Archive for April 2nd, 2012

The New York Daily News is one of NYC’s major newspapers, and they cover the Knicks, of course. Generally, teams benefit from media coverage. The more, the better, usually — provided it’s quality coverage, of course. But this article from the Daily News concerning guard Jeremy Lin’s injury and fan playoff ticket purchases has angered team owners, resulting in the following:

Cablevision Systems Corporation and The Madison Square Garden Company today issued the following statements on the New York Daily News:

Cablevision Systems Corporation statement: “Today’s story in the New York Daily News is just another in a long list of articles and cover stories designed to provoke Cablevision and The Madison Square Garden Company.  Mr. Zuckerman has engaged in a campaign of intimidation and extortion to effect a merger between Newsday and the Daily News.  He has made repeated overtures to Mr. Dolan and his executives to combine the operations with joint ownership and shared printing and editorial expense.  This proposal was rejected multiple times.  In fact, at a Four Seasons lunch meeting on March 6, Mr. Zuckerman once again made his proposal, this time adding that “the bad press would end if we became joint owners” (a direct quote).  Shortly thereafter, the Daily News ran a full front page with Mr. Dolan’s picture as a centerpiece for a skull and crossbones graphic that included the word “Toxic” in bold print.  Today’s back page story is just another in a series of these defamatory extortions.”

The Madison Square Garden Company statement: “Today’s Daily News story is completely inaccurate, and serves only as another example of fabricated reporting by Mr. Zuckerman’s newspaper.   The suggestion that the timing of Jeremy Lin’s injury report is in any way connected to a longstanding Knicks playoff ticket deadline is a malicious attack on The Madison Square Garden Company.   Jeremy Lin decided on Saturday to have surgery now in hopes that he would be able to return in time for, or at least during, the playoffs.  The Knicks have sold out 61 games in a row, including last season’s playoffs, and as standard practice we provided season ticket holders a first opportunity benefit to reserve playoff tickets before going on sale to the general public.”

Cablevision President and CEO and The Madison Square Garden Company Executive Chairman Jim Dolan said, “I understand that there will always be those who are critical of anyone who owns a controlling interest in three New York sports franchises.  But, Mr. Zuckerman’s attempts to parlay this into a favorable arrangement for himself could not be more misguided.”

Note: Cablevision Systems Corporation and The Madison Square Garden Company are separate companies, both controlled by the Dolan family.

The Boston Celtics’ Paul Pierce and the Los Angeles Clippers’ Chris Paul today were named the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, March 26, through Sunday, April 1.

Pierce led the Celtics to a 4-0 week, averaging 25.0 points (nearly six above his season average), 8.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists. He scored a season-high 36 points, to go with 10 rebounds in a 102-95 victory over Charlotte on March 26. He capped off the week with a team-high 23 points, seven rebounds and three assists in a 91-72 triumph over the Miami Heat on April 1, the Celtics’ fifth win in a row.

Paul guided the Clippers to a 4-0 mark, averaging 21.5 points on 56 percent shooting, while dishing out 11.3 assists per contest. He began the week with 25 points and 10 assists, as the Clippers defeated Paul’s former team, the New Orleans Hornets, 97-85 on March 26. Paul, who ranks third in the NBA in assists (8.8 apg), matched his season high with 15 assists in a 103-86 win over the Phoenix Suns on March 28.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Boston’s Kevin Garnett, Detroit’s Tayshaun Prince, the L.A. Clippers’ Blake Griffin, New Jersey’s Deron Williams, New York’s Carmelo Anthony and Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook.

The Chicago Bulls’ Tom Thibodeau and the San Antonio Spurs’ Gregg Popovich today were named the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Coaches of the Month, respectively, for games played in March.

Thibodeau led the Bulls to a league- best 13-3 (.813) record including a league-leading 6-0 mark on the road.  During the month the team recorded key wins over Central Division competitors Indiana (92-72 on March 5) and Milwaukee (106-104, March 7), while holding opponents to a league-low 43 percent shooting from the floor.  Thibodeau recorded his 100th career win on March 19 at Orlando (86-59), his 131st game as head coach, becoming the fastest coach in NBA history to reach 100 wins.

Popovich guided the Spurs to a Western Conference-best 12-3 (.800) record in March, including a seven-game winning streak to close the month and victories in nine of the team’s last 10 games.  During the month, the Spurs ranked first with 107.1 points per game, nearly six points above their season average of 101.4.  San Antonio went 4-1 on the road, including a 114-105 win March 16 at Western-Conference leading Oklahoma City, only the Thunder’s third home loss.

Other nominees for Coach of the Month were Oklahoma City’s Scott Brooks, Boston’s Doc Rivers, Phoenix’s Alvin Gentry and New York’s Mike Woodson.

The Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving and the Sacramento Kings’ Isaiah Thomas were today named the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month, respectively, for games played in March.  The award is the third for Irving this season and the second for Thomas.

Irving led all rookies in scoring (19.9 ppg), assists (6.7 apg), and was second in free throw percentage (.881).  He also led all Eastern Conference rookies in fourth-quarter scoring (7.4 ppg).  Irving scored 20 or more points in eight games in March, shooting .500 or better six times. He and had a career-high 12 assists to go along with nine points against the Oklahoma City Thunder on March 9, snapping the Thunders 14 game home winning streak.

Thomas led all Western Conference rookies in assists (4.9 apg) and was second in scoring (13.6 ppg).  He also led all rookies in fastbreak points (64) in March and was ranked first in free throws made (54), second in assists (89), third in points (245) and steals (24).

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month were Charlotte’s Kemba Walker, Denver’s Kenneth Faried, Detroit’s Brandon Knight, Houston’s Chandler Parsons, New Jersey’s MarShon Brooks and San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard.

daniel gibson

Cavaliers guard Daniel Gibson is scheduled to undergo surgery this afternoon to repair a torn tendon in his left foot and ankle at the Southern California Orthopedic Institute in Van Nuys, California.

The surgery was recommended by Cavaliers Head Team Physician Dr. Richard Parker of the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Sports Health in conjunction with additional examination and consultation with Dr. Richard D. Ferkel of the Southern California Orthopedic Institute. The surgery will be performed by Dr. Ferkel.

Gibson’s status will be updated following a post-operative review. A time table for his return to play will be established at that point.

Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose admitted that his groin injury is worse than he originally thought.

Rose sat out the loss Sunday against the Thunder. It was the 10 consecutive game he has missed because of the groin issue and the 20th game he has missed overall.

Rose said there’s no timetable for his return, but he expects to be back before the end of the regular season.

“I really don’t know,” he said when asked how long it would take him to get his game playoff-ready. “If I knew that answer, it would make a lot of things easy. It’s going to take a minute to get my rhythm back. Hopefully, it takes a game. We’ll see.”

Rose has been lifting weights and stretching but said he hasn’t started running yet.

– Reported by Neil Hayes of the Chicago Sun-Times

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