Archive for April 18th, 2011

Dwight Howard wins 2010-11 Defensive Player of Year

Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic is the recipient of the 2010-11 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award, the NBA announced today. Howard becomes the first player to earn the honor three straight seasons; only Dikembe Mutombo and Ben Wallace, with four each, have won the award more times.

The 6-11 center led the league with 66 double-doubles, including six 20-point/20-rebound efforts, while ranking second in rebounds (14.1 rpg) and fourth in blocks (2.38 bpg). With Howard manning the middle, the Magic allowed 93.5 ppg, ranking fourth in that category.

Second in the voting was Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett. Dallas Mavericks center Tyson Chandler was third, Memphis Grizzlies guard Tony Allen was fourth, and Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo was fifth.

NBA fines Blazers coach Nate McMillan

Portland Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan has been fined $35,000 for public comments about the officiating, it was announced today by Stu Jackson, NBA Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

McMillan made his comments following Portland’s 89-81 loss to the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center on April 16.

Curtis Stinson wins 2010-11 D-League MVP

Curtis Stinson of the Iowa Energy today was named the NBA Development League’s Most Valuable Player, as voted on by the NBA D-League’s 16 head coaches.

Stinson, a 6-3, 215-pound guard out of Iowa State, started in 48 of Iowa’s regular season games, averaging 19.3 points, 9.8 assists and 5.7 rebounds in 42.9 minutes. Stinson led the NBA D-League this season in assists, minutes, triple-doubles (five) and double-doubles (28), leading Iowa to the Eastern Conference title with a 37-13 regular season record, the best in the NBA D-League.

“It’s a real honor to be named MVP of the D-League,” Stinson said. “There are a lot of great players in this league, and to receive this award is one of the highlights of my career. I am truly thankful to have great teammates and coaches, and I appreciate all they have done to help me earn this recognition.”

Stinson was named to the All-NBA Development League First Team last week, becoming just the third player in league history to earn back-to-back All-NBA D-League First Team selections. Stinson was named the NBA D-League’s Player of the Month in March, Co-Player of the Month for February and Performer of the Week on Jan. 24. He carried the Energy to the No. 1 seed in the NBA D-League Playoffs and a berth in the semifinals despite having teammates Othyus Jeffers and Marqus Blakely earn Call-Ups to the Washington Wizards and Houston Rockets, respectively. In Iowa’s four postseason games thus far, Stinson has averaged 32.3 points, 9.9 assists and 7.7 rebounds.

“Curtis has been the backbone of the Iowa Energy now for three seasons,” said Iowa head coach Nick Nurse. “He has a tremendous will to win games and lead the team. He has a very high level of understanding of the game of basketball, and his ability to execute that under pressure is what makes him the player he is. It has been a great pleasure to watch him evolve, mature and continue to improve as a player. I hope one day he gets to put on an NBA jersey.”

Stinson achieved several milestones this season, becoming the NBA D-League’s all-time leader in assists (1,668), steals (334), field goals made (1,226) and minutes (7,827), and moved into third place on the all-time scoring list (3,038).

“The season Curtis put together for Iowa was the culmination of his talent with years of hard work, dedication and commitment,” said Chris Alpert, Vice President of Basketball Operations and Player Personnel for the NBA D-League.  “Curtis showed remarkable durability this season as Iowa’s leader on the floor every night, and also displayed a versatile set of skills that few players possess. As Curtis emerged as this season’s MVP, he also solidified his position as one of the top players in NBA Development League history. I congratulate Curtis on his recognition, which is very well deserved.”

Stinson joins Mike Harris (Rio Grande Valley, 2010), Courtney Sims (Iowa, 2009), Kasib Powell (Sioux Falls, 2008), Randy Livingston (Idaho, 2007) Marcus Fizer (Austin, 2006), Charlotte Bobcats guard Matt Carroll (Roanoke, 2005), Tierre Brown (Charleston, 2004), Devin Brown (Fayetteville, 2003) and Ansu Sesay (Greenville, 2002) as winners of the MVP award.

Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reports:

Rick Adelman won't return as Rockets coach

After four days of talks, some that were close to bringing Rick Adelman back as Rockets coach, Rockets general manager Daryl Morey called Adelman a “Hall of Fame coach.” He also showed Adelman the door. Adelman was happy to take it.

