Archive for January, 2016

Randy Wittman to miss two games

The Washington Wizards announced today that Head Coach Randy Wittman will miss the team’s next two games (Feb. 1 at Oklahoma City and Feb. 3 vs. Golden State) due to the passing of his brother.

Assistant Coach Don Newman will assume head coaching duties for the next two games. Wittman is expected to return to the sidelines for the team’s game on Feb. 5 vs. Philadelphia.

DeMarcus Cousins suffers sprained ankle

DeMarcus Cousins suffers sprained ankle

Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins suffered a sprained left ankle late in the fourth quarter of tonight’s game at Memphis.

X-rays taken after the contest were negative and Cousins will be listed as day to day moving forward.

The Kings are 20-27 this season. Cousins is averaging 27.0 points, 11.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.4 blocks per game and was recently selected as a reserve for the 2016 Western conference NBA All-Star team.

The second-leading scorer on the Portland Trail Blazers (22-26) this season is shooting guard C.J. McCollum, who is averaging 20.7 points, 3.6 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game. Here’s the Oregonian with more on his game:

CJ McCollum is great at mid-range jumpshots

As NBA teams across the league look to maximize shot attempts at the rim and beyond the three-point line, Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum is capitalizing on a market inefficiency. He’s become a master of the mid-range and developed into one of the league’s most lethal scorers in the often forgotten area between the lane and three-point line.

“It’s been a part of my game for life. It’s tougher to finish in the lane so you’ve got to find different areas to score efficiently and the mid-range contested shot is a shot a lot of teams will live with,” McCollum says. “And it’s a shot I’m willing to live with as well just because I’ve gotten so many shots at it and I’m comfortable with it.”

McCollum is shooting 46.6 percent on mid-range shots season, according to NBA.com. He’s attempted the 12th most mid-range shots in the league and has the highest field goal percentage of anyone in the NBA who has taken at least 250 such shots. He’s shooting better than noted mid-range gunners Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, Dirk Nowitzki and, yes, even LaMarcus Aldridge.

Paul Millsap has minor ankle sprain

Paul Millsap has minor ankle sprain

In Thursday’s game at Indiana, Paul Millsap suffered a left ankle sprain with 2:50 remaining in the second quarter. He left the contest and did not return. X-rays were negative. He is listed as probable for tomorrow’s game at Miami.

While on D-League assignment with the Austin Spurs, Walter “Edy” Tavares suffered a right hip bruise in the second quarter of last night’s game against Idaho. He didn’t return to the contest, and is listed as probable for Austin’s game tonight vs. Idaho.

The New York Knicks today signed forward Thanasis Antetokounmpo - from the Westchester Knicks - to a 10-day contract. His signing marks the 15th NBA D-League call-up of the season.

Antetokounmpo, 6-7, 205-pounds, is averaging 10.3 points, on 50.2-percent shooting, 4.4 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.26 blocks over 27.7 minutes in 27 games (25 starts) for the D-League’s Eastern Conference-leading Westchester Knicks (16-11) this season.

The Athens, Greece-native was originally selected by New York in the second round (51st overall) of the 2014 NBA Draft, attending training camp in 2015 before being waived on Oct. 23, 2015, returning to Westchester for the second straight season. He is the older brother of Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist set to return

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist set to return

The Charlotte Hornets announced today that forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has been cleared for game action and is expected to be in uniform for tonight’s contest against the Portland Trail Blazers at the Moda Center. Kidd-Gilchrist underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder on Oct. 6 after suffering the injury in the team’s first preseason game at Orlando on Oct. 3.

In 55 games last season, Kidd-Gilchrist averaged a career-high 10.9 points, a career-best 7.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 28.9 minutes per game. Kidd-Gilchrist was selected by Charlotte in the first round (second overall pick) of the 2012 NBA Draft and owns career averages of 9.0 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 26.2 minutes in three seasons with the team.

Suns sign Jordan McRae to 10-day contract

The Phoenix Suns today signed guard Jordan McRae to a 10-day contract. McRae ranks third in the NBA Development League with an average of 23.1 points in 28 games with the Delaware 87ers this season, including a D-League record 61 points in his most recent outing on Tuesday.

In addition to 23.1 points, McRae is averaging 5.2 assists, 4.5 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 35.5 minutes in his second D-League season, both with the 87ers. In a 130-123 overtime win over the Canton Charge on Tuesday, McRae shot 21-of-34 from the field and 16-of-18 from the free throw line to score an NBA D-League single-game record 61 points, the highest individual point total in any NBA or D-League game this season.

The 14th D-League-to-NBA Call-Up this season, this is McRae’s first career NBA regular season signing. Originally selected by San Antonio with the 58th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft then traded to Philadelphia on draft night, McRae played professionally in Australia in 2014-15 before joining Delaware for the season’s final 13 games and averaging 18.4 points. A 6-5, 179-pound guard, McRae played for Philadelphia at NBA Summer League in 2014 and 2015, also playing with the 76ers this past preseason before being waived on Oct. 26.

