Archive for December 19th, 2012

Kawhi Leonard

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they have assigned Kawhi Leonard to the Austin Toros of the NBA Development League for a medical rehab assignment. Leonard has been sidelined with quadriceps tendinitis, left knee since Nov. 17.

Prior to the injury, Leonard appeared in nine games for the Silver and Black, averaging 10.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.00 steals in 28.9 minutes.

Leonard will practice with the Toros today and then be re-evaluated by team doctors. At that point, a timeline for his return will be determined.

The Detroit Pistons announced today that they have recalled rookies Khris Middleton and Kim English from their NBA Development League affiliate, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.

Middleton averaged 11.0 points, 7.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 26.3 minutes in three games (all starts).  He scored 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds against the Maine Red Claws on 12/14 – both highs for his D-League stint.  Middleton was drafted 39th overall in the 2012 NBA Draft by the Pistons.  The Texas A&M product has appeared in three Pistons’ games this season averaging 1.3 points, 0.7 assists and 0.7 steals.  He scored a season-high four points and recorded two steals at Houston (11/10).

English averaged 18.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 36.7 minutes in three games (all starts).  He scored 24 points and grabbed six rebounds against the Maine Red Claws on 12/14 – both highs for his stint in the D-League.  English was the 44th pick of the 2012 NBA Draft from the University of Missouri and has seen action in 10 games with the Pistons this season.  He scored a season-high eight points twice [vs. Houston (10/31) and at L.A. Lakers (11/4)] and is averaging 3.2 points, 0.5 rebounds and 0.7 assists while shooting 50% (8-16) from three-point range.

Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas will join NBA TV as a studio analyst.

Thomas will debut Friday and make several appearances a month. He’ll also be a regular contributor to NBA.com.

The 12-time All-Star point guard led the Detroit Pistons to two NBA titles. But he’s more recently remembered for his stint running the New York Knicks, who failed to win a playoff game with Thomas as coach or president.

– Reported by the Associated Press

LeBron James riding bike to practice and home games lately

LeBron James says he is engaged in a “vendetta” against himself as he pushes himself to reach his physical peak and win a second straight NBA championship with the Miami Heat.

On Tuesday, James, last season’s Most Valuable Player, who spent his off-season playing in the London Olympics, was on court against the Minnesota Timberwolves for 42 minutes.

“He wasn’t even breathing heavy,” said Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra when asked about the longer than expected regular season minutes for his team’s star.

“He’s been biking so much on his own. He biked to the game the other day. He’s turning the corner right now in terms of his conditioning. It’s world class.”

When Miami hosted the Washington Wizards on Saturday, James chose to cycle to the team’s daytime shoot-around and the 45 minutes back home before doing the same in the evening for the game…

James says he is too far “in the zone” to notice any public reaction to one of the world’s leading sportsmen cycling around the streets of Miami a few hours before a game.

– Reported by Simon Evans of Reuters

The Oklahoma City Thunder today re-assigned Perry Jones and DeAndre Liggins to the Tulsa 66ers, the Thunder’s NBA Development League affiliate.  The assignments are the second for both Jones and Liggins, and the 59th and 60th of the 2012-13 NBA and NBA D-League seasons. They are among the 36 NBA players who have been assigned this season.

Jones (6-11, 235, Baylor) has appeared in 10 games for the Thunder this season, averaging 1.2 points, 1.4 rebounds and 7.6 minutes. In his first NBA D-League stint, he played in two games for the 66ers. On Dec. 5 vs. Sioux Falls, he tallied 21 points and seven rebounds.  Originally selected 28th overall in the 2012 NBA Draft by the Thunder, Jones averaged 13.7 points, 7.4 rebounds and 32.3 minutes in his collegiate career.

Liggins (6-6, 209, Kentucky) joins Tulsa having appeared in seven games for the Thunder this season.  A second-year guard, Liggins was originally selected by the Magic in the second round, 53rd overall, of the 2011 NBA Draft and was acquired by the Thunder in September.  In 17 games for Orlando during his rookie campaign, he averaged 1.9 points and 6.8 minutes.

Jones and Liggins are expected to join the 66ers and be available this Friday when Tulsa plays host to the Iowa Energy at SpiritBank Event Center.

The Indiana Pacers announced Wednesday that rookie center Miles Plumlee has been recalled from the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA D-League.

In five games with the Mad Ants, Plumlee has averaged 14.4 points and 10.4 rebounds per game.

The Pacers this season have a 13-12 record, good for 7th best in the Eastern conference.

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