Archive for January 16th, 2013

Ricky Rubio hopes for more playing time

Ricky Rubio hopes for more playing time

Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio plans to meet with the team’s medical staff Thursday, Jan. 17, to determine if his playing time will be increased.

Rubio, who has been limited to 18 to 22 minutes off the bench in his comeback from a major knee injury, played a season-high 26 minutes in the Wolves’ 113-98 loss at Dallas on Monday night.

“I’m ready to play more minutes,” Rubio said after practice Wednesday. “I will talk to them. It’s my feelings against theirs. I hope to know tomorrow.”

– Reported by Ray Richardson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press

Will Atlanta Hawks trade Josh Smith?

Josh Smith

The Hawks, losers of six of their last seven before Wednesday – including an embarrassing 39-point loss to the Bulls on Monday – now find themselves in a combustible situation with a lame-duck coach and an unhappy star on an expiring contract. Among their options: trade Smith before the February deadline, or attempt to re-sign him while chasing pending free agent Dwight Howard.

Drew said he can’t speak on plans regarding Smith, deflecting such questions to GM Danny Ferry.

“We look at Josh as we do any player is in a situation of having a year left on his contract,” Drew said. “Josh is a talented player. He’s a big part of what we do. He’s a guy that we count on, rely on in what we do. Hopefully he’ll be a Hawk for a long time. He’s a phenomenal talent.”

– Reported by Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News (Blog)

Rock Gaming Chairman Dan Gilbert announced Wednesday that he has acquired a majority interest of the Greektown Casino-Hotel in downtown Detroit.

Gilbert, founder of Quicken Loans and the Cleveland Cavaliers owner who triggered the building of the Horseshoe Casino in Cleveland, moved his Quicken Loans headquarters to downtown Detroit. His family of companies are expected to help lead a revitalization of the city’s urban core.

– Reported by Pat Galbincea of the Cleveland Plain Dealer

Unclear when Rasheed Wallace will return for Knicks

As the uncertainty surrounding Rasheed Wallace’s left foot injury lingers, members of the New York Knicks organization fear Wallace will be out for an extended period of time, possibly for the entire season, two league sources told

Wallace has been out since Dec. 15 with a stress reaction in his left foot.

Knicks coach Mike Woodson said last week that he hoped Wallace would begin running this week, but he told reporters in London on Wednesday that Wallace, 38, has yet to do so.

“He’ll be back — but when, I don’t know. We’re gradually trying to get him back where he can run again so he can get back in a uniform. But when, we don’t know when yet,” Woodson said.

– Reported by Ian Begley of ESPN New York

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced that guard Malcolm Lee underwent two successful surgeries this week. On Monday, January 14, Lee underwent a successful right knee cartilage repair. The surgery was performed by Dr. Jonathan Glashow at Midtown Surgical Center in New York. This afternoon Lee underwent successful surgery on his right hip. The surgery was performed by Dr. Bryan Kelly at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

Lee is expected to miss the remainder of the 2012-13 NBA season.

Lee, 6-5, played in 19 games for the Wolves this season, averaging 4.9 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 18.1 minutes per game. The Wolves originally acquired Lee from the Chicago Bulls on June 23, 2011.

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has re-assigned forward Terrence Jones to Houston’s single-affiliation NBA D-League partner the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

Jones (6-9, 252, Kentucky) has averaged 19.2 points and 11.0 rebounds in nine games (nine starts) with Rio Grande Valley this season. Re-assigned to the Vipers on Dec. 26 and recalled on Jan. 14, Jones helped Rio Grande Valley pull to within a half game of first place in D-League’s Central Division. Through Jan. 13, Jones stood second in the D-League in rebounds per game (11.0) and ninth in the league in scoring average (19.2). In his rookie campaign with the Rockets, Jones has averaged 3.1 points and 1.6 rebounds in 11 games with Houston in 2012-13.

Nets beat Raptors for 7th win in a row

Brook Lopez

P.J. Carlesimo put his head in his hand, sighed and brushed back his hair, hardly looking like a guy with a 9-1 record.

”I’m really struggling,” he started, adding that the Brooklyn Nets faced a ”major, major concern.”

It’s a good one, though. They simply have so many guys playing well that it’s tough for Carlesimo to get them all minutes.

Brook Lopez had 22 points and nine rebounds, Joe Johnson and Deron Williams each scored 21 points, and the Nets extended their season-high winning streak to seven games with a 113-106 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday night.

Andray Blatche added 14 points for the Nets, in the midst of their longest winning streak since running off 14 in a row late in the 2005-06 season. A .500 team when they fired Avery Johnson late last month, Brooklyn has won nine of 10 under its interim coach and pulled within 1 1/2 games of the New York Knicks for the Atlantic Division lead…

Kyle Lowry scored 21 points for the Raptors, who have dropped two in a row but still have 10 wins in their last 15 games. Jose Calderon and Amir Johnson each finished with 15 for the Raptors, whose 14 turnovers led to 24 points…

Mirza Teletovic added 10 points off the Nets’ bench, keying a second-quarter hot streak that snapped Brooklyn out of a sluggish start…

Lowry, who was expected to miss the second half after spraining his left ankle, brought the Raptors within eight, but seven straight points by the Nets reopened a 15-point advantage on Johnson’s jumper with 3:52 to go, and a final flurry by Lowry, who scored 19 in the fourth, was not enough.