A native of Savannah, Ga., McRae played collegiately at the University of Tennessee where he averaged 13.3 points in 114 games over four seasons. McRae earned First Team All-SEC honors as a senior in 2013-14 when he ranked fourth in the conference with a scoring average of 18.7 points, helping the Volunteers to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament.

McRae will wear number 52.

The Suns’ roster now stands at 15.

Magic sign Keith Appling to second 10-day contract

The Orlando Magic have signed guard Keith Appling to a second 10-day contract, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today. His first 10-day contract was signed on January 18.

Appling (#15, 6’1”, 185, 2/13/92) has appeared in two games for the Magic averaging 3.0 ppg. in 7.5 minpg. Prior to joining the Magic with his first 10-day contract, he played in 17 games this season with the Erie BayHawks of the NBA Development League, averaging 16.8 ppg., 5.6 apg., 4.1 rpg. and 2.12 stlpg. in 31.3 minpg. He was leading the BayHawks in scoring, assists and steals at the time of his call-up. Appling appeared in five preseason games with Orlando, averaging 1.2 ppg. in 8.7 minpg., before being waived on October 19.

Orlando plays at Boston tonight (Friday, January 29). Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.

Here’s the Boston Herald on yesterday’s announcement that one of the 2016 All-Star game reserves for the East squad is Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas, who is averaging 21.6 points, 3.0 rebounds and 6.6 assists per game this season:

Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas makes All-Star team

Isaiah Thomas’ so-called chip — the one that has driven the Celtics guard ever since he lasted until the final pick of the 2011 NBA draft — has carried him to a new level.

The 5-foot-9 Celtics guard was named as a reserve to the Eastern Conference All-Star team last night after a vote by the coaches.

A jubilant Thomas sent out a chain of tweets, including, “I am honored to be selected as an all star & represent the @Celtics, Joining the greatest of @Celtics who have played in the all star game.”

He also paid tribute to his teammates and Celtics fans, tweeting, “I’m VERY GRATEFUL for ALL the SUPPORT I have been given by the greatest fans in the world & of course the @celtics organization,” and, “This is a TEAM award, none of us succeed without our TEAMMATES & their support ON and OFF the court. So thanks to my TEAM and coaching staff.”

Warriors assign Kevon Looney to D-League

The Golden State Warriors have assigned forward Kevon Looney to the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA Development League, the team announced today.

Looney made his NBA debut last night in Golden State’s 127-107 win over Dallas, tallying two points and two rebounds in six minutes. He has appeared in five games with Golden State’s D-League affiliate this season, averaging 8.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 18.2 minutes in Santa Cruz.

Carmelo Anthony knee issue seems minor

The Knicks are 22-25 this season and are getting 21.3 points, 7.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game in the 42 games star forward Carmelo Anthony has played this season. Here’s the New York Post reporting on Melo’s knee situation:

Carmelo Anthony knee issue seems minor

Carmelo Anthony won’t play Thursday night in Toronto, but said he’s happy to be out of the woods.

Call off the alarm bells. Most of Anthony’s left knee soreness has gone away and he believes he will play Friday against the Suns at the Garden. He said he has no worries about any structural issues related to his surgically repaired torn patellar tendon.

If the Knicks weren’t playing on consecutive nights, Anthony probably would have given it a whirl against the Eastern Conference-power Raptors, who are looking for the franchise-record 10th straight win. Instead, Anthony will miss his second straight game and sixth of the season. The Knicks are 0-5 in the games he’s missed.

For one night only, the Washington Wizards will be known as the Baltimore Bullets when they host the Denver Nuggets on Jan. 28 at 7:00 p.m. for Throwback Night presented by CSN.

The team will wear their Baltimore Pride uniforms for Throwback Night, which pay homage to the uniform worn by the Baltimore Bullets from 1969-73 while updating the color scheme to the Wizards’ current red, white and blue. They will also be referred to as the Baltimore Bullets for all in-game entertainment, television graphics and the team’s social media platforms throughout the night.

The following alumni are scheduled to be recognized during the game: Terry Dischinger, Earl Monroe, Bernard King, and Bob Dandridge.

A special throwback performance will take place at halftime featuring DJ Kool of “Let Me Clear My Throat” fame and recording artist Sugar Bear, who will perform his chart-topping hit “Da Butt.” In addition, game entertainment elements for that night will feature graphics reminiscent to the eras when many of the alumni in attendance played.

The concourse will feature various activities such as face painting, poster making, throwback music and a photo booth station.

Fans can also view the organization’s proud past with the team’s franchise history display, which is located on the concourse outside of section 112. The display, which was added earlier this season, features examples of all of the uniforms in franchise history as well as a narrative highlighting historical facts and photos.

The Wizards franchise called Charm City home beginning in 1963, playing as the Bullets at the Baltimore Civic Center and featuring future Hall of Famers Walt Bellamy and Gus Johnson. Fellow Hall of Famers Earl Monroe (1967-71), Wes Unseld (1968-73) and Elvin Hayes (1972-73) also were part of the Baltimore franchise before the team relocated to Landover, Md., prior to the 1973-74 season.

