ATLANTA (AP) — Josh Smith had 23 points and 15 rebounds, Al Horford also posted a double-double and the Atlanta Hawks beat Washington 104-95 on Friday night to keep the Wizards winless on the road.
MIAMI (Reuters) – Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra does not want any “drama” but his team’s second 20-point loss to the rival New York Knicks in five weeks has certainly focused the minds of his team. The Heat, who entered Thursday’s home game against New York still stinging from Tuesday’s humbling road loss to the last-place Washington Wizards, were dominated by a Knicks team that enjoyed 18 three-pointers in a 112-92 win. …
MIAMI, Dec 7 (Reuters) – Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra does not want any “drama” but his team’s second 20-point loss to the rival New York Knicks in five weeks has certainly focused the minds of his team. The Heat, who entered Thursday’s home game against New York still stinging from Tuesday’s humbling road loss to the last-place Washington Wizards, were dominated by a Knicks team that enjoyed 18 three-pointers in a 112-92 win. …
You might recall a Miami Heat win over the Los Angeles Lakers from back in March of 2011 , one that saw Kobe Bryant decide to take an impromptu postgame shooting session in full view of reporters after a poor performance in that game’s fourth quarter. Kobe enjoyed plenty of plaudits following that post-performance performance, while some of us shook our head at the showiness of it all. Because the Miami arena has a practice court that Kobe knew all about, and he didn’t have to turn his basketball penance into a “look at me!” event.
On Thursday night, Miami Heat All-Star LeBron James pulled the same junk after an embarrassing Heat loss to the New York Knicks. Except that … he didn’t.
James used that practice court, declining to share his reps for the snapping cell phones of the waiting media. And after that, much like Kobe in 2011, James came clean about Miami’s lost week to reporters. From ESPN’s Brian Windhorst , who was in the scrum for all of our benefit:
LeBron went thru an extended workout after the game on the practice court. Said Knicks “kicked our ass” & he “had to get better”
Somewhat lost in the scintillating news that the New Orleans Hornets could change their nickname to the more Louisiana-appropriate “Pelicans” next season is the long-rumored possibility that the Charlotte Bobcats could re-take the “Hornets” nickname once New Orleans abandons it. There’s a distinction, because the “Hornets” never stopped being the “Hornets” after moving from Charlotte to NOLA in 2002, so it isn’t as if the Michael Jordan-owned Charlotte franchise would be taking on what is rightfully theirs.
And though a change in nickname may come off as a cosmetic move to some, there is a cost. Rumored to be around $3 million , as the team takes to completely overhauling their appearance and nickname for the second straight season (assuming Charlotte is allowed to become the Hornets in time for the 2013-14 season). That’s not an insignificant number for any team; much less a group in Charlotte that continues to struggle at the gate despite much improved play, and has been in cost-cutting mode since making its lone postseason appearance in 2010.
Would the move be worth the payoff? The Charlotte Observer’s Rick Bonnell has been writing about NBA basketball in Charlotte since the Hornets were buzzing, and he chimes in with a well-sourced feature on the possible switch. From Bonnell :
“This was one of the first teams to go with a designer — Alexander Julian. It was a departure from the standard look of NBA uniforms,” said Favorito, who formerly worked in media relations with the New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers. “They introduced something that really caught on, both in Charlotte and around the country.”
It’s still hot too. The NBA still sells Charlotte Hornets gear, which has become something of a fashion statement among teenagers and young adults for its distinctive look.
WASHINGTON — For the second night in the Nation’s Capital with Robert Griffin III in the building, David beat Goliath.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Already sidelined for more than two months, Washington Wizards point guard John Wall still is not ready to practice, let alone play – and coach Randy Wittman said Monday night he does not know when his best player will return.
As with any of these reports, the translation has to be considered well before we judge either side of this possible conflagration. Assuming there is one to begin with. Former NBA All-Star Tracy McGrady plays in China now, for the Chinese Basketball Association, and he recently called a mandatory test they give each of their players and coaches “nonsense.” No other quote is on record, any other opinions behind McGrady’s thoughts on the written test are expressed through the unnamed journalist at CRI English. The scribe in question might be fantastic at their craft, but those words were then spun through translation.
Go easy, is what we’re saying, as we point out that the CBA has a mandatory 60-question written test that both players and coaches have to work through every year, and that T-Mac recently called it “nonsense.” NIUBball.com , a fantastic site, gave us the heads-up and CRI English gave us the details :
China Basketball Association (CBA) superstar Tracy McGrady, or “T-Mac,” who plays for the Qingdao Eagles has criticized a CBA rules test for players and coaches as “nonsense,” Newspaper.lndaily.com.cn reported Tuesday… McGrady said there is no need for the test as the content is so basic and every CBA player knows how to deal with the questions both on and off the court.
…In response to McGrady, [Bai Xilin, head of the league's competition department] said the CBA has some rules that are different than the National Basketball Association and the International Basketball Federation. He said McGrady should set an example for other players to learn the rules well and it would be helpful for him to play better in the CBA.
One word — “nonsense.”
As part of the “Punch List” year-end culture roundup in its December 2012 issue, GQ magazine asked hip-hop icon Jay-Z to identify the five coolest things about the Brooklyn Nets, the NBA franchise of which he owns a small part and which he helped revamp and reboot, leaving far behind its sub-chic New Jersey past in search of blacker, whiter and (at the gates and concessions) greener pastures. As you might expect, Jay — who turns 43 years old on Tuesday, so happy birthday, Hov — identified the jerseys and logos he helped design, the team’s unique herringbone-patterned home court , the rust-roofed but beautiful Barclays Center in which the Nets play, the swaggering borough in which it’s located and, naturally, himself (“Me? Ha, I am Brooklyn”).
While it doesn’t include the fact that the team itself is pretty cool right now — their 11-5 record gives them the East’s third-best mark, they rank ninth in the league in points scored per 100 possessions and 12th in the league in points-allowed-per-100 (last year’s swan-song version of the New Jersey Nets finished 23rd and 29th, respectively), they’re winning despite neither member of the much-ballyhooed Deron Williams/Joe Johnson backcourt looking consistently sharp, and they’ve already beaten the crosstown rival New York Knicks in their inaugural intra-city meeting — it is a pretty good list. If you really wanted to, though, you could also pick a handful of things about the Nets that, deep down, in the places you don’t talk about at parties (probably because you are not invited to very many parties), you all know aren’t very cool.
Well, I really wanted to. Here’s mine; feel free to weigh in with yours in the comments.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Jason Richardson says he knew the Philadelphia 76ers’ poor shooting at the start of the season wouldn’t last.