Archive for November, 2012

devean george

Former pro basketball player Devean George is proposing a 45-unit affordable apartment project just two blocks from where he grew up in north Minneapolis. Plans for the proposed Commons @ Penn Avenue project call for combining larger units with 4,500 square feet of commercial space for community services at the southwest corner of Penn Avenue North and Golden Valley Road.

“I just want to give back. I believe that I can help. I want to be able to be a resource,” George told Finance & Commerce on Monday. “We’re focusing on families. The majority of the units are two and three bedrooms.”

North Minneapolis remains a challenging environment for developers. According to city of Minneapolis statistics, there are currently 454 vacant lots and 435 vacant buildings in north Minneapolis.

– Reported by Burl Gilyard of Finance-Commerce.com

DeMarcus Cousins

DeMarcus Cousins said he tried to be mature Saturday night.

Apparently, the official who ejected him thought differently.

Cousins, who was called for his second technical foul and ejected in the third quarter of the Kings’ win over Utah, said Monday he said nothing inappropriate and it was referee Gary Zielinski who was out of line.

“The referee cursed at me,” Cousins said. “He told me to go (expletive) ask the other referee (about the first technical foul). I was going to say something back, kept my cool and walked away and still end up with a technical. So I still don’t understand.”

Cousins said after Monday’s practice he “didn’t say a word” to Zielinski to warrant the technical foul.

– Reported by Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee

Clippers return home after bad road trip

chris paul

The Clippers returned Monday night to Staples Center after what Chris Paul described as “a terrible road trip,” one in which they hardly looked like the confident and polished team that rocketed to a 7-2 start to the season.

They were happy to be home again after losing the final three games on their four-game trip to San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Brooklyn and Atlanta. They also were a little edgy, according to coach Vinny Del Negro.

Well, he was feeling that way, anyway.

“I’m always worried,” he said before the Clippers faced the New Orleans Hornets.

After all, after a victory over the Spurs extended their winning streak to six consecutive games, the Clippers struggled to maintain their momentum. Their offense went stagnant, their defense wasn’t sound and their second unit was unproductive.

– Reported by Elliot Teaford of the Los Angeles Daily News

Marco Belinelli barely playing for Bulls

After averaging career highs in scoring (11.8 points) and playing time (29.8 minutes), Marco Belinelli expected big things for his transition from the Hornets to Bulls.

He certainly didn’t expect this: The shooting guard didn’t play against the Bucks on Monday after playing a combined 9 minutes, 42 seconds in the previous two games.

“For sure I want to play more,” Belinelli said.

Belinelli has scored in double figures just twice this season and not since tallying 11 points against the Timberwolves on Nov. 10.

“I’m comfortable with my shot, but I’m not playing much,” he said. “It’s a bummer for me, but the NBA is like this. So I work extra before and after practice and try to be ready when I go to the court. I’m trying to play the best game I can.”

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

Kevin Love hopes to ditch protective glove

Last week, Timberwolves forward Kevin Love sat at his locker after making his surprise season debut and said he expects to wear a padded protective glove on his healing shooting hand probably until January.

Midway through the fourth quarter of Saturday’s 96-85 loss at Golden State — the team’s fifth consecutive loss — he ripped off that fingerless glove and flung it toward the photographers beyond the baseline.

By then, he was well on his way to a 6-for-20 shooting night that included one of five three-point attempts and two of four free throws made.

In his first three games back from that broken hand, Love is shooting 34.7 percent from the field, 18.8 percent from three-point range and 64.7 percent from the free-throw line.

Those percentages aren’t all Love just getting his legs back underneath him.

“It’s very restricting,” Love said of the glove.

– Reported by Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star Tribune

maurice williams

Mo Williams remained in a walking boot Monday, as he missed his second consecutive game with a right foot injury he suffered in Friday’s 104-102 win over Sacramento.

The Jazz point guard, as of Monday, had not resumed basketball activities, but said he targeted Wednesday’s game at New Orleans for his return.

“It’s mostly the twisting and turning aspect of it,” Williams said.

