The Indiana Pacers’ Paul George and the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant were today named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, Nov. 23 through Sunday, Nov. 29.
George led the Pacers to a 3-0 week behind an Eastern Conference-leading 37.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.3 steals. He shot 54.7 percent from the field, 57.1 percent from three-point range and 86.7 percent from the foul line. On Nov. 24, George tallied 40 points on 14-of-19 shooting, including 7-of-8 from beyond the arc, during a 123-106 win over the Washington Wizards.
Durant led the Thunder to a 3-0 week behind averages of 30.3 points (second in the Western Conference), 8.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.3 blocks (fourth in the Western Conference). He shot 58.5 percent from the field, 52.2 percent from three-point range and 94.4 percent from the foul line. On Nov. 27, Durant recorded 34 points, 13 rebounds, five assists and three blocks during a 103-87 win over the Detroit Pistons.
Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Charlotte’s Kemba Walker, Cleveland’s Kevin Love, Golden State’s Draymond Green, Houston’s James Harden, the Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin, Orlando’s Victor Oladipo, Philadelphia’s Robert Covington, Portland’s Damian Lillard, and Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry.
The Utah Jazz announced today that the team has assigned center Tibor Pleiss to the Idaho Stampede, the Jazz’s exclusively owned and operated NBA D-League team. Pleiss is expected to be in uniform for the Stampede’s game on Tuesday, Dec. 1 at Oklahoma City.
Pleiss (7-3, 262, Germany) has seen action in four games for the Jazz this season, averaging 1.0 points in 3.3 minutes per game. He spent the 2014-15 season with FC Barcelona of the Liga ACB in Spain, averaging 5.7 points and 3.8 rebounds in 13.3 minutes per game.
Pleiss is the fourth player to be assigned to the D-League under the new Jazz-Stampede single affiliation. Other players on the current Jazz roster with D-League experience include Rudy Gobert, Chris Johnson and Elijah Millsap.
The Washington Wizards announced today that the team has waived forward Martell Webster and signed center Ryan Hollins.
“Martell, with his contributions on the court and ability to connect with the fans and the community off the court, has been a great example of the type of player we want to represent our organization,” said Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld. “He worked extremely hard to fight through his injuries but unfortunately was not able to make a healthy return. We appreciate everything he contributed to the team and wish him and his family nothing but the best.”
Webster appeared in 186 games (75 starts) with Washington and averaged 9.3 points and 3.0 rebounds while shooting .397 from behind the arc. His best season in a Wizards uniform came during the 2012-13 campaign, when he averaged a career-best 11.4 points and 3.9 rebounds in 76 games while shooting .442 from the field and a career-best .422 from deep. The 10-year veteran was originally signed by the Wizards as a free agent on August 29, 2012.
Hollins is a nine-year NBA veteran who has averaged 3.7 points and 2.2 rebounds in 481 career games (64 starts), with Charlotte, Dallas, Minnesota, Cleveland, Boston, the Los Angeles Clippers and Sacramento. Last season with the Kings, he appeared in 46 games (nine starts) and averaged 3.0 points and 2.2 rebounds in 9.6 minutes per contest. He was originally selected with the 50th pick in the 2006 NBA Draft by Charlotte out of the University of California.
Here’s CSN Philly reporting on the 76ers, who are 0-18 this season and being outscored by an average of 12.1 ppg:
The Sixers again made some dubious history in Sunday night’s 92-84 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies at the FedEx Forum.
In addition to extending the longest losing streak in the history of major league North American sports to 28 games, the Sixers also tied the NBA record for longest losing streak to open a season, tying the 2009-10 New Jersey Nets’ mark of 18 in a row.
The Sixers also lost for the fifth straight game in which they led midway through the fourth quarter.
Here’s the Orange County Register reporting on the upcoming retirement of Kobe Bryant, which will occur at the end of this NBA season:
Kobe Bryant, maybe the greatest Laker in the organization’s history, announced his plans to retire following the 2015-16 season Sunday.
The announcement came in a letter written for The Players’ Tribune.
“This season is all I have left to give,” Bryant wrote. “My heart can take the pounding. My mind can handle the grind. But my body knows it’s time to say goodbye.”
Bryant is in the midst of his 20th season and struggingly like he’s never have before. Bryant is shooting a career-worst 31.5 percent from the field and 19.5 percent from 3-point range.
Here’s the Oklahoman reporting on the OKC Thunder schedule, which has kept things moving, to say the least:
Flight. Game. Flight back home.
Flight. Game. Flight back home.
Flight. Game. Flight back home.
That’s how it’s been so far for the Thunder this season — a strange scheduling quirk that hasn’t sent OKC on a multiple-game road trip through the first month.
This week, that finally changes, with the Thunder heading southeast for a Monday night game in Atlanta and a Thursday night game in Miami. OKC, surprisingly, doesn’t have a three-plus game road trip until early January.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued the following statement regarding Kobe Bryant’s announcement today that this will be his final season in the NBA:
“With 17 NBA All-Star selections, an NBA MVP, five NBA championships with the Lakers, two Olympic gold medals and a relentless work ethic, Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest players in the history of our game. Whether competing in the Finals or hoisting jump shots after midnight in an empty gym, Kobe has an unconditional love for the game.
“I join Kobe’s millions of fans around the world in congratulating him on an outstanding NBA career and thank him for so many thrilling memories.”
Here’s the Los Angeles Daily News reporting on the not-so-existent relationship between Lakers center Roy Hibbert and his former team, the Indiana Pacers:
Roy Hibbert’s past and present will collide on Sunday when the Lakers host the Pacers. He maintained he has “great memories” of his seven-year NBA career in Indiana. But his last season ended on a sour note amid a reduced role to accommodate a quicker and smaller lineup. The Pacers then traded Hibbert to the Lakers last summer for a second-round draft pick.
“I’m going to feel something,” said Hibbert, who will become a free agent next summer after making $15.5 million this season. “But I have to move on and try to get a win.”
Hibbert insisted he has no hard feelings, but admitted he has not kept in touch with anyone associated with the Pacers.
“I haven’t talked to them in a while,” Hibbert said. “I haven’t watched any of their games. No offense, but I don’t think many of them are on TV.”
Here’s the Detroit Free Press reporting on Pistons center Andre Drummond, who has quieted down a bit lately:
Whether it’s the aftereffects of a cold or the grind of ranking in the top 20 in minutes played, Andre Drummond isn’t showing the same energy from earlier this season.
Drummond, the NBA’s leading rebounder, only grabbed seven in the Detroit Pistons’ 103-87 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night.
He scored 15 points, but he was only 7-for-16 from the field.
The lackluster effort had Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy looking back to another mediocre effort from earlier in the week.
“I didn’t think he brought much energy to the Milwaukee game, and I didn’t think he brought much energy tonight,” Van Gundy said of the two beatings the Pistons received this week. “Why that is, I don’t know. But we need a lot more from him than we got tonight.”
Here’s the San Antonio Express-News blog reminding everyone that the Spurs’ defense is still a force to be reckoned with:
The Spurs’ 91-80 win over the Nuggets on Friday night was the club’s latest in a string of outstanding defensive efforts.
But this one was even more impressive than the others because it came while Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili were home in San Antonio resting.
It seems no matter who is or isn’t in the lineup, there is one constant with the Spurs: They play great defense.
“It’s what we rely on,” Boris Diaw said in the visitor’s locker room at the Pepsi Center after the Spurs limited the Nuggets to 40.3 percent shooting and forced 18 turnovers that led to 15 points.