David Blatt and Steve Kerr named NBA Coaches of Month for March, 2015

The Cleveland Cavaliers’ David Blatt and the Golden State Warriors’ Steve Kerr today were named the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Coaches of the Month, respectively, for games played in March.

Blatt led the Cavaliers to the best record in the East during March at 11-4 (.733). The Cavaliers averaged 107.0 points and surrendered just 97.9 points in March, en route to posting the best differential in the conference at +9.1 ppg. Cleveland went 5-0 at Quicken Loans Arena, where it has now won 16 consecutive games.

Kerr guided the Warriors to the NBA’s best record in March at 16-2 (.889). The Warriors averaged 108.4 points and surrendered just 96.3 points, which accounted for a +12.1 ppg differential, good for second in the West. Golden State closed the month with 10 consecutive wins, including six against teams that would be in the playoffs if the season ended today.

Other nominees for Coach of the Month were Boston’s Brad Stevens, Brooklyn’s Lionel Hollins, Oklahoma City’s Scott Brooks and San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich.

Lakers waive Steve Nash, sign Jabari Brown to multi-year contract

The Los Angeles Lakers have waived guard Steve Nash and signed guard Jabari Brown to a multi-year contract, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

Brown, previously signed to 10-day contracts on March 10 and March 20, has appeared in 10 games for the Lakers, averaging 9.4 points on 50.0% (32-64) shooting, including 45.8% (11-24) from three-point range, in addition to 1.7 assists, 1.5 rebounds, and 1.0 steals in 24.5 minutes per game.

Monday, Brown had the best performance of his NBA career, scoring a career-high 22 points on 7-10 shooting (3-4 from beyond-the-arc), playing 34 minutes in an overtime victory at Philadelphia.

Prior to joining the Lakers, Brown was a member of the Lakers NBA Development League affiliate, the Los Angeles D-Fenders, where he led the D-League in scoring at 24.4 points per game to go along with 4.1 rebounds, and 2.2 assists in 39 games (25 starts). A 2015 NBA D-League All-Star, Brown tallied two of the highest single-game scoring outputs in the D-League this season, finishing with 50 points on January 10th at Sioux Falls and 48 points on February 28th versus Bakersfield.

Glen Davis fined for kicking seat cushion

Glen Davis fined for kicking a seat cushion into the stands

Glen Davis fined for kicking seat cushion

Los Angeles Clippers forward Glen Davis has been fined $15,000 for kicking a seat cushion into the spectator stands, it was announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.

The incident occurred with 4:16 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Clippers’ 119-106 win over the Boston Celtics on March 29 at TD Garden.

To view the play, click on this link.

Rodney Hood diagnosed with concussion

Rodney Hood diagnosed with concussion

Rodney Hood diagnosed with concussion

The following is a medical update on Utah Jazz guard/forward Rodney Hood:

Hood has been diagnosed by the Jazz medical staff with a concussion, after receiving an elbow to the head during the third quarter of last night’s 104-84 victory at Minnesota.

Per the NBA’s Concussion Policy, Hood will now begin the NBA-mandated Return-to-Participation Exertion Protocol. This process includes a series of steps designed to ensure an athlete exhibits symptom-free behavior before resuming basketball activities. There is no predetermined timetable to complete the protocol, as each case is unique and recovery times for players may vary.

As a result, Hood will be listed as OUT for Wednesday’s game vs. Denver and his status moving forward is day-to-day. Further updates will be provided when appropriate.

Kevin Durant had bone graft surgery today

Kevin Durant had bone graft surgery today

Kevin Durant had bone graft surgery today

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant underwent bone graft surgery today for the fifth metatarsal of his right foot, Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti announced.

The procedure was performed by Dr. Martin O’Malley with Thunder medical personnel present at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. Durant will miss the remainder of the 2014-15 season and is expected to return to full basketball activities in the next four to six months.

