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Basketball Wiretap
Basketball news gathered from around the net.

Knicks Win After Boston Collapse

The Knicks mounted a furious fourth-quarter comeback to beat the Bucks, 91-88, Friday night at Madison Square Garden.  

The Knicks dragged through three quarters before showing their first signs of life since being wiped out in Boston Thursday night, 104-59.

Jamal Crawford led the way and put the Knicks up in the closing seconds with a side-angle jumper that went off glass.  He apologized to Knicks fans for the Boston debacle during his post-game interview on the court.

Fred Jones also played a key role in the win, scoring all 10 of his points in the final period.  Jones did not see action until an injury to Stephon Marbury's shoulder forced him out of the game.  The comeback was initiated and completed with Marbury in the locker room.

Crawford and Zach Randolph each had 25 points to lead the Knicks.  Michael Redd had 27 points for the Bucks.

Via New York Times

Thursday's RealGM Hoops Show Now Availabile Via Podcast

RealGM Radio is now airing every Thursday night from 9:00 to 10:00 PM Eastern on Sirius Radio 186 (Hardcore Sports Radio) and last night was the first episode.

The show is hosted by Cabral "Cabbie" Richards of The Score, Brendon Lynch, Sacha Kargl and former RealGM Radio host Aaron Bronsteter.

Each episode will feature an interview with a current NBA player and Atlanta Hawks star Josh Smith was the first such guest.  Smith discussed the differences between the Hawks of 2007-2008 and previous seasons, as well as what Josh Childress would do if someone were to cut his 'fro.

Jerome Williams touched on what it's like to play for Scott Skiles and how he can get under your skin, while RealGM writer Brent Diggins explained his reasons for the Bulls' troubles.

Click on the following links to listen to the podcasts:

Segment 1

Segment 2

Via RealGM Staff Report

Bosh, James Uncertain For Cavs-Raptors' Showdown

Chris Bosh of the Toronto Raptors and LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers combined for 78 points when the teams met last Saturday in Cleveland.

Each has suffered an injury since, and in each case participation in Friday's game between the teams at the Air Canada Centre was a game-time decision.

A couple of other Raptors were expected to play Friday after the morning shoot around - point guard T.J. Ford and forward Andrea Bargnani.

James merely watched his teammates take part in the shoot around on Friday morning after he suffered a sprained left index finger in the first half of Cleveland's loss to the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday.

Bosh did not practice Thursday with the Raptors and instead was undergoing diagnostic tests for a strained right groin, an injury that developed in Tuesday's practice and forced him to leave Wednesday's victory over the Memphis Grizzlies in the first quarter.

Via Globe And Mail

Utah's Boozer, Okur Game-Time Decisions

Jazz forward Carlos Boozer and center Mehmet Okur both sat out the pregame shootaround and will wait until they warm up before Friday night's game to decide if they'll be able to play against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Boozer, the NBA's third-leading scorer, suffered a sprained right ankle in the second quarter of Wednesday's victory over Philadelphia. He did say the swelling has gone down the last 48 hours. "Just trying to get that pain out of there," Boozer said.

Boozer played the entire second half of the Sixers game on the bad ankle. Okur, however, left the game in the third quarter with back spasms and did not return, although he came back from the locker room to watch from the bench in the fourth quarter.

Okur has been alternating between ice and heat treatments the last two days. He said, "I feel a lot better now but not 100 percent." Boozer went for X-rays, and Okur for an MRI exam Thursday that came back negative for more serious injuries.

Via Salt Lake Tribune

NBA Denies Mavericks' Game Protest

The NBA today denied a game protest filed by the
Dallas Mavericks over their 111-107 loss to the Indiana Pacers on November 23.

The Mavericks filed the protest because a basket by Indiana's Troy Murphy with 9:59 remaining in the second quarter was mistakenly recorded as a 3-point field goal instead of a 2-point field goal (making the score 41-25
in Indiana's favor), and the Mavericks contended that this extra point had a clear impact on the outcome of the game.

The NBA's review confirmed that Murphy's shot was mistakenly recorded; the Official Scorer erroneously  believed that one or more referees had given the signal for  a 3-point  field  goal. In fact, no referee made such a signal, nor was any referee aware until after the game that the Official Scorer had awarded 3 points to Indiana as a result of Murphy's shot.

Although he concluded that an inadvertent error was made by the Official Scorer, NBA Commissioner David Stern determined that it did not have such a clear impact on the outcome of the game that a replay of the contest should be ordered.  Murphy's  shot occurred with almost 34 minutes of regulation time remaining in the game, providing Dallas with a substantial opportunity to overcome the 1-point error.  Dallas lost the game by four points.

Although NBA rules would have allowed the game officials to correct the scoring error at any time prior to the end of the game, it was not brought to their attention until after the game.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Nash Won't Rule Out Playing For A Texas Team In Future

Steve Nash surprisingly returned to Phoenix in the summer of 2004, so could he eventually return to Dallas?

"First of all, I'm happy in Phoenix," said Nash.  "But I'd have no problem going back and playing for a team in Texas, even the Mavericks! It's not as though there was some irreconcilable divorce with Dallas; it was just best for me to move on at that time. I was wanted more in Phoenix; that's the way it is in sports. But if Phoenix doesn't want me one day, I have nothing against considering one of the Texas teams."

Via Times Online

Skiles: Players Aren't Tuning Me Out

A popular perception around the NBA is that Bulls' cCoach Scott Skiles comes with an expiration date.

