Archive for December 4th, 2012

Norris Cole sits out for Heat

Miami Heat guard Norris Cole had hoped to use Saturday’s performance against the Brooklyn Nets as a steppingstone.

Now, he will have to take a couple steps back before making progress. Cole did not play in Tuesday’s game against the Washington Wizards because of a strained groin.

Cole went through the morning shootaround, but coach Erik Spoelstra said it was best for him to rest rather than risk further injury. He suffered the injury at some point during Saturday’s victory against the Brooklyn Nets.

The decision to sit him was made for precautionary reasons.

– Reported by Shandel Richardson of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

The New Orleans Hornets are expected to change their nickname to the Pelicans as early as the 2013-14 season, numerous sources told Yahoo! Sports.

The Hornets planned to change their nickname since Tom Benson, owner of the New Orleans Saints, purchased the team on April 14. Benson also owns the rights to the nickname Pelicans.

The Hornets also considered the nicknames Krewe (groups of costumed paraders in the annual Mardi Gras carnival in New Orleans) and Brass.

– Reported by Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports

Pau Gasol out with knee tendinitis

Pau Gasol out with knee tendinitis

The Lakers’ much-discussed search for a way to make Mike D’Antoni’s offense work with Pau Gasol, or to make Gasol effective next to Dwight Howard, is on hold.

Gasol, who had been benched at the end of recent games including Sunday’s loss to the Magic, will be out tonight against the Rockets because of tendinitis in both knees. The former All-Star who had been dealt to the Rockets in a trade later vetoed a year ago this week, had been struggling with the injury and the Lakers’ switch to an up-tempo offense in which he was usually at the high post, rather than inside.

“He was playing hurt,” D’Antoni said. “In this league, you just can’t do that. They got to get him healthy, whatever it takes, one game, two games, 10 games, day-to-day, I don’t know. But he’s got to get healthy. It wasn’t fair. He was trying to battle through some stuff. In this league, you just can’t do it.”

– Reported by Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle Blog

Raymond Felton expects to play for Knicks Wednesday

New York Knicks point guard Raymond Felton will play on Wednesday against the Charlotte Bobcats despite suffering a bone bruise and contusion in his left hand.

“It’s going to be tough, but I’m going to play,” said Felton.

The Knicks are also optimistic that Jason Kidd (back spasms) will return from a four-game absence. Kidd says he’ll play against the Bobcats but might not start.

Knicks coach Mike Woodson called Kidd “probable” and wants to see how the 39-year-old feels on Wednesday morning, presumably after the morning shootaround in Charlotte.

“We’ll just have to play it by ear and see how he feels,” Woodson said. “It would be nice to have him back.”

– Reported by Ian Begley of ESPN New York

Rondo glad to be back with team

Rondo glad to be back with team

Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo, anticipating his return to the lineup Wednesday night following a two-game suspension, joked after Tuesday’s practice that he spent the duration of his time away in Mexico.

“I went to Mexico, couple days, watched the games,” Rondo deadpanned in his first meeting with reporters since last Thursday. “It was cool.”

Rondo was hit with a two-game ban following a dust-up with Nets forward Kris Humphries in the Celtics’ home loss to Brooklyn last Wednesday, and was forced to sit out Boston’s back-to-back this past weekend.

“Yeah, days off, allowed my body to get a chance to rest,” Rondo said.

– Reported by Greg Payne of ESPN Boston

Charlotte Bobcats abuzz with marketing

The Charlotte Bobcats want Wednesdays to be the new day to party.

The team is spending $18,000 advertising on the city’s light-rail trains and forming partnerships with several EpiCentre restaurants and nightclubs. The hope? That young people will turn a mid-week basketball game into a full night out.

Senior Vice President for Marketing Seth Bennett said the team hopes it will be a stimulus to the whole uptown corridor. The Bobcats also hope it will boost attendance on a day when it is generally much more difficult to fill seats.

Team President and CEO Fred Whitfield said he charged the marketing department with coming up with a plan to boost attendance on Wednesdays soon after the team received its schedule. It called for 13 Wednesday home games, the most it’s ever had. And the opponents – including the Miami Heat, New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Clippers – were pretty good draws.

– Reported by Andrew Dunn of the Charlotte Obsever

Allen Iverson may be rapidly losing money

Former NBA star Allen Iverson is digging himself into a giant financial hole — with monthly bills that largely outweigh his monthly income — but the good news is … he’s still got his fancy-schmancy Maybach.