The veteran landed awkwardly on his foot defending a 3-pointer by Sacramento’s Aaron Brooks in the first quarter Friday. He returned to the game in the second quarter but played less than two minutes. He did not dress for the Jazz’s loss at Sacramento on Saturday.

– Reported by Bill Oram of the Salt Lake Tribune

Brook Lopez

The Nets won the crowd - and the game.

Things sure looked and sounded different for them in their first matchup against the New York Knicks in Brooklyn.

The Nets pulled out a 96-89 overtime victory on Monday night, tying the Knicks for first place on a breakthrough night for their franchise.

With their fans outnumbering and at times outchanting the Knicks’ counterparts for a change, the Nets improved to 7-1 in their new home, sending this new-look rivalry off to a stirring start before a sellout crowd of 17,732…

Jerry Stackhouse, wearing the No. 42 Jackie Robinson made famous in Brooklyn, hit the tiebreaking 3-pointer with 3:31 left in overtime as the Nets controlled the extra period of a playoff-like game that neither team led by more than seven.

Brook Lopez had 22 points and 11 rebounds, and Deron Williams added 16 points and 14 assists as the Nets tied the Knicks atop the Atlantic Division at 9-4.

Carmelo Anthony had 35 points and 13 rebounds, but was only 10 of 16 at the free throw line. Tyson Chandler finished with 28 points and 10 boards, but no other Knicks player was in double figures.

Raymond Felton was just 3 of 19 from the field, but the Knicks had to stick with him with fellow point guard and former Nets star Jason Kidd out with back spasms.

– Reported by Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press

Kings guard Aaron Brooks fined for throwing mouthpiece into stands

Sacramento Kings guard Aaron Brooks has been fined $25,000 for throwing his mouthpiece into the stands immediately following the Kings 104-102 road loss to the Utah Jazz on Nov. 23. The fine was announced today by Stu Jackson, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

Brooks is averaging 8.0 points and 2.0 assists per game for the Kings this season, and has started five of the 13 games he’s played.

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has recalled guard Scott Machado from Houston’s single-affiliation NBA D-League partner Rio Grande Valley.

Machado (6-1, 205, Iona), who was assigned to Rio Grande Valley on Nov. 13, averaged 16.0 points, 8.0 assists and 5.0 rebounds in two starts with the Vipers. In Friday’s season opener against Bakersfield (11/23/12), Machado posted 20 points, eight assists and seven rebounds. In the second meeting with the Jam (11/24/12), he added 12 points, eight assists and a pair of steals.

Knicks play Nets in Brooklyn tonight

From Madison Square Garden to the Garden State, the Knicks cast a shadow the Nets could never escape.

The Knicks were considered first rate and the Nets second class, even in years when the better team was in New Jersey. The Nets would watch fans in orange and blue take over their home games, believing all along things would be different when they finally got their shot at the Knicks in Brooklyn.

Well, here it comes.

The city rivals play the makeup of their postponed season opener on Monday, a matchup the Knicks insist is just another game but one that’s probably much bigger to the Nets.

”I think obviously being on center stage tomorrow night, all eyes on Brooklyn, truly makes this a very special night for us because it’s something that we worked for, for so long,” Nets CEO Brett Yormark said Sunday. ”Even though it’s not opening night, it’s a dramatic night. I mean, the Knicks are playing well, the Nets are playing well, Brooklyn’s certainly embraced this franchise, and I think tomorrow night is hopefully the start of some really special nights between the Nets and the Knicks.

”Yeah, I’d love to win the game, but it’s more than that. It’s about making a statement that this franchise has arrived and we are certainly part of the conversation when people are talking about pro basketball in New York.”

– Reported by Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press

The Atlanta Hawks’ Al Horford and the San Antonio Spurs’ Tim Duncan today were named Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, Nov. 19, through Sunday, Nov. 25.

