Posted on: January 14, 2012 1:39 am
Edited on: January 14, 2012 1:46 am
Posted by Ben Golliver
Miami Heat All-Star guard Dwyane Wade suffered a right ankle sprain during the fourth quarter of a Friday night loss to the Denver Nuggets.
Wade, who missed three consecutive games recently with a sore foot, left the court after badly rolling his ankle while attempting to defend Nuggets forward Al Harrington with a little more than 7 minutes remaining in the game. He immediately left the game and the television broadcast noted that he walked with a noticeable limp.
The injury comes as Miami prepares for three consecutive off days, a rarity in this lockout-shortened season. Miami plays next against the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday, Jan. 17, in Miami. Wade told the Associated Press that he had "no idea" if he would be available for that game.
"It's not broken, so that's a positive," Wade told the AP. "Now it's just about doing my treatment. [It's] never hurt that bad before."
Wade finished with 12 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals in 29 minutes. Wade is averaging 20.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 5.4 assists in 36.0 minutes per game so far this season.
The Nuggets beat the Heat, 117-104, dropping Miami to 8-4 on the season.
Here's video of Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade's vicious right ankle sprain against the Denver Nuggets.
Posted on: January 12, 2012 9:25 pm
Edited on: January 12, 2012 9:26 pm
By Matt Moore
We have a hard time getting away from preconceived notions. It took months of sustained excellence for Derrick Rose to be considered to have made "the jump." But the biggest hurdle for players to climb is the perception that they're poor defenders. That's what Al Harrington is facing, as he's quietly putting together a tremendous season for the Nuggets off the bench... on both ends of the floor.
Harrington joined the CBSSports.com NBA podcast to discuss his offseason training, which included, among other things, MMA training and a Spartan race, which was an obstacle course that involved jumping over fire (just a tiny bit, but still), as well as where the Nuggets stand this season and his approach to defense this season.
After Denver's Wednesday night win over the Nets, Harrington ranked in the 94th percentile in overall defensive points allowed per possession, according to Synergy Sports. Those numbers can be complicated, so let me follow it up with the fact that Harrington has been everywhere for Denver. He's stuck his man in the post, and his work in passing lanes has been brilliant. The Nuggets love to get out in transition and forcing turnovers is a big part of that. The Nuggets are third in opponent turnover percentage, with Harrington averaging 1.3 steals per game.
The truth is, if the Nuggets and Harrington keep up this pace, and if James Harden takes his rightful place in the Thunder's starting lineup (Harden is arguably the best playmaker on Oklahoma City), Harrington's going to be in line for Sixth Man of the Year. His ability to stetch the floor is balanced this year with an aggressiveness towards the rim. He's attacking and being a difference maker on a team loaded with weapons.
Harrington is in his 14th season, and incredibly, is putting in one of the best years of his career on a team that loves to share the ball and doesn't have a primary scorer. Maybe most importantly? Harrington is winning games.
Posted on: January 11, 2012 10:03 pm
Edited on: January 11, 2012 11:15 pm
Posted by Ben Golliver
You can't teach an old point guard new tricks.
Veteran floor general Andre Miller, traded by the Portland Trail Blazers to the Denver Nuggets, says his talent outpaces his current role and he will likely seek a new home this summer, according to FoxSportsFlorida.com.
Miller, who becomes a free agent after the season, said before Wednesday's game against New Jersey that "probably not" would he return to the Nuggets next season if the role is to back up Ty Lawson. But he wouldn't completely rule that out as a possibility if no better situations were to be available.Miller, 35, is in his 13th NBA season. He's currently backing up Ty Lawson, 24, who is clearly the team's point guard of the future and has breakout potential for the Nuggets, who are currently 6-4 on the season and boast a top-10 offense. Because of Lawson, the marriage between Denver and Miller is a short-term match unless Miller is willing to embrace the reserve role. While he's past his prime, Miller, like Steve Nash and Jason Kidd, remains effective late in his career.
