Culture of Hoops

November News and Rumors

Baller Mind Frame’s official news and rumors page with quick blurbs mixed with personal opinion from our very own Aaron Lanton. Check it often and absorb the NBA goings-on. For more news and rumors visit our archives – June 2013 I July 2013I August 2013I September 2013I October 2013

11/30/2013 – Westbrook overtime game-winning shot and reactions:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mf8weNWM9m8[/youtube]

11/30/2013 – Tyson Chandler expects to return to the court soon: Tyson Chandler believes he’ll return to the New York Knicks’ lineup in the semi-near future, but just how soon is open for debate. Coach Mike Woodson said at Friday’s shootaround that his starting center could be back in about two weeks. But Chandler, recovering from a non-displaced fracture of his right fibula, wasn’t quite ready to confirm that as his team prepared to face the Denver Nuggets. “I don’t want to put a timetable on it right now,” Chandler said. “I’m feeling better. I’m starting to do a little more. But we’re just kind of taking it as it goes.” Asked when he’ll be cleared to run on the court, the 13th-year pro said: “That stuff, I really don’t know. The trainers kind of take it step by step, and when I can do one thing, they move me on to another to see how I react. But I couldn’t give you an honest answer on a timetable or how quickly I can start running on the court.” ESPN

11/30/2013 – The Miami Heat win their ninth game in a row: The Miami Heat had to work a little harder than they wanted for their ninth straight victory. LeBron James scored 27 points, Dwyane Wade had 22 and the surging Heat beat the Toronto Raptors 90-83 on Friday. Still, it didn’t come easy for Miami, who watched a 20-point third-quarter lead whittled down to two points with less than five minutes to go in the fourth. “We would have loved to push that huge lead up in the third and just keep it going but they’ve got some good players,” James said. “They got stops, we turned the ball over, we didn’t execute and they got back into the game. But we finished it out.” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said his team became frustrated as they shot 4-for-18 from the field in the fourth, allowing Toronto back into the game. “I told the guys we certainly have to get better when we have leads that are over 15, to be able to close out and focus and maintain that same type of intensity,” Spoelstra said. ESPN

11/30/2013 –Mike D’Antoni peeved about Kidd’s intentional on-court spill: Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni got a little hot under the collar when asked about Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd intentionally spilling his cold drink. “I knew he was going to get caught,” D’Antoni said before the Lakers played the Detroit Pistons on Friday when asked about Kidd’s being fined $50,000 by the league for the incident. “You can’t do that. That’s crazy. He can’t do that. It’s cute for a lot of people, but you can’t do that.” With 8.3 seconds left and his team out of timeouts in the Lakers’ 99-94 win over the Nets on Wednesday, Kidd, who was holding a cup of soda on ice, appeared to say “hit me” to point guard Tyshawn Taylor to delay the game and give him and his team time to draw up a last-second offensive play. Both Kidd and Taylor initially denied the collision was planned but on Friday Kidd basically admitted it was intentional. “Paul [Pierce] got a great look, but the league fined me for something that I probably shouldn’t have done,” Kidd said. “We’ll move on.” Said D’Antoni of Kidd initially claiming innocence: “I don’t buy it.” ESPN

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[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5NrggwayIU[/youtube]

Honestly, I’m not confident the team at Baller Mind Frame would sound like a great choir either. – AL
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11/28/2013 – Jason Kidd attempts bold move for an official timeout: In the end, Jason Kidd’s fizzy plot went flat, and now he’ll likely find himself in a sticky situation with the NBA. Out of timeouts and searching for answers amid another fourth-quarter offensive meltdown Wednesday night, the Nets coach tried something different and underhanded in the final seconds of a 99-94 loss to the Lakers. Kidd, holding a soda on the sideline with 8.3 seconds left, was caught on video clearly telling Nets point guard Tyshawn Taylor to “hit me.” Taylor then bumped his shoulder into Kidd, whose cup spilled onto the Barclays Center court, causing a delay while the mess was cleaned.It essentially gave the Nets a free timeout, and perhaps served as a tactic to ice the Lakers’ shooter, Jodie Meeks, who was in between a pair of foul shots when the soda spread. It was a savvy move for a rookie coach trying to navigate an ugly start to the season. New York Daily News [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbKbnngVYqw[/youtube] It’s a genius move if they win. It’s a bonehead move if they lose. Narratives are emotional like that. – AL

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11/27/2013 – Dirk Nowitzki is happy for Kobe Bryant but will not take extend his contract with the Mavs for a huge cap number: Nowitzki, 35, is in the last year of his contract that pays him $22.7 million, second-highest in the league this season behind Bryant’s $30.5 million. Unlike Bryant, who agreed Monday to a two-year, $48.5 million extension, Nowitzki plans to let his contract expire before negotiating a new deal with Dallas owner Mark Cuban this summer. Also unlike the Los Angeles Lakers future Hall of Famer, Nowitzki appears accepting of a steeper pay cut than Bryant, one more in line with the three-year, $36-million deals Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan agreed to two summers ago. “Obviously, it’s good for Kobe,” said Nowitzki, who passed Garnett Monday for 14th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. “That’s a lot of money for a 35-year-old, but if one guy earned it, it’s definitely Kobe.” In the summer of 2010, Nowitzki left $16 million on the table when he signed a four-year, $80 million deal to stay in Dallas. That season he led the Mavs to the franchise’s lone championship and was named the Finals MVP after defeating the Miami Heat. Now, Nowitzki is just looking to get back into the playoffs with a roster that includes only Shawn Marion from the title team. NBA 11/27/2013 – Twitter reactions to last night’s Toronto and Brooklyn game:

Raptors vs Nets tweet # 1

Raptors vs Nets tweet # 2

Raptors vs Nets tweet # 3 11/27/2013 – Grizzlies’ head coach Dave Joerger being asked to slow down the offense: The Grizzlies started this season attempting to play at a faster pace and run more of a flex offense, according to several league scouts, which resulted in a 3-5 record and poundings at home by such lightweights as the Toronto Raptors and the New Orleans Pelicans. Several league sources, meanwhile, said that first-year coach Dave Joerger is getting considerable direction from the top of the team masthead, including everyone from owner Robert Pera to VP John Hollinger. “They’re suggesting lineups,” said one league source. “Aggressively.” One scout said, “It looked as if Joerger was trying to put his stamp on them and the players resisted. They were like, ‘The other way worked, so why change?’ I know they wanted to play faster, but they don’t have that kind of team. They grind.” Why abandon a style that won 56 games last season? One scout attributed it to the fact that analytics suggest more possessions—i.e., playing faster—and more drive-and-kick opportunities produce more efficient offensive numbers. There’s also the matter of having dumped veteran coach Lionel Hollins for the neophyte Joerger, in part because Hollins wasn’t enthralled with having front-office numbers-crunchers telling him what offensive sets he should use. Bleacher Report ================================================================================= 11/26/2013 – Kobe Bryant signs 2-year extension with the Lakers: Kobe Bryant signed a two-year contract extension with the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday. The Lakers did not announce financial terms, but a source told ESPNLosAngeles.com’s Ramona Shelburne that the deal is worth $48.5 million. Bryant, 35, will maintain his status as the NBA’s highest-paid player over the course of the extension, the source told Shelburne. The 2007-08 league MVP will receive $23.5 million in the first year and $25 million in the second year of the extension, according to the source. ESPN

