Archive for December, 2015

Al Jefferson out six weeks after knee surgery

Charlotte Hornets center Al Jefferson underwent successful arthroscopic surgery today to address a tear in the lateral meniscus of his right knee. The procedure was completed by Hornets Team Physician Dr. Marcus Cook at Novant Orthopedic Hospital in Charlotte. Jefferson’s recovery and rehabilitation is expected to take approximately six weeks.

The 11th-year center from Prentiss, Miss. is averaging 12.5 points (.482), 6.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 25.2 minutes per game in 19 contests (17 starts). In three years with Charlotte, Jefferson has averaged 18.6 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 32.0 minutes per game. In his first season in Charlotte, he was named to the 2013-14 All-NBA Third Team.

Al Jefferson to undergo knee surgery

The Charlotte Hornets announced today that center Al Jefferson will undergo arthroscopic surgery tomorrow to address a tear in the lateral meniscus of his right knee. Earlier today, Jefferson underwent a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) which revealed the injury.

The procedure will be completed by Hornets Team Physician Dr. Marcus Cook at Novant Orthopedic Hospital in Charlotte. Jefferson’s recovery time is expected to be approximately six weeks.

The 11th-year center from Prentiss, Miss. is averaging 12.5 points (.482), 6.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 25.2 minutes per game in 19 contests (17 starts). In three years with Charlotte, Jefferson has averaged 18.6 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 32.0 minutes per game. In his first season in Charlotte, he was named to the 2013-14 All-NBA Third Team.

Here’s the Oklahoman reporting on a young bruising Thunder forward whose playing time is coming by way of the D-League:

Mitch McGary spending serious time in D-League

On Tuesday, the 6-foot-10, 260-pound McGary posted his second-consecutive double-double for the D-League Oklahoma City Blue with 14 points and 10 rebounds in 27 minutes in a win over the Idaho Stampede.

The 2014 Thunder first-rounder hasn’t appeared in a game for the Thunder since Nov. 23 and hasn’t been on the Thunder’s active roster for a game since Nov. 27. McGary, however, is getting consistent minutes for the Blue he wasn’t seeing behind the Thunder’s frontcourt logjam of Serge Ibaka, Enes Kanter, Steven Adams and Nick Collison.

In 11 games with the Blue, McGary is averaging 14.2 points, 8.9 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.0 assists in 26.1 minutes per game.

Stephen Curry gets MRI on lower leg

Here’s the San Francisco Chronicle reporting on Warriors superstar Stephen Curry, who is currently banged up and could use a break:

Stephen Curry gets MRI on lower leg

Stephen Curry skipped Wednesday morning’s shootaround to get an MRI on his injured left lower leg, and Warriors interim head coach Luke Walton said there’s a slim chance that the point guard will play Wednesday night against the Mavericks.

Already limping on a strained right calf, Curry injured his left lower leg in Monday’s victory over Sacramento. He could barely limp to his locker after the game, but he moved better from the bus to the team hotel in Dallas on Tuesday night.

NBA centers usually can’t hit three-pointers. In practice, maybe. When unguarded and unrushed. But usually not in games. But power forward-sized Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford started tossing around one three-point attempt every other game in the 2013-14 season, and currently in 2015-16 is attempting about three per game, hitting 33.7% Here’s the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporting:

Al Horford taking and making three-pointers this season

The center hit a career-high five 3-pointers in the Hawks’ dramatic come-from-behind win over the Rockets, 121-115, Tuesday night. The Hawks overcame deficits of 19 points in the first half and 11 points in the fourth quarter for a victory several players labeled the best of the season.

Horford finished with a season-high 30 points, four off his career-best. He also had a season-high 14 rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block…

Paul Millsap and Horford both said after the game that the Rockets were allowing the Hawks frontcourt players to shoot from long range – until it because apparent they could make them. The Hawks were 14 of 41 from 3-point range in the game as they set a franchise-high for attempts. The frontcourt players were a combined 12 of 23. The backcourt players were a combined 2 of 18.

