Archive for October 11th, 2013

Milwaukee Bucks forward Ekpe Udoh (6-10, 245) underwent a successful arthroscopic procedure to alleviate pain in his right knee on Thursday, General Manager John Hammond announced today.

The procedure was performed by Bucks orthopaedist Dr. Michael Gordon in Milwaukee. Udoh is expected to be sidelined for approximately 4-6 weeks.

Steve Novak misses New York

Steve Novak misses New York

Steve Novak never wanted to be traded by the Knicks, never wanted to leave New York. But the sharpshooter was the key piece in the deal that brought the Knicks new starting power forward Andrea Bargnani.

“I didn’t expect it,” Novak said after the morning shootaround. “ You understand this is the business we’re in. New York felt like home. It was a place I love to play and I miss. I miss those guys. It’s not easy being traded. But there’s no doubt Toronto is a great city and good place to be.”

Novak had his two best seasons with the Knicks – he led the NBA in three-point accuracy in 2011-12 – and was a fan favorite. But for the second straight postseason he was ineffective because defenses wouldn’t give him any room to shoot and ultimately Mike Woodson didn’t give Novak much playing time.

Reported by Al Iannazzone of New York Newsday

Novak was part of the package of players and draft picks that brought Andrea Bargnani to the Knicks and sent him to Toronto in July.

And it’s clear he’s still rankled by the way his career ended, with him riding the bench, fully healthy, in the second round of the playoffs against Indiana, despite pleas to Mike Woodson that he’s ready to play. Soon he was traded to Toronto, a decision that left a bad taste in his mouth.

“It wasn’t like a rift [with Coach Woodson],” Novak said on Friday following his team’s shoot-around at the Air Canada Centre before the Raptors hosted the Knicks. “Obviously he knew the whole time that I wanted to play. I told him when I got healthy- don’t not play me because I’m hurt. I’m ready. And he went another way.”

Reported by Mitch Abramson of the New York Daily News

James Jones letting it fly from outside

James Jones letting it fly from outside

James Jones wonders about the fuss. Given the opportunity, this is what he does.

A replacement starter for sidelined Dwyane Wade in the Miami Heat’s exhibition opener, and with additional opportunities amid the limited minutes for the starters in Thursday’s victory over the Detroit Pistons, Jones went into Friday’s exhibition against the Charlotte Bobcats at the Sprint Center at 6 of 10 on 3-pointers in the preseason.

“It’s just from work with the shooters in the offseason,” the veteran swingman said. “Me and Ray [Allen], we get a lot of shots up. The routine, it pays off. And the consistency helps, especially when you get consistent minutes.”

Reported by Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel

Kendrick Perkins facing assault charge

An attorney for Thunder center Kendrick Perkins has released a statement proclaiming his client’s innocence in an misdemeanor assault charge stemming from a July altercation outside of a nightclub in Houston.

“Kendrick Perkins did nothing wrong, and I am confident that he will be exonerated,” said Matt Hennessy of DeGuerin, Dickson, Hennessy & Ward. “My client takes these charges very seriously. He is a respectful and kind person and is anxious to address these charges for the sake of his family and his team. We will defend these allegations vigorously in court.”

Reported by Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman

Rodney Stuckey out after thumb surgery

Rodney Stuckey out after thumb surgery

The Detroit Pistons announced today that guard Rodney Stuckey underwent successful surgery to repair a fracture of the distal phalanx on his right thumb. The procedure was performed by Dr. Brian Najerian at DMC Surgical Hospital in Detroit, MI.

Stuckey will wear a splint on the thumb for two weeks and will be re-evaluated at that time.

Wolves guard Kevin Martin is day-to-day

Wolves guard Kevin Martin is day-to-day

The Wolves will play on tonight in Sioux Falls, S.D., against the Bucks without starting shooting guard Kevin Martin, who played just six minutes last night in Toronto because of a sore Achilles.

Martin calls himself day to day, but I’ll bet you he doesn’t play Saturday against the Raptors in a rematch at Target Center, either.

The Wolves don’t play for another eight days after Saturday, so that would give him a good 10 days to rest and heal his body.

Reported by Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star Tribune

Rodney Stuckey

The Detroit Pistons announced Thursday that guard Rodney Stuckey has suffered a fracture of the distal phalanx on his right thumb. The injury occurred on Wednesday afternoon as a result of the thumb becoming caught inside the door jamb of Stuckey’s vehicle while the door was closing.

Pistons medical staff confirmed the injury this morning following an x-ray. He is scheduled to have surgery on Friday, October 11 and a timeline for his return will be determined following that procedure.

Royce White

Before the 76ers left for nearly a week to play two games in Europe, one of the players who made a favorable impression at training camp was Royce White.

The 6-foot-8, 260-pound power forward was acquired in the offseason from the Houston Rockets. But White didn’t make the trip to Europe. He has a well-documented anxiety disorder and an aversion to flying.

White will make his preseason debut Friday when the Sixers meet the Boston Celtics in a 7 p.m. preseason game at the Carpenter Center in Newark, Del.

