Archive for February 2nd, 2013

jose calderon

New Detroit Pistons guard Jose Calderon isn’t expected to have his work visa cleared in time for Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers, which brings his availability Monday against the New York Knicks into question, too.

Calderon has watched a shootaround, a game and a practice.  He has taken notes and studied plays.  He can fly on the team plane late Sunday afternoon.

But the Spaniard can’t work with the team until his visa situation is resolved and with Sunday’s game followed by a road game the next night, there is some question whether Calderon could play Monday against the Knicks.

The Pistons traditionally don’t have a game-day shootaround for a back-end game but that’s predicated upon playing the night before.  Sunday’s 1 p.m. tipoff could alter Monday’s plan.  It’s akin to traveling after a practice, the night before a game, like any other single-game road trip.

– Reported by David Mayo of Michigan Live

Good thing she wasn’t a season-ticket holder.

Allison Barlow scored big at the Brooklyn Nets game Friday when she became Barclays Center’s 1 millionth customer — earning her two free tickets for every event there for a year.

Jaws dropped, lights flashed and streamers exploded in the air as the modest mom passed through the turnstile for her second Nets game at the arena — leaving her husband and friends who accompanied her stunned.

“I didn’t even know what was happening,” said Barlow, 50. “It’s kind of like a dream.”

– Reported by Corinne Lestch of the New York Daily News

paul pierce

Celtics forward Paul Pierce, the team’s union representative, called for the removal of NBPA executive director Billy Hunter after Hunter was placed on a leave of absence Friday by the union and president Derek Fisher…

An independent investigation into union practices discovered several misdoings but nothing illegal. Hunter was found to have hired his family members, invested union money into a fledgling bank that employed his son, agreed to a contract extension without the vote of the entire union membership and purchased gifts for executive committee members using union money…

“I think with the way things been going with the association, with all the accusations, I think it’s finally time for some change,” he told the Globe after the Celtics’ 97-84 win over the Orlando Magic. “A lot of the players been unhappy with what’s going on and so I think it’s time.”

– Reported by Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe (Blog)

Greg Oden meets with Boston Celtics

Greg Oden meets with Boston Celtics

The Celtics are hoping to move up the list of teams that interests former No. 1 overall pick Greg Oden after the two parties met Saturday afternoon in Boston.

Oden, a former prodigy who was supposed to change the Portland Trail Blazers franchise, has had microfracture surgeries on both knees and decided to take this season off to get those knees healthy as he attempts another return.

Oden has played a total of 82 games since entering the NBA in 2007 and has not been completely healthy since missing his entire rookie season with his first microfracture surgery. He last played on Dec. 5, 2009 with Portland, sustaining another serious knee injury that cost him two seasons.

– Reported by Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe

Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle has been fined $25,000 for public criticism of officiating, it was announced today by Stu Jackson, NBA Executive Vice President Basketball Operations.

Carlisle made his comments post game following the Mavericks’ 100-97 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Jan. 31 at Oracle Arena.

According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, “Carlisle sent texts to reporters today, letting them know that he is in complete agreement with the NBA’s decision to dock him a few thousand dollars. “I spoke to the NBA office today and agreed that I should be fined for my comments following the Golden State game,” Carlisle texted. “In this league we all have challenging jobs, and the job of the officials is one of the toughest. “Those postgame remarks about the officiating were not appropriate and I accept the fine.”

jose calderon

Pistons coach Lawrence Frank immediately declared that Calderon will become his starter after working out some kinks with the player’s work visa, which kept Calderon in street clothes Friday against the Cleveland Cavaliers, and perhaps a couple of quick practices.

“It’s no different than in football when you’ve got a quarterback,” Frank said.  ”It’s no knock on anything that you’ve got now.  It’s just that Jose is really elite at it.  He understands how to get guys the ball in the right place at the right time.  Plus, he loves doing it.  That’s his instinct.  His instinct is to give.  His instinct is to get everyone involved.”

Calderon has ranked in the top three in NBA assist-to-turnover ratio for three consecutive years.  His 4.44 ratio ranks fourth in the league this season.

“He’s a giver,” Frank said.  ”He makes other people feel real good about their games.”

Calderon was acquired Wednesday in a three-team trade, in which the Pistons sent Tayshaun Prince and Austin Daye to the Memphis Grizzlies.