11/26/2013 – Timberwolves send Derrick Williams to the Kings in trade: The Minnesota Timberwolves have an agreement in principle on a trade that would send third-year forward Derrick Williams to the Sacramento Kings in exchange for sixth-year small forward Luc Mbah a Moute, a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed to USA TODAY Sports. USA Today

11/26/2013 – Dwyane Wade wants to stay with the Heat for the duration of his career: “I’ve got a long way to go,” Wade said. “It’s great for a guy like [Bryant]. You feel proud obviously to be able to say that. It doesn’t happen for everyone. But Kobe will always be forever looked at as a Laker and loved so much.” Wade said he began thinking about being a Heat lifer the moment he signed his first contract extension. “That’s something that I strived for, was to hopefully become one of those guys,” Wade said. “It’s not many. I’ve got years left to go but I would love to be one of those.” Miami Sun Sentinel

11/26/2013 – Bulls’ head coach Tom Thibodeau not interested in giving up on the season: The veteran coach simply doesn’t believe in mailing anything in. When the topic of the Bulls’ front office writing off this season came up before the game, Thibodeau pushed it off the same way he is trying to push away Rose’s absence. The 55-year-old coach loves and respects Rose and wants him to get healthy, but he doesn’t want his healthy players to cloak themselves in the gloominess that Rose’s injury makes fans feel. “My job is to coach the team,” Thibodeau said. “Whoever I have on the roster, that’s who I’m coaching. Whether Derrick’s here or not, that’s what they have to do. [The front office has] to always look at the players that are available. They have to study, which they do. And you go from there. “I love the team that we have; I love the guys that we have in that locker room. I think we have great character, we’ve got great fight, we’ve got determination and we love the challenge.” But what if Bulls general manager Gar Forman and executive vice president John Paxson come to Thibodeau later in the season and tell him that the plan in place requires the Bulls to sell off many of their valuable assets? “They’ve got to do their job,” Thibodeau said. “I don’t think about that. I think about what we do have. Their job is to always look at what the possibilities are. That’s the nature of this league.” ESPN

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11/25/2013 – Kings’ Carl Landry travels with team while recovering from hip injury: Carl Landry isn’t close to returning to the court for the Kings, but he is able to travel with the Kings as he recovers from surgery for a torn left hip flexor. Landry underwent surgery Oct. 15 for the injury suffered during training camp in Santa Barbara. He was expected to miss three to four months after the surgery. Landry is going through his rehab on the road, but is still unable to do anything on the court. “Just being patient is the toughest part for me,” Landry said. “I’ve got to sit back and watch my teammates go to war and I can’t be involved physically. The main thing is to be patient and remember that it’s a journey, it’s a marathon, and things will be better in due time.” Sacramento Bee 11/25/2013 – Mark Cuban believes the NBA should consider regulating human growth hormone: In the wake of the NBA’s latest round of injuries to fallen stars, always-outspoken Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is proposing a possible solution: human growth hormone. Cuban isn’t advocating the use of the controversial drug but rather calling attention to what he sees as a dearth of research on the topic as it relates to athletes who are recovering from injury. His hope, which he shared in front of the league’s owners and league officials at an Oct. 23 Board of Governors meeting in New York, is that a more-informed decision can be made as to whether it should remain on the league’s banned-substance list or perhaps be utilized as a way of expediting an athlete’s return to the court. If it were ever allowed — and it’s safe to say that won’t be happening anytime soon — Cuban sees a major benefit for teams and their fans like. “The issue isn’t whether I think it should be used,” Cuban told USA TODAY Sports via e-mail. “The issue is that it has not been approved for such use. And one of the reasons it hasn’t been approved is that there have not been studies done to prove the benefits of prescribing HGH for athletic rehabilitation or any injury rehabilitation that I’m aware of. The product has such a huge (public) stigma that no one wants to be associated with it.” USA Today

Part 1 of Lowe’s tweet – AL

Part 2 of Lowe’s tweet – AL

Part 3 of Lowe’s tweet – AL ================================================================================================================   11/24/2013 – The Bulls face uncertainty as news comes up Rose’s torn meniscus: Instead, Rose was headed back to Chicago on Sunday, facing more surgery and uncertainty after an MRI exam confirmed a medial meniscus tear to his right knee. The Bulls said Rose will be sidelined indefinitely. “It’s a huge loss,” guard Kirk Hinrich said. “Everything we do is built around him. Losing one of the best players in the league obviously changes the landscape of things. I just feel bad for him personally.” How long Rose is out won’t be known until surgeons do their work. Estimates range from one month to six; that’s how wide the disparity is. According to sources who have discussed Rose’s medical care, if merely an arthroscopic process is needed to “clean up” the injury, his absence would be on the shorter end of that spectrum. If the meniscus needs more extensive surgery to be reattached or repaired, Rose would be out longer and could miss the entire season. Chicago Tribune

11/24/2013 – Marc Gasol suffers grade 2 MCL sprain in his left knee: Memphis Grizzlies star center Marc Gasol has been diagnosed with a sprained knee and will be out indefinitely, the team announced Saturday. An MRI revealed that Gasol, the NBA’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year, has a Grade 2 sprain of the MCL in his left knee. Gasol will not undergo surgery, the team announced. ESPN While Marc Gasol’s injury is anything but funny, this typo of a Tony Allen quote in the Commercial Appeal, Memphis’ local newspaper, is a gut-buster. – AL 11/24/2013 – Rockets’ Harden will be held out at least the next two games with a foot injury: The Houston Rockets will hold James Harden out of their next two games thanks to a sore foot that has been plaguing the star guard for more than a month. Harden missed Saturday night’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves and will sit out their following game Monday against the Memphis Grizzlies before being re-evaluated. The soreness in Harden’s left foot has been troubling him to various degrees since the middle of training camp, according to sources. ESPN

============================================================================================================ 11/23/2013 – NBA.com explores the Nets’ poor play in the second halves so far: Offensively, the Nets have had a slightly higher turnover rate in the second half, but it’s been their shooting that has suffered the biggest drop-off. They actually have taken a greater percentage of their shots from the restricted area and from 3-point range in the second half. Better shots should equal better shooting. And they’ve shot well at the basket and from the corners. But they’ve been terrible on other jump shots, shooting 30.1 percent from mid-range and 25.6 percent on above-the-break threes in the second half. These second-half struggles point straight to the older guys in the rotation: Kevin Garnett (37), Joe Johnson (32), Paul Pierce (36) and Jason Terry (36). That group has shot 36-for-79 (46 percent) from mid-range in the first half and 13-for-52 (25 percent) in the second half. Johnson, Pierce and Terry have shot 11-for-30 (37 percent) on above-the-break threes in the first half and 11-for-47 (23 percent) in the second half. Johnson has gone from 6-for-11 to 3-for-16, though he has shot well — 4-for-7 — from the corners in the second half. NBA I recommend reading the rest of the article for full statistics and an examination of the Nets’ second half defensive struggles. – AL [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EksCAJaE2c[/youtube]

