Archive for March 14th, 2014

Nuggets beat Heat 111-107

Kenneth Faried scored 24 points, Darrell Arthur led a big effort from Denver’s bench with 18, and the Nuggets beat the suddenly reeling Miami Heat 111-107 on Friday night, handing the NBA champions their fifth loss in six games.

Evan Fournier scored 14, Ty Lawson had 13 and JJ Hickson added 11 for the Nuggets. Denver’s reserves scored 57 points.

Ray Allen scored 22 points for Miami, which fell three games behind Indiana in the race for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. LeBron James scored 21 points, Dwyane Wade added 19, Mario Chalmers had 16 and Chris Andersen scored 14 for the Heat, who turned the ball over 20 times and shot 7 for 24 from 3-point range.

It was only the fifth win for Denver in its last 18 games.

And for the Heat, it was the first time they’ve lost back-to-back home games since March 2011.

– Associated Press

The Miami Heat announced today that they have signed center Justin Hamilton and released guard DeAndre Liggins from his 10-day contract

Hamilton appeared in 37 games (all starts) with the HEAT’s NBA Development League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, earlier this season and averaged 19.3 points, 9.2 rebounds, 2.03 blocks, 1.5 assists and 35.8 minutes while shooting 49.1 percent from the field, 38.5 percent from three-point range and 81.2 percent from the foul line. He recently appeared in one game with Charlotte, recording one steal in 3:44 minutes of action, after signing a 10-day contract with the Bobcats on March 4.

Hamilton, a 2014 NBA D-League All-Star, was originally drafted in the second round (45th overall) by Philadelphia in the 2012 NBA Draft and was acquired by the HEAT in a draft night trade. He appeared in five preseason games with Miami and averaged 2.6 points and 1.0 rebounds in 5.6 minutes. Additionally, Hamilton appeared in three 2012 Summer League games with the HEAT totaling 27 points and 12 rebounds in 56:43 minutes of action while shooting 8-of-17 from the field and a perfect 11-of-11 from the foul line. He then split the 2012-13 season with both VEF Riga (Latvia) of the VTB United League and Cibona (Croatia) of the Adriatic League before joining the Skyforce.

Hamilton will wear number 7.

Liggins, who was signed to two 10-day contracts by the HEAT, appeared in one game with Miami totaling two points and one rebound in 1:24 minutes.

The Philadelphia 76ers, who pretty much need help in every way imaginable these days, announced today that they have signed guard Darius Johnson-Odom to a 10-day contract. He is the 34th “Call-Up” of the 2013-14 NBA Development League season.

In 27 games for the Springfield Armor of the D-League this season, Johnson-Odom averaged 22.0 points, 6.1 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 1.4 steals. He is one of only two players to rank top-eight in both scoring and assists.

A three-year player at Marquette, Johnson-Odom was named First-Team All-BIG East and honorable mention All-America by the Associated Press in his final season with the Golden Eagles and helped the team reach the Sweet 16.

In a related move, the Sixers have waived guard Lorenzo Brown.

The team has a 15-49 record and is on an 18-game losing streak.

Bucks sign forward Chris Wright to 10-day contract

The Milwaukee Bucks have signed free-agent forward Chris Wright (6-8, 225) to a 10-day contract, General Manager John Hammond announced today. Wright is the 33rd “Call-Up” of the 2013-14 season from the NBA D-League.

Wright joins the Bucks from the D-League’s Maine Red Claws, where he’s appeared in 38 games this season and posted averages of 19.5 points (ranks 13th in D-League) and 8.1 rebounds per contest. He’s notched 13 double-doubles on the year, including six in his last eight appearances. Wright also played for the Red Claws during the 2012-13 season, when he average 18.1 points and 8.9 rebounds per game, and has been named to the D-League All-Star Game in both of his seasons in Maine.

After going undrafted out of Dayton in 2011, Wright was selected by the Red Claws with the third overall pick in the 2011 D-League Draft. He appeared in four games for the Red Claws, averaging 17.0 points and 10.8 rebounds, before signing with the Golden State Warriors on Dec. 24, 2011. Wright appeared in 24 games during his lone NBA season and posted 2.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per contest. Earning the start in Golden State’s season finale, Wright tallied a career-best 25 points and eight rebounds while shooting 11-of-14 from the field on April 26, 2012, at San Antonio.

Wright will wear #15 for the Bucks.

