Archive for November, 2016

Kings at Sixers game postponed

The Sixers’ game against the Kings at the Wells Fargo Center has been postponed because of moisture on the court. There was no immediate word on a rescheduled date for the game.

Arena staff members tried using wet mops to fix the issue to no avail.

“The Philadelphia 76ers announced that tonight’s game against the Sacramento Kings has been postponed due to an issue with the surface of the court and with player safety in mind,” the team said in a statement. “Arena officials worked diligently to address the issue, but NBA officials determined that the court was not suitable for play.”

– CSN Philly

Quick Take: The InsideHoops Twitter account decided to get silly as the game started to be in doubt and tweeted “Trust the mopcess.” Unfortunately, the mops were unable to do the job. The best reaction after the non-game was from Sixers center Joel Embiid, who tweeted the following: Well The court was tanking tonight…. #TrustTheProcess

Dion Waiters injured, will be re-evaluated in two weeks

An MRI has revealed that Miami Heat guard Dion Waiters has suffered a Pectineus (upper thigh) tear and will be re-evaluated in two weeks. Waiters sat out his first game of the season on Nov. 28 vs. Boston due to the right groin strain.

Waiters has started all 16 games this season in which he has appeared for the HEAT and has averaged 14.2 points, 4.0 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 31.8 minutes while shooting 38.4 percent from the floor, 34.4 percent from three-point range and 65.2 percent from the foul line. The fifth-year guard from Syracuse University currently leads the HEAT in field goals attempted and ranks second in points scored, field goals made, three-point field goals made and attempted, assists, minutes played and starts.

For his career, Waiters has appeared in 305 games (126 starts) and averaged 12.9 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.01 steals and 28.5 minutes while shooting 41 percent from the field, 33.5 percent from three-point range and 70.4 percent from the foul line. The former fourth overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft was named to the 2012-13 NBA All-Rookie First Team and earned NBA Rookie of the Month honors in February of 2013.

Center Marc Gasol now a three-point shooter

There might not be a better example today of the evolution of the NBA big man than Marc Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies, who all of a sudden has become a legitimate three-point shooting threat.

In 569 games spanning eight seasons before this, the 7-foot-1 Gasol had attempted just 66 three-pointers, making just 12 and many of them shots forced to beat the shot clock or the game clock, prayers seldom answered.

Now? Heading into Wednesday’s game against the Toronto Raptors at the Air Canada Centre, Gasol is a relative long-distance chucker, shooting 42 per cent from three on already a season-high 60 attempts.

– Toronto Star

Quick Take: If you enjoy seeing centers shoot threes, then also check out Nets games. Brooklyn center Brook Lopez is shooting 5.7 three-pointers per game, hitting 2.1 of them for a very respectable average of 37.6%.

Sixers assign Nerlens Noel to D-League

Sixers assign Nerlens Noel to D-League

The Philadelphia 76ers assigned Nerlens Noel to the Delaware 87ers of the NBA Development League today.

The move is for health reasons. The assignment is part of Noel’s ongoing rehabilitation program for his left knee.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, “the move is similar to what Jerryd Bayless did on Nov. 14 to get in some practice time. The Sixers will host the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night at the Wells Fargo Center. As a result, there won’t be a practice opportunity for Noel. He will practice down there on Wednesday.”

In a related move, the team has recalled Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot from the Sevens.

In training camp, Nets coach Kenny Atkinson had basketball Hall of Famer Chris Mullin swing by to talk to his team. On Monday, it was track Hall of Famer Michael Johnson dropping pearls of wisdom. Now Atkinson can only hope his Nets pick them up, mired in an NBA-worst seven-game losing skid.

“Just to listen to him, talking about his process and how he was just so dedicated and focused,’’ Rondae Hollis-Jefferson said. “It definitely gives you that sense of I’m going on the right track, but there’s also more things to it than just coming in here every day. Your personal life versus the athlete’s life. We’re athletes 24/7; our image is being watched, so the things that we do when we’re home count to when we come here. Just thinking about that and setting goals for yourself is a big thing.

