Archive for November 18th, 2013

Here’s the Atlanta Journal-Constitution blog on the parting of ways between the Hawks and forward Josh Smith this past offseason:

Josh Smith

At least they said hello.

Hawks general manager Danny Ferry has previously said the team did not make Josh Smith a contract offer once he became an unrestricted free agent this summer. Smith gave some more detail into the Hawks’ lack of interest this summer in a radio interview with 92.9 FM Monday.

“No, there wasn’t,” Smith said when asked if there was a contract offer. “During free agency, during that period, there were a lot of guys out in L.A. that were meeting with various teams. I was one of those guys. That’s where I work out in the summertime as well. The only time I saw the Hawks during free agency was when they came to one of my workouts just to say hello. I think they were meeting with Dwight Howard that day. They never came in or sat down with me during the free agency period to offer me anything.”

Here’s the Minneapolis Star Tribune blog on Chase Budinger, who is still out injured:

Chase Budinger still working to return for Timberwolves

Chase Budinger was back on the Target Center court Monday, taking shots.

But, at this point, that’s about all he’s doing, at least as far as basketball is concerned. Budinger, the Timberwolves forward, is still working his way back from Sept. 30 surgery on the same right knee he had work done on a season ago.

The good news is that this second procedure was not as extensive, and he should be back more quickly than he was last year. Budinger originally injured the meniscus in the knee on Nov. 10, 2012 in Chicago, and didn’t return to action until March 21, 2013. He hopes to be back more quickly this time, but no timetable has been set for his return.

Warriors sign center Dewayne Dedmon

The Golden State Warriors have signed free agent center Dewayne Dedmon as a Call-Up from the Warriors’ D-League affiliate in Santa Cruz, the team announced today.

Dedmon, 24, appeared in two preseason games with the Santa Cruz Warriors, averaging 13.5 points, 12.0 rebounds, 4.00 blocks and 1.50 steals in 27.5 minutes, securing double-doubles in both contests and converting on 11-of-17 shots from the field (64.7 percent). He is the second player this season to be called up to the NBA from the D-League (joining Utah’s Diante Garrett) and is the 18th D-League Call-Up in Golden State Warriors history.

The 7’0’’ center was originally signed by Golden State as a free agent on September 23 and appeared in five preseason games with the club, tallying 3.4 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.00 blocks in 10.3 minutes. He was waived on October 25.

Dedmon was not selected in the 2013 NBA Draft following a two-year career at USC, where he averaged 7.1 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.67 blocks over 51 games (49 starts). In 31 games (29 starts) as a redshirt junior this past season, he averaged 6.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.13 blocks and 1.10 steals in 22.3 minutes per contest. Dedmon did not play organized basketball until his senior year of high school due to religious reasons and played one season at Antelope Valley College in his hometown of Lancaster, CA, before transferring to USC.

He will wear uniform #21.

Mavs are leading the NBA in steals

The new NBA season is still young, but here’s the Fort Worth Star-Telegram blog with a positive note on the 2013-14 Dallas Mavericks:

dejuan blair

A mere 10 games into the season and the Dallas Mavericks are surprisingly leading the NBA in steals with 10.2 per game.

That’s a monumental accomplishment for a team that’s never finished higher than fourth in steals in its entire 34-year history.

Asked what he attributes his team’s steals’ total to, coach Rick Carlisle said: “A lot of gambling, probably. Steals can be a great thing and it also can at times mess you up if you swing and miss a lot.

“But we’ve got some guys with pretty good anticipation and quickness in (Monta) Ellis, and (DeJuan) Blair’s gotten quite a few steals. As long as we’re within our system when we”re going to for them, I’m OK — as long as we’re in a position of strength — and generally we’ve been OK with that.”

Blake Griffin

The Miami Heat’s LeBron James and the Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin today were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, Nov. 11, through Sunday, Nov. 17.

James averaged a league-best 34.0 points in leading the Heat to a 3-0 week. He led Miami in scoring in all three games and shot .702 from the field (fifth in the league), .625 from three-point range, and .810 from the foul line. On Nov. 15, James tallied 39 points on 14-of-18 shooting and added six rebounds and four assists as the Heat topped the Dallas Mavericks 110-104.

Griffin helped the Clippers to a 3-0 week behind averages of 25.7 points (tied for third in the Western Conference), 11.3 rebounds (ninth in the conference), 4.7 assists and 1.0 steals. He posted a point-rebound double-double in all three games. On Nov. 13, Griffin scored 22 points and added 12 rebounds, seven assists and three steals as the Clippers beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 111-103.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Atlanta’s Jeff Teague, Chicago’s Luol Deng, Denver’s Ty Lawson, Golden State’s Klay Thompson, Houston’s Jeremy Lin, Minnesota’s Kevin Love, Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, Orlando’s Arron Afflalo and Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge.

Here’s the Chicago Sun-Times on Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose feeling perfectly healthy these days:

derrick rose

The hamstring injury that kept him out of Friday’s game at Toronto seems to be behind him after he helped the Bulls rout Indiana on Saturday with 6-for-11 shooting from beyond the arc.

“He did [everything at the shootaround,’’ coach Tom Thibodeau said. “He feels pretty good.’’

Asked if he’s 100 percent, the Bulls star said, “I think so. I was out there just taking my time [against Indiana on Saturday], and really being patient. It allowed me to play great.’’

Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel reporting:

lebron james

Miami Heat forward LeBron James caused a stir when he teamed up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh three years ago.

Now, James is contemplating linking up with another superstar from a different sport. On Monday, James confirmed he has interest in teaming up with soccer icon David Beckham in bringing a Major League Soccer team to Miami.

“There’s some interest on both sides,” James said. “David has become a good friend of mine over the last few years. I think it would be great for this city to have a football club for sure. There’s interest on both sides but it’s preliminary talks.”

Jermainie O'Neal

Golden State Warriors center Jermaine O’Neal has been diagnosed with a bruised right knee and minor right groin strain after undergoing an MRI yesterday (Sunday). He did not travel with the team for tonight’s game in Utah against the Jazz and is listed as day-to-day. His return to action will be based on his progress.

O’Neal left Saturday night’s home game against the Utah Jazz with 11:26 remaining in the fourth quarter after suffering an injury that was preliminarily diagnosed as a sprained right knee and strained right groin.

Knicks assign Chris Smith to D-League

New York Knicks President General Manager Steve Mills announced today that the team has assigned guard Chris Smith to the Erie Bayhawks of the NBA Development League.

Smith, 6-2, 200-pounds, has not appeared on a game since signing as a free agent on Sep. 10, 2013.

It’ll be interesting to see how well Smith plays in the D-League. Many people were surprised that the Knicks gave him a contract, and suspect it was mostly to make his brother J.R. happy — which is a strange reason to sign a player.

Here’s the Sacramento Bee reporting:

Less than five minutes into the third quarter, the Kings had tested coach Michael Malone’s patience to the point that he benched most of his starting lineup.

Except for forward Luc Mbah a Moute, the starters were done for the night.

Malone said he wasn’t trying to send a message. He was trying to win a game. But that didn’t happen, with the Kings falling to the Memphis Grizzlies 97-86 today at Sleep Train Arena.

The Kings have lost seven of their last eight games and continue to confound their coach with lackluster effort.

That has left Malone searching nightly for a group that will at least play hard so there’s no guessing whom he might have to turn to for a spark.

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