Archive for October 3rd, 2013

lebron james

Thursday proved to be about rigor and reward for the Miami Heat on the third day of training camp at the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort.

Perhaps fittingly, coach Erik Spoelstra threw a blowout at the ballroom-turned-court in the resort’s conference center, pushing his players through an unrelenting 90-minute morning session. The reward was cancellation of the afternoon session, meaning two-a-days are over, with a single session planned here Friday before a return flight to Miami.

“Just intense work,” guard Dwyane Wade said.

“We got at it right from the beginning,” forward LeBron James said.

Reported by Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Kirk Hinrich, Joakim Noah held out of Bulls practice again

For a second consecutive day, both Kirk Hinrich and Joakim Noah were held out of action during an afternoon where playing time was cut short because of a slippery court.

Coach Tom Thibodeau said Wednesday that Hinrich and Noah were dealing with “general soreness” that cropped up from the first few workouts of camp, and he did not expand on that Thursday. He did sound optimistic, though.

“Yeah, they’re both better,” Thibodeau said. “We just want to make sure they’re completely healed.”

Thobodeau did not say if either would be available for the preseason opener Saturday at Indiana, and didn’t sound worried about it whether they could play.

Reported by Doug Padilla of ESPN Chicago

Iman Shumpert misses practice with sore right shoulder

Iman Shumpert was just happy it wasn’t his left knee.

Shumpert was held out of Knicks’ practice today after suffering a sore right shoulder during a 3-on-3 drill Wednesday. Shumpert said it’s “minor,” and plan is just to rest it right now.

“Nothing major,” Shumpert said. “They just want to make sure that I’m healthy. First time I’ve been healthy so they just want to make sure that I’m healthy before I go back out there.”

Shumpert said there is no plan at this point to have an MRI or an X-ray.

Reported by Al Iannazzone of New York Newsday

Houston Rockets not at full speed yet

With two days until the Rockets take the court for their first preseason game, the team is still working out the kinks in their own game.

“We’re not going to get everything down pat right away. It takes time,” Rockets center Dwight Howard said. “The biggest thing is not to get frustrated with it, not allow the mistakes to slow us down, but to keep moving. I think we’re doing a pretty good job at it.”

The Rockets scrimmaged Thursday afternoon, playing game-like situations with referees and free throws, but stopping every few possessions to make sure everyone’s on the same page and reset on offense and defense.

Reported by John Kelly of CSN Houston

“Kentavious as a rookie doesn’t get wide-eyed,” said [Pistons coach Maurice] Cheeks, trying to resist a smile. “He has a poise about him when he plays. He doesn’t get stressed out, doesn’t get nervous. Today he had an excellent day. (Rodney) Stuckey had an excellent day.”

Caldwell-Pope and Stuckey went head-to-head in the team scrimmages Thursday, in the part the media was allowed to watch. While Stuckey beat him on a cut to the rim, he lost the rookie in the set offense, where Caldwell-Pope was able to probe the perimeter and make himself available for open threes, which he made with ease.

On a three that came up short, he timed the rebound and beat everyone to it for a layup, impressing his coach with the simplicity of the play.

“The thing about him — he plays defense and plays hard,” Cheeks said. “He runs the floor and does a lot of things well.”

Reported by Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News

Shawn Marion focused on the present, not future

At 35, Marion’s career clearly isn’t done. He’s still a productive member of the Mavericks. He’s their best defensive player and can still overmatch players 15 years younger than him when it comes to making athletic moves at both ends of the court. And he’s smarter than he’s ever been, too.

He steers clear of talking about free agency, as most players do.

“I’m not thinking about that,” he said. “I’m looking at this right here and now. Tomorrow’s not promised to anybody. I’m glad I wake up every morning and get out of the bed. I don’t take this for granted.”

Marion will make a shade over $9 million this season, the last in a five-year contract he signed before the 2009-10 season. In his career, he’s been paid handsomely. And last season, the 6-7 do-everything forward hinted that he is no lock to return for a 16th season.

Reported by Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News

Kobe Bryant continues to make progress in recovery

Five days into the Los Angeles Lakers’ training camp, Kobe Bryant took the court for the first time Wednesday.

Bryant didn’t practice with his teammates and the Lakers continue to avoid providing a timetable for their star guard’s return, but just seeing Bryant do some light jogging and set shooting was a sight for sore eyes for coach Mike D’Antoni.

“He just keeps progressing,” D’Antoni said. “He was out today shooting a little bit and jogging. He just keeps getting better.”

It was a minor step for Bryant, who has been sidelined from basketball activity since April as he rehabilitates a torn Achilles in his left leg, yet a significant one.

Reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles

Dwight Howard

Howard wants to take James’ and the Miami Heat’s title, but confesses to finding comfort in the redemption of the best player on the planet. For Howard, another scorned star, James’ redemption represents the light in the distance.

“He got hated for a lot of reasons,” Howard told Yahoo. “I was really, really happy when LeBron finally won. I was unhappy that it wasn’t me up there, but I was glad to see him get through that whole thing.

“I knew exactly how he felt. People putting you down, saying bad things about your character, who you are as a person. It doesn’t sit well with you. When you go out on the court, you want to show them, ‘Hey, this isn’t who I am.’

“Here’s a guy who’s a great basketball player. He did something that was for him, and he did it in front of the whole world. I realized then that our issues, our problems, our flaws are out there for the world to see. You can’t run from it. We have to learn from our mistakes and move forward.”

Reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports

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