Steven Adams back in action for Thunder

Steven Adams back in action for Thunder

Here’s the Oklahoman reporting on the Thunder:

Steven Adams back in action for Thunder

Four Sundays after breaking his hand against the Clippers, Steven Adams returned to the Thunder lineup

In OKC’s win over the Raptors, Adams was relatively effective in his 16 minutes. Adams entered to a rousing ovation from the home crowd and immediately blocked a shot on his first possession.

For the game, Adams finished with six points, six rebounds and two blocks. He nailed a pair of floaters with that surgically repaired right hand – which was covered by a protective glove – including a smooth buzzer-beater to end the third quarter.

“He’s still getting his timing back,” teammate Anthony Morrow said. “But he did a great job defensively tonight.”

For the first time this season, though, Adams came off the bench. Enes Kanter started and played extremely well, compiling 21 points and 12 rebounds.

Heat sign Michael Beasley to second 10-day contract

Heat sign Michael Beasley to second 10-day contract

The Miami HEAT announced today that they have signed forward Michael Beasley to a second 10-day contract.

Beasley, who was originally signed to a 10-day contract by the HEAT on February 26, has appeared in six games with Miami this season averaging 10.5 points, 4.2 rebounds and 23.6 minutes while shooting 44.6 percent from the field. In the HEAT’s last two games, he posted 13 points, all in the fourth quarter, on March 6 at Washington and then a season-high 18 points, seven rebounds, two steals and a block on March 7 vs. Sacramento.

Beasley, who was originally drafted by the HEAT in the first round (second overall) in the 2008 NBA Draft, has appeared in 415 career NBA games (199 starts) averaging 13.2 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 24.8 minutes while shooting 45 percent from the field.

C.J. Miles, making music when off court

C.J. Miles, making music when off court

Here’s the Indianapolis Star reporting on C.J. Miles, who has been making music for a while now — but not promoting it too heavily:

C.J. Miles, making music when off court

He grew up singing in the church choir. Playing piano in middle school. Writing music as a teen, songs few people ever heard.

Now, Indiana Pacers guard C.J. Miles can be heard. He has ventured beyond writing to recording and releasing his own hip hop music – quietly.

Most fans who watch him on the court have no idea Miles is an undercover musician. That’s OK with him.

“I have no interest in being a rapper (as a career). I just like to do music. That’s why I don’t pub it or anything,” he said. “If people want to listen to it, they can listen to it. If they don’t, I’m still going to do it. It doesn’t really matter.”

Miles views music as his outlet, much like other guys play video games to relax. During the NBA season, while on the airplane or the bus, it’s not unusual to find Miles writing music.

Nick Young still out with knee injury

Nick Young still out with knee injury

The Lakers are 16-45 this season. Nick Young is scoring 13.4 points per game on horrible 36.6% shooting. Here’s the Los Angeles Daily News blog with a health update:

Nick Young still out with knee injury

The outlook Lakers coach Byron Scott has on Nick Young’s progress on his swollen left knee no longer seems as positive.

Two days after holding out hope Young could begin on-court work to test out his knee, Scott revealed the possibility that Young could face a prolonged absence because of his injury that Scott said is “slowly healing.”

“It might take another week, or two or three,” Scott said about Young after talking with team doctors and head athletic trainer Gary Vitti. “[Nick] doesn’t know. It depends on how fast he heals. We’re not in a hurry. He still has some pain in there. That’s the biggest concern.”

Bucks retire Bobby Dandridge jersey

Bucks retire Bobby Dandridge’s jersey

Here’s the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporting on the Bucks’ jersey retirement ceremony for Bobby Dandridge:

Bobby Dandridge said he was trying to stay emotionless in the hours before his No. 10 jersey was to be retired by the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night.

Speaking fondly of his nine seasons with the Bucks, though, the tears that welled up in the 67-year-old’s eyes betrayed him.

“My family’s here, friends have come in from out of town and my friends and the fans here in Milwaukee are real special,” Dandridge said during a halftime ceremony at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. “I’ll try to hold back the emotions, try not to tremble too much, but this is probably the greatest honor that I have received as a professional athlete.”

