Milwaukee Bucks Head Coach Jason Kidd underwent a successful right hip arthroplasty today. The procedure was performed by Dr. Edwin Su and Dr. Riley J. Williams at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. Kidd is expected to make a full recovery and will resume his coaching duties when physically able, though there is currently no timetable for his return to the bench. Bucks assistant coach Joe Prunty will assume the head coaching duties in Kidd’s absence.
Santa Cruz Warriors guard Elliot Williams was today named NBA Development League Performer of the Week for games played Monday, Dec. 14 through Sunday, Dec. 20. This is the first Performer of Week honor for Williams who was named Player of the Month for November.
Williams (6-5, 183, Memphis) led Santa Cruz to a 2-1 week, averaging 30.7 points on 83.0 percent shooting from the floor (44-for-53) to go with 5.7 rebounds and 5.7 assists. On Dec. 18, Williams recorded a double-double with 23 points and 11 rebounds in a 99-93 victory over the Bakersfield Jam. On the following night he recorded a season-high 40 points on 16-for-24 shooting in a 117-107 loss to the Idaho Stampede.
For the season, Williams is averaging a league-leading 29.6 points on 51.8 percent shooting to go along with 7.0 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 1.3 steals.
Williams earned two GATORADE call-ups last season with the Utah Jazz and the New Orleans Pelicans before returning to the Warriors, where he was named Finals MVP and helped Santa Cruz to their first NBA D-League Championship.
Other top performers considered include Austin’s Orlando Johnson, Bakersfield’s Xavier Munford, Idaho’s Tyus Jones, Iowa’s Andrew Harrison, Raptors’ Ronald Roberts Jr., Rio Grande Valley’s Jaron Johnson and Westchester’s Jordan Bachynski.
The Trail Blazers announced that Damian Lillard (foot) will not play tonight against the Hawks, snapping his string of 275 consecutive games. Since Portland joined the NBA in 1970-71, Lillard is the only NBA player to begin his career starting his team’s first 275 games, according to Elias.
Kings coach George Karl (1,153 wins) needs three victories to pass Phil Jackson for fifth place on the NBA’s career list.
Warriors guard Stephen Curry has made a three-pointer in 100 consecutive regular-season games, the second-longest streak in NBA history. The record is 127 games by Hawks swingman Kyle Korver, whose streak lasted from November 2012 to March 2014.
Rookies Karl-Anthony Towns of Minnesota, Jahlil Okafor of Philadelphia and Kristaps Porzingis of New York all averaged at least 13 points and eight rebounds in their first 25 games. According to Elias, the last time three rookies averaged those totals in their first 25 games was during the 1992-93 season, when five players accomplished the feat: LaPhonso Ellis, Tom Gugliotta, Christian Laettner, Alonzo Mourning and Shaquille O’Neal.
Bulls center Joakim Noah has passed Horace Grant to become the franchise leader in offensive rebounds (1,893). Noah is 491 total rebounds behind Michael Jordan (5,836) for the most in team history.
Lakers guard Kobe Bryant has scored 20 or more points in 926 regular-season games, tied with Michael Jordan for third most in NBA history, according to Elias. Karl Malone leads with 1,134 20-point games, followed by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with 1,122.
Clippers guard Chris Paul (7,156 assists) is five assists from supplanting Terry Porter for 13th place on the NBA’s all-time list. Paul is second among active players behind Timberwolves guard Andre Miller (8,477).
Guard Arron Afflalo is averaging 21.0 points on 59.6 percent shooting during the Knicks’ four-game winning streak.
Nuggets guard Will Barton had 32 points, 10 rebounds and six assists off the bench in Sunday’s loss to the Pelicans, the first 30/10/5 game for a reserve since the Pacers’ Detlef Schrempf in 1993, per Elias.
NBA TV will televise a record 12 live games from the NBA Development League Showcase 2016 presented by Samsung at Kaiser Permanente Arena in Santa Cruz, Calif. Each of the league’s 19 teams will play two regular-season games apiece during the Jan. 6-10 event.
