat, the Hawks were held to the lowest-scoring game in Atlanta history by Chris Paul and the New Orleans Hornets, who took control late in the first half and cruised to a 100-59 rout…

The Hawks have never had an offensive performance like this, at least since moving to Atlanta in 1968. Previously, their lowest-scoring game was a 73-63 loss to Cleveland in 1996.

Only Jordan Crawford’s 3-pointer with 32 seconds remaining kept Hawks from their worst offensive effort ever—a 57-point game in 1955 when the team was in St. Louis…

Paul scored 16 points and dished out eight assists in leading the Hornets to their seventh straight win against a team that shot 29 percent…

David West and Marco Belinelli both scored 15 points and Emeka Okafor pulled down 12 rebounds. The Hornets dominated on the boards, 55-32.

Jamal Crawford led the Hawks with 14 points, and Smith was the only player in double figures with 13. Johnson was 4 of 12 for nine points, less than half his 19.6 average.

Both the Hawks and Hornets are currently the 5th seed in their respective conferences.

Magic beat Raptors by 40

The Orlando Magic are better than the Toronto Raptors, but in case there was any confusion on the matter, Dwight Howard left no room for discussion.

The AP reports:

Magic beat Raptors by 40

Dwight Howard kept getting easy baskets, so the Orlando Magic kept feeding him the ball.

It was just that simple against the lowly Toronto Raptors.

Howard had 31 points and 19 rebounds, helping the Magic rout the reeling Raptors 112-72 on Friday night…

Howard went 12 for 21 from the field and had nine offensive rebounds, almost as many as Toronto had as a team (14). He outrebounded the Raptors’ starting five (19-18) and dunked almost at will, scoring off what seemed like an endless stream of lobs from the Magic guards…

Ryan Anderson added 21 points for Orlando, which avenged a four-point home loss to the Raptors in November. J.J. Redick scored 12 points and Brandon Bass finished with 10.

DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors with 16 points. Andrea Bargnani scored all 11 of his points in the first half as Toronto picked up its sixth consecutive loss.

The Magic are now 28-15, the Raptors 13-30.

Nets hosting first Social Media Night

nets social media night

The New Jersey Nets are hosting their first-ever social media night tonight, Friday, January 21 as the Detroit Pistons come to town and play in Newark at the Prudential Center.

Fans part of “Nets Nation” who follow the team on Facebook and/or Twitter have an opportunity to receive 50 percent off of select tickets for the game.

Fans who purchase their tickets through the Nets on Facebook or Twitter will also receive a Nets gift bag that will include a Nets Nation t-shirt, a voucher to a future game, Nets branded items, a 15 percent discount at the team’s merchandise stands, and exclusive access to a post-game autograph session with select Nets players.

As a special offer, two fans which purchase the Social Media Night package will be selected to be upgraded to courtside tickets, and one fan who purchases the package will win a player-autographed item.

It’s cool of the Nets to keep using the web to stay in touch with loyal fans, so check out the offers. The team’s Twitter account name is “NetsBasketball.”

Carlos Delfino set to return for Bucks

Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports:

Carlos Delfino set to return for Bucks

Just one minute on the court will mean everything to Milwaukee Bucks forward Carlos Delfino.

And that chance could come as soon as Friday night, when the Bucks meet the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena.

Delfino practiced for the first time in more than two months on Thursday, before the Bucks headed to Ohio to face the Cavaliers. He has been sidelined with concussive symptoms since suffering several blows to the head in the first two weeks of the season.

“I’m pretty optimistic that tomorrow I can be at least on the bench,” Delfino said following practice. “I don’t know if I’m going to play, but at least it will be a really good feeling to put the uniform back on and to try to help.

“Every single minute I get to play from now to the end of the season is going to be a present for me. For a couple moments, I was thinking I wasn’t going to be able to play.

“Hopefully I can help. If it’s 1 minute or 48, I don’t care. If I can give a hand, it’s going to be good. Especially when we have a season full of injuries, if we can get more bodies, it’s going to be good.”

Tyrus Thomas out eight weeks with knee injury

Charlotte Bobcats forward Tyrus Thomas will be sidelined for approximately eight weeks after a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed a tear of the lateral meniscus of the left knee. Surgery is expected in the coming days.

Thomas was a game-time scratch for tonight’s home game against Philadelphia, after he experienced swelling in the knee earlier today.

In 34 games played this season, Thomas has averaged 11.1 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 21.6 minutes off the bench.

Raptors release Peja Stojakovic

Raptors release Peja Stojakovic

The Toronto Raptors announced Thursday they have released forward Peja Stojakovic. Per team policy, financial details were not disclosed.

“We were clear from the beginning that our trade with New Orleans was made with the future in mind, so a buyout or trade of Peja’s contract was a likely option,” said Raptors President and General Manager Bryan Colangelo. “Although he did not fit into our plan of developing our young core talent, I’m sure that Peja will add significantly to any veteran team that signs him.”

Stojakovic was acquired with Jerryd Bayless from New Orleans on November 20. He appeared in two games with Toronto before being sidelined for the past 26 contests with a sore left knee.

The Raptors roster now stands at 14.

The Raptors continue their five-game road trip Friday at Orlando. Game time is 7 p.m. (TSN/Sportsnet Radio The FAN 590).

Kobe Bryant to receive Grauman’s Chinese Theater honor

Legendary Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant is set to become the first athlete to have a hand and footprint ceremony at the world renowned Grauman’s Chinese Theater on February 19, 2011. The ceremony will take place during the City of Los Angeles’ hosting of the NBA All Star Weekend festivities and will be followed later that evening with a lavish star studded gala event for Bryant, 1,200 VIP guests and select members of the public.

