Archive for November 8th, 2012

Change in NBA All-Star balloting irks Dwight Howard

With more and more NBA teams playing with smaller line-ups and quality centers diminishing, the NBA decided to eliminate the center position from the All-Star ballots. The  league will instead allow fans to vote for three “front court players” and no designated centers.

For players such as Dwight Howard, Andrew Bynum and Andrew Bogut and Marc Gasol, it means the will be competing with forwards such as Pau Gasol, Kevin Durant and Kevin Love for an All-Star nod. That doesn’t sit well with Howard.

“I don’t like it at all,” Howard said earlier this week. “We work just as hard as anybody else. I don’t think it’s fair to take away a position that’s been here for life. You need a center on the court. So I don’t think it’s right. That’s like taking away a guard.” – Reported by Janis Carr of the Orange County Register

NBA suspends Thomas Robinson for elbowing Jonas Jerebko

The Sacramento Kings’ Thomas Robinson has been suspended two games without pay for throwing an elbow to the neck of Jonas Jerebko of the Detroit Pistons, it was announced today by Stu Jackson, NBA Executive Vice President Basketball Operations.

The incident, for which Robinson was assessed a Flagrant Foul Two and ejected, occurred with 10:00 remaining in the fourth quarter of Sacramento’s 105-103 win over Detroit on November 7 at Sleep Train Arena.

Robinson will serve his suspension when the Kings host the San Antonio Spurs on November 9 and when the Kings play the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on November 11.

Warriors center Andrew Bogut out 7-10 days

Warriors center Andrew Bogut will not play in any of the team’s games over the next 7-10 days in an effort to continue to strengthen his surgically repaired left ankle.

Bogut has appeared in four of the team’s five games this season, averaging 6.0 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.00 block in 18.3 minutes per contest.

Chauncey Billups hopes to play for Clippers by early December

Los Angeles Clippers guard Chauncey Billups anticipates he will still be out a month and doesn’t think he will be back on the court in November.

“Barring any setbacks, I’m hoping in a month I’ll be back out there,” Billups said while on ESPN’s NBA Countdown on Wednesday. “I’m back practicing with the team so everything is looking good.”

If everything goes according to plan, Billups will make his return to the starting lineup sometime in early December before the Clippers go on a four-game road trip on Dec. 11.

– Reported by Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles

No date for John Wall return, yet

No date for John Wall return, yet

John Wall plans to visit a doctor in Washington on Thursday to get an update on the stress injury in his left knee. Wall found out about the problem five weeks ago, when he visited orthopedic specialist David Altchek in New York and the Wizards projected that he would miss at least eight weeks.

He isn’t expected to return until close to December, and while those close to him have hoped that he could return by Nov. 30 in New York, Wall said he doesn’t have a scheduled return in his mind.

“No target at all,” Wall said, shaking his head. “No. I wish I did.”

– Reported by Michael Lee of the Washington Post (Blog)

Not much scoring from Blazers bench

The Trail Blazers’ bench ranks last in the NBA in scoring, contributing a combined 51 points and averaging a measly 12.8 points over the first four games of the season.

So what?

Ask Blazers coach Terry Stotts about this seemingly glaring deficiency and he shrugs his shoulders.

“Personally, right now, I don’t think it’s a problem,” Stotts said. “Our bench is providing us exactly what we need. They’re all very good complementary players and they’re all fulfilling their roles.”

It would be easy to look at the bench’s offensive production and push the panic button. After all, only two players — rookie center Meyers Leonard (14) and backup small forward Sasha Pavlovic (10) — have scored more than 10 points this season. But simply judging the bench by its offensive production would be a mistake.

– Reported by Joe Freeman of the Oregonian

Mehmet Okur retiring from basketball

Mehmet Okur retiring from basketball

Mehmet Okur announced his retirement from basketball at age 33.

The Turkish forward played for nine years in the NBA averaging 13.5ppg and 7rpg in 634 games (460 in the starting five) with the Pistons, Jazz and Nets.

Last season, Okur started with Turk Telekom Ankara, averaging 12ppg and 8.2rpg in the TBL. When the NBA lockout ended he returned to the United States, where he played 17 games with the Nets, scoring 7.6ppg and pulling down 4.8rpg.

Okur decided to retire because of injuries that affected him over the last three seasons of his career.

– Reported by Sportando 

Kobe Bryant starting to appear frustrated

Kobe Bryant didn’t waste any time leaving the court after the Los Angeles Lakers lost 95-86 to the Utah Jazz on Wednesday. Bryant made a beeline to the locker room with a scowl on his face as the Lakers fell to 1-4 to start a season for the first time in his 17-year career.

Dwight Howard, meanwhile, was the last Lakers player to make his way through the tunnel, lingering on the court to hug a fan and toss each of his arm sleeves, as well as his uniform, into the crowd.

Bryant’s frustration was apparent long before his final exit: He got into it with referee Ed Malloy after being called for a charge in the second quarter; he punched the ball inbounds rather than passed it when there was less than a second left in the third quarter; and he was caught on camera staring down coach Mike Brown when he was sitting on the bench during a timeout in the waning moments of the fourth.

Howard said after the game the Lakers would be better off bottling up those negative emotions.

“I think sometimes as a team we got to be able to not really show our frustrations that much,” Howard said after L.A. fell to 1-12 with their preseason record included.

– Reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles

Jazz beat Lakers, who fall to 1-4

Al Jefferson

Al Jefferson scored 18 points and Randy Foye added 17 on five 3-pointers to lift the Utah Jazz over the Los Angeles Lakers, 95-86 on Wednesday night.

Mo Williams added 16 points on 8 of 13 shooting for Utah (2-3).

Kobe Bryant entered the game shooting nearly 60 percent but started 3 of 10 and finished 7 of 17 for 29 points as the Lakers fell to 1-4.

Dwight Howard added 19 points for the Lakers and Metta World Peace had 15.

The Jazz led by as many as 16 points early, but the Lakers were within five with 8:27 left before Foye hit three straight 3-pointers to give Utah a 79-68 lead with 6:40 remaining.

The Lakers held a huge advantage at the free throw line, making 32 of 46, including 15 of 17 for Bryant. The Jazz were 16 of 18 from the line.

– Reported by Lynn DeBruin of the Associated Press

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