Archive for August 25th, 2013

Some may see the Sixers’ recent addition of Tony Wroten and think to themselves, “great, another point guard that can’t shoot.”

Yes, Wroten is a point guard, and no he doesn’t shoot very well (46.1% TSP last season), but his acquisition means more than that for the franchise.

Wroten will provide a challenge for rookie point guard Michael Carter-Williams in the form of competition. His addition also furthers the Sixers’ commitment to player development.

Instead of going out and adding an aged veteran to tutor MC-W as he adapts to the NBA game, the team opted for a player that is even younger than the 21-year old Williams, and one that also needs a lot of work but has a high ceiling. The two can now develop together.

Reported by Michael Kaskey-Blomain of the Philadelphia Daily News

The Pistons are now offering four separate 10-game ticket plans for the upcoming season.

Plan A features games against nine playoff teams from last season, including Houston, now with Dwight Howard, the new-look Nets with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, the Clippers with Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, and the Heat.

Plans B and C includes many Friday, Saturday and Sunday games, the latter of which will have the Pistons wearing their new blue “Motor City” uniforms.

Reported by the Detroit Free Press

mavericks

The Mavericks are among eight NBA teams to commission the services of GPS tracking devices from the Australian company Catapult Sports, which hails itself as the leader in “athlete analytics.” The devices track player movements and body vitals and are designed to optimize training efficiency and mitigate injury risks.

“We just want to be able to get smarter about our players and how to train them and how to put them in a position to succeed,” said Mavs owner Mark Cuban. “So that’s just one component of a lot of different things that we’re doing.”

Athletes wear a cell-phone sized device on the inside of their jerseys between their shoulders, and it records their every movement in all directions as well as their heart rate. This gives coaches what Catapult’s Gary McCoy describes as a “dashboard” for players’ bodies.

Reported by SportsDayDFW.com

Lakers

Recently-signed Lakers rookie Elias Harris is spending off-season time with the coaching staff to improve his game before training camp.

“We see Elias almost every day, and he’s talking all the nuances of what (assistant coach) Dan D’Antoni is teaching him,” said Mark Madsen to Mike Trudell of Lakers.com.

Harris is working to make “his shot a more balanced and consistent shot,” according to Madsen. “His driving game is something he’s spending a lot of time with (player development coach) Larry Lewis on.”

Reported by Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times (Blog)

Jeremy Lin

Jeremy Lin says he’s looking forward to pairing up with the Houston Rockets’ newly acquired star Dwight Howard.

Lin told reporters Sunday on a visit to Beijing that he saw a natural affinity in the pair’s affection for the pick-and-roll game.

“We’re not yet in Houston and haven’t trained together so I don’t know yet,” said the 25-year-old point guard, who was in China to oversee a basketball camp.

“But he really likes to play pick-and-roll and I really like to play pick-and-roll, so I hope we can work really well together and really happily learn how to play with each other,” Lin said.

Reported by the Associated Press

Sacramento Kings hire architect for new arena

After a highly competitive process involving some of the top architectural firms in the world, the Sacramento Kings today announced AECOM has been selected as the lead architect for the downtown entertainment and sports complex.

AECOM is renowned for designing some of the most state-of-the-art sports and entertainment venues in the world. AECOM is responsible for the acclaimed London 2012 Olympic Park and is also designing the Rio 2016 Olympic Park. AECOM has served as lead architect of 11 NBA arenas, including the Barclays Center – home of the Brooklyn Nets and the 2012 Sports Business Journal Facility of the Year. Locally, AECOM designed Aggies Stadium at the University of California, Davis.

“We have assembled the best artists in the world to design and build the new arena,” said Kings owner Vivek Ranadivé. “From the Bird’s Nest in Beijing to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, AECOM has the resume to design and create the most technologically advanced and fan-centric arena in the world.”

The Kings also selected ICON Venue Group as the project manager and Turner as the lead builder.

“We now have a world-class team in place and we look forward to developing what we believe will be an important civic space, and the loudest building in sports, right here in the heart of downtown Sacramento,” said Kings President Chris Granger.

AECOM plans to have conceptual renderings ready this fall and final design completed in early to mid 2014. AECOM will do all the architectural design work in Sacramento to ensure ongoing local input in the design process.

“We are thrilled to be selected to design the new downtown arena,” said Jon Niemuth, AIA, NCARB, LEED, Director of AECOM Sports, Americas. “For some of the best fans in the NBA, we are prepared to design an arena that will not only provide a tremendous home court advantage for the Kings, but that will also create an amazing experience for everyone who steps foot in and around the facility. This project will transform downtown and the entire region.”

“This is another huge win for the Kings and for Sacramento,” said Mayor Kevin Johnson. “AECOM’s selection continues to prove that the best and brightest in the world believe in this project and in our community. I applaud the Kings for an inspired selection and can’t wait to see what AECOM designs for the new arena!”

Get to know Magic PF Andrew Nicholson

Magic PF Andrew Nicholson

He has worked on his 3-point shooting this offseason, although it won’t be a staple of his game. He did hit 5-of-6 3s over a two-game stretch for his native Canada in exhibitions heading into the FIBA America’s Championships. He led Canada with 21 points in a loss against Puerto Rico recently.

Last season Nicholson delivered just as the Magic expected with his consistent scoring and unflappable demeanor. He provided more than teams usually receive from a No. 19 pick.

But if the Magic’s rebuild goes along as they plan, Nicholson will need to make some upgrades to his game to keep up with their progress.

2013-14 projection: Expect Nicholson’s scoring average to remain around 7 to 8 points per game. With the emphasis from the coaching staff on rebounding, his numbers should modestly climb. Playing time, though, could be tricky if Harris starts at power forward. The position will get crowded whenever Davis returns. Harris also could see time at small forward, allowing the team to further gauge Nicholson’s development.

Reported by Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel (Blog)

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