Frank said having Calderon and Brandon Knight in the starting backcourt, and Will Bynum and Rodney Stuckey on the reserves — all of whom have extensive point-guard experience — gives the Pistons “four guards that can all come with a basket-thrust mentality.”

– Reported by David Mayo of Michigan Live

delonte west

West, the colorful journeyman guard who has been out of basketball since his detrimental conduct caused the Mavericks to release him just before the season opened, has left the D-League’s Texas Legends in limbo. The Legends claimed West on Jan. 25 after he put his name in the D-League player pool, but he has yet to report to Frisco.

A source said it’s up to West whether he will play for the Legends, who are still open to having him on the team and continue to list him on the roster on the team’s website. West has complicated the process by parting ways with agent Dan Fegan.

West, 29, a valuable role player during his lone campaign in Dallas last season, had hoped to earn another chance with the Mavs via his performance and behavior with their D-League affiliate. However, Mavs owner Mark Cuban publicly declared that wasn’t a possibility hours after the Legends acquired West’s rights.

– Reported by Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas

pau gasol

Pau Gasol knew he could play like this. Kobe Bryant and Ricky Rubio did, too. The only person in Laker land who seemed to doubt what the gifted post player could do was the man in charge.

Now maybe coach Mike D’Antoni will become a believer as well.

Gasol had 22 points and 12 rebounds in his return to the starting lineup and Bryant nearly had a triple-double in leading the Los Angeles Lakers to a 111-100 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night.

”It was a good feeling out there,” Gasol said. ”Like the good old days.”

Bryant had 17 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists and Steve Nash added 17 points and seven assists for the Lakers, who played without Dwight Howard due to a sore right shoulder. They have won four of their last five games and beat the Wolves for the 20th straight time, the longest active streak in the NBA.

”It’s been a rough season so far, no way around it,” said Gasol, who topped 20 points for just the third time this season. ”Just stay with it, keep playing. You never know when things can change direction. Just play your game when you’re out there. Tonight I was able to start, play more minutes, get a good flow. It was a good game.” …

Alexey Shved scored 18 points and Rubio had nine points and seven assists for the Timberwolves, who lost their sixth straight game. They trailed by 29 in the second quarter, but climbed within four in the fourth.

– Reported by Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press

Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal and Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard today were named the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month, respectively, for games played in January.

Beal, who wins his second consecutive Kia Rookie of the Month award, led all Eastern Conference rookies in scoring (15.1 ppg) and three-point field goal percentage (.508), and finished second in minutes (32.9 mpg) and third in assists (2.5 apg). Beal became the first rookie since Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry in 2010 to shoot .500 or better from three-point range in a calendar month with at least 50 attempts.

Lillard, who wins his third consecutive Kia Rookie of the Month award, led all rookies in scoring (17.7 ppg), assists (6.8 apg) and minutes (39.6 mpg). Among all NBA players this season, Lillard ranks 19th in scoring (18.1 ppg), 13th in assists (6.5 apg) and seventh in three-pointers made (102). Lillard recorded his eighth game this season of 20-plus points and eight-plus assists on Jan. 23 during a 100-80 victory over the Indiana Pacers.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month were Cleveland’s Dion Waiters and Tyler Zeller, Detroit’s Andre Drummond and New Orleans’ Anthony Davis.

The Atlanta Hawks have signed veteran guard Jannero Pargo to a second 10-day contract, Hawks President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Danny Ferry announced today.

Since signing his first 10-day deal on January 21, 2013, Pargo has averaged 5.2 points, 2.6 assists and 1.0 rebounds in 16.0 minutes (.400 FG%, .462 3FG%), appearing in five contests.

In his ninth NBA season, Pargo played in seven games earlier this year with the Washington Wizards, putting in 3.0 points and 2.0 assists in 14.6 minutes per contest (.250 FG%, 1.000 FT%). In 50 games last season with the Hawks, he averaged 5.6 points, 1.9 assists and 1.5 rebounds in 13.4 minutes (.415 FG%, .384 3FG%, .950 FT%).

In 441 career games (18 starts) with the LA Lakers, Chicago, Toronto, New Orleans, Atlanta and Washington, the 6-foot-1 University of Arkansas product is averaging 6.4 points, 2.0 assists and 1.5 rebounds in 15.4 minutes (.389 FG%, .351 3FG%, .867 FT%). He has also seen action in Russia (Dynamo Moscow) and Greece (Olympiacos Piraeus).