The reigning NBA Kia Most Valuable Player appeared in 27 games (all starts) during the 2014-15 campaign, averaging 25.4 points on 51.0 percent shooting from the floor (238-of-467), 6.6 rebounds and 4.1 assists in 33.8 minutes per game.

Trail Blazers clinch spot in 2015 NBA Playoffs

The 48-25 Portland Trail Blazers have officially clinched a spot in the 2015 NBA playoffs, joining the Warriors, Grizzlies, Rockets and Clippers in the West so far, leaving three West spots still up for grabs. Here’s the Oregonian reporting:

The Blazers dominated the the Suns after halftime and emphatically punched their postseason ticket with a 109-86 win in front of a sellout crowd of 19,441 Monday night at the Moda Center.

“It wasn’t like it was earth shattering,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said, downplaying the the playoff berth. “Honestly, our goal was beyond just to make the playoffs.”

Portland led by six at the half before putting the game away to open the third quarter. The Blazers hit 12 of their first 15 shots, including 4 of 5 three-pointers, en route to scoring 35 points in the first 9:05 of third quarter.

When the buzzer sounded at the end of the third, the Blazers had the game in hand with a 92-65 lead and the starters got to watch the final twelve minutes from the end of the bench.

Blazers sign Tim Frazier for remainder of season

The Portland Trail Blazers have signed guard Tim Frazier for the remainder of the season, President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey announced today. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Frazier, 24, signed two 10-day contracts with the Philadelphia 76ers last month, averaging 5.7 points, 3.2 rebounds, 7.2 assists and 1.00 steal in six games (three starts).

Frazier (6-1, 170) joins the Trail Blazers from the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League, where he posted averages of 16.1 points, 7.1 rebounds, 9.5 assists and 1.66 steals in 41 games (40 starts) this season.

The D-League leader with four triple-doubles, Frazier is a three-time D-League Performer of the Week. Frazier played for Penn State from 2009-14, earning First Team All-Big Ten honors his junior year.

He will wear No. 10 for the Trail Blazers.

D-League: Westchester Knicks fire head coach

Here’s the New York Post reporting on the Westchester Knicks, who are the New York Knicks’ D-League team:

Kevin Whitted is out as head coach of the D-League affiliate Westchester Knicks, and assistant coach Craig Hodges will take over for the final few games of the season.

There was tension between the two coaches throughout the on-court flop of a debut season, and Phil Jackson’s man won out.

The Westchester Knicks, running the triangle offense with little success, have the second-worst record in the D-League at 10-36 with four games remaining.

Nets beat short-handed Lakers 107-99

InsideHoops.com Postgame Notes

BROOKLYN — Behind 30 points and 11 rebounds from center Brook Lopez, 18 points, eight rebounds and seven assists from small forward Joe Johnson, and 17 points from guard Markel Brown, the Nets beat a badly short-handed Lakers squad 107-99

Jeremy Lin, Nick Young, Ed Davis, Carlos Boozer, Kobe Bryant (out for season) and Julius Randle (out for season) did not play for Los Angeles, whose squad today resembled the bargain bin at Walmart.

NETS NOTES

Nets swept season series with Lakers for first time since 2005-06 season

Brook Lopez averaged 28.8 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.3 blocks in his four games this week.

Nets guard Markel Brown scored a career-high 17 points today.

The Nets got 11 steals today, their most since a January 22 game against the Clippers.

The Nets are now 32-40 this season, and just 14-20 at home as they battle for a playoff spot.

Knicks sign Ricky Ledo to second 10-day contract

Knicks sign Ricky Ledo to second 10-day contract

New York Knicks President Phil Jackson announced today that the team has signed guard Ricky Ledo to a second consecutive 10-day contract.

Ledo, 6-7, 195-pounds, is averaging 7.2 points and 2.2 rebounds over 18.5 minutes in five games with the Knicks, and 3.7 points over 10.4 minutes in 10 games overall with both Dallas and New York.

