Archive for October 13th, 2013

Shane Battier could lose minutes in Heat bench rotation

On paper, if it actually all works out, the reclamation of Michael Beasley would be just another brilliant brushstroke by Pat Riley in an ever-growing mural of managerial greatness. But here’s something important to consider before projecting Beasley into the Heat’s second rotation:

Who loses minutes?

One possible answer is Shane Battier, and that would be strangely ironic considering Battier’s steady demeanor, his attention to detail on defense and his importance to the Heat’s back-to-back championships. Battier was benched deep into the 2013 playoffs, sure, but he also redeemed himself in Game 7 and was a mainstay during Miami’s near-record winning streak of 27 games during the regular season.

Reported by Joseph Goodman of the Miami Herald

The initial court appearance for Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer on his DUI charge has been moved to Thursday. The initial appearance, part of the discovery process, was originally scheduled for Tuesday.

Budenholzer, represented by Michael Hawkins, does not need to attend the hearing. The Hawks open the home portion of their exhibition schedule Thursday night against the Spurs.

Budenholzer was arrested Aug. 28 while driving on 10th Street at Crescent Avenue in Midtown.

Reported by Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Constitution

George Hill hurts ankle in preseason loss to Rockets

The goal in every NBA preseason game is to escape without a player sustaining an injury.

Even in a setting on Sunday when the Indiana Pacers finished their Global Games with an exhibition in Taipei, Taiwan – while entertaining a voracious crowd ranked high for the basketball ambassadors, knees and ankles still mattered more.

During the Pacers’ 107-98 loss to the Houston Rockets at the Taipei Arena, point guard George Hill collided with Roy Hibbert during a third quarter play and grabbed at his ankle. Head coach Frank Vogel described Hill’s injury as a mild ankle sprain.

Paul George led the Pacers with 19 points while backup forward Danny Granger, recovering from knee surgery, scored 15 points and grabbed a team-best nine rebounds in his most productive preseason performance.

Reported by Candace Buckner of the Indianapolis Star

Mavericks expect big things from DeJuan Blair

The Mavs signed Blair to a one-year, $884,293 free-agent contract in August to help bolster their front line. Although he has to defend much taller centers, Blair adds some much-needed muscle and physicality the Mavs were lacking when they lost Elton Brand to the Atlanta Hawks via free agency over the summer.

“I just try to use more of what I have than what I don’t have,” the 6-foot-7, 270-pound Blair said. “I know I don’t have height, but I’ve got a lot of power and strength.

“I’m pretty strong, so it evens out. It’s nothing to me. I’ve been playing [center] all my life against seven-footers.’’

With center/power forward Brandan Wright out indefinitely with a small nondisplaced fracture of his left shoulder, Blair will likely see his playing time increased.

“He has a very good feel for the game for a big guy,” coach Rick Carlisle said.

Reported by Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Nuggets guard Andre Miller not ready to retire

“It was a tough season last year,” Miller said. “In the regular season, we kind of burned ourselves out. Going into the playoffs, we just didn’t have the legs to play like we played for 82 games. That’s tough to do. I can’t worry about the trade rumors. I do my job every day. Regardless, I show up to work, practice. I’ve never missed a game as a Nugget. I couldn’t care less what people say as far as my preparation and what I do on the court.”

His preparation in the summer was simple. He rested. He’s aiming to play until he’s 40 — and that requires two more seasons beyond this one.

To do that, he’ll have to show the new coaching staff he has the staying power. Teammates believe he can do it.

“He has youthful legs,” guard Ty Lawson said. “You can see when people are getting old. With Dre, you can’t see that.”

Reported by Christopher Dempsey of the Denver Post

In three seasons with San Antonio and Houston, Anderson appeared in 116 games, with six starts, and averaged 3.7 points, 1.5 rebounds, and 11.1 minutes played.

But he has been one of the Sixers’ best players since coming to Philadelphia.

Anderson is averaging 12.3 points through three exhibition games and shooting 50 percent (6 of 12) on three-pointers.

“This is definitely a great opportunity for me,” he said of being a Sixer. “I feel like this is the best one I have so far.

“I definitely want to take advantage of it.”

Reported by Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer

pau gasol

The Lakers went to the Great Wall on Sunday afternoon, a two-hour trek on a charter bus that started on the bustling streets of China’s capital, continued along a narrow two-way road near a quaint Chinese village with farmers pushing wheelbarrows, and ended at the Mutianyu portion of the Wall.

Two days before their exhibition game here, the Lakers didn’t go to the more popular Badaling or Juyongguan sections of the historic site, eschewing the crowds and amusement park-like environments for more solitude. Or so they thought.

Crowds immediately formed as they disembarked from their shuttle buses. Players were shepherded along by a dozen guards wearing black hats, white gloves and “RISK CONTROL” on their shirt sleeves.

Then the Lakers went up a thin pock-marked path that wound through a hundred kiosks and overzealous vendors. Scores of passers-by thrust out scraps of paper and begged players to take photos.

An elderly vendor yelled “Paulo, Paulo,” and proclaimed, “Big, big size” as he held out an extra-large T-shirt to Pau Gasol that said, “I climbed the Great Wall.”

Reported by Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times

The following is a medical update on Utah Jazz rookie point guard Trey Burke:

X-rays revealed that Burke suffered a fractured right index finger during the first half of Saturday’s game vs. the Los Angeles Clippers.

He will be re-evaluated on Monday at which point an update on his status will be provided.

Deron Williams still waiting for ankle to heal

Deron Williams was cutting on the court, stepping back on his jumper and elevating. For about 20 minutes Saturday night at the Barclays Center, everything seemed normal with Williams’ game, as if that left ankle wasn’t an ongoing issue.

Then the preseason home opener tipped off with Williams again on the inactive list, reduced to 48 minutes in warmup gear while the Nets put forth a sloppy, defensively challenged effort in a 99-88 defeat to the Pistons.

About five weeks after he suffered a sprain and bone bruise to his left ankle, Williams still hasn’t practiced or played a game with his new teammates. Officially, he is day-to-day but has been ruled out of the next two games — Monday at Philadelphia and Tuesday at home against the Celtics.

The stated goal has always been to have Williams ready for the season opener on Oct. 30 at Cleveland. That hasn’t changed. But Jason Kidd added Saturday that the Nets would be “comfortable” if Williams skipped the remaining five preseason games, while raising the possibility of his point guard missing the opener.

Reported by Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News

Basketball blog