Here’s the New York Daily News reporting on the Knicks and Phil Jackson, who should be joining forces soon:

Knicks, Phil Jackson deal should come soon

Barring a last-minute change of heart, or short of Kobe Bryant holding Phil Jackson hostage in Los Angeles, the Knicks will officially have a new basketball savior next week.

Jackson’s deal with the Knicks is expected to be finalized within days and a press conference could be held at some point next week, just in time for James Dolan to upstage a fan protest that is scheduled to take place in front of Madison Square Garden on March 19. On Wednesday, both Kobe and Magic Johnson made public pleas to Lakers management to hire Jackson, but a Lakers source said that team VP, Jim Buss, has little interest in bringing back the Hall of Fame coach.

There was a report on Wednesday quoting unnamed sources that Bryant, who has been sidelined since mid-December, does not want to play for Mike D’Antoni anymore. The Lakers may placate Bryant by making a coaching change but are less inclined to even consider Jackson as a replacement.

A last-minute change of heart seems remote at this point — even though Jackson’s girlfriend, Jeanie Buss, is the Lakers president — and so it would appear that Jackson will be next in line to try to end the Knicks’ 41-year-old championship drought. Dolan, the Garden chairman, is offering Jackson a contract worth approximately $15 million annually, and it is still unclear whether Jackson will move to New York permanently or split his time between Manhattan and his beach house in Playa Del Rey.

Here’s the New York Post with an early report on some possible free agency fun coming this summer:

According to a league source, the Rockets will make a bid for Carmelo Anthony this summer, even though they probably won’t have cap space and would have to orchestrate a creative sign-and-trade. The source said Houston asked the Knicks about Anthony before February’s trade deadline.

The Knicks have held discussions with the Rockets about power forward Omer Asik. Even though Rockets president Daryl Morey is the pioneer of advanced statistics and Anthony has never fared well in some efficiency categories, Morey’s old-school instincts believe he could form a terrific Big 3 with Dwight Howard and James Harden. Rockets management also believes Anthony has made advancements in the grit department the past two seasons.

The only way the Rockets can get under the cap is by dealing the expiring contracts of Jeremy Lin, who is entering the poison pill year of $15 million, and Asik, also scheduled to make $15 million.

Here’s Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley talking with the TV show Inside Stuff:

On Thursday, the Chicago Bulls beat the Houston Rockets 111-87. Bulls starting small forward Mike Dunleavy shot 8-of-15, with 4-of-6 three-pointers, for 21 points and seven rebounds in the win. Here are some Dunleavy video highlights:

On Thursday, the usual suspects on the Oklahoma City Thunder did their thing in a win against the Los Angeles Lakers. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook each scored 29 points in OKC’s 131-102 win. Here are some video highlights:

Kings recall Royce White from D-League

The Sacramento Kings on Thursday night recalled forward Royce White from the Kings D-League affiliate Reno Bighorns, according to Kings General Manager Pete D’Alessandro.

White, signed by the Kings to a 10-day contract on March 6, immediately reported to the Bighorns and averaged 8.8 points (.367 FG%, .333 3pt%, .625 FT%), 4.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.50 steals and 24.8 minutes per game in starting four games. Twice White scored in double-figures.

It remains to be seen if White, who suffers from an anxiety disorder, can be a meaningful NBA player.

Per ESPN.com, “White was drafted 16th overall by Houston in 2012 but never played for the Rockets after the sides couldn’t find common ground on how to treat his anxiety disorder, which includes a fear of flying. He missed training camp and was suspended by the Rockets in January 2013 after he refused to accept another assignment to Rio Grande Valley of the D-League. The Rockets traded White to Philadelphia in July. He played for the 76ers in the preseason before being waived.”

And according to the Sacramento Bee: “This is a test, this is only a test. How is his conditioning? How rusty are his skills? Most importantly, how is White coping with an anxiety disorder that leads to panic attacks and a fear of flying that contributed to his nasty breakup with the Houston Rockets, the team that drafted him 16th in 2012 and traded him a year later to Philadelphia. His time with the 76ers ended similarly: He was waived in October 2013 after declining to accompany the team on a preseason trip to Spain. In the ensuing months, White, whose contract guaranteed him $1.8 million and $1.6 million for his first two years, has been looking for another job, looking toward the Las Vegas summer league and beyond. Reluctant to offer much detail after the Bighorns lost 95-86 to the Austin Toros on Tuesday night, the Minnesota native said he hopes to join a team that needs his unusual combination of skills and is willing to accommodate his mental health concerns.”

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