Monta Ellis to miss his first NBA game in a long time

Here’s ESPN Dallas with an update on Mavs SG Monta Ellis, who is hurt but fortunately should return very soon:

Monta Ellis out with minor injury

Shooting guard Monta Ellis will miss a game for the first time during his two-season tenure with the Dallas Mavericks.

The Mavs’ leading scorer has been ruled out for Sunday night’s road game against the Indiana Pacers due to a right calf injury suffered during Friday night’s loss to the San Antonio Spurs. It will end Ellis’ streak of 237 consecutive games played, which dates to the 2012-13 season opener.

Coach Rick Carlisle said the Mavs did not have a firm timetable for Ellis’ return, but they do not consider the injury serious.

“He’s off crutches, but he’s still very sore,” Carlisle said. “It’s not considered serious, but it is something that’s a great concern for us.”

Clippers sign Lester Hudson to 10-day contract

Clippers sign Lester Hudson to 10-day contract

The Los Angeles Clippers announced today they have signed guard Lester Hudson to a 10-day contract.

Hudson comes to the Clippers from the Chinese Basketball Association where he is a two-time MVP (2014, 2015) and three-time All-Star (2012, 2014, 2015). Most recently, Hudson played for Liaoning where he averaged 31.2 points, 7.7 rebounds and 6.9 assists in 50 games.

Originally drafted by the Boston Celtics with the 58th overall pick in the second round of the 2009 NBA Draft, Hudson, 30, has played three seasons in the NBA. In 52 career NBA games, Hudson owns averages of 4.8 points, 1.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 10.3 minutes with Boston, Memphis, Washington and Cleveland.

A Memphis native, the 6-foot-3 inch guard spent his final two years of college at the University of Tennessee-Martin. He is the only NCAA player to ever record a quadruple-double (25 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists and 10 steals vs. Central Baptist College) in a college game. He was a two-time OVC Player of the Year (2008, 2009) at UT-Martin.

Warriors clinch the best record in the Western Conference

The Golden State Warriors have clinched the best record in the Western Conference for the 2014-15 season following tonight’s 108-95 road victory over the Milwaukee Bucks, improving to 60-13 and securing the best record in the conference for the first time since 1975-76. In doing so, Golden State established a new single-season franchise wins record, earning 60 wins in a single campaign for the first time in the team’s 69-year history, besting the previous wins record of 59 set in 1975-76.

The Warriors are the 70th team in NBA history to amass 60 wins in a season, becoming just the 13th team ever to reach the 60-win plateau through 73 games. By virtue of clinching the best record in the conference, Golden State will be the No. 1 seed in the West in the upcoming NBA Playoffs, granting the Warriors home-court advantage through the Western Conference Finals. The Warriors are slated to make their third consecutive postseason appearance after finishing sixth in the conference in both 2012-13 (47-35) and 2013-14 (51-31).

Hot Rod Hundley passes away

Hot Rod Hundley passes away

Longtime broadcaster Hot Rod Hundley, the beloved voice of the Utah Jazz from 1974-2009, passed away Friday at his home in Phoenix, Ariz. area surrounded by family. He broadcast many of the most memorable moments in Jazz history, calling 3,051 Jazz games in three-plus decades.

“Hot Rod was the voice of the Utah Jazz for 35 years and his voice was synonymous with Jazz radio,” said Gail Miller, owner of the franchise. “The expressions he used throughout the game broadcasts are legendary. He had the unique ability to make the game come to life so that you felt as though you could see what was happening on the floor when listening to him call the games. Rod was a very special talent and will be missed by our family as well as Jazz fans everywhere. Our thoughts and condolences are with the Hundley family.”

The only member of the original New Orleans Jazz staff to remain with the team for its first 35 seasons, he joined the organization prior to the expansion team’s inaugural season in 1974-75 and moved with the team when it relocated to Salt Lake City in 1979-80. A banner hangs in the rafters of EnergySolutions Arena honoring the 3,051 games he called during his 35-year career. In 2010, the team dedicated the media center at the arena to Hot Rod, outlining his legendary career from his days at West Virginia University to his calls as a Jazz broadcaster.