11/23/2013 – Pistons’ Josh Smith taken out of the starting lineup: In what is being described as a “last-minute” change, Detroit Pistons forward Josh Smith is not in the starting lineup tonight vs. the Atlanta Hawks. Pistons spokesman Kevin Grigg just informed reporters that second-year small forward Kyle Singler will join Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe on the frontline. Smith came off the bench with 5:47 left in the first quarter. He did not score, missing all seven shots in 20 minutes. Grigg added that it was Cheeks’ decision and Smith is available. Detroit Free Press [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBJoLt3AOh0[/youtube] =============================================================================================== 11/23/2013 – Clippers’ Matt Barnes out two weeks with eye injury: Matt Barnes of the Los Angeles Clippers needs surgery to repair a retinal tear in his left eye. The team said Thursday that Barnes sustained the injury against the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday. He’s expected to miss at least two weeks. Yahoo Sports

11/23/2013 – Mike Conley discusses the Grizzlies early season offensive struggles: “It took us some time because we tried to change (the offense) and I don’t think it really (worked),” Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley told USA TODAY Sports. “We went fast, and I think we got a little bit out of control for everybody. We’re still playing a little bit quicker, but when we get to our offensive sets, we’re able to slow it down to a pace that’s better for our bigs, and it’s working. “We knew that there were some plays from last year that we probably should keep. They’re still working, so why not keep using them? They just hadn’t been put in yet. We were going through a whole new set of plays, and I think it was just easier to just jump into something that we knew. … After three or four games, we started to adjust and to get a little bit of old Grizzlies back in there.” USA Today ==============================================================================

Rose is referring to a term Kobe Bryant created that means “intentionally sticking your foot under a player while they are above the ground which might ‘accidentally’ lead to injury.” – AL 11/21/2013 – Kwame Brown has been released by the 76ers: Former No. 1 draft pick Kwame Brown has been waived by the Philadelphia 76ers, league sources told Yahoo Sports. A 6-foot-11 center, Brown had been taken first overall in the 2001 NBA draft by then-Washington Wizards president Michael Jordan, ahead of players like Tyson Chandler, Pau Gasol, Joe Johnson, Zach Randolph and Tony Parker. Brown was in a two-year, $6 million contract with the Sixers and has made approximately $64 million in his 13 NBA seasons, despite career averages of 6.6 points and 5.5 rebounds. Yahoo Sports 11/21/2013 – Rumors swirl that the Sacramento Kings are seeking to trade veterans for tanking: The Kings are aggressively pursuing trade possibilities in hopes of accelerating the rebuilding process, NBA.com has learned, with one executive saying the team is looking to swap veterans for prospects and picks. While it is believed some conversations have advanced beyond preliminary talks, it is not immediately clear whether any deals are imminent. One league source rated Sacramento’s interest level in making a move soon as “very high,” and said the new front office led by owner Vivek Ranadive and general manager Pete D’Alessandro has had discussions with several clubs in hopes of generating activity long before the Feb. 20 trade deadline. The Kings (3-7) have several veterans that could be of interest to playoff-bound teams looking for depth, although some of those players have sizable guaranteed contracts. John Salmons just lost his starting job at small forward, as did shooting guard Marcus Thornton and power forward Patrick Patterson. NBA

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11/20/2013 –Hakeem Olajuwon says Dwight Howard is returning to bad habits: “The truth is that I can’t wait to get back to Houston to do more work with Dwight,” said Olajuwon, who left Houston in early October to return to his home in Amman, Jordan and has been keeping track of his pupil on TV. “I wish he was doing a better job. “Dwight has always been athletic and aggressive and he still is. But when I watch him, what I see are opportunities that he is missing. When he gets the ball, he seems to be taking his time to decide what move to make, where he should go. “There should not be a delay for Dwight. He must be able to make a faster recognition of the situations and react immediately with a go-to move. You must move right away before the defense has a chance to set up. You must be the one making the first move so that you can force the defender to always be the one reacting. “I thought we were doing a good job with this when we were working together over the summer and at the start of training camp. But what I see now is that when Dwight gets in competition, he has a tendency to go back to all of his old habits. He’s just doing all of the things that he did before. He needs a reminder.” Olajuwon plans to return to Houston prior to the NBA All-Star break in February and will remain in Houston through the end of the season and the playoffs. NBA

11/20/2013 – Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett comment on Nets’ early season struggles: “As competitors, we’re angry,” Pierce said of the team’s mood after a lengthy practice that lasted over two hours. “Nobody likes to lose. Everybody in this group that we’re here with is very angry. Nobody’s happy about losing.” Garnett described the team’s frame of mind in the locker room meeting on Monday as “dismal.” The Nets have dropped five of their last six games as they open a two-game road trip Wednesday in Charlotte. “I really believe that when you go through dismal times like this, it builds character,” Garnett said of the Nets’ players meeting on Monday night. “It shows you who’s within and who has the rope and who’s going to let go. I think it really separates the ones that are willing to fight and so far everybody’s in here. Everybody’s in the conversation. We don’t have one or two guys floating throughout. We’re in here. “Even the guys that are hurt, we’re in here and we’re all trying to fix this thing,” he continued. “It’s not something that none of want to be in. It’s not a good feeling. I don’t think we’re having any fun around here. Nothing’s fun about losing and we’re trying to fix it.” ESPN

11/19/2013 – Marvin Williams will miss next game with broken nose: Jazz forward Marvin Williams won’t play Wednesday night at New Orleans, according to coach Tyrone Corbin. Williams stayed in Utah when his teammates left for the start of a three-game road trip so he could undergo a surgical procedure to re-set a broken nose. Williams was injured last Friday against San Antonio. Salt Lake Tribune

========================================================================================== 11/19/2013 – Net’s head coach Jason Kidd takes the blame for the latest loss in the team’s 3-7 start: “Just bad coaching: I take the blame for this. The guys played hard, we got a little stagnant on the offensive end, so this falls on my shoulders,” coach Jason Kidd said. “We got off to a good start, and in the third quarter we came out a little flat. That falls on me. If we don’t score we’ve got to play the other side, and tonight that falls on me not having guys ready to play.’’ New York Post

11/19/2013 – Knicks’ Iman Shumpert had an undisclosed knee operation during the summer: Iman Shumpert had a second left knee operation over the summer, the Daily News has learned, and it is unclear if the unreported surgery could affect his trade value — with the desperate Knicks trying to package Shumpert in a number of proposed deals, including one for Boston’s Rajon Rondo. According to a source, Shumpert had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee last July that the Knicks never reported. In September, the Daily News reported that Amar’e Stoudemire had knee surgery over the summer, which the Knicks also elected not to make public. New York Daily News

