Archive for March, 2012

The New York Knicks season has been a wild, unpredictable ride filled with surprises, disappointments, and extended winning and losing streaks. But now now one of the bright spots will be out recovering instead of helping the squad play like a functional unit.

Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press reports:

Say so long to Linsanity.

Jeremy Lin will miss the rest of the regular season because he needs knee surgery that will sideline him six weeks and could leave the Knicks without their star point guard in the playoffs—if they make it that far.

Lin had an MRI exam this week that revealed a small, chronic meniscus tear and he has elected to have surgery next week in New York.

With the regular season ending April 26, the biggest story in basketball this season is done unless the Knicks make a deep postseason run.

Speaking slowly during a pregame press conference, Lin was unable to hide his disappointment with the decision that was reached earlier Saturday after a painful workout.

“It (stinks) not being able to be out there with the team,” he said.

Upcoming: Lin-surgery.

Spurs beat Pacers for 7th straight win

The San Antonio Spurs don’t care that you think they are too old to matter anymore. They’ll keep right on winning, whether you like it or not.

The AP reports:

The San Antonio Spurs made it seven straight wins by beating the Indiana Pacers 112-103 in the NBA on Saturday.

Tim Duncan had 23 points and 11 rebounds while Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili added 18 points apiece for the Spurs, who are 8-1 since making a rare plunge into midseason moves by adding forwards Stephen Jackson and Boris Diaw .

Despite their hot form, San Antonio has not been able to reduce its 2-1/2 game deficit to first-placed Oklahoma City, which is also on a winning streak.

Paul George and Danny Granger each scored 18 for the Pacers, who are struggling to break out of the jammed East playoff picture and secure some home-court edge.

Terrence Williams

The Sacramento Kings have decided they like guard/forward Terrence Williams enough to keep him around. The team today signed Williams for the remainder of the season, according to Kings’ President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie.

Williams, currently in his third NBA season, is averaging 7.5 points (.500 FGs, .286 3FGs, .667 FTs), 3.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.0 steals per game through four outings with the Kings off the bench. He was originally signed to a 10-day contract with Sacramento on March 21, 2012.

The 18-33 Kings are currently 14th in the Western conference.

Gerald Wallace

New Jersey Nets forward Gerald Wallace went crazy Friday night, leading the New Jersey Nets to a 102-11 road win over the Golden State Warriors. Wallace shot 7-of-16 for 24 points, 18 rebounds, five assists and six steals in the win.

Here’s the Associated Press:

Wallace scored 10 points over the final 6 minutes and made a pair of key defensive stops as New Jersey rallied from 19 points down in the second half to beat the Golden State Warriors 102-100 on Friday night.

“The future looks good, if we had everybody healthy,” Wallace said after the Nets opened a four-game West Coast trip with their first win at Oracle Arena in more than six years. “We have an elite point guard, we have one of the up-and-coming centers … so our future looks great.”

Wallace might not have had the same feelings two weeks ago after arriving in a trade from Portland. New Jersey lost its first five games with Wallace to drop 19 games below .500.

The Nets have turned things around lately and have won three of their last four…

Kris Humphries added 20 points and nine rebounds while Deron Williams had nine points and a season-high 20 assists to help New Jersey to its third win in four games.

David Lee had 27 points and six rebounds for Golden State, which led 76-57 midway through the third quarter but couldn’t get much going offensively the rest of the way.

Sixers shoot bricks, lose to Wizards

A team fighting for first place late in the season is routed by a lottery-bound team led by a player on a 10-day contract. And, just for good measure, let’s say the lottery team finishes the game short-handed because two starters come down with the very same injury.

That sounds almost as preposterous as the Washington Wizards losing to the Kentucky Wildcats.

While the world will never know for sure whether the Wizards could handle the Final Four school, they certainly had no problem making the Philadelphia 76ers look a bit amateurish Friday night. Washington took a double-digit lead early in the second quarter and never let up in a 97-76 victory…

Philadelphia had only 36 points—including just two fast-break points—at halftime against Washington and were simply outhustled throughout. The Wizards outrebounded the 76ers 52-38 for the game…

Their top scorer was Cartier Martin, who tied a career high with 20 points in his second game under a 10-day contract…

Jordan Crawford scored 17 points for the Wizards. Kevin Seraphin added 14 points, and Wall had nine points, six rebounds and six assists.