Horford led the Hawks to a 4-0 week, averaging 16.5 points, 9.8 rebounds and 4.5 assists. He recorded a career-high 10 assists on Nov. 21 as Atlanta topped the Washington Wizards 101-100. Horford’s 26-point, 13-rebound double-double in a 101-91 win over the Charlotte Bobcats on Nov. 23 helped the Hawks to improve their road record to 4-2, tops in the conference.

Duncan helped the Spurs to a 3-1 week with averages of 22.0 points, 12.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.3 blocks. He posted three consecutive point-rebound double-doubles in games against the Los Angeles Clippers, Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers. Duncan’s lone game last week without a double-double still showed a balanced stat line of 26 points, six assists, five rebounds and three blocks as the Spurs bested the Raptors 111-106 on Nov. 25 – a game in which Duncan recorded his 2,500th career block.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Atlanta’s Jeff Teague, Boston’s Rajon Rondo, Charlotte’s Ramon Sessions, Denver’s Andre Iguodala, Houston’s Chandler Parsons, Memphis’ Rudy Gay, Miami’s Chris Bosh and LeBron James, Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, and Sacramento’s Tyreke Evans.

Utah Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey announced today that the team has assigned rookie guard Kevin Murphy to its NBA Development League (D-League) affiliate, the Reno Bighorns.  He is expected to be in uniform for the Bighorns’ season opener against the Santa Cruz Warriors on November 30 at the Reno Events Center in Reno, Nev.

Selected by the Jazz in the second round (47th overall selection) of the 2012 NBA Draft, the 6-6, 185-pound Murphy played four seasons at Tennessee Tech, where he averaged 15.8 points and 4.2 rebounds per game.  Murphy averaged 20.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists as a senior and finished his career as the Golden Eagles’ second all-time leading scorer (2,019 points).

Murphy becomes the sixth player in Jazz history to be assigned to the D-League, and the first since current Jazz teammate Jeremy Evans was in March 2011.

Nene

After playing a surprising 29 minutes off the bench in the Wizards’ 108-106 double overtime loss to Charlotte, Nene slouched in his locker room stall, left foot in a bucket of ice, and joked with teammate Kevin Seraphin that he needed a teleporter to take him to the training room.

Nene eventually got up and moved around on his own strength afterward. But he was a spectator for Sunday’s light practice, looking on in a red T-shirt and leaving for the locker room afterward, accompanied by the team masseuse.

Coach Randy Wittman said he expects to have the Brazilian big man in uniform when the Wizards host San Antonio on Monday, though conditioning remains a concern for games that basically amount to training camp and preseason with Nene missing three months of action.

– Reported by Michael Lee of the Washington Post

Bucks rookie John Henson loves to fish

John Henson

Attention fellow fishermen: If you receive a telephone call from Milwaukee Bucks rookie John Henson, don’t hang up.

“They might be like, ‘Nah, quit playing,’ ” Henson said. “But it’s something I like doing and it’s a hobby of mine. I fish all the time. I love doing it. Even if I don’t catch any fish, just to go out there and relax, be to myself or with a family member or friend. It’s fun.

“I looked up charters here and all type of stuff, and I found a few things that interest me. As soon as I have a little time, I’m definitely going to check it out.”

And a word of advice:

When bragging how your charter always returns with enough fish to feed Henson’s entire team, be sure to knock on wood.

It’s the 22-year-old’s biggest superstition.

– Reported by Dave Boehler, special to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

Steve Nash health update may come today

There’s no one more eager for Steve Nash’s return than Kobe Bryant.

The reasons are obvious.

“I won’t have to bring the ball up as much. I like facilitating, but I like to score a lot more,” Bryant said. “When he comes back, he’ll make my life a lot easier.”

It remains unclear when that will happen.

The Lakers plan to re-evaluate Nash’s fractured left leg sometime today.

Nash has yet to perform any running exercises. The guard also recently expressed doubts he’d play when the Lakers (7-7) host the Indiana Pacers (6-8) on Tuesday at Staples Center. It’s possible Bryant could find some relief since Steve Blake might play against Indiana after a lower abdominal strain kept him out for the past seven games.

