Archive for October 13th, 2012

Warriors waive guard Stefhon Hannah

The Golden State Warriors have waived guard Stefhon Hannah, the team announced today.

Hannah, 27, was signed as a free agent on October 1. He has not appeared in any of the team’s three preseason games thus far.

The Warriors now have 19 players under contract.

Jeremy Lin playing, but still recovering from knee surgery

Tough times for everybody’s favorite point guard. Everybody but James Dolan, that is.

More than six months after undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus, not exactly a catastrophic injury by any stretch, Jeremy Lin continues to cite problems with his left knee for his early struggles with the Rockets.

“My speed and my explosiveness and my agility (are not) there yet,” Lin said the other day.

So it was hardly ideal circumstances when the ex-Knick made his Houston debut against the Thunder’s Russell Westbrook. even if Lin had two completely healthy knees, that’s a mismatch, going up against one of the NBA’s top athletes.

Predictably, in his first action since injuring his knee last March against Detroit at the Garden, it got ugly in a hurry. Lin made only one shot and couldn’t stay with the fleet Westbrook, who went for 19 points in 16 first-half minutes.

– Reported by Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News

UCLA will unveil a statue of the late basketball coach John Wooden outside newly renovated Pauley Pavilion on Oct. 26.

Members of Wooden’s family are expected to attend. The bronze statue was paid for by a donation from athletic boosters and was created by Blair Buswell, who has sculpted many busts of Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees.

The $136 million renovation of UCLA’s basketball arena began in March 2011. The building will re-open at the end of the month.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Emir Preldzic wins Euroleague Week 1 MVP

In a game that produced the two best individual performances to start the Turkish Airlines Euroleague season, Emir Preldzic walked away as bwin Week 1 MVP because his career-best showing had one deciding statistic in his favor: a victory for Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul! Preldzic’s near-flawless performance on Thursday pushed his team to a surefire 92-80 win over visiting Khimki Moscow Region before almost 10,000 delirious fans at Fenerbahce Ulker Sports Arena. The 25-year-old point forward climbed off the bench late in the first quarter and by halftime had 11 points without a miss to push Fenerbahce Ulker ahead for good. When he was finished, Preldzic had compiled a performance index rating of 31, the best of his six-year Euroleague career.

– Reported by Euroleague.net

NBA plans China basketball facility

The NBA and a Chinese partner say they plan to open a basketball center near Beijing.

The partners say the facility in Tianjin, a port city east of the Chinese capital, will include NBA-style basketball courts, a fitness center, a restaurant and other features, according to NBA China and the Yatai Lanhai Investment Group.

The announcement was made as the Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Clippers played exhibition games in Beijing and Shanghai.

– Reported by the Associated Press

It didn’t take long for the Milwaukee Bucks’ power forward depth to be tested.

Reserve forward Ekpe Udoh suffered a strained left knee in the team’s preseason opener against Cleveland on Tuesday, and Bucks coach Scott Skiles said Udoh would be sidelined 10 days to two weeks.

Fortunately for the Bucks, they have starter Ersan Ilyasova, Drew Gooden, Larry Sanders and rookie John Henson. All four can play power forward.

“We don’t think it’s anything serious with Ekpe, but we are very deep there,” Skiles said. “We are going to play at least two or three games without him and see where it goes.

“We’d like him ready for opening night (Nov. 2 in Boston). We’ll just go by what the doctors say.”

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

Celtics may bring Brandon Bass off bench

Brandon Bass

If Brandon Bass is upset over potentially losing his spot in the Celtics starting lineup, he isn’t saying. Then again, Bass isn’t saying much on the topic at all.

“I have no comment on that question. No comment,” Bass responded when asked if he cared whether he started. “We have to keep getting better as a team. I think (coach Doc Rivers) will make the best decision for the team.”

Rivers raised eyebrows earlier in the week when he speculated about employing different starting lineups. The variations could send Bass to the bench in favor of rookie power forward Jared Sullinger or free agent center Darko Milicic.

“We may go to a transitional starting lineup, you know, have three different lineups,” Rivers said Wednesday. “We put a lot of thought into it. We just will figure it out.”

– Reported by Dan Duggan of the Boston Herald

Tim Duncan

A veteran of 15 NBA preseasons, Duncan remains in the early stages of gearing up for games that count. At 36 years old, he has learned how to pace himself through October and how to conserve energy for the regular season.

That all went out the window early Friday.

Duncan hit his first five shots, including a basket-and-a-foul against Denver’s Kenneth Faried. Six minutes in, Duncan had 11 points, and the Spurs had a 15-2 lead. He would finish 8 of 11 from the field [with 21 points and 8 rebounds] before taking a seat for the fourth quarter.

“That’s what Timmy does,” Spurs guard Danny Green said. “We’re going to need that from him this year.”

At this stage of his career, Duncan isn’t a lock for these kind of games every night. If nothing else, coach Gregg Popovich’s meticulous handling of Duncan’s minutes often serves to depress his nightly box score.

– Reported by Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News Blog

Chris Douglas-Roberts

Q: You were overseas the entire year. What was the calculation behind that decision, considering the labor situation the NBA faced at the time?

Chris Douglas-Roberts: It was actually great for me, because during the lockout — I’m was a fairly young player, I (had just finished) my third year — so it was about basketball for me. It wasn’t about money, I just wanted to play basketball. But I went over there, and made that commitment to stay. It definitely made me a better basketball player, and it made me a better person.

It made me more appreciative, because some days I didn’t have heat. The living conditions were terrible. I had to heat up water to give my daughter a bath, some days. If you had the microwave on and the washer on, the electricity may go out in the whole house. It was very small. The shower at the gym that we practiced at, it was filthy. There was mold everywhere. You couldn’t put your feet on the ground, barefoot. Guys were getting staph infections. It was basically back to when I was growing up in Detroit. But when I look at it, it just made me a better person and a player.

Q: Did you know what you were getting into?

CDR: Not at all. I had no clue. When you think of Italy, you think of beauty. You think of good food, great people. Which was the case, but it’s a different game over there. They look at basketball different, they look at the athlete different. You’re practicing two times a day, regardless. Very hard practices, two hours both sessions, and there aren’t any days off, really. It’s more about the organization, really. It’s not about the athlete, really.

– Reported by Brian Kamenetzky of ESPN Los Angeles

Darren Collison

After close inspection, Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki is very impressed with the speed point guard Darren Collion has displayed thus far in training camp.

“He’s one of the fastest guards I’ve ever played with,’’ Nowitzki said of one of his new teammates. “Obviously, he’s got to use that speed to our advantage.

“He’s got to push the ball off makes, misses — it doesn’t really matter. He’s got to fly up the court and get the wings running with him.’’

– Reported by Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Blog)

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