Archive for December, 2013

Al Horford had surgery today, officially out for rest of season

Atlanta Hawks forward/center Al Horford had surgery today to repair a complete tear of his right pectoral muscle. The surgery was performed at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta by Dr. Xavier Duralde and accompanied by Hawks Team Physician Dr. Michael Bernot from the Peachtree Orthopaedic Clinic.

Horford will now undergo a period of rest, treatment and rehabilitation. He will be out through the remainder of the season.

At the time of his injury, the 6-foot-10 forward/center led the team in scoring (18.6), field goal percentage (.567; 7th in league), rebounding (8.4) and blocks per game (1.5; 13th) while adding 2.6 assists in 33.0 minutes per game in 29 games (all starts).

Jeremy Tyler

The New York Knicks are struggling badly this season, and with a 9-21 record are tied for the third worst winning percentage in the league. Any help they can get, even at the end of the bench, is needed.

Today, Knicks President and General Manager Steve Mills announced that the team has signed forward Jeremy Tyler of the Erie BayHawks, the 10th Gatorade Call-Up from the NBA Development League this season, and waived guard Chris Smith.

Tyler, 6-10, 250-pounds, has averaged 18.0 points, on 47.8-percent shooting, and 10.2 rebounds over 31.0 minutes in six games (all starts) with the BayHawks. He originally signed with New York on Aug. 6, after playing for the Knicks’ entry in NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, NV, and was waived on Oct. 25 while recovering from a broken right fifth metatarsal.

The San Diego, CA-native, was originally selected by the Charlotte Bobcats in the second round (39th overall) of 2011 NBA Draft before having his rights traded to the Warriors. He holds career averages of 3.6 point and 2.5 rebounds over 10.1 minutes in 63 games (23 starts) over two seasons with Golden State and Atlanta. He played professionally in Israel (Maccabi Haifa) and Japan (Tokyo Apache) for two seasons after leaving San Diego HS following his junior season.

Smith, 6-0, 200-pounds, signed with New York on Sep. 10, and appeared in two games, playing two minutes. He was assigned to Erie on Nov. 18, where he played six games before being recalled on Dec. 17.

Here’s the Associated Press reporting:

San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker is apologizing for a photograph that shows him making the same gesture with anti-Semitic connotations also made by French soccer star Nicolas Anelka this weekend. The photograph shows Parker and a French comedian making a gesture known in France as a “quenelle,” which critics describe as inverted Nazi salute. Parker said Monday in a statement released by the Spurs that the photograph was taken three years ago.

And from InsideHoops.com:

Tony Parker released the following statement earlier today: “While this gesture has been part of French culture for many years, it was not until recently that I learned of the very negative concerns associated with it. When l was photographed making that gesture three years ago, I thought it was part of a comedy act and did not know that it could be in any way offensive or harmful. Since I have been made aware of the seriousness of this gesture, I will certainly never repeat the gesture and sincerely apologize for any misunderstanding or harm relating to my actions. Hopefully this incident will serve to educate others that we need to be more aware that things that may seem innocuous can actually have a history of hate and hurt.”

More from InsideHoops.com:

We believe Tony Parker simply made an innocent mistake. Parker’s a good guy.

That aside, Dieudonne M’bala M’bala’ is a disgusting, vile bigot. He is an “activist” and former “comedian” in France who basically runs around promoting hate.

Anyway, back to basketball!

Pau Gasol remains a key Laker

Here’s ESPN Los Angeles on the Lakers, who need the services of Pau Gasol if their aim is to win basketball games:

Pau Gasol remains a key Laker

Granted, there’s no way of knowing if Pau Gasol would have made any difference in the Los Angeles Lakers’ past two losses, to the Utah Jazz and Philadelphia 76ers, two decidedly sub-.500 teams that L.A. fell to by a combined nine points.

Even if Gasol fought through his upper respiratory infection and came close to his 14.7-point and 9.4-rebound averages, L.A. might have still lost with the way it missed 16 of the 23 3-pointers it took against the Jazz and turned the ball over 22 times against the 76ers.

But here is the unwavering truth that makes the outcomes of the games almost irrelevant when considering Gasol’s lost contributions, no matter how strong or how meager they would have been: He could have played.

It was Gasol’s decision to sit out as his team extended its season-high losing streak to five with a 111-104 defeat to Philly. It’s not like he has been bedridden or completely unable to exert himself physically. According to a team source, Gasol still showed up to Lakers shootaround to lift weights Sunday, and when he told longtime trainer Gary Vitti he wanted more time to get over the infection and was not going to play against the Sixers, Vitti said to not even bother showing up to the game.

Golden State Warriors waive Hilton Armstrong

The Golden State Warriors have waived center Hilton Armstrong, the team announced tonight.

Armstrong appeared in seven games with Golden State, averaging 0.9 points and 2.3 rebounds in 4.0 minutes per contest. He was originally signed on December 11 as a free agent Call-Up from the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA Development League.

