Warriors hope Andris Biedrins can revive game

Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle reports:

Warriors hope Andris Biedrins can revive game

In what might have been a last-ditch effort to get something, anything, out of Andris Biedrins and the $27 million owed him over the next three seasons, the Warriors met with their center Thursday afternoon.

In a two-hour chat with Biedrins and his agent, Bill Duffy, Warriors general manager Larry Riley outlined a complete physical and mental training program for Biedrins to follow this summer.

“It’s time to take actions that will get him moving in the right direction,” Riley said. “Basically, we’re going to rebuild his confidence.”

Already a hyper sensitive guy, Biedrins has had plenty of reasons to lose confidence. He has been plagued by injuries the past two seasons and been a shell of his former self on the court.

Grizzlies finish off top-seeded Spurs in 6 games

The AP reports:

zach randolph

Zach Randolph had 31 points and 11 rebounds and the Memphis Grizzlies advanced to their first Western Conference semifinals and made NBA history in knocking off the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs 99-91 on Friday night.

Memphis had been the franchise best known for empty seats and the unenviable NBA mark for playoff futility at 0-12 after being swept in its first three appearances. This time, a third straight sellout crowd cheered every bucket with a couple signs begging the Grizzlies to “Finish Them” in a town in desperate need of a hero.

The Grizzlies needed 10 seasons, but they have become just that as only the second No. 8 seed to upset a No. 1 seed since the NBA expanded the opening series to a best-of-seven.

They will play Oklahoma City in the semifinals.

Marc Gasol had 12 points and 13 rebounds for Memphis. Tony Allen added 11 points, and rookie Greivis Vasquez had 11 off the bench playing 24 minutes with Mike Conley in foul trouble most of the game.

Tony Parker led San Antonio with 23 points, Manu Ginobili had 16, Tim Duncan 12 and Antonio McDyess 10.

The Spurs led only twice at 2-0 and again at 80-79 when McDyess hit a 15-footer with 4:41 left.

Kirk Hinrich doubtful for Hawks-Bulls series

Kirk Hinrich doubtful for Hawks-Bulls series

A magnetic resonance imaging test (MRI) taken today revealed that Hawks guard Kirk Hinrich suffered a significant strain to his right hamstring with 3:07 remaining in last night’s series-clinching game six win over Orlando, according to head athletic trainer Wally Blase.

Hinrich is listed as doubtful for the Eastern Conference Semifinals series vs. Chicago, which begins on Monday.

Carlos Boozer skips practice with toe injury; uncertain for Game 1

K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune reports:

Carlos Boozer skips practice with toe injury; uncertain for Game 1

Chicago Bulls forward Carlos Boozer skipped Friday’s practice at the Berto Center with the turf toe in his right big toe that he suffered in Tuesday’s clinching victory over the Indiana Pacers.

Coach Tom Thibodeau said Boozer’s toe has improved but didn’t know if he’d be available for Game 1 of the Bulls-Hawks series 7 p.m. Monday at the United Center.

“It’s hard to say, but I’m thinking that he will be able to,” Thibodeau said. “He had some discomfort, but it’s gotten better each day. Hopefully, tomorrow it will be better. He’s day-to-day. He didn’t practice, so we’ll check him again tomorrow.”

Lakers forward Derrick Caracter apologizes for arrest

The Los Angeles Times reports:

Lakers forward Derrick Caracter apologizes for arrest

Rookie forward Derrick Caracter spoke publicly Thursday night for the first time about his arrest after an alleged altercation with a female employee at a New Orleans restaurant early last Sunday.

“I want to apologize to the fans for the distraction and to our organization,” Caracter said. “I will do my best to not let it happen again.”

Caracter could face multiple charges after he allegedly grabbed and shoved the cashier at an IHOP restaurant not far from the team’s hotel on Canal Street, New Orleans authorities said.

He was arrested after he was refused service at the restaurant about 1 a.m. Sunday because he was “obviously drunk, unruly and started harassing the cashier,” the New Orleans police department said in a statement earlier this week.

Caracter could face charges of simple battery, public intoxication and resisting arrest.

Knicks may force Mike D`Antoni to hire defensive-minded assistant coach

Frank Isola of the New York Daily News reports:

As Donnie Walsh seeks to regain full autonomy within the Knicks organization, Mike D’Antoni could be losing some of his power on the Knicks’ bench.

