Archive for March, 2011

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has signed forward Mike Harris to a 10-day contract.

Harris (6-6, 235, Rice) returns to Houston after playing in China with the CBA’s Shanghai Sharks. The former Rice standout actually began this season in training camp with the Rockets before being waived on Oct. 18, 2010. Overall Harris owns NBA career averages of 3.0 points and 2.6 rebounds in 30 prior games with Houston and the Washington Wizards. He has also played in the NBA D-League with the Colorado 14ers (2006-07) and the Rio Grande Valley Vipers (2009-10). In 2009-10, Harris averaged a league-leading 27.1 points (.582, 363-624 FG), 10.5 rebounds (third in D-League), 1.9 assists and 1.18 steals in 34 games (31 starts) with Rio Grande Valley, guiding the Vipers to the 2009-10 D-League championship. He was also named NBA D-League MVP and earned First-Team All-NBA D-League honors last season.

Harris will wear jersey #33 with the Rockets. Houston’s roster currently stands at 15 players.

Nets recall Ben Uzoh from D-League

The New Jersey Nets have recalled rookie point guard Ben Uzoh from the Springfield Armor (D-League), Nets General Manager Billy King announced today.

Uzoh appeared in four games with the Armor, three starts, and averaged 16.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 2.25 steals in 33.3 minutes.  He shot .609 (28-46) from the field and had his best outing at Sioux Falls on 3/22 when he tallied 27 points, 12-14 FG’s, nine rebounds and five assists in 39 minutes.

In 32 games with the Nets this season, the Tulsa alum is averaging 3.4 points and 1.4 assists in 9.1 minutes.  He tallied a career-high 18 points in 22 minutes at Houston on 2/26.

Lakers edge Suns in 3OT

The AP reports:

Kobe Bryant scored a season-high 42 points, Ron Artest got five of his 18 points in the final 2 minutes of the third overtime, and Los Angeles outlasted Phoenix for a 139-137 victory Tuesday night in an enormously entertaining rematch of last season’s Western Conference finals.

“I wish we would have put them away when we should have,” said Lamar Odom, who had a season-high 29 points and 16 rebounds while playing over 55 minutes filling in for suspended center Andrew Bynum. “But we found a way to win, and that’s all that matters…

“We really needed this game,” said Phoenix’s Channing Frye, who had a career-high 32 points and 14 rebounds. “This one hurts.” …

Gasol added 24 points and 13 rebounds in just the Lakers’ fourth triple-overtime game since they moved to Los Angeles in 1960. The Lakers hadn’t hosted a triple-OT game since 1969.

The stakes were higher for the 10th-place Suns (35-34), who are scrapping to return the playoffs. Steve Nash had 19 points and 20 assists, while Marcin Gortat added 24 points and 16 rebounds in the Suns’ fifth loss in seven games.

The AP reports:

Sacramento’s Mayor is already preparing for life without the Kings.

In a strongly worded blog posted on his website Tuesday night, Mayor and former NBA player Kevin Johnson wrote the franchise’s possible relocation to Anaheim “feels like a slow death” and this “will likely be the Kings’ final weeks in Sacramento after 26 years.”

Johnson met with Kings owners Joe and Gavin Maloof last month and has believed since that the Kings will leave after this season.

After years of not receiving public dollars to build a new arena in Sacramento, the Maloofs began discussions with Anaheim officials about relocating the franchise to Orange County. An attorney representing the Kings also filed for at least four federal trademarks registrations: Anaheim Royals, Anaheim Royals of Southern California, Orange County Royals and Los Angeles Royals.

Rudy Gay

rudy gay

He’s lanky.

Memphis Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay will undergo season-ending surgery to repair a left shoulder subluxation, as recommended by team physician Dr. Fred Azar of the Campbell Clinic. Gay also received this recommendation from Dr. Barry Phillips and Dr. Robert Miller of the Campbell Clinic and Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala.

The need for surgery has always been a possibility in the event that non-operative rehabilitation was unsuccessful.  The date of the surgery is yet to be determined.

The 6-8, 240-pound forward has missed the last 14 games, including last night’s 103-85 victory over Utah, since suffering the injury on Feb. 15 vs. Philadelphia.  Memphis is 8-6 over that span.