The Atlanta Hawks have recalled guard Jared Cunningham from the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA Development League, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Danny Ferry.

Cunningham, who was re-assigned to Bakersfield on December 16, has averaged 18.1 points, 5.4 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 1.0 steals in 33.1 minutes in eight games (all starts) in two stints with the Jam this season. In his last two contests, Cunningham has put up 27.5 points, 9.0 assists, 4.0 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 1.0 blocks in 34.5 minutes (.704 FG%, .700 3FG%, .714 FT%).

He has appeared in three games with the Hawks this year.

Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel with an update on Miami Heat point guard Mario Chalmers:

Mario Chalmers close to being suspended for flagrant fouls

There no longer is any wiggle room. Or shoving room. Or bumping room. And, assuredly, no “unnecessary contact” room.

With Friday night’s costly flagrant foul against Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins, Miami Heat point guard Mario Chalmers now has five points in the NBA’s flagrant-foul tracking system.

A sixth point mandates an automatic one-game suspension. In fact, if Chalmers’ next flagrant foul is ruled a Flagrant 2 foul, for “unnecessary and excessive contact,” he would then be suspended for two games.

Chalmers’ latest brush with NBA law came with what Friday’s referees determined was too aggressive of a box-out attempt late in the fourth quarter of what turned into a 108-103 overtime loss at Sleep Train Arena.

It was a call that befuddled Chalmers.

The Golden State Warriors have assigned center Ognjen Kuzmic and guard Nemanja Nedovic to the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA Development League, the team announced today. The rookies will join the team prior to tonight’s game against the Bakersfield Jam in Bakersfield.

Nedovic has appeared in two games this season with Santa Cruz while on previous assignments, averaging 30.0 points and 4.5 assists in 38.5 minutes per contest. Kuzmic has not played in a game with Santa Cruz this season and has missed Golden State’s last 19 contests due to a fifth metacarpal fracture in his right hand and subsequent surgery on November 26.

Cleveland Cavaliers suspend Andrew Bynum

Cavaliers center Andrew Bynum has been suspended for conduct detrimental to the team, Cavaliers General Manager Chris Grant announced today. Bynum did not travel with the team to Boston last night for the team’s game this afternoon at 1:00 p.m. vs. the Celtics and has been excused from all team activities indefinitely. His status will be updated as appropriate.

According to the Associated Press, “Bynum, who signed a two-year, $24 million contract with the Cavs in July, did not travel with the club to Boston for Saturday’s game and it’s likely he has played his final game for Cleveland. The Cavs will try to trade him. The suspension is not a shock considering he has not played consistently and has appeared uninterested while on the floor. Earlier this season, the 7-footer, who did not play a second last season for Philadelphia because of knee injuries, talked openly about retirement and said his medical issues have been a challenge. ”It’s a terrible situation internally with our team,” All-Star guard Kyrie Irving said before the Cavs faced the Celtics. ”It’s something we have to get over.”

The Charlotte Bobcats have been solid this season, putting together a respectable 14-15 record, and doing it with defense. Here’s the Charlotte Observer blog with an update on injured SF Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who in 18 games played was averaging 9.1 points per game before suffering an injury:

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist injury update

The cast has been removed from Charlotte Bobcats forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s broken left hand, but that doesn’t mean he can start practicing just yet.

Kidd-Gilchrist had a doctor’s appointment Friday, where it was determined he’d healed enough that the cast could be replaced with a splint. Kidd-Gilchrist broke the hand at the base of his left ring finger during the Bobcats’ Dec. 3 loss to the Dallas Mavericks.

Zach Randolph fined $25,000 for public criticism of NBA officiating

Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph has been fined $25,000 for public criticism of officiating, it was announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.

Randolph made his comments following the Grizzlies’ 100-92 loss to the Houston Rockets on Thursday, Dec. 26, at Toyota Center.

Playing without injured, defensive-minded star center Marc Gasol, the Grizzlies are 12-16 so far this season and sit last in the competitive Southwest division.

Al Horford suffers complete tear of right pectoral muscle

Atlanta Hawks forward/center Al Horford left last night’s game at Cleveland due to a right shoulder injury and did not return. An MRI and examination today by Dr. Michael Bernot at Peachtree Orthopaedics in Atlanta revealed a complete tear of his right pectoral muscle.

“We will work with Al and complete our due diligence to determine the next best steps for him,” said President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Danny Ferry. “Injuries are part of the challenge of an NBA season.”

Horford is out indefinitely and an update on his status will be given in the near future. It is feared, but not yet confirmed, that he could be out for a long time.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have assigned guard/forward Sergey Karasev to the Canton Charge, the Cavaliers exclusively owned and operated NBA Development League team, Cavaliers General Manager Chris Grant announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts.

Karasev has played in 14 games for the Cavs, averaging 2.2 points and 1.0 rebounds in 8.9 minutes per game and one game for the Charge, finishing with 16 points and three rebounds in 30 minutes against Tulsa on Dec. 11th.