After being introduced by his friend and former teammate Oscar Robertson, who drew a roar from the crowd by saying Dandridge deserved to be considered for the Hall of Fame, Dandridge succeeded in holding his emotions in check.

Gary Neal scores 27, Wolves upset Blazers

Gary Neal scores 27, Wolves upset Blazers

Here’s the Minneapolis Star Tribune reporting on a nice home win for the Timberwolves — just their 14th victory of the season. Neal has only played six games so far this season, averaging 11.7 points in 26.3 minutes per outing:

Gary Neal’s hand seemed just fine.

The Wolves guard suffered a right hand contusion during Friday’s practice but served as a spark off the bench in the 121-113 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night at Target Center. Neal finished with 27 points, his fourth consecutive game scoring in double figures.

“I was a little bit nervous before [Friday], but he should probably get his hand hit before every game,” Wolves coach Flip Saunders said.

Up five with eight minutes left, Neal scored 11 consecutive points, extending the Wolves’ lead to 98-93 with 5 minutes, 45 seconds left. The stretch ended with Neal drilling an off-balance jumper that was tightly contested by Dorell Wright. Then Blazers guard Steve Blake bit on Neal’s pump fake, creating a wide open jump shot that forced Blazers coach Terry Stotts to call timeout.

Anthony Davis is ridiculously talented

Anthony Davis is ridiculously talented

Here’s the New Orleans Times-Picayune reporting on Pelicans star Anthony Davis, who is an amazingly high-level basketball talent:

Right now, just a few days shy of his 22nd birthday, Davis’ skill set represents arguably the perfect package of basketball ability, certainly as complete as the NBA has seen in its nearly 70 year history.

His stat line in last Wednesday night’s win over the Detroit Pistons, having not played in 10 days, was historic though overshadowed by the play of Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, who notched his fourth consecutive triple-double in an overtime victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.

Davis’ 39 points, 13 rebounds and eight blocks represented only the third time in league history a player accumulated numbers such as those.

Hakeem Olajuwon and Dwight Howard were the others.

Hawks handle Cavs in key East battle

Hawks handle Cavs in key East battle

Here’s the Cleveland Plain Dealer reporting on the Cavaliers and Atlanta Hawks, who appear to be the two best teams in the Eastern conference — especially if key Chicago Bulls keep suffering injuries:

The Atlanta Hawks treated the Cavaliers as if it were postseason time in Friday’s 106-97 home win. They showed their hand defensively, tormenting the visitors with a heavy dose of blitzes and traps in their pick-and-roll coverages.

If there was a time when LeBron James and Kyrie Irving were able to elude the defense and turn the corner, there were a flock of Hawks waiting near the painted area to deter them from finishing around the rim.

It led to contested shots and difficult cross-court passes. Either way, the percentages of securing a defensive stop were in the Hawks’ favor. James was limited to 13 field-goal attempts and he only converted on five. He coughed up the ball a game-high nine times.

Irving was better but not great, coming away with 20 points on 7-of-16 shooting while committing five turnovers. Atlanta’s scheme was evident: Get the ball out of hands of the playmakers and make the others beat them.

Clippers sign Nate Robinson to 10-day contract

Clippers sign Nate Robinson to 10-day contract

The Los Angeles Clippers announced today they have signed free agent guard Nate Robinson to a 10-day contract. Robinson, 30, most recently played for the Denver Nuggets where he averaged 5.8 points, 2.3 assists and 1.2 rebounds over 33 games (one start) this season.

A 10-year NBA veteran, the Seattle native has appeared in 607 career games (106 starts) with averages of 11.1 points, 3.0 assists and 2.4 rebounds in 22.6 minutes of play with New York, Boston, Oklahoma City, Golden State, Chicago and Denver.

Originally drafted with the 21st overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns before being traded to New York on draft day, Robinson is a three-time NBA Slam Dunk Champion (2006, 2009, 2010) and was a key contributor in helping Boston reach the 2010 NBA Finals. He spent three years at the University of Washington where he was a two-time first-team All-Pac-10 performer.

