Archive for October 23rd, 2013

Charlotte Bobcats waive Patrick O`Bryant

Charlotte Bobcats President of Basketball Operations Rod Higgins announced today that the team has waived center Patrick O’Bryant. The Bobcats roster now stands at 16 players.

A 7-0 center, O’Bryant was initially selected with the ninth overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors. He appeared in one preseason game with the Bobcats, scoring two points and grabbing five rebounds.

The Sacramento Kings announced today the team has accepted the resignation of Assistant Coach Brendan Malone, effective immediately. No replacement will be made at this time and moving forward, Chris Jent will assume responsibilities as the lead assistant on Head Coach Michael Malone’s staff.

“As a veteran of 27 seasons in the NBA coaching ranks, Brendan brought a wealth of experience and knowledge to our organization, and we were all fortunate to have had an opportunity to work with him,” said Kings General Manager Pete D’Alessandro. “His departure is not indicative of a loss of passion for the game or his desire to help our franchise succeed, but rather a decision based on factors associated with the rigors of coaching in the NBA.”

“I’m thankful that I had my father on our staff during the summer and throughout training camp as I transitioned into a head coaching role,” said Michael Malone. “He was my father long before we became colleagues, and while I’ll miss his presence on the bench, he will always be an invaluable source of counsel on all matters basketball and otherwise.”

Malone Sr. joined the Kings in June after five seasons with the Orlando Magic under Head Coach Stan Van Gundy. During his tenure in Orlando, the Magic notched four straight seasons of 50 or more wins, three consecutive Southeast Division titles (2007-08 – 2009-10), and a 2009 NBA Finals appearance. Malone also worked under Hall of Famer Chuck Daly and was part of two NBA championships with the Detroit Pistons (1989 and 1990), where he orchestrated defensive sets to thwart Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. He spent seven seasons (1988-89 – 1994-95) with the Pistons before becoming the first-ever head coach of the expansion Toronto Raptors.

His coaching career includes three stints with the Knicks as an assistant coach (1986-87 – 1987-88, 1997-98 – 1999-00, and (2003-04). In between his second and third stays in New York, he served as an assistant coach with the Indiana Pacers for three seasons (2000-01 – 2002-03). In 1996, Malone worked as a consultant for the Seattle Supersonics during their run to the 1996 NBA Finals.

The Cleveland Cavaliers announced today that the team has exercised the fourth-year options on guard Kyrie Irving and forward Tristan Thompson, as well as the third-year options on guard Dion Waiters and center Tyler Zeller.

Irving was the first overall pick in the 2011 draft by the Cavaliers and owns career averages of 20.6 points, 3.7 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 1.3 steals in 32.8 minutes through 110 career games with the team. A 2013 NBA All-Star, Irving participated in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge and also won the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest that weekend. Last season he averaged 22.5 points on .452 shooting, 3.7 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 1.5 steals in 34.7 minutes in 59 games. His 22.5 points per game were the highest for any player age 22 or younger in 2012-13 and the most among all Eastern Conference point guards.

Thompson was selected in the first round (4th overall) by the Cavaliers in 2011 and owns career averages of 10.2 points and 8.2 rebounds in 28.1 minutes through 142 (107 starts) games played. Last season, he posted 11.7 points on .488 shooting, 9.4 rebounds and 0.9 blocks in 31.3 minutes. He set a franchise record for most offensive rebounds in a single-season with 306, which ranked second in the NBA, surpassing Zydrunas Ilgauskas’ 299 during the 2004-05 season. During NBA All-Star weekend, Thompson was selected to participate in 2013 BBVA Rising Stars Challenge.

Waiters was the fourth overall pick of the Cavaliers in the 2012 draft and appeared in 61 games last season, averaging 14.7 points on .412 shooting, 2.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.0 steal in 28.8 minutes. He was also named to the NBA’s All-Rookie First Team. During NBA All-Star weekend, Waiters was selected to participate in 2013 BBVA Rising Stars Challenge.