The theory is Skiles pushes his players hard, and it works for a while, but they eventually begin to tune him out. Now some critics have concluded that could be an explanation for the Bulls' 3-10 start this season.

Asked about the issue following Thursday's practice at the Berto Center, Skiles stated confidently that it doesn't exist.

"I've never personally thought I ever even came close to (going over) an edge," he said. "You've got to be careful. If a team trades a player and a player says things, you've got to be careful what you're buying into. That's just the nature of pro sports."

Skiles was referring to repeated negative comments in the past from guard Jason Kidd, who spent two years with Skiles in Phoenix. The Suns' demise in 2001-02 coincided with the trade that sent Kidd to New Jersey for Stephon Marbury.

"Now, if I had people every day, my assistants and so forth, tell me, 'Hey man, you're getting near the edge. You've got to knock it back a few notches,' then I would put some credence into it," Skiles added. "But I haven't, and I don't. (The criticism) doesn't bother me hardly at all anymore."

Via Daily Herald

J.O. Certain He'll Return To Old Form, Be Central To Pacers' Success

It seemed like just yesterday that Jermaine O'Neal was a perennial All-Star, appearing in national commercials and challenging for league MVP honors.

Three-plus years, even more injuries and numerous trade rumors later, O'Neal's stock, status and numbers have plummeted to levels not seen since he rode the bench in Portland.

O'Neal has missed 73 games the past three-plus seasons due to injuries. His latest setback is to his left knee, which required offseason surgery and has limited him to 10 games this season.

"You're always going to be open to criticism in professional sports," said O'Neal, who is averaging 13.2 points -- 11 fewer than in 2004-05. "I know people are saying I'm not the same player I used to be. I accept it because it is what it is. I've been hurt the last few years. I believe once I get over the hump, and I believe I'm going to get over it, I'm going to be the player I was before."

When O'Neal gets healthy is anybody's guess. He might play tonight at Seattle.

The Pacers are 5-1 without him this season, leading many to wonder if they would be better off without him. (They are 84-81 with him in the past three-plus seasons, 44-44 without.) Several scouts who have attended recent games suggested they are better without him because his style doesn't mesh with Coach Jim O'Brien's up-tempo offense.

Via Indianapolis Star

Szczerbiak's Reserve Status Won't Be Lifted

Wally Szczerbiak's production the past two weeks suggests he deserves to start. But Coach P.J. Carlesimo has no intention of tinkering with the Sonics' lineup right now.

Damien Wilkins will continue to start at small forward, partly because Wilkins is a better defender and rebounder (4.7 rebounding average to 1.8) and partly because Szczerbiak gives Seattle a scoring threat when rookie Kevin Durant is on the bench.

"He's doing a good job for us, for sure," Carlesimo said of Szczerbiak. "Part of the reason he's doing a good job are the matchups and the way he's being used. Still, it comes down to combinations together and guys being able to complement each other offensively and defensively."

"I like what he's brought to us. Could he be a starter? Of course, he could be a starter. He's been a starter for other chunks of his career, but I also think right now it's best for us to continue bringing him off the bench."

Via Seattle Times

Changes Coming For Knicks?

Isiah Thomas promised a lineup shakeup if the Knicks do not respond from last night's Boston massacre and beat the Bucks Friday night at the Garden. Struggling center Eddy Curry (four points, 2-for-11, three rebounds) after one of his worst outings as a Knick in the 104-59 catastrophe could be headed to the bench, or even Stephon Marbury, again.

Thomas didn't hear TNT's Charles Barkley's prediction that he will get fired if the Knicks lose to Milwaukee tonight, but he sure sounded like a man desperate for a victory.

"We'll see (tonight)," Thomas said about a lineup change. "It will be an interesting game for us. We can end up winning three of our last four or take another step backwards."

"Let's see how we respond. It's depending on how we play (tonight)."

The bond between Thomas and Marbury still seems strained with Thomas saying they have only a "coach-player relationship" now.

Via New York Post

Bulls: Skiles Not At Fault

Status Of Three Injured Raptors Still Unknown

Wounded Denver Signs McCoy Off D-League Roster

Boston Nearly Makes History, Demolish Knicks By 45 Points

Only Nate Robinson's 37-foot 3-pointer at the final buzzer saved the Knicks from an even bigger embarrassment, as New York crashed in Boston by 45 points.

MRI Confirms LeBron Has Sprained Finger, Listed Day-To-Day

D-League's Toros Sign DerMarr Johnson, D. Washington Joins Him

RealGM Radio Moves To Sirius Thursday Night

Jackson Agrees To Two More Years In L.A.

Coach Phil Jackson has decided to sign a contract extension that keeps him with the Lakers for two more seasons.

Miami's Parker Not In Lineup Due To Incident

Duhon Donates $100k To Build 21 Courts In Louisiana

Wizards To Retire 'Earl The Pearl' Monroe's Uniform No. 10

Pacers' Dunleavy: Offense Is Better When I'm Involved

Sonics' Ridnour Itching To Play

Haslem Defends Riley's Lineup Tweaks

Udonis Haslem said it was vital to locker-room chemistry that everyone accept coach Pat Riley's lineup changes.

Hawks' Williams Sits Out

Heat's Parker Tangles With Valet

Suns Send Tucker To NBA D-League

Sonics' Collison Out At Least 3-Games With Broken Nose

Bosh, Bargnani Injured In Raptors' Win

LeBron Sprains Finger, Cavs Lose To Pistons

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