Archive for January 3rd, 2012

Clippers sign forward Solomon Jones

The Los Angeles Clippers today signed free agent forward Solomon Jones. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not announced.

A second-round pick (33rd overall) of the Atlanta Hawks in the 2006 NBA Draft, the 6-foot-10 Jones has played for Atlanta and Indiana in his five-year career. In 39 games with the Pacers last season, Jones averaged 3.6 points, 2.9 rebounds and 0.6 blocks in 13.5 minutes.

The 27-year old Jones has appeared in 247 career games, making 10 starts and bringing career averages of 3.1 points, 2.6 rebounds and 0.6 blocks to the Clippers. Jones has appeared in 16 playoff games with Atlanta in 2008 and 2009.

A Florida native, Jones enjoyed a standout two-year career at the University of South Florida from 2004-06 before joining the Hawks.

The Clippers roster currently stands at 14.

Spurs sign forward Ike Diogu

Ike Diogu

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they have signed forward Ike Diogu.  Per club policy details of the contract were not released.

Diogu, 6-9, 250 pounds, spent last season playing for the L.A. Clippers, He appeared in 36 games, averaging 5.8 points and 3.2 rebounds in 13.1 minutes while shooting .561 (83-148) from the field.

A five-year NBA veteran, Diogu was originally drafted by the Golden State Warriors with the ninth overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft.  He has also seen action with the Indiana Pacers (2006-08), Portland Trail Blazers (2008-09) and Sacramento Kings (2008-09).  For his career Diogu has appeared in 223 games, averaging 6.0 points and 3.1 rebounds in 12.5 minutes.

Diogu will wear No. 1 for the Spurs.

marcus morris

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has assigned forward Marcus Morris to Houston’s single-affiliation NBA D-League partner Rio Grande Valley. It marks the first assignment for Morris to the D-League.

“The Rockets assignment of Marcus Morris to the Vipers is another example of our belief in player development through the D-League,” said Rockets Vice President of Player Personnel/Vipers General Manager Gersson Rosas. “We have found success in developing young players like Aaron Brooks and Patrick Patterson in our minor-league program and believe that Marcus will be the latest to benefit from this process. The opportunity for Marcus to continue his development in a primary role in games and practices for the Vipers is invaluable and necessary at this stage of his career.”

Morris (6-9, 235, Kansas), who was selected by Houston with the 14th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, has appeared in three games this season with the Rockets. An early entry candidate for the 2011 NBA Draft, Morris finished his Kansas career 25th on the all-time KU scoring list with 1,371 points scored, 16th all-time in rebounds with 676, ninth in double-doubles for a Jayhawk with 19 and 12th on the single-season scoring list with 654 points during the 2010-11 season. Chosen right after his twin brother, Markieff (13th overall by Phoenix), Morris was selected the Big 12 Player of the Year and the Big 12 Championship Most Outstanding Player following a standout junior season. He added First-Team All-Big 12 accolades, as well as USBWA, NABC and AP All-America Second Team in 2010-11. An Oscar Robertson Trophy finalist, Morris was one of 20 college players chosen by USA Basketball to train against the USA Men’s National Team during the 2010 offseason.

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they have assigned rookie Cory Joseph to the Austin Toros of the NBA Development League.

Joseph, a 6-3 guard, has seen action in four games for the Spurs this season, totaling 2 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists in 22 minutes.

The Spurs selected Joseph out of the University of Texas with the 29th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. In his lone season with the Longhorns he was named to the Big 12 All-Rookie Team and earned All-Big 12 Honorable Mention.

Joseph will make his Austin debut on Thursday, Jan. 5 when the Toros host the Maine Red Claws at the Cedar Park Center at 7 p.m.

John Wall

The Wizards were collecting technical fouls as if there was a shortage in the first quarter. Flip Saunders picked up two and got ejected after arguing with referee Eli Roe for a non-call and then grabbing his arm for an explanation. JaVale McGee was responsible for another two, because he didn’t move out of the lane quickly enough as the team was called for defensive three seconds.