Adelman, who led the Rockets to their only playoff series win in the past 14 years and a franchise record 22-game winning streak, agreed to step down on Monday, a decision described as mutual.

“After numerous discussions and careful consideration with Coach Adelman, we have mutually agreed to part ways,” Morey said in a statement. “It has been a privilege and an honor to work with and learn from Rick during these past four years. He is a Hall of Fame coach who earned the respect and admiration of our entire organization during his time here.”

In four seasons with the Rockets, Adelman had a 193-135 record, the best winning percentage (.588) of any coach in franchise history. He moved to eighth in NBA history in career coaching wins with 945.

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

Heat roll to 2-0 lead over 76ers, 94-73

The AP reports:

Heat roll to 2-0 lead over 76ers, 94-73

LeBron James scored 29 points, Chris Bosh had his second straight double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds, and Miami took a 2-0 series lead with a 94-73 victory over the abysmally shooting 76ers on Monday night.

Showing no signs of the migraine that he battled Sunday, Dwyane Wade scored 14 points for Miami, now 17-3 in its last 20 games and halfway to winning its first playoff series since the 2006 conference finals…

Thaddeus Young scored 18 points and Evan Turner added 15 for the 76ers, whose starters were outscored 76-29 by the Heat’s first-string. Philadelphia shot 34 percent for the game, and after getting 42 points in the paint in Game 1, were held to 24 in that department Monday…

Philadelphia shot only 26 percent in the first half, a record for a Heat playoff opponent. The 76ers’ starters were outscored 41-9 in the opening 24 minutes, and unlike their last two meetings, never put a scare into Miami. Philadelphia had a 16-point lead in the teams’ final regular-season matchup, a 14-point lead in Game 1, but simply couldn’t get rolling Monday.

Looking ahead to Mavs-Blazers Game 2

By Scott Spangler

A thing of beauty, it was not. The Dallas Mavericks suffered through an 11-minute second-half drought only to emerge an eight-point winner over the Portland Trail Blazers. For a stretch there, we could have been watching Butler hurl tire irons in the National Championship Game.

Then came the Maverick parade to the foul line, and a couple timely yet unlikely Jason Kidd jumpers - off the dribble. This is not to suggest Kidd cannot knock down an open look, but usually those are of the set-shot variety.

There was some mention today out of the Portland camp that the wide-open opportunities by Kidd must be eliminated.

Yeah, okay.

Believe what you like, but Blazers guard Andre Miller will not be playing the Maverick PG straight up. No one does. Nate McMillan will do what Gregg Popovich did last year against Dallas. Cut Kidd lose and live with the consequences.

Portland will look for Wesley Matthews and Gerald Wallace to get on track. Wallace logged 39 minutes and was little more than a warm body on the floor. Matthews took only three shots, made one, and never looked comfortable.

Andre Miller did enjoy a solid shooting night, but Dallas was all too happy to watch him launch 20-footers against the shot clock late Saturday.

All that said, the Trail Blazers plan to force the issue in Game Two. Nate McMillan talked Monday about Dallas packing the paint and daring his club to take perimeter shots.

Portland wants to make Dallas pay for playing straight up. To do that, Matthews has to bring more to the party than 1 for 3 shooting.

Guard Jason Williams retires from NBA

Guard Jason Williams retires from NBA

Memphis Grizzlies guard Jason Williams announced his retirement from the NBA today, ending his 12-year pro career.

The 6-1, 190-pound guard leaves the NBA with career averages of 10.5 points, 2.3 rebounds and 5.9 assists in 788 games (667 starts) over 12 years (1998-08, 2009-11) with the Sacramento Kings, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat and Orlando Magic.

A member of the inaugural Memphis Grizzlies in 2001, Williams retires as the franchise’s all-time assists leader (2,069) and ranks in the top 10 in team annals in assists per game (7.0, 2nd), three-pointers made (500, 2nd), three-pointers attempted (1,543, 2nd), steals (372, 5th), free throw percentage (.817, 5th) and points (3,400, 10th).

The 35-year old averaged 2.0 points, 1.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 10.9 minutes in 27 games this season with the Magic and Grizzlies, who signed him as a free agent on Feb. 7.  The Belle, W.Va. native missed the final 17 games of the regular season due to low back soreness in what was his second stint in Memphis.