According to several sources, the front office will encourage D’Antoni to revamp his coaching staff to hire a defensive coach. In the past, D’Antoni has been reluctant to seek outside help, most famously refusing Steve Kerr’s request four years ago to hire Tom Thibodeau in Phoenix. Thibodeau landed in Boston in 2007, and helped the Celtics win the title three seasons ago. He now is head coach of the top-seeded Bulls.

D’Antoni is under contract through next season and is expected to be retained after leading the Knicks to their first postseason appearance in seven years. However, under D’Antoni the Knicks have been among the league’s weaker defensive teams, which is something Walsh would like to change.

Memphis assistant Dave Joerger, Orlando’s Steve Clifford, Portland’s Bill Bayno and Chicago’s Ron Adams are all regarded as top defensive coaches. Another possibility for the Knicks is Thibodeau’s replacement in Boston, Lawrence Frank, the former Nets’ coach. Frank’s contract expires this summer.

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

Justin Bieber plans street basketball movie with Mark Wahlberg

Mike Fleming of Deadline.com reports:

Paramount Pictures is in negotiations for what could be the dramatic screen-starring debut of Justin Bieber. He will star alongside Mark Wahlberg in an untitled drama that will revolve around street basketball and will give Bieber the chance to show off his hoops skills. Deal comes after Bieber’s musical performance film Never Say Never minted money for Paramount. Wahlberg and Stephen Levinson will produce with Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun.

The script will be written by Ian Edelman, creator of How To Make It In America, the HBO series that is exec produced by Wahlberg and Levinson, who hold the same titles on Entourage and Boardwalk Empire.

The tone of the project is described as The Color of Money meets The Karate Kid, and it came out of Wahlberg and Levinson seeing Bieber play ball in February during a celebrity game held during NBA All-Star Game weekend. Bieber more than held his own against celebs and former players; he was named MVP.

It’s understandable that Paramount would want to be in business with Bieber again. Made on a $13 million budget, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never grossed $97 million worldwide. Paramount immediately hired its director, Jon Chu, to helm its G.I. Joe sequel.

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

Housecleaning ongoing for Warriors GM Riley

Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle reports:

Team sources said more movement among the Warriors’ staff is expected as soon as today, and general manager Larry Riley reiterated that a head coaching move alone won’t be enough to turn the franchise into a playoff contender.

The other immediate moves are expected to be among the team’s support staff, possibly player development, strength and conditioning and/or training. Sources weren’t ready to name names because some of the staff had not yet been informed.

The rest of the moves will deal with the roster itself, which Riley admitted wasn’t good enough to reach the playoffs this season. He said he had a glimmer of hope when the Warriors headed into the All-Star break with an impressive win at Utah to get to three games under .500.

Danny Granger supports Pacers coach Frank Vogel

Lacy J. Banks of the Chicago Sun-Times reports:

Here’s some potentially sobering news for the ­refreshingly revived Bulls.

If the Indiana Pacers players have their way, we’ve seen the last of “interim” head coach Frank Vogel.

Danny Granger supports Pacers coach Frank Vogel

“We want that ‘interim’ taken off his title,” said forward Danny Granger, the team’s leading scorer.

“Management usually asks for the players’ input on important decisions like this,” Granger said. “I expect [team president Larry Bird] to do so again. If he gives us who we want, he’ll make Vogel the full-time head coach — not interim. Vogel really improved our play overall. Of course, that’s a decision that management makes. And they don’t always make it the way the players want.”

Andre Iguodala skips exit interview

Tom Moore of Philly Burbs reports:

Andre Iguodala skips exit interview

On the same day in which 76ers coach Doug Collins raved about how there wasn’t a player issue the whole season, Andre Iguodala may have become one.

Iguodala was the only Sixers player to skip a scheduled end-of-season interview with Collins, team president Rod Thorn and general manager Ed Stefanski on Thursday, according to a source close to the situation.

Thorn said via email Thursday evening that Iguodala didn’t have the exit interview because of a doctor’s appointment.

Iguodala did meet with the media, though he seemed not in the best of moods.

That may have started after Wednesday’s season-ending 97-91 playoff loss to the Miami Heat, when he was asked if he expects to and would like to return to the Sixers.

“I expect to be in the NBA,” Iguodala answered.