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Basketball Wiretap
Basketball news gathered from around the net.

Deron Williams Looking To Score More Than Facilitate

Deron Williams is averaging 22.1 points per game over the Nets’ last nine games, a stretch that has seen the team go 5-4 and inch within a game-and-a-half of the final playoff spot in the East.

“My teammates are really encouraging me that I need to be aggressive and pretty much told me I need to score for us to be successful,” said Williams. “I averaged 20 points last year so it’s not that I don’t score. It’s just the way I was going about it. I like to get people involved and that’s how I get my confidence. But it wasn’t really happening early so I kind of [reversed] that role [to] score first.”

Williams is enjoying the run after suffering through a 2-9 start to the season.

“We’re playing better as a team,” Williams said. “Now we’re kind of consistent. We were making a lot of mistakes and it seems like nothing was really going right for us and I just kind of let that get me down. My spirits are a lot better now. We’re playing with a lot of energy. That’s helping everybody, not just myself but everybody. ... We’re a totally different team than we were a month ago.”

Via New York Post

Clippers Recall Bledsoe From Bakersfield

The Los Angeles Clippers today recalled Eric Bledsoe from the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA Development League. Bledsoe, 22, appeared in two games with the Jam as he continues his rehabilitation from surgery to repair a torn lateral meniscus in his right knee. Bledsoe is with the Clippers in Denver and will be available for tonight’s game against the Nuggets.

In two games with the Jam, Bledsoe averaged 12.5 points and 8.5 assists in 21.0 minutes per game. 

Via RealGM Staff Report

Shumpert Shows Signs Of Wearing Down

Iman Shumpert is only 21 years old, but 20 games into his rookie season, he's already wearing down. Shumpert has had leg cramps, back issues and problems with both knees and one of his ankles.

"He gets banged up a little bit," Mike D'Antoni said. "I just want to make sure he can recover. For a rookie, it's a rude awakening to come in and you're playing so many games. His athleticism has come down a little bit just because he's so banged up.''

In the past six games, Shumpert has shot 18-for-58 and averaged 8.0 points and 3.3 assists.

Via Al Iannazzone/Newsday

Biyombo Learning Bobcats' Defensive Concepts

Bismack Biyombo is spending his rookie year with the Bobcats learning defensive concepts while he improves his fundamental skills.

"One on one, he can defend anybody in this league because he's got such great timing," said assistant coach Rob Werdann, who has taken on Biyombo as his project. "But understanding help defense -- what to do and when to move on the weakside -- that's a whole different story."

Biyombo’s per-game averages are modest: 13 minutes, 3.1 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.6 blocks.

"Biz had to learn the plays first,” said head coach Paul Silas. “The defensive concepts. Where am I supposed to be? That kind of thing. But I think in a couple of years he's going to be a really good player for this team. He's one of the hardest workers I've seen."

Via Charlotte Observer

Nets Recall Jordan Williams From D-League

The New Jersey Nets have recalled rookie forward Jordan Williams from the Springfield Armor.

Williams appeared in six games with the Armor, all starts, and averaged 10.5 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in 32 minutes. He shot .451 (23-51) from the field and .531 (17-32) from the line. He tallied three double-doubles.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Lakers Reportedly Reached Out To Gilbert Arenas

The Lakers have reached out to Gilbert Arenas, according to a source close to the situation. Arenas is currently a free agent.

The source also said Arenas, a former Los Angeles-area high school standout, was interested in signing with the Lakers.

Arenas averaged eight points on 34.4 percent shooting in 49 games with the Magic last season.

Via Los Angeles Daily News

Source: Sixers Inquired About Amar'e Stoudemire

According to a league source, the Sixers have inquired about Amar’e Stoudemire, though it was categorized as “due diligence.”

Nothing is said to be imminent or even in the early stages other than just talk, the source said.

Nevertheless, in past seasons the Sixers were reportedly discussing trade scenarios with the Phoenix Suns in order to acquire Stoudemire.

Via John Finger/CSNPhilly.com

Billups Wants Kenyon Martin To Join Clippers

Chauncey Billups reached out to free agent Kenyon Martin recently to let him know that the Clippers have interest in his services. When asked to reveal Martin’s thoughts on joining the Clippers, Billups hinted the interest was mutual.

"I'll let him tell y'all that," Billups said with a smile.

The Clippers have the mini mid-level exception for $2.5 million as well as two trade exceptions, one for $3.8 million and another for $2.7 million that were acquired in their deal for Chris Paul. Martin can sign with an NBA team as soon as the team he signed with in China, the Xinjiang Guanghui Flying Tigers, completes its season.