Alec Burks has surgery on fractured left fibula

The following is a medical update on Utah Jazz guard Alec Burks:

Burks underwent successful surgery today on his fractured left fibula. The procedure was performed in Salt Lake City by ankle and foot specialist Dr. Charles L. Saltzman, the chair of the department of orthopaedics at University of Utah Health Care, and assisted by Jazz head orthopaedic team physician, Dr. Travis Maak. Jazz head athletic trainer Brian Zettler accompanied Burks.

Burks will remain in Salt Lake City to begin his rehabilitation, and will then accompany the team on road trips once he is cleared to travel. He will be out indefinitely, and further updates will be provided when appropriate.

He suffered the injury in a fall after being fouled during a shot attempt against the Los Angeles Clippers on Dec. 26.

At the time of his injury, Burks was one of three players to have appeared in every game this season for the Jazz. The fifth-year guard is averaging a career-high 14.3 points (third on the team) on a career-best 38.7 percent three-point shooting, with 3.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 27.1 minutes in 28 games (three starts). His 14.4 points per game as a reserve rank third in the NBA.

The Memphis Grizzlies announced today that the team has signed center Ryan Hollins and waived guard Russ Smith.

Hollins (7-0, 240) is a 10-year NBA veteran who has averaged 3.7 points on 58.1 percent shooting and 2.2 rebounds in 486 career games (67 starts) with the Charlotte Bobcats, Dallas Mavericks, Minnesota Timberwolves, Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Clippers, Sacramento Kings and Washington Wizards. The Pasadena, Calif. native was selected by Charlotte in the second round (50th overall) of the 2006 NBA Draft following his senior season at the University of California, Los Angeles.

The 31-year-old joined the Grizzlies during their 2015-16 training camp and averaged 5.4 points on 83.3 percent shooting and 3.0 rebounds in 11.5 minutes in seven preseason games. Most recently, he made five appearances (three starts) for Washington before he was waived on Dec. 23.

Smith (6-0, 165) holds NBA career averages of 2.0 points and 0.7 assists in 4.9 minutes in 27 games (zero starts) with the Grizzlies and New Orleans Pelicans. The 24-year-old recorded 2.3 points in 4.9 minutes in 21 games for Memphis after he was acquired from New Orleans in a trade on Jan. 12. He was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers in the second round (47th overall) of the 2014 NBA Draft following his senior season at the University of Louisville.

The following is a medical update on Utah Jazz guard Alec Burks, who suffered a fractured left fibula in a fall after being fouled during a shot attempt on Dec. 26 vs. the Los Angeles Clippers:

After further evaluation, Burks (6-6, 211, Colorado) has elected to undergo surgery on his fractured left fibula. Burks opted for the procedure in an effort to expedite and assure the healing process. The surgery will be performed Tuesday in Salt Lake City by ankle and foot specialist Dr. Charles L. Saltzman, the chair of the department of orthopaedics at University of Utah Health Care.

Burks will remain in Salt Lake City to begin his rehabilitation, and will then accompany the team on road trips once he is cleared to travel. Further updates will be provided when appropriate.

At the time of his injury, Burks was one of three players to have appeared in every game this season for the Jazz. The fifth-year guard is averaging a career-high 14.3 points (third on the team) on a career-best 38.7 percent three-point shooting, with 3.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 27.1 minutes in 28 games (three starts). His 14.4 points per game as a reserve rank third in the NBA.

The Phoenix Suns today announced changes to their coaching staff, promoting assistant coaches Nate Bjorkgren and Earl Watson to the front of the bench on Head Coach Jeff Hornacek’s staff. The Suns also announced Jerry Sichting and Mike Longabardi have been relieved of their duties as assistant coaches.

“It is never easy to make changes to a coaching staff in the middle of a season but we feel Earl and Nate are ready to take the next steps in their careers and provide some creative ideas to our group,” said General Manager Ryan McDonough. “We thank Mike and Jerry for their contributions. They are both good coaches who made significant contributions to our team winning 87 games over the previous two seasons.”