Lou Williams and Thaddeus Young scored 14 points apiece for the 76ers. Andre Iguodala, returning after missing two games with tendinitis in his left knee, had just seven points in 34 minutes.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Reggie Evans

Los Angeles Clippers forward Reggie Evans has been fined $25,000 for making an obscene gesture, it was announced today by Stu Jackson, NBA Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The incident occurred with 4:23 remaining in the second quarter of the Clippers’ 97-85 win over the New Orleans Hornets at Staples Center on March 26.

The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) tells editor Jeff Lenchiner that an all-new episode of “Oprah’s Master Class” will feature Phoenix Suns forward Grant Hill. The ep is this Sunday, April 1 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

Here’s how they describe the episode: Strong values instilled by his parents and lessons learned on and off the court enabled Grant Hill to become one of the best all-around players in the NBA, which is why when things got tough, he found ways to grow as a person and stay in the game.

Sounds to us like it’ll be worth watching. Grant Hill is one of the smartest and most interesting players in the league. I’ll certainly be checking it out.

Video Preview:

Suns forward Grant Hill has knee surgery

Grant Hill

Phoenix Suns forward Grant Hill today underwent a successful procedure on his right knee, the team has announced.  The procedure was performed by team orthopedic surgeon Dr. Thomas Carter and was less than 30 minutes long.

Dr. Carter repaired a medial meniscus tear in Hill’s right knee, which was discovered in a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) on Thursday.

If rehab goes as expected, Hill will return before the end of the regular season.

Hill has appeared in 46 games this season for the Suns, averaging 10.7 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists.  Since the break, Hill has averaged 12.9 points and is shooting 52.1 percent from the field overall.  The Suns’ best individual defender, Hill has led a Phoenix defense that is allowing just 97.6 points this season, its fewest since 2002-03, and 8.2 points fewer than a season ago.

Jermaine O`Neal undergoes wrist surgery

jermaine o'neal

The Boston Celtics announced today that forward/center Jermaine O’Neal underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on his left wrist today at New England Baptist Hospital. The surgery was performed by Celtics Team Physician Dr. Brian McKeon and Dr. Drew Terrono.

O’Neal, a 6’11” center/forward, appeared in 25 games for the Celtics this season averaging 5.0 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in 22.8 minutes per game. O’Neal recorded a season-high 19 points against Detroit on December 30. He also recorded a season-high 12 rebounds against Indiana on January 14.

The 28-22 Celtics are currently 7th in the Eastern conference.

In the storied history of Kentucky basketball, no player had ever been considered the nation’s best in that season.

Until now.

Freshman Anthony Davis continued his run of national player of the year awards by accepting the Associated Press honor on Friday.

He beat Kansas’ Thomas Robinson for the honor. Davis received 43 votes, Robinson 20 and Michigan State’s Draymond Green two. The voting occurred before the NCAA Tournament began.

Davis, whose Wildcats take on Louisville in a national semifinal on Saturday, becomes the second freshman to win the honor. Texas’ Kevin Durant won the 2007 AP award.

Kentucky won seven NCAA championships and produced a slew of excellent players. Some, like Ralph Beard, Alex Groza and Bill Spivey played before national players of the year were identified.

– Reported by Blair Kerkhoff of the Kansas City Star

The New Jersey Nets have signed free agent forward Dennis Horner from the D-League’s Springfield Armor to a 10-day contract, Nets General Manager Billy King announced today.

Horner is the fourth player to sign a 10-day contract with the Nets this season.  The 6-9 rookie from N.C. State signed with the Nets prior to training camp on December 9, 2011.  He appeared in five games with New Jersey, scoring a total of four points in 16 minutes of action.

In 25 games, 20 starts, with the Armor this season, Horner is averaging 17.0 points and 8.5 rebounds, while shooting .471 from the field and .373 from deep.  He had his best performance of the season on 2/27 vs. Maine when he scored 29 points on 10-for-15 shooting, including 3-of-4 from deep, and pulled down 15 rebounds.

Lester Hudson

The 17-31 Cleveland Cavaliers have lost five straight games and only won two of their last 10 contests. And today they chose to add some depth to their backcourt.

The Cavs have signed guard Lester Hudson from the Austin Toros of the NBA Development League to a 10-day contract, Cavaliers General Manager Chris Grant announced.

The signing of Hudson marks the 46th Call-Up of the 2011-12 season. Hudson will wear No. 14 for the Cavaliers and is available for tonight’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Hudson has appeared in five games (two starts) for the Toros this season, averaging 17.6 points on .532 shooting, 6.0 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 2.4 steals in 29.2 minutes per game. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound guard from the University of Tennessee-Martin was originally drafted in the second round with the 58th overall pick by the Boston Celtics in the 2009 NBA Draft.