Robinson will wear #8 for the Clippers.

Private funeral for Anthony Mason attended by various former Knicks

Here’s the New York Daily News reporting on the funeral for a beloved former New York Knick:

Anthony Mason got one last pep talk from his old coach Friday as friends and former teammates said farewell Friday to the former Knicks power forward.

Pat Riley was among those who spoke at Mason’s funeral, a private sendoff that was attended by his former teammates Patrick Ewing, John Starks and Herb Williams, and other retired NBA players like ex-Knick John Wallace and Jayson Williams, who played for the New Jersey Nets.

“The four years I coached him in New York and the one year in Miami, he’s one of the best players I’ve coached,” Riley told the Daily News after the service at the Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York in Queens.

“He had something that was special and unique, and not many players had it. He engulfed all of that in his competitiveness desire to win and to separate himself from the pack.”

Bucks sign Chris Johnson to 10-day contract

The Milwaukee Bucks have signed forward Chris Johnson to a 10-day contract, General Manager John Hammond announced today. Johnson is the 44th Gatorade Call-Up of the 2014-15 NBA Development League season.

Johnson, 24, most recently played for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA D-League where he’s averaged 20.1 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.5 steals in 17 appearances. He began the season with the Philadelphia 76ers, where he appeared in nine games (two starts) and averaged 6.0 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.0 steals per contest before being waived on Nov. 15. Johnson also signed a 10-day contract with the Utah Jazz on Jan. 28 and appeared in two games, tallying 14 points, three rebounds, three assists and three steals.

Undrafted out of the University of Dayton in 2012, Johnson was later chosen by Rio Grande Valley with the seventh overall pick of the 2012 NBA D-League Draft and has spent time the Vipers in each of the last three seasons, logging 76 total games with career averages of 15.0 points, 5.2 rebounds 1.5 assists and 1.5 steals. He also received a pair of 10-contracts from the Memphis Grizzlies during the 2012-13 NBA season, and was called up to the Boston Celtics during the 2013-14 season. In all, Johnson has appeared in 59 NBA games with averages of 5.9 points and 2.3 rebounds in 18.9 minutes per contest.

Clippers sign Jordan Hamilton to second 10-day contract

Clippers sign Jordan Hamilton to second 10-day contract

The Los Angeles Clippers announced today they have signed forward Jordan Hamilton to a second 10-day contract.

Hamilton appeared in four games (two starts) for the Clippers averaging 3.3 points, 1.5 rebounds and 0.3 assists in 11.5 minutes.

Hamilton, who was the 40th GATORADE call-up of the 2014-15 season, appeared in 27 games (22 starts) for the Reno Bighorns of the NBA Development League and averaged 18.1 points, 7.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 28.6 minutes.

Originally drafted by the Dallas Mavericks with the 26th overall pick in the first round of the 2011 NBA Draft, Hamilton was traded to the Denver Nuggets on Draft Day. He has career averages of 5.7 points and 2.7 rebounds in 13.2 minutes over 130 games (17 starts) with the Nuggets, Houston Rockets and Clippers.

The Los Angeles native spent two years at the University of Texas, earning second team All-American by the USBWA following his sophomore season. He averaged 14.5 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists for his career at Texas over 70 games.

Utah Jazz sign Bryce Cotton to second 10-day contract

The Utah Jazz announced today that team has signed guard Bryce Cotton to a second 10-day contract. Cotton signed his first 10-day with the Jazz on Feb. 24 and has appeared in one Jazz game, posting three points, two rebounds, one assist and one steal in seven minutes in a win at Denver on Feb. 27.

When the Jazz signed him from the NBA Development League’s Austin Spurs, Cotton (6-1, 165, Providence) was averaging 22.4 points (third in the D-League), 4.7 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.3 steals in 40.5 minutes in 34 games (all starts). He scored in double figures on 31 occasions and recorded 20-plus points in 20 games. He also registered 40-or-more points twice, including a season-high 43 points, eight rebounds, nine assists and two steals at Reno Bighorns. His 43 points rank tied for third in the D-League in scoring performances. Cotton was named D-League Performer of the Week on Feb. 23.

