Archive for January 9th, 2012

Jeff Green

Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers said the team was informed Monday afternoon that Jeff Green’s surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm “went great” and that he hopes the process will allow Green to return to an NBA court at some point.

“Surgery went well, he had surgery today — they’re saying it went great,” Rivers said. “Obviously our thoughts, our prayers and every part of our being is with Jeff right now.

“The second news we want to hear is that he’ll be able to play again. That would be terrific. I don’t care if it’s with us — I want it to be with us — [but] I just want him to. Really, at the end of the day, that’s what we want.”

Rivers said he talked with Green on Friday to wish him well with Monday’s procedure at the Cleveland Clinic. Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge visited the team’s afternoon practice session to relay the encouraging news that surgery went well.

– Reported by Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston

Flip Saunders

Despite the Wizards being off to a franchise-worst 0-8 start, the organization does not have any intention of firing Coach Flip Saunders at this time, according to two sources with knowledge of the situation.

In more than two seasons with the team, Saunders is just 49-123 and the Wizards have set franchise records for consecutive road losses (25) and consecutive losses overall (16). After the Wizards suffered a humiliating 21-point home loss to Minnesota on Sunday, Saunders was asked if he felt that he was running out of chances to get through to his players.

“No I don’t fear that,” Saunders said. “I think I know the process that we’re going through, and I know it’s a painful process.”

Saunders is in the third year of a four-year, $18 million contract that he signed in April 2009.

– Reported by Michael Lee of the Washington Post Blog

President Barack Obama saluted Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks on Monday as NBA champions who staged a season-ending charge to beat LeBron James and the vaunted Miami Heat and claim their first title with a “heart that’s the size of Texas.”

“This was a remarkable run, a great victory,” Obama declared, as owner Mark Cuban and Mavericks stars, including series MVP Nowitzki, looked on. “It’s too bad that next year, it’ll be the Chicago Bulls here.”

The first basketball fan—a passionate supporter of his hometown Bulls— was nonetheless lavish in praising the Mavericks, who beat the Heat in six games last June.

“They know how good teams win,” Obama said. “Not just by jumping higher or running faster, but by finding the open man, working together, staying mentally tough, being supportive of each other, playing smarter.”

– reported by Mark S. Smith of the Associated Press

aaron gray

The Toronto Raptors announced Monday centre Aaron Gray underwent an ablation procedure today to correct his reoccurring episodes of a rapid heart rate. The procedure was performed at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Hospital by Dr. Jaspal Singh and Dr. Eugene Crystal.

It is anticipated Gray will be able to return to the court within two weeks.

Gray, a four-year NBA veteran, was signed December 11 as a free-agent. He appeared in two preseason games, totaling nine rebounds in 32 minutes.

The Raptors face the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight at Air Canada Centre. Game time is 7 p.m. (TSN2/Sportsnet 590 The FAN).

Yi Jianlian

The Dallas Mavericks announced today that they have recalled forward Yi Jianlian from the Texas Legends of the NBA Development League.

Yi (7-0, 250) was signed by the Mavericks as a free agent on Jan. 6 and was assigned to the NBA D-League later the same day. He played in two games for the Legends and averaged 23.0 points, 12.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in 36.5 minutes per game.

Yi will join the team in Detroit when the Mavericks take on the Pistons at 6:30 pm CT on Tuesday, Jan. 10.

Carmelo Anthony says back pain is gone

Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony declared that his back is “pain free” and that he will play tonight against the Charlotte Bobcats.

Anthony suffered a back injury in the fourth quarter of Friday’s win over the Washington Wizards. He played 31 minutes the following night in Detroit but clearly wasn’t himself, scoring just 13 points on 5-for-14 shooting and four rebounds in 31 minutes.

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

DeMarcus Cousins fights urge to reach

DeMarcus Cousins

The message has been consistent from everyone to DeMarcus Cousins when it comes to fouls.

“Stop reaching,” Cousins said. “Every time I see them hold the ball out I’ve just got to go for it. That’s something I’ve got to continue to work on and stop picking up the cheap fouls.”

Foul trouble kept Cousins out for a significant part of the fourth quarter in Sunday’s 104-97 loss to the Orlando Magic.

Cousins picked up his fifth foul with 6:53 left in the third quarter. He didn’t go back into the game until there was 4:48 left in the game.

– Reported by Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee Blog

Deron Williams

In a 101-90 loss to the Heat, the Nets offense sputtered through another slow start — with just 35 points in the first half — and ultimately another depressing evening.

“Our offense (stinks),” Deron Williams, who missed a game last week with a ribs injury, said after the Nets shot 33.7 percent with 22 turnovers Saturday. “We’re not very good right now. We’re not playing good. We’re not shooting good. I’m not shooting good. We’re turning the ball over.

“I like the offense. I like the system, I just think we’re not executing good, we’re not finishing, we’re not hitting shots, messing up plays, not in the right spots.”

The point guard’s statement is underscored by the stat sheet.

The Nets are shooting a league-worst 38.1 percent from the field. Their average of 85.44 points per game would be a league worst if not for the Detroit Pistons.

– Reported by Michael J. Fensom of the Newark Star-Ledger

Delonte West

The Dallas Mavericks, at the expense of owner Mark Cuban, will be visiting the White House on Monday in honor of last season’s NBA Championship.

But apparently there is one Maverick who will not get the opportunity to shake President Barack Obama’s hand.

“I’m banned from going to the White House, so I’m not going to make it,” Mavericks guard Delonte West told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “But I’m going home to D.C. I’m just not allowed to go to the White House. That’s what happens when you make bad decisions in your life. You can’t go to the White House.”

– Reported by Fox Sports Southwest

Brandon Knight

When Brandon Knight tries to split a double team too late and smacks into a closed gap, or tries to squeeze an open-court pass that would have gotten there in college, the Detroit Pistons rookie files it into memory.

That is great for the future. There is ample reason to believe that whatever the Pistons’ long-term problems, point guard is not among them.

It also is clear the Pistons need Rodney Stuckey back, or they might not have much of a present.

The Pistons play tonight in Chicago, against the team that started their current slide of three consecutive losses by 16 points or more, something no Detroit team had done since January 1980.

Knight was forced to become the Pistons’ primary point guard midway through Wednesday’s 99-83 loss to the Chicago Bulls and immediately was confronted by Derrick Rose, the NBA’s reigning Most Valuable Player, who isn’t likely to be any easier on the youngster tonight.

– Reported by David Mayo of MLive.com

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