During his rookie year in 2009-10, Hudson played in 25 total games for the Celtics and the Memphis Grizzlies, posting averages of 2.3 points and 0.7 rebounds in 5.4 minutes per game. He also appeared in 20 D-League games for the Dakota Wizards and Maine Red Claws, averaging 16.0 points on .435 shooting, 6.0 rebounds and 4.2 assists in 27.2 minutes per game. During the 2010-11 season, Lester appeared in 11 games for the Washington Wizards and posted averages of 1.6 points and 1.5 assists in 6.9 minutes per game.

University of North Carolina junior forward John Henson, sophomore forward Harrison Barnes and sophomore point guard Kendall Marshall will enter the 2012 NBA Draft.

“It’s a great day for three youngsters who are taking another step toward their ultimate goal of playing professional basketball,” says head coach Roy Williams. “On a very small stage, it’s a sad day for me because I won’t get to coach them again. All Tar Heel fans will miss them greatly, as well.

“When I recruit a young man I talk to them about their ultimate goals and each of them are taking that next step toward reaching the goals they spoke to me about. I am extremely pleased for them. They have meant so much to our basketball program and theUniversity of North Carolina. I thank them for everything they have contributed to Carolina Basketball.

“I really look forward to watching Harrison, John and Kendall play in the NBA. I know theywill be very successful. They have been and will always be great Tar Heels.”

Henson was the ACC’s defensive player of the year in 2011 and 2012 and earned first-team all-conference honors as a junior. He played in 109 games and finished with1,124 points, 885 rebounds (11th all-time at UNC) and 279 blocks, the second-most in school history. He is first all-time at Carolina with 2.56 blocked shots per game.

“I’ve loved my three years at Carolina, and now I’m ready to pursue my dream of playing in the NBA,” says Henson. “It’s tough to leave because I love my teammates, coaches and UNC. I wish we’d been able to bring our fans a national championship, but it wasn’t meant to be. I am proud of what we accomplished, especially the last two years.

“I plan to finish working toward my degree. That’s important to my parents, CoachWilliams and me. I can’t say enough about how much I’ve enjoyed my experience in Chapel Hill. This was a big decision and it will be a big change, but I’m ready.

“I’d like to thank my parents, Coach Williams and his staff and all of my teammates for everything they’ve done to get me ready for this moment. I’d also like to thank all the Carolina fans who have given us so much support over the lastthree years.”

Barnes earned first-team All-ACC honors and second-team All-America honors (NABC) as a sophomore after leading Carolina in scoring for the second straight year. The Ames, Iowa, native scored 1,228 points in 75 games, an average of 16.4 per contest.

“I’m honored and blessed to have the opportunity to compete in the NBA,” says Barnes. “The love and respect I have for basketball fuel the drive toward my ultimate goal - to experience an illustrious career in the NBA. I have consulted with Coach Williams and my family, and although it was a difficult decision, I have decided to enter this year’s NBA draft.

“Chapel Hill is a special place. Over the past two years I’ve enjoyed every single moment of my Tar Heel experience. The road we took to reach the Elite 8 in 2011 and again in 2012 were great team accomplishments. I am thankful to UNC fans, my teammates, and to have played for Hall of Fame Coach Roy Williams and the entire coaching staff. Now it’s time for the next course of my journey. Although I may be giving up my eligibility, I will continue to pursue my degree. I love this university and will always be a Tar Heel.”

Marshall won the 2012 Bob Cousy Award as the top point guard in the nation and was a first-team All-America by The Dumfries, Va., native set the ACC’ssingle-season assist record this year with 351, the fourth-most in NCAA history. He also set ACC single-season records with 9.75 assists per game and 17 double-figure assist games. He is Carolina’s all-time leader in assist per game (7.96) and the ACC’s career leader in assist-turnover ratio (3.01). He is second in ACC history in assists per game.

“I would like to thank my family, coaches, teammates and the Tar Heel Nation for all their support,” says Marshall. “It’s been the greatest two years of my life. I have always put the team before myself and I am extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished. My life long dream has been to play basketball at the highestlevel possible and I feel now is my greatest opportunity to fulfill this goal. I will always be a Tar Heel at heart and I will carry the experiences that I’ve had here both on and off the court with me for the rest of my life.”