— NBA News
The NBA will play five games on Christmas Day, all nationally televised, for the eighth consecutive year.
Friday’s schedule features Cavaliers-Warriors (5 p.m. ET, ABC) — the seventh time that the teams from the previous season’s Finals are meeting on Christmas Day the following season — as well as Pelicans-Heat (12 p.m., ESPN), Bulls-Thunder (2:30 p.m., ABC), Spurs-Rockets (8 p.m., ESPN) and Clippers-Lakers (10:30 p.m., ESPN).
Six NBA MVP winners are set to suit up on Christmas Day, including the holiday’s all-time scoring leader, the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, who is scheduled to make his record 16th and final appearance on Christmas.
Thirteen of the 15 players selected to the 2014-15 All-NBA Teams are also poised to compete.
As the Wizards deal with injuries to several players, guard John Wall has helped soften the blow by playing some of the best basketball of his six-year career. Wall is averaging 24.6 points (on 50.0 percent shooting), 10.8 assists, 4.9 rebounds and 2.2 steals in 11 games this month. That stretch has featured seven games with at least 26 points and 10 assists, the most such games in franchise history by any player in any month, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Wall has raised his overall scoring average to a career-high 19.9 points, and his shooting percentage of 44.5 percent equals a career high.
— NBA News
Detroit Pistons guard Reggie Jackson and San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard were today named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, Dec. 14 through Sunday, Dec. 20.
Jackson led the Pistons to a 2-1 week, averaging 29.3 points (first in the conference), 6.3 rebounds and 7.7 assists (second in the conference). He scored 30 or more points in two of the three games and had 23 points in the third. On Dec. 18, Jackson scored 13 of Detroit’s 20 points in the fourth and final overtime period to lead the Pistons to a 147-144 win over the Chicago Bulls.
Leonard led San Antonio to a 3-0 record behind averages of 22.7 points (eighth in the conference), 6.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.0 steals. He shot 56.4 percent from the field and scored 22 or more points in two games. On Dec. 16, Leonard made four three-pointers on his way to 27 points and added four assists, four steals and three rebounds in a 114-95 victory over the Washington Wizards.
Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Atlanta’s Paul Millsap, Cleveland’s LeBron James, Detroit’s Andre Drummond, Golden State’s Klay Thompson, Minnesota’s Andrew Wiggins, New York’s Carmelo Anthony, Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic and Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan.
Toronto Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas has been cleared to return to practice following an examination this morning by Dr. Brent Graham at Toronto Western Hospital.
Valanciunas has been sidelined the past 15 games after he sustained a fractured fourth metacarpal in his left hand during the second quarter November 20 at the Los Angeles Lakers.
In his 14 starts prior to the injury, Valanciunas averaged 12.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and 27.3 minutes. He posted season highs of 21 points and 15 rebounds in the season opener October 28 versus Indiana.
The Raptors return to action Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. versus Dallas at Air Canada Centre (TSN1/TSN 1050 Toronto).
Milwaukee Bucks Head Coach Jason Kidd will undergo hip surgery on Monday and be sidelined indefinitely, General Manager John Hammond announced today. Assistant coach Joe Prunty will assume head coaching responsibilities during Kidd’s absence.
“I have every confidence in Joe to lead our team during my absence,” said Kidd. “Joe has many years of coaching experience both in the NBA and in international competition. He’s well-respected in the league and I know our players and coaches will give their all during Joe’s time as head coach.
“I tried to put off surgery for as long as I could, but after consulting with my doctor, he advised that the best course of action was to have the procedure now,” Kidd added.
Kidd is currently in his second season as head coach of the Bucks and third season overall as an NBA head coach.
Prunty is in his second season as an assistant coach with the Bucks after serving as an assistant coach under Kidd in Brooklyn during the 2013-14 campaign. Currently in his 20th season in the NBA, Prunty has also coached with Cleveland (2010-13), Portland (2008-10), Dallas (2005-08) and San Antonio (1996-2005). He is also the head coach of Great Britain’s men’s national team.