Archive for March 10th, 2014

The Portland Trail Blazers have assigned rookie guard Allen Crabbe to the NBA Development League’s Idaho Stampede, it was announced today by General Manager Neil Olshey.

Crabbe, 21, is averaging 2.0 points, 0.2 rebounds, 0.3 assists and 4.9 minutes in 12 games for the Trail Blazers this season. Acquired by Portland in a draft day trade with Cleveland, Crabbe was the 31st overall selection in the 2013 NBA Draft out of California.

Crabbe’s assignment to Idaho is the second of the season for the Trail Blazers, who assigned CJ McCollum to the Stampede from Jan. 1-5.

Idaho plays host to Santa Cruz on Wednesday, March 12, at 6:30 p.m. (Pacific). The game will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network (Comcast channel 725).

Cavs forward Anthony Bennett injured, out around 3 weeks

Cleveland Cavaliers rookie forward Anthony Bennett was examined yesterday by Head Team Physician Dr. Richard Parker at Cleveland Clinic Sports Health. His exam and MRI revealed a left patellar tendon strain.

He will be OUT approximately three weeks while receiving treatment and continued evaluation.

His status will be updated as appropriate.

Bennett hasn’t played much in his first NBA season, averaging just 4.1 points in 12.7 minutes per game for the 24-40 Cavs.

According to the Associated Press, “Bennett has appeared lost at times on the floor, and it hasn’t helped that he’s put added pressure on himself trying to live up to being the top pick. Through it all, Bennett has continued to work hard and there have been flashes of the 6-foot-8, 260-pounder’s immense talent and potential. The Cavs will likely take a cautious approach with Bennett, and unless they move themselves into playoff position, it’s possible his season could be over. Bennett’s averaging only 4.1 points and 2.9 rebounds in 13 minutes per game.”

The NBA Development League and The Madison Square Garden Company (MSG) today announced that MSG has acquired the right to own and operate an NBA D-League team that will play in White Plains, New York. The new team will be the NBA D-League’s record 18th team and will be the exclusive affiliate of the New York Knicks, playing its home games at the Westchester County Center, approximately 30 miles north of New York City. With the purchase, the Knicks become the seventh NBA team to fully own and operate their own NBA D-League affiliate.

“We are thrilled to work with the New York Knicks and Westchester County to bring NBA D-League basketball to White Plains,” said Dan Reed, NBA D-League president. “The New York area has a rich basketball history and we’re excited to give some of the game’s best fans the opportunity to watch top NBA prospects up close and personal in an intimate, family-friendly and affordable environment.”

Allan Houston, the Knicks’ Assistant General Manager, will serve as the new team’s General Manager, while Bill Boyce joins the MSG family as the vice president of sales and business operations for the club in Westchester, reporting to Dave Howard, president of MSG Sports. Bill joins MSG after four years as the president of the NBA D-League’s Frisco-based Texas Legends.

“We are very excited to bring a New York Knicks NBA Development League franchise to Westchester, a great basketball community that has embraced orange and blue and served as our training home for 25 plus years,” said Houston. “The NBA D-League is thriving, and this opportunity allows us to develop players closer to our training facility, and to provide high level, affordable basketball entertainment to the community.”

The Knicks are inviting fans to help choose the name for the new team. From now until March 24, fans can go to NYKnicksDLeague.com to submit their names online. Following the submission process, fans will go back to the same website to vote for the final team name. In addition, beginning today, fans can enter to win two full season tickets on the website; the sweepstakes will run until April 11.

“Westchester County is proud to be teaming up with three great organizations – the NBA Development League, The Madison Square Garden Company and the New York Knicks,” said Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino. “What’s exciting is that the partnership works on so many levels. It brings professional basketball to the County Center. It offers fans and families a lot of fun and thrills at an affordable price. And it will generate revenues and new jobs for the county at no cost to taxpayers. It all adds up to a winning combination.”

For the 2013-14 season, the NBA D-League features 17 teams, 14 of which are singly affiliated with their NBA parent clubs. Complete NBA and NBA D-League affiliations for the 2014-15 season will be announced over the summer.

More than 30 percent of current NBA players, including five current Knicks, have NBA D-League experience, while more than 40 percent of players drafted into the NBA over the last five years have spent time in the NBA D-League. To date, 27 NBA D-League players have earned 31 “Call-Ups” to the NBA this season, while 56 NBA players have seen action in the NBA D-League on assignment from their NBA parent clubs during the 2013-14 campaign.

Texas Legends’ forward Damion James was today named NBA Development League Performer of the Week for games played Monday, March 4 – Sunday, March 9. The award is the first for James, who becomes the second Legends player to be honored as Performer of the Week this season.

