Archive for March 27th, 2012

Sloppy Heat in need of energy boost

The Heat’s two-day break in the schedule couldn’t come at a more important time. The team is searching the dregs of its energy reserves as the regular season nears its final month.

With a record of 8-6 since the All-Star break, the Heat (35-13) is dragging itself through the second half of the season. Blowout losses on Sunday and Monday were highlighted by sloppy play (turnovers), a lack of energy (rebounding) and general exhaustion. After the loss to the Indiana Pacers on Monday, you could hear the fatigue in the players’ voices and see it on the face of Heat coach Erik Spoelstra.

“Obviously, we’re in a rut right now mentally,” Chris Bosh said. “We just have to hang in there and figure something out. We have to be mentally tough and survive this.”

Bosh isn’t in a rut, exactly. It’s more like his game has fallen headfirst into a ditch. The Heat’s max-salary power forward had two rebounds and 14 points against the Pacers. Those numbers were merely the continuation of a trend.

–Reported by Joseph Goodman of the Miami Herald

The Toronto Raptors announced Tuesday guard Jerryd Bayless is expected to be sidelined the remainder of the 2011-12 season with a partially torn left oblique muscle. He underwent tests today at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital.

Bayless left Monday’s game versus Orlando at the 5:25 mark of the second quarter and did not return.

Bayless, in his second season with Toronto, has averaged 11.4 points, 3.8 assists and 22.7 minutes. He started five games from March 11-17, averaging 21.8 points and 7.6 assists, shooting .543 per cent from the field and .571 per cent from three-point range.

Dennis Rodman says he’s broke

Dennis Rodman can’t afford to pay more than $800,000 in back child support … because he’s dead ass broke — this according to new court documents.

Dennis’ ex-wife Michelle Rodman filed new papers this month, claiming The Worm owes $808,935 in unpaid child support for his 9- and 10-year-old children — and an additional $51,441 in unpaid spousal support.

But Dennis’ attorney responded to the filing, insisting there’s no way the Chicago Bulls legend can pay those bills — because “Respondent Dennis Rodman is broke and cannot afford any additional fees.”

– Reported by TMZ

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Renardo Sidney to enter 2012 NBA Draft

The 6-foot-10 junior big man had a rough go in Starkville, dealing with multiple suspensions — a fight with a teammate in the stands — and erratic play.

Sidney announced Monday he will forgo his final season in favor of pro ball. He will sign with Travis King at Rogue Sports.

“I appreciate Mississippi State giving me an opportunity to play, but I feel it’s time for me to move on,” Big Sid said in a statement. “I’m grateful to all the administrators, coaching staff and the fans for their support during my time at Mississippi State. I’m entering the draft to follow my dream of playing in the NBA and to help my family.”

– Reported by Jeff Goodman of CBS Sports

Spurs sign guard Patrick Mills

Patrick Mills

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they have signed guard Patrick Mills. Per club policy details of the contract were not released.

Mills, a 6-0, 185-pound product out of St. Mary’s (CA), was drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers with the 55th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft.  In two seasons with the Blazers, Mills appeared in 74 games, averaging 5.1 points and 1.5 assists in 11.1 minutes.  He has a career-mark of .358 (47-133) from three-point range.

A native of Australia, Mills has spent the 2011-12 season playing overseas in his home country and China. Most recently, Mills played for the Xinjian Flying Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association. In 12 games, he averaged 26.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists.  Prior to making the move to China, Mills played in nine games with the Melbourne Tigers, averaging 18.6 points, 5.0 assists and 2.3 rebounds.

Mills is a member of the Australian National Team which qualified for the 2012 Olympics.

Mills will wear No. 8 for the Spurs and is expected to be in uniform tonight when the Silver and Black take on the Suns in Phoenix at 9 p.m.

Raptors sign Ben Uzoh to 10-day contract

Ben Uzoh

The Toronto Raptors announced Tuesday they have signed guard Ben Uzoh (ooh-ZOE) to a 10-day contract. He is the 43rd Call-Up of the 2011-12 NBA D-League season.

Uzoh, 6-foot-3, 205 pounds, joins the Raptors from the NBA D-League’s Rio Grande (Texas) Valley Vipers. He averaged 14.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 30.8 minutes in 20 appearances.

This is Uzoh’s second stint in the NBA this season. He was signed to a 10-day contract by the Cleveland Cavaliers on Feb. 10, where he played in two games recording four points with four rebounds in 13 minutes.

Uzoh spent the 2010-11 season with the New Jersey Nets, signing with the club as a free agent July 1, 2010. He saw action in 42 outings with the Nets, averaging 3.8 points, 1.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 10.4 minutes. He also appeared in four games last season with the NBADL’s Springfield (N.Y.) Armor.

