Archive for January 27th, 2012

Clippers waive guard Courtney Fortson

The Los Angeles Clippers today waived guard Courtney Fortson. Fortson was signed by the Clippers on Jan. 16 and appeared in four games, averaging 4.3 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 11.2 minutes. Fortson scored a career-high 13 points on Jan. 17 vs. Utah.

The Clippers roster currently stands at 14.

Hornets waive guard Trey Johnson

The New Orleans Hornets announced today that they have requested waivers on guard Trey Johnson. Johnson appeared in 11 regular season games this season, averaging 1.9 points and 1.1 rebounds per game in 5.5 minutes. The Jackson State University product has appeared in 23 career NBA games in three seasons of play with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Toronto Raptors, Los Angeles Lakers and Hornets. He has career averages of 2.6 points and 0.9 rebounds in 7.3 minutes of play.

The Hornets roster now stands at 14.

Andrew Bogut

Milwaukee Bucks General Manager John Hammond announced the following update on the injury to Andrew Bogut (7-0, 260):

“This morning in Milwaukee, Andrew had additional diagnostic tests performed on his left ankle.  The results of the testing confirmed a left ankle fracture which will keep Bogut sidelined for a period of 8-to-12 weeks.”

The seventh-year center was injured in Wednesday night’s win at Houston (January 25) when his left foot landed awkwardly on a Rockets player’s foot after attempting to block a shot in the first period.  In 12 games this season, Bogut averaged 11.3 points, a team-high 8.3 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.0 steal and a team-high 2.0 blocked shots (T-7th in NBA) in 30.0 minutes per contest.

Carmelo Anthony to sit out a few games

Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony is hurting, and the struggling New York Knicks are going to be without their leading scorer for at least a few days.

Anthony will not play Friday night when the Knicks visit Miami because of an array of thumb, wrist and ankle problems, and is not expected in the lineup when New York heads to Houston on Saturday.

“I’ve just got to be smart,” Anthony said Friday morning. “I think I was trying to be a superhero and trying to prove to my teammates that I can play hurt, trying to hide it. But at the end of the day me doing that, it wasn’t really doing nothing but hurting the team. … Me being limited out there on the court, it wasn’t doing anything for me, for my psyche, for my body. It was just making it worse.”

Potentially making matters even worse for the Knicks on Friday: Heat guard Dwyane Wade may return to Miami’s lineup, after going through the team’s morning shootaround practice and getting several sessions of on-court conditioning in this week while trying to recover from a sprained right ankle. Wade has missed Miami’s last six games because of the sprain.

– Reported by Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press

Andrea Bargnani

Raptors forward-center Andrea Bargnani reinjured his strained left calf in the first overtime of Wednesday’s double-overtime victory at Utah. Tests done Thursday in Denver revealed no significant damage to the calf. Bargnani will be treated symptomatically and is expected to be sidelined for an indefinite period of time.

Bargnani originally injured his calf January 11 against Sacramento. He missed six games from January 13-22.

In 13 games this season, Bargnani has averaged a team-leading 23.5 points with 6.4 rebounds, second on the team, in a team-high 36.1 minutes. He has scored 30 or more points in four contests, including 36 in his return to the lineup Tuesday in Phoenix.

Ron Artest

After game after game of uninterested play, World Peace suddenly was the same tough, defensive-minded small forward that the Lakers signed in 2009 and helped them win an NBA title.

“I had gotten bored with defense because it was so easy to stop people over the years,” World Peace said. “I mean, I got real bored with it. When you are stopping guys every single time, what else are you going to do? It caught up to me.”

So World Peace slacked off and let his focus wander and his conditioning slip in his role as the team’s sixth player. His shooting percentage fell off and his defense suffered. He said, though, that he feels “almost back to where I want to be.”

“I played 38 minutes yesterday and didn’t come out of the game and I was like ‘Wow’,” he said.  “I was able to play hard and help the defense. … I didn’t think I would be able to play 38 minutes this early.”

– Reported by Janis Carr of the Orange County Register

Hornets still hope to keep Eric Gordon

Eric Gordon

Gordon, 6 feet 3, 215 pounds, will become a restricted free agent July 1, and General Manager Dell Demps said they are going to make a strong push to re-sign him.

“I’m still very optimistic that we will make Eric a big part of our team for years to come, and hopefully, we’ll get something done this summer,” Demps said.

The Hornets can match any offer Gordon gets, and there already are reports surfacing that the Indiana Pacers are planning to make a push to sign Gordon, who is from Indianapolis

Gordon said last week that he was willing to sign a long-term extension with the Hornets. Sources said Gordon wanted a maximum-money, four- to five-year contract. But the Hornets and the NBA, who currently owns the franchise, weren’t willing to offer him a four-year, $62 million deal.

“We all worked hard on the extension, but sometimes business is business,” Gordon said in a statement. “Right now, my sole focus is on staying in great shape and making sure I get back to 100 percent health as quickly as possible, so I can return to playing and helping my teammates and Coach Monty win games. This is really what it is all about right now for me.’’

– Reported by John Reid of the New Orleans Times Picayune

The insinuations of basketball inadequacy are potentially harmful for the Prudential Center, if only because the city of Newark — which owns the arena — wants to lure a permanent NBA team once the Nets leave.

According to a source familiar with the situation, Newark Mayor Cory Booker and former Newark resident Shaquille O’Neal have spoken several times about the subject and are in the process of arranging a meeting with the league.

One potential obstacle is the Nets, who don’t want a team just 13 miles away from the Barclays Center so soon after their own transition.

As a response to the various comments from the Nets, a spokesperson for the Prudential Center released a statement lauding the arena’s history — which included “more basketball games (last year) than any other arena in the U.S. but for Staples Center,” thanks in part to WNBA and NCAA Tournament games — while strategically mentioning the Barclays Center’s competition in midtown.

“Like Staples, the Garden and other new, big-city arenas, the Rock is a state-of-the-art facility meant to host all kinds of world-class sports and entertainment events. That’s why we have become one of the 10 busiest arenas in the world.”

– Reported by Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News

76ers sign center Francisco Elson

The Philadelphia 76ers announced today that they have signed free agent center Francisco Elson.  With the addition of Elson, the Sixers roster now stands at 14.

“We are happy to pick up Francisco Elson, a veteran big man who can help bolster our front court,” Sixers President of Basketball Operations Rod Thorn said.

Elson (7-0, 240) has appeared in 467 games with 149 starts while averaging 3.7 points (47.8% FGs, 70.0% FTs) and 3.5 rebounds in 15.4 minutes per game.  In 2006-07, he saw action in 70 games with 41 starts for the NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs.

This is Elson’s second stint with the Sixers.  He was acquired via trade from Milwaukee along with Jodie Meeks in exchange for Primoz Brezec, Royal Ivey and a second round pick on Feb. 18, 2010.  The native of the Netherlands only appeared in one game for the Sixers following the trade but played in 62 games for Utah last season.

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