Allen recently filed docs in GA court as part of his nasty divorce battle with his ex Tawanna Iverson which outline his dire financial situation.

According to docs, Allen brings in $62,500 in monthly income, but his expenses are FAR, FAR, greater … costing him a cool $358,376.66 PER MONTH!!!!

– Reported by TMZ.com

Derrick Rose may be weeks away from practicing

It now looks like it was no coincidence that Adidas showed the final episode of Derrick Rose’s ‘‘The Return’’ ad campaign last week.

According to an NBA source, while ‘‘The Return’’ to the court for NBA games is still up in the air for Rose, the all-everything point guard could be just weeks away from practicing with the Bulls again after surgery on his left anterior cruciate ligament last May.

‘‘That’s the belief that a couple of [the Bulls’] players are under,’’ the source said.

Rose has been expected to be able to play in games by February, but that has been inferred more than actually stated. Even if the Bulls receive the ultimate Christmas present of getting him back on the practice court just before Dec. 25, it doesn’t mean he’s necessarily ahead of that February schedule — or behind it.

– Reported by Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times

Hornets break out of slump, rout Bucks 102-81

Ryan Anderson and Robin Lopez had spoken recently about the need to justify their new leadership roles with the young New Orleans Hornets by exerting the kind of feisty effort that would energize their slumping squad.

That talk became reality on Monday night.

Anderson scored 22 points, Lopez tied a season high with 21 and New Orleans won for only the second time in 11 games, 102-81 over the Milwaukee Bucks…

Lopez shot 8 of 10 from the field and made all five free throws he attempted. He also scored 11 straight points during a pivotal 13-0 run in the third quarter that gave New Orleans the lead for good…

Jason Smith added 12 points and Greivis Vasquez had 11 for the Hornets, who shot 52.4 percent (43 of 82) from the field.

Brandon Jennings hit five 3-pointers and finished with 25 points. Monta Ellis added 17 for Milwaukee, which shot 38.2 percent (29 of 76).

Milwaukee’s Larry Sanders blocked seven shots and the Bucks outrebounded the Hornets 40-37. But that was not nearly enough to keep pace with a New Orleans squad that broke loose for one of its best performances of the season, despite being without top overall draft pick Anthony Davis (left ankle), who missed his eighth straight game.

– Reported by Brett Martel of the Associated Press

Griffin scores 30, Clippers beat Jazz 105-104

Randy Foye knew what was coming. He had seen Chris Paul do it many times as a teammate in Los Angeles last year.

This time, going against the Clippers, Foye raced backcourt to steal the inbounds pass and put up a 3-pointer that would have won the game for the Utah Jazz.

Unlike his 3-pointer that pulled Utah within one point with 1.2 seconds remaining, this one missed its mark and was too late, allowing the Clippers to hang on for the 105-104 victory in Salt Lake City…

Blake Griffin led Los Angeles with a season-high 30 points and Jamal Crawford added 20 off the bench, including a pair of late free throws for the Clippers…

Williams led the Jazz (9-10) against his former team with 20 points and 12 assists, and Foye added 19 points. Al Jefferson had 16 points and 10 rebounds for Utah.

Paul added 14 points for Los Angeles, but scored six in the fourth on 3-of-4 shooting after the Clippers entered the quarter trailing by 10.

– Reported by Lynn DeBruin of the Associated Press

After playing six games in eight days on the East coast, you might think the travel weary Portland Trail Blazers might be ready to run out of steam.

Hardly.

LaMarcus Aldridge had 25 points and 13 rebounds, Luke Babbitt hit a pair of clutch 3-pointers and Portland overcame an 18-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Charlotte Bobcats 118-112 in overtime Monday night.

The Blazers trailed 97-79 with 5:17 left in regulation, but stormed back to tie the score and sent it into overtime on Babbitt’s 3 with 22 seconds left…

To win their second straight game the Blazers had to find a way to stop Ben Gordon who set a Bobcats’ franchise record with eight 3-pointers and finished with 29 points to eclipse 10,000 for his career.

Damian Lillard scored 24 points and Nicolas Batum added 17 points and 13 rebounds for the Blazers, who finish their seven-game road trip at Indiana on Wednesday…

[Kemba] Walker finished with 22 points and seven assists for the Bobcats. Byron Mullens added 12 points and 12 rebounds.

– Reported by Steve Reed of the Associated Press

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