“To be a part of such elite company is a tremendous honor. I’m proud to be the first athlete to be recognized,” stated Bryant.

Jeru Tillman of Southfield Village Entertainment stated, “Today’s athletes are among the best known and most talented entertainers in the world. We are pleased Kobe will be honored for the many years of enjoyment he has given us on the basketball court.”

Mr. Bryant has been named Most Valuable Player of the NBA finals for the past two years, and has won five NBA championships in his career. He has twice been the NBA scoring champion and was part of the gold medal winning U.S.A. Basketball Men’s National Team at the 2008 Olympics.Throughout his 14‐year career, Mr. Bryant has become a pillar in the world wide philanthropic community specifically dealing with children’s charities. He has enjoyed a long relationship with St. Jude’s Hospital, After School All Stars, The Boys & Girls Club of America and has granted more wishes than any other NBA athlete to children with life threatening medical conditions via the Make–A‐Wish Foundation. Through his Kobe Bryant Family Foundation and the Kobe China Fund, he has sponsored Hispanic and African American children with scholarships, leadership grants and cultural exchanges allowing them to learn Mandarin and martial arts as well as donated for the relief efforts of victims of the Schezuan earthquake.

Mr. Bryant will join over 200 stars including Marilyn Monroe, Brad Pitt, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Will Smith, Harrison Ford and John Wayne who have had their hand and footprint ceremonies.

Marcus Camby out three weeks after knee surgery

Portland Trail Blazers center Marcus Camby underwent successful arthroscopic surgery to repair a partial medial meniscus tear in his left knee this morning, it was announced by General Manager Rich Cho.

Dr. Don Roberts performed the surgery in Vancouver, Wash., and Camby is expected to miss approximately three weeks.

“We’re pleased with the outcome of today’s surgery, and look forward to seeing Marcus back on the court soon,” said Cho. “In the meantime, we have confidence in our frontcourt players to step into the void left by Marcus and help us continue to win games.”

In 39 games (all starts) this season, Camby has averaged 5.9 points, 11.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.87 blocks in 28.7 minutes. He ranks fifth in the NBA in rebounds and 10th in blocked shots per game.

Camby is the only player in the Western Conference averaging at least 11.0 rebounds and 1.50 blocks. He has grabbed at least 10 boards in 26 games and led the team in rebounding a team-high 28 times this season.

InsideHoops.com editor says: It’s good news that Camby will only miss around three weeks. The injury was considered minor at the time of discovery so it isn’t surprising that he won’t be gone too long.

Some may take this more as a threat than a promise, but the Clippers obviously hope to keep young star forward Blake Griffin forever and the team GM is putting word out now about it.

Ramona Shelburne of ESPN reports:

Team GM says Blake Griffin will always be with Clippers

It’s impossible to predict where Blake Griffin will be in the summer of 2014, when he will become an unrestricted free agent.

But as far as the Los Angeles Clippers are concerned, he’s not going anywhere.

“I can guarantee you he will only ever be a Clipper,” general manager Neil Olshey said of his prized rookie. “If [Oklahoma City Thunder general manager] Sam Presti arrived on Kevin Durant’s doorstep at midnight on July 1st with an extension, understand that Blake Griffin lives two blocks away from me in Manhattan Beach so it’s going to be a much shorter commute for me.”

Of course, every team in the league will be hoping Griffin makes it onto the open market, someday. But there’s nothing anyone can do about it right now.

NBA.com reports:

DeMar DeRozan to replace Brandon Jennings in 2011 dunk contest

Brandon Jennings, the Milwaukee Bucks point guard who has missed 14 games with a fractured fifth metatarsal bone in his left foot, has withdrawn as a contestant in the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest at All-Star Weekend, NBA.com has learned.

While Jennings is on track to return to the Bucks’ lineup within the next two weeks, the  risk of re-injury while practicing for and participating in the dunk contest apparently caused the player and the Bucks to reconsider his involvement, sources said. A league spokesman declined to comment Wednesday and information on Jennings’ likely replacement could not be confirmed.

However, the NBA announced Thursday morning that Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan – the runner-up in last year’s Sprite Slam Dunk Contest — will replace Jennings this year in Los Angeles.

Jennings, 21, hurt his foot against in an awkward spill at San Antonio on Dec. 15 and struggled to play on it three nights later against Utah. The second-year guard had surgery on Dec. 20, with an expected layoff of four to six weeks. The Bucks, 10-15 when Jennings went down, are 5-9 since.

InsideHoops.com editor says: No knock on Brandon here but I have no idea why he was chosen in the first place. Obviously he’s super-athletic, but he rarely dunks. What are the odds he would suddenly turn out to have a 50-inch vertical leap when the dunk contest began? Anyway, DeRozan is a nice addition.

The Dallas Mavericks announced today that they have re-signed forward Sasha Pavlovic to a second 10-day contract.

Pavlovic (6-7, 235) is a seven-year NBA veteran and joined the Mavericks as a free agent on January 10. He saw action in five games for the Mavericks with one start and averaged 4.0 points and 1.2 rebounds in 15.6 minutes per game.

The native of Bar, Yugoslavia holds career averages of 5.5 points, 1.9 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 16.5 minutes in 457 career games (128 starts) with Utah, Cleveland, Minnesota and Dallas. He was also a member of the Serbia and Montenegro 2004 Olympic Team that competed in Athens, Greece.

Mo Williams out due to hip issue

Yesterday, Cavaliers guard Mo Williams underwent additional testing at the Cleveland Clinic and it has been determined that his recent symptoms are the result of moderate inflammation of his left hip joint.

Therefore, he underwent a cortisone injection today which will require a period of rest and then rehabilitation prior to returning to basketball activities.

No firm timetable has been set for his return to play.

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