“Rod was a true professional, a great personal friend and remains a legend in the NBA broadcast industry,” said Utah Jazz President Randy Rigby. “From his start with the franchise in New Orleans in 1974 when the Jazz were an expansion team, Hot Rod built a fan base that remains unmatchable. With his signature ‘You Gotta Love it, Baby!’ to ‘With a gentle push and a mild arc the old cow hide globe hit home,’ Rod will be remembered as a true scholar of the game and will always remain a member of the Jazz family.”

Hundley spent the first 31 years of his Jazz career as the play-by-play voice of Jazz radio/television simulcasts before becoming the radio voice for his final four seasons.

The latest Donald Sterling crap

The latest Donald Sterling crap

You probably don’t care about Donald Sterling anymore. But thanks to the beauty of the Internet, it’s quick and easy to share the latest on him anyway. Here’s Reuters reporting:

The woman behind the downfall of former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling painted two conflicting portraits of him in court on Friday, saying he was a kind, generous mentor and father figure to her but was mean-spirited to others.

V. Stiviano, 32, also testified that the 80-year-old billionaire real estate mogul spent far more time with her and members of her family during the two and a half years she spent as his personal assistant, driver and confidante than he did with his own wife and children.

“We were so interconnected on a level that was more spiritual. He became my everything and I became his all,” she said, describing their bond as “love at first sight,” though she repeated under oath that the relationship was never sexual.”

Enes Kanter playing well for Thunder

Enes Kanter playing well for Thunder

Here’s the Oklahoman discussing Thunder center Enes Kanter, who is playing very well and appears to be a keeper for OKC — if the team can make it happen:

Enes Kanter playing well for Thunder

Enes Kanter has been with the Thunder only five weeks. In that time, he’s wowed observers with his inside play on offense, the kind of play that hasn’t been seen in the state since Big Country.

The soon-to-be free agent is also causing some fans to suffer some heartburn about his future with the team. Fears are percolating that the Thunder may not be able to keep its new inside presence past this season. While you never know what crazy events could unfold, the Thunder is in position to offer Kanter long-term security if he wants it.

Kanter is in the last season of his four-year rookie scale contract, so the Thunder will have the ability to make him a restricted free agent. All that requires is tendering what’s called a Qualifying Offer, which is a 1-year offer that, in Kanter’s case, would be worth over $7.4 million. As sure as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, the Thunder will do this.

Bulls finally getting healthier

Bulls finally getting healthier

Derrick Rose remains out, the 44-29 Chicago Bulls, who recently clinched a spot in the 2015 NBA playoffs, are finally getting healthier. Here’s ESPN Chicago reporting:

The Chicago Bulls are getting healthy at seemingly the right time of the season.

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau doesn’t want to hear about that, though.

“I don’t get wrapped up in the talk,” Thibodeau said after practice on Friday. “I want to see performance. I want to see the work go into it. I know how you win. We have to be more concerned with the process of how we’re approaching it and are we putting the work in to give ourselves the best chance possible. Talk is talk. I want to see action.”

Some of the optimism surrounding the Bulls is based on action, especially in the case of Jimmy Butler. He scored 23 points on 7-of-8 shooting Wednesday in his second game back after missing three weeks because of an elbow injury.

Forward Taj Gibson is also slowly getting back into form after missing nearly a month with a left ankle injury.

