Archive for December 13th, 2012

The Memphis Grizzlies announced today the hiring of John Hollinger as Vice President of Basketball Operations and Stu Lash as Director of Player Personnel and Basketball Development. Hollinger and Lash will work with General Manager Chris Wallace on basketball-related matters.

“We are thrilled to have John and Stu join the Grizzlies,” Grizzlies CEO & Managing Partner Jason Levien said. “Both of these individuals will provide innovative and unique perspectives that bolster the organization’s future.”

Hollinger joins the Grizzlies organization by way of ESPN, where he was best known as an NBA Insider columnist on ESPN.com at the forefront of basketball’s analytics movement. He is the inventor of advanced statistics such as Player Efficiency Rating (PER), Offensive Efficiency, Defensive Efficiency and Pace Factor, as well as several other tools that analyze and forecast team and player performance.

Before joining ESPN, Hollinger covered the NBA for SI.com, Oregonlive.com and The New York Sun. He also authored four annual editions of the Pro Basketball Forecast. He first gained notoriety nearly 20 years ago as the creator of Alleyoop.com, a Web site devoted to basketball analytics. Hollinger is a native of New Jersey, where he played on his high school basketball team, and graduated from the University of Virginia with degrees in Economics and Environmental Science.

“It is clear to me that this is an organization that is focused on building thoughtful decision-making processes and establishing a forward-thinking culture of sustained success,” Hollinger said. “Working in Memphis and being part of the new vision and leadership was an opportunity I just could not pass up.”

Lash comes to the Grizzlies after serving as Vice President of Basketball for Lagardere Unlimited since 2009. Lash spent five NBA seasons with the Denver Nuggets where he worked with the front office and coaching staffs, including serving as the scouting and video coordinator. He was responsible for draft analysis, scouting efforts, scouting schedules and upcoming game preparation. Lash graduated from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.

In addition, the Grizzlies announced that longtime Grizzlies’ employee Chantal Hassard will assume the expanded role of Director of Team Operations. Hassard, now in her 18th season, will manage the team’s administration systems and development while working closely with the coaching staff. In addition, Hassard will serve as the team’s player development representative providing Grizzlies players with educational programs and critical support services.

Brandon Roy

Brandon Roy has returned to practice on a limited, no-contact basis with the Minnesota Timberwolves a month after arthroscopic surgery on his right knee - an accomplishment by itself given the chronic problems he’s had.

The former NBA Rookie of the Year and All-Star decided to revive his career in Minnesota this season. Roy said the latest knee trouble didn’t prompt him to consider retirement, like he did a year ago when he was with Portland.

”I never thought about walking away. It was just, for me, do I want to go through another procedure? Or do I want to play through it?” Roy said Thursday.

Roy said he felt fine in training camp, but he banged knees with another player in an exhibition game against Milwaukee on Oct. 26, and the discomfort worsened after another collision in a game against Indiana on Nov. 9. He had the operation on Nov. 19.

– Reported by Dave Campbell of the Associated Press

The Indiana Pacers today re-assigned rookie Miles Plumlee to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the Pacers’ NBA Development League affiliate. The assignment s the 46 th of the 2012-13 NBA and NBA D-League seasons, while Plumlee is one of 33 NBA players to have been assigned to the NBA D-League this season.

Plumlee (6-11, 255, Duke) re-joins the Mad Ants having played in two games for Fort Wayne during his previous assignment when he averaged 14.0 points, 9.5 rebounds and 28.0 minutes. He has appeared in four games for the Pacers this season, scoring four points and grabbing five rebounds in 16 minutes. Selected 26 th overall by the Pacers in the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft, Plumlee was a four-year member of the Blue Devils where he won an NCAA championship in 2010.

Plumlee is expected to join the Mad Ants today and be available on Friday, Dec. 14 when the team hosts the Maine Red Claws in Fort Wayne.

matt barnes

These are good times for Clippers forward Matt Barnes.

He’s playing on a winning team and he’s playing a significant role off the bench.

His 25.2 minutes per game is the third highest of his nine-year career. He’s averaging 8.9 points and 5.2 rebounds per game.

“So far, behind that Golden State season, this is the most fun I’ve had with the collective group of guys like this,” said Barnes, who played with the Warriors in 2006-07 and 2007-08. “And we’re playing good basketball. So that’s a bonus.”

The Clippers really don’t run any plays for Barnes, who tied his season high of 19 points by scoring 11 in the fourth quarter Wednesday night against the Charlotte Bobcats.

– Reported by Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times

OJ Mayo discusses almost becoming a Celtic last season

This past April, Celtics analyst Donny Marshall claimed O.J. Mayo‘s refusal to play for the Celtics led to the collapse of a deal with the Grizzlies that would have brought him to Boston last season in exchange for Ray Allen and a draft pick. “Mayo basically said, ‘I don’t care about banners,’” announced Marshall.

After losing to the Celtics in double overtime on Wednesday, the current Mavericks guard denied that accusation, referencing his lack of veto power without a no-trade clause and affirming he would’ve welcomed the deal to Boston.

“I was in a good situation in Memphis at the time,” said Mayo. “Obviously, Boston is a big-time organization as well. Great players. It would’ve been an honor to play with KG [Kevin Garnett], [Paul] Pierce and [Rajon] Rondo. It would’ve been great to play with those guys and with [Celtics coach] Doc [Rivers].”

Instead, Mayo blamed the deal’s failure on an internal debate between C’s players and the front office over Allen’s future.

– Reported by Ben Rohrbeach of WEEI

Grizzlies give Mike Bibby a workout

Grizzlies give Mike Bibby a workout

The Grizzlies conducted a workout with veteran point guard Mike Bibby in Phoenix Wednesday afternoon before their game with the Suns at US Airways Center.

Bibby, 34, lives in the Phoenix area but hasn’t played in the NBA since appearing in 39 games for the New York Knicks last season. Sources with knowledge of the situation would not describe Bibby’s workout and insisted that no deal is imminent.

The Grizzlies’ roster stands at 13 players. The NBA allows teams to carry 15.

– Reported by Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal

Jazz shock Spurs with Mo Williams 3-point buzzer-beater

Mo Williams’ 3-pointer at the buzzer [see video] lifted the Utah Jazz to a 99-96 victory over San Antonio on Wednesday night, snapping the Spurs’ five-game winning streak.

Paul Millsap led Utah with 24 points and 12 rebounds, Al Jefferson scored 21 points and Gordon Hayward added 19.

The Jazz trailed by eight with a little more than 4 minutes remaining but fought back. Williams’ winning shot was his only 3 of the night and he finished with eight points on 3-for-9 shooting from the field.

Tim Duncan and Tony Parker each scored 22 points to lead the Spurs, who swept the Jazz out of the playoffs in the first round and had won 11 of the last 12 meetings.

Danny Green’s 19-footer gave the Spurs a 96-94 lead and Millsap tied it with 40 seconds left.

Millsap’s offensive rebound gave the Jazz the final shot. Williams made it and turned and ran toward the other end of the court only to be mobbed by his teammates.

– Reported by Lynn DeBruin of the Associated Press

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