A native of Tucson, Ariz., Cotton played four seasons at Providence (2010-14). He earned All-Big East First Team honors twice (2013, 2014) and was named the 2014 Big East Tournament Most Outstanding Player. He finished his career ranked fourth all-time in scoring at Providence and became the fifth player from a major conference to average 20-plus points and five-or-more assists in a season since 2002, when he did so as a senior.

Utah Jazz sign Jerrelle Benimon to 10-day contract

The Utah Jazz announced today that the team has signed forward Jerrelle Benimon of the Jazz’s NBA Development League affiliate, the Idaho Stampede, to a 10-day contract. Benimon becomes the NBA’s 43rd overall NBA D-League Call-Up of the 2014-15 season and the 32nd different player to be called up.

Benimon (6-8, 245, Towson) appeared in 35 games (29 starts) for the Stampede this season, averaging 19.9 points (ninth in the D-League), 10.6 rebounds (sixth in the D-League), 4.3 assists and 1.0 steals in 34.9 minutes per contest. He is also shooting 62.4 percent from the floor this season, which ranks eighth in the D-League. Benimon recorded 19 double-doubles, including one triple-double (20 points, 17 rebounds, 12 assists vs. Reno Bighorns on Nov. 28). He scored in double figures in 33 games, including 19 contests with 20-plus points and two games of 30-or-more points. Benimon was selected to the 2015 NBA D-League All-Star Team, and was also named to the Honorable Mention All-Showcase team earlier this season.

The 23-year-old forward attended 2014 training camp with the Denver Nuggets, averaging 2.0 points and 2.7 rebounds in 8.1 minutes in six preseason games before being waived on Oct. 22.

A native of Warrenton, Va., Benimon played two seasons at Georgetown (2009-11) before transferring to Towson (2011-14). He was named Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Player of the Year twice (2013, 2014), becoming just the eighth player in conference history to win back-to-back player of the year honors. Benimon also earned All-CAA First Team honors in 2013 and 2014 and was selected to the 2014 CAA All-Defensive Team. He was not selected in the 2014 NBA Draft.

Benimon becomes the 18th D-League Call-Up in Jazz history, and the seventh this season. He is the second call-up from the Stampede since the team became the Jazz’s direct affiliate prior to this season.

Benimon will wear uniform #22 for the Jazz.

Following the move, the Jazz roster now stands at 15 players.

Wesley Matthews suffers season-ending injury

Wesley Matthews suffers season-ending injury

Portland Trail Blazers guard Wesley Matthews will miss the remainder of the season after rupturing his left Achilles tendon in Portland’s 94-75 win over the Dallas Mavericks Thursday at the Moda Center.

The injury occurred at the 10-minute mark of the third quarter.

Matthews posted averages of 15.9 points (44.8% FG, 38.8% 3-PT, 75.2% FT), 3.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.28 steals and 33.7 minutes in 60 games (all starts) for the Trail Blazers this season.

According to the Oregonian, “the Blazers initially announced that Matthews had a “left foot injury” and would not return to the game. Following magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tests on Matthews’ left leg, the team updated his status saying he would miss the remainder the Blazers season with the Achilles injury. Rehab for a ruptured Achilles is usually projected between six to nine months. The Blazers have not announced if or when Matthews will undergo surgery for the injury.”

George Hill helping Pacers do big things

George Hill helping Pacers do big things

The Pacers deserve more mentions from us and everybody else as well. Written off before the season even started, they’ve played excellent basketball for a while now. Here’s the Indianapolis Star with some insight:

George Hill helping Pacers do big things

Who knew an Indiana Pacer other than Paul George could key such a productive second half of the season?

That has become the case with George Hill, whose strong return from injury has improved the starting lineup as well as the unit that comes off the bench.

