Archive for October 8th, 2013

Melo wishes good health for Amare

Melo wishes good health for Amare

There were probably plenty of reasons why Carmelo Anthony wanted to play for the New York Knicks back in 2011.

Money, marketing, the opportunity to be the face of a franchise in a major city — they all likely played a role.

But so did Amar’e Stoudemire.

Anthony says that the chance to play with Stoudemire was “one of the reasons I wanted to come to New York.”

So it’s difficult for Anthony to watch Stoudemire struggle with another knee injury.

“As a friend, it’s hard for me to sit back and act like it doesn’t bother me because I know how hard of a worker he is [and] I know the time that he puts in the gym to train and rehab,” Anthony said Tuesday. “To see him go forward and then take some steps back every time, it’s just sad.”

Reported by Ian Begley, special to ESPN New York

Rashard Lewis may have bigger role this season for Heat

Take one look at Lewis these days and it’s clear he’s feeling healthier, moving better and playing with more confidence than he has in quite some time. Now the task as the Heat begins the preseason is maintaining his range of motion and, in particular, keeping his knees happy.

After using its amnesty clause on Mike Miller this offseason to shave millions off the team’s books, the Heat is hoping Lewis can step in and contribute minutes when called upon. He’ll be battling with James Jones, Roger Mason Jr. and others for playing time, but that Lewis is even in the fight at this point is a positive sign.

“We’ll see how it plays out, but our guys all understand that at some point they’re all going to get an opportunity,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “It has happened consistently over the last three years, and they’re pros enough to understand that there’s a sacrifice involved, but there is opportunity also available right now.”

Reported by Joseph Goodman of the Miami Herald

First-year Pacers forward Solomon Hill has impressed head coach Frank Vogel as a “proven” player on the court, but to his teammates, he’s still a rookie — which makes Hill an errand boy.

Through the first week of training camp, center Roy Hibbert would often shout “Hey, Rook!” and dutifully, Hill would heed the command to bring the veteran a bottle of water. Even off the court, the rookie duties have continued.

“Hasn’t been anything too serious yet,” Hill said. “It hasn’t been too bad. Nothing too crazy. Get video games.”

“Grab towels for the guys, you know, some guys want certain lotions.”

Reported by Candace Buckner of the Indianapolis Star (Blog)

NBA players live the lives few people can even dream of. Here’s an example:

Matt Bonner lands himself a new Chevy Impala

Matt Bonner had been hoping to squeeze at least another 60,000 miles out of his 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix.

Alas, the Red Mamba’s sweet ride was put out of commission near the end of last season. Bonner declined to reveal details, but an exclusive Express-News investigation has learned that it was totaled in an accident. (Chalk up another one for the shmohawks.)

After making do for several months with an El Camino, he finally settled on a full-time replacement: the 2014 Chevy Impala, which beat out a slew of luxury competition to become the Official Car of Matt Bonner.

“Love it,” he said.

Reported by Dan McCarney of the San Antonio Express-News (Blog)

I realize that the luxury described here sounds like something out of a movie. But I assure you, it’s real.

Several key Blazers are banged up

Several key Blazers are banged up

The Trail Blazers were back at practice Tuesday after making their preseason debut Monday in an 89-81 loss to the Clippers. That meant a little more court time for two of their key players, LaMarcus Aldridge and Mo Williams.

The veterans, who both sat out Monday’s game nursing injuries, went through Tuesday’s workout. Neither was sure if he would play in the team’s second exhibition game, against Phoenix at the Moda Center on Wednesday.

Aldridge continues to come back from a strained left quadriceps he suffered last Wednesday while running a sprint.

“I felt good,” Aldridge said. “We didn’t do a whole lot, but I felt good going up and down, a little sore, but that’s a given.”

Reported by Mike Tokito of the Oregonian

clippers

The Los Angeles Clippers announced today that they have waived Mustapha Farrakhan and JaMychal Green. The Clippers roster now stands at 16 players.

Farrakhan played seven minutes in last night’s 89-81 win over the Portland Trail Blazers, while Green had three rebounds in four minutes of action.

Farrakhan has spent the last two seasons in the NBA D-League with the Bakersfield Jam, Idaho Stampede, Sioux Falls Sky Force and Iowa Energy. In 72 career games (20 starts), he has averaged 8.0 points, 2.5 assists and 1.9 rebounds in 18.3 minutes. Farrakhan started the 2012-13 season with the Milwaukee Bucks, appearing in three preseason games for the Bucks before being released prior to the start of the regular season. He was the 13th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Development League by the Jam.

The 6’4” 175-pound guard played collegiately at the University of Virginia for four seasons. He averaged 13.5 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 31 games his senior season.

Green was a member of the Clippers 2013 Summer League team in Las Vegas. In four games (all starts), he averaged 7.0 points and 5.3 rebounds in 21.3 minutes of action. The Montgomery, Ala. native participated in training camp with the San Antonio Spurs prior to the 2012-13 season. The 6’8”, 240-pound forward spent all of last season with the Austin Toros of the NBA Development League, averaging 12.3 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 40 games (25 starts).

An undrafted forward out of Alabama, Green averaged 14.0 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.5 blocks his final season for the Crimson Tide en route to being named All-SEC First Team.

