Archive for December 17th, 2012

Steve Nash, Pau Gasol closer to playing

Steve Nash and Pau Gasol both took part in the Lakers’ short practice Monday, which not only lifted the team’s spirits and but raised hopes that brighter days lay ahead.

Nash, who has not played since suffering a fractured left leg in the second game of the season, said he could be back by Christmas, while Gasol, who missed eight games because of tendinitis in his knees, could return to the lineup as soon as Tuesday against the Charlotte Bobcats. Gasol is considered a game-time decision.

“To be fair, I’m starting to get excited just because I’m able to do some things,” said Nash, who tested his stamina in running drills. “The majority of the last six weeks I’ve been inactive, so its nice to be able to get out there with the guys and see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

– Reported by Janis Carr of the Orange County Register

Amare Stoudemire cleared to practice

Carmelo Anthony missed his second straight game Monday with a sprained left ankle, while New York Knicks teammate Amare Stoudemire moved closer to returning.

Stoudemire has been out all season after left knee surgery. Coach Mike Woodson says Stoudemire has been cleared to practice and will work out with the Knicks’ NBA Development League affiliate this week.

– Reported by the Associated Press

The Sacramento Kings recalled second-year forward Tyler Honeycutt from the Reno Bighorns of the NBA D-League today, according to Kings President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie. Honeycutt was assigned to the Bighorns on November 8, 2012.

The first D-League assignment in the NBA this season, Honeycutt averaged 10.9 points (.462 FG%, .357 3pt%, .786 FT%), 9.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 2.3 steals, 1.7 blocks, and 31.1 minutes per game in seven contests, starting three. He recorded three double-doubles. Honeycutt recorded 18 points (8-11 FG, 2-2 3pt), 12 rebounds, four steals, and two blocks in 35 minutes off the bench in a 127-98 win over Bakersfield (December 7). The next night against Bakersfield, Honeycutt tallied 17 points (7-11 FG, 2-3 3pt, 1-2 FT), 15 rebounds, three assists, five steals, and two blocks in 40 minutes in the 106-86 win. His third double-double of the season came in a 134-124 triple-overtime loss on December 15 at L.A. Defenders as he recorded 18 points (7-15 FG, 1-4 3pt, 3-3 FT), 12 rebounds, two assists, one steal, and four blocks in 37 minutes in his third start of the season.

Selected in the second round (35th overall) of the 2011 NBA Draft by the Kings, Honeycutt finished his rookie campaign (2011-12) averaging 1.3 points per game (.333 FG%, .333 3pt%, .600 FT%) in 15 games off the bench for Sacramento, but has yet to see any action this season.

Pacers re-assign Miles Plumlee to D-League

The Indiana Pacers today re-assigned rookie Miles Plumlee to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the Pacers’ NBA Development League affiliate.  The assignment is the 55th of the 2012-13 NBA and NBA D-League seasons, while Plumlee is one of 35 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 four games for Fort Wayne during his previous assignments when he averaged 16.5 points, 11.5 rebounds and 33.3 minutes.  He has appeared in four games for the Pacers this season, scoring four points and grabbing five rebounds in 16 minutes.  Selected 26th 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 tomorrow, Tuesday, Dec. 18, when the team hosts the Canton Charge at 7 p.m. ET.

Courtney Fortson named D-League Performer of Week

Courtney Fortson of the Los Angeles D-Fenders was today named NBA Development League Performer of the Week for games played Dec. 10-16.

A 5-11, 185-pound guard out of Arkansas, Fortson led the D-Fenders to a 2-0 record for the week, averaging 27.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 7.0 assists and 46.5 minutes.  He scored a team-high 36 points in a 134-124 triple-overtime win over the Reno Bighorns, 134-124, on Dec. 15 to go with a team-high eight assists.

A second-year member of the D-Fenders, Fortson earned two GATORADE Call-Ups during the 2011-12 season and owns NBA career averages of 3.5 points, 1.5 rebounds and 9.5 minutes in 10 games for the Los Angeles Clippers and Houston Rockets.

Other top performers considered include Austin’s Tyler Wilkerson, Bakersfield’s Damion James, Canton’s Jon Leuer, Erie’s D.J. Kennedy, Fort Wayne’s Miles Plumlee, Idaho’s Joel Freeland, Iowa’s Chris Wright, Los Angeles’ Darius Johnson-Odom, Maine’s Shelvin Mack, Reno’s Garrett Temple, Rio Grande Valley’s Tim Ohlbrecht, Santa Cruz’s Travis Leslie, Sioux Falls’ Andrew Goudelock, Springfield’s James Mays, Texas’ Darius Rice and Tulsa’s Jeremy Lamb.

paul george

The Indiana Pacers’ Paul George and the Golden State Warriors’ David Lee today were named Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, Dec. 10, through Sunday, Dec. 16.

George led the Pacers to a 3-0 week which included wins over Central Division rivals Cleveland and Detroit. George averaged 23.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.3 blocks. He shot .474 from three-point range on the week and ranks eighth in the league with 54 made three-point field goals on the season.

David Lee

Lee helped the Warriors to a 3-1 record which included wins at Miami and Atlanta. Lee tallied 22.8 points on .606 shooting from the field, 12.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.0 steals. He posted a point-rebound double-double in all four contests and extended his double-double streak to seven consecutive games – the longest such streak in the NBA this season.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were the Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin, Miami’s LeBron James, Minnesota’s Nikola Pekovic, New York’s Carmelo Anthony, Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant, Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge, San Antonio’s Tony Parker and Toronto’s Jose Calderon.

