Tag:New Orleans Hornets
Posted on: November 4, 2010 2:36 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:27 pm
 

LeBron James misses practice due to non-injury

Miami Heat forward LeBron James missed practice on Thursday due a shin bruise. Posted by Ben Golliver LeBron James and the Miami Heat have been kicking the living tar out of the NBA -- going 4-0 in the last eight days -- so it's only natural James has come down with what ESPN.com is calling a "deep right shin bruise."  The bruise kept James from practicing on Thursday, however Heat coach Erik Spoelstra is not terming James' bruise an "injury," according to the Sun-Sentinel. Rather, the decision to hold James out was precautionary, as the Heat play an away-and-home back-to-back on Friday and Saturday against the New Orleans Hornets and the New Jersey Nets.  While the Heat already destroyed the Nets 101-78 last Sunday, the Hornets game is shaping up to must-see TV. Under new head coach Monty Williams, the Hornets are off to a scorching, undefeated (4-0) start. James's close friend, all star point guard Chris Paul, has returned to form after dealing with injuries last year, averaging 21.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 9.0 assists and 1.8 steals to start the season.  The Hornets have knocked off at least three (and possibly four) playoff teams, defeating the Milwaukee Bucks, Denver Nuggets, San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets, but they haven't seen anything like the Heat, who have accumulated an ungodly 22.8 point margin of victory during their current four-game winning streak. James is expected to play Friday, non-injured shin bruise and all.
Posted on: November 1, 2010 4:23 pm
Edited on: November 1, 2010 4:25 pm
 

What we've learned after a week of the NBA season

Posted by Royce Young

In a sport where the regular season is six months long with 82 games packed in between, it's hard to really draw any meaningful conclusions from the opening week of the season. Some fans are panicking, some are filled with unbridled optimism and some are feeling more of the same after spending September convincing themselves, "No, I really think Thaddeus Young can be an All-Star and if so, who knows?"

So despite the fact that roughly only three percent of the season has been played, let's look at five, of what could be 500, things we've learned this far.

The Hornets might be kind of good. Chris Paul, remember that guy? He's pretty good. And his team, the Hornets? They might be too.

They're 3-0, with one of those wins coming on the road against the Spurs. They beat San Antonio, Milwaukee and Denver, three quality opponents that all were in the playoffs last season. They've yet to allow 100 points and are doing an outstanding job of sharing the ball and getting scoring from multiple spots.

With Paul back running the show and new additions Trevor Ariza and Marco Belinelli doing their parts to fill in some scoring, this team could be potentially dangerous. There's not a ton of depth there so if Paul or someone else goes out for an extended period, times get get tougher, but as of now, the 3-0 Hornets look fairly legit.

What makes the Heat scary isn't what you think it is. Teaming LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh together likely makes opposing coaches think, "How in the bleep are we going to stop those guys?"

And while that's still true, the real question might should be, 'How in the bleep are we going to score on those guys?"

Nothing has been more impressive about the Heat thus far than their defense. Toss out any cliche NBA word and it works to describe it. Stifling. Swarming. Stingy. Scoring on the Heat right now is harder than scoring on San Francisco Giants. They can guard every position and their apparent weakness hasn't been exposed at all, even against the league's best big man in Dwight Howard.

The Heat lead the league in defensive efficiency, giving up just 86.6 points per 100 hundred possessions. That's outstanding.

Miami will be tough to beat throughout because of the matchup issues it creates, but what could make them a true title contender is the fact they don't let you score.

The Clippers are probably the Clippers again . In the opener against the Blazers, for three quarters there was legitimate reason for excitement in Clipperland. Blake Griffin looked fantastic, Eric Gordon was scoring and the team has some actual energy and excitement about it.

But as often happens with Clipper seasons, it could be over after that first game. There was some buzz surrounding this team as a potential dark horse in the West, but Sunday's game against the Mavericks really pointed out some serious issues.

The Clippers had no idea what to do offensively. There was no scheme or plan. It was all pointing, talking and bumping into each other. Whoever was running point was basically trying to draw a play from the top of the key as the 24 second clock ticked away. Griffin appeared to be a little frustrated, specifically in the fact that nobody seemed to be playing as hard as him.

It's early and the Clippers have enough talent win some games, but the first impression has been more of the same.

For some reason, Kurt Rambis just doesn't like Kevin Love . After three games, Kevin Love is fifth in the NBA with 13.0 rebounds per game. He's averaging 14 points per game. But here's the problem: He's averaging just 25.3 minutes per game.

