Archive for March 4th, 2013

The Celtics are coming off a stretch of one game in seven days as they fly to Philadelphia this afternoon for a two game road swing against the 76ers tomorrow and Indiana Wednesday.

The time was important as a break for the veterans and as a mini-camp for newcomers Terrence Williams, Jordan Crawford and 10-day signees D.J. White and Shavlik Randolph.

“I mean, this is huge that we had these few days with these guys,” said Paul Pierce.

“As you see right now,” he added, nodding to the practice court where the four were working, “they have a chance to go over plays and get a better understanding of the system. I mean, it’s definitely not the same as being here from Day 1 of training camp, but coming from where they came from a week ago — not doing any practicing, just kind of getting put out there in the mix — anything is good eight now when we can get time in the gym with them.”

– Reported by Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald 

Brook Lopez

Brooklyn Nets interim coach P.J. Carlesimo intends to tighten his team’s rotation, but wouldn’t divulge exactly how he’s going to do so.

One thing Carlesimo does want to try to do is play centers Brook Lopez and Andray Blatche together more.

“It’s something that I’d like to look at more, but there’s more teaching. … It’ll probably fall on Dray at the 4 spot,” Carlesimo said of Blatche playing power forward alongside Lopez. “The 4 spot is not that different. It’s not different than the 5 spot in a lot of the things we do. In some things we do it is different, like out of bounds [situations].

“There’s going to be situations that are going to come up that are put Dray in a little bit of a box because he’s not used to playing 4 [for Brooklyn]. So we have to spend some time making sure he knows some or most of those [situations]. … It’s something we definitely want to look into.”

– Reported by Mike Mazzeo of ESPN New York

kobe bryant

“Diet is always the hardest thing,” Bryant said. “We’re accustomed to eating what we want to eat whenever we want to eat it. You become comfortable with that. A change in that is a change in your lifestyle. That’s been the most difficult.”

Bryant maintained he never lost focus with his diet, workout regiment or sacrificing time with family for the sake of maximizing his play.

“After so many years, it becomes easy to lose focus,” Bryant said. “Some guys lose focus from game to game. I take it as a challenge to try to be challenged for many many years.”

– Reported by Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News (Blog)

Roy Hibbert

Has Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert finally turned the corner or is he just teasing everybody?

If the past six games are any indication, Hibbert has put his poor offensive start to the season behind him.

The fifth-year big man is playing his best offense of the season, averaging 14.5 points on 57 percent shooting in the past six games.

He’s come a long way from when he was shooting less than 40 percent from the field, which is significant considering he’s 7-2 and takes the majority of his shots near the basket.

– Reported by Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star

We’re in March and there are still moments when the Clippers will run out a lineup we haven’t seen before. It’s usually a mishmash lineup that will include Chauncey Billups and/or Grant Hill, who has missed most of the season with injuries, or Ryan Hollins, who was the odd man out earlier in the season but now is seeing more time.

The Clippers know Paul, Billups, Caron Butler, Griffin and DeAndre Jordan are their starters. They know Jamal Crawford is their sixth man. They know Odom is the first big off the bench, and Matt Barnes and Eric Bledsoe are in that top nine as well.

The question now becomes: How much do you play Bledsoe and Crawford in relation to Billups, who is at the end of his career and coming off a major injury? How much do you play Barnes in relation to Butler when Barnes on some nights is more effective on both ends of the floor? And where do Hill, Ronny Turiaf, Hollins and Willie Green fit in?

– Reported by Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles

Extra rest may help Kevin Garnett

kevin garnett

In years past, when Kevin Garnett was given a day off like he was on Feb. 22 against the Suns in Phoenix, he might have hit the roof with Doc Rivers.

Not this year.

The Celtics head coach said Monday he is giving more and more time off to Garnett and he believes it’s paying dividends. Indeed, Rivers may have given the 36-year-old Garnett just one game off but he’s giving the big man much more time off from practice, like this weekend when he told Garnett and Paul Pierce to stay away from the gym on Sunday, when the team had a skeleton practice.