Bench carries Nets past banged-up Bulls, 93-89

The Brooklyn Nets kept going deeper down their bench to find a winning combination. The Chicago Bulls simply had nowhere to go.

Brook Lopez scored 20 points through three quarters, then the Nets turned to their bench to beat the short-handed Bulls 93-89 on Friday night.

With most of their best players in street clothes, the Bulls’ normally sturdy defense allowed the Nets to make 11 of 18 shots in the fourth quarter. Nine of the baskets were by reserves.

”It’s huge, especially when a lot of our starters didn’t have it going tonight,” Nets guard Deron Williams said. ”It was good that those guys came in and stepped up for us. Without them, we don’t win this game.”

Andray Blatche scored all 11 of his points in the fourth quarter and MarShon Brooks had nine of his 13 as the reserves scored the Nets’ first 20 points. A starter didn’t score until Joe Johnson’s 3-pointer gave Brooklyn an 86-80 lead with 2 minutes to play…

Johnson finished with 13 points for the Nets, who bounced back from a loss to Miami on Wednesday by beating another top Eastern Conference team.

Luol Deng scored 18 points and Taj Gibson had 16 points and nine rebounds for the Bulls, who played without starters Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer and Kirk Hinrich while losing for just the third time in 11 games…

Nate Robinson had 12 points and 11 assists but shot just 4 of 16 in place of Hinrich, who returned to Chicago to get his right elbow examined. Marco Belinelli scored 18 points and Jimmy Butler had 12 off Chicago’s bench.

– Reported by Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press

carmelo anthony

Carmelo Anthony scored 25 points, Amare Stoudemire had 17 points and seven rebounds off the bench, and the New York Knicks extended their winning streak to three games with a 96-86 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night.

J.R. Smith had 17 points and Tyson Chandler pulled down 20 rebounds in New York’s fourth straight win over Milwaukee.

Ersan Ilyasova led the Bucks with 19 points and seven rebounds. Monta Ellis added 16 points and Brandon Jennings had 14.

The Knicks trailed for the majority of the game until late in the third quarter when they stormed back…

After Jennings’ layup made it 78-75, the Knicks went on an 8-2 run and never looked back. Iman Shumpert scored on a layup and Chandler followed with a dunk to make it 82-75. Marquis Daniels answered with a layup for Milwaukee but Shumpert made another basket and Felton followed with a 3-pointer to make it 87-77 before the Bucks called timeout with 4:58 to go…

The Knicks honored former New York City Mayor Ed Koch during a timeout in the first quarter. Koch died of congestive heart failure Friday at 88. … New York Yankees ace CC Sabathia was in attendance. … The Bucks had won 12 of 14 before losing four straight to the Knicks. … The Bucks are 0-12 when held to 90 points or fewer this season. They scored 88 in a loss to the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night.

– Reported by Adriano Torres of the Associated Press

rudy gay

The way Blake Griffin saw it, a sloppy effort by the Los Angeles Clippers only made things easier for Rudy Gay and the fired-up Raptors.

Gay wowed a sellout crowd by scoring 20 points in his Toronto debut, leading the Raptors to a 98-73 rout of the short-handed Clippers on Friday night.

”The way we played had a big effect on their flow,” Griffin said. ”Not to take anything away from them - they did a good job - but our defense was terrible.”

The Clippers were pretty terrible on offense, too, setting season lows for points and field goal percentage (34.7). Los Angeles’ previous low in points was 76 at Brooklyn on Nov. 23, while its previous low in field goal percentage was 36.6 on Jan. 19 in a home win over Washington.

”We didn’t execute very well, we didn’t shoot it very well,” coach Vinny Del Negro said. ”We struggled in a lot of areas.”

Amir Johnson had 19 points and matched his career high with 16 rebounds for the Raptors. DeMar DeRozan also scored 19 as Toronto welcomed Gay with a winning effort two days after the high-scoring forward was acquired from the Memphis Grizzlies in a three-team trade that included Detroit…

John Lucas scored 17 and Aaron Gray had seven points and 12 rebounds for the Raptors, who handed the Clippers their fourth straight loss in Toronto and their largest defeat of the season…

Griffin had 17 points and nine rebounds for the Clippers, who were without point guard Chris Paul (bruised right kneecap) for the sixth straight game…

Jamal Crawford scored 14 points, Caron Butler had 12 and Eric Bledsoe 10 for Los Angeles, which has dropped five of eight overall.

– Reported by Ian Harrison of the Associated Press

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