Archive for October 23rd, 2012

The NBA is finally doing something about the Duncan Dilemma.

The league will announce Wednesday a change to its All-Star ballot that will, for the first time, allow fans to vote for three undefined “frontcourt” players instead of having to vote for two forwards and a center. With more and more teams playing smaller than in the past, the definition of “center” was becoming increasingly difficult — not to mention finding enough quality big men for whom to vote.

For years, for example, the Spurs have listed Tim Duncan as a power forward, even though everyone on earth knew he was their starting center. And so when it came to All-Star balloting, Duncan would take up a forward spot in a very crowded field of Western Conference stars instead of his logical spot in the middle. This was good for Duncan, who surely would have made his 13 All-Star teams anyway, but it often cost another forward a shot.

– Reported by David Aldridge of TNT/

Royce White hits the road to New Orleans

Royce White hits the road to New Orleans

Rockets rookie Royce White says he enjoys the open the road, and he’ll get a chance to see some of it this week as he travels by recreational vehicle to the team’s exhibition games in New Orleans and Orlando.

White, who suffers from generalized anxiety disorder that can manifest itself in discomfort regarding airplane travel, said Tuesday he has an RV lined up for his trip to the two cities and that the Rockets have agreed to pick up his travel costs for the year.

“Since it’s a medical thing and it’s also kind of a team thing, the Rockets were stellar in saying we’ll pick (the costs) up,” he said.

– Reported by David Barron of the Houston Chronicle (Blog)

Rookies Dion Waiters and Tyler Zeller moved into the Cavaliers starting lineup on Tuesday night against Indiana at The Q, joining Kyrie Irving, Alonzo Gee and Anderson Varejao, who moves to power forward.

Cavs coach Byron Scott is still searching for a starting lineup and opted to take a look at this bigger group against the big Pacers. The move leaves rookie center Zeller paired up against All-Star Roy Hibbert.

Scott said regardless of Tuesday’s outcome, he still is undecided on his starters.

– Reported by Mary Schmitt Boyer of the Cleveland Plain Dealer

Rasheed Wallace set to scrimmage on Friday

There’s still no telling when Rasheed Wallace will suit up for the Knicks, but he’s expected to take a big step toward getting on the floor Friday when he scrimmages with the rest of the team.

Wallace participated in all team drills and a few individual drills on Tuesday, doing his most extensive work since joining the Knicks.

Mike Woodson said afterward Wallace will not play in the Knicks’ preseason finale against the Nets on Wednesday, but he should start scrimmaging on Friday.

“We’re going to start to get some contact in … and try to test him a little bit there and see where he is,” Woodson said. “And then (we’ll) go from there.”

– Reported by Ian Begley of ESPN New York

Blazers will start J.J. Hickson at center

Three weeks, six exhibition games and more than a dozen practices have cemented J.J. Hickson’s stranglehold on the Trail Blazers’ starting center job.

Coach Terry Stotts on Tuesday said Hickson will be his starting center Halloween night, when the Blazers open the regular season against the Los Angeles Lakers.

“He’s earned it,” Stotts said. “He’s played well.”

Heading into training camp, Stotts said the undersized Hickson would be the favorite to man the middle because of his experience in the NBA and his 19-game history with the Blazers last season. But Stotts wouldn’t simply hand Hickson the starting spot, he’d have to beat out rookies Meyers Leonard and Joel Freeland for the gig.

– Reported by Joe Freeman of the Oregonian

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Kobe Bryant

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant missed his second consecutive practice because of a bruised and sore right foot.

The Lakers are listing Bryant as day-to-day, making it unclear whether he will play in the team’s preseason game Wednesday against the Clippers. Bryant originally injured his foot during a collision in the third quarter of the Lakers’ 99-92 preseason loss Sunday to the Sacramento Kings.

– Reported by Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News (Blog)

If you want to see the Knicks play the Nets on opening night, and you want a ticket through the secondary market, you’re going to have to pay.

The current average price for the Knicks-Nets battle at the Barclays Center on Nov. 1 is $819.89, up 21.39% from the price on Oct. 1 ($675.31), according to TiqIQ, a website that tracks ticket prices on secondary markets.