Tony Allen was ejected in the first quarter during Monday’s night game versus the Clippers for kicking Chris Paul in the mouth. Paul would later say that Allen apologized on the court and he did not believe it was intentional. – AL ===========================================================================================

11/18/2013 – Warriors’ Jermaine O’Neal suffers injury on non-contact play: In depressing news, Jermaine O’Neal — a welcome addition and solid backup to Bogut — appeared to injure his knee and groin on a non-contact play. He needed help getting off the court and will get an MRI to clarify the situation. SB Nation 11/18/2013 – Celtics’ GM Danny Ainge does not believe that Jeff Green is a go-to player: “Well, I don’t think Jeff will be a focal point of our team this year,” president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said. “I don’t think we have a player who’s a focal point of our team, especially with Rondo out. I think that we have to do it collectively. If we expect Jeff to be the focal point and to turn into Kevin Durant or LeBron James or even Paul Pierce, I think that we’re putting unrealistic expectations on him.” But what about those games — the 31 points Green threw in against the Suns in Phoenix last season, the 43 he dropped on the Miami Heat, the back-to-back 27s against the Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks? And the game-winning trey at the buzzer in Miami this season? “I think Jeff is a complete player who can defend and pass and score,” Ainge said, “but, no, I don’t think Jeff is one of those guys who’s going to get you 25 a game. He may be a go-to guy some nights, but I think we’re going to be more of an equal-opportunity basketball team than we are a team that’s built around one or two players like we have in the past.” Boston Herald

============================================================================== 11/17/2013 – It did not take long for Pelicans’ Jrue Holiday to get over being traded by the 76ers: Before Saturday’s game against the 76ers, the New Orleans Pelicans point guard was asked how long it took to get over being traded by the Sixers on draft night. “You want me to be honest?” Holiday said. “I’d probably say a couple minutes. I love my teammates over there. But they named off [Pelicans players] Eric Gordon, Anthony Davis, at the time there was Ryan Anderson, Jason Smith.” Philadelphia Inquirer 11/17/2013 – Amar’e Stoudemire expresses his desire to play more minutes: Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire is growing frustrated with the minutes limit the team has placed on him. “It’s making me look like my game is gone or that I don’t have game anymore because when you play five minutes, it’s just tough to really get in a rhythm,” Stoudemire said before Saturday night’s 110-90 loss to the Atlanta Hawks. In an effort to protect his oft-injured knees, the Knicks have placed Stoudemire on a limit of 10 minutes per game. He has been playing two five-minute intervals. “It’s tough to play five minutes and expect to be great in five minutes. It’s almost impossible,” he said. “By the time you get up and down and get adjusted to the speed of the game, it’s already three minutes, and then in two minutes you’re out of there. And if you miss a shot, it feels [like] the world is collapsing on you because you’re expected to do so much and somewhat win the game in five minutes and it’s tough. It’s hard to deal with.” ESPN

============================================================================================ 11/16/2013 – Kobe Bryant participated with the Lakers in practice: Operating without a timetable thus far has been a necessity, because every day was an unknown. But by returning to practice on Saturday, Bryant started the clock ticking in earnest toward his return to game action. “Surprisingly good,” one person who saw Bryant practice said of his first day back on the court. “Sharp and explosive, relatively speaking.” Given that he’s been ramping up his conditioning for a few weeks and can now move laterally, by my estimation, the window for Bryant’s return opens at the earliest around Nov. 27 in Brooklyn against the Nets. Bryant flourished in his first game at Barclays Center this past February, thrilling the crowd with the kind of high-flying dunk he hadn’t done in years and saying after his Brooklyn debut, “It was pretty damn cool. I enjoyed it immensely.” CBS Sports

11/16/2013 – Greg Stiemsma expected to be out for two months with knee injury: The New Orleans Pelicans will be without their backup center for the foreseeable future after the team announced that Greg Stiemsma has sprained his MCL. Stiemsma suffered the injury against the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday and will be out for six to eight weeks. The big man is averaging 2.0 points, 4.6 rebounds and a 1.0 blocks in just over 15 minutes per game. SB Nation 11/16/2013 – Sacramento Kings’ fans set a decibels record for indoor venues: The Kings said a sellout crowd of 17,317 at Friday night’s game against the Detroit Pistons broke the previous Guinness Book of World Records mark of 106.6 decibels set by Milwaukee Bucks fans in 2008 three times. Sacramento fans reached 124.9 decibels during a first quarter timeout. The crowd topped that at halftime and again before the fourth quarter, setting the record at 126 decibels. Associated Press 11/16/2013 – Hawks’ guard Lou Williams returns to the court for first time since torn ACL: Hawks guard Lou Williams returned to the court for the first time since undergoing reconstructive right knee surgery 10 months ago. Williams, in his second season with Atlanta, was cheered when he entered Friday night’s 113-103 victory over Philadelphia midway through the first quarter. He finished with seven points, three rebounds and two assists in 15 minutes. ESPN

============================================================================== 11/15/2013 – The Houston Rockets continue to deny Omer Asik’s trade request: With his starting spot gone and playing time slashed, Houston Rockets center Omer Asik again has asked for a trade, although the team has informed him it currently does not intend to deal him, sources told ESPN.com. The issue was revived this week when Rockets coach Kevin McHale decided to take Asik out of the starting lineup after an experiment of playing him and Dwight Howard together yielded only mixed results. Asik has continually declined to comment on the trade request. ESPN 11/15/2013 – NBA to suit all players into short-sleeved jerseys on Christmas day: NBA players are dressing up for Christmas – in sleeves. The league debuted short-sleeved jerseys Thursday for the 10 teams that will play on the holiday, replacing the traditional sleeveless NBA uniforms. The jerseys featured a large logo in the center on the front of the jersey. The player’s number is featured on the left sleeve and on the back. Associated Press

11/15/2013 – Celtics’ GM Danny Anige says Rajon Rondo could return during December: Making his weekly appearance on Boston sports radio 98.5 the SportsHub, Ainge speculated on the return timeline based on the progress in Rondo’s rehab. “Rondo’s making great progress,” said Ainge. “I don’t have a return date for him, but I really like what I see in his attitude and his effort. He’s putting in the time to get better and he’s making steady progress. “I don’t see anything happening this month. … I think that when we get into the middle of December, it could be a week-by-week situation for him. He’s getting closer, but he still hasn’t gained 100 percent of his strength back in that leg. And we certainly don’t want to take any risks.” ESPN

======================================================================================== 11/14/2013 – Anthony Bennett, the first pick of the 2013 NBA Draft, is really struggling: The rookie forward is averaging of 12 minutes per game, and he’s only made four of the first 32 shots of his career. Four! That’s good for a field goal percentage of 12.5. But those numbers don’t tell the whole story. Bennett went a combined 0-15 from the field in his first four games before bouncing back with a 1-5 performance in his fifth. How’d he follow that up? By taking zero shots in six minutes during his sixth game, and then going 0-1 in nine minutes during his seventh. Deadspin

