Archive for March 5th, 2014

Here’s the Akron Beacon Journal reporting on the Cleveland Cavaliers, who would certainly benefit from the return of a hard-working big-man:

Cavs hope to get Anderson Varejao back soon

The Cavs could receive a boost this weekend with the return of Anderson Varejao, although no one wants to declare Varejao ready. He participated in Wednesday’s practice, but Brown conceded they didn’t do much physical work. That should change with today’s practice, which should give Varejao a better gauge on if he’s ready.

Varejao told the Beacon Journal last week he intended to play this week, but was much more vague Wednesday.

“We can’t set a date yet, but I would love to hopefully play the next game,” he said. “If not, I feel like I’m pretty close. But I just don’t know when yet.”

Varejao has missed the past 11 games with knee and back issues. He missed a week in January with a knee injury and said last week he believes overcompensating for the knee injury after returning might have led to the back problems.

Here is TMZ reporting on some dodgy stuff that they generally seem to be in the know about:

Lamar Odom’s drug dealers could be linked to the $250,000 jewelry heist at Lamar and Khloe’s house … because we’re told the dealers threatened to break in to get the money Lamar never paid.

Multiple sources involved in Lamar’s drug deals last year tell TMZ … Lamar wasn’t paying his tab. In fact, our sources say he was in the hole $15K to just one dealer back in Sept. and he owed another more than $40K.

Lamar would fend them off by saying he was loaded and therefore good for it. He would also justify not paying from time to time because the quality of the drugs was “wack.”

The Oklahoma City Thunder will return to Wichita, Kan. and Tulsa, Okla. during the 2014 preseason, the team announced today. The Thunder will host the Toronto Raptors at the INTRUST Bank Arena in Wichita on Oct. 17 at 7:00 pm followed by a contest versus the Minnesota Timberwolves at the BOK Center in Tulsa on Oct. 19 at 6:00 pm.

“We are excited to be bringing Thunder Basketball back to Wichita and Tulsa, where we have sold out our games in both cities for two straight years,” said Brian Byrnes, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the Thunder. “We continue to be overwhelmed and humbled by the tremendous loyalty of our fans throughout Oklahoma and neighboring states. They watch our games on TV, buy Thunder merchandise and strongly support the team. This tradition of bringing games to Tulsa and Wichita is a way for us to continue to connect to and thank our fans in those communities. It serves as a reminder for us about the impact our team has even beyond our local community.”

This marks the Thunder’s third consecutive preseason appearance in Wichita and the sixth time the team has visited Tulsa during the exhibition season.

Tickets for both preseason games will go on sale on a to-be-determined date in mid-April.

The Thunder will announce its entire 2014 preseason schedule at a later date.

Here’s the Washington Post reporting on Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, who is known to do things with supreme quickness on the basketball court:

Russell Westbrook gets amazingly fast triple-double

If there’s any question on whether stars Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant can coexist on the court, Tuesday night helped answer it.

Granted it was against the woeful Philadelphia 76ers, but Westbrook logged the NBA’s second-fastest triple-double in the Oklahoma City Thunder’s 125-92 win.

Westbrook finished with 13 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists in less than 21 minutes of play for his eighth career triple-double. The NBA’s quickest triple-double belongs to Jim Tucker of the Syracuse Nationals, who did it in just 17 minutes in 1955.

“I never go in looking to shoot first, pass first, rebound first,” Westbrook said (via Associated Press). “I just come in and play off instincts.”

John Wall doing big things for Wizards

Here’s the Washington Post blog reporting on Wizards guard John Wall, who is an NBA All-Star this season:

john wall

John Wall had never had a better month in his career before March 2013, when he had finally regained his conditioning and confidence after recovering from a stress injury in his left knee that cost him the first 33 games of the season.

After spending the first two months of his comeback easing his way into a rhythm, Wall caught fire and recorded some of his best performances, including a career-high 47 points in a win over Memphis last March 27. He finished the season on a tear and was eventually rewarded with a maximum-salaried extension.

A year later, Wall has reached all-star status for the first time in his career and has gotten off to another solid start this month, averaging 20 points and 12.5 assists in the first two games. On Monday, Wall became the first Wizards player since Gilbert Arenas in 2006-07 to be named Eastern Conference player of the week at least twice in the same season. He has won conference player of the week honors three times, with the first award coming last March.

Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel with quotes from LeBron James and Shane Battier of the Miami Heat on the San Antonio Spurs. The two teams face each other on Thursday, for the first time since last season’s NBA Finals:

lebron james

James, in fact, scoffed at the notion of the Spurs growing too old.

“I never buy into that,” he said. “I’ve always been asked about that. I’ve bought into the Celtics team with Ray [Allen] and K.G. [Kevin Garnett] and all those guys, they were talking about they were too old and they were in the Finals again, so I never bought into it.”

And there the Spurs are, again near the top of the West, San Antonio again potentially the Heat’s final destination of the season.

“They’re awesome, they’re awesome,” forward Shane Battier said. “The fact they’ve done it so long and everyone is just waiting for them to fall off, and they haven’t. Not that they care about what everyone else thinks. But it’s awesome, it’s awesome.”

Here’s the Los Angeles Times blog reporting on the Lakers, who entering Wednesday’s games are tied with the New York Knicks for the 5th worst record in the NBA:

jordan farmar

The Lakers appear to be mulling over a lineup change.

Since joining the team in December after the franchise suffered a slew of injuries at point guard, Kendall Marshall has made 33 appearances and 24 starts.

On Tuesday night, in a loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, Marshall started the first half but not the second.

Instead, Coach Mike D’Antoni told Jordan Farmar to take Marshall’s place at halftime.

“Jordan told me that coach told him that he was going to start the second half, and that’s fine,” Marshall said after the Lakers’ 132-125 loss to the Pelicans.

The Toronto Raptors announced Wednesday they have reassigned guard Dwight Buycks to the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA Development League. Buycks will continue to be included on the Raptors’ roster and will remain on the team’s inactive list.

Buycks is expected to be in uniform tonight when Bakersfield faces the Texas Legends in Frisco, Texas (8 p.m. ET).

This is Buycks’ second stint with the Jam this season. He appeared in five games from January 4-11, averaging 12.4 points, 4.0 assists and 26.4 minutes. He scored in double figures three times, including 19 points January 4 against the L.A. D-Fenders.

Buycks has appeared in 13 games for the Raptors this season recording 41 points, 10 assists, 20 rebounds and six steals in 124 minutes. He posted a season-best 10 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals December 10 versus San Antonio.

This will be Buycks’ third assignment in the NBA D-League. He is averaging 14.7 points, 2.8 assists and 26.7 minutes in 33 career games (two starts). Buycks appeared in 28 games with Tulsa during the 2011-12 season.

Buycks, a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, signed as a free-agent July 16, 2013 after participating on the Raptors’ Las Vegas Summer League squad. He played overseas during the 2012-13 season for BCM Gravelines in France.

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

Karasev has appeared in 12 games for the Charge with averages of 13.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.2 steals in 30.0 minutes per game.

Karasev will be available for Saturday’s Charge game against the Springfield Armor at the Canton Memorial Civic Center at 1:00 p.m.

The Brooklyn Nets have signed center Jason Collins to a second 10-day contract, General Manager Billy King announced today.

Collins, who signed his first 10-day contract on February 23, has appeared in five games for the Nets, totaling three points and five rebounds in 36 minutes.

Currently in his 13th NBA season, Collins has played in 718 NBA games, with averages of 3.6 points and 3.7 rebounds in 20.7 minutes per game.

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