Archive for January 27th, 2011

The AP reports:

The NBA has rejected the tinted goggles that Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade(notes) planned to wear for the start of Thursday’s game against the New York Knicks to protect his eyes from the bright lights as he recovers from a migraine headache.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra says the league disallowed the glasses when they inspected them after Miami’s shootaround Thursday morning. The NBA said the tinting was too dark, giving Wade an unfair advantage because the opponent could not see his eyes.

The starters for the Eastern conference 2011 NBA All-Star team are as follows:

At guard, Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose and Miami Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade.

At forward, Heat small forward LeBron James and New York Knicks power forward Amar’e Stoudemire.

And at center, Orlando Magic big-man Dwight Howard.

O.J. Mayo suspended 10 games by NBA

O.J. Mayo suspended 10 games by NBA

The NBA announced today that O.J. Mayo of the Memphis Grizzlies has been suspended without pay for 10 games for violating the terms of the NBA/NBPA Anti-Drug Program.  His violation of the program involved a positive test for dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA).

Mayo’s suspension will begin with tomorrow night’s game between the Grizzlies and the Philadelphia 76ers.

Statement from Memphis Grizzlies guard O.J. Mayo regarding the suspension: “I’m extremely disappointed that I’m going to miss the next 10 games, particularly as our team is making a push for the playoffs. I had no idea that the over-the-counter supplement that I took was a substance banned by the NBA. It was an honest mistake, but I take full responsibility for my actions. I apologize to my fans, teammates and the Grizzlies organization for regrettably not doing the necessary research about what supplements I can put in my body.”

Statement from Memphis Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley regarding the suspension: “O.J. had a lack of judgment but has shown complete accountability.  We will continue to support O.J. during this time as we have from the moment he joined the team in 2008.  He has unselfishly done everything we have asked of him, and we expect him to grow as a player and a person from this experience.  He will continue to contribute to the organization during this suspension, as he will practice with the team leading up to his return on Feb. 15 vs. Philadelphia prior to the All-Star break.”

Mayo has mostly come off the bench for the Grizzlies this season, starting just 15 of their 46 games. He is averaging 12.2 points and 2.6 rebounds in 28.8 minutes per game.

It’s been a down year on the court for O.J. As a rookie he averaged 18.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg and 3.2 apg. As a second-year player he put up 17.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg and 3.0 apg. He received 38.0 minutes per game in both those seasons.

The 22-24 Grizzlies are currently 9th in the Western conference.

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

The AP reports:

Sickly Derrick Rose recovering from stomach ulcers

Derrick Rose plans to cut back on the spices.

The Bulls’ star point guard is recovering from stomach ulcers he believes his diet caused and hopes to play when Chicago hosts the Orlando Magic on Friday.

Rose said his energy is “kind of low. But I should be all right.”

He said he started experiencing heartburn on Monday and still is having difficulty eating, drinking and swallowing. He initially thought he had stomach flu, but doctors at Rush University Medical Center found two ulcers on Wednesday.

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.

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