11/14/2013 – Wizards’ Trevor Ariza suffers hamstring injury: Trevor Ariza will have an MRI on Thursday to determine the severity of the strained right hamstring that he suffered in the second quarter of the Wizards’ 92-79 loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday at AT&T Center. Ariza left the game after scoring three points, with three rebounds, two steals and two assists in 17 minutes. In the midst of one of his better campaigns, Ariza ranks third on the team in scoring at 14.8 points per game and was among one of the league leaders in minutes played this season. He scored 27 points and made five three-pointers the night before in Dallas. Washington Post

11/14/2013 – The Los Angeles Lakers’ 270 home-game sellout streak just ended: Tuesday night, the Lakers’ streak of 270 consecutive home sellouts ended, a streak that stretched back seven seasons. The Lakers drew 18,426 to see them beat the Pelicans, short of the capacity of 18,997. If you want to compare, the Clippers are now at 98 consecutive sellouts, dating back to 2011, which is when they became interesting. NBC Sports ============================================================================== 11/13/2013 – J.R. Smith comments on his role as a team leader: Smith said he’s now forced into a leadership role after most of last season’s vets are gone. “The last two years, I didn’t have that voice on this team,’’ Smith said. “Some other guys had that voice. Now it’s a good voice to have. “We miss our vets,’’ Smith added. “The difference between Jason Kidd, Kurt Thomas, the Rasheed Wallaces is the communication. Last training camp, we were 100 percent better on our communication skills on the defensive and offensive end. Myself, Melo [Carmelo Anthony], Ray have become the vets. We have to do better policing that.’’ New York Post 11/13/2013 – Kendrick Perkins will miss the next two games following the passing of his grandfather: Oklahoma City center Kendrick Perkins has returned to Texas because of the passing of his grandfather and will miss the Thunder’s next two games, league sources told Yahoo Sports on Wednesday. Yahoo Sports

11/13/2013 – Dwight Howard wants talk about his poor free throw shooting to end: Rockets center Dwight Howard has been a target this year for his sub-par free throw shooting. Opponents have gone to the “hack-a-Dwight” method to put the big man at the line. After another poor performance from the line on Monday night against the Raptors (Howard was 4-of-12), he told reporters he just didn’t want to talk about free throws anymore. “I don’t want to talk about it,” Howard said. “So much has been talked about free throws, just let it go. We talk about it so much, I think about it at the line. I don’t want to think about it. I want to shoot. “That’s what I do in practice. I shoot in practice and I dont miss because I am not thinking about it.” Ultimate Rockets 11/13/2013 – Dirk Nowitzki passes Jerry West on the all-time scoring list: Dirk Nowitzki shot past “The Logo” on Tuesday night and is bearing down on Reggie Miller. The Dallas Mavericks’ sure-fire Hall-of-Fame forward took over 16th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list from Los Angeles Lakers legend Jerry West. Nowitzki needed 15 points in the Mavs’ 105-95 win over the Washington Wizards. He got 19, surpassing West with the second of a pair of late third-quarter 3-pointers that also helped Dallas jump back out to an insurmountable double-digit lead. “He was obviously a little before my time,” Nowitzki said of West. “But I love the history of the game, I watched plenty of games, watched him shoot. He’s really the first guy that had really a pure jump shot like that. He’s the man, he’s clutch. He’s the logo.” Nowitzki, in his 16th season, now has 25,197 career points. With West’s 25,192 points behind him, Miller’s 25,279 points is reachable likely within the next three to five games. Soon, only 14 players will have scored more points than the big German, and only a handful are safe from Nowitzki’s final charge over the next few seasons. “It’s another great milestone, but for now, got to keep working and that’s really about it,” said a rather subdued Nowitzki, whose re-tooled Mavs improved to 5-3. “Like I always say, all these milestones are great once my career is over.” NBA

============================================================================== 11/12/2013 – The New Orleans Pelicans released two players and signed two players in back-to-back moves: The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that the team has signed Lou Amundson and Josh Childress, and has waived Lance Thomas and Arinze Onuaku. Per club policy, terms of the contracts were not released. NBA 11/12/2013 – Pacers’ forward Danny Granger returns to practice: Forward Danny Granger is scheduled to return to practice on Tuesday after being held out more than three weeks due to a strained left calf. When he might slip on his jersey and check in during a game has yet to be determined. It’s a slow, incremental process for Granger to ensure he’s healthy. “We won’t have a formal practice but he’ll get some individual work where he’s playing two-on-two, or three-on-three,” said Pacers coach Frank Vogel. “We’ll try to get him some full-court work and then he’ll practice Wednesday and Thursday. I still think it’s going to be a new beginning of a process to get his game legs back under him and his game timing, which is where we were working towards when he got injured.” Granger first suffered the calf strain in his left leg at a home game on Oct. 16 against Dallas. He then had an MRI, which showed that it was nothing serious. Granger started two nights later and admittedly played his best basketball since the 2012 Playoffs. However, the strain flared up and he’s been out ever since – almost a month. NBA

11/12/2013 – Deal reached to renovate the Target Center, home of the Minnesota Timberwolves: The Minneapolis City Council has approved an agreement with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx to renovate the Target Center, one of the NBA’s oldest venues. The $97 million renovation of the 23-year-old, city-owned Target Center includes a redesign of the outdated exterior, additional clubs and gathering spaces, as well as improved traffic flow. Associated Press 11/12/2013 – Knicks are promising to sign Kevin Love during the summer of 2015 to convince Carmelo Anthony to stick around: Between now and July free agency, the Love pursuit will be part of New York’s hard sell to Anthony. The Knicks are a mess now, but the mirage never changes: always a salvation on the way at the Garden, always a championship parade headed down the Canyon of Heroes. With the Knicks able to pay $30 million more than everyone else on the market, with the Knicks affording him and his inner circle a full run of the Garden, make no mistake: Carmelo Anthony will want badly to believe them. Again. Yahoo Sports 11/12/2013 – Lebron James is unhappy with the Heat’s defense this season: “It’s simple,” James said as the Heat prepared for Tuesday’s home game against the Milwaukee Bucks. “These first seven games, we’re playing like s— defensively. It’s that simple. We’re not a sugarcoat team. We came in and got right down to it. We’re terrible on defense, and we’ve got to change that.” James’ comments came on the heels of the Heat’s 111-110 loss Saturday to the Boston Celtics, who won on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Jeff Green after overcoming a four-point deficit in the final 3.6 seconds. The shot from Green capped a relentless performance by the Celtics, who took advantage of Miami’s lethargic defensive effort throughout the game. It’s already developing into a disturbing trend for the Heat, who are ranked first in the league in offensive efficiency but just 25th among the NBA’s 30 teams in defensive efficiency. Miami also ranks among the bottom third in the league in points allowed, yielding 100.9 per game. ESPN

