Archive for September 20th, 2013

Steve Clifford, never before an NBA head coach, is on the clock to fix the Charlotte Bobcats.

He’ll run his first-ever training camp at UNC Asheville starting Oct. 1. There’s some uncertainty, with the players new to him and some of them new to each other. But the roster has been improved, particularly with the additions of center Al Jefferson and rookie forward Cody Zeller.

Al Jefferson now the prime offensive weapon for Bobcats

Clifford says Jefferson instantly becomes the Bobcats’ best offensive weapon, a scoring big man teams will have no choice but to double-team in the post. The Bobcats haven’t had that type and quality of scorer before, and it’s Clifford’s job to find efficient ways to get him the ball. It’s also the coach’s charge to teach the other Bobcats how best to play off Jefferson, to punish defenses for helping on Jefferson.

Clifford is excited both by Jefferson’s track record and Zeller’s potential. And he sees a breakthrough season for second-year pro Jeff Taylor.

Reported by Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer

Lakers sign rookie forward Ryan Kelly

Lakers sign rookie forward Ryan Kelly

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed rookie forward Ryan Kelly, it was announced today.

Kelly, a 6-11 forward out of Duke, was selected by the Lakers in the second round (48th overall pick) in the 2013 NBA draft. The former McDonald’s All-American, who earned a 2010 NCAA Championship as well as two ACC Championships with Duke, played all four seasons for the Blue Devils where he averaged 7.5 points and 3.7 rebounds while shooting 46 % from the field. As a senior, Kelly was named ACC Player of the Week twice and earned honorable mention All-ACC honors despite missing 13 games due to injury. Kelly finished his final season with the Blue Devils averaging 12.9 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.6 blocked shots in 28.9 minutes.

According to the Los Angeles Daily News blog, “The Lakers selected Kelly, however, because the 6’11′ Duke forward could space the floor with his trusty shooting. That skill enabled Kelly his senior season with the Blue Devils to average 12.9 points with a 42 percent mark from three-point range. Should Kelly fully heal, he would compete for a roster spot during training camp against Marcus Landry, Elias Harris, Xavier Henry and Shawne Williams, all whom signed one-year deals this summer with the Lakers. The Lakers have a league-maximum 15 players under contract, though they’re expected to field 18-20 players during training camp.”

See below for video highlights of today’s Lithuania vs Croatia game, in the semifinals of the 2013 EuroBasket tournament. Lithuania won, 77-72, and will face the winner of Spain vs. France in the championship game.

DeAndre Liggins still facing charges

NBA star DeAndre Liggins just surrendered after being charged with beating his girlfriend and throwing an Xbox at her.

Liggins allegedly ran into the bedroom he shared with his GF in Oklahoma City … then grabbed her by the hair, pulling her out of the bed. Then, for bad measure, he allegedly punched her 11 to 12 times and then hurled an Xbox and a box fan at her head — striking her. He then allegedly held her at bay.

Reported by TMZ.com

Note from InsideHoops.com: Just a reminder that this is all ALLEGED. Liggins may be completely innocent.

Celtics

On Thursday afternoon the Boston Celtics rookie continued to immerse himself in all that is New England with a trip on the T train that not surprisingly, was running on the Green Line.

Olynyk rode the MBTA Green Line from Kenmore Station to the North Station which is just a few steps away from the home of the Boston Celtics, the TD Garden.

“Time flies when you’re on the T,” Olynyk said.

While the ride by Olynyk was done in part to encourage the use of public transportation in general as well as for attending Celtics games, it also served as yet another opportunity for the 7-footer to connect with the people.

As passengers boarded the T train, Olynyk didn’t hesitate to sign t-shirts or pose for pictures when asked.

Reported by A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE

Orlando Magic

The Magic will bring second-round pick Romero Osby to training camp along with free agents Solomon Jones, Michael Eric, Manny Harris and Kris Joseph, according to a source close to the team.

The Magic are working on coming to terms with Osby, the former Oklahoma forward whom the club selected 51st in the second round.

Jones, a 6-foot-10 center-forward, who grew up in Eustis and attended South Florida, is a seven-year NBA veteran.

He played just two games with the New York Knicks last season, and only 23 over the last couple seasons with the Knicks, Los Angeles Clippers and New Orleans Pelicans.

Reported by Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel (Blog)

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