Uzoh started 140 of 141 career games at the University of Tulsa. He averaged 15.3 points and 4.7 rebounds as a senior en route to first-team All-Conference USA honours. He posted career bests of 15.6 points and 5.4 rebounds in 39 games during his sophomore campaign.

The roster now stands at 14 players heading into Wednesday’s game vs. Denver (TSN2/Sportsnet 590 The FAN).

Tyler Hansbrough

Pacers forward Tyler Hansbrough is a masked man again thanks to former teammate Mike Dunleavy’s elbows.

Hansbrough suffered a broken nose and facial bone from the hard foul Dunleavy delivered with his elbows in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game in Milwaukee.

Hansbrough and Dunleavy, who were teammates for two seasons, were later given technicals when they were talking about the play during a free throw attempt.

When asked if he’s heard from Dunleavy, Hansbrough, said, “No, I don’t need an apology.”

– Reported by Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star

Jordan Farmar

[Nets guard Jordan] Farmar, who has dealt with groin injuries all season long, was ruled out for at least the next 10 days before last night’s 105-84 loss to the Jazz at Prudential Center.

“Injuries are part of the game,” Farmar said after the game. “I’ve just got to understand that it happens, and you’ve got to get healthy. Health is first and foremost. I’ve got a long career ahead of me — I’m only 25 — and I just want to get it right.

“It was such a nothing-type, minor injury when it first happened that I took it for granted,’’ he said. “I felt I’d be OK in a day, but then it got worse. I sat out a week, and I thought it was OK, because it’s OK when I’m walking around and stuff, but once I get out there and do one thing, it jumps back to square one.”

After meeting with specialists, Farmar said he’s expecting to sit out for at least the next two-to-three weeks. With only a month remaining in the season, that leaves his chances of playing again for the Nets this season in serious jeopardy.

– Reported by Tim Bontemps of the New York Post

Kyle Lowry

Rockets guard Kyle Lowry shoveled a basketball to Goran Dragic with his left hand, unable to use his right because of the antibiotics PICC line in his right arm.

The effort was not much greater than passing the peas at dinner, but it was as much as he has been permitted in weeks or is likely to undergo for several more weeks.

He laughed when Dragic hit the shot Lowry told him would be his last. He celebrated not just his first morning around the Rockets since he was hospitalized March 8 with a bacterial infection but the understanding that if not for an alert technician and luck his serious condition could have been worse.

Lowry, 26, said he might not return this season from his infection and its treatment, but he was happy just to be back at a morning shootaround.

– Reported by Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle Blog

Stephen Curry

The Warriors are expected to provide an update on Stephen Curry’s ailing right ankle later this week, but the point guard beat his team to the punch Monday and offered a little bit of hope.

Curry said he’s still holding onto the bleak possibility that he can play again this season, speaking publicly for the first time since visiting Dr. Richard Ferkel in Southern California on Thursday.

The renowned ankle and foot specialist is studying the history of Curry’s ankle, which cost him eight games last season and has kept him out of 21 games this season.

– Reported by Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle

maurice williams

Clippers guard Mo Williams will be sidelined at least two weeks and potentially longer with an injured left big toe he suffered against the New Orleans Hornets last Thursday.

Williams was evaluated by a specialist over the weekend and was ruled out for the next two weeks, it was announced Monday before the Clippers played the Hornets.

“It’s going to be at least a couple of weeks and then we’ll re-evaluate him then,” Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said.

– Reported by Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles

Blake Griffin
blake griffin
Prefers to not be hacked

New Orleans Hornets coach Monty Williams said before Monday night’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers that he sent Clippers forward Blake Griffin an apologetic text after Jason Smith leveled him to the ground in last week’s game between the two teams.

Williams, in his second season as the Hornets’ coach, texted Griffin on Friday, waiting until the day after Smith hit him to earn a two-game suspension for the buzz to die down, he said. Smith sat out Monday’s game — which the Clippers won 97-85 — to complete the suspension.

“I’ll say this, because I’m here in this city: What Jason did was wrong,” Williams said Monday. “I told him that it was and that he went about it the wrong way, and that’s why I reached out to Blake to let him know that it wasn’t something we do on a regular basis.”

– Reported by Pedro Moura, special to ESPN Los Angeles

Byron Mullens

Charlotte Bobcats coach Paul Silas said before Monday’s game that 7-footer Byron Mullens’ future is at power forward, possibly alongside rookie Bismack Biyombo. Mullens just isn’t providing the consistent rebounding and low-post defense Mullens needs at center.

“Byron is not a center… He’s a power forward, but we don’t have a backup center,’’ Silas said. “I just don’t know if you can make a tough guy out somebody who is not (tough.)”

Mullens came to the Bobcats in a preseason trade. The Bobcats sent a 2013 second-round pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

– Reported by Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer

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