Archive for March 3rd, 2017

Rio Grande Valley Vipers guard Darius Morris today was named the NBA Development League Player of the Month for games played in February.

Morris (6-4, Michigan) led Rio Grande Valley to a 6-2 record behind averages of 21.9 points, 7.5 assists, 5.1 rebounds and 1.8 steals. He shot 46.6 percent from the field and scored over 25 points in four games in February. On Feb. 10, he recorded a triple-double with 19 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds in a 116-112 victory over the Sioux Falls Skyforce. On Feb. 14, he hit a season-high six three pointers on his way to 26 points and added 14 assists and six rebounds in a 141-133 win over the Texas Legends.

Morris is averaging 20.3 points, 6.5 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 1.3 steals this season. He was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers with the 41st overall pick in NBA Draft 2011 presented by State Farm. He last appeared in the NBA with the Brooklyn Nets during the 2014-15 season.

Other players who received consideration for the monthly award were Delaware’s James Webb III, Grand Rapids’ Kevin Murphy, Los Angeles’ David Nwaba (called up by the Los Angeles Lakers on Feb. 28), Northern Arizona’s Elijah Millsap, Raptors 905’s Brady Heslip and Texas’ Jameel Warney.

Mike Dunleavy out with ankle injury

Mike Dunleavy out with ankle injury

Atlanta Hawks guard/forward Mike Dunleavy has been diagnosed with right ankle synovitis.

An MRI taken at the Emory Orthopaedics and Spine Center on Feb. 28th revealed the injury and a second opinion by Dr. Richard Ferkel of the Southern California Orthopedic Institute also confirmed the diagnosis.

Dunleavy will now undergo a period of rest, treatment and rehabilitation and his status will be updated as appropriate.

Jarrett Jack injured, out 4-6 weeks

Jarrett Jack injured, out 4-6 weeks

New Orleans Pelicans guard Jarrett Jack is expected to miss 4-6 weeks after suffering a right lateral meniscus tear.

Jack, 6-3, 200, was signed to a 10-day contract by New Orleans on February 24, and has appeared in two games, averaging 3.0 points and 2.5 assists in 16.5 minutes per game.

An 11-year NBA veteran, Jack has appeared in 805 career regular season games with Portland, Indiana, Toronto, New Orleans, Golden State, Cleveland and Brooklyn, averaging 11.0 points, 4.5 assists and 2.9 rebounds in 28.1 minutes per game.

Here’s the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reporting on a fun Mavericks-related underdog story:

The recognition just keeps coming for Yogi Ferrell.

A week after being named the Dallas Mavericks’ starting point guard, Ferrell was selected Thursday as the Western Conference rookie of the month for February.

This is the first time a Mavericks’ player was chosen rookie of the month since Devin Harris in November of 2004.

In 11 games last month, Ferrell averaged 12 points, 4.7 assists, 3.3 rebounds, shot 41.1 percent from the field and 41.2 percent from 3-point range…

After Ferrell sparked the Mavericks to victories over San Antonio, Cleveland and Philadelphia, owner Mark Cuban skipped a second 10-day contract and instead signed Ferrell to a deal worth $208,000 the rest of this season and $1.3 million next season.

Here’s the Toronto Star reporting on the Raptors, who will be without star point guard Kyle Lowry for the near future as they try to maintain their status as one of the best teams in the Eastern conference:

Raptors face challenge without Kyle Lowry

There are times when you are burbling along, minding your own business, and get a chilling glimpse of a possible future. It happened Wednesday night in Toronto against the Washington Wizards, second quarter. It was a 26-1 run when the wreckage was all accounted for, with the backups getting blitzed when Kyle Lowry usually plays. There wasn’t enough time to recover. Life without Lowry had been pretty good, until it wasn’t.

“No question,” said Raptors coach Dwane Casey. “The margin of error’s slim with him out.”

Lowry’s surgically repaired wrist won’t be ready for four more weeks at the earliest, they reckon, and after three straight comeback wins the Raptors were weathering the storm with grace. Then Washington came to town, and . . . ugh. Everything went wrong. This is a deep team filled with useful players, and DeMar DeRozan is an all-star playing his best basketball. And in that game you could see how much Lowry — a free agent at the end of this season — is the force that makes this team go.

“Him being the vocal person that he is, that dominant demeanour, you can just feel that vibe when he’s out there,” says DeRozan, who averaged 37.7 points in those three wins, then had 24 points on 20 shots Wednesday night. “Especially when we have our moments like last night, when we get out of sync, Kyle, certain things he can do just reverse it.”

The Philadelphia 76ers have signed forward Justin Harper to a 10-day contract.

Harper, a two-time NBA D-League All-Star, most recently saw action with the Los Angeles D-Fenders, where he appeared in 37 games (all starts) and posted averages of 16 points and seven rebounds in 29 minutes per game, while shooting 40 percent from three-point range.

A season ago, Harper played in 42 games (26 starts) with L.A. and averaged 15 points and six rebounds per game as he shot 39 percent from beyond the arc. On February 24, 2016, he signed the first of two 10-day contracts with the Detroit Pistons.

A veteran of two NBA seasons and three D-League campaigns, Harper has also played internationally in Italy, Israel and France.

Harper was originally selected with the 32nd overall pick of the 2011 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers before being traded to the Orlando Magic on draft night. He played in 14 games as rookie, averaging six minutes per contest.

Harper started all 37 games during his senior season at Richmond, averaging 18 points and seven rebounds, as he was named 2011 First Team All-Atlantic 10. That year, he helped lead the Spiders to 29-8 record and an Atlantic 10 title. Richmond, as a No. 12-seed, reached the Sweet 16 for the second time in school history.

Harper will wear number 30 for the Sixers.

Yeah, there are a lot of leaps here, but let’s just go with it for now. Here’s NY Newsday reporting:

Derrick Rose trying to develop a 3-point shot by playoff-time

Derrick Rose has a personal game plan for the playoffs.

It’s OK if you have to read that again, parse all its implications. It was only a week ago that everyone expected him to be traded. And the postseason? Well, that was just crazy talk.

But after a big, necessary win over the Magic on Wednesday night — spurred in part by Rose’s 19 points — the Knicks find themselves in the unexpected position of still sort of having a shot at the playoffs. And that means Rose is in the even more unexpected position of trying to find a way for the Knicks to win if they get there.

Enter the three-point shot.

“I’m trying to put pieces of my game together,” Rose said Thursday after practice at Temple University. “You see I’m not shooting threes yet, but hopefully, [I’ll] start shooting them in the playoffs. It’s going to take a lot of sacrifice and dedication to get there, but I’m just adding pieces of my game throughout the season.”

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