Archive for December 6th, 2011

2011-12 lockout-shortened NBA schedule

The 2011-12 NBA regular season will be 66 games per team instead of the usual 82. This due to the NBA lockout wiping out November and most of December’s games.

But thankfully, fans still get what is essentially a complete season. Teams will face games in a shorter time period than they’d normally like, and lots of players may have to limit their minutes more than usual. But, we’re getting a real season.

The full, lockout-shortened schedule is here.

Travis Outlaw

New Jersey Nets forward Travis Outlaw will be able to begin contact in 10 days after an examination today by Nets team physician Dr. Riley Williams III and hand specialist Dr. Andrew Weiland.

Outlaw fractured his right hand nine weeks ago and had surgery performed at the Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colorado.

Antoine Walker

Former NBA All-Star Antoine Walker was sentenced to five years’ probation and ordered to pay $770,050 in restitution to three Las Vegas casinos after pleading guilty to failing to repay gambling debts.

Walker’s lawyer declined to comment after his sentencing Tuesday in Clark County District Court.

Prosecutor Samuel Bateman says the felony charge could be dismissed if Walker fully repays the debts incurred in 2008 and 2009 at the Planet Hollywood, Red Rock Casino Resort and Caesars Palace casinos.

He faces a year in prison if he violates probation.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Jared Jeffries

Jared Jeffries played well under Mike D’Antoni and is a versatile forward who can defend numerous positions. He is limited offensively and that cost the Knicks in Game 2 of their playoff series against Boston when he blew a chance to give the Knicks the lead in the final seconds when he committed a turnover.

Jeffries is expected to sign a one-year contract for the veteran minimum.

– Reported by Frank Isola of the New York Daily News (Blog)

Read NBA fan opinion or share your views in this basketball forum topic.

Nuggets hope to re-sign Arron Afflalo

Arron Afflalo

While Nuggets execs continue to hammer out a possible deal with Arron Afflalo – a restricted free agent who said he wants to return to Denver – coach George Karl spoke honestly about the importance of Afflalo in his post-Carmelo system.

“I think Arron has become our most intangible glue guy,” the coach said. “When we evaluate why we lost in the playoffs (to Oklahoma City in the first round), free throw shooting was No. 1 and not having Arron Afflalo was probably No. 2.”

There was indeed a big hullaballoo about Afflalo’s absence during the most of the first round, sparking debate about his importance.

– Reported by Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post (blog)

Pacers to meet with center Nene

Nene

Pacers president Larry Bird is about to go after one of the top free agents on the market.

Bird is scheduled to fly to Denver to meet with Nene on Tuesday, according to sources.

Monday was the first day that teams could talk to free agents.

The biggest question surrounding Nene is whether the Pacers, who will likely be around $21 million under the salary cap, are willing to pay top dollar to sign him.

Nene recently told Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports that it’s “not about the money.”

– Reported by the Indianapolis Star

Chris Paul

First it was Chris Paul wanting to be traded to the New York Knicks. Now it’s the Lakers engaging in trade talks with the New Orleans Hornets for him. Soon, word will leak that it’s the Clippers or the Heat or the Mavericks putting out feelers.

And this is how it will be until Paul is moved.

And this is why, if the team and player can’t reach an accord on his future in New Orleans, it has to be done as soon as possible.

Paul doesn’t have to declare an intent to leave New Orleans for teams to inquire about trading for him. It’s natural for them to do so. He’s entering the final year of his contract, the franchise has no owner, the team isn’t expected to contend for the NBA title and the Hornets can’t afford to let him play all season and walk away at the end without receiving any compensation.

– Reported by John DeShazier of the New Orleans Times-Picayune

LeBron James

LeBron James’ talents made it to Miami last season, but his personality did not.

For two weeks after the Finals ended this past summer, James said he stayed mostly in a room by himself and talked to almost no one. There were plenty of things to confront during that extended personal therapy session, both technical and spiritual.

It’s going to take some time to determine whether James has been able to address those issues. But there’s one aspect he feels he has control over and he intends to make it a priority when his unmerciful offseason finally comes to an end this week.

James is determined to be finished playing the villain.

Of course, he doesn’t get to make that choice for others and there are constant reminders of that. He got roundly booed attending a high school basketball game in Cleveland last Friday night, for example. But as for the acceptance of it, James says that is over.

– Reported by Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com 

The NBA is considering pushing back the start of training camps until Monday, multiple league executives told Yahoo! Sports.

The league office was polling team executives over the past 48 hours about the possibility, sources said. Despite the discussions, no final decision has been made.

Friday is the first day that teams are allowed to sign free agents and make trades. Training camps, scheduled to start the same day, could be pre-empted to allow teams to assemble fuller and more complete rosters.

– Reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports

UPDATE: This won’t happen. Training camps will start Friday, December 9 as planned.

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