Extend Love's current stats out to a per 40 minute average and he's putting up 22.1 ppg and 20.5 rpg. And yet, he continues to get bench minutes in what's now, a starter's role.

It's not like the Wolves are winning and Love is just fitting in. Right now, Minnesota is 1-2 and has struggled scoring (something Love does well). They are however the best rebounding team in the league with a plus-12.7 differential. Imagine how good they'd be if their best rebounder saw over 30 minutes a game?

The Kevin Love situation is honestly one of the most fascinating storylines in the league this season to me. He's Minnesota's best player, best scorer and best rebounder, yet he doesn't get as many minutes as Wayne Ellington, Michael Beasley or Luke Ridnour.

Now in Rambis' defense, nobody on the team averages more than 30 minutes per game and most everyone hovers under 25 minutes per. So maybe it's an institutional thing. But then again, maybe that's a good explanation as to why they haven't been successful thus far. Common sense says play your best players the most minutes. But the Wolves are just preaching transparency and honesty, not common sense.

Nobody knows if Houston is good or just average yet. In the Rockets' opening game against the Lakers, they held a lead for the majority of the night before the defending champs turned it on and won behind late heroics from Shannon Brown. But most agreed - the Rockets will be good.

Then they lost their next two games to the Warriors and the Nuggets which left some scratching their heads. So are the Rockets good, average or possibly bad?

I think you can certainly take out bad because this Houston club has players and will win. But is it a top four team in the West? Maybe not. Really, are they a playoff team? That's potentially up in the air as the last two games really showcased some major defensive problems Houston has right now.

This upcoming set of games could put the Rockets in a big hole early if they don't get their act together though. After playing the Hornets at home, Houston goes on the road for six of their next eight.
Posted on: October 26, 2010 9:57 am
 

Shootaround 10.26.10: And it begins

Posted by Royce Young
  • You guys, the NBA season starts today. How exciting. Just a couple games tonight but they're all wnners. Phoenix vs. Portland, Houston vs. LA and that one team vs. Boston.
  • Kobe Bryant did a radio interview yesterday and hinted that his first retirement might not stick: "Yeah, I mean, you see so many people and so many players do it, but it's tough to say that you won't go through that. Obviously, everybody does go through that. That's the point where you have your family handcuff you to a chair."
  • Greg Oden played some 5-on-5 yesterday but admitted he was a little hesitant: "I was worried, but it was fun ... I got my blood moving, it felt good being out there. Coach basically told me 'Don't try and go full-go'. It wasn't like a full blown practice. I was the weak link out there, but I was still out there."
  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: "The Heat's recruiting of stars and Pat Riley's ruthless master plan had nothing on the Magic's tactics. The Magic exhausted themselves clearing salary. They knocked themselves out trying to snag Tim Duncan. Greeting a plane in their hangar with Duncan aboard, they erected a huge banner that read, 'GRANT US TIM,' and offered trays of finger-food. Lon Babby then leaned over to John Gabriel and said, 'Tim doesn't eat cold cuts.' The color drained from Gabe's face as he imagined Duncan passing on the snacks -- and the Magic. They frantically dispatched staffers to retrieve burgers for him. It's just a snapshot into the lengths a team will go to win. Your team. Maybe the Magic and their fans shouldn't be so hard on the Heat."
  • How did Udonis Haslem end back up in Miami? Have a read: "Something that doesn't have a lot of precedent in American sports happened then. Wade called Bosh and asked him to cut $15 million off his salary for Haslem. Wade called James and asked him to do the same. Bosh and James barely knew Haslem. Just a few short conversations here and there. But Wade told them this team needed someone hungry and gritty and unselfish like Haslem, and promised to cut $17 million out of his own contract to make it happen, too."
  • The Lakers kick off a title defense tonight and Darius Soriano of Forum Blue and Gold warns to be patient: "I bring all this up because this season will be filled with peaks and valleys.  Like every other season that we’ve observed as followers of this team, there will be moments where hope is low and where the frustration spawned from suspect results will dominate the mind.  Do not succumb easily to these feelings of doubt.  The NBA title will not be decided on Christmas Day or on the Grammy Road Trip.  These are just steps in the process and must be separated out from the larger goal at hand.  Enjoy the journey and understand, again, that it is a long one.  Championships aren’t won in a single game during the regular season, but over the long haul the lessons learned from the cumulative will prepare the players (and the fans) for the bigger prize."
Posted on: October 23, 2010 8:34 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:01 pm
 