“In the offseason, this is what I’m training for. … What do I have to do to get there? If you’re thinking about that every day, it’s going to motivate you. You’re going to wake up, get in that car, take that ride and you’re going to be thinking about that: How do I get myself to where I want to be for my goal for this year? That’s something big that he touched on that stuck with me and will stick with me.”

NY Post

Quick Take: A team can only play as well as their roster allows.

Just one game after making his regular season debut, Ian Mahinmi is back on the Wizards’ injury list.

On Monday, Mahinmi, 30, missed Washington’s matchup against the Sacramento Kings. According to Coach Scott Brooks, Mahinmi, who appeared for 14 minutes Saturday night, is experiencing soreness in his right, non-surgical knee. Mahinmi missed the past six weeks after the repair of a partially torn medial mensicus in his left knee. Mahinmi did not participate in the team’s Monday morning shoot-around.

“Just going to be cautious,” Brooks said. “He’s done a great job of putting himself in a position to come back from surgery and he’s just been sore the last couple of days. It’s day to day. We’ll see how feels tomorrow.”

Washington Post

Quick Take: The Wizards are 5-10 through Sunday’s games. Their scoring leaders this season are John Wall (23.5 ppg), Bradley Beal (20.1 ppg), Otto Porter Jr (14.7 ppg), Markieff Morris (12.8 ppg) and Marcin Gortat (11.3 ppg). Their offense has been average this season but defensively they need improvement.

Dwyane Wade dislikes the NBA Last Two Minute reports

In case Dwyane Wade wasn’t clear about how he felt about the NBA releasing the Last Two Minute Reports the day after close games, the Bulls’ guard was definitive in his disdain for the revisionist thinking that can only frustrate a team.

“I hate them. I hate the two-minute reports. I’ll go on record saying it again,” Wade said following practice Monday at the Advocate Center. “It’s bad for our game to come back with those two-minute reports.” …

Count Wade among those who don’t take much solace in the NBA’s attempt at transparency, considering it doesn’t change the outcome of anything. Plays can’t be turned back and re-started, so it appears more frustrating than gratifying.

“They come back and show the imperfectness of our game in two minutes,” Wade said. “But it’s imperfect the whole game. Let’s not break down the last two minutes, as players get called out and fined for saying stuff to the refs but the NBA is calling our refs out for making the wrong play or right play. Let’s just leave it alone.”

CSN Chicago

Quick Take: A lot of people have mixed feelings about the Two Minute Reports. Pretty much for exactly what D-Wade said. They provide additional info about what should have been, but since it’s after the fact, it’s unclear what is to be gained from announcing the observations. On the other hand, those of us who follow the league closely appreciate all the additional info we can get. In general, the more info the better. So, if the league is going to provide these reports, we’ll happily keep up with them.

Damian Lillard says Blazers need to get mean

Three of the last four Player of the Week winners in the NBA have used the Portland Trail Blazers’ porous defense as a springboard to earn the weekly honors.

The huge nights from Jimmy Butler, Anthony Davis and Kevin Love left Damian Lillard pondering the missing element behind Portland’s inability to slow down opponents this season. His solution is straightforward: The Blazers need a mean streak.

“That might be the change that needs to be made … is us just not being the nice team (where) everybody likes each other,” Lillard said following Blazers practice on Monday. “That’s a great story, but maybe we’ve got to play a much more mean game.”

From the outside, it seems like teams don’t feel much resistance going against the Blazers’ defense. Portland struggles guarding pick and rolls and locating opposing players in transition.

Oregonian

Quick Take: The Blazers are 9-10 this season. Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum are having excellent seasons. But the Blazers’ main story this season has been their defense. It’s been miserable. The squad has a league-worst defensive efficiency, through yesterday’s games.

Xavier Munford named D-League Performer of Week

Xavier Munford of the Greensboro Swarm today was named NBA Development League Performer of the Week for games played Monday, Nov. 21, through Sunday, Nov. 27.