James (6-7, 225, Texas) led the Legends to a 3-0 week last week, averaging 24.7 points to go with 14.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.7 blocks. He recorded a season-high 19 rebounds on March 6, in a 126-119 win over the Iowa Energy, scoring 34 points to tie his season best.

James, who was traded to Texas from the Bakersfield Jam last month, is averaging 24.9 points and 12.0 rebounds in eight games with the Legends. For the season, he is averaging 16.4 points and 7.9 rebounds in 35 total games.

Other top performers considered included Canton’s Arinze Onuaku, playing on assignment from the Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles’ Manny Harris, Maine’s Tyshawn Taylor, Springfield’s Willie Reed and Sioux Falls’ Larry Drew II.

Knicks sign Shannon Brown and Earl Clark to second 10-day contracts

New York Knicks President and General Manager Steve Mills announced today that the team has signed guard Shannon Brown and forward Earl Clark each to second 10-day contracts.

Brown, 6-4, 210-pounds, is averaging 1.4 points and 1.0 rebounds over 8.3 minutes in seven games with New York.

Clark, 6-10, 234-pounds, is averaging 2.2 points and 1.5 rebounds over 6.6 minutes in six games with New York.

Andrew Bynum may make Pacers debut soon

Here’s the Indianapolis Star reporting on center Andrew Bynum, who for now as a member of the Pacers has merely been an observer. But that could soon change:

Andrew Bynum may make Pacers debut soon

Andrew Bynum could make his debut with the Indiana Pacers soon.

On Sunday, Bynum said that he hopes to be “cleared to play next week,” believing that he could be on the floor by Friday, March 14 when the Pacers play in Philadelphia. Pacers coach Frank Vogel said the team planned to re-evaluate Bynum after the road trip.

“We’ll see after (Sunday’s) game goes and then we’ll probably meet about it (Monday),” Vogel said, “and try to come up with a firmer plan.”

Through his career, Bynum, a 7-0 center, has shown flashes of dominance but has also been limited with knee problems.

Video: Top 10 NBA dunks of week

Here’s a video of the top 10 NBA dunks of the week, through March 8, 2014:

Anthony Davis on Sunday had 32 points, 17 rebounds and six blocks in the New Orleans Pelicans overtime win vs the Denver Nuggets. Here are some Davis video highlights:

Here’s the Minneapolis Star Tribune reporting on the Timberwolves, who are a good team but due to the toughness of this season’s Westerrn conference face an uphill battle to qualify for the playoffs:

The way things are going, Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman and his players won’t have to wait 20 games until the season’s conclusion to know whether they are anything more than a team that loses one for every game that it wins.

That answer it being determined nightly. The latest answer, Sunday night’s 111-104 loss to Toronto, silenced the team’s dressing room afterward.

The Wolves have lost two of their past three games at home to Eastern Conference opponents, after returning to Target Center from the season’s longest road trip having won six of seven games.

On Sunday, the Wolves fell back to .500, at 31-31. They remain five games out of the Western Conference’s eighth and final playoff spot with 20 games to play.

“There’s 20 games left, anything can happen,” Wolves star Kevin Love said. “We obviously have to go on some sort of run. If those other teams keep winning and keep pulling games out of their you-know-what, we’re in trouble. We need to have a little bit of luck, too.”

The Philadelphia 76ers haven’t had many bright spots this season. Beyond the excellent play of rookie guard Michael Carter-Williams, the season has been a bust. Sixer fans need something to cheer for. Such a thing may come in the form of rookie Nerlens Noel, who was expected to miss the entire season. And he still might. But it’s possible he’ll step onto the court in early April. Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer reporting:

Nerlens Noel might play for Sixers in April

Nerlens Noel would like to make his 76ers debut in his hometown of Boston on April 4, according to sources. They confirmed that’s why the rookie center tweeted “4-4-14” in reference to April 4, 2014 on Sunday afternoon.

The Sixers (15-47) play at TD Bank that evening against the Boston Celtics.

The sources said this is just a wish that he had not disclosed to the Sixers as of Sunday afternoon.

Here’s the AP on ESPN.com on Warriors guard Stephen Curry tending to a minor health issue:

Stephen Curry to play limited minutes, for now

Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry says he will play limited minutes for the foreseeable future because of a strained right quad.

Curry said before the Warriors hosted the Suns on Sunday night that an MRI on his quad revealed the strain. He said he injured his quad during Golden State’s win at Boston on Wednesday and began to feel pain again during Friday’s victory over Atlanta.

“It was getting kind of worse and worse, especially if I sat down for an extended period of time, it got a little stiff,” Curry said.

Basketball blog