– Reported by Ian Begley of ESPN New York

Cavs guard Daniel Gibson out with concussion

Cavaliers guard Daniel Gibson is listed as OUT with a mild concussion for tonight’s preseason game at The Q vs. the Indiana Pacers.

Gibson reported symptoms on Monday and was placed in the NBA’s concussion protocol process at that point. His status will be updated as appropriate and he will be cleared to resume contact and game action once he is symptom free and successfully completes the concussion protocol process.

Spurs waive Eddy Curry and Derrick Brown

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they have waived forward Derrick Brown and center Eddy Curry.

Brown was signed by the Spurs on Sept. 27. He appeared in five preseason games, averaging 6.6 points and 1.0 assist in 15.4 minutes.

Curry joined the Spurs on Oct.1 and saw action in five preseason games, averaging 8.4 points and 3.6 rebounds in 15.4 minutes.

The Memphis Grizzlies waived forward/center Michael Dunigan and guard Kyle Weaver, Grizzlies General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace announced today.

Dunigan (6-10, 245) averaged 0.5 points and 2.3 rebounds in 6.8 minutes in four games for Memphis during the preseason. The 23-year-old Oregon product signed with the Grizzlies as a free agent on Sept. 29 after professional stints in Israel, Estonia, Italy and Ukraine.

Weaver (6-6, 201) recorded 2.3 points and 0.3 rebounds in 5.7 minutes in three appearances for Memphis during the preseason. Signed as a free agent on Oct. 1, the 26-year-old Washington State product holds NBA career averages of 5.0 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 18.9 minutes in 73 games (19 starts) over three seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Utah Jazz.

Drafted by the Charlotte Bobcats in the second round (38 th overall) of the 2008 NBA Draft, Weaver has also played for the NBA Development League’s Tulsa 66ers, Iowa Energy and Austin Toros, as well as overseas in Belgium and Germany.

Memphis’ current roster stands at 16

BMO Harris Bradley Center announced Monday that it has reached agreement with the Milwaukee Bucks on a new, six-year lease through Sept. 30, 2017.

The lease extension, which is backdated to Oct. 1 of last year and was expected, is the longest lease between the center and the franchise in more than 10 years and the first multiyear extension since 2007.

“This six-year lease extension represents a long-term commitment between the BMO Harris Bradley Center and the Bucks, offering security for the next five years as the community continues to determine its potential path to a new arena,” said Marc Marotta, BMO Harris Bradley Center board chairman.

The terms of the lease extension are substantially the same as in past years, arena officials said, and will not escalate during the six-year term.

– Reported by Don Walker of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Brooklyn Nets waive guard Stephen Dennis

The Brooklyn Nets have requested waivers on guard Stephen Dennis, Nets General Manager Billy King announced today. Dennis was signed to the training camp roster on September 17.

In three appearances with the Nets this preseason, Dennis played 21 minutes, scoring two points with a rebound and a steal.

The Nets roster currently stands at 17.

The Orlando Magic have waived guard-forward Christian Eyenga and guard Armon Johnson, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today.

Eyenga (6’5”, 210, 6/22/89) did not play in any of Orlando’s six preseason outings.  He was acquired by the Magic from the L.A. Lakers as part of a four-team, 12-player deal on Aug. 10.  Johnson (6’3”, 195, 2/23/89) played in five preseason games with Orlando, averaging 3.2 ppg., 1.6 rpg. and 1.2 apg. in 13.0 minpg.  He was signed as a free agent on Sep. 28.

Orlando’s roster now stands at 18 players.

Pistons rookie Andre Drummond looking good in preseason

The Detroit Pistons are getting closer to finalizing the rotation they’ll use in next week’s season opener against the Houston Rockets and rookie Andre Drummond is making a strong case to be part of it.

The 6-foot-10 center from Connecticut has appeared in all six preseason games and has been arguably one of the Pistons top players.

In 18 minutes per game, he leads the Pistons in shooting percentage (.651), rebounds (5.8) and blocks (1.5) while ranking third in scoring (9.8).

Coach Lawrence Frank isn’t ready to commit to a rotation – or even how many players will be in it – but with only two preseason games remaining, time is running out for him to make some decisions.

