Archive for October 8th, 2012

Los Angeles Lakers forward Jordan Hill was diagnosed today with a herniated disc (L5, S1) in his back, it was announced by the team.

Hill, who scored 10 points in last night’s loss to the Golden State Warriors in Fresno, was examined by back specialist Dr. Robert Watkins Jr.

Hill will be re-evaluated in a week and an update on his condition will be given at that time.

Jeff Teague

Jeff Teague will never be the loudest voice on the basketball court. It’s not his disposition. However, you are going to be hearing a lot more from the Hawks point guard this season.

The Hawks coaching staff, including head coach Larry Drew and player development instructor Nick Van Exel, have told Teague he needs to be a more vocal leader. There is so much information that needs to be disseminated with a new up-tempo offense and a slew of new players.

“When I’m on the court, it’s a different mindset for me,” Teague said. “I’m going to talk. I’m going to play. Off the court, I’m a laid-back type of guy. It’s not really my personality, but I’m a different person when I get between the lines. I want to win so I’ll do whatever it takes. I’ll talk. I’ll yell. I’ll do all that.”

– Reported by Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Constitution

kyle lowry

Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry will undergo therapy and rehabilitation for a strained adductor muscle he sustained in his left leg during training camp last week in Halifax.

There is no timetable for his return to full basketball activity and he is not expected to participate in preseason games scheduled for this week.

Eric Gordon

Gordon did not participate in any contact work during the first week of training camp, and Coach Monty Williams said Monday it’s unlikely Gordon will see the floor much this week as well. The Hornets play three exhibition games in four days this week, beginning Tuesday night when New Orleans’ hosts the Charlotte Bobcats in New Orleans Arena.

Gordon has missed practices with a sore right knee, the same knee that was arthroscopically repaired on Feb. 14, an injury that caused Gordon to miss all but nine of the team’s 66 games last season.

– Reported by Jimmy Smith of the New Orleans Times-Picayune

Blake Griffin still working on jumpshot release

The hitch is not in Blake Griffin’s giddy-up, but in his shooting motion.

Just as the Clippers’ star forward is about to release the ball, he pauses, a hiccup he has tried to stop by working with the team’s new shooting coach, Bob Thate.

During warmups before the Clippers’ 106-104 exhibition loss against Denver on Saturday night in Las Vegas, Griffin’s shooting release looked smoother than before.

But during the game, the holdup in his release reappeared when Griffin went to the free-throw line, where he shot 52% last season. He missed his first four attempts, each hitting the back of the rim.

After his first game-type situation with his tinkered shooting release, Griffin, who made his final two free-throw attempts, was upbeat.

– Reported by Baxter Holmes of the Los Angeles Times

Deron Williams

As for playing in the arena itself, the players were happy with their new surroundings, including Deron Williams. After expressing frustration last season at times with the temporary situation the Nets found themselves in Newark, he is happy to be in Brooklyn and in a basketball-centric arena.

“They did a good job,” Williams said. “It’s built for basketball. It’s not built for hockey, it’s not built for soccer. It’s built for basketball.”

For the other half of the Nets’ All-Star backcourt, the team’s new home has a familiar feeling. Joe Johnson said the sloping of the seats behind the baskets creates a shooting backdrop that reminds him of Philips Arena in Atlanta, where he spent the past seven seasons, something that MarShon Brooks previously had mentioned.

“It is [like Philips],” Johnson said. “It kind of gives you that feeling … I guess that will be a good thing for me.

– Reported by Tim Bontemps of the New York Post

You know you’re a pro athlete when  … YOU BUY A $16,000 PINKY RING … just like one former L.A. Lakers player, who’s now being sued for allegedly bailing hard when the bill came.

The guy at the center of the lawsuit is DJ Mbenga — an 8-year NBA vet who rode the bench with the Lake Show when they won 2 NBA championship rings in 2009 and 2010.

DJ is being sued by a Texas jewelry company called Lemmerman’s — which calls itself “The Player’s Choice.”