Bjorkgren (pronounced BEE-ork-Gren) is in his first season as an assistant coach with the Suns and second season overall with the organization as in 2014-15 he served as head coach of the Bakersfield Jam, the team’s NBA D-League affiliate. An experienced head coach in the D-League, Bjorkgren amassed a 126-74 (.630) record in four seasons, going 34-16 in his one season with the Jam, leading the Iowa Energy to the Central Division title in 2013-14 and the Santa Cruz Warriors to the 2012-13 D-League Finals. Before becoming the head coach of the Dakota Wizards in 2011-12, Bjorkgren spent four seasons as an assistant coach with the Energy from 2007-11.

Watson is in his first season with the Suns after working last season as an assistant coach for the Austin Spurs of the D-League. Watson became a coach following a 13-year NBA career as a player in which he appeared in 878 career games from 2001-2014. Watson averaged 6.4 points, 4.4 assists and 1.0 steals for his career, posting highs of 10.7 points and 6.8 assists in 78 games (73 starts) with Seattle in 2007-08. Watson played for three NBA Coach of the Year Award winners throughout his 13-year career (Hubie Brown, George Karl, Scott Brooks), as well as Hall of Famer Jerry Sloan. During Watson’s three seasons with the Jazz from 2010-13, Hornacek served first as shooting coach then as an assistant coach for the team.

Sichting and Longabardi both joined the Suns as assistant coaches prior to the 2013-14 season.

Matt Barnes suspended over incident with Derek Fisher

Memphis Grizzlies forward Matt Barnes has been suspended for two games without pay for engaging in a physical altercation with and threatening New York Knicks’ Head Coach Derek Fisher, the NBA announced today. The altercation occurred on October 3, 2015 in Redondo Beach, CA. The NBA conducted its own investigation into the matter.

Barnes’ suspension will begin when the Grizzlies face the Miami Heat on Tuesday, Dec. 29 at FedExForum.

On October 7, 2015 the New York Post reported: “Knicks coach Derek Fisher was attacked in Los Angeles by NBA bad boy Matt Barnes, who drove 95 miles to “beat the s—t out of him” when he found out Fisher was romancing his estranged wife, sources told The Post on Wednesday. The 6-foot-7 Barnes, who now plays for the Memphis Grizzlies, made a fast break from his team’s California training camp Saturday when he was tipped off that Fisher was making time with sultry “Basketball Wives LA” star Gloria Govan in the home Barnes once shared with her.”

Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe has sustained a torn meniscus in his left knee. The injury occurred during last night’s game against Philadelphia and a subsequent MRI revealed the tear.

Bledsoe will undergo surgery Tuesday, December 29. The surgery will be performed by team orthopedic surgeon Dr. Tom Carter.

The sixth-year guard is averaging career-highs of 20.4 points, 6.1 assists and 2.0 steals, in addition to 4.0 rebounds and 34.2 minutes in 31 games this season, his third with the Suns.

Tiago Splitter sustains calf strain

Tiago Splitter sustains calf strain

Atlanta Hawks center Tiago Splitter left last night’s game versus New York due to right lower leg muscle soreness and did not return. Further examination revealed a mild right calf strain. Splitter did not travel with the team to Indiana and is out for the next two games. His status will be updated as appropriate.

Alec Burks suffers fractured left fibula

The following is a medical update on Utah Jazz guard Alec Burks:

Alec Burks suffers fractured left fibula

Burks (6-6, 211, Colorado) underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) on his left leg this morning at University of Utah Health Care’s Orthopaedic Center. Following today’s examination, Jazz physicians Dr. Travis Maak and Dr. David Petron confirmed that Burks suffered a fractured left fibula. Burks was also previously diagnosed with concussion-like symptoms by the Jazz medical staff.

Both injuries resulted from a fall suffered after being fouled during a shot attempt with 34.6 seconds remaining in the second quarter of Saturday night’s game vs. the Los Angeles Clippers.

No surgery is required and Burks will remain out indefinitely. Further updates will be provided when appropriate.

One of three players to have appeared in every game this season for the Jazz, the fifth-year guard is averaging a career-high 14.3 points (third on the team) on a career-best 38.7 percent three-point shooting, with 3.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 27.1 minutes in 28 games (three starts). His 14.4 points per game as a reserve rank third in the NBA.

Here’s the Atlanta Journal Constitution reporting on the Hawks, who are 20-12, which is the second best record in the Eastern conference:

Hawks doing well with Kent Bazemore as starter

Kent Bazemore downplays his move back into the Hawks starting lineup.