================================================================================ 11/11/2013 – Lance Stephenson is happy the Nets are in Brooklyn but is happy playing for the Indiana Pacers: “When I was young, I always dreamed for an NBA team to be in Brooklyn and now it’s really happening,” said Stephenson who broke the New York State high school scoring record at Lincoln on Coney Island. Indeed, when first word of the Nets moving broke, Stephenson was 13. But Stephenson wouldn’t go along when Dex asked if he would like to play for his hometown team. “Aw you can’t ask me that question,” said a smiling Stephenson. “The future holds itself but I love my team, I love the Pacers. I would love to stay with my team. I’m happy with my team.” Nets Daily 11/11/2013 – Knicks’ owner James Doaln guarantees win in next game after 31-point blowout by Spurs: “Thanks to the Rangers who brought me a win,” Dolan said on stage. “Unfortunately the basketball (team) couldn’t do it today. We’re going to win the next game, that’s a guarantee.” The Knicks square off against the Hawks on Wednesday night. New York Daily News I have a sneaking suspicion he has no clue who the next team on the schedule is. That would be the Hawks. – AL 11/11/2013 – Carlos Delfino suffers setback with injured foot and will likely missed the entire 2013-14 regular season: Bucks forward Carlos Delfino posted on his personal website Sunday that his foot injury will require additional surgery and it is likely he will miss the entire 2013-’14 season. Delfino injured his right foot in the playoffs last season when he was with the Houston Rockets and he underwent surgery in May. He was in a walking boot when the Bucks opened training camp and said he had suffered a setback in his recovery. Delfino and Bucks team physician Michael Gordon traveled to North Carolina last week to consult with specialists about the injury. And it was determined Delfino will need another surgery to repair a fracture in his right foot, with recovery time estimated at four to six months. “I’m frustrated because I did all the recovery work but my body did not respond as expected,” Delfino said on his website in remarks translated from Spanish. “I’m still optimistic. “Now I have to be calm and open to the decision of the professional who can help me in the recovery of my injury. This is worse than I expected but I am sure that I will return to the court.” Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel

11/11/2013 – JaVale McGee out indefinitely with leg injury: The Nuggets took a big hit at center Sunday with the announcement that starter JaVale McGee will be out indefinitely because of a stress fracture in his left tibia. McGee played in Denver’s first five games. Friday night’s game at Phoenix, however, was the tipping point. When Nuggets coach Brian Shaw removed him with 9:34 left in the third quarter, McGee said he was in pain. He didn’t return to the game. McGee’s X-ray Sunday revealed the stress fracture. “I have no idea on a timetable,” Shaw said of McGee’s return to the lineup. “It’s unfortunate, but injuries are part of the game. Hopefully we can hold the fort down until he gets back.” Denver Post 11/11/2013 – NBA and NBAPA are donating money to support emergency workers in the Philippines: The NBA and NBA Players Association are donating $250,000 to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF in support of UNICEF’s emergency relief efforts in areas of the Philippines ravaged by Typhoon Haiyan. Also, Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, whose mother is from the Philippines, will appear in a public service announcement for the organization to help raise funds for the relief efforts. Associated Press ================================================================================================== 11/10/203 – Celtics’ Jeff Green beats Heat with buzzer-beating 3-pointer: Green hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to lift the Boston Celtics to a 111-110 victory over the Heat on Saturday night. ”I have confidence in every shot I have,” Green said. ”When it left, I had a good feeling it would go in. It went in.” Gerald Wallace’s pass from next to the Heat’s bench found Green on the far right corner, where he unleashed a shot over the outstretched hands of LeBron James. The shot was confirmed after a video review, giving the Celtics their third consecutive win. ”I’m glad we still had time left on the clock,” Boston coach Brad Stevens said. ”It is proof that in this game if you score quickly, you are going to have a chance to at least shoot the ball if the other team misses free throws. Associated Press

Until further notice, I am off the Lillard bandwagon after that quote. If Dwight Howard said that about his free throws, he would get slammed by the media. Regardless, he thinks he is already good enough and that should be a concern for Blazer fans. – AL 11/10/2013 – Sacramento Kings’ head coach Mike Malone was very candid after Saturday night’s loss to the Portland Trail Blazers: “I told our guys, ‘The media is going to go out there and ask me well you played small a lot tonight, you got kicked on the glass,’ and the reality is we got kicked when we were big. At least in the end we were trying to fight, we gave up a lot of threes off offensive rebounds. You don’t need great skill to be a guy that rebounds; being a good rebounder is all about effort, determination, physicality – and we lacked all those tonight as a whole.” Sacramento Bee 11/10/2013 – J.R. Smith will play his first game this season after five-game suspension: New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith will make his season debut Sunday against the San Antonio Spurs after serving a five-game suspension for violating the NBA’s drug policy. Knicks coach Mike Woodson said Smith, last season’s NBA Sixth Man Award winner, will come off the bench. “We’ve just got to make sure that mentally he’s there,” Woodson said. “And I can’t burn him physically.” Smith had left knee surgery in July. Woodson plans to limit him to 30 minutes against the Spurs. Yahoo Sports

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11/9/2013 – NBA commissioner David Stern issues memo to all 30 teams to address bullying in the locker room: Every team in the NBA received a message from the league office reminding them that no form of bullying of its players will be tolerated, according to a report by ESPN.com’s Marc Stein. League sources told Stein that the memo explicitly references the ongoing hazing scandal in the Miami Dolphins’ locker room and encourages players to report any violations they witness or are exposed to. A number of forms of physical and mental threats are specifically listed, including threats of violence and verbal abuse based on a player’s race, nationality, color or sexuality. Requiring individuals to pay for meals, travel expenses or goods and services is also prohibited. SB Nation

11/9/2013 – Carmelo Anthony led players-only meeting after the Knicks’ 1-3 start: New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony questioned the team’s effort in a players-only meeting following a loss to the Charlotte Bobcats on Tuesday. “We shut the door after the game and talked it out a little bit and tried to figure out what was happening,” Anthony said Friday. Anthony’s message to his teammates was direct. “We’ve got to want it, we’ve got to want to do it. We’ve got to believe in ourselves, and right now we’re playing like we don’t even believe in ourselves,” Anthony said. “It’s just effort.” The Knicks responded on Friday with their best effort of the young season in a 101-91 win over Charlotte. “Sometimes you need to get together and talk, communicate, let it all out, just try to figure what’s the problem, what’s the issue,” Anthony said after the win. “We responded well.” ESPN New York ========================================================================================= 11/8/2013 – Vince Carter to serve a one-game suspension for throwing an elbow and making contact: The incident in question occurred with roughly four minutes remaining in the third quarter. Carter was defending Adams, who held the ball in the low post, and took an elbow to the jaw from Adams as the Thunder big man looked to create space to make a pass. Carter was not pleased, and after recovering, hit Adams with an elbow upside the head as both tussled for rebounding position. The intent was clear and the hit had no basketball-related motivation. After video review, Carter was levied a flagrant foul 2 and ejected from the game. He’ll serve his suspension — the first of his 1,072-game career, per ESPN Stats and Info — on Friday when the Mavs play the Timberwolves. Sports Illustrated 11/8/2013 – Kobe Bryant still has no concrete date for his return: As for Bryant’s status, he said he still has no timetable for a return. While he is running at full speed, he has yet to progress to making lateral cuts. “I don’t have a timetable; let’s start there,” Bryant said. “I’ve been pushing pretty hard, man. I’ll go and do some more conditioning after I get done talking to you guys. “The hardest thing is the conditioning and getting back and playing at a high level and being able to run and play at a high level for 48 minutes. (It) is tough, man. You really have to push yourself conditioning wise to get in shape … get down to feeling really comfortable, feeling strong, working through the fatigue first of running straight forward. Once the endurance is there you start doing more lateral things.” USA Today

