Archive for November 27th, 2012

Reggie Evans rebounding like crazy for Nets

Reggie Evans keeps it simple, with a slogan that Nike once might’ve kicked around: Just get it.

Evans doesn’t view his job as a science, or a reward for practice and technique. After grabbing 14 boards Monday against the Knicks, he couldn’t really explain why he’s rebounding at a better rate than anybody in the NBA.

Evans just plays by a creed, which signals in his head as the ball bounces off the rim.

“Go get it,” he said. “No excuses. Just get it.”

Evans, 32, is averaging a league-high 22.1 rebounds per 48 minutes — a number that keeps rising as the Nets (9-4) keep winning. In the last three games — all home victories — Avery Johnson has trusted Evans in fourth-quarter crunch time over starter Kris Humphries.

– Reported by Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News

Rockets to attend Sasha McHale funeral

Rockets players and coaches did not know if they could help, but were certain that they had to try, that they had to be there for Kevin McHale and his family.

About 40 members of the team, coaches and staff were scheduled to fly to Minneapolis from Houston after tonight’s game against Toronto to attend the funeral of McHale’s daughter Sasha. Sasha McHale passed away on Saturday at 23 of complications of the disease Lupus.

“It’s real important,” Patrick Patterson said. “We have to support coach McHale. He’s a priority. He’s part of this family. His family is part of our family. We have to show him that we care, that we love him, each and every one of them.

“I believe and I hope it helps from the standpoint of support. There’s not too much words can really do, but knowing people are there supporting, knowing you have a family, a team, an organization behind you and understands what you’re going through, that’s what we want to show coach McHale and the McHale family. We love them and we’re here for them.”

– Reported by Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle (Blog)

The Memphis Grizzlies assigned guard Tony Wroten to the Reno Bighorns, the team’s NBA Development League affiliate, Grizzlies General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace announced today.

Wroten (6-6, 208) has totaled one rebound and one steal in eight minutes through three appearances in his rookie season with Memphis.

The Grizzlies drafted the 19-year-old in the first round (25th overall) of the 2012 NBA Draft after one season at the University of Washington.  In his lone season with the Huskies, the Seattle native became the first freshman in school history to earn First Team All-Conference honors, ranking fifth in the Pac-12 in scoring (16.0 points), eighth in assists (3.7) and second in steals (1.9).

Memphis will conclude its season-long five-game home stand this week when the team hosts the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday, Nov. 28 and Detroit Pistons on Friday, Nov. 30.

Utah Jazz now 6-0 at home

After pulling a no-show in the first half, the Utah Jazz’s defense arrived in time to help them stay perfect at home.

Backup power forward Derrick Favors hit three clutch free throws down the stretch, and center Al Jefferson scored 28 points as the Utah Jazz rallied to beat the Denver Nuggets 105-103 Monday night at EnergySolutions Arena.

But it was Utah’s defense down the stretch that sealed its sixth straight home win.

Jazz wings Randy Foye and DeMarre Carroll prevented Denver guard Ty Lawson from getting off a game-tying attempt in the final 3.6 seconds, and time ran out on the Nuggets.

“I knew they were going to try and get it to Ty Lawson or Gallo (Danilo Gallinari),” Carroll said. “When I saw Ty drive, I’ve been playing against him all summer, I knew he was going to try and make something happen and go to the goal. I just tried to collapse. He saw me and time ran out.”

– Reported by the Sports Xchange

Kobe Bryant playing with great efficiency this season

Bryant is shooting 51 percent overall so far this season (his previous career best was 46.9 percent in 2001-02), 41.5 percent from the 3-point line (his previous career best was 38.3 percent in 2002-03) and 87.4 percent from the foul line (his previous career best was 86.8 percent in 2006-07). He also has shot 50 percent or better in 10 of the Lakers’ 14 games, so his accuracy has been consistent. And with 17.1 percent of the season in the books, the sample size has grown to the point that this can’t be just an aberration.

So, where does the credit go? How does Bryant jump from shooting just 43 percent overall last season — his worst shooting mark since his second season in the league, back in 1997-98 — to his best marksmanship as a 34-year-old?

“I think the system has a lot to do with it,” Bryant said Monday. “The floor is spaced out a little bit more. I can penetrate to the basket and get to the free throw line a lot more.”

He is averaging 7.92 free throw attempts per game this season, up from 7.77 a game last season. The improvement isn’t dramatic in that category, but Bryant seems to have adopted the mental standpoint that slashing opportunities are there for him whenever he wants them, whereas last season, he would have Andrew Bynum and his defenders clogging up the paint.

– Reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles

brian shaw

Shaw won three championships as a Lakers player under Jackson and was part of two more on Jackson’s coaching staff from 2005 to ‘11. Shaw returns to Staples Center on Tuesday as the associate head coach of the Indiana Pacers, the right-hand man of coach Frank Vogel.

Shaw didn’t get a phone call from the Lakers after they fired Brown on Nov. 9.

“I’m in a good situation here in Indy, a situation where I have a job,” he said. “After how things ended for all of us in L.A. at the end of that last season I was there, there’s no reason for me to get my hopes up about anything because if that was the case, something different would have probably been done initially.”

Shaw interviewed to replace Jackson after the 2010-11 season. He found out he didn’t get the job after seeing media reports of Brown’s hiring.

– Reported by Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times

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

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