"He's very valuable," Billups said of Martin. "Of course, he comes from winning stock. He's been to the [NBA] Finals twice. He has great ability. He is a leader. One thing I know about Kenyon, he's a winner. He'll do whatever it takes to win. He's one of the great one-on-one defensive players for a big man I've played with. And, contrary to what everybody believes, he's a really good dude."

Via Los Angeles Times

Celtics Reportedly Interested In Chris Kaman

According to an NBA source, the Celtics would be interested in Chris Kaman if the impending free agent is bought out of his contract.

The Hornets have told Kaman to stay home while they try to orchestrate a trade. They acquired Kaman in the trade for Chris Paul last month but have decided to go with younger players.

Kaman has averaged 9.2 points and 6.7 rebounds in 22 minutes per game before the Hornets decided to put him on the block.

Via Gary Washburn/Boston Globe

Silas Unsure Of Kemba Walker's Natural Position

Paul Silas said he’s not sure if Kemba Walker’s natural position is point guard or shooting guard.

“I don’t know, to tell you the truth,” Silas said.

Walker started five games at the two spot for the Bobcats before recently sliding to point guard to fill in for the injured D.J. Augustin.

“He played really well at the two,” Silas said. “(Before) we started him, we were not scoring very well, defending very well—nothing. And the (five) games that he started at that position, our numbers just really changed—and changed for the better. We didn’t win a whole lot of games, but our numbers changed. So we’ll see what happens with (Walker starting at point).”

Silas wants Walker to distribute more efficiently.

“He’s got to pass the basketball, he’s got to go to the hoop and look for other people,” Silas said. “So I think this is a great opportunity for him to see what he can do at point guard.”

Via Sporting News

Carmelo To Sit Next Two Games

After watching Carmelo Anthony struggle from game to game recently, the Knicks have decided to sit their leading scorer for two more games.

Stephen Jackson Suspended One Game For Verbally Abusing Official

Bucks forward Stephen Jackson has been suspended one game for verbally abusing an official after Friday's loss to the Bulls.

Batum Not Bothered By Failed Contract Extension

Nicolas Batum said he is focused on the rest of the season.

Hawes Aiming To Return Saturday Against Pistons

The Sixers are 2-4 without starting center Spencer Hawes.

Clippers Waive Courtney Fortson

The Clippers waived D-League call-up Courtney Fortson.

Wolves Visited Cryotherapy Clinic

The Wolves visited a cryotherapy clinic Tuesday before their game against the Mavericks.

Nets Owner Mikhail Prokhorov Lost Estimated $5.5 Billion In Net Worth Last Year

Mikhail Prokhorov’s net worth dropped somewhere in the neighborhood of $5.5 billion last year, according to Forbes.

Howard Rips Teammates For Lack Of Effort

Dwight Howard criticized his teammates after a lopsided 93-67 loss to the Hornets.

Knicks, Heat Among Teams Pursuing Kenyon Martin

Kenyon Martin averaged 8.6 points and 6.2 rebounds for the Nuggets last season.

Deng Could Be Week Away From Return

Luol Deng is aiming to return next week.

Bulls Release Mike James, Possibly Making Room For Big Man

The Bulls released backup point guard Mike James, cutting their roster to 13 players.

Sources: Raptors Open To Trading Calderon

The Raptors would be willing to trade Jose Calderon in the right deal, sources say.

Pacers Unapologetic About Celebration Following Chicago Win

Roy Hibbert admitted that winning there was somewhat special.

Hornets To Pursue Trade Of Chris Kaman

The Hornets will stop playing Chris Kaman as they look for a trade.

Teague Maturing As Kentucky's Floor General

Marquis Teague initially struggled to adjust to the college game.

Zeller Making Concerted Effort To Battle For Rebounds

Tyler Zeller has recorded six double-doubles over his last 10 games.

Clippers Waive Courtney Fortson

Courtney Fortson scored a career-high 13 points on Jan. 17 vs. Utah.

Trey Johnson Waived By Hornets

Trey Johnson appeared in 11 regular season games this season, averaging 1.9 points and 1.1 rebounds per game in 5.5 minutes.

Bogut Out 8-12 Weeks With Injured Left Ankle

Andrew Bogut sustained the injured on Wednesday in a win at Houston.

Bargnani Out Indefinitely With Strained Left Calf

Andrea Bargnani originally injured his calf on January 11 against Sacramento.
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