11/8/2013 – Luol Deng express desire to spend his entire career as a Chicago Bull: Luol Deng says he hopes to retire as a member of the Chicago Bulls. Deng, who is in the last year of a six-year, $71 million contract, acknowledged being disappointed that the Bulls did not offer him a contract extension in the offseason. But he added that he still wants to finish his career in Chicago. “I definitely want to stay here,” Deng said Wednesday at the morning shootaround before the Bulls’ game at Indiana. “I would love to play here my whole career.” Despite his desire, Deng understands he may not get his wish. With the Bulls refusing to discuss an extension with Deng this summer, the small forward will become a free agent in 2014. ESPN Chicago 11/8/2013 – Lebron James admits to dealing with lingering lower back soreness: James has been dealing with lower back soreness for a couple of weeks, which explains why the NBA’s four-time MVP has said multiple times in the early going of this season that he’s working his way to 100 percent. He revealed specifics about the issue Thursday night after scoring 18 points to help the Miami Heat top the Los Angeles Clippers, 102-97. ”I’ve had a history of it, but I always keep a good eye on it so I should be all right,” James said. ”It ain’t a great feeling, I’ll tell you that – especially at nighttime when you’re trying to sleep.” James has worn heat packs to keep his back loose at times through Miami’s first six games, and this is not the first time that he’s dealt with back problems early in a season. He began applying the heat packs after diving for a loose ball in the first quarter of the win over the Clippers, on a play where he got off the court shaking his left hand. Turns out, he also felt like his back locked on the play. ”He didn’t look as spry as he normally does,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. Associated Press

========================================================================================== 11/7/2013 – Bucks’ Larry Sanders out of lineup following a bar fight: Bucks center Larry Sanders missed a Wednesday night game against the Cavaliers with a thumb injury after he was reportedly involved in an incident at a Milwaukee club on Saturday night. “We are aware of an incident from Saturday evening,” the Bucks said in a statement. “The matter is under investigation and Larry Sanders is cooperating fully. At this time we will have no further comment.” Sanders has not yet been charged or arrested in relation to the incident, which allegedly occurred at a club called “Apartment 720,” which is located less than a mile from the Bradley Center. Sports Illustrated 11/7/2013 – Steve Nash says he is still affected by injuries from last season: Last season Nash suffered a leg fracture in the second game of the season. He hasn’t been the same since — and was hampered throughout the preseason by various problems, including neck and ankle soreness. “I’m still fighting things that happened because of the broken leg,” Nash said. “I still feel that almost every day, all over. It’s not just in that spot. The whole system in a way is different now, it’s just a little bit more sensitive.” LA Times

11/7/2013 – Knicks’ head coach Mike Woodson surprised by owner’s “win-now” expectations: According to a source, Woodson was taken aback by Dolan’s “win-now” edict and privately questioned why the roster didn’t include more veterans with championship DNA. Dolan, though, upset over the Knicks losing to Indiana in six games with Kidd underperforming and Wallace and Thomas out with foot injuries, was intent on bringing in younger players. New York Daily News

11/7/2013 – Tyson Chandler to miss 4-6 weeks because of leg injury: New York Knicks center Tyson Chandler has a small non-displaced fracture of his right fibula and is expected to miss four to six weeks, the team announced Wednesday. Chandler left Tuesday’s game against Charlotte in the first quarter after suffering the injury during a collision with Bobcats point guard Kemba Walker. Tests Wednesday showed the fracture. The Knicks say Chandler, the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2011-12, did not suffer any ligament or nerve damage and will not need surgery. ESPN 11/7/2013 – Hawks’ rookie guard Dennis Schroder suspended for one game following low blow: Atlanta Hawks rookie Dennis Schroder was suspended for one game by the NBA on Thursday for his low blow on Cousins during the Hawks’ 105-100 win Tuesday night against the Sacramento Kings. Cousins, a 6-11, 270-pound center, complained after the game that the hit by Schroder, a 6-1, 168-pound German point guard, had been ignored by referees. Cousins was setting a screen on Schroder for Kings point guard Isaiah Thomas, and the rookie was too aggressive in getting around it. “I took a cheap shot to my lower area, and they blew it off,” Cousins said, via The Sacramento Bee. “I guess because it was me.” Schroder, the No. 17 pick in the draft, has averaged 6.3 points, 4.3 assists and 2.3 rebounds in four games as Jeff Teague’s primary backup. He will miss Thursday night’s game at the Denver Nuggets. USA Today ========================================================================================= Dallas Mavericks Spongebob Spoof [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AX5FSHUFoXU[/youtube] 11/5/2013 – LeBron James is going for his 500th consecutive game with at least double-digit points: The Miami Heat forward has scored at least 10 points in 499 consecutive regular-season games and will go for No. 500 on Tuesday night when the two-time defending NBA champions visit the Toronto Raptors. James, a four-time league MVP, would become only the fifth player in NBA history with that many consecutive games of 10 or more points. Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (with streaks of 787 and 508 games), Michael Jordan (866), Karl Malone (575) and Moses Malone (526) have accomplished the feat. ”That’s pretty cool since you brought it up. I had no idea,” James said. ”Hopefully you didn’t jinx me. … It is pretty cool, man, when you put it that way. It lets me know that I’ve been healthy and I’ve been able to go out on the court and do what I need to do every night and try to help the team win.” James scored eight points at Milwaukee on Jan. 5, 2007. He scored 19 points at New Jersey the following night, and the streak has grown in every regular-season game he played since. Associated Press 11/5/2013 – 76ers’ rookie Michael Carter-Williams earns Player of the Week award: Philadelphia rookie Michael Carter-Williams has joined Shaquille O’Neal as the only NBA players to win a Player of the Week award to open a career. Carter-Williams won the Eastern Conference honor after averaging 20.7 points and 9.0 assists in a surprising 3-0 week that included victories over Miami and Chicago. The No. 11 pick in the draft had nine steals in the 76ers’ season-opening victory over the Heat, the most ever in an NBA debut. Yahoo Sports