Reported by TMZ.com

Daniel Gibson

He will make a debut of a different sort Tuesday night, when “Keyshia & Daniel: Family First,” his reality show with wife Keyshia Cole, airs at 10 p.m. on BET. He’s not the least bit nervous about that. In fact, he can’t wait for fans to see all eight episodes.

“I’m extremely proud of it because I just think, for some reason, family is not big in America anymore,” he said after practice Sunday as the Cavs prepared to host Italian power Montepaschi Siena tonight at The Q.

“It seems like people have become real materialistic. When they see us, I’m hoping it gives hope to a family atmosphere,” Gibson said. “No person is perfect, but you work together, you work it out, you stick it out . . . that’s what makes a family work. The name says it all.”

– Reported by Mary Schmitt Boyer of the Cleveland Plain Dealer

The team might not have a superstar, but there is the makings of a team with many options.

“I think the strength of our team is that you don’t know where it’s going to come from every single night,” Pistons coach Lawrence Frank said after Saturday’s public scrimmage at Oakland University. “We’re not playing off one guy. We have a structure. We give our guys freedom to play to their strengths and each others’ strengths, but the ball has to move.”

On some nights the top option will be big man Greg Monroe. It’s apparent in the brief glimpses to the media that he has worked on his 15-foot jumper in the off-season. And the Pistons emphasized his passing ability in the high post in Saturday’s scrimmage.

– Reported by Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press

Rockets developing on-court bonds

The Rockets headed to McAllen hoping the time on the road would build solidarity for a team almost entirely remade. They returned hoping to have developed cohesiveness on the court as well.

“We built great team camaraderie, great team chemistry on and off the court,” said forward Patrick Patterson, one of just five holdovers from last season. “We built a great base this past week on the offensive end, getting everything set, learning to play with one another on the court, knowing what each other likes as far as jump shots, rolling to the basket and how each other plays. We got a good vibe for one another. This is just a steppingstone in the right direction to be a better team.”

Training camp ended with an open scrimmage. Kevin Martin led in scoring, making seven of 11 shots for 25 points. Gary Forbes made five of six 3-pointers and scored 24.

– Reported by Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle

chuck hayes

To return in better shape, Hayes tried different activities (Bikram hot yoga, bike riding, tennis, swimming) before returning to the court. Hayes said he’s continuing to work to get be in optimal shape for the season.

“I think Chuck has put the work in and now he’s in better shape,” Smart said. “He had a dunk the other night so he’s moving up.”

Hayes (6-6, 250) wasn’t getting near the rim much at all last season. But he looks lighter on his feet and his moving much better on the court in camp.

– Reported by Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee (Blog)

Joakim Noah

Joakim Noah has a reputation as a free spirit, but he remained a missing one Sunday.

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said his starting center missed a second consecutive day of training camp for ‘‘personal reasons.’’

‘‘Just a personal matter,’’ Thibodeau said. ‘‘He’ll be out a couple days. Hopefully he’ll be back [Monday].’’

Noah spent a few weeks in the offseason working with NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, especially on offense, so it would be nice for the Bulls to have him back for the preseason opener Tuesday.

– Reported by Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times

derrick rose

How many different ways can Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau be asked about life without Derrick Rose?

If one week of training camp is any indication, Thibodeau is sure going to find out.

‘‘Obviously, Derrick is a great player, but this is not a new thing for us — he missed half the season [last year],’’ Thibodeau said Sunday. ‘‘We found a way to do it last year, and I expect us to find a way to do it this year. This is about the players we have available. They’re more than capable.

‘‘Rip [Hamilton] has been a big shot-maker his whole career, Carlos [Boozer] has been a big shot-maker his whole career, Luol [Deng] has hit some big shots for us, so we have several guys that are capable.’’ …

Life without Rose until maybe February because of his surgically repaired torn left anterior cruciate ligament is atop that list, but it’s not the only concern. Rose isn’t the only key starter who’s been on the shelf for extended amounts of time.

– Reported by Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times

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