Archive for March 7th, 2014

Knicks reach out to Phil Jackson

Here’s the New York Post reporting on the Knicks, who apparently want Phil Jackson involved with their squad in some capacity:

Phil Jackson has turned down the Knicks’ offer to coach the team, but he could soon return to the organization as a front-office executive.

The Knicks reached out to Jackson to discuss his future plans, according to multiple sources. Though they would prefer to have him coach the team and offered him the job, according to one source, the discussions evolved into Jackson joining the Knicks in some form of a hybrid front-office role.

The Post has learned Jackson needs another knee replacement — his second — which has ruled out a return to the bench for the former Bulls and Lakers coach.

A source close to Jackson said he undoubtedly will be a general manager or team consultant next season, but his coaching days are over. His talks with the Knicks are still ongoing but could be resolved next week.

Here’s ESPN Chicago reporting on the topic of Joakim Noah allegedly telling Carmelo Anthony to come join the Bulls after his time with the Knicks wraps up:

Joakim Noah does not want to address the “gossip” surrounding a conversation he reportedly had All-Star Weekend with New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony.

“You want me to address that?” Noah said at Friday’s shootaround in response to a question about an ESPN.com report Thursday that said he told Anthony he could win a championship if he signed with the Bulls as a free agent after the season. “I don’t feel like addressing it. I really have nothing to say about it.”

Noah was asked if the reported recruiting pitch for Anthony had, in fact, happened, and he didn’t deny the conversation took place.

“Doesn’t matter,” Noah said. “What does that have to do with our team right now? It doesn’t matter.”

Expectations sink lower for the 76ers

Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer reporting on the 76ers, whose main recent accomplishment has been to get even worse. Which didn’t even seem possible. Yet the Sixers have done it:

Not only have the Sixers been unable to win as of late, they have been unable to even keep it close.

The team, which is currently on a 15-game losing streak, has lost those 15 straight games by an average of almost twenty points per (19.8)!

They haven’t won a game since the end of January, and even that took a last second shot by Evan Turner, who has since been traded.

Not only are the Sixers getting beat, they’re getting blown out. It has become difficult to watch even for the most diehard fans of the franchise, and there’s no real reprieve in sight this season.

Heat point guards need to step up

Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel on the Miami Heat, who have dropped their last two games, both to good teams — the Spurs and Rockets. No huge deal, but here’s one thing that stood out:

Heat point guards need to step up

Another glaring blemish during the losing streak has been the play of point guards Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole.

They were badly outplayed by Spurs guard Tony Parker and the Rockets’ Patrick Beverley the past two games.

“It’s been off the last two games,” Chalmers said. “We’ve got to do better.”

Cole and Chalmers have combined to score 13 points on 5 of 23 shooting while committing seven turnovers. The opposing point guards averaged 18 points.

“We’ve got to get back on track, find a way to get back on track,” Chalmers said. “It starts with me. I’m the starting point guard. I just got to turn it up. It’s just been one of those trips. We’ve got to get out to a better start. That starts with me. I’ve got to make sure we got off to a better start.”

Here’s Gerald Green of the Phoenix Suns scoring 41 points in a win vs the Oklahoma City Thunder:

Celtics center Vitor Faverani out for season after knee surgery

The Boston Celtics announced today that center Vitor Faverani had successful left knee arthroscopy to repair a torn lateral meniscus at the New England Baptist Hospital. The procedure was performed by Celtics team physician Dr. Brian McKeon and was assisted by Jason Rand, PAC. Faverani will not return this season.

According to ESPN Boston, “Celtics coach Brad Stevens said what was planned as a simple scope soon turned into a pretty major repair. “When they went in and scoped his knee, they found a meniscus tear,” said Stevens. “The way it was explained to me, it was near the root. That was the source of his major discomfort the past couple weeks. And so, it’s going to be a pretty significant rehab and so that was obviously not good news.”

Faverani, a 6’11” center, has appeared in 37 games during his rookie season for the Celtics where he averaged 4.4 points, 3.5 rebounds and 0.73 blocks in 13.2 minutes per game. He recorded a season-high of 13 point against Toronto on October 30 and recorded season-highs of 18 rebounds and six blocks against Milwaukee on November 1. Faverani also appeared in four games for the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League on assignment this season where he averaged 12.8 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.0 block in 25.0 minutes per game.

