Archive for May 2nd, 2012

This enthusiastic young fan appears more than ready to support his Memphis Grizzlies.

GIF: Grizzlies Kid Loves Z-Bo And-1 on Twitpic

This is via Jose3030 on Twitter.

danny granger

Danny Granger had 26 points and nine rebounds, Roy Hibbert added 18 points and 10 rebounds, and the Indiana Pacers beat the Orlando Magic 97-74 on Wednesday night to a take a 2-1 lead in the first-round series.

The Pacers regained home-court advantage with the victory, riding good shooting early and building a 29-point lead in the fourth quarter.

They also dominated scoring underneath thanks to a 46-33 rebounding edge and have outscored the Magic 81-43 in the third quarter in the series.

Glen Davis led the Magic with 22 points, and J.J. Redick added 13. The Magic never led, struggled to get any scoring in the paint, and made a series-low five 3-pointers.

Game 4 is Saturday in Orlando.

Indiana coach Frank Vogel’s implored the Pacers after each of the first two games to make better shot selections.

They finally did it in Game 3.

It translated into their best shooting of the series as the Pacers built a 23-point lead in the third quarter and led 76-55 entering the fourth.

– Reported by Kyle Hightower of the Associated Press

tony parker

Tony Parker scored 18 points and Kawhi Leonard added 17 as the Spurs raced to a 114-83 blowout victory over Utah Wednesday night at the AT&T Center.

The victory gave the Spurs a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 series. Game 3 will be played in Salt Lake City on Saturday night.

It was the third largest victory in the Spurs’ playoff history and the largest since a 122-88 victory over Sacramento on April 22, 2006.

The Spurs shot 57 percent from the field and had a balanced scoring attack featuring seven players in double figures.

It stretched the Spurs’ consecutive winning streak to a season-best 12 games, including the last 10 games in the regular season.

Josh Howard and Al Jefferson scored 10 points apiece to lead Utah, which shot 34 percent from the field.

Wednesday’s victory punctuated a big night for Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who was presented the Red Auerbach Trophy as the NBA’s Coach of the Year in ceremonies with Tim Duncan and David Robinson on the court shortly before tip-off.

The Spurs blew the game open with a run of 20 consecutive points late in the first half. During the run, Utah missed 12 straight shots and committed three turnovers in the drought that stretched for nearly seven minutes.

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

Channing Frye

Phoenix Suns forward Channing Frye today underwent successful surgery on his right shoulder, the team has announced.

Under the recommendation of Suns orthopedic surgeon Dr. Thomas Carter, Frye had the procedure performed by Dr. Lewis Yocum in Anaheim, Calif.

Frye injured the shoulder in second quarter of the Suns’ April 21 game against the Denver Nuggets at US Airways Center and missed the season’s final two games.  Frye averaged 10.5 points and 5.9 rebounds in 64 games (59 starts) this season.  It was the career-high third-straight season Frye has averaged double-digit scoring, all three seasons since joining the Suns.

Tyson Chandler

Tyson Chandler of the New York Knicks is the recipient of the 2011-12 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award, the NBA announced today. Chandler becomes the first player in franchise history to earn the honor.

Chandler received 311 points, including 45 first-place votes, from a panel of 121 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. Oklahoma City’s Serge Ibaka finished second with 294 points and Orlando’s Dwight Howard, who had won the award each of the previous three seasons, finished third with 186 points. Players were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote received.

With Chandler anchoring the middle, New York’s defense improved markedly from the previous season in multiple categories. The Knicks ranked among the top half of the league in several key defensive categories, including opponent turnovers per game (17.0, 2nd), opponent field goal percentage (.442, 10th), and opponent scoring (94.7 ppg, 11th). Opposing teams averaged 22.5 more points and shot .520 from the field when Chandler was not in the lineup. Opponents shot .438 with Chandler in the lineup. In addition, Chandler grabbed 22.1 percent of his team’s defensive rebounds when he was on the floor.

Former University of North Carolina guard, 12-year NBA veteran and ESPN analyst Hubert Davis is the Tar Heels’ newest assistant men’s basketball coach, head coach Roy Williams announced today.

Davis has spent the past seven years with ESPN as a highly regarded college basketball analyst and co-host of College GameDay. He is replacing Jerod Haase, who spent nine years on Williams’ staff at Carolina prior to being named the head coach at UAB.

“I am very excited, thankful and honored to re-join the Carolina basketball program as an assistant to Coach Williams,” says Davis. “I loved being a part of college basketball during my time at ESPN by attending practices and games and developing relationships with players and coaches. Now I will have the opportunity to do this on a more personal level at a university and with a basketball program that I have loved my entire life.”

The Burke, Va., native played in 137 games as a Tar Heel from 1988-92, during which time UNC went 102-37, won the 1989 and 1991 Atlantic Coast Conference Tournaments and played in the 1991 Final Four. He scored 1,615 points, an average of 11.8 per game, and holds the UNC record for career three-point percentage at .435 (197 of 453). He scored in double figures 80times, had 23 games with 20 or more points, including 25 against Kansas in the 1991 national semifinals.

Davis averaged 21.4 points and earned second-team All-ACC honors as a senior. He scored in double figures in 32 of 33 games that season, including 20 games with 20 or more points and 30 or more in four games. He netted a career-high 35 points at Duke on March 8, 1992.

As a junior, Davis made 64 of 131 three-pointers, a percentage of .489 that is second-best in UNC history. He shares the UNC single-game record for three-pointers, as he made eight at Florida State as a senior.

