Dec 31, 2007 8:17 PM EST
Luke Ridnour, Earl Watson and Delonte West all are auditioning for the starting point guard position in an ongoing evaluation period that will last until the end of the season. West, who makes $1.9 million this year, becomes a restricted free agent at the end of this year. Seattle General Manager Sam Presti has said he will revisit contract talks with West this summer.
?I kind of have been playing with a heavy mind just thinking about the rotations and all of the point guards here,? West said. ?And thinking about how that affects the business aspect moving forward. And I just decided to put everything aside and to get back and have fun playing basketball and see where that takes me."
?You?ve got to be mentally strong in this league. But it?s not like we have a veteran guard here and then we have a rookie guard that we just brought on, and then you kind of have a pecking order. We have three quality guards that have all started and proved their worth in this league, and it?s just more how we?re going to balance the time out between the three of us. With that being said, and me being in my contract year there?s a lot on your mind.?
Dec 31, 2007 8:15 PM EST
Rookie guard Marco Belinelli said he would welcome minutes at the point but acknowledged the team would be best if it were just a handful at a time.
"About 10 minutes," Belinelli said. "Coming up, playing in Italy, I always played point guard. But I need work."
He said the coaches have told him they like him at point because he has their desired size. At 6-foot-5, 192 pounds, Belinelli can see and shoot over most opposing point guards.
Dec 31, 2007 8:13 PM EST
Sam Vincent is now of a mind that Raymond Felton doesn't play his best when he has primary responsibility as the team's playmaker. Hence, veteran Jeff McInnis becomes a starter.
"I'm not saying he's not a point guard," Vincent said of Felton. "He's a point guard who is still learning how to best get his game comfortable. In trying to do that, we're losing some of his aggressiveness.
"He's a combo guard who can play the point."
Dec 31, 2007 8:05 PM EST
Houston, with Luis Scola coming on, won its first back-to-back set and had at least five players in double figures for the second straight game, both without Tracy McGrady. It's giving the team more reason to move McGrady, who is said to have quietly let it be known he's no longer happy in Houston.
Dec 31, 2007 5:29 PM EST
Sammy Mejia of the Fort Wayne Mad Ants was today named D-League.com Performer of the Week for games played during the week of Dec. 24. In three games this week, Mejia averaged 31.7 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 3.1 assists while shooting 32-of-56 (.571) from the field and 28-of-35 (.800) from the free throw line.
Selected 57th overall by the Detroit Pistons in the 2007 NBA Draft, Mejia scored 41 points, grabbed eight rebounds, dished out three assists and collected three blocks against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers on Friday, Dec. 28. In two other games for the Mad Ants this week, Mejia scored 26 and 28 points, respectively.
A product of DePaul University, the 6-6 guard played his first game for the Mad Ants on Dec. 22 after missing the beginning of the season due to an injury. Mejia played with the Pistons in their training camp and was one of the last players cut prior to the start of the NBA season. In four D-League games, Mejia is averaging 27.3 points and 7.3 rebounds.
Other top performers in the D-League last week included Idaho?s Randy Livingston who averaged 17.3 points and 14.0 assists in three games, including a D-League record 22 assists on Wednesday, Dec. 26; Iowa?s Dwayne Mitchell, who averaged 24.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists in three games for the Energy; DJ Strawberry, who averaged 32.0 points in two games on assignment with Albuquerque from the Phoenix Suns; Rio Grande Valley?s Kenny Taylor, who finished the week averaging 30.0 points while netting ten three-point field goals in two games for the Vipers; and C.J. Watson, who averaged 31.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 6.0 assists in two games for Rio Grande Valley.
Dec 31, 2007 4:53 PM EST
The Boston Celtics? Paul Pierce and the New Orleans Hornets? Chris Paul today were named the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, Dec. 24 through Sunday, Dec 30.
Pierce led the Celtics to a 4-0 week averaging 27.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.8 steals including a season-high 37 points at Seattle on Dec. 27. He helped lead the Celtics to their first undefeated four-game West coast road trip since the 1992-93 season bringing the Celtics to eight straight wins on the road, the longest such streak since the 1980-81 season.
Dec 31, 2007 4:52 PM EST
The Trail Blazers will attempt to run their winning streak to 14 on Monday in Utah, but they will have to do it without Coach Nate McMillan.
McMillan on Monday will attend the funeral of his mother-in-law in North Carolina and is set to rejoin the team on Tuesday in Minneapolis. Lead assistant Dean Demopoulos will coach the team.
It will be the second time Demopoulos has served as head coach of the Blazers. Last November, in the season's sixth game, a home contest against New Orleans, Demopoulos took over when McMillan left the team for another family matter.
Dec 31, 2007 4:50 PM EST
The top five teams in the ESPN/USA Today men's college basketball poll - led by No. 1 North Carolina - remained unchanged this week.
But No. 6 Pittsburgh's 80-55 loss to Dayton had a dramatic effect on both teams. The Panthers fell to No. 13 in this week's voting of 31 coaches. The Flyers climbed into the poll at No. 23, thanks to their 11-1 start, including wins over Pittsburgh and Louisville.
Unbeatens Memphis (11-0), Kansas (13-0) and Washington State (12-0) are second, third and fourth in the rankings. UCLA (12-1) remains fifth. No. 6 Michigan State (12-1) and No. 7 Georgetown (9-1) each moved up a spot. Duke climbed two places to No. 8, followed by once-beatens Tennessee and Texas A&M.
Dec 31, 2007 4:47 PM EST
The New York Knicks may keep changing the lineups, but not the coach.
Isiah Thomas said Monday he would remain as coach, nearly two weeks after saying it would be fair to evaluate his performance in a "couple of weeks."
"We'll keep moving in this direction," Thomas said Monday when reminded of those comments after practice.
Asked what direction that was, Thomas responded: "Me as the coach."
Dec 31, 2007 2:48 PM EST
Washington Wizards' President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has waived guard Mike Wilks.
In four games with the Wizards, Wilks averaged 1.3 points and 1.5 rebounds in 11.0 minutes per contest. He originally signed with Washington on December 19.
A 'fake' news release was delivered to Suns' F Grant Hill, which read that he had become the first NBA player named in the Mitchell Report.
Dec 31, 2007 | Beacon-Journal
Dec 31, 2007 | Boston Globe
Dec 31, 2007 | Daily News
Dec 31, 2007 | New York Post
Dec 31, 2007 | Denver Post
Dec 31, 2007 | Chicago Tribune
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Dec 31, 2007 | New York Post
"You can't help but think about it," center Eddy Curry said of Isiah Thomas' possible firing.
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