Archive for December 27th, 2011

Warriors will add center Kyrylo Fesenko

Kyrylo Fesenko

A report from Sports Illustrated and confirmed by Comcast SportsNet Bay Area indicates that center Kyrylo Fesenko has agreed to a one-year deal with the Warriors.

According to Sam Amick, Fesenko’s one-year deal with Golden State is for the rest of the team’s cap space: approximately $1.07 million.

– Via CSN Bay Area

Phoenix Suns offense struggles in opener

Steve Nash

In the Steve Nash era one issue you never had to worry about was the Phoenix Suns’ offense.

Might this be changing right before our eyes?

In Monday’s opening night loss the Phoenix Suns fell to the New Orleans Hornets 85-84.

Since Steve Nash has been on the Suns, 2004-05 season to the present, their record in games when they have given up 99 points or less is an incredible 175-23 - a .88 win percentage.

Head coach Alvin Gentry isn’t panicking about the offense yet.

“I think we got very good looks,” said Gentry. “Grant had three wide open looks, Channing had three or four wide open looks, Dudley had three or four ones that we’re very capable of making. The biggest concern I thought was we didn’t shoot the ball well.”

– Via  Bryan Gibberman of Arizona Sports

Drew Gooden

Drew Gooden of the Milwaukee Bucks has been suspended one game without pay for his Flagrant Foul Two against Gerald Henderson of the Charlotte Bobcats, it was announced today by Stu Jackson, NBA Executive Vice President Basketball Operations.

The incident, in which Gooden made excessive contact with the head of Henderson, occurred with 27.3 seconds remaining in the third quarter of the Bucks 96-95 loss to the Bobcats at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C. on December 26.

Gooden will serve his suspension tonight when the Bucks host the Minnesota Timberwolves in their home opener.

DJ Augustin

After a rough start as a rookie, Augustin’s turnaround as a player coincided with the arrival Silas last December.

Under former coach Larry Brown, Augustin was timid and often afraid to shoot. Then Silas arrived.

“Playing for coach Brown, I was looking over my shoulder because I didn’t want to make a mistake,” Augustin said. “He’s still a great coach and taught me a lot of fundamentals. But with coach Silas, he gives you that chance to be free and make plays.”

That was never more evident than in a game last season against Minnesota.

Augustin was having a horrible night shooting from the field, and Silas noticed he was starting to pass up open shots.

So Silas called a timeout.

When Augustin got the sideline, Silas looked him in the eyes and gave the 6-foot point guard a lesson he’s never forgotten.

“I brought him over to the bench and I said, `Son, if you ever pass up another shot I’m going to take you out of the game and I’m not going to play you at all,’” Silas said. “I told him, `Listen, every time you get the ball, I want you to shoot it.’”

– Via Steve Reed of the Associated Press

Chris Bosh

Much was made here and elsewhere of the muscle that Chris Bosh added this offseason, especially visible in his upper arms.

And yet, in the second preseason and regular season opener, Bosh hasn’t managed to do much in the low post.

It’s too early to make too much of this, especially since foul trouble limited Bosh’s minutes, and hurt his rhythm, in Dallas. But it bears watching. With Erik Spoelstra tailoring much of the offense to the versatile talents of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, and encouraging them not only to push the pace but also to sometimes set up camp down low, Bosh is the guy who could get left behind.

After Tuesday’s shootaround, Bosh acknowledged that it remained “a feeling out process.”

– Via Ethan J. Skolnick of the Palm Beach Post Blog

Anthony Mason Jr. of the Sioux Falls Skyforce was today named NBA Development League Performer of the Week for games played Dec 19-25.

For the week, the 6-7, 205-pound forward out of St. John’s averaged 21.0 points on 51 percent shooting, to go with 7.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists, as the Skyforce went 2-1.

Mason Jr. registered his first double-double of the season, finishing with 22 points and 12 rebounds as the Skyforce defeated Springfield, 103-99 on Sunday, Dec. 25, the team’s third game in four nights. Mason tallied 23 points, six rebounds, three assists and three blocks in a 104-95 loss to Canton on Friday, Dec. 23. He opened the week with 19 points on 8-for-13 shooting in a 100-96 win over Fort Wayne on Thursday, Dec. 22. For the season, Mason Jr. is averaging 16.6 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists.

