Archive for April 10th, 2012

Spencer Hawes steps up, 76ers beat Nets

Spencer Hawes

Center Spencer Hawes came off the bench for the first time and a scored a season-high 19 points to lead the slumping Philadelphia 76ers to a 107-88 victory over the New Jersey Nets on Tuesday night.

The win snapped a four-game losing streak and was only the fifth in 15 games for Philadelphia (30-27), giving it a half-game lead over the Knicks (29-27) for the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference. Milwaukee (28-29) is 1 1/2 games behind the Knicks.

The loss eliminated the Nets (21-38) from playoff contention for the fifth straight season.

Philadelphia got a big game from its bench, with Lou Williams adding 20 points and Thaddeus Young 19.

Kris Humphries had 20 points and 10 rebounds for New Jersey. Deron Williams added 14 points, six rebounds and five assists on a night that he was hounded by Philadelphia’s Andre Iguodala.

The Nets were without forward Gerald Wallace, who strained his left hamstring, in the win over Cleveland on Sunday night.

– Reported by Tom Canavan of the Associated Press

Celtics rise up to beat Heat in Miami

paul pierce

A week ago, the Boston Celtics beat the Miami Heat with defense. This time, they did it with offense.

Paul Pierce scored 27 points, Kevin Garnett added 24 points and nine rebounds, and the Celtics made their first eight shots of the fourth quarter to hold off the Heat 115-107 on Tuesday night.

Rajon Rondo posted double-digit assists for the 18th straight game, extending the NBA’s longest such streak in 20 years with an 18-point, 15-assist effort. Brandon Bass added 12 points and 10 rebounds, while Avery Bradley scored 11 for the Celtics, who shot a season-high 61 percent.

LeBron James finished with 36 points, seven rebounds and seven assists for Miami, which got 20 from Dwyane Wade and 18 from Mario Chalmers. Chris Bosh finished with 13 on 5-for-13 shooting.

The Celtics beat Miami 91-72 in Boston on April 1, a game the Heat called “unacceptable” after establishing season-lows in scoring and shooting.

– Reported by Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press

NBA fan discussion took place in this basketball forum topic.

ricky rubio

Ricky Rubio met with media members this afternoon at Target Center for the first time since he suffered that season-ending knee injury on March 9 against the Lakers.

He’s back in Minnesota after spending more than two weeks in Colorado following knee surgery to repair two torn ligaments there.

Here’s some of what he said:

He made no promises when asked about being back in time for the start of training camp: “I don’t if it will be training camp, don’t know when I’ll come back,” he said. “The most important thing is to make sure when I come back it’s 100 percent. I don’t know if it’s training camp, I don’t know if it’s first week, second week (of regular season). I don’t want to put a date. It depends how my knee feels.”

When asked if he’s worried about being the same player when he comes back, he said, “Of course, you always think in my mind what can happen, especially the first couple days after surgery when you can’t move your knee. You just think about it, think about if you can come back. You just have to be strong and do your best to come back even harder. I love basketball. I love playing basketball. I’m going to do my best.

– Reported by Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star Tribune

LaMarcus Aldridge

Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge continues to have trouble with his ailing right hip, which has been giving him trouble for several weeks.

Today, Aldridge and team trainer Jay Jensen few to Vail, Colo., to have the hip evaluated by specialist Marc Phillipon, the team announced.

Aldridge will not be with the team when practice begins at 11 a.m. today, and his status for Wednesday’s game against Golden State is questionable.

– Reported by Mike Tokito of the Oregonian

The New Orleans Hornets announced today that they have signed guard Jerome Dyson to a 10-day contract.

Dyson, a University of Connecticut product, has appeared in 44 regular season games (all starts) with the Tulsa 66ers in the NBA Developmental League this season, averaging 17.8 points, 3.9 assists and 3.5 rebounds in 34.0 minutes of play. The 2010 Third Team All-Big East selection was signed to the Hornets training camp roster on December 9th, 2011, appearing in one preseason game with New Orleans (five points and one assist in seven minutes of action). He was the last player waived on December 24th prior to the start of the season.

The 6’3” guard also played 47 games (10 starts) for the 66ers in the 2010-11 season, averaging 15.5 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists. The 24-year old went undrafted in the 2010 NBA Draft and played with the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2010 preseason.

The Rockville, Maryland native will wear #11 for New Orleans and brings the roster to 15.

The Golden State Warriors today re-assigned rookie forward Chris Wright to the Dakota Wizards, the Warriors’ NBA D-League affiliate.  The assignment marks the 65th time an NBA player has been assigned to his NBA D-League affiliate during the 2011-12 season and is the third and final assignment for Wright this season.