11/5/2013 – NBA gives flopping warning to four more players: The NBA announced Monday that Timberwolves forwards Kevin Love and Corey Brewer, Spurs guard Patty Mills, and Bucks center Zaza Pachulia have all been issued warnings for flopping. The four players join Wizards guard John Wall, who was the first player warned for flopping during the 2013-14 season. Sports Illustrated 11/5/2013 – Goran Dragic out for the next two games: Suns point guard Goran Dragic is expected to miss the team’s next two games after he sprained the left ankle that he also had injured in the preseason. Dragic sprained the ankle while scoring on a fastbreak early in the third quarter of the Suns’ 103-96 loss Sunday night at Oklahoma City. He left the game and did not return, saying it felt worse than when he sprained the same ankle on Oct. 17 at Sacramento because of a fastbreak foul by Kings guard Jimmer Fredette. AZ Central

11/5/2013 – Andrew Bynum says he still has knee pains: Preparing to play his third game of the season, Bynum acknowledged that he had experienced “little, sharp pains” and said he wasn’t sure his explosiveness would return. He’s still working on his conditioning and timing. At the same time, he said he was looking forward to increased minutes and playing in both halves. Of the pain, he said, “Nothing too bad.” Asked about having to change his game if his explosiveness doesn’t return, he said he would rely on footwork and skills instead of athleticism. Cleveland.com ======================================================================================================== 11/4/2013 – Zach Randolph wants to stay with the Memphis Grizzlies after his contract expires: “I’d like to be here. I’d like to retire here. You never know. If I’ve got to make some sacrifices to be here, I would. I still can play. I can still help a team out. I want to win a championship. I’ve made all the money in the world. I just want to win. I don’t know yet [about opting in or opting out], but Memphis is my home. If they trade me tomorrow, I’m here. I just bought a new house. My daughters go to school [in Memphis]. That’s my home.” ESPN  11/4/2013 – Steve Nash could be traded to the Toronto Raptors: Before Nash ultimately landed with the Lakers in a sign-and-trade with the Phoenix Suns, the Toronto Raptors were one of the most interested teams in signing the veteran point guard. With Nash being from Canada and wanting the opportunity to play in his home country before calling it a career, signing with Toronto made sense, but it was too far from his children. Now that Nash is nearing the end of his career and no longer the dominant player of old, the future Hall of Famer has become expendable and a likely trade asset for the Lakers. One player on the Raptors roster that might interest the Lakers is small forward Rudy Gay. Toronto has been rumored to be gauging trade interest in Gay, but it remains uncertain if the Lakers are interested in taking on his contract with the front office wanting a clean slate after this season. Examiner

Westbrook finished with 21 points, four rebounds, and seven assists in 33 minutes. – AL

11/4/2013 – Xavier Henry to replace Nick Young in the Lakers’ starting lineup: Xavier Henry will start in place of Nick Young on Sunday night against Atlanta, Lakers Coach Mike D’Antoni said. The Lakers’ third-leading scorer was an unheralded off-season signing but outperformed Young through three games. Henry is averaging 13 points and shooting 40%. Young is averaging 8.3 points and shooting an abysmal 27%. “Just [trying] to find a better spot for Nick, maybe get a little bit more production out of him,” D’Antoni said. “[Henry] has played as well if not better than anybody. There’s no reason not to go ahead and do this and lengthen his time on the court a little bit.” LA Times =========================================================================================

11/3/2013 – Ronny Turiaf out following elbow fracture: Ronny Turiaf, signed this summer for frontcourt depth as a free agent, crashed to the floor after playing just three minutes and appeared to land directly on his elbow. The team confirmed on Saturday that an MRI showed it was fractured. Pro Basketball Talk 11/3/2013 – Walt Bellamy, Hall of Fame center, passed away at the age of 74: Walt Bellamy, a former Knicks center who left New York as the key part of the blockbuster trade that brought the team Dave DeBusschere, the final piece to its championship puzzle, died Saturday. He was 74. The Atlanta Hawks, Bellamy’s team from 1970-74, announced his death. The team did not provide details. During a 14-year career, Bellamy averaged 20.1 points and 13.7 rebounds, was Rookie of the Year in 1962 and made the All-Star team four times. Bellamy was enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 1993. “Walt Bellamy was an enormously gifted Hall of Fame player who had a tremendous impact on our game,” commissioner David Stern said in a statement released by the NBA. “Off the court, he was an even more extraordinary person. Walt is going to be missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him. On behalf of the entire NBA family, our condolences and thoughts go out to Walt’s family.’’ New York Daily News ========================================================================================= 11/2/2013 – Kawhi Lenard to sign with Jordan brand: Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard has been wearing Nike Air Jordan shoes through most of his two-plus seasons with the Spurs. Soon he is expected to become an official member of the Brand Jordan family. A deal between Leonard and Nike is in the works to add the player Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has called “the future face of the franchise”to its Jordan brand basketball group. It is an exclusive group that includes Clippers star Chris Paul and seven other current All-Stars. Spurs Nation

11/2/2013 – Michael Jordan says LeBron James is the best player in the NBA: When asked who’s the best player in the game, Jordan quickly responded, “I’m not playing” before letting out a laugh. “It’s hard to pick. It’s hard to say the best player,” Jordan said. “You would have to say LeBron because of what he’s capable of doing. Kobe is coming off an injury and you don’t know where he is going to be at his age. I would have to say LeBron.” NBC Sports

11/1/2013 – Mark Cuban disses Dwight Howard for not signing with the Dallas Mavericks: Cuban staunchly believes, however, that the Mavs are better off without Howard, who is widely considered as the NBA’s best center. “I think we came out pretty good,” Cuban said Thursday. “It would have been one thing if we were stuck, but I don’t see us as being stuck. “I see us as a team that can and will get better. Like I said about every other team, I hope they suck and I hope he has a miserable year, but it’s nothing personal.” The Mavs (1-0) will get a glimpse of what the future might have been when they play Howard and the Rockets (1-0) at 7 p.m. Friday at the Toyota Center. Cuban steadfastly believes Howard’s future would have been better if he would have joined the Mavs and 35-year-old Dirk Nowitzki instead of signing with the Rockets and James Harden, who turned 24 in August. “Obviously he made a mistake in judgment,” Cuban said. “Do I blame him? No. “That’s what young kids do. They make mistakes in judgment. Seriously.” Star-Telegram 11/1/2013 – DeMarcus Cousins says he is ready to be the leader of the team: The losing, uncertain future and Cousins being one of the more emotional players in the league were a perfect storm for mistakes that added fuel to the perceived notion of him being a bad teammate. Cousins is quick to dismiss that notion, and so do his teammates, but that doesn’t mean he makes excuses for his actions. He is the first to admit that some of his actions can’t continue. “I’m always going to be myself, I’m always going to be the same player – just less mistakes,” Cousins said. “Not so much the technicals, because that’s part of the game, but getting ejected and letting my team down, those things I can’t continue to do. “I believe I’m past that and I’m ready to accept responsibility and be this team’s leader.” News 10 ABC

11/1/2013 – Patrick Beverley will be sidelined 10-14 days after a muscle tear: A partial muscle tear in Patrick Beverley’s midsection will sideline the Houston Rockets guard for 10-14 days, according to Rockets.com’s Jason Friedman. At minimum, that means Beverley could miss the first six games that take place in the first 10 days of November, including Friday night’s matchup against the Dallas Mavericks. SB Nation

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