Munford (6-3, 180, Rhode Island) helped Greensboro to a 2-1 week behind averages of 27.7 points (fourth in the league), 4.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.7 steals. On Nov. 21, he scored a season-high 34 points on 13-of-26 shooting to go with three rebounds and three assists in a 116-111 loss to the Delaware 87ers. On Nov. 25, he recorded 26 points on 9-of-14 shooting to go with seven rebounds, four assists and four steals in a 109-88 victory over the Erie BayHawks.

Munford is in his third NBA D-League season and first with Greensboro. He is averaging 22.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.6 steals. Last season, Munford was selected to play in the NBA D-League All-Star Game as a member of the Bakersfield Jam before signing with the Memphis Grizzlies on March 16. He appeared in 14 games with the Grizzlies, averaging 5.7 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists.

Other top performers considered included Canton’s Chris Evans, Iowa’s Wayne Selden Jr., Los Angeles’ Josh Magette, Texas’ Manny Harris and Windy City’s J.J. Avila.

Kevin Love and Kevin Durant named NBA Players of Week

Cavaliers forward Kevin Love and Warriors forward Kevin Durant today were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, Nov. 21 through Sunday, Nov. 27.

Love led the Cavaliers to a 3-0 week behind an East-leading 30.7 points to go with 9.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.3 steals. He connected on 19-of-29 three-point attempts (65.5 percent) and made all 21 of his free-throw attempts. On Nov. 23, he scored a season-high 40 points, grabbed eight rebounds and handed out three assists in a 137-125 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers. Love set an NBA record with 34 first-quarter points, the second-highest total in any quarter in league history.

kevin durant

Durant helped the Warriors to a 4-0 week behind averages of 24.8 points, 8.3 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 2.75 blocked shots (tied for second in the West). He connected on 9-of-18 attempts (50.0 percent) from three-point range. On Nov. 23, he scored 28 points (on 11-for-15 shooting from the field) and added six rebounds and five assists in a 149-106 win over the Los Angeles Lakers. He closed the week with 28 points, 10 rebounds, a career-high six blocks and five assists as Golden State extended its winning streak to 11 games with a 115-102 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Nov. 26.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving and LeBron James, Golden State’s Stephen Curry, Houston’s James Harden, New Orleans’ Anthony Davis, New York’s Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis, Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid, Phoenix’s Eric Bledsoe, Portland’s Damian Lillard, Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins and Toronto’s Kyle Lowry.

The National Strength and Conditioning Association announced that Miami HEAT Assistant Coach/Strength & Conditioning Coach Bill Foran has been named the Professional Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year. Foran, who becomes the fourth recipient of the award, will receive the honor at the NSCA’s Coaches Conference which is held in Nashville, TN from January 4 through January 6. Past winners of the award include Ashley Jones of the Edinburgh Rugby team in Scotland, Casey Bond of the Colorado Avalanche and Joe Kenn of the Carolina Panthers.

Foran, who has been the HEAT’s strength and conditioning coach since its inception and is currently in his 29th season with the organization, supervises a combination of strength training, plyometrics, conditioning, stretching and nutrition to ensure Miami’s players’ produce maximum results on the court. In addition to this honor, Foran was inducted into the USA Strength and Conditioning Coaches Hall of Fame in 2014 and was named as the 2009 Co-NBA Strength Coach of the Year.

Bradley Beal fined for grabbing at throat of Evan Fournier

Wizards guard Bradley Beal has been fined $15,000 for grabbing at the throat of Orlando Magic guard/forward Evan Fournier, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The incident, for which Beal was assessed a technical foul, occurred with 7:40 remaining to play in the fourth quarter of the Wizards’ 94-91 win over the Magic on Nov. 25 at Amway Center.

To view the incident, click on this link.

Orlando Magic change starting lineup

Orlando Magic change starting lineup

Frank Vogel made wholesale changes to the Orlando Magic’s starting lineup before the team’s game Sunday night against the Milwaukee Bucks.

First, the team put Jeff Green on the inactive list because of a sore lower back.

Vogel then decided to start D.J. Augustin at point guard, Evan Fournier at shooting guard, Aaron Gordon at small forward, Serge Ibaka at power forward and Bismack Biyombo at center.