John Wall got the other technical for taunting after he drove in the lane, threw down a hard left-handed dunk on Boston Celtics center Greg Stiemsma, then glared at him. If a 6-foot-4 guy dunks all over a near 7-footer, you’d figure he had earned the right to do whatever he wanted.

“I think I had the right to stare at him,” Wall said with a grin after the Wizards lost, 100-92, on Monday night. “I guess you can’t stare at people when stuff happen. I just stared at him at got a tech. It was the same thing when other people make plays, and the players say something to you and they don’t get nothing. I just had to keep my head the rest of the game because I didn’t want to get ejected and cost my teammates.”

– Reported by Michael Lee of the Washington Post Blog

Iman Shumpert

Iman Shumpert could return for tomorrow’s game against the Bobcats, easily beating the Knicks’ 2-to-4-week timetable.

The Knicks dynamic rookie combo guard spent the morning shootaround leaping and dunking, cutting and grooving to the basket. Shumpert hasn’t played since spraining his left MCL in a collision with the Celtics’ Chris Wilcox in the season opener.

After undergoing multiple agility drills yesterday with success, he is ready to participate in his first practice today, and coach Mike D’Antoni would not rule out Shumpert for the Charlotte game if all goes perfectly.

– Reported by Marc Berman of the New York Post

Spencer Hawes

Spencer Hawes, the source of boos and displeasure last season, is the brightest of bright spots now for the Sixers, who have split wins and losses in the first four games, with the fifth tomorrow night in New Orleans.

Hawes is averaging 12 points, 12.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists and is shooting 67.6 percent from the floor. He is barely recognizable if you compare him to what he was last season.

But if there is a stat that truly stands out, that shows just how much different a player Hawes is, it’s that he is averaging only 2.3 fouls a game - in 33.3 minutes of play. Last season, the 7-1 center was often in foul trouble, part of the reason he was on the floor for only 21.2 minutes a game.

There are many variables as to why Hawes has become such a good player in the middle for coach Doug Collins. His conditioning is so much better. He has a better frame of mind, has more confidence, and has a familiarity with his coach, all factors in his game that he has never had before.

– Reported by Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News

Ray Allen

The Celtics have won three straight after dropping their first three and are tied for first in the Atlantic Division, a testament to this bizarre, lockout-shortened season. But one thing that can be counted on is Allen’s immaculate conditioning and his 3-point shooting.

Allen was 6 of 7 from deep last night, raising his season percentage from .552 to .611. He leads the Celtics in scoring at 20 points per contest.

After the game, Allen stunned the media when he revealed he had been battling a cold all day.

“The minute I sat down in the locker room afterwards my nose started running and I started coughing again,’’ he said. “Any time you have any small issue, you always focus a lot more. It’s like that little bit of playing around you do, you cut that out and you focus more.’’

– Reported by Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe

Jason Kidd

With a visit to the White House coming early next week, the Dallas Mavericks are looking forward at the opportunity of possibly playing some basketball against President Barack Obama.

An avid basketball fan, President Obama has been known to have a mean jumpshot and a slittery drive to the basket. The Mavs, who will visit the White House on Monday as part of the honor of being the defending NBA champions, hope to play a game of one-on-one with the Commander In Chief and see what they can learn from one of the most powerful people in the world.

“It’s going to be a great honor to meet the Chief, so we look forward to it,’’ guard Jason Kidd said. “Maybe we might have a little time to play a little one-on-one.’’

Asked if he believes he can truly get a call to go his way playing against the President, Kidd smiled and said: “Well, we know he’s going to get the benefit of the calls. And he has homecourt advantage, so we’ll just try to keep it close.’’

– Reported by Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram Blog

Manu Ginobili suffers broken left hand

 Manu Ginobili

Spurs scoring leader Manu Ginobili on Monday suffered a broken bone in his left hand with 2:38 remaining in the Spurs’ game against the Timberwolves at Target Center here.

Ginobili, who is left-handed, appeared to suffer the injury reaching in an attempt to strip the ball from Timberwolves forward Anthony Tolliver as Tolliver went up for a shot near the 3-point line…

Spurs officials reported the injury was a fractured fifth metacarpal.

– Reported by Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News

Basketball blog