However, the team’s record is hard to ignore.

The Hawks are 15-5 with Bazemore in the starting lineup, including their current six-game win streak. The run began one game after he was re-inserted on Dec. 14 in a home loss to the Heat even as Bazemore scored a season-high 28 points. The Hawks are 13-4 when Bazemore starts at small forward with the regular unit.

“Everything is starting to come together,” Bazemore said Saturday before the Hawks’ 117-98 win over the Knicks.

Wizards eye return of Bradley Beal

The Wizards (14-14) have gotten a team-high 19.8 ppg from shooting guard Bradley Beal this season. But Beal has played in just half of the team’s 28 games so far this season. Here’s CSN MidAtlantic reporting the latest:

Wizards eye return of Bradley Beal

If all goes according to plan with Bradley Beal, the Wizards are “hopeful” that the shooting guard will begin non-basketball activities this week.

Beal was diagnosed Dec. 11 with what the Wizards called “the beginnings of a stress reaction” in his lower right leg for the fourth time in his fourth NBA season.

“Everything looks good,” coach Randy Wittman said Sunday. “He feels good. … Maybe he’ll start doing something. Obviously, nothing on the court.”

Blake Griffin injured, will be re-evaluated in two weeks

The L.A. Clippers announced today that forward Blake Griffin suffered a partially torn left quad tendon during last night’s win over the Lakers. Griffin underwent an MRI this morning that revealed the injury.

The Clippers leading scorer did not accompany the team to Utah and will be re-evaluated in two weeks.

Griffin is averaging 23.2 points, 8.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists in 30 games (all starts) this season for the Clippers.

The Lakers are having a tough season. Here’s Larry Nance Jr generously helping the wrong team:

And, here’s Larry Nance Jr on Twitter having fun with it:

Here’s the Sacramento Bee reporting an old story about two key Kings:

Rajon Rondo and DeMarcus Cousins laugh about it now.

Cousins was a rookie known more for being a hothead than a hot talent. Rondo was an All-Star but also known for being a hothead.

So when Rondo’s Boston teammate Kevin Garnett tumbled and landed next to the Kings’ bench and Cousins stood over him, Rondo did what came naturally.

He shoved Cousins.

“That just was just him taking up for K.G.,” Cousins recalled recently. “I respect him for that.”

That respect has grown as the two became teammates this season.

Sixers trade for Ish Smith, and waive Tony Wroten

The Philadelphia 76ers announced today the team has acquired point guard Ish Smith from the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for two second-round picks.

In a related move, the Sixers waived guard Tony Wroten.

We at InsideHoops.com think this move is good for Smith. After a very good November, he’s been benched in December. In Philly, he has a clear shot at a bigger role.

Smith, a five-year veteran, has appeared in 27 games this season and is averaging nine points, six assists and under two turnovers in 23 minutes per game. He is fifth in the NBA in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.42-to-1), sixth in assists per 48 minutes (12.0) and ranks among the top 20 in assists per game. He is currently the only player in the NBA this season who has at least 150 assists while committing 45 or fewer turnovers.

Smith appeared in 25 games (starting 14) for the Sixers during the 2014-15 season, where he averaged 12 points, six assists, three rebounds and one steal in 27 minutes per game.

markieff morris suspension

The Phoenix Suns have suspended forward Markieff Morris for two games for conduct detrimental to the team. Morris will serve the suspension in the Suns’ next two games, Dec. 26 vs. Philadelphia and Dec. 28 vs. Cleveland.

According to the Arizona Republic, here’s what happened:

“In one of their more advantageous scenarios of the season, the Suns posted another dreadful loss with play so frightful and no signs of stopping. The bow on Wednesday night’s stocking of coal came when Markieff Morris added to a season of distraction by harkening back memories of Robert Horry’s towel toss at Danny Ainge by tossing a towel toward coach Jeff Hornacek in Wednesday’s fourth quarter.

The Suns lost 104-96 at Talking Stick Resort Arena to a Denver team playing a night after losing at home to the last-place Los Angeles Lakers and was missing five players (two starters) with no backup point guard available.”

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