Kevin Durant will have bone graft, out for 4-6 more months

Kevin Durant will have bone graft, out for 4-6 more months

The Oklahoma City Thunder released the following statement on behalf of Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti regarding Kevin Durant:

“As we communicated last week, Kevin was going to use this time to engage in consultation and evaluation regarding the persistent soreness in his right foot at this stage of his rehabilitation. As part of this process, Kevin and Thunder personnel traveled to two additional specialists this past week; Dr. Martin O’Malley in New York City and Dr. James Nunley at Duke University. These in-person consults were designed to further supplement the previous evaluations of Dr. Bob Anderson. Several conference calls and discussions amongst the specialist team concluded that, while the majority of the soreness in Kevin’s foot was related to continued inflammation of the cuboid bone and would subside with rest, the evaluation process also determined that the Jones fracture of the fifth metatarsal, which had shown significant healing previously, was now demonstrating signs of regression.

With the focus of this process being aimed entirely on Kevin’s long term health and stability, it was the consensus of the specialists team, in addition to a collective decision by Kevin, his representation and the Thunder, that to address the setback of the fracture site, a bone graft procedure would be the most proactive and recommended approach. The bone graft is the standard procedure for the five to eight percent of Jones fracture surgeries that do not initially have success or experience setbacks sometime within the recovery period. While everyone is disappointed that Kevin falls into that group, we are encouraged that the bone graft procedure has historically demonstrated long-term health and stability.

Dr. O’Malley will perform the bone graft surgery early next week in New York. He has extensive bone grafting experience amongst athletes and has been consulting on the case throughout. Kevin will miss the remainder of the 2014-15 season and is expected to return to basketball activities in the next four to six months.”

Nets sign Earl Clark to 10-day contract

Nets sign Earl Clark to 10-day contract

Nets sign Earl Clark to 10-day contract

The Brooklyn Nets have signed forward Earl Clark to a 10-day contract, Nets General Manager Billy King announced today.

Clark (6’10”, 234) is a five-year NBA veteran who was originally selected with the 14th pick of the first round of the 2009 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns. Clark, 27, has seen action with the Suns (2009-10), Orlando Magic (2010-12), Los Angeles Lakers (2012-13), Cleveland Cavaliers (2013-14) and New York Knicks (2014). In 251 career games (54 starts), Clark has averaged 4.4 points on 40.4 percent shooting, including 33.1 percent from three-point range, and 3.0 rebounds in 14.1 minutes per game. His most productive season came with the Lakers in 2012-13, when Clark recorded career-highs for games played (59), starts (36), points per game (7.3), rebounds per game (5.5), assists per game (1.1) and minutes per game (23.1). The Plainfield, N.J. native has also appeared in 13 playoff games (one start) with the Suns, Magic and Lakers, posting career playoff averages of 3.1 points and 3.9 rebounds in 14.5 minutes per game. Most recently, Clark appeared in 19 games with the Shandong Flaming Bulls of the Chinese Basketball Association during the 2014-15 season, where he averaged 26.7 points and 10.3 rebounds in 32.9 minutes per game.

Prior to his NBA career, Clark spent three years at Louisville, where he helped lead the Cardinals to a Big East title and their first-ever No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament in his third and final season (2008-09). In 104 career collegiate games, Clark averaged 10.6 points and 7.0 rebounds in 26.7 minutes per game.

Wizards sign Will Bynum to 10-day contract, waive Toure’ Murry

Wizards sign Will Bynum to 10-day contract

Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has signed guard Will Bynum to a 10-day contract. The team has also waived Toure’ Murry.

Bynum (6-0, 185) has played seven seasons with Golden State and Detroit appearing in 353 career regular season games while averaging 8.2 points, 3.3 assists and 1.6 assists in 18.5 minutes per game. Undrafted out of Georgia Tech in 2005, Bynum enjoyed his best season in 2009-10 for the Detroit Pistons when he averaged career highs with 10.0 points and 4.5 assists per game. Bynum appeared in 30 games this season for the Guangdong Southern Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association where he averaged 22.3 points, 7.1 assists and 3.6 rebounds while shooting .564 from the field.

Murry appeared in three games for the Wizards and averaged 1.5 points in 4.3 minutes per game.

Basketball blog