With Hill averaging 14.5 points over the past 11 games, the Pacers are 9-2 and in playoff contention entering Friday’s home game against Chicago because the entire team is clicking.

Rodney Stuckey and C.J. Watson have combined for 57 starts this season, but as a recent tandem of reserves they’re giving opponents fits.

Stuckey has averaged a team-high 15.6 points since Hill went back to starting Feb. 4. Included in that surge are seven games of 15 or more points and back-to-back 30-point efforts. Stuckey’s totals have been fueled by 51 percent shooting (52.2 percent on 3-pointers) and 3.6 assists.

Draymond Green recognizes that the other team is in trouble

Here’s the San Francisco Chronicle with a fun Warriors item on the challenge of going against them:

Draymond Green feels sorry for teams that have to guard smaller Warriors lineup

Draymond Green feels sorry for opposing defenses when the Warriors go small.

Would they try to switch to a bigger defender when Golden State runs a pick and roll for Stephen Curry?

“Good luck with that,” Green said, chuckling, after practice Thursday.

Keep two guys on Curry?

“That opens me up to make plays with three other shooters around,” Green said. “That’s three-on-two. It’s tough for teams to defend.”

While Green is having a breakthrough season offensively, it’s the 6-foot-7 forward’s ability to defend from the center position when the Warriors go small that has everybody excited. Golden State has gone with the smaller lineup more often recently, and it worked again in Wednesday night’s comeback win over the Bucks.

Craig Sager back for NBA on TNT

Craig Sager back for NBA on TNT

Craig Sager, he of daring yet highly questionable fashion decisions, is back in action for the NBA on TNT broadcast team. Here’s the Associated Press reporting:

Craig Sager returned to his familiar spot on the NBA sideline Thursday after being treated for leukemia.

The veteran reporter worked Oklahoma City’s game against Chicago for TNT, 11 months after he was diagnosed with leukemia.

“I’m 60 yards shorter off the tee, but I feel good,” Sager told The Associated Press upon his arrival at the United Center.

Best known for his outlandish outfits, Sager wore a red, black and gray plaid jacket and matching Nike shoes that sparkled in the dark for the occasion.

“Bulls colors,” he explained.

Timberwolves add Justin Hamilton, waive Glenn Robinson III

Timberwolves add Justin Hamilton

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has claimed center Justin Hamilton off waivers. He’s bench material and adds a bit of frontcourt depth, especially while Nikola Pekovic isn’t at 100% health.

Hamilton, 24, has played in 24 games (five starts) this season with the Miami Heat, averaging 2.8 points and 2.0 rebounds in 12.0 minutes per game. In his second year out of Louisiana State University, the 7-0 center played in eight games last season for Miami and the Charlotte Bobcats, averaging 3.3 points and 0.9 rebounds per game. Hamilton was originally drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers with the 45th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. Hamilton was traded from the Heat to the New Orleans Pelicans on February 19, 2015. He did not appear in a game with the Pelicans before being waived on March 3, 2015.

Robinson III appeared in 25 games this season with Minnesota, averaging 1.2 points in 4.3 minutes per contest. The Wolves drafted the 6-7 forward with the 40th overall selection in the 2014 NBA Draft.

In a subsequent move, the team has waived forward Glenn Robinson III.

The Wolves roster stands at 15 players.

Bradley Beal still working his way back to form

Here’s CSN Washington reporting on Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal:

Bradley Beal still working his way back to form

Two games into his return, Bradley Beal is shooting just 8-for-28, or 28.5%, and his legs aren’t all the way there. He was off for three weeks while he was recovering from a stress injury in his lower right leg and hasn’t quite been himself yet.

The Wizards (34-27) are 1-1 with him back in the lineup and might’ve been able to steal Tuesday’s game at the Chicago Bulls, a 97-92 loss, if Beal shot better than 2-for-8 in the third quarter.

Beal had a wide-open look with 56 seconds left that could’ve tied the score at 94 with a three-pointer, but he misfired. Most of his shots came up short which is an indication of heavy legs.

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