– Reported by Brendan Savage of Michigan Live

Bill Walton is healthy and happy

Q: How bad was your injury?

Bill Walton: “I spent three years on the ground. I was in unrelenting, excruciating pain that can only be described as being submerged in a vat of acid with an electric current running through it that I couldn’t get out of. I was just a pitiful ball of flesh writhing on the floor, begging for the pain to stop. My life was over.”

Q: How did it compare to some of your other injuries?

Walton: “I spent a lifetime with bone and joint pain. There’s nothing like nerve pain. It never goes away and nothing can fix it. It destroys your life, it destroys the lives of everyone around you. It takes away the hope and the dream that tomorrow is going to be better. If you don’t have that, you don’t have much. You don’t have anything.”

Q: How do you feel today?

Walton: “I am busier than ever, happier than ever. I haven’t been this healthy since high school. No pain, no medication. I had no idea what life was like without back pain. It’s a miracle what’s happened to me. So with the privilege and good fortune of health comes responsibility, duty and obligation to help other people have their dreams comes true.”

– Reported by Dan McCarney of the San Antonio Express-News (Blog)

Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard had a big smile on his face a day after making his debut for the Los Angeles Lakers, but he still feels the sting of how things ended in Orlando when he thinks about his trophy shelf.

Howard was recognized as the best defender in the league as well as the best interior defender when announced the results of its annual survey of the league’s 30 general managers Monday, but Howard still wants to know why he isn’t the reigning Defensive Player of the Year.

“I thought I should have won it last year, to be honest with you,” Howard told reporters after practice Monday. “I was a little bit upset about that.”

Tyson Chandler of the New York Knicks was named the league’s DPOY last season, ending Howard’s three-year run as the award winner. Chandler earned 45 first place votes and 311 total points to take home the trophy.

– Reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles

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dwight howard

Deconstructing Dwight, Part 1 of dozens of chapters to come, undoubtedly.

The Lakers center took the court Sunday for the first time with his new team and showed exactly why he was different from Andrew Bynum. Markedly.

Dwight Howard has instincts that his predecessor has rarely shown, scoring five times off alley-oop passes and teammates’ missed shots in an exhibition game against Sacramento. Unlike Bynum, Howard’s not a guy who needs the ball in the post, though he showed a left-handed hook shot against the Kings.

Howard is ambidextrous, the result of a childhood accident in which he broke the wrist of his dominant (left) hand and learned to shoot with his right. He passes with his right hand, shoots free throws right-handed and shoots from the post slightly more with his left hand. But only slightly.

“Dwight’s body is far more genetically gifted than Andrew. Andrew has had some issues obviously in his lower extremities in both knees,” said Lakers assistant coach Chuck Person, who worked with Bynum last season and now Howard.

– Reported by Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times

Robert Pera’s bid to own the Grizzlies is on the agenda for consideration by the NBA’s Board of Governors at its meetings Wednesday and Thursday in New York City, sources familiar with the process told The Commercial Appeal.

If the board approves the deal, only one hurdle would remain before the completion of the first ownership transfer in the Grizzlies’ 11 years in Memphis: Pera’s group would then have to close the deal with current owner Michael Heisley. Pera agreed in June to buy the team from Heisley for what is believed to be $350 million.

Three-fourths of the board, which is made up of the majority owners for each of the 30 NBA teams, must vote in favor of Pera’s bid for the ownership transfer to be approved.

Pera will be the largest shareholder in the prospective ownership group but will own less than 50 percent of the franchise, two sources familiar with the deal said.

– Reported by Geoff Calkins of the Memphis Commercial Appeal

Austin Rivers

New Orleans guard Austin Rivers said he expects to be ready for the start of the regular season after the Hornets rookie sprained his right ankle in a preseason game Monday night.

Rivers did not return after he landed awkwardly on a layup attempt in the second quarter of the Hornets’ 87-74 loss to Dallas. The Duke product, the 10th overall pick in this past summer’s draft, had X-rays on his ankle and those came back negative.

New Orleans coach Monty Williams said Rivers will undergo an MRI on Tuesday. Rivers had surgery on the same ankle in June to remove bone spurs.

– Reported by the Associated Press

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