Archive for February 4th, 2011

Kevin Love replaces Yao Ming on 2011 West All-Star team

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love has been named to the 2011 Western Conference All-Star team, the National Basketball Association announced today. Love was named to the team by NBA Commissioner David Stern to replace Yao Ming, who was voted as a starter by the fans but is out for the remainder of the season with a stress fracture in his left ankle. The honor is the first of Love’s career and the first for a Timberwolves player since Kevin Garnett during the 2006-07 NBA season. Love is the fifth player in franchise history to be named an All-Star, joining Garnett (10 appearances), Tom Gugliotta (1), Wally Szczerbiak (1) and Sam Cassell (1).

“This is an incredible honor for me and I’m so proud to be able to represent the Timberwolves organization at one of the league’s premier events,” Love said. “I’m thankful to Commissioner Stern for giving me his support, as well as to all the great fans in Minnesota who have been behind me and my teammates all season long.”

This marks the second time in franchise history that the Commissioner has named a Wolves player to the All-Star game as a replacement for an injured player. Kevin Garnett earned an All-Star nod in 1997 as a replacement for the injured Shaquille O’Neal, the first of his NBA-record-tying 14 consecutive selections.

“I’m really happy for Kevin. He worked extremely hard this offseason to elevate his game and learn how to consistently perform at a high level in this league,” Wolves head coach Kurt Rambis said. “This recognition is well-deserved, and exciting news both for Kevin personally and our organization as a whole.”

Love, the league’s leading rebounder at 15.5 boards per game, is on pace to become the first player since Moses Malone in 1982-83 to average 20+ points and 15+ rebounds in a season. He’s also on track to become the first player in NBA history to average 12+ rebounds per game while shooting better than 40% from behind the arc. In addition, Love leads the league in double-doubles (43), and his current streak of 34 straight games with a double-double is the second-longest in the last 25 seasons (Kevin Garnett - 37 straight in 2006; John Stockton - 37 straight in 1989).

On Nov. 12, Love made history when he tallied 31 points and 31 rebounds in a come-from-behind win over New York. Love became one of just 19 players in NBA history with a 30/30 game, and the first to accomplish the feat since Moses Malone in 1982.

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

Daniel Gibson excused to miss Grizzlies game and attend personal matter

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Daniel Gibson has been excused by the team to return to Cleveland from Memphis in order to address a personal matter.

The 8-41 Cavs are in Memphis Friday night to face the Grizzlies, who are 26-24 overall and 15-7 at home this season.

Gibson is his team’s third-leading scorer and averages 13.3 points, 3.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game.

Nets coach Avery Johnson fined

Nets coach Avery Johnson fined

New Jersey Nets head coach Avery Johnson has been fined $25,000 for improper conduct towards a game official surrounding his ejection, it was announced today by Stu Jackson, NBA Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The incident occurred with 7:47 remaining in the third quarter of the Nets’ 106-92 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. on February 2.

InsideHoops.com editor says: I think it’s fine for head coaches to occasional get a bit too fired up. Part of the job of a coach is to motivate his players, and in this case the Nets have shown some nice energy over the last couple of weeks. Of course, ideally Johnson’s energy should not be focused at referees (especially in “improper fashion”), but the point is, he’s doing a perfectly decent job lately at keeping his players focused.

The New Orleans Hornets announced today that they have signed forward Sasha Pavlovic to a 10-day contract. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In 462 career games (133 starts) over eight NBA seasons, Pavlovic holds career averages of 5.5 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 16.5 minutes. Pavlovic (6-8, 235) was most recently with the Dallas Mavericks with whom he signed back-to-back 10-day contracts beginning Jan. 10. He appeared in 10 games, marking six starts and scoring 4.1 points per contest.

Pavlovic began his NBA career with the Utah Jazz as the 19th overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft. Following a solid rookie season in Salt Lake City, Pavlovic was selected by the Charlotte Bobcats in the 2004 expansion draft and later traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he played for the next five seasons, including an appearance in the 2007 NBA Finals. Last season, the Bar, Montenegro native played for the Minnesota Timberwolves before becoming a free agent this summer.

The Hornets roster now stands at 15.

Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News reports:

Tony Parker disappointed at not making All-Star team

Acknowledging he was disappointed at not being added to the team, Parker was gracious, and remained hopeful he might land a spot when NBA commissioner David Stern replaces injured Yao Ming, voted the starting center.

Stern is not required to replace Yao with a center, and the West team includes a strong group of big men.

“Of course, I’m disappointed,” Parker said, “Everybody who made it deserved it, but of course I’m disappointed.

“There’s still one left. We’ll see what happens with that. But I’m just going to ? focus on helping this team win as many games as we can.”

Parker said he was grateful for the support he had gotten from teammates who say he deserved to have been selected.

Just when it seems like we’ve said every positive thing about LeBron James imaginable, he goes and unleashes a game like this:

The AP reports:

LeBron James scores 51 as Heat edge Magic

LeBron James had 51 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists, including a 23-point first quarter, to lead Miami to a 104-100 victory over Orlando on Thursday night.

It was a season high for James, whose scoring effort tied for the fifth most points of his career.

The Heat exploited a thin Magic front line that was missing injured starting forward Brandon Bass. They led by as many as 23 points. Dwyane Wade added 15 points and Chris Bosh 13.

Jameer Nelson led Orlando with 22 points. Dwight Howard had 17 points and 16 rebounds, but only one point after halftime and was just 3 for 13 at the free throw line. Jason Richardson chipped in 16…

James started his scoring spree in the opening 12 minutes, going right at Turkoglu and later Earl Clark when he came in off the bench.

He had 23 points the period, hitting all nine of his field goal attempts and going 5 for 6 at the free throw line, as the Heat took a 30-26 lead into the second quarter.

The 23 points by James broke Alonzo Mourning’s first-quarter Heat scoring record of 21 points, which he set in 1996.

The only concern here is how much LeBron did and how little everyone else did, but let’s not think about that right now.

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

Basketball blog