Gay averaged 19.8 points and 6.2 rebounds in his fifth NBA season while posting career highs in assists (2.8), steals (1.69), blocks (1.07), field goal percentage (.471), three-point field goal percentage (.396), free throw percentage (.805) and minutes (39.9, 3rd in the NBA).

The 24-year-old holds career averages of 17.8 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.9 assists on .457 shooting in 36.0 minutes in 372 games, all with the Grizzlies.

Gay is expected to be ready for the start of the 2011-12 season.

Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman reports:

No one needed to say anything to James Harden.

When Jeff Green was dealt to Boston three weeks ago in the trade that brought Kendrick Perkins to the Thunder, Harden knew immediately that he needed to be more productive.

“We had to make up for those 15 points that we lost,” Harden said. “Everybody’s level of play had to step up.”

Harden, though, shot up to a level few thought he could reach — at least not this quickly.

In 15 games since the All-Star break, Harden has averaged 17.7 points. That total trails only Dallas’ Jason Terry for points off the bench over that span. Harden’s 50.6 percent shooting over that same span, meanwhile, ranks fifth among shooting guards with at least 10 games played.

By comparison, Harden averaged just 10.3 points on 41.3 percent shooting prior to the All-Star break. The turnaround has transformed the second-year guard into one of the league’s best Sixth Men.

Rockets assign Hasheem Thabeet to D-League

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has assigned center Hasheem Thabeet to Houston’s single-affiliation NBA D-League partner Rio Grande Valley. Thabeet, who is the third Rockets player to be assigned to the Vipers this season, also averaged 13.8 points, 11.2 boards and 3.17 blocks in six games (four starts) with the NBA D-League Dakota Wizards in 2009-10.

“With one game in the next six nights, we wanted to take advantage of the break in the Rockets schedule to give Hasheem some extended playing time with the Vipers,” said Rockets Vice President of Player Personnel and RGV Vipers GM Gersson Rosas.  “Hasheem has been working with our Rockets coaching staff over the past few weeks, but this opportunity to get valuable game experience with Rio Grande Valley will help with his long-term development.”

Thabeet (7-3, 263, Connecticut), who was acquired by Houston from Memphis on Feb. 24, has played in two games with the Rockets since the trade. He averaged 1.2 points, 1.7 rebounds and 0.33 blocks in 45 games with the Grizzlies this season and made his Rockets debut vs. New Jersey (2/26/11). Selected by Memphis with the second overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, Thabeet stands as the first Tanzanian-born player to be drafted by and play for an NBA team. In 2009-10, Thabeet ranked second among rookies in blocks per game (1.31) and actually led the NBA in blocks per 48 minutes (4.84).

He finished his rookie campaign with averages of 3.1 points and 3.6 rebounds in 13.0 minutes over 68 games (13 starts) in 2009-10. At Connecticut, Thabeet was named the 2009 Co-Big East Player of the Year along with Pittsburgh’s DeJuan Blair. He was also a two-time winner of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) National Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2008 and 2009.

Aaron Brooks suspended for throwing ball at referee

Aaron Brooks of the Phoenix Suns has been suspended for an incident during Friday’s game, it was announced today by Stu Jackson, NBA Executive Vice President Basketball Operations.

Brooks has been suspended one game without pay for throwing a ball at an official and striking him in the leg. The incident occurred with 7:46 remaining in the fourth period of the Suns’ 108-97 victory over the Golden State Warriors at the US Airways Center in Phoenix.

Brooks will serve his suspension today in Los Angeles when the Suns play the Los Angeles Clippers in a 3:30 p.m. EDT/12:30 p.m. PDT game at the Staples Center.

Andrew Bynum suspended two games for foul on Mike Beasley

Andrew Bynum of the Los Angeles Lakers has been suspended for his actions during a game on Friday, March 18, it was announced today by Stu Jackson, NBA Executive Vice President Basketball Operations.

Bynum has been suspended for two games without pay for his Flagrant Foul, Penalty Two against Michael Beasley of the Minnesota Timberwolves. The incident occurred with 6:16 remaining in the fourth period of the Lakers’ 106-98 victory at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Bynum will serve his suspension when the Lakers host the Portland Trailblazer at 9:30 p.m. EDT/6:30 p.m. PDT at the Staples Center today and on Tuesday, March 22 when the Lakers host the Suns at 10:30 p.m. EDT/ 7:30 p.m. PDT.