Karasev will be available for tomorrow night’s Charge home game against the Reno Bighorns at the Canton Memorial Civic Center at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday’s game against the Erie BayHawks in Canton at 5:00 p.m.

The Austin Toros today announced they have acquired center Luke Zeller. Zeller (6-11, 245, Notre Dame) joins the team in Tulsa and will wear jersey No. 21 when the Toros take on the 66ers tonight at 7:00 p.m. at SpiritBank Event Center.

A member of the Toros’ 2012 D-League championship team, Zeller played in 24 games during the 2011-12 season averaging 9.1 points and 5.3 rebounds in 25 minutes.

His last stop was with the Phoenix Suns during the 2012-13 season. Zeller’s professional career includes stints in Japan, Lithuania, and the D-League with the Bakersfield Jam.

Russell Westbrook had knee surgery today, back after All-Star break

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on his right knee earlier today, Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti announced.

“Russell has been playing pain free, but recently had experienced increased swelling. After consultation and consideration by his surgeon in Los Angeles, a plan was established to monitor the swelling that included a series of scheduled MRIs,” said Presti. “On the most recent MRI it was determined by the surgeon that there was an area of concern that had not previously existed, nor was detectable in the previous procedures, and it was necessary to evaluate Russell further. The consulting physician determined that arthroscopic surgery was necessary to address the swelling that was taking place. We know that Russell’s work ethic and commitment will help him return to the level of play that we have all come to appreciate.”

Westbrook is expected to return post All-Star break, which is February 14-16, 2014.

Here’s ESPN New York on a key Knicks defensive issue:

Knicks having trouble defending the pick-and-roll

More often than not, defending the pick-and-roll has been a mystery for the Knicks this year.

According to Synergy Sports, they are giving up the second-most points per play in the NBA to both the ball handler and the screener on pick-and-roll plays this season.

At issue is the Knicks’ decision to switch defenders on pick-and-rolls. Often, the switching leads to a mismatch (think small guard defending big man or plodding big man defending a quick point guard).

Mike Woodson wants all of the switching to stop.

“I don’t want to switch,” Woodson said after Thursday’s practice. “I’ve always wanted to put the emphasis on our perimeter guys to guard perimeter players. Bigs are supposed to guard bigs and when there’s some breakdowns there is supposed to be help. It’s a team defense.”

The Philadelphia 76ers today announced that they have assigned guard Lorenzo Brown to the Delaware 87ers of the NBA Development League.

Brown was a member of the Springfield Armor before signing as a free agent with the Sixers on Nov. 20. He was the third GATORADE Call-Up of the NBADL season. Brown has appeared in 13 games with the Sixers.

Blake Griffin

Rod Thorn, NBA President, Basketball Operations, issued the following statement today regarding the ejection of Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin with 10:43 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Golden State Warriors’ 105-103 win over the Clippers on Dec. 25, at Oracle Arena:

“After a league review of the Clippers-Warriors game, we have come to the conclusion that Blake Griffin should not have been ejected from the game. A common foul should have been called on Griffin for initially attempting to dislodge the Warriors’ Andrew Bogut and a technical foul should have been assessed to Bogut for grabbing Griffin by the shirt and wrestling with him.”

According to the Associated Press, “With Griffin gone, the Clippers missed several key chances in the waning moments. “If you look at it, I didn’t do anything and I got thrown out of the game. It all boils down to they (referees) fell for it,” Griffin said after the game. “To me, it’s cowardly basketball. I don’t know their intentions, but it worked. … If I knew the answer I’d probably be in a different position. Tonight I got two technicals for nothing.”

The Detroit Pistons announced today that the team has assigned rookie forward Tony Mitchell and rookie guard Peyton Siva to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA Development League (D-League).

Mitchell has appeared in 10 games this season with the Pistons averaging 1.1 points and 1.1 rebounds in 4.0 minutes per game. He was drafted 37th overall out of North Texas where he led the Sun Belt Conference in blocks at 2.7 per game.

Siva has appeared in 13 games this season with the Pistons averaging 0.3 points, 0.6 rebounds and 0.8 assists in 5.8 minutes per game. Siva, the 56th selection in the second round of the 2013 NBA Draft, won an NCAA Championship and was named to the Final Four All-Tournament Team as a senior at Louisville last year.

Here’s the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on DeJuan Blair of the Dallas Mavericks, who may be quite excited to battle his former team:

DeJuan Blair plans to have fun tonight against the Spurs

If there’s ever a player who wears his emotions on his sleeves, it’s DeJuan Blair.

And right now, the Dallas Mavericks’ center is walking around with a lot of pin-up emotions.

Blair is still steamed at the way the San Antonio Spurs treated him last season. Especially since they barely played him at all against Miami during the NBA Finals in a series Blair believes he could have helped the Spurs win if given the chance to play.

Thus, when Blair became a free agent, signed a one-year, $884,293 contract with the Mavs, and then saw that their first game against the Spurs was today, he made a big fat circle around it on his calendar.

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