“I look forward to playing Royce tomorrow,” Sixers coach Brett Brown said Thursday after his team’s first post-Europe practice at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Reported by Marc Narducci of the Philadelphia Inquirer

deron williams

Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams said Thursday that he’ll miss the team’s next three preseason games as he continues to recover from a sprained right ankle.

Williams said he will not play against the Detroit Pistons on Saturday, the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday and the Boston Celtics on Tuesday.

Williams could make his preseason debut Oct. 17 against the Miami Heat. The Nets open the regular season on Oct. 30 in Cleveland.

Reported by Mike Mazzeo of ESPN New York

Steve Nash dealing with sore ankle

Steve Nash dealing with sore ankle

Just as he spent nearly his entire summer trying to become healthy, Steve Nash has suffered another ailment that he’ll have to monitor.

The Lakers point guard missed the final three quarters of the team’s 104-86 preseason loss Thursday to the Sacramento Kings at MGM Grand Garden Arena because of a sore left ankle after struggling loosen it up during pre-game warmups. Nash described the injury as a “minor thing,” though Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni suggested it could linger throughout the season.

“I’m not concerned,” D’Antoni said. “I think this will happen on and off on all year. But he’s going to give you a good season and good stuff. But we have to take care of him.”

Nash estimated initially feeling pain in his left ankle either a week or two before training camp started Sept. 28, an injury he said had since improved after initially being limited in practices.

Reported by Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News (Blog)

Pau Gasol and Chris Kaman learning to play together

Gasol and Kaman were an effective duo for spurts of the Lakers’ 104-86 exhibition loss to the Sacramento Kings at MGM Grand Garden Arena, displaying a dynamic skill set that suggested there is enough room on the court for both 7-footers.

Gasol twice fed Kaman with alley-oop passes that resulted in layups … in the game’s first seven minutes. Kaman was constantly in motion, knowing Gasol’s proclivity for finding teammates in favorable spots.

“Pau makes it easy for everybody because he’s such a good passer and playmaker for other people,” said Kaman, who finished with 12 points and six rebounds to complement Gasol’s 13 points, five rebounds and five assists.

Reported by Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times

Warriors set for trip to China

David Lee

Truth is, this China trip is going to be a monster. About 12 hours on a plane, into a time zone 15 hours ahead. When they get there, they’ll have appearances and community events, in addition to practice and two games against the Los Angeles Lakers.

“We’re not kidding anybody,” Warriors forward David Lee said. “This is not going to be the easiest trip for us.”

With that said, why is Lee excited? Why was there a spirited buzz after Warriors practice, their last on American soil for at least the next 10 days? The answer is in the opportunity this China trip presents.

The middle-of-training-camp trip to Asia affords the Warriors a chance to bond as a team. With potentially seven new players on the roster, Golden State is a month into its latest chemistry project. The hope is to recreate the magic of last season.

Reported by Marcus Thompson II of the Bay Area News Group

Michael Beasley is an enthusiastic player. He gets excited. Sometimes his energy helps, and other times, not so much. But a common general rule both on and off the basketball court that Beasley forgot last night is, it’s generally unhelpful to punch yourself in the head.

Mike Beasley punches himself in head during game

Beasley also did something a little odd after one offensive play. Upset with himself over missing a shot, Beasley started punching himself in the head while running back on defense. He punched himself so hard that he needed treatment after the game from the Heat’s trainer. Steel compresses (like the ones cut doctors use in boxing) were applied to Beasley’s brow in the locker room.

Reported by Joseph Goodman of the Miami Herald (Blog)

The good news is, the Heat don’t need much from Beasley. Just solid scoring off the bench, in-control play in the limited minutes he plays, and no more self-punching, and all will go pretty well.

Video profile of Cleveland Cavaliers rookie Anthony Bennett:

Memphis Grizzlies sign guard Andre Barrett

The Memphis Grizzlies today signed free agent point guard Andre Barrett.

NBA preseason is ongoing, and that means many signings these days are merely “training camp deals,” and not guaranteed for the regular season. This may be the case with Barrett.

Barrett (5-10, 172) joins the Grizzlies after spending last season with the Maine Red Claws and Sioux Falls Skyforce in the NBA Development League. He averaged 7.5 points and 7.7 assists in 17 games for Maine and recorded 11.3 points and 7.9 assists in 16 appearances for Sioux Falls.

Undrafted in the 2004 NBA Draft, the 31-year-old holds NBA career averages of 3.3 points, 1.1 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 12.2 minutes in 67 games (one start) in four seasons for the Houston Rockets (2004-05), Orlando Magic (2004-05), Phoenix Suns (2005-06), Toronto Raptors (2005-06), Chicago Bulls (2006-07) and Los Angeles Clippers (2007-08). The Bronx native also has had D-League stints with the Florida Flame (2005-06), Bakersfield Jam (2007-08), Austin Toros (2007-08) and Idaho Stampede (2009-10) and has played overseas for Regal FC Barcelona in Spain (2008-09) and Chorale de Roanne Basket in France (2011-12).

The Grizzlies’ roster now stands at 17 players.

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