He's right that there are teams he could start for in the NBA, even at 35. While generally regarded as one of the most underrated point guards in the NBA, Miller is unyielding in his deliberate style and need to have the ball in his hands. An excellent passer who makes up for his lack of athleticism with elite vision, Miller was a solid starter for the Blazers, a one-and-done playoff team, last season.
However, he and Portland coach Nate McMillan had their own squabbles over Miller's role, as former Blazers guard Brandon Roy dominated the ball and preferred a floor-spacing shooter to play alongside him, rather than Miller. McMillan opted to begin the 2009-2010 season by starting current Los Angeles Lakers point guard Steve Blake over Miller, and McMillan and Miller later engaged in a shouting match during a practice that was overheard by the media. Miller eventually moved into the starting lineup and was a key factor in the development of Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge during the 2010-2011 season.
Miller is currently averaging 9.8 points and 5.9 assists per game so far this season. He's playing 28.1 minutes per game, the fewest since his rookie season.
Interestingly, Miller's teammate Al Harrington had this to say on the CBSSports.com NBA podcast this week:
"I think that we share the basketball, which is probably some of the best team passing that I've been around in my career. Guys are really pulling for each other. No one's really worried about being the top scorer or man on the team, we're just trying to win. Whenever you have that kind of chemistry, I think you can do special things."
Apparently Miller isn't on board with that idea as much. You can listen to the rest of our interview with Al Harrington below:
Posted on: January 11, 2012 11:05 am
Edited on: January 11, 2012 11:10 am
By Matt Moore
Masai Ujiri is used to dealing with the all-encompassing influence of star power. He walked into the Carmelo Anthony situation, after all. So he knows what a superstar can do, especially one who's clutch as all get out. But against the Hornets on Monday when the Nuggets lost their second straight game, they needed something greater. A higher power, if you will, in a game where the Nuggets were outplayed at both ends badly. From Fox Sports South Florida's Chris Tomasson:
True story, if Tim Tebow were to play in the NBA he would average 6 points on 25 percent shooting, mostly on free throws, yet hit every shot inside two minutes of a close game.
Note: That is not a true story.
Posted on: January 5, 2012 12:03 am
Edited on: January 5, 2012 1:06 am
Posted by Ben Golliver.
A+: Nuggets complete no-look, over-the-head alley-oopThis is as spectacular and joyous as NBA basketball gets. Up big in the fourth quarter, the Denver Nuggets mercilessly pushed the ball down the Sacramento Kings' throat on their way to a dominant 110-83 victory. There was no bigger exclamation point than this alley-oop from guard Rudy Fernandez to trailing forward Kenneth Faried.
Fernandez secured the ball as he approached the baseline, touch-passing it with two hands into the air over his own head without taking a second look or turning around. Faried, a high-jumping rookie, converted the oop for his first points as a pro. There's no possible better way to begin your career than this. Take a look.
A: DeRozan powers Raptors from deep
For a good long while there, it was looking like Canadian writer Holly MacKenzie was the only person besides DeMar DeRozan and his immediate family who believed that significant improvement on the perimeter was a realistic possibility for the athletic Raptors wing. I certainly counted out his potential as an all-around, defense-stretching presence after he managed to hit just nine 3-pointers in his first two seasons, connecting on less than 20 percent from downtown. It was a fatal flaw, and he apparently spent all lockout correcting it. Often seen at National Basketball Players Association meetings rocking the famous "Basketball Never Stops" t-shirts, DeRozan unveiled the fruit of his offseason labors against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night, knocking in five 3-pointers -- as many or more than he made in each of his first two seasons -- to finish with 25 points.
B+: Spurs role players provide fourth quarter pushAny time reserved San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is so fired up late in a game that he's beelining onto the court in celebration, something is going unusually right. In this case, it was a purposeful 31-20 fourth-quarter that saw the Spurs put away the Golden State Warriors at home despite 38 points and 7 assists from Monta Ellis. Tony Parker had the prettiest highlight with a tear drop in the lane but a scoring burst from the unlikeliest of sources, T.J. Ford, and contributions from Richard Jefferson and Danny Green provided some reassurance after the loss of Manu Ginobili to injury earlier this week.