Tyronn Lue will coach East All Star team

Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue and his staff will coach the Eastern Conference All-Stars in the 2016 NBA All-Star Game, to be televised by TNT at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday, Feb. 14 from Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

The Cavaliers (32-12, .727) clinched the best record in the conference through games played on Sunday, Jan. 31, by virtue of their 115-93 win over the Phoenix Suns on Jan. 27.

Mike Longabardi has joined Cavaliers Head Coach Tyronn Lue’s staff as an assistant coach, General Manager David Griffin and Head Coach Tyronn Lue announced tonight.

Longabardi spent the last two-plus seasons as an assistant coach with the Phoenix Suns. Prior to that, he spent six seasons as an assistant coach with the Boston Celtics under Doc Rivers, four of which with Coach Lue. While with the Celtics, he helped them reach three Eastern Conference Finals and two NBA Finals, including winning the 2008 NBA title. Before joining the Celtics, he was an assistant coach for the Houston Rockets under Jeff Van Gundy.

A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Longabardi played at Newberry College (S.C.) then transferred and graduated from Frostburg State University (Md.).

Bulls forward Nikola Mirotić was diagnosed with an acute appendicitis. An appendectomy was performed earlier today at Rush University Medical Center and went as expected. As a result, Mirotić did not accompany the team on its trip to Los Angeles this afternoon.

He is expected to return after the All Star Break.

Rudy Gay remains out with eye injury

Rudy Gay remains out with eye injury

Sacramento Kings forward Rudy Gay was reexamined today at Kaiser Permanente and it was determined that he will miss tomorrow’s game at New Orleans as he continues to recover from a left eye corneal abrasion suffered in the waning stages of the second overtime against Charlotte on Monday.

Gay’s condition is improving daily and he will be listed as day to day going forward.

Fun video session for Warriors

Here’s the San Francisco Chronicle reporting on the Warriors, who just finished smacking around the Spurs and are feeling pretty good these days:

The Warriors had a unique video session before Tuesday’s practice.

There were neither highlights of Monday’s drubbing of the Spurs nor reminders about their next opponent, the Mavericks, who pulled off a 23-point upset of the Warriors on Dec. 30.

Instead, head coach Steve Kerr had a video spliced together that offered an ode to Australia Day and included a comedy bit from Conan O’Brien.

“I was pretty disappointed, because I thought we were going to watch film on Dallas,” power forward Draymond Green joked a day ahead of the Warriors’ rematch with the Mavericks. “Terrible coach. … No, this environment is always loose and fun.”

The following is a joint statement from L.A. Clippers owner Steve Ballmer and President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Doc Rivers:

Clippers issue statement on Blake Griffin

L.A. Clippers forward Blake Griffin suffered a spiral fracture of the fourth metacarpal in his right hand throwing a punch on Jan. 23 in Toronto.

This conduct has no place in our organization and this incident does not represent who we are as a team. We are conducting a full investigation with assistance from the NBA. At the conclusion of the investigation, appropriate action will be taken.

Griffin received X-rays on Jan. 25th in Los Angeles that revealed the injury and he underwent a procedure on his hand Tuesday morning. The procedure was performed by Dr. Steve Shin. Recovery time from the injury is approximately four to six weeks.

Bradley Beal suffers broken nose, concussion

Wizards guard Bradley Beal has been diagnosed with a broken nose and concussion by the Wizards medical staff after being hit in the face at the 8:22 mark of the second quarter during Monday night’s game vs. Boston. He is out for tonight’s game at Toronto and his status moving forward will be listed as day-to-day.

Per the NBA’s Concussion Policy, Beal will now begin the NBA-mandated “Return-to-Participation Exertion Protocol” and will be cleared to play once he has remained symptom-free during each step of the process.

Jazz sign Erick Green to 10-day contract

Jazz sign Erick Green to 10-day contract

The Utah Jazz today signed guard Erick Green from the Reno Bighorns to a 10-day contract. Green becomes the NBA’s 13th overall NBA D-League Call-Up of the 2015-16 season.

Following the move, Utah’s roster now stands at 15 players.

Green (6-3, 178, Virginia Tech) has appeared in 23 games (22 starts) for the Bighorns this season, averaging 26.7 points on 53.3 percent shooting, 4.4 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 1.4 steals in 39.0 minutes of action. He has scored in double figures in 22 games, including 20-plus points on 19 occasions. He scored 30-or-more points in nine contests and a career-high 40 points in two games.

The 24-year-old appeared in 46 games (one start) over two seasons for Denver (2014-2015) and averaged 3.2 points in 9.1 minutes. He was waived by the Nuggets on Nov. 5 after appearing briefly in three games this season. Green also spent one season (2013-14) with Sana 1871 Siena.

The Inglewood, Calif. native played four years at Virginia Tech (2009-13), averaging 25.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.3 steals during his senior season. He was named the 2013 ACC Co-Player of the Year and earned 2013 All-ACC First Team honors.

Green will wear No. 18 for the Jazz.

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