Archive for March 7th, 2012

Spencer Hawes

Remember Spencer Hawes? Starting center for the Sixers. Had a terrific start to the season and was a big reason as to why the team got off to such a tremendous start. He’s missed over a month of action now, but he seems close to putting on the uniform again.

After this morning’s shootaround in which the Sixers prepared for tonight’s home game against the Boston Celtics, Hawes met with the media for the first time in a few weeks. He looks good, not having put on any weight during his absence. In fact, he says he’s even lost a couple of pounds.

“It’s been encouraging the last couple of days to go out on the court, move around and not even think about it,” said Hawes of his strained Achilles’. The first time I tried to come back (a two-game stint) I was definitely favoring it. This time, checking with everybody who is observing me, they’re telling me it looks like it’s back to normal pretty much.”

– Reported by Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News (Blog)

There’s a little more than a week left before the trade deadline and the Mavericks aren’t in the middle of the rumor mill.

“Our phone hasn’t been ringing at all about anybody and we’re not calling anybody,” owner Mark Cuban said. “I told Donnie to take calls, but we’re not making calls. There you have it.”

This isn’t normal around these parts. But it is expected.

The Mavs are trying to contend for a championship while maintaining the financial flexibility to create major space under the salary cap this summer. They aren’t going to make a deal before the deadline that reduces their odds to repeat.

– Reported by Tim McMahon of ESPN Dallas

manu ginobili

After one game back in the lineup and two practices afterwards, Manu Ginobili said he’s pleased with his recovery as he comes back after a pulled oblique muscle that caused him to miss five games.

Ginobili said he felt good after playing more in the Spurs’ loss against Denver Sunday night than he initially expected.

“I played 23 minutes and was expecting to play 15,” Ginobili said. “I felt good. Of course, my muscles get tight still. I need to play for more than five games. But I felt good.”

Ginobili finished with eight points, hitting a pair of 3-point shots. He also logged eight minutes in the fourth quarter as the Spurs unsuccessfully attempted  to rally against the Nuggets.

– Reported by Tim Griffin of the San Antonio Express-News (Blog)

Andray Blatche

Coach Randy Wittman isn’t sure if there is anything that he can do to help Andray Blatche ease his way onto the floor during games at Verizon Center. When Wittman sent Blatche to the scorer’s table to check in for JaVale McGee in the first quarter of the Wizards’ loss to Golden State, Blatche was serenaded with boos and was obviously shaken by the response.

He put Blatche in during a timeout in the third quarter, fans didn’t boo him until he touched the ball. But Blatche was ineffective, no matter how he was inserted.

Wittman said all that he can really do is push him to keep fighting through the jeers. “I talk to him every day. I’m just trying to encourage him. His play is going to get up there. It’s getting better. Sitting out that long, he wasn’t going to come back and be the Dray of old, and we knew that, he knew that, and it’s tough. Hey, that’s a tough situation, and I’ve just got to encourage him as much as I can and he’s doing some good things while he’s on the floor, from a defensive standpoint, rebounding. His offense, he’s got no legs right now, and if have no legs, you’re going to struggle scoring the ball. I think that’s what everybody is just kind of looking at right now, but I’ve just got to be there to encourage him.”

– Reported by Michael Lee of the Washington Post (Blog)

Dallas Mavericks guard Jason Kidd has been fined $25,000 for public criticism of officiating, it was announced today by Stu Jackson, NBA Executive Vice President Basketball Operations.

Kidd was fined for comments made to the media after the Mavericks 95-91 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on March 5.

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