Blazers trade Jerryd Bayless to Hornets for pick

The Portland Trail Blazers have reportedly traded guard Jerryd Bayless to the New Orleans Hornets for a future first-round draft pick. Posted by Ben Golliver  jerryd-bayless
Marc Stein of ESPN.com first reported that the Portland Trail Blazers have traded guard Jerryd Bayless to the New Orleans Hornets for a future first-round pick.
The Portland Trail Blazers have found a trade to create some extra roster room, agreeing Saturday to deal guard Jerryd Bayless to the New Orleans Hornets for a conditional future first-round pick, according to sources close to the situation.
Sources tell CBSSports.com Saturday evening that the trade has gone official and the pick that Portland is set to receive is top-7 protected in 2011 and top-8 protected in 2012, 2013 and 2014. After that, it would turn into two second-round picks in 2015 and 2016. The Blazers also receive a trade exception worth nearly $2.3 million. Because the Blazers are currently luxury tax payers, the move saves the team roughly $4.6 million.  Bayless is entering the third year of his NBA career and, while showing flashes of sensational athleticism, has never found a defined role in Portland's backcourt. A prototypical score-first combo guard, Bayless has had trouble running an offense and defending without fouling. For New Orleans this is a move that makes them better in the short term, as it fortifies their backcourt depth, which took a hit when they traded reserve point guard Darren Collison to Indiana this summer. Bayless should be able to play both off the ball alongside all star point guard Chris Paul and behind him in a reserve point guard role. Bayless is familiar with New Orleans's new head coach, Monty Williams, who was an assistant in Portland for Bayless's first two seasons. For Portland, the move frees up a roster spot. The Blazers had 17 players under contract prior to the trade. Now, Portland is down to 16 players and, if they waive injured big man Jeff Pendergraph as expected, can retain the rights to Australian guard Patty Mills and still meet the league's 15 man roster maximum or they can waive Mills and carry 14 players. 
Posted on: October 20, 2010 9:44 am
Edited on: October 20, 2010 11:48 am
 

Shootaround 10.20.10: Knocked and slapped

Knicks knocking at the Melo door again, Childress knocked out with a bad digit, and Evan Turner slapped in the face, all in today's shootaround.
Posted by Matt Moore


We'll have more this morning on a report from ESPN NY's Chris Sheridan that the Knicks are back in the Melo chase . One thought off the bat. They can trade for a player the Nuggets want more, but unless they land a draft pick they're still toast. The McGrady trade keeps stubbing Donnie Walsh's toe.

Knickerblogger is concerned that Raymond Felton may not be much of an improvement over Chris Duhon. Last night was a particularly strong showing from Felton, and he looked very much like the kind of point guard the Knicks have needed for years.

A breakdown of the postions in Rick Adelman's system. The focus on the big in the pinch post is going to be why Brad Miller will be so comfy there.

Lots of coaches with health concerns this week. Doc Rivers had a test come back negative for cancer , which is great news. Doug Collins missed last night's Sixers game while dealing with lingering effects of a concussion .

Josh Childress fractured a finger last night and out at least a week but it won't be too long. It's ridiculous that these guys play at this level with broken fingers.

Ted Leonsis thinks Josh Howard is a respected leader . There's lots of mockery this morning about that, but people forget that despite his off-court issues, he's thought of well by teammates, and that guys like Stephen Jackson are perennial captains for their teams.

Jerry West thinks maybe he should have drafted Amar'e Stoudemire instead of Drew Gooden. In other news, I should have had oatmeal this morning instead of eating rusty nuts and bolts from a '75 Chevy.

Al Harrington says he'll be ready for opening night . No word on whether his defense is making a similar commitment.

Marcus Thornton's in a slump, which shouldn't surprise people . Shootres in their second year take a step back sometimes, and the fact that he's got a new coach and a new offensive system probably complicates things as well.

And here's Evan Turner getting slapped with baby powder. So that happened.


Posted on: October 19, 2010 8:38 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 8:39 pm
 

Magic sells his 105 Starbucks; what's he up to?

Posted by Royce Young

A day after Laker legend Magic Johnson sold his 4.5 percent share in the Los Angeles Lakers, he has also sold his 105 Starbucks franchises he owns back to the company he purchased them from for over $100 million, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Adding today's sale with yesterday's, Magic has quickly put upwards of $160 million in his pocket quickly. So the question is, what is he up to?

A source tells the L.A. Times that he's not necessarily interested in purchasing an NBA franchise as is widely rumored. But the source told the paper he's interesting in something "in sports."