DeAndre Jordan has pneumonia

DeAndre Jordan has pneumonia

Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan was admitted to Marina Del Rey Hospital Saturday night and was diagnosed with a mild case of pneumonia. He was given intravenous antibiotics and held overnight for further tests.

Jordan’s status has improved significantly from last night and he is responding well to treatment. He will not play in the Clippers game today at STAPLES Center against the Phoenix Suns.

The Chicago Bulls announced today the team has signed free agent guards John Lucas III and Jannero Pargo.  In accordance with team policy, terms of the contracts were not announced.

Lucas III (5-11, 165) appeared in two games with Chicago earlier this season, and averaged 1.0 ppg and 0.5 apg in 5.0 mpg.

Pargo, a 6-1, 185-pound guard, joins the Bulls for his fourth stint having played for Chicago during the 2003-06, 2009-10 seasons.  A seven-year NBA veteran, Pargo played overseas in 2008-09, where he split time between the MBC Dynamo Moscow (Russian Super League) and Olympiacos B.C. (Greek League/Euroleague).

In 379 regular season contests in the NBA, Pargo has averaged 6.6 ppg, 2.0 apg and 1.5 rpg in 15.7 mpg.  A .349 career shooter from behind the arc, he also owns career shooting averages of .388 from the field and .861 from the line.  He has played in 35 playoff games, and posted postseason averages of 6.2 ppg, 1.6 apg, 1.4 rpg, 14.2 mpg, .370 from the field, .371 from behind the arc and .711 from the line.

Chicago’s roster now stands at 15 players.

The New Jersey Nets have signed guard Sundiata Gaines to a multi-year contract, Nets General Manager Billy King announced today.  Per team policy, terms of the contract were not released.

The 24-year old from the University of Georgia signed the first of two consecutive 10-day contracts with the Nets on February 28, 2011.  He has appeared in seven games for the Nets, averaging 5.0 points and 2.9 assists in 14.6 minutes per game.  In 21 games with New Jersey, Toronto and Minnesota this season, he has averaged 4.3 points and 1.8 assists in 12.2 minutes per contest.

Over 53 career NBA games, including 32 appearances with Utah in 2009-10, Gaines has averaged 3.7 points and 1.4 assists in 8.9 minutes while shooting .427 (73-171) from the field.

The AP reports:

Police engaged in a roughly 20-minute standoff Saturday with a knife-wielding man on the floor of Los Angeles’ Staples Center, where the Los Angeles Clippers and Cleveland Cavaliers were set to play later in the day.

Police tackled and apprehended the man after the face-off on the court near the visitors’ bench area.

Some spectators for the 12:30 p.m. game had begun filing into the arena, but were evacuated once the standoff started.

The Press Enterprise blog reports:

During that time, Staples Center was essentially in a lockdown. A few players — as well as the Clippers’ dance team — were on the court when the incident began but were quickly removed. Those in the building’s backstage area confined to wherever they were as the incident began. For most of the players on both teams — save for the later-arriving Cavaliers players, who were unable to get in — that meant being held in their locker rooms, or the section of hallway in front of them.

For a time, players on both teams, as well as various other personnel, crowded around one of the small monitors used by a broadcast crew, watching a live feed of the incident from the court, wondering how the standoff would be resolved.

Kings waive Luther Head

The Sacramento Kings today requested waivers on guard Luther Head, according to Kings President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie.

Head, in his sixth NBA season out of Illinois, appeared in 36 games (started 14) for the Kings this season and posted averages of 5.6 ppg (.415 FG%, .391 3PT,  .780 FT%), 1.7 rpg, and 1.9 apg in 16.3 mpg.

The AP reports:

Jameer Nelson

Jameer Nelson

38.5% 3FG

Jameer Nelson swished a 3-pointer from the top of the key at the buzzer to give the Orlando Magic a dramatic 85-82 win over the Denver Nuggets on Friday night.

The Magic led most of the final period, but struggled at the line and let the Nuggets tie the game with 5.7 seconds to play.

Dwight Howard led five Magic players in double figures with 16 points and 18 rebounds. Hedo Turkoglu had 15 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, while Nelson, Brandon Bass and Jason Richardson all added 13 points.

Wilson Chandler scored 20 points, Danilo Gallinari added 17 and Nene 14 for the Nuggets, who had a four-game winning streak snapped and lost for the 17th time in their last 18 trips to Orlando.