– Reported by Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press

Wilson Chandler

Wilson Chandler admitted feeling a bit winded and tired in his second game back from hip problems that had sidelined him for two months. Not enough to bother his shooting touch, though.

Chandler hit a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 14.9 seconds remaining in overtime, and the Denver Nuggets beat the Portland Trail Blazers 115-111 Tuesday night for their season-best sixth consecutive victory.

”The way the game was going for me, I was a little fatigued,” said Chandler, who had a labral tear in his left hip repaired last spring and then had to take time off in early November when pain resurfaced in the surgically-repaired hip.

”I had a little muscle fatigue, so I was kind of struggling throughout the game. So to come in and hit a shot like that is big,” Chandler said.

Danilo Gallinari added 25 points, including a key 3-pointer in the extra period. Ty Lawson had 24 points and 12 assists for the Nuggets, who are 2-0 in overtime this season…

Portland, which lost for the first time in six OT games this season, was led by LaMarcus Aldridge’s 28 points. Nicolas Batum had 22 points, J.J. Hickson 19 and Damian Lillard 16.

– Reported by Dennis Georgatos of the Associated Press

Hornets looking good, beat Sixers 111-99

Greivis Vasquez

The young New Orleans Hornets are growing up in the new year.

Greivis Vasquez scored 23 points, Eric Gordon added 19 and the Hornets beat the Philadelphia 76ers 111-99 on Tuesday night. After losing 13 of 16 in December, New Orleans has won five of eight in January.

Ryan Anderson had 14 points, Xavier Henry scored 11 and Anthony Davis 10 for the Hornets, who are still last in the Western Conference at 12-26 - including matching 6-13 records at home and on the road.

”We’re getting healthy now, and we are becoming a team now,” said Vasquez, who added nine assists. ”We have guys who can just get out there and go. And I think our best weapon right now is our energy, because we’re so young.”

Jrue Holiday led the Sixers with 29 points and 11 assists. Nick Young and Evan Turner added 14 points each while Thaddeus Young scored 12.

The Sixers have been inconsistent all season and this game was further proof following a resounding 107-100 victory Saturday over Houston. Philadelphia still hasn’t won consecutive games since a three-game streak from Nov. 25-30.

– Reported by the Associated Press

dwight howard

Kobe Bryant played relentless defense, spurring his fellow Los Angeles Lakers to do the same. Dwight Howard dominated the paint, scoring easy baskets and blocking shots against the bewildered Bucks.

Over the last two games, the Lakers have resembled the powerhouse everybody envisioned before their tumultuous season began.

They’re about to find out whether they got it together in time to compete with the Miami Heat.

Howard had 31 points and 16 rebounds, Bryant also scored 31 points and the Lakers beat Milwaukee 104-88 Tuesday night for their second straight win after a six-game skid.

Metta World Peace added 12 points as the Lakers prepared for Thursday’s visit from the NBA champion Heat with an impressive effort featuring 30-point games for both Bryant and Howard for the second time in their brief tenure together. After a similar effort against Cleveland two days earlier, the Lakers are cautiously optimistic they’ve solved a few problems.

”It’s been great,” Howard said. ”When we play the way we played these last two games, I don’t see anybody beating us. The problem is we have to do it on a consistent basis and not have any lapses during the game. We’re learning, but stuff like that takes time. The biggest thing, we’ve just got to stick together. We can’t let nothing on the outside tear us apart.” …

Monta Ellis scored 17 points for the Bucks, who lost for the second time in five games under interim coach Jim Boylan. Brandon Jennings was held to 12 points on 4-of-14 shooting by Bryant, and Milwaukee’s young star emerged from Staples Center with newfound respect for the fifth-leading scorer in NBA history.

– Reported by Greg Beachman of the Associated Press

Miles Plumlee

The Indiana Pacers today re-assigned Miles Plumlee to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, Indiana’s NBA Development League affiliate.  The assignment is the record 104th  of the 2012-13 NBA and NBA D-League seasons, while Plumlee is one of the record 50 players who have been assigned to the NBA D-League this season.

Plumlee (6-11, 255, Duke) re-joins the Mad Ants following five previous assignments when he played in seven games and averaged 13.9  points, 10.9 rebounds and 32.1 minutes.  He has appeared in six games for the Pacers this season, averaging 1.0 points, 1.3 rebounds and 3.7 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 be in available tonight when the team travels to face the Los Angeles D-Fenders.

Josh Smith

Hawks President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Danny Ferry today announced that the team has suspended forward Josh Smith for one game and fined him an undisclosed amount for conduct detrimental to the team.

Smith, currently in his ninth season with the Hawks, is averaging team highs in scoring (16.5 points) and blocked shots (2.3) while adding 8.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.3 steals in 34.8 minutes per game in 35 games (all starts).

“Josh and I discussed the issue and he understood and accepted this course of action. We are confident that he will respond positively, learn from this experience and come back with a renewed sense of purpose to the team moving forward,” Ferry said.

The 6-foot-9 forward will serve his suspension tonight against the Brooklyn Nets.

Statement from Josh Smith on his suspension

“Clearly I am competitive and was frustrated by our recent losses. I understand and respect the team’s actions and just want to get back on the court to do whatever is necessary to help my teammates. I apologize for letting them down and apologize to our fans for not being available for tonight’s game.”

Basketball blog