Ersan Ilyasova suspended for punching Reggie Evans

Milwaukee Bucks forward Ersan Ilyasova has been suspended one game without pay for punching Sacramento Kings forward Reggie Evans in the stomach, it was announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.

The incident occurred with 5:49 remaining in the fourth quarter of Milwaukee’s 116-102 loss to the Kings on Wednesday, March 5, at BMO Harris Bradley Center.

Ilyasova will serve his suspension tonight when the Bucks visit the New Orleans Pelicans at Smoothie King Center.

To view the play, click on this link.

Here’s the Washington Post blog reporting on Minnesota Timberwolves star Kevin Love, who is a brilliant talent on offense, but still in need of improvement as a defender:

The intrigue surrounding Love begins with his unique offensive prowess. In averaging a career-high 26.5 points per game, good for fourth in the NBA, Love is shooting 37.7 percent on three-pointers and has already recorded a career-high 14 games with at least four three-point baskets. His efficiency from behind the arc makes him tough for opponents to guard and would stretch the floor for a team like the Knicks or Lakers, who already feature capable post players.

The UCLA product also has a knack for getting to the foul line. Of the top 10 scorers in the league, only Kevin Durant (9.9) and James Harden (8.7) attempt more free throws per game than Love’s 8.6 through Wednesday, according to NBA.com/stats.

Many of those opportunities stem from Love’s rebounding proficiency, which has helped him record a league-high 50 double-doubles. At 13.1 rebounds per game and 19.6 rebound chances per contest, Love ranks second in the league, according to NBA.com’s player tracking stats. Of those rebound chances, Love grabs 66.8 percent of them and 37.8 percent of those that were contested by other players.

Al Harrington

Harrington has appeared in seven games since returning from his right knee injury but he has had to adjust his game and find other ways to be effective while he continues to search for his rhythm.

That has meant more slashing and driving until his perimeter shot starts dropping. Harrington scored eight points in the Wizards’ 104-91 win over Utah but he failed to make a three-pointer for the fourth straight game. He has shot just 2 for 13 from long distance since returning.

“That’s how it is sometimes. I’m still thinking about my shot and that’s the worst thing I can do,” Harrington said.
As long as I keep doing that, I’m not going to be consistent. More opportunities I get to shoot, I’ve got to let it rip. Once I get one or two going, I’ll feel good about myself.”

– Washington Post blog

Here’s ESPN.com reporting on Heat superstar LeBron James, who says he does not like having to play while wearing sleeved NBA jerseys:

James partly blamed the jersey for his off shooting night in the Miami Heat’s 111-87 loss Thursday to the San Antonio Spurs. He was 6-of-18 from the field, his second-worst shooting game of the season.

“I’m not making excuses, but I’m not a big fan of the jerseys,” said James, who had 19 points. “Every time I shoot it feels like it’s just pulling right up underneath my arm. I already don’t have much room for error on my jump shot. It’s definitely not a good thing.”

James said the sleeves affect him on long-range shots, especially 3-pointers. He was quick to point out that the jersey also bothered him on Christmas Day, when he shot 0-of-4 from 3-point range in a win over the Los Angeles Lakers, and during the All-Star Game last month, when he was 0-of-7 on 3-pointers in sleeves.

Clippers beat Lakers by 48 points

Five seconds into the second half, Chris Paul picked up a steal and Matt Barnes finished after Paul missed a reverse layup.

Less than a minute into the third period, the Clippers had run off six points to hike their lead to 39 points and then, finally, there were some boos for the Lakers at Staples Center.

There might not have been enough fans left by the end to release their frustration after the Clippers scored a 142-94 thrashing that was about as lopsided as any NBA game could be.

“We took a body blow and it looked like it just took us to our knees,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said. “For whatever reason, maybe we couldn’t finish and make plays or anything. They smelled blood in the water and they killed us.”

It was the Clippers’ largest winning margin in their history, eclipsing the previous mark of 45 points. The Lakers equaled the worst loss in their history.