Pacers beat red-hot Bulls

The AP reports:

Tyler Hansbrough

tyler hansbrough

Not lousy

Tyler Hansbrough had 29 points and 12 rebounds to help the Indiana Pacers beat Chicago 115-108 in overtime on Friday night, snapping the Bulls’ eight-game winning streak.

Danny Granger scored 19 points and Darren Collison added 17 for the Pacers, who have won three of four.

Derrick Rose tied a career high with 42 points for the Bulls. He scored 19 in the fourth quarter and made three free throws with 1.2 seconds left to force overtime. Luol Deng added 21 points for the Bulls.

Chicago entered the game with the best record in the Eastern Conference, and could have been the first team in the East to win 50 games.

Chicago forward Carlos Boozer missed his fifth straight game with an injured left ankle.

Kings say Geoff Petrie will remain GM

Sacramento Kings owners Joe and Gavin Maloof have issued a statement on their team’s general manager:

“There is absolutely no truth that we are considering anyone else for our General Manager position. We consider Geoff Petrie to be the best in the business and look forward to continuing our resurgence with him at the helm.”

Jazz will not re-sign Marcus Cousin

Utah Jazz general manager Kevin O’Connor announced today that the team has elected not to re-sign center Marcus Cousin (pronounced koo-ZAHN) to a second 10-day contract.  Following the transaction, the Jazz roster now stands at 14 players.

Cousin was originally signed to a 10-day contract on March 9 and appeared in four games for the Jazz (all as a reserve), averaging 1.0 point and 0.8 rebounds in 4.5 minutes per game.  He registered four points, two rebounds and a block in 13 minutes of action at Minnesota on March 11.

Cousin (6-11, 255, Houston) was averaging 14.7 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.16 blocks through 38 games (all starts) for the NBA Development League’s Austin Toros at the time he was signed by the Jazz.  He became the NBA’s 14th D-League Call-Up and 12th different player promoted to the NBA this season.  He was also the sixth D-League Call-Up in Jazz history, joining Rusty LaRue (2000-01), Mikki Moore (2003-04), Louis Amundson (2006-07), Sundiata Gaines (2010-11) and Othyus Jeffers (2010-11).

Heat need a healthy Udonis Haslem

Tom Haberstroh of ESPN reports:

Udonis Haslem

udonis haslem

Rocks cornrows

Haslem may not be a center, but he usually replaced one when he was healthy. His inside presence allows the Heat to go “small” with him at the four and Bosh at the five. In fact, three of the four most frequent lineups with Haslem on the floor feature Bosh at center. And it’s incredibly effective. The score with those “small” lineups? Heat 203, Opponents 166.

The Heat don’t just suffer on the boards without Haslem. Offensively, the Heat’s floor spacing becomes congested around the rim with the Heat’s big men. On Wednesday night, the Thunder bigs routinely cheated off of Howard, Dampier, Anthony and Jamaal Magloire in the paint without consequence. For a team that depends on open lanes for Wade and LeBron to penetrate, the offensive deficiencies of the Heat big men become exponentially troublesome. It’s no longer a game of five-on-five.

Armed with a silky jumper, Haslem can hit shots inside and out. His presence can help stabilize the Heat’s offense and unclog the paint for his attack-minded teammates.

This is all to say that Haslem offers a specific skill set the Heat woefully lack: a hard-nosed rebounder who commands the attention of opposing defenses. No one else on the Heat roster fills that essential role. On Wednesday against the Thunder, Haslem’s absence was profoundly felt by the Heat’s thin frontline.

Garnett says Rondo is playing hurt

Chris Forsberg of ESPN.com reports:

“Rondo’s playing hurt,” said Kevin Garnett [about Celtics teammate Rajon Rondo]. “He’s giving us everything he has and he’s grinding. I think the nights where he’s playing countless minutes for us, and he’s not playing washed up guys. He’s playing [Indiana’s Darren Collison] and [New Jersey’s Deron Williams] and all these guys and they’re coming at him. He knows that, so he’s just a little focused in. But everybody’s banged up at this point and [Rondo] is no different from that.”

Doc Rivers suggested before Wednesday’s game that Rondo was “just not playing well,” and said he’d work his way out of it. Rivers has praised Rondo’s play in recent games — despite stat lines that are less eye-catching than we’ve been accustomed to this season — and, while making his weekly appearance on Boston sports radio WEEI (850 AM) reiterated that there’s no mystery ailment here.

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