Archive for April 28th, 2013

johan petro

Atlanta Hawks center Johan Petro has missed practice to be with his wife for the birth of their child.

Petro returned to his home in Miami to with his wife, who is scheduled to deliver the child on Sunday. The team is hopeful the 7-footer will return to Atlanta in time for Game 4 of the playoff series against the Indiana Pacers on Monday night.

Petro made his first start of the playoffs in Game 3, part of a new, bigger lineup that carried the Hawks to a 90-69 victory.

– Reported by Paul Newberry of the Associated Press

Deron Williams

Deron Williams sat in a quiet Nets locker room with his feet in an ice bucket, staring out at nothing. It was as if he were replaying in his mind the nightmare he had just witnessed.

Coming to grips with how the Nets managed to turn what seemed a certain victory into a demoralizing defeat won’t be easy. Their horror show at the United Center yesterday will play like a scary movie with the same ending, a 142-134 triple-overtime loss to the Bulls and a 3-1 deficit in their best-of-seven series.

Interim coach P.J. Carlesimo called it “a killer.” Joe Johnson used the word “heart-breaker.” Williams said it simply was “frustrating.”

Truth is it shouldn’t have been that surprising. The Nets have been a streaky team throughout these playoffs and for much of the regular season. They can go from hot to cold within one quarter, much less within a game.

– Reported by George Willis of the New York Post

Avery Bradley

While they were being blown out at home Friday, the Celtics felt the Knicks were showboating, rubbing Boston’s collective nose into the same floor they wiped with the Celtics team.

“Yeah, we did. We all did. That’s what made us so mad, so angry,” guard Avery Bradley said before the Celtics’ film session yesterday. “We just got to go out there and play the right way. We’ve got to not let that happen again. After the game, that was definitely something [discussed]. Somebody said it right after we got in the locker room: ‘Oh, they’re showboating on us, they’re dunking.’

“And everybody kind of looked like, ‘Yeah you’re right,’ ” Bradley added. “But all we can do is go out there and play the right way and play hard and don’t give them a chance to showboat.”

Easier said than done. Entering Game 4 at TD Garden today, the Celtics have been an offensive mess. They have averaged 75.0 points in the series, not once reaching 80. They’ve shot 39.5 percent and averaged 17.0 turnovers to negate the good of their defense.

– Reported by Fred Kerber of the New York Post

kevin garnett

The Celtics fully expected to have a size edge when they kept Kevin Garnett and Brandon Bass up front and started both Paul Pierce and Jeff Green, but that hasn’t translated well enough to the scoreboard.

“We’ve been tempted to try to exploit matchups that might not even be advantages,” said Ainge. “I mean, Jason Kidd can still play. I coached Jason Kidd when he was a three-time All-NBA player, and I don’t ever think it’s a mismatch when Jason Kidd’s guarding someone (Pierce, for example). I think at this stage of his career, he probably defends bigger guys much better than he defends quicker guys. I don’t think that’s a huge matchup advantage for us.

“It would help if we could space the floor better, or get Jeff Green posting up Jason Kidd. But I just don’t think those are major advantages that we have, and we’re spending a lot of time in these last three games trying to exploit those. And it’s not through any fault of anybody. I just think the Knicks have played really good defense, and they’ve exposed our weaknesses.

“So far in this series,” he added, “New York has been the better offensive team and the better defensive team.”

– Reported by Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald

kirk hinrich

Kirk Hinrich drew his fifth foul with 5 minutes, 39 seconds left in regulation Saturday.

He never came out again, avoided his sixth and tied John Salmons’ franchise playoff record with 59:36 of playing time.

“It was pretty grueling,” Hinrich said with typical understatement.

His extensive workload came on a left calf muscle sore enough that he needed a postgame MRI. Results weren’t immediately available, but Hinrich said the injury “is pretty bad.”

Given his grittiness, Hinrich will play in Game 5 on Monday if at all possible. His 18 points and 14 assists marked his first playoff double-double since May 2007, and his assists tied the franchise playoff mark shared by Michael Jordan and Sam Vincent.

– Reported by K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune

Joakim Noah plays, inspired, in pain

Joakim Noah

The primal screams and “jazz hands” gestures keep coming from Joakim Noah, and for good reason.

Playing 38 minutes, 43 seconds Saturday — close to nine minutes more than coach Tom Thibodeau’s stated pregame limit — isn’t something the Bulls’ emotional leader takes for granted.

“It’s a miracle,” said Noah, who is playing through plantar fasciitis in his right foot. “Before the series started, I thought I wasn’t going to be able to play.”

Noah didn’t just play. He stuffed the box score with 15 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks before fouling out with 4:21 remaining after sinking a 17-footer for the first points in the third overtime.

“The crazy thing is as the series has gone along, he has done more and more,” Carlos Boozer said.

– Reported by K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune

michael Jordan

Chicago Bulls legend and Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan married former model and longtime girlfriend Yvette Prieto on Saturday in Palm Beach, Fla.

The ceremony took place at Bethesda-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church before approximately 500 guests. It was the second marriage for Jordan, 50.

A reception for 2,000 invited guests followed at the Bears Club in Jupiter, Fla., inside a 40,000-square-foot tent, the Miami Herald reported.

Among those in attendance were former Chicago Bulls teammates Scottie Pippen, Ron Harper and Toni Kukoc and former New York Knicks center Patrick Ewing

– Reported by Reuters

Nearly 300 guests were present as they exchanged vows. The reception took place at a private golf club in Jupiter designed by Jack Nicklaus. Jordan owns a home near the course.

Entertainment included DJ MC Lyte, singers K’Jon, Robin Thicke and Grammy Award winner Usher and The Source, an 18-piece band.

The six-time NBA champion and Prieto met five years ago and were engaged last December.

– Reported by the Associated Press 

francisco garcia

The youthful Rockets may be on the verge of playoff elimination, but it’s not for lack of effort by their oldest players on the court.

Francisco Garcia, 32, and Carlos Delfino, 30, had 18 and 11 points, respectively, to spark a second-half Rockets rally that fell short by the margin of Kevin Durant’s seeing-eye 3-pointer, the critical blow of Oklahoma City’s Game 3 victory Saturday night.

With Jeremy Lin rendered ineffective by his bruised chest, Rockets coach Kevin McHale’s frequently tweaked rotation came down in the second half to heavy doses of Garcia, who played 32 minutes, and Delfino, who nursed his aching elbow through 22:07.

Each did enough, absent Durant’s final 3-pointer plus the 38 points that preceded it, to get the Rockets back in the game and avoid a 3-0 deficit that in NBA history is tantamount to playoff elimination.

“We played so hard in the second half,” Garcia said. “I’m proud of my guys.”

– Reported by David Barron of the Houston Chronicle

javale mcgee

The Nuggets did not pay center JaVale McGee a $10 million salary so coach George Karl could let him rot on the bench in the playoffs.

After being good enough to be in the starting lineup 81 times for a 57-win team during the regular season, center Kosta Koufos lost his job after one loss to Golden State, as if it were his fault the Nuggets cannot defend 3-point shots from Warriors guard Steph Curry.

Anybody know where the Nuggets can find two psychiatrist couches in an extra long? The Denver centers are 14 feet of head case.

Want to know why the Nuggets are unexpectedly trailing upstart Golden State 2-1 in this best-of-seven playoff series?

Denver is afraid to be the bigger team.

– Reported by Mark Kizla of the Denver Post

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