C: Timberwolves hang tough but foldEveryone's favorite "little engine that could" continues to fall just short in the most painful ways. On Wednesday, they dropped a close one to the Memphis Grizzlies, who were reeling from the news that forward Zach Randolph would be out up to two months with a knee injury, 90-86. The loss saw a 27-point, 14-rebound, 2-block effort from Kevin Love and another double-double from rookie point guard Ricky Rubio go to waste. The culprit? Poor late-game foul-shooting. The Timberwolves knocked down 13-for-24 from the charity stripe for the game and made just 4-for-10 in the final frame. Instead of pulling even to .500, the Timberwolves left another win on the table.
Boris Diaw with a remarkable 27 points on just 15 shots. The Bobcats, who entered the game with just one win, aren't that good, the Knicks simply made them look like world-beaters with dumb fouls, dumb shots, and 17 turnovers worth of undisciplined play. Defensive centerpiece Tyson Chandler managed just six rebounds in 40 minutes and Toney Douglas shot a putrid 6-for-17, a performance that was so bad that the Madison Square Garden faithful was chanting in unison -- very loudly -- for Iman Shumpert to replace him during the second half.
F: Kings roll over and die for NuggetsThe only time the Sacramento Kings did anything to make anyone cheer on Wednesday came when DeMarcus Cousins fouled Kenneth Faried with 13 seconds left -- and his team down by 25 -- so that Faried could convert two free throws and send the Denver crowd home with discounted tacos for reaching 100 points. Other than that, the Kings did a great impression of a team that has quit on its coach. How else to explain 2-for-20 shooting from deep, 32.6 percent shooting overall, plus 12 assists and 17 turnovers as a team? The Kings either quit on Westphal or they're playing like they're afraid he's going to write another press release about him.
Posted on: December 27, 2011 1:39 pm
Edited on: December 27, 2011 1:52 pm
Posted by Royce Young and Ben Golliver.
The 2011-2012 NBA season is a few days old, and with that comes the second installment of CBSSports.com's NBA Power Rankings by Eye On Basketball's Matt Moore.
What did he get right? What did he get wrong? We're here to break it down and take it down.
1. Too High: Denver Nuggets at No. 2. I realize it's easy to get excited about the Nuggets. They whipped the defending champs in their opener. But after one game we're moving them all the way to No. 2? After one game, they jump 12 spots? I think it's probably more overrating the Mavs than it is the Nuggets, because Denver's win over Dallas wasn't that impressive. The Mavs are uninterested, unmotivated and unhungry (is that a word?) right now. They're coasting. And they probably aren't even as good as they were last year. Yeah the Nuggets looked good in their takedown of the Dirks, but geez, I think we're getting a little ahead of ourselves here in having Denver jump Oklahoma City, San Antonio and the Clippers. -- RY
2. Too Low: Los Angeles Lakers at No. 23 Just when Royce got done scolding for over-correcting on the Nuggets, there's the Lakers, who dropped 18 spots by virtue of losing a tight one to No. 6 ranked Chicago on Christmas under bizarre late-game circumstances and getting picked off by a hungry Kings team on the second night of the back-to-back. That places Kobe/Pau/company six spots behind the Toronto Raptors and seven spots behind the Charlotte Bobcats. Come on. Maybe the last five years or so should have a touch more bearing than the last 48 hours in weighing the relative merits of these organizations. -- BG
3. Most Overrated: New York Knicks at No. 5. The Knicks took down a wounded Celtics team at home on opening day. They looked solid at times, sure. But is this New York team truly in the class of the NBA? Is it really top five material, with point guards named Toney Douglas and... Toney Douglas? (OK, so I know Mike Bibby is on the team too, but he doesn't count.) The Knicks are a quality squad but there's a burning desire in many to crown them a contender, but I think that's premature. -- RY
4. Most Overlooked: Minnesota Timberwolves at No. 26. I feel like I'm getting ahead of myself here, but after watching the Wolves compete against the top-notch Thunder, I came away impressed. Rick Adelman has made a difference, Ricky Rubio is fun and between Derrick Williams and Kevin Love, there's some real talent there. Minnesota hasn't necessarily done anything to deserve being higher than 26 because you need to actually win to move up. Moral victories don't count. But fourth to last? This Wolves team won't be in the bottom five for long. -- RY
5. Sure Thing: Miami Heat at No. 1. Miami looked so good in routing the Dallas Mavericks on Christmas Day that the general reaction around the league seemed to be to just pretend it didn't happen. Outside of the Oklahoma City Thunder, it's difficult to imagine any NBA team being able to keep pace in a 7-game series, Bulls, Celtics, Clippers and Lakers included. Here's hoping Miami keeps its foot on the gas all season long. The Hated Ones can do some amazing things. -- BG
6. Wild Card: Houston Rockets at No. 25. The middle-of-the-pack Western Conference teams are likely headed for a rollercoaster ride on this year's power rankings, and Houston probably gets to be the first poster boy for that phenomenon here. They start near the gutter but still have enough talent to work their way into the top-15 in fairly short order. But would you bet your money on it happening? -- BG
Posted on: December 27, 2011 4:23 am
Posted by Ben Golliver.