– Reported by Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News 

Kevin McHale mourns loss of daughter

Alexandra McHale, the daughter of Minnesota basketball legend Kevin McHale, died over the weekend, it was announced Sunday.

Known as Sasha, she died Saturday in a Twin Cities hospital. She had turned 23 in late October and had been in college at Minnesota Duluth until illness forced her to take a leave of absence.

She played varsity for Totino-Grace High School for three years and made honorable mention all-state in 2008, the year her team won the Class 3A state title.

“She was an outstanding basketball player and the life of the locker room,” said Shannon Hartinger, her coach at Totino-Grace for three years. “She was a joy to be around. You could tell she loved to play basketball.” …

Kevin McHale became coach of the Houston Rockets last season but has been on a leave of absence since Nov. 10. The Houston Chronicle said the leave was to deal with his daughter’s health issues after she was hospitalized for a condition related to lupus, a chronic autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body. The Lupus Foundation of America estimates 1.5 million people in the country have it.

– Reported by the Minneapolis Star Tribune

carmelo anthony

With the Linsanity disaster behind them, the Knicks came back home and took it out on the Pistons today. They cruised to a 121-100 victory behind Carmelo Anthony’s 29 points in 31 minutes and they got back to playing ramped-up defense in a Garden matinee, breaking a two-game losing streak.

The Knicks moved to 9-3 and stayed unbeaten at home at 5-0. The win sets the stage for tomorrow’s historic, first-ever showdown vs. the Nets in their new locale in Brooklyn – a makeup game of the postponed season opener.

Today’s victory temporarily erased the stench of their 131-103 disgrace at the hands of Jeremy Lin’s Rockets in Houston. During their two-game losing streak that included a defeat in Dallas, the Knicks had allowed 245 points. All their losses have come on the road – the third one being in Memphis.

Melo shot 10 of 18, made all five of his free throws and had 3 assists. He also mostly refrained from arguing with the officials and sizzled with his jumper, making 4 of 5 3-pointers. He didn’t play the fourth quarter.

– Reported by Marc Berman of the New York Post

Anthony Davis might miss two more weeks with ankle injury

It could be another two weeks before New Orleans Hornets rookie forward Anthony Davis recovers sufficiently from a stress reaction in his left ankle to resume playing.

Davis said Sunday after the team’s shootaround at a downtown hotel that a precautionary MRI following three ankle sprains in as many days revealed the problem, which is a precursor to a more serious stress fracture that would likely manifest itself without rest and rehabilitation.

Davis first injured his ankle June 30 in New Orleans, his first workout following the NBA draft. That slowed him in the early portion of the U.S. Olympic Team’s training camp in Las Vegas.

This latest issue, he said, is unrelated.

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

glen davis

Now that Glen Davis is co-captain of the Orlando Magic, the former Celtic only hopes that his maturity is showing. The forward goes into tonight’s game against his old team as Orlando’s second leading scorer (14.9 ppg), but believes his overall development is a reflection of another kind of transition.

He’s moved on from under the pressure of Doc Rivers’ strong hand to the more liberal touch of Magic coach Jacque Vaughn. Listen to Davis’ description of the change, and you can’t help but believe that he’s gone from boot camp to an ashram.

“Different guys,” he said after today’s pre-game shootaround. “Doc is more of a military-minded kind of guy, and Jacque is more of a Gandhi kind of guy. Soft but powerful.

“Doc’s more ‘get the job done,’ and Jacque Vaughn is more the kind of guy who will ask you, ‘Would you feel comfortable getting the job done?’” said Davis.

– Reported by Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has recalled forward/center Donatas Motiejunas from Houston’s single-affiliation NBA D-League partner Rio Grande Valley.

Motiejunas (7-0, 222, Lithuania), who was assigned to Rio Grande Valley on Nov. 13, averaged 24.0 points and 9.5 rebounds in two starts with the Vipers. In Friday’s season opener against Bakersfield, Motiejunas led the team with 31 points and eight boards in 36 minutes. Last night, he posted a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds against the Jam.

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