Wright returns to the Wizards, having appeared in nine games for the team during his previous two assignments, averaging 18.2 points, 8.0 rebounds 1.3 blocks and 29.0 minutes.

Wright, who earned a Call-Up to the Warriors from the Maine Red Claws in December 2011, has appeared in 19 games with Golden State this season, averaging 2.1 points and 1.0 rebounds in 4.8 minutes per game.  Prior to his Call-Up, Wright played in four games for the Red Claws, averaging 17.0 points and 10.8 rebounds in 31.3 minutes per game.

Golden State fans can stay in step with Wright, who is expected to join the Wizards today and be available when the team begins their 2012 NBA D-League Championship run on Thursday, April 12 in a first-round playoff game against the Bakersfield Jam.

University of Connecticut sophomore guard Jeremy Lamb has decided to forego the final two seasons of his college eligibility and make himself available for the upcoming NBA Draft.

“It was a difficult decision, but after much prayer and discussion with my parents,  I feel that it’s in the best interest of me and my family to declare myself eligible for the upcoming NBA Draft and pursue my dream of playing professional basketball,” Lamb said. “I have very much enjoyed my two years at UConn, especially getting to experience one of the greatest feelings that a college player can have, winning the national championship.”

The 6-5 Lamb, 19, from Norcross, Ga., started every game for the Huskies last season and led the team in scoring this season at 17.7 points per game. He also averaged 4.9 rebounds as he was selected to the All-BIG EAST First Team. He scored in double figures in 31 games, led the Huskies in scoring 17 times, scored 30 or more points in two games and 20 or more 10 times.

Last season, Lamb became just the sixth sophomore in UConn history to score 1,000 career points. His total of 1,060 points rank him No. 42 on UConn’s all-time scoring list. He is only the 11th player in UConn history to score as many as 600 points (603) in one season.

“It’s never easy to lose a great player from your program, but Jeremy has a unique opportunity that he needs to take advantage of,” UConn coach Jim Calhoun said. “He’s been a great kid to coach for the past two years … his teams have won 52 games, been to two NCAA Tournaments, and won a national championship. I look forward to him developing into a terrific player in the NBA and secondly, as he’s promised me, to come back and finish his degree.”

As a freshman, Lamb was an integral part of UConn’s run to the BIG EAST and NCAA national championships, earning NCAA Final Four All-Tournament, NCAA West Region All-Tournament, and BIG EAST All-Tournament honors. During the summer following his freshman year, Lamb competed with Team USA at the U19 FIBA World Championships, leading the team with a 16.2 scoring average and 18 steals in nine games.

“I have learned a lot, both on and off the basketball court as well as in the classroom, and I feel as if I’m ready to take the next step in my basketball career,” Lamb said. “I intend to successfully complete the current semester academically as I get prepared for the draft.”

Lamb becomes the 14th UConn player under Calhoun to leave school early to enter the NBA Draft. All but one of the previous 13 were drafted in the first round.

“First, I want to thank God for blessing me with the ability to play this great game,” Lamb said. “I want to thank Coach Calhoun for giving me the opportunity to play at UConn and I want to thank the entire coaching staff and all my teammates for helping me improve enough to hopefully be successful at the next level.

“I am proud that I will always be part of the Connecticut basketball family.”

– Per UConn Basketball

Derrick Rose has a hurt ankle

Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose’s groin injury and Richard Hamilton’s shoulder soreness appear to be in the past, but that doesn’t mean painful subjects don’t remain for the Bulls.

Rose, for starters, tweaked an ankle at some point in Sunday’s game, which he finished. The extent of the injury is unknown, however sources said Rose wore a walking boot on Monday and his availability for Tuesday’s shot at redemption against the Knicks is a game-time decision.

Beyond that, Rose’s two missed free throws late in regulation raise anew an issue that has clung to him since his lone college season at Memphis. Hamilton, meanwhile, remained rooted to the bench for the final 18 minutes, 14 seconds of the Bulls’ stunning Sunday collapse to lose in overtime.

– Reported by K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune

The NBA Development League (NBA D-League) experienced its most successful season ever in developing NBA talent as it set all-time records with 50 “Call-ups” to the NBA, breaking the previous record of 40 set during the 2009-10 season, and 64 NBA player assignments, surpassing the previous record of 56 assignments established last year.