Other top performers considered include the Reno Bighorns’ Blake Ahearn, who averaged 23.5 points and 9.0 assists; the Rio Grande Valley Vipers’ Stanley Asumnu, who averaged 20.0 points and 7.0 rebounds; the Idaho Stampede’s Tony Bobbitt, who averaged 22.0 points and 5.5 assists; the Maine Red Claws’ Justin Brownlee, who averaged 22.0 points and 11.0 rebounds; the Los Angeles D-Fenders’ Brandon Costner, who averaged 27.5 points and 7.5 rebounds; the Maine Red Claws’ Paul Harris, who averaged 19.0 points, 8.5 rebounds and 8.0 assists; the Springfield Armor’s Lance Hurdle, who averaged 17.0 points and 5.7 rebounds; the Bakersfield Jam’s Juan Pattillo, who averaged 16.0 points and 7.5 rebounds; the Maine Red Claws’ Courtney Pigram, who averaged 24.0 points and 3.0 assists; the Texas Legends’ Chris Roberts, who averaged 24.0 points and 3.5 rebounds; the Rio Grand Valley Vipers’ Julian Sensley, who averaged 18.0 points and 8.0 rebounds; and the Iowa Energy’s Ben Strong, who averaged 12.5 points and 5.0 rebounds.

Andray Blatche

Washington starting forward Andray Blatche was among the most distraught players in the locker room following a 90-84 loss to New Jersey, and it wasn’t only because the Wizards wasted a 21-point lead in their season opener at Verizon Center.

Blatche finished with 11 points on 5-for-13 shooting, taking mostly jumpers. That didn’t sit well with the team captain who addressed the announced crowd of 17,102 before tip-off.

A reporter asked Blatche to address Coach Flip Saunders’ comments that players were relying too much on individual production once the Wizards went comfortably ahead early in the second quarter, 37-17.

“He probably was talking about me for the simple fact that I said I need the ball in the paint to be effective,” Blatche said. “You can’t keep having me pick and pop and shooting jumpshots. Gimme the ball in the paint. That’s where I’m most effiective at. I’ve been saying that since training camp. I need the ball in the paint. I don’t wand to be the pick-and-pop guy I used to be because it’s not working for me.”

– Via Gene Wang of the Washington Post Blog

Dirk Nowitzki

The question isn’t what ails the defending champion Dallas Mavericks, but can they fix it in time to make another run at the playoffs in this 66-game season?

Their offense showed signs of life Monday, then grew anemic after the first quarter, and the defense was uneven throughout the 115-93 loss to the Denver Nuggets.

Denver guard Ty Lawson led all scorers with 27 points. “There are a bunch of good players on this team and I knew that we were going to come out strong,” Lawson said.

It was the second blowout loss in a row at home for the Mavericks, who fell 105-94 to the Miami Heat on Sunday. In that game, Dallas trailed by as many as 35 points.

“We look old, slow and out of shape,” Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki said. “I still think this team has a lot of potential. We just need to work. … We probably needed extra weeks of training camp. But we don’t have it so the young teams, the athletic teams, look better right now than we do.”

– Via J. Michael Falgoust of USA Today

Knicks sign guard Jeremy Lin

Jeremy Lin

Help was needed in the New York backcourt. Mission accomplished — at least a little.

New York Knickerbockers Senior Vice President, Basketball Operations and Interim General Manager Glen Grunwald announced today that the team has claimed guard Jeremy Lin off waivers.

According to the Associated Press, “the Knicks are short-handed in the backcourt. Iman Shumpert could miss four weeks with a knee injury, Baron Davis might still be weeks away because of his bulging back disc and Mike Bibby missed the opener with a sore lower back.”

Lin, 6-3, 200-pounds, averaged 2.6 points, 1.4 assists and 1.2 rebounds over 9.8 minutes in 29 games with Golden State last season and in 20 games for Reno of the NBA D-League, he averaged 18.0 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 20 games. The Torrance, CA-native, signed with the Warriors as an undrafted free agent on Jul. 21, 2010, following a four-year playing career at Harvard University where he appeared in 115 games (87 starts) and averaged 12.9 points on .481 shooting, 4.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.96 steals over 29.3 minutes. Waived by the Warriors on Dec. 9, 2011, Lin was claimed off waivers by Houston on Dec. 12, and later waived on Dec. 24.

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