Archive for April 29th, 2011

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.

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.”

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.

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.

Mike Fleming of 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.

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.

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.

The AP reports:

The Dallas Mavericks decided they were going to treat Game 6 of their first-round playoff series against the Trail Blazers as if it were Game 7.

Nowitzki scores 33, Mavs eliminate Blazers

“We talked about it before, we talked about it again during the game, how we had to keep fighting,” said Dirk Nowitzki, who had 33 points and 11 rebounds as the Mavs held off Portland 103-96 on Thursday night to advance to a second-round matchup with the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers…

Jason Terry finished with 22 points as the Mavericks snapped the home-court advantage that each team had held during the playoffs and the regular season.

The Blazers led by as many as 12 points early after Gerald Wallace went on a tear with 13 first-quarter points. But Wallace left the game for much of the second quarter with a sore back and Portland surrendered the lead.

Wallace would return to finish with 32 points and 12 rebounds. LaMarcus Aldridge added 24 points and 10 rebounds.

Led by Wallace, the Blazers jumped out to 19-7 lead, capping the quarter with a dunk from rookie Chris Johnson to make it 27-19.

But the Blazers went cold when Wallace headed to the locker room with lower back tightness, and the Mavericks went on a 16-4 run to tie it at 35 after J.J. Barea’s layup.

The AP reports:

Bryant, Lakers, eliminate Hornets in style

Andrew Bynum used his massive frame to own the lane, Kobe Bryant made timely shots that silenced a hostile crowd, and the Los Angeles Lakers started to look a lot more like a team trying to win a third straight NBA title.

Bryant scored 22 of his 24 points in the first three quarters, then let his teammates take over in a dominant 98-80 victory over the New Orleans Hornets on Thursday night that wrapped up a first-round playoff series triumph for Los Angeles in six games…

The 7-foot, 285-pound Bynum had 18 points and 12 rebounds, drawing groans from the New Orleans crowd with each of his eight offensive rebounds. His ability to clean up teammates’ misses and extend possessions helped Los Angeles gain a lopsided 21-4 advantage in second-chance points…

Pau Gasol chipped in 16 points and Lamar Odom 14 for the Lakers, whose overpowering fourth quarter provided an anticlimactic ending to what had initially been a more exciting series than many expected—particularly with the Hornets having lost leading scorer David West to a season-ending injury in late March.

Paul, who helped the Hornets split the first four games with two sensational performances, wasn’t able to deliver a third victory. He had only seven points before hitting a 3-pointer with 4:02 to go and finished with 10 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds…

Carl Landry had 19 points for the Hornets, who have not won a playoff series since the first round in 2008, but who did better than expected this season after Williams took his first head coaching job last summer with a team that had missed the playoffs last season. Trevor Ariza scored 12 points for New Orleans and Marco Belinelli 11.

The AP reports:

A new season. A much different result. The Atlanta Hawks are moving on in the playoffs, knocking out the team that beat them so badly a year ago.

Joe Johnson leads Hawks past Magic, into 2nd round

Joe Johnson scored 23 points and came up with a huge offensive rebound, leading Atlanta past Orlando 84-81 in Game 6 Thursday night to finish off the Magic in the opening round.

The Hawks, who won the series 4-2, advanced to the second round for the third straight year, this time against the top-seeded Bulls. Game 1 is Monday night in Chicago…

The Magic had two chances to force overtime. J.J. Redick missed an open 3, then Jason Richardson had a desperation shot from the corner blocked by Smith.

Turkoglu had 15 points on 5-of-13 shooting. Nelson was the only other Orlando player in double figures with 11.

Crawford scored 19 points, including consecutive 3s that gave Atlanta its biggest lead, 71-59, with just over 9 minutes left. The Magic fought back with an 8-0 spurt, and Ryan Anderson had a chance to give the Magic their first lead since the opening minutes with an open look from outside the stripe…

The Hawks were up 42-36 at halftime, but the lead should have been a lot bigger. Smith was 3 of 12 shooting with three turnovers. Crawford hit only 3 of 11, Johnson just 4 of 12. The home finished just 39 percent from the field (31 of 79).

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