Augustin and Biyombo had not started a game this season. Gordon had started Orlando’s first eight games before Vogel moved him to the bench and replaced him with Green.

Orlando Sentinel

Quick Take: The Magic this season have been led in scoring by Evan Fournier (17.0 ppg, though just 42% FG), Serge Ibaka (14.1 ppg), Nikola Vucevic (11.8 ppg) and Elfrid Payton (10.7 ppg). As a team the Magic are shooting just 40.9% FG. They have the least effective offense in the NBA through Saturday’s games, but a very effective defense so far this season.

Dirk Nowitzki still recovering from injury

Dirk Nowitzki’s recovery from right Achilles soreness will not be an overnight process, coach Rick Carlisle said, as news broke that Nowitzki will miss Sunday’s game against New Orleans.

“This is part of the recovery,” Carlisle said. “Getting him better, we’re going to have to take it incrementally. There’s not like there was any big setback. It’s just not the right thing to play him tonight.”

Carlisle said the process is going to go into December and sitting out occasional games is just part of the necessary strategy to get Nowitzki fully healed from the strained right Achilles he’s been fighting since the season began.

Dallas Morning News

Quick Reaction: The Mavs have the worst record in the NBA through Saturday’s games. There’s no reason for Dirk Nowitzki to rush back at this point. He should take his time and make sure he’s fully healthy before returning.

Joakim Noah returns to action for Knicks

Joakim Noah returns to action for Knicks

Joakim Noah was back for the Knicks — well, at least for three quarters.

After missing two games with an illness, Noah returned and started at center in the Knicks’ 113-111 overtime victory over the Hornets on Friday night at the Garden.

Noah played 18 minutes, none in the fourth quarter or overtime, and scored six points and grabbed eight rebounds. Coach Jeff Hornacek, who said he was concerned about a guy returning after an illness, praised Noah, saying he did well, but obviously was not 100 percent.

“Felt pretty good. I feel like it’s solid, coming off of being sick like that, just coming out and playing, it felt good,” said Noah who described his illness as being “sick, fever. I had the flu.”

NY Post

Quick Take: Noah has been playing 23.0 minutes per game for the Knicks this season, averaging 4.5 points, 8.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists. If his defense was more effective, his minutes would likely increase.

Pistons will move to downtown Detroit

Pistons owner Tom Gores said Tuesday that the time is right for his NBA team to move out of its suburban home and into the city to share Little Caesars Arena with the Red Wings.

“This is great for the Detroit Pistons. It is the right call. It’s time for us to do it,” Gores said. “It is an incredible arena. Every fan will believe it’s incredible.”

He said the move will greatly benefit the city economically, creating “thousands of jobs” and “hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.”

Ilitch Holdings CEO Christopher Ilitch and Mayor Mike Duggan were alongside Gores for the announcement.

“For the first time in 43 years, all four Detroit sports teams will be playing in the city of Detroit,” Duggan said.

– Michigan Live

InsideHoops.com Quick Take: This should help downtown Detroit a lot. And Detroit needs it. Can’t complain about this move.

Notes from around the NBA

- Chicago Bulls: Coach Fred Hoiberg’s team has won five of its last six games, including a 3-1 start to its six-game road trip. Jimmy Butler scored a season-high 40 points in Sunday’s victory over the Lakers, his eighth consecutive game with at least 20 points.

- Jrue Holiday, Pelicans: New Orleans is 2-0 since his return as Holiday finished with 21 points and seven assists in a win over Portland and 22 points and nine assists in an overtime victory against Charlotte.

- Memphis Grizzlies: Winners of four consecutive games, the Grizzlies held Dallas to 64 points and Minnesota to 71 points in their two most recent victories.

- Jonathan Gibson, Mavericks: The 29-year-old rookie guard scored 26 points against Orlando on Saturday in his second career game, becoming the first undrafted player in 24 years to score that many points in one of his first two games. Gibson, who was signed on Nov. 17, spent last season in China and led Dallas in scoring at Samsung NBA Summer League 2016 in Las Vegas.