“We’ve given him more time off this year than we ever have for him,” Rivers said. “In the past, we couldn’t even broach that subject with him. This year, he wants the days off. So, I think he’s gotten smarter in that regard and that to me is why he’s been able to play in more games.”

– Reported by Mike Petraglia of WEEI

There are several indications pointing to the likelihood of former Timberwolves head coach Flip Saunders replacing David Kahn as president of basketball operations for the team before the 2013-14 season.

Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor wasn’t available for comment on the subject Saturday, but he hasn’t kept it a secret that Saunders has served as a consultant for him on the basketball team during this season.

It was interesting to see Taylor’s quote in Thursday’s Star Tribune about his contact with Saunders. Taylor said: “He’s pretty well aware of what is happening with the Timberwolves.”

And then some time ago Taylor talked about how he was in contact with Saunders for information on how to handle the many injuries the Wolves have suffered this season.

– Reported by Sid Hartman of the Minneapolis Star Tribune

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union says it intends to appeal a judge’s ruling that threw out their lawsuit aimed at undoing a deal to build a new professional basketball and hockey arena in Seattle - a key part of plans to bring the NBA back to town.

The ILWU says it will announce appeal plans during a news conference on Tuesday. The ILWU Local 19, representing workers at the Port of Seattle, says they believe the court failed to acknowledge that the memorandum of understanding between investor Chris Hansen, the city of Seattle and King County is in violation of the state environmental protection act.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Nuggets may chase Kyle Korver this summer

Korver, an unrestricted free agent in his 10th year in the NBA, is expected to be one of the Nuggets top targets in the offseason as the team actively courts players who can fill that shooting void. Denver won’t be the only team looking to gain his services, but if the money is right (Korver makes $5 million this season) the situation might be hard for the sharpshooter, who grew up in Pella, Iowa, to turn down.

Shots figure to be much easier to come by in a system where guard Ty Lawson’s driving is so respected that he sucks defenders into the lane, and other players capable of hitting from long range – Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Corey Brewer – make it so that he would be difficult to devote additional resources to slowing just Korver down in the manner that the Nuggets are expected to try tonight.

– Reported by Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post (Blog)

Michael Jordan doesn’t need Maury Povich to tell him he’s not the daddy, he says he knows it already … and filed documents today requesting the paternity case filed against him be dismissed.

As TMZ first reported, Pamela Smith filed docs in Fulton County, GA in an attempt to establish the NBA legend as father of her son, Grant Pierce Jay Jordan Reynolds, aka Taj.

Jordan’s lawyer filed to have the case dismissed today, saying paternity of the teen had already been established … and #23 was not the father.

– Reported by TMZ

monta ellis

Milwaukee Bucks guard Monta Ellis and Denver Nuggets guard Ty Lawson today were named Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, Feb. 25 through Sunday, March 3.

Ellis led the Bucks to a 3-0 week with averages of 24.0 points (sixth in the conference), 9.0 assists (fourth in the conference) and a league-leading 5.0 steals. Ellis collected back-to-back six-steal games in road victories over the Dallas Mavericks on Feb. 26, and the Houston Rockets on Feb. 27. In the win over the Rockets, Ellis, who led all scorers with 27 points, hit an off-balance three-pointer just before the final buzzer to secure the win.

ty lawson

Lawson led the Nuggets to a 3-0 week behind averages of 21.0 points, 7.0 assists and 1.7 steals. Lawson hit a game winner of his own on March 1 with 0.2 seconds remaining to give the Nuggets a 105-103 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder. He also tallied a 30-point effort on Feb. 27, during a win against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Atlanta’s Al Horford, Chicago’s Joakim Noah, Golden State’s Stephen Curry, Houston’s Chandler Parsons, Indiana’s David West, the Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, Memphis’ Marc Gasol, Miami’s LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, New York’s Carmelo Anthony, Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, and Portland’s Damian Lillard.

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