At different points, Johnson was linked to potentially buying the Detroit Pistons and Golden State Warriors, though those rumors have been refuted a bit. And if he's not interested in buying, could he be having financial issues? The source says that's not the case but in these two cases, they were just good "business decisions." As mentioned earlier, Magic reportedly got a Godfather offer from Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong that he couldn't refuse.

While obviously most feel that Magic is looking into potentially purchasing an NBA franchise much like his buddy Michael Jordan, some feel Johnson could actually be interested in the Los Angeles Dodgers. And that throws a curveball into the whole thing (that was lame, I apologize).

But if Johnson decided to make a play in the NBA, here's the top five franchises I hope he buys.

1. Los Angeles Clippers - I don't know if he would, but this seems like it makes a lot of sense. At the same time, it doesn't make any. Johnson is forever a Laker and for him to purchase the in-town rival seems a little weird. But Donald Sterling's time is up and Johnson could be the perfect guy to step into that franchise. Plus, Johnson stays in L.A., stays in the Staples Center and stays in the bright lights. I'm rooting for this.

2. New Orleans Hornets - The sale of the Hornets is stalled and maybe this is an opportunity for Johnson to swoop in and reinvigorate the franchise. And something seems right about Magic Johnson being Chris Paul's boss.

3. Indiana Pacers - Granted, the Pacers aren't really for sale, but they are in a bit of danger of leaving Indianapolis. The city approved a new bill to tie the Pacers to the downtown arena, but still things are great in Indy for the Pacers. Forget all that stuff though, I'm just thinking about uniting Magic and Larry Bird together in the front office. I think that would be cool.

4. Phoenix Suns - Robert Sarver is known as a pretty tight, greedy owner in which his team has won in spite of. He's long been rumored to potentially be parting with the team at some point and having Johnson take over would work. The Suns are a fun West Coast franchise that should always be a staple in the Western Conference. Maybe Magic could give them a bump.

5. Memphis Grizzlies - I think most agree it's kind of Michael Heisley's time to go. Especially after his disastrous interview in which he revealed he really didn't know what he was doing.

Again, Johnson isn't necessarily buying, but I'm here to speculate so that's what I did. He's selling stuff off for some reason and it makes sense for him to get in the NBA ownership game. And as well-spoken and business-minded he is, I can't help but think he'd be as excellent at it as he was at basketball.
Posted on: October 17, 2010 6:48 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 7:53 pm
 

Report: Spurs Trade Curtis Jerrells To Hornets

The San Antonio Spurs have reportedly traded guard Curtis Jerrells to the New Orleans Hornets for a draft pick.
Posted by Ben Golliver
Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld.com reportsthat the San Antonio Spurs have traded backup point guard Curtis Jerrells to the New Orleans Hornets.
The San Antonio Spurs have traded reserve point guard Curtis Jerrells to the New Orleans Hornets in exchange for a second-round pick, sources tell HOOPSWORLD.
The obvious link between the two organizations is new Hornets GM Dell Demps, who was a front office executive for the Spurs prior to his hire by New Orleans this summer. The Hornets have been in need of backcourt depth behind Chris Paul after they shipped Darren Collison to the Indiana Pacers in a trade that netted wing Trevor Ariza. Jerrells will join a backcourt that includes Paul, Willie Green (also acquired by trade ) and promising second-year scorer Marcus Thornton. The Spurs have two quality point guards in long-time starter Tony Parker and solid backup George Hill, who started for much of last season as Parker dealt with injury issues. Jerrells played for the D-League's Austin Toros last year and was called up by the Spurs, but never saw any action .
Posted on: October 13, 2010 9:56 pm
Edited on: October 13, 2010 11:12 pm
 

Hornets have themselves a DJ (Mbenga) party

Hornets sign former Laker center. Posted by Matt Moore

Well that  didn't take long. After the workout we told you about earlier for the New Orleans Hornets of former Laker reserve D.J. MBenga, the Hornets went ahead and signed D.J. Mbenga to a contract, via a team press release . Mbenga will provide size to a team that desperately needs it. Aaron Gray is in the position of being the guy everyone says is a "nice player" down low for them. He actually is really nice, but they're going to need bodies, especially if they have any injuries down low. Mbenga also brings a championship knowledge of... okay, I can't finish that.

But in all seriousness, Mbenga is discussed as one of the best locker room guys and is beloved by coaches and reporters. Hopefully he can find a home in New Orleans and catch a few lobs from Chris Paul.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com