- Alan Williams, Suns: The Phoenix native has recorded point-rebound double-doubles in each of his last two games. Like Gibson, the 23-year-old Williams is an undrafted player who starred in China and thrived at Samsung NBA Summer League (where he was the top rebounder in each of the last two years). Williams’ mom, Jeri, was recently sworn in as the first female chief of the Phoenix Police Department.

- Jamal Murray, Nuggets: The rookie guard scored 16 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter in Sunday’s win over the Jazz – which followed a recent 19-point performance against the Trail Blazers.

- Cody Zeller, Hornets: The fourth-year center leads the NBA in field goal percentage at 62.3, up from a career-high 52.9 last season.

– Per NBA News

wiggins

Minnesota’s Andrew Wiggins, Milwaukee’s Jabari Parker and Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid will forever be linked as the top three picks of the 2014 NBA Draft. What binds them today has been their strong play to start the season, the first in which all three are playing in the NBA at the same time. Here is a closer look at each player’s early-season performance:

Andrew Wiggins, Timberwolves (No. 1 pick): The 21-year-old swingman has continued to add to his offensive game in his third season. Wiggins ranks 10th in the NBA in scoring (25.7 ppg), highlighted by a career-high 47-point effort against the Lakers on Nov. 13. The five-point increase from last season features impressive progress as a perimeter shooter, with Wiggins hitting an NBA-high 48.9 percent of his three-pointers. The outside touch has complemented his slashing ability, which has him among the top 10 in free-throw attempts for the second season in a row.

jabari parker

Jabari Parker, Bucks (No. 2 pick): After missing 57 games in his rookie season, Parker rebounded to average 14.1 points in 76 games last season. The 21-year-old forward has built on that performance this season, ranking second on the team in scoring (19.5 ppg) and minutes (32.8 mpg) and third in rebounding (6.4 ppg). He already has five 20-point games this season after needing 35 games to post his first 20-point effort in 2015-16. Parker has made 10 three-pointers in 2016-17, three fewer than he sank in his first two seasons combined.

Joel Embiid, 76ers (No. 3 pick): Embiid has wasted little time showing what he can do when healthy, making the most of his 22.0 minutes per game. The 22-year-old center from Cameroon leads all rookies in scoring (18.0 ppg), rebounding (7.6 rpg) and blocked shots (2.2 bpg), the first rookie with those numbers through nine games since Shaquille O’Neal in 1992-93. Embiid, a 7-footer, has also hit half of his 20 three-point attempts, including three made triples in a career-high 26-point outing against the Suns on Saturday.

– Via NBA News

Pelicans waive Archie Goodwin

Pelicans waive Archie Goodwin

That was quick. The New Orleans Pelicans waived guard Archie Goodwin today.

Originally signed by New Orleans on Nov. 7, Goodwin, 6-5, 205, appeared in three games for the Pelicans, averaging 5.0 points in 10.0 minutes per contest.

The Pelicans roster currently stands at 14.

This is the 4th year of Goodwin’s NBA career. His first three seasons were spent with the Suns. Last season, with Phoenix, he averaged 8.9 points in 19.5 minutes per game.

Kings to change frontcourt lineup

Kings to change frontcourt lineup

Sometimes, a coach doesn’t need advanced statistics or analytics to make a decision.

The only numbers Dave Joerger needs to see change are 4-9, the Kings’ record, including four straight losses.

Joerger plans to scrap the big lineup that has opened games most of the season, with DeMarcus Cousins and Kosta Koufos in the frontcourt. Cousins will play center, and Joerger will try to figure out which lineup works best around Cousins for Sunday’s game against the Toronto Raptors.

“That hasn’t been working,” Joerger said of playing big. “That’s not working so it’s not about being big or small.”

– Sacramento Bee

InsideHoops.com Quick Take: Offensively, barely anybody in the league can guard Cousins. That’s really not an exaggeration. Defensively, including just general court awareness, Cousins needs improvement. As for the Kings in general, their offense is decent but their defense has been miserable so far this season.

Basketball blog