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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.”
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.