Archive for February 13th, 2014

Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer reporting on the 76ers, who at this point have to appreciate any game where they don’t get blown out:

The 76ers scored only four second-chance points. They were outscored, 56-10, in bench points, and they didn’t have an answer for Utah Jazz reserve Alec Burks.

Ye, the Sixers believe Wednesday’s 105-100 setback to the Jazz at EnergySolutions Arena was a positive step.

“To get humbled the last few games the way we have been, and we were down . . . on the road in a loud building, I’m proud of what we did,” said coach Brett Brown, whose squad had lost its previous two games by a combined 88 points. “Our bench, ultimately, we are going to need more from them, and some of that is just newness with Arnett” Moultrie playing in his third game of the season.

But under the circumstances, the Sixers (15-39) can cope with that heading into the all-star break. So much so that Wednesday’s performance could be considered a moral victory for the team with an eight-game losing streak.

All-Star weekend is fun for fans, and even for some of the players involved, but the average NBA player loves the weekend mostly because it gives them a few days to rest and heal from various bumps and bruises. Here’s the Denver Post blog with more:

Randy Foye hopes to heal over All-Star break

No Nuggets player needs the All-Star break more than guard Randy Foye. He simply gutted out the last two games on the team’s recent road trip, and probably shouldn’t have been playing in Minnesota on Wednesday night due to a bad ankle injury in addition to a hamstring ailment.

His hope is he didn’t do any damage that would cause him to miss any games after the four-day break. But on a team with no point guards, that desperately needed someone to handle the basketball, he played through his injuries instead of sitting.

“I’m extremely banged up,” Foye said. “It started in the New York game, where I tweaked my hamstring and then…it seemed like every game, it’s the first time this year where every game something happened to me.”

Here’s ESPN Chicago with quotes from Bulls guard Derrick Rose confirming what was already assumed to be the case, which is that nobody should expect to see him in action this season:

Derrick Rose not thinking about returning this season

Derrick Rose says he isn’t thinking about a possible return this season and is just focusing on his rehab as he makes his way back from a torn medial meniscus in his right knee suffered on Nov. 22.

Speaking to reporters for the first time in about two months at a Bulls’ charity event, Rose acknowledged that he hasn’t started running yet, but is staying in good spirits.

“I haven’t even had a chance to think about it, to tell you the truth,” Rose said of a possible return this season. “I’m just worrying about my next stage in this process and that’s running right now. I’m on the Alter-G right now running on that and hopefully be running without it pretty soon.”

After having surgery in late November, Rose was ruled out for the rest of the season by the Bulls. In his initial news conference after the injury he said he wouldn’t rule out a possible return for the playoffs, but he seemed to back off those comments Tuesday night. When asked why he was keeping the door open on a return if the organization already ruled him out, Rose hinted that he was still a long way from playing in games.

Blake Griffin remains one of the world’s most exciting dunkers. Good news for NBA fans is he has not “officially” retired from participating in the NBA Slam Dunk contest again, someday. We advise you to not hold your breath waiting, though. Here’s ESPN.com reporting:

Blake on comparisons with fellow All-Star Weekend participant Karl Malone

“I’m humbled by that. That’s a honor. He was one of the best power forwards to ever do it, so obviously I have a lot of work to do to get to where [I can approach] what he accomplished. That’s not a bad person to be compared to … I’ve watched a lot of tape of him. I’ve watched mostly [from] his later years after he had really developed and had really become a force scoring the basketball. And the thing I love about him is everyone I’ve talked to about him talks about his work ethic and how hard he worked. And then on top of that just how he put together a complete game and used his strength to his advantage but also could step out and knock down shots.”

Blake on his future in the dunk contest
“I haven’t retired officially. It isn’t something I’ll never, ever do again. But for right now, I try to take my rest when I can. And this year I really wanted that Saturday night rest. So not this year.”

Here’s the Arizona Republic reporting on Suns guard Eric Bledsoe, who has been out of action for a long time now. The team has done fine without him, but is still stronger with him healthy and on the floor:

eric bledsoe

The Suns players and staff get a pick-me-up at every practice and when they walk through the training room.

They have been seeing rehabilitating point guard Eric Bledsoe taking shots on the court and running on a treadmill.

Friday will mark five weeks since Bledsoe’s right-knee surgery. No timetable for a recovery or return was shared, but many believed he could return not long after the All-Star break.

“He’s making good progress on his rehab,” Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby said. “He’s progressing as expected. We’re still optimistic that he’ll return some time after the All-Star break.

“He’s been working diligently with our training staff and the reports are encouraging.”

No ads on NBA game jerseys just yet

Here’s ESPN.com reporting on the possibility of seeing ads right on NBA game jerseys. Sounds like we shouldn’t expect it anytime soon. But the possibility certainly still exists for the future:

Floated as a possible revenue stream five years ago, the NBA appears to be no closer to putting ads on its jerseys.

The league had even mapped out the dimensions — a 2½-inch by 2½-inch space on the front of the jerseys — but a simple idea turned into something more complex the more it was considered, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said.

In 2011, Silver said selling the space to advertisers conservatively would be worth $100 million.

“The sense was that we were a little premature on the program and we needed to think it through systematically a little bit more,” Silver told ESPN.com.

One of the problems was that teams would be competing for advertising clients. Another issue was how the ads would potentially compromise the league’s television partners, ESPN and Turner.

Here’s the Arlington Heights Daily Herald reporting on the Bulls frontcourt rotation. It’s assumed Carlos Boozer will continue to start ahead of Taj Gibson. But for fun, ponder another possibility:

Should Taj Gibson start ahead of Carlos Boozer for Bulls?

Carlos Boozer said Wednesday he expects to play against Brooklyn, the Bulls’ last game before the all-star break. He’s missed the past three contests with a left calf strain.

“I think I will (play),” Boozer said before the “Evening with the Bulls” fundraiser at the United Center. “The break will be good for it. (But) if I’m healthy, I want to play.”

A better question is will he be the starter when he’s healthy again. Taj Gibson averaged 22.7 points, 10.3 rebounds and 4 assists during the past three games, while the Bulls had two of their highest-scoring first quarters of the season in the past two outings against Atlanta and L.A. Lakers.

Asked if Boozer is still the starter, coach Tom Thibodeau gave a straight answer, with a qualifier.

“Yeah. Again I have to know what the minutes restrictions are,” Thibodeau said.

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