As the NBA regular season draws to a close, 25 percent of team rosters consist of players with NBA D-League experience (108), including 36 percent from the 2010 and 2011 NBA Draft classes (43). Featuring former Erie BayHawks and Reno Bighorns star Jeremy Lin of the New York Knicks, former Los Angeles D-Fenders star Gerald Green of the New Jersey Nets, former Tulsa 66ers star Ramon Sessions of the Los Angeles Lakers and former Rio Grande Valley Viper star C.J. Watson of the Chicago Bulls, all 30 NBA teams now have at least one player who previously made his mark in the NBA D-League.

Other D-League highlights for the 2011-12 season include:

Attendance:  The NBA D-League marked its 11th season by reaching the 1 million total attendance plateau for a third straight year (1,055,239).

Affiliations: Demonstrating the NBA D-League’s role as a source of emerging talent, the 16-team league set a record for NBA single-team affiliates this season with nine, up from four last year. Five NBA teams invested in a “one-on-one’ relationship with its NBA D-League affiliate this season: the Cleveland Cavaliers (Canton Charge), the Golden State Warriors (Dakota Wizards), the Los Angeles Lakers (Los Angeles D-Fenders), the New Jersey Nets (Springfield Armor) and the New York Knicks (Erie Bayhawks). These teams joined the Dallas Mavericks (Texas Legends), the Houston Rockets (Rio Grande Valley Vipers), the Oklahoma City Thunder (Tulsa 66ers), and the San Antonio Spurs (Austin Toros), who previously acquired a one-to-one affiliation with an NBA D-League team.

Television Exposure: The NBA D-League experienced the most television exposure in its 11-year history with over 240 games televised across the league’s family of networks, including Comcast SportsNet, the Armed Forces Network, FamilyNet and NBA TV International as games were seen in 194 countries and territories.

Marketing Partnerships: NBA D-League partners conducted activities around key league events throughout the year, including the Boost Mobile National Tryouts, which produced former Springfield Armor standout Dennis Horner, who earned two GATORADE Call-Ups to the New Jersey Nets; the NBA D-League Draft powered by Cisco; the NBA D-League All-Star Game presented by 26 Seconds; and the NBA D-League Playoffs and Finals presented by BBVA. This marks the first season 26 Seconds and Cisco have served as the presenting partner of these respective events and BBVA – a league partner since 2010 – expanded its relationship with the league to present the Playoffs and The Finals for the first time.

Knicks assign Jerome Jordan to D-League

Jerome Jordan

With things going well for the Knicks lately despite injuries to Jeremy Lin and Amar’e Stoudemire, the team will do without the services of center Jerome Jordan for the time being.

New York Knickerbockers Senior Vice President, Basketball Operations and Interim General Manager Glen Grunwald announced today that the team has reassigned Jordan to the Erie BayHawks of the NBA Development League.

Jordan, 7-0, 240-pounds, has averaged 1.4 and 1.2 rebounds over 4.3 minutes in 19 games with New York this season. He appeared in five games for Erie earlier this season, averaging 18.0 points, on .485 shooting, 8.6 rebounds and 2.80 blocks over 32.6 minutes.

Ben Gordon and Byron Mullens haven’t worn the Great Britain jersey before but both NBA players have been included in the country’s preliminary squad for the London Games.

The London-born and United States-raised Gordon, who plays for the Detroit Pistons, is a former teammate of British superstar Luol Deng in Chicago while Mullens has a United Kingdom passport because his mother hails from England.

In a statement issued by British Basketball, Gordon said: “I am very excited to pull on the GB jersey this summer and play for my country.

“To be invited into camp is the first step in that journey and I am immensely proud to have the opportunity.” …

Mullens revealed on his Twitter account last month that he would be with the Brits and included a photo of recently received UK passport.

He tweeted: “Yessir. I will be in London this summer! 2012 Olympics.”

– Reported by FIBA.com

With a playoff spot locked up and a grueling stretch ahead, San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich called it a ”no brainer” to rest stars Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.

That was fine by a Utah Jazz team still trying to punch a ticket to the postseason.

After losing to the Spurs by 10 on Sunday night in San Antonio, the Jazz (30-28) rebounded with a 91-84 victory in Monday’s rematch in Salt Lake City.

”We wanted to come out and get a little bit of revenge from last night,” said Gordon Hayward, who started at shooting guard Monday for the injury-depleted Jazz. ”They battled and battled until the end and we were able to come out on top.”

Credit Devin Harris, who scored 11 straight for the Jazz in the fourth quarter and had a team-high 25 points…

Al Jefferson led the Jazz with four blocks. He added 12 points and 10 rebounds and a steal.

Paul Millsap had 18 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks for the Jazz, and sealed the win with a put-back dunk with 43 seconds remaining.

– Reported by the Associated Press

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