Zeller was selected in the first round (17th) overall in the same draft class as Waiters by Dallas, but was later acquired by the Cavaliers in a draft day trade. In 77 games last season, he averaged 7.9 points on .438 shooting and 5.7 rebounds in 28.0 minutes. He was named to the NBA’s All-Rookie Second Team and was selected to participate in the 2013 BBVA Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star Weekend.

Irving , Waiters and Zeller were among the 27 NBA players who participated in the three-day USA Basketball minicamp held in Las Vegas July 22-25, while Thompson led the Canadian National Team during the FIBA Americas Championship tournament.

The NBA Board of Governors unanimously approved a change to the format of The Finals effective with the 2013-14 season, the league announced today.

Over the previous 29 seasons, The Finals featured a 2-3-2 setup in which the team with home-court advantage hosted Games 1, 2, 6 and 7, while the opponent hosted Games 3, 4 and 5. Beginning with The Finals 2014, the format will shift to a 2-2-1-1-1 schedule, where the team with home-court advantage will host Games 1, 2, 5 and 7, and the opponent will host Games 3, 4 and 6. The format change will include an extra day between Games 6 and 7.

The change, which was recommended by the NBA’s Competition Committee at its meeting on Sept. 17, aligns The Finals format with every other round of the NBA Playoffs. The NBA previously used the 2-2-1-1-1 schedule for The Finals from 1957 to 1984 (except 1978).

“The Competition Committee felt strongly that a consistent format should be used for each round of our playoffs,” said Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations. “With improvements in team air travel and technology, the reasons the 2-3-2 format made sense for us in the past largely do not exist anymore, so creating consistency became the priority.”

We at like this decision. Even better would be a 1-1-1-1-1-1-1 format, but that would probably be too demanding on players, media, league employees, etc. travel-wise.

The Bucks have what appears to be a talented new player. That his name is hard to spell and pronounce just adds to the fun. Here’s Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

A buzz is building about Milwaukee Bucks rookie Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Already he is being compared to Nicolas Batum, Paul George and Kevin Durant.

Not bad for a skinny 18-year-old from Greece, a player who is getting his first taste of NBA action during the current exhibition season.

But wait a second.

Coach Larry Drew is not ready to commit to putting the 6-foot-9 youngster into the playing rotation when the regular season begins next week.

The Bucks may want to be cautious when it comes to a player they value so highly.

It’s just NBA preseason, but still, credit goes to players who want to set a winning tone early:

Gerald Wallace

Gerald Wallace called out his new team for its sub-standard effort following Sunday night’s loss to the Timberwolves in Montreal, and the Celtics forward backed up those words following today’s practice.

Coach Brad Stevens supported those Sunday critiques from Wallace and Jeff Green, saying today that the result was one of the best practices of training camp.

But, according to Wallace, the coaches have asked him to rein in his words a bit.

“I’m getting fussed at by the coaches every time,” said Wallace. “They’re trying to tell me to relax and ease up. But the main thing is I want the guys to compete. If we lose all 82 games, but we lose them going down fighting and competing hard. I can live with that. I can’t live with losing and we didn’t compete, we didn’t give our best effort and we just gave the game away. I don’t want that for these guys and this team.”

Reported by Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald

Can’t knock a player for trying to make sure his squad competes, even in preseason.

Jordan Hamilton

The Nuggets have a more difficult decision to make on [Jordan] Hamilton. He has a team option that needs to be picked up by Oct. 31. Picking up that option will guarantee Hamilton is back and paid more than $2 million next season. But, the Nuggets have to ask themselves whether that is a cost-effective move.

Hamilton plays small forward — where the Nuggets have Danilo Gallinari (when he returns from a torn ACL), Wilson Chandler, Miller and Anthony Randolph, who has opened eyes in training camp. This decision, then, ultimately comes down to if the Nuggets A) see him in their future and/or B) want to retain him as an asset that can be used for trade purposes.

Reported by Christopher Dempsey of the Denver Post

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