Dallas Mavericks forward Sean Williams lost his lunch during a 115-93 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Monday night.
Star-Telegram.com reports that Williams threw up on the Mavericks' team bench after being subbed out of the game late in the fourth quarter.
When he was taken out of the game with 3:25 left, he proceeded to throw up when he reached the Mavs' bench. At that point, the Mavs players started laughing. Even Williams laughed -- after he finished throwing up.The puking cleared out Dallas' bench as the Mavericks gave Williams his necessary space and made sure there was plenty of room for things to air out. Williams wiped his face with a towel while trainers and ballboys took turns attending to him.
Williams finished with 12 points, 3 rebounds and 1 block in 11 minutes. Williams, 25, is in his fourth NBA season; his three previous years were spent with the New Jersey Nets. Monday night marked his 127th career NBA game and, as far as we know, it was the first time he blew chunks on the bench during a game.
Here's video of Dallas Mavericks forward Sean Williams throwing up on the bench courtesy of BasketUSA.com.
Posted on: December 19, 2011 8:17 pm
Edited on: December 19, 2011 8:29 pm
Posted by Royce Young
One of the last big pieces of the free agency puzzle has finally found its home. And it's right where it was last season.
According to ESPN.com, guard Arron Afflalo has re-signed with the Nuggets for five years, $43 million. That means between Afflalo and Nene, the Nuggets have spent some $110 million this offseason. But it also means they've inked a long-term core for the next number of seasons.
Afflalo, 26, was a restricted free agent and considered by many to be maybe the top guard on the market. Multiple teams coveted his services, but the Nuggets were planning on matching any offer and with no one signing Afflalo to an offer sheet, Denver went ahead and took the lead on its own.
The Nuggets had a great need for Afflalo with Wilson Chandler and J.R. Smith stuck in China for the time being. Denver recently acquired Rudy Fernandez and Corey Brewer, but Afflalo will likely fit in as one of Denver's top three players this season. Between him, Nene, Ty Lawson and Danilo Gallinari, Denver has a group fo young players to build around.
Obviously it's a good signing for Denver, but the question is whether or not Afflalo is really worth that kind of money. Five years, $43 million is a pretty major number for a guy like Afflalo that averaged 12.6 points per game and a PER 13.61. And that's by far his best season to date. He's an elite perimeter defender and a long athletic guard, but more than $8 million a season for him is a high price tag.
Not to say he's not worth it to Denver, because he probably is, especially in their situation. Like I said, Afflalo might have been one of the top two or three free agent targets period in this whole class. But a lot of that was probably because he was seen as a value pickup.
Now the question becomes if Denver can pay out Nene, Afflalo and then add Ty Lawson and Gallinari who are up for new deals soon. And now how much do you have to pay those two? The Nuggets are really committing to this group, but it's decidedly without a bonafide star play. Maybe Gallinari is that guy, but maybe not. The team seemed to thrive on that team-ball aspect last season, but is it good for sustainable success?