Williams won the 2006 NBA Championship with Miami, starting all 23 playoff games and averaging 9.3 points, 2.0 rebounds and 3.9 assists to help the Heat capture the franchise’s first title.

Selected by Sacramento with the seventh overall pick of the 1998 NBA Draft, “J-Will” brought an exciting style and unique flare to the league before becoming one of the NBA’s most steady floor generals, regularly finishing among the league leaders in assist-to-turnover ratio.

By Scott Spangler

After one quarter, Philly was shooting 4 for 20 from the floor. Had to feel fortunate to only be down six.

And not to take anything away from Miami, because they are scrambling and playing hard on the defensive end, but I wonder if this has to do more with the lack of shot-making ability by the 76ers in the halfcourt.

Good thing Evan Turner checked in with guns blazin’. The rookie has been pretty much hit or miss this season, but his play off Doug Collins’ bench  is about the only bright spot for the Sixers so far. The 10 points turned in by Turner represent the bulk of Philadelphia’s scoring.

And their starters? Try nine total first-half points.

The Heat find themselves coasting at the half, leading 49-31, shooting 50 percent, and getting just about anything they want offensively. As usual, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are getting into the paint, and setting the table for a Miami route.

The AP reports:

Durant scores 41, Thunder beat Nuggets 107-103 in Game 1

Kevin Durant scored 41 points, Russell Westbrook added 31 and Perkins provided the go-ahead basket on a controversial tip-in as the Thunder pulled out a 107-103 win against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday night in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series.

Westbrook’s jumper from the right side caromed off the rim and Perkins was credited for the tip-in with 1:06 remaining to put Oklahoma City up 102-101. Several Nuggets looked for it to be waved off as basket interference, and coach George Karl insisted after the game: “Obviously it was goaltending.” …

Nene had 22 points and eight rebounds to lead Denver, which used a well-rounded effort after dealing away its only All-Star, Carmelo Anthony, at the trade deadline…

Gallinari scored 18 points, Felton had 12 and Denver had eight players score at least eight points.

Eric Maynor chipped in 12 points for Oklahoma City, which had no one else score more than five with Durant and Westbrook leading the way.

The AP reports:

Ray Allen scores 24, Celtics edge Knicks 87-85 in Game 1

Ray Allen hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 12 seconds left off a pass from Paul Pierce and Anthony misfired on his long try at the other end, giving the Celtics an 87-85 comeback victory over the Knicks in their playoff opener on Sunday night…

Allen led the Celtics with 24 points and Pierce added 18 to go along with solid defense on Anthony. Kevin Garnett had 15 points and 13 rebounds, and clamped down on Amare Stoudemire down the stretch.

Stoudemire had 28 points and 11 rebounds for New York, and Anthony finished with 15…

New York may have lost more than a game. Point guard Chauncey Billups left with 51 seconds remaining, and doctors told him the injury was a strained left knee or thigh muscle…

Boston trailed 51-39 at halftime but rallied to take a 66-64 lead early in the fourth. Stoudemire then scored 12 of the Knicks’ next 18 points to power them to an 82-78 lead with 2:46 remaining.

The AP reports:

Chris Paul dominates, Hornets beat Lakers 109-100 in Game 1

Chris Paul had 33 points, 14 assists and seven rebounds, flawlessly leading the Hornets down the stretch of a 109-100 victory Sunday.

Carl Landry scored 17 points and Jarrett Jack added 15 for the seventh-seeded Hornets, who overcame Los Angeles’ major size advantage with cagey defense and a disciplined offensive approach that led to just three turnovers, tying an NBA playoff record…

Kobe Bryant scored 34 points for the Lakers, who opened the postseason with the same halfhearted effort that comprised much of their regular season after three straight exhausting trips to the NBA finals.

Los Angeles’ 7-foot starters, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, were widely expected to be an awful matchup for smallish New Orleans, but New Orleans rookie coach Monty Williams concocted an impressive game plan to minimize the big men’s impact…

Ron Artest had 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Lakers, who swept the four-game regular-season series with New Orleans. They had won their last six playoff series openers since Houston beat them in the Western Conference semifinals in 2009 on Los Angeles’ way to Bryant’s fourth championship.

Basketball blog