Archive for February 3rd, 2011

Tyson Chandler feels he is best center in West

By Jeff Lenchiner

After the Dallas Mavericks whopped the Knicks 113-97 in New York last night (despite the score, it was actually a thrilling game that featured several promising Knicks runs), I caught up with Mavs center Tyson Chandler, who said the following to me and a few other reporters:

Chandler: “When you look at it as a center standpoint, I feel like I’m the best center in the West.”

To which I followed up and, knowing full well that Chandler could handle this sort of question, jokingly asked: “How do you feel your season compares to Yao Ming’s season?”

Chandler: (Laughs) “I love Yao, and he’s injured so I hate to go there. But I feel like the centers that are playing in the West, I’ve had the best year. And I’ve had the most impact.”

In 45 games this season, Chandler is averaging 10.2 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per outing, shooting a terrific 66.2 percent from the field. He’s been a defensive anchor for the 33-15 Mavs, who boast the sixth best winning percentage in the league and are currently on a six-game winning streak.

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

There seem to be about a million “Real Housewives of…” shows on Bravo, so naturally the people need more. And they will get it, now down in Miami, Florida.

Ann Oldenburg of USA Today reports:

Bravo is gearing up for a new city, new cast and new drama with the newest player in its Real Housewives franchise: sizzling Miami. The Real Housewives of Miami follows six of the “most connected and influential women of Miami as they live their lives to the fullest in this sunny city where the party never stops,” according to a release from the network.

The cast includes Larsa Pippen, wife of NBA superstar Scottie Pippen, whom Bravo describes as a “snarky Lebanese beauty” who “shares the unofficial title of Hottest NBA Wife” with her friend and fellow cast member Cristy Rice. The series will make its debut at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Feb. 22, bumping Season 4 of The Real Housewives of New York to later this spring. So yes, you’ll have to wait until then to catch up with the Countess.

And, E! reports:

Larsa, described as a “snarky Lebanese beauty,” has four young kids with the Chicago Bulls superstar. Her recently divorced pal Cristy is a Miami native with three kids who runs her own clothing store.

The basketball fan crowd and Real Housewives fan crowd isn’t necessarily the same core audience, but I’m sure some of you out there will tune in.

Larsa Pippen (below):

Christy Rice (below)

Trevor Ariza has sprained ankle

Trevor Ariza has sprained ankle

An MRI revealed today that Hornets forward Trevor Ariza has a right medial ankle sprain. He is questionable for Saturday’s game against the Lakers.

Ariza suffered the injury last night when he came down on the back of Thunder forward Jeff Green’s foot in the third quarter of last night’s game in Oklahoma City.

The NBA announced today that New York Knicks scout Rodney Heard has been fined $20,000 for violating league rules restricting contact between NBA teams and players eligible for the NBA Draft. The Knicks’ organization has also been also fined $200,000 for Heard’s actions.

Heard violated NBA rules on two occasions, once in May 2007 and again in May 2010.

Jonathan Abrams of the New York Times reports:

The punishments stem from workouts conducted by Heard in Atlanta in May 2007 and May 2010.Heard, who has been with the club since 2006, is the Knicks’ East Coast scouting director. The punishment is generally in line with previous cases that involved violations of draft workout rules, although some team executives had expected the Knicks to be forced to forfeit future draft picks as part of any punishment.

The Knicks were perhaps lucky to only get fined and not suffer any additional penalties.

Linas Kleiza out 9-12 months after knee surgery

The Toronto Raptors announced Thursday forward Linas Kleiza (LYNN-as CLAY-za) underwent arthroscopic surgery yesterday to address both a meniscal tear and chondral defect of his right knee. The surgery was performed by Dr. J. Richard Steadman in Vail, Colorado.

Due to the nature of the microfracture procedure performed, the recovery time is expected to be nine to 12 months.

Kleiza appeared in 39 games with 23 starts, averaging 11.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 26.5 minutes. He had six games of 20 or more points, including a season-best 26 December 10 versus Denver and December 19 versus the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Raptors play host to the Minnesota Timberwolves at Air Canada Centre on Friday at 7 p.m. (TSN/Sportsnet Radio The FAN 590).

Thunder assign Byron Mullens to D-League

Oklahoma City Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti announced today that the team has assigned center Byron Mullens to the Tulsa 66ers of the NBA Development League.

In his first stint in Tulsa, Mullens appeared in one game, recording 19 points, four rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block in 33 minutes.

This season, the center is averaging 1.3 points, 1.6 rebounds and 4.7 minutes in 12 games for Oklahoma City.

Mullens will be in uniform tomorrow night when the 66ers take on the Utah Flash at the Tulsa Convention Center.

Clippers assign Willie Warren to D-League

The Los Angeles Clippers today announced that they have assigned rookie guard Willie Warren to the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA Development League.

Warren, 21, has appeared in 14 games with the Clippers this season and is averaging 2.2 points and 1.4 assists in 7.8 minutes per game.

The former Oklahoma University standout was selected by the Clippers in the second round (54th overall pick) of the 2010 NBA Draft.

Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal reports:

Jason Williams expected to join Grizzlies

Free-agent point guard Jason Williams has agreed in principle to sign with the Grizzlies, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.

Barring an unforeseen development, the 35-year-old will join the team by Monday.

Williams informed Griz management of his decision Wednesday night while the team played on the road against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Orlando Magic waived Williams on Jan. 26. Williams and the Magic agreed to part ways over a lack of playing time. He became a fourth-string player after Orlando acquired Gilbert Arenas in a trade with Washington.

Behind a ridiculous 43 points from Kevin Durant, the Oklahoma City Thunder, playing at home, beat the New Orleans Hornets 104-93.

Durant was sensational. He shot 14-of-19, including 5-of-7 three-pointers, and hit 10-of-11 free throws to get his points. He also had 10 rebounds and five assists.

The AP reports:

Kevin Durant unleashes 43 points on Hornets

The league’s scoring leader hit two free throws, a jumper and a 3-pointer from the right wing, and then a driving foul-line jumper that made it 98-84 with 5:44 to play.

“Durant hit some shots that there’s no defense for,” Hornets coach Monty Williams said. “Some of that stuff is the same thing Chris does, the same thing David does, and you can’t overcome that.

“What I didn’t like was I thought a couple of our guys put their heads down tonight and let that get to them, and I thought some of our bench guys didn’t compete.”

Durant scored 47 points at Minnesota and then 40 against Washington in back-to-back victories last week that both went past regulation, and he shot 14 for 19 from the field in his latest scoring outburst.

“Amazing,” Jeff Green said. “He’s been scoring the ball with ease, getting any kind of shot he wants. He’s been playing well, and hopefully it continues.”

The Thunder and Hornets are both dark horse teams who could pull off an upset or two in the postseason. They’re worth keeping an eye on. Especially OKC, with a guy like Durant on their side.

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