“I am ecstatic to announce that Hubert Davis will be joining our program as an assistant coach to replace Jerod Haase,” says Williams. “Jerod was phenomenal as a player and assistant and I am elated that I can fill this spot with Hubert. I helped recruit him to Carolina in 1988, coached him in the World University Games in 1991 and have always admired him on and off the court. I knew the day would eventually come when I would need to replace staff members as they moved on. For the last four or five years Hubert has alwaysbeen on my mind in case a spot did come open. I didn’t know if I could get him to come back, but I knew I wanted him to be the first option. Coaching is about teaching, relationships and passion and I feel Hubert is the perfect choice. Our student-athletes will benefit greatly from what he adds to our staff.

“I really was overjoyed by the interest from former players and I knew I wanted the hire to be a former Tar Heel. I considered several current college coaches as well as people wanting to get into college coaching - it was a fabulous group. Guys like Shammond Williams are not in college coaching now, but is going to be great when his time comes. We also had interest from NBA assistants, so it truly was a diverse group, but Hubert is taking the job and I know all former Tar Heels will be extremely happy.

“Again, I am ecstatic to make this announcement and look forward to working with Hubert. My entire staff and team are excited about Hubert and his family being with us.”

The New York Knicks selected Davis in the first round of the 1992 NBA Draft. He played in 12 seasons in the NBA, scoring 5,583 points, an average of 8.2 per contest. He made 728 three-point field goals and prior to the 2011-12 season was third in NBA history in three-point percentage at .441.

– UNC Basketball Info

Scott Skiles

Scott Skiles still will be in charge of the Milwaukee Bucks next season.

Skiles confirmed Tuesday that he would return for his fifth season as coach with the franchise.

And it was clear he believes he has unfinished business after the Bucks faded to a 3-7 record in the last three weeks of the season, hardly good enough to catch the surging New York Knicks or the fading Philadelphia 76ers for an Eastern Conference playoff spot.

The lockout-shortened season became just the latest non-playoff year for the franchise, its fifth in the last six seasons and third in four years under Skiles.

Skiles confirmed in a phone call that he would return to the Bucks and said he wanted to “hit the ground running” this summer to prepare for next season.

Skiles had discussions during the past few days with owner Herb Kohl and general manager John Hammond. The coach decided to work in the final year of his deal with a clear goal of returning to the playoffs.

– Reported by Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

shaquille oneal

This week’s graduating class at Barry University is about to get bigger.

Retired NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal will graduate Saturday with a doctoral degree in education from the Miami Shores university. His 7-foot-1 frame will don a red-and-black velvet gown as he joins 1,100 graduating students at the commencement ceremonies at the James L. Knight Center in Miami.

Known simply as Shaq, he now can call himself Dr. O’Neal. For 4 1/2 years, the former Miami Heat center took 16 courses, completed 54 credit hours and carried a grade point average of 3.813, according to the university. The 40-year-old’s exact degree is in Organizational Learning and Leadership, with a specialization in human resource development.

“He was a good student,” said Dr. David M. Kopp, chairman of the university’s Organizational Learning and Leadership program. “He is very intellectually curious. He is like a sponge, he takes everything in.”

– Reported by Johnny Diaz of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

In the wake of an injury crisis, USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said Tuesday that he’s likely to add “one or two players” to the list of finalists for Team USA’s Olympic roster.

The U.S. announced 20 finalists in January, but has since lost five of those candidates. Starting center Dwight Howard recently had back surgery and point guard Derrick Rose tore a knee ligament Saturday.

The losses of Howard and Rose follows previous season-ending injuries suffered by Chauncey Billups (Achilles) and LaMarcus Aldridge (hip) and the exclusion of Lamar Odom from consideration after Odom was deactivated by the Dallas Mavericks before the playoffs began after a poor season.

Colangelo announced the intent to add a player or two to the preliminary roster at a news conference in Las Vegas with Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski in the midst of meetings with Krzyzewski’s staff about the roster and logistics for the summer.

Colangelo said Tuesday that the 12-man final roster won’t be selected “until the very last moment,” but the deadline still falls before the NBA playoffs will be over in late June. A final roster with up to six alternates is due June 18, although USA Basketball had been planning to make the selections by June 1 before the rash of injuries.

– Reported by Marc Stein of ESPN.com

kobe bryant

Kobe Bryant scored 38 points, Andrew Bynum followed up his playoff-opening triple-double with 27 points and nine rebounds, and the Los Angeles Lakers weathered Denver’s late rally for a 104-100 victory over the Nuggets on Tuesday night, taking a 2-0 series lead.

Pau Gasol had 13 points, 10 rebounds and five assists for the third-seeded Lakers, who still haven’t trailed in this series despite nearly crumbling against a much-improved effort by the Nuggets and Ty Lawson, who scored 25 points and led the fourth-quarter charge.

Los Angeles’ 19-point lead in the third quarter dwindled to four with 3 minutes to play, but Ramon Sessions scored four key points in the final 1:14 before Bryant’s icing free throws with 9.4 seconds left.

Game 3 is Friday in Denver.

Lawson shook his awful series opener with 17 second-half points, but the sixth-seeded Nuggets lost their ninth straight road playoff game despite playing much closer to their preferred speedy tempo after the Lakers muzzled them in Game 1.

Sessions scored 14 points for Los Angeles, which played just enough fast-break ball of its own to stay ahead of Denver - and now the Lakers are halfway to the second round. They have only lost one playoff series in franchise history after winning the first two games, going 42-1.

Kenneth Faried had 14 points and 10 rebounds while Danilo Gallinari and Corey Brewer added 13 points apiece, but Denver still couldn’t consistently defend Bryant or negate Bynum, who played another outstanding low-post game on both ends until disappearing a bit in a three-point fourth quarter.

– Reported by Greg Beacham of the Associated Press

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