Archive for February 7th, 2014

Miles Plumlee replaces Pero Antic

Phoenix Suns center Miles Plumlee has been selected to replace injured Atlanta Hawks center Pero Antic in the 2014 Rising Stars Challenge event at All-Star Weekend in New Orleans. Plumlee is averaging 9.3 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 49 games (all starts) for the Suns.

Plumlee will compete for TEAM HILL, for which Grant Hill is serving in the role of general manager. The head coach for Team Hill will be Nate McMillan of the Indiana Pacers’ coaching staff. On the sidelines for TEAM WEBBER, for which Chris Webber is serving in the role of general manager, will be Rex Kalamian of the Oklahoma City Thunder’s coaching staff.

The BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge will be televised live nationally on TNT at 9 p.m. ET on Friday, Feb. 14, from Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, and also will be broadcast live on ESPN Radio, while NBA.com will make live audio available to fans in multiple languages.

Boston Celtics sign Chris Johnson

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have signed guard/forward Chris Johnson to a multi-year contract.

Johnson, a 6’6” guard/forward, has appeared in eight games for the Celtics and has averaged 7.6 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 1.3 assists in 21.6 minutes per game.

He posted a career-high 12 points against Brooklyn on January 26 and recorded a career-high four steals against Washington on January 22. He is currently shooting 40.0 percent from the three-point line which is tops on the Celtics since he signed his original 10-day contract with the Celtics on January 17.

Johnson had appeared in 20 games for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA Development League earlier this season where he had averaged 19.4 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.0 block in 37.2 minutes per game.

Kevin Love playing through pain

Here’s the Minneapolis Star Tribune with an update on Timberwolves star Kevin Love:

Kevin Love playing through pain

Kevin Love still is recovering from Tuesday night’s nasty fall, but said after this morning’s shootaround in New Orleans that he will play tonight against the Pelicans in that 8:30 pm ESPN game.

“I’m feeling a little bit better, still pretty sore,” he said. “But I’m going to give it a go tonight.”

Love said he’s “very stiff, very sore” from his whiplashed neck down through his back and into his hip, on which he landed after getting fouled hard by Lakers center Robert Sacre while going to the basket late in Tuesday’s victory.

“Our training staff does a good job, so they’ll get me ready to play by tonight,” Love said. “I’m not going to talk about it too much, just keep my mindset that I’m going to play and play well.”

Nerlens Noel health update

Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer reporting on 76ers rookie Nerlens Noel, who has not yet played this season:

Update on injured Sixers rookie Nerlens Noel

It was obvious to see why the 76ers are excited about Nerlens Noel’s future.

The rookie center put on a show Thursday at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine while participating in one-on-one drills with player-development coach Greg Foster. Noel was fluid going to the basket, and displayed quickness and a burst while making an array of dunks and hook shots. He didn’t show any signs of the anterior cruciate ligament tear he suffered in his left knee last February during his lone season at Kentucky.

“Although it’s just sort of shadowboxing, you can’t help but see how quick he jumps, his athleticism, his length,” Sixers coach Brett Brown said of the 6-foot-11, 228-pounder. “It is exciting to look out there and see what you project [him] to be.”

Noel has yet to practice or play in a game as a Sixer. There’s a thought that the franchise doesn’t want him on the court and would be content if he missed the entire season. In October, Brown said Noel was not likely to play this season.

Here’s the Indianapolis Star reporting on new backup center Andrew Bynum:

Andrew Bynum says he will play hard for Pacers

As Andrew Bynum appeared from the basketball court on Friday morning to meet with reporters for the first time since becoming an Indiana Pacer, his new teammate George Hill marveled at the scene.

“L.A. media!” Hill joked loud enough to be heard.

Only Bynum did not reply – just as he has ignored the lingering doubts about his desire to play basketball.

“I mean, people have opinions, I don’t respond to it,” Bynum said. “I just go out and play.

“Again, that’s what they’re going to say. All I can do is go play hard and put points by your name, that’s it.”

After the Pacers’ morning shootaround, Bynum, the 7-2 center, remained calm as much smaller members of the media hedged him in. For more than five minutes, Bynum answered a range of questions about his commitment to the game, his desire to join the Pacers and even what went south during his short stay in Cleveland.

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