Gustavo Ayon out 4-8 weeks with shoulder injury

The Atlanta Hawks just lost some frontcourt depth for the near future.

Hawks forward/center Gustavo Ayon experienced a right shoulder injury during Atlanta’s game last night at Miami. An MRI and examination today by Dr. Michael Bernot at Peachtree Orthopedics in Atlanta revealed inflammation and a strain to the rotator cuff.

Ayon will now undergo a period of rest, treatment and rehabilitation. The expected recovery time is approximately 4-8 weeks and his status will be updated as appropriate.

Miami Heat exercise option on Norris Cole for 2014-15 season

The Miami HEAT announced today that they have exercised their team option on guard Norris Cole for the 2014-15 season.

Cole has appeared in 145 career games (six starts) and averaged 6.1 points, 2.0 assists, 1.5 rebounds and 19.7 minutes while shooting 40.7 percent from the field. Last season, he led the Miami reserves in assists 37 times, steals on 29 occasions, points 12 times and in rebounds and minutes six times each. In his two seasons with the HEAT, Cole has helped Miami capture back-to-back NBA championships, appearing in 40 postseason games while averaging 4.1 points, 1.4 assists and 1.2 rebounds in 14.7 minutes of action.

Cole was originally drafted by Minnesota in the first round (28th overall) of the 2011 NBA Draft before his draft rights were acquired by the HEAT in a draft night trade.

Chicago Bulls waive Dahntay Jones

The Chicago Bulls announced today that the team has waived guard/forward Dahntay Jones.

Jones originally signed with Chicago as free agent on Sept. 27, 2013.

Chicago’s training camp roster now stands at 15.

Josh Smith isn’t the first player you think of when the phrase “veteran leader” comes to mind. But, well, he is a veteran. And he is versatile. And when being smart with his shot selection, he’s very good.

Josh Smith

Smith has seen it all, and the Pistons hope his experience can help provide leadership to a young team.

Some might be surprised to hear that considering Smith’s reputation as being difficult to coach, Smith can put himself in the shoes of others.

“It’s just showing them things that I’ve went through,” Smith said. “This is my 10th year. I’ve seen and done a lot of things, and all I can do is help and mentor the young guys and get them through situations that, you know, it was rough patches for me at their ages.”

Smith added that the scene after practice wasn’t unusual. He said coach Maurice Cheeks has made a habit of asking players to speak at the conclusion of practices — if they have something to get off their chests.

Reported by Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press

The Pistons spent big money on some talented yet flawed players this summer, but should still make a nice leap up the East standings.

NBA preseason is a time for experimentation. Like college. Only different.

demarcus cousins

DeMarcus Cousins starting at center was certain. The other four starters for Monday night’s preseason opener against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena were more of a mystery.

Kings coach Michael Malone started Isaiah Thomas and Marcus Thornton at guard with Jason Thompson and John Salmons at forward.

The only difference from the usual starting lineup in the second half of last season was Thornton in place of former King Tyreke Evans.

Malone reiterated that nothing should be read into Monday’s starting lineup.

“The starting lineup is going to change for all of our seven preseason games,” Malone said.”

Reported by Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee

Most teams have pretty clear-cut starters at most spots, but not the Kings, so the regular changes throughout preseason aren’t a surprise.

The last thing anybody, particularly Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman, wanted from Monday night’s preseason opener was overtime. So when it came with a 108-106 loss to CSKA Moscow at Target Center, the best Adelman could call it was a “good teaching experience” for his players young and old alike.

From his starters, he wanted better professionalism on a night when his team fell behind by 18 points in the second quarter and led by four points late, long after his first unit went to the bench for the night.

From second-year guard Alexey Shved, he wanted better decision-making than the silly foul he committed with 7.5 seconds left in the fourth quarter that sent CSKA Moscow guard Milos Teodosic to the free-throw line for two shots that forced overtime.

And from forward Derrick Williams, he wants two hands on the ball when the game’s on the line.

Reported by Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star Tribune

Norris Cole

Miami Heat guard Norris Cole will leave the speculation to the media.

His only focus is on becoming a better player as he enters his third NBA season. The chatter about him possibly being on the trading block is secondary.

“I can’t control that,” Cole said. “The only thing I can do is control what I can control and that’s to make sure I’m in the best shape, make sure I’m ready to perform and make sure when I get out there I show what I can do. Anything else, I can’t control that, so I don’t worry my mind about that.”

Cole said he heard of the recent Fox Sports report the Heat may have dangled his name in trade offers. He will leave those decisions to management, but he remains comfortable in Miami.

Reported by Shandel Richardson of the South Florida Sun Sentinel

Pacers forward Luis Scola discusses his love of travel

“I like traveling a lot,” said Scola, who spent much of the summer player for Argentina in Venezuela. “I think it’s fun. You get a chance to see new countries and do what a lot of people pay a lot of money to do and do it for free. We’re actually getting paid for doing this. I think it’s great. It’s one of the best things about basketball. And every time you go to a new place … it’s a fact there is a lot of stuff we didn’t see because we’re flying, we’re playing, we’re practicing, we’re doing media, we’re doing events and a lot of things. There is always a good chance to come back and do all the stuff we couldn’t do because we were playing.

Reported by Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle (Blog)

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