Archive for December 7th, 2013

The Sacramento Kings recalled center Hamady Ndiaye (Ah-meh-dee enj-eye) from the team’s NBA Development League affiliate, the Reno Bighorns, it was announced today by General Manager Pete D’Alessandro. Ndiaye will rejoin the Kings squad in Utah for tonight’s game against the Jazz at EnergySolutions Arena.

Ndiaye recorded seven points (2-4 FG, 3-6 FT), a team-high-tying seven rebounds, two assists and four blocks in 24 minutes starting for the Bighorns in Reno’s first win of the season, a 129-122 victory over the Santa Cruz Warriors last night at the Reno Events Center.

Originally from Senegal, the 7-foot center is averaging 0.2 points (1-6 FG, 0-1 FT), 1.4 rebounds and 5.8 minutes per game in nine appearances this season for the Kings. This was the fourth D-League team Ndiaye has seen action with, having played for the Dakota Wizards (2010-11), Maine Red Claws (2011-12) and Iowa Energy (2011-12).

Ndiaye became the second Kings player to be assigned to Reno this season after Ray McCallum played three games with the Bighorns during his stint from November 21-27.

The Orlando Magic are rebuilding, and a losing team, and in such a situation it tends to be easier for a player with talent to stand out more than he normally might on a better team. With that disclaimer out of the way, Magic guard Arron Afflalo is having a terrific season. Here’s with more:

To improve, Arron Afflalo studied video of Jordan and Kobe

Afflalo wanted to learn ways to create more space against one-on-one defenders, so he started studying two of the best pure scorers in NBA history in Jordan and Bryant.

“I watched a lot of film on (Bryant), and I always have since I was growing up in L.A.,’’ Afflalo said. “And everybody wants to be Michael Jordan when they are little, so I’ve watched a lot of Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. They’re the two best in my era. So this summer I watched a lot of their isolation moves and footwork to see how to frame myself up better for shots.’’

The offseason work has paid enormous benefits for Afflalo and the Magic this season. He’s averaging career bests in scoring (22.6 ppg.), rebounds (4.6 rpg.), assists (4.2 apg.) and 3-point shooting (46.3 percent). He’s scored 30 points in a game four times this season, including a career-best 43 points on Tuesday in a double-overtime loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.

Afflalo said the studying of Bryant and Jordan has taught him that sometimes it’s better to take comfortable mid-range jumps rather than driving into the teeth of the defense where shots can be much more difficult to launch.

After trading Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, the Boston Celtics are building. Yet with a 9-12 record, playing without injured point guard Rajon Rondo, they have done better than expected. And currently lead the woeful Atlantic divison — for now. Here’s ESPN Boston with more good news for the team:

Kelly Olynyk may return soon for Celtics

Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens said that rookie forward/center Kelly Olynyk went through an individual workout on Friday and could return to game action next week.

Olynyk suffered what Stevens had dubbed a “significant” sprain of his right ankle during a loss to the Indiana Pacers on Nov. 23. He was expected to miss two weeks, which would have put him back on the court for Friday’s visit from the Denver Nuggets, but needed additional time to heal. Olynyk will miss his seventh straight game on Friday, but Stevens said he could be back as early as Tuesday’s visit to the Brooklyn Nets.

The Indiana Pacers have been great this season, and getting Danny Granger back, even if he’s not the player he used to be, would make them even deeper. Here’s the Indianapolis Star:

Danny Granger returns to practice for Pacers

The unexpected continues on the Indiana Pacers’ eventful trip to Texas: Danny Granger practiced.

“I feel good,” Granger said following the Friday session, his first live participation in weeks. “I was running, sprinting, playing live for about an hour, so I felt really good.”

Since Oct. 28, when the team announced that Granger would miss approximately three weeks with a strained left calf, the sight of the veteran forward had been limited to post-practice shooting drills and sideline cheering. The team’s timeline has long since expired and Granger has missed all 19 games this season.

Though he practiced, Pacers coach Frank Vogel announced that Granger would not play Saturday against the San Antonio Spurs. Vogel said there is no new timeline for Granger’s return to the lineup.

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