The Los Angeles Clippers today announced that they have assigned rookie guard Travis Leslie to the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA Development League.

This marks Leslie’s second stint with the Jam this season. In four games played with Bakersfield from March 2nd through March 11th, Leslie tallied 12.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 21.0 minutes per game.

The 47th overall selection in the 2011 NBA Draft, Leslie has averaged 1.4 points and 4.5 minutes in 10 games played for the Clippers this season.

Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley reiterated today his doubt that the franchise will be sold anytime soon.

How can Heisley be so sure?

He’s instructed his attorney, Stan Meadows, to stop negotiating with Oracle founder Larry Ellison because of Ellison’s repeated overtures about relocating the team.

“We’re not even considering Ellison,” Heisley said. “This team cannot be moved.”

Ellison recently signed a confidentiality agreement with Heisley and began an exploratory process to buy the Grizzlies. It was at least the third time Ellison inquired about the team over the past several years.

– Reported by Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal

Shelden Williams

Nets center Shelden Williams, who suffered an injury to his right eye in Wednesday’s Nets victory over the Indiana Pacers at Prudential Center, did not make the trip with the team to the West Coast today and on its official injury report, the team said it will update his condition April 5, after the trip.

Williams was injured in the second quarter of the game, when he was apparently poked in the eye by Indiana’s Tyler Hansbrough. He left the game immediately and was taken to Hackensack University Medical Center for further evaluation. The team did not say whether he spent the night in the hospital, nor did it give any details about the type or severity of injury Williams suffered.

Williams is the only Net to have played in each of the team’s first 52 games. He has started 30 of those, and has averaged 4.9 points and 6.3 rebounds in 22.3 minutes per game.

– Reported by Colin Stephenson of the Newark Star-Ledger

Kevin Love drops 40 and 19 on Bobcats

Kevin Love
kevin love
Beast Mode

Kevin Love had 40 points and 19 rebounds Wednesday night to lift the Minnesota Timberwolves to an 88-83 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats.

It was Love’s third-highest point total in March, and pushed his scoring average in 15 games in the month to 31.2.

Love has scored at least 20 points in 14 of his last 15 games and has 44 double-doubles on the season, including nine straight games.

Before the game, Bobcats coach Paul Silas said Love without question should be considered an MVP candidate and his opinion didn’t change after he dominated his young big men Bismack Biyombo and Byron Mullens.

“If he continues to do what he’s doing for a good portion of his career he’s going to be one of the best ever,” Silas said. “He’s just tenacious. That ball goes up and he’s there. And he’s strong… The young boys we have are not ready for that. So that makes it difficult.”

As for all of the MVP talk, Love said, “In some ways it’s warranted, but we need to win a lot more games in order to be anywhere close to that.”

– Reported by Steve Reed of the Associated Press

Anderson Varejao

Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao plans to play for Brazil in this summer’s Olympics as long as he’s fully recovered from a wrist injury.

Varejao broke his right wrist on Feb. 11 in a game against Milwaukee. It’s taken him longer to get back than expected, but the 6-foot-11 Varejao says he wants to play for Cleveland again in the final month of the season because “this is what I love to do.” And as long as he’s healthy, Varejao intends to play for Brazil’s national team in the London Games.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Hornets guard Eric Gordon may play soon

Eric Gordon

Barring any unforeseen setbacks or missteps, Hornets shooting guard Eric Gordon — the team’s leading scorer despite playing two games this season — could be back on the court in a matter of days.

Gordon was expected to go through the team’s practice session Tuesday evening, the final step in the rehabilitation process after arthroscopic knee surgery Feb. 14 that removed some cartilage and other debris from his right knee, an injury that arguably wrecked the Hornets’ season and cast Gordon’s future with the team in doubt.

In recent weeks, Gordon has ramped up the intensity of his workouts, he said, building to the point where he’s ready for the final post-operative exam: a full-contact practice to determine if the knee is strong enough to play in the final month of the regular season.

– Reported by Jimmy Smith of the New Orleans Times-Picayune

Stephen Curry

Stephen Curry is still holding out hope to return this season.

The Golden State Warriors announced Wednesday that Curry will be sidelined at least another two weeks with a sprain in his surgically repaired, troublesome right ankle. He will be reevaluated after that time, and it’s still unlikely he’ll play again this season.

Tuesday night’s 104-101 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers was the 10th straight game - and 21st this season - Curry has missed.

– Reported by the Associated Press

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