Andrew Bynum says knees are improving

andrew bynum

Andrew Bynum, out all season with chronically injured knees, said he feels closer to returning to the court for the 76ers.

Bynum will see orthopedic surgeon David Altchek on Thursday, and the Sixers center said he is optimistic.

“I am feeling much better,” Bynum said before Sunday night’s game at the Wells Fargo Center against his former team, the Los Angeles Lakers. “When I see the doctor, hopefully, I will be cleared for impact.”

And Bynum is confident on his impact with his new teammates.

“I think I will do wonders for this team, because now we really don’t have a post threat, and I will help free up a lot of our guys,” Bynum said.

Bynum reiterated that now only his left knee is bothering him. And he said that he is feeling even better than he was last week when he talked to reporters.

– Reported by Marc Narducci of the Philadelphia Inquirer

Josh Selby

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

Selby (6-2, 183) will be assigned to Reno, the Grizzlies’ D-League affiliate, for the first time this season.  The 21-year-old enjoyed great success with the Bighorns during the 2011-12 season, posting 25.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists on .475 shooting in 34.1 minutes in eight games (four starts) over three assignments in Reno as an NBA rookie.

Selby will be with the Bighorns for their next game on Dec. 20 at Rio Grande Valley.  Drafted by Memphis in the second round (49th overall) of the 2011 NBA Draft, the Baltimore native has logged a total of 15 minutes over five appearances for the Grizzlies this season.

Wroten (6-6, 208) recorded 13.3 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists on .370 shooting (.438 three-point shooting) in 22.8 minutes in six games for Reno after being assigned on Nov. 27.  The 19-year-old scored a D-League season-high 21 points in his Bighorns debut on Dec. 2 at Santa Cruz and matched that total in his next game on Dec. 7 vs. Bakersfield.

Drafted by Memphis in the first round (25th overall) of the 2012 NBA Draft, the Seattle native has logged a total of eight minutes in three appearances for the Grizzlies during his rookie season.

Memphis hosts the Chicago Bulls at 7 p.m. tonight at FedExForum to tip off a three-game home stand that will also feature matchups on Wednesday, Dec. 19 vs. Milwaukee and Friday, Dec. 21 vs. Dallas.

The San Antonio Spurs today re-assigned second-year guard Cory Joseph to the Austin Toros, the Spurs’ NBA Development League affiliate.  The assignment is the 53rd of the 2012-13 NBA and NBA D-League seasons, while Joseph is one of 34 NBA players to have been assigned to the NBA D-League this season.

Joseph (6-3, 185) returns to the Toros having played in two games during an earlier assignment when he averaged 12.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 35.5 minutes.

Originally selected by the Spurs with the 29th overall pick of the 2011 NBA Draft out of the University of Texas, Joseph has appeared in nine games for San Antonio this season, averaging 2.1 points, 1.4 assists and 7.2 minutes.

Joseph is expected to join the Toros today and be available tomorrow when the team hosts the Texas Legends at 12 p.m. ET.

The Oklahoma City Thunder has recalled guard Jeremy Lamb and forward Daniel Orton from the Tulsa 66ers of the NBA Development League, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.

Lamb has appeared in seven games (all starts) with the 66ers this season, averaging 23.0 points (2nd in the D-League), 4.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.0 steal and 1.1 blocks in 35.9 minutes.

Orton has seen action in nine games (nine starts) with Tulsa this season, averaging 11.4 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.1 steals, 1.9 blocks and 30.1 minutes.

Jeremy Lin says his season has been terrible so far

On the eve of his return to Madison Square Garden, Jeremy Lin didn’t mince words. The ex-Knick point guard said he has been “terrible’’ this season, not living up to his potential and can’t wait to get the Garden game over with.

Lin’s rip job on himself occurred after yesterday’s Rockets loss in Toronto in which Lin scored just seven points with two assists while Raptors point guard Jose Calderon went off for 18 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds.

Asked to assess his season, Lin said: “Terrible. I think I’m not doing close to what I’m capable of doing and it’s a matter of figuring out how to get myself to play more like myself within the system with the change of scenery. I’ll be my harshest critic but I’ll go ahead and say it: I’m doing terrible.’’

The undrafted Harvard point guard is averaging just 10.8 points, 6.0 assists and shooting 39.5 percent. Lin had lots of fans yesterday in Toronto — which has an enormous Asian population and where he hit his most memorable shot as a Knick last season, a 3-point buzzer-beater to win a game against the Raptors.

– Reported by Marc Berman of the New York Post

damian lillard

Rookie Damian Lillard hit a 3-pointer with 0.3 seconds left and the Portland Trail Blazers handed New Orleans its sixth straight loss with a 95-94 victory over the Hornets on Sunday night.

After trailing by as many as 16, Austin Rivers hit a 3-pointer for the Hornets to tie it at 92 with 50.9 seconds left. The Blazers then absorbed a blow when LaMarcus Aldridge suddenly came up limping and headed to the locker room with what appeared to be a left ankle injury, but Lillard came through to give Portland the win.

The winning shot appeared to come at the buzzer but a review put the fraction back on the clock. Lance Thomas made a layup for the Hornets as time ran out for the final margin.

J.J. Hickson had a season-high 24 points and added 16 rebounds for the Blazers, who have won three straight. Hickson has five straight double-doubles and 13 overall this season.

Ryan Anderson had 26 points, including seven 3-pointers, for New Orleans.

Aldridge, whose condition was not immediately available, finished with 20 points before leaving the game and Lillard had 16.

– Reported by Anne M. Peterson of the Associated Press

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