– Los Angeles Daily News Clippers blog

Blake Griffin had 20 points and 11 rebounds during three thunderous quarters by the Clippers, who routed the Lakers 142-94 Thursday night to extend their winning streak to a season-best six games. It was the most lopsided victory ever for the Clippers’ franchise and the most one-sided loss in Lakers history.

”Since Day 1, there’s always going to be something to talk about since we both play here in this building. During the game, all the fans were yelling: ‘It’s still a Laker town.’ And it is - no secret,” Clippers point guard Chris Paul said. ”But we just have to worry about us and keep playing. It’s going in the right direction. We don’t want to get too high or too low. We just want to try to keep getting better.”

Darren Collison had a team-high 24 points while starting at shooting guard for the injured Jamal Crawford. Paul added 13 points and 11 assists for the Clippers, who have won the teams’ last two meetings by a combined 84 points.

– Associated Press

The Clippers had a 64-33 rebounding advantage and increased their lead in the Pacific Division to 4 1/2 games over Golden State.

The Lakers are one defeat away from clinching the franchise’s first losing season since 2004-05 - when newly hired coach Rudy Tomjanovich resigned midway through the team’s 34-48 season.

– Associated Press

The Clippers had eight players score in double figures en route to a 142-94 blowout of the Lakers on Thursday night at Staples Center. The 48-point margin was the worst defeat in Lakers history and the largest win in Clippers history. The 142 points were a season high for the Clippers.

– Sports Xchange

The Clippers blew the game open in the second quarter. They enjoyed a 29-4 run, and they took a 58-31 lead after a dunk by Griffin. The Clippers outscored the Lakers 44-13 in the quarter for a 73-40 advantage at the half. They also outrebounded the Lakers 22-5 in the second period. Overall, the Clippers had a 64-33 edge on the boards, including a 16-4 difference on the offensive end.

Collison outscored the entire Lakers team 14-13 in the second quarter.

Collison said the Lakers’ 116-103 victory in the season opener between the teams in October provided additional motivation for the Clippers in the past two meetings.

– Sports Xchange

The Orlando Magic have signed center Dewayne Dedmon and guard-forward Adonis Thomas each to a second 10-day contract, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today.  Dedmon and Thomas both originally signed 10-day contracts on Feb. 25.

Dedmon (#3, 7’0”, 255, 8/12/89) has appeared in two games with Orlando, averaging 2.5 ppg. and 1.5 rpg. in 2.2 minpg.  He has played in 17 combined games this season with Golden State, Philadelphia and Orlando, averaging 2.5 ppg. and 3.1 rpg. in 9.4 minpg.  He also appeared in 15 games with the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA Development League, averaging 15.2 ppg., 13.1 rpg., 1.3 apg., 2.33 blkpg. and 1.53 stlpg. in 33.7 minpg.

Thomas (#8, 6’7”, 235, 3/25/93) has appeared in three games with Orlando, averaging 2.3 ppg. and 1.0 rpg. in 7.6 minpg.  He played in 26 games (21 starts) with the Springfield Armor of the NBA Development League, averaging 16.2 ppg., 4.2 rpg. and 1.3 apg. in 35.1 minpg., while shooting .469 (38-81) from three-point range.

Not drafted by an NBA team in 2013, Dedmon played in 51 games (49 starts) during his two-year career at USC, averaging 7.1 ppg., 6.7 rpg. and 1.67 blkpg.  In 2012-13 as a redshirt junior, he appeared in 31 games (29 starts), averaging 6.7 ppg., 7.0 rpg., 2.13 blkpg. and 1.10 stlpg. in 22.3 minpg.  He led the Trojans in rebounding and blocked shots.  Dedmon did not play organized basketball until his senior year of high school due to religious reasons and played one season at Antelope Valley College in his hometown of Lancaster, CA, before transferring to USC.

Also undrafted in 2013, Thomas played in 55 games (44 starts) during two years at the University of Memphis, averaging 10.7 ppg., 4.0 rpg. and 1.5 apg. in 27.5 minpg.  He was named to the Conference USA All-Tournament Team in 2013.

Orlando’s roster stands at 14 players.

Basketball blog