Trail Blazers’ LaMarcus Aldridge ruled out tonight against Warriors

Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldrdige will miss his second straight game due to a bruised back, according to CSN Bay Area.As reported on Thursday morning, Aldridge got injured in Wednesday’s game against the Spurs. The injury occurred when he drove to the basket for a running hook shot and collided with Aron Baynes. Aldridge landed on the floor – back first and was in severe pain. He then exited the game immediately with the help of his fellow teammates, and did not return.Jonathan Ferrey/Getty ImagesWithout Aldridge, Portland beat the Pelicans 111-103 on Friday night. Forward Dorell Wright started in Aldridge’s place and had a respectable night, going for 15 points, four rebounds and three assists in 28 minutes. Expect Wright to get the nod again tonight against the Warriors.Aldridge’s status remains day-to-day, but for the past few days he has been on crutches and getting around in a wheelchair. Portland is currently fifth in the Western Conference with a re…

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Heat’s Greg Oden ruled out tonight against Wizards

Miami Heat center Greg Oden will not suit up tonight against the Wizards due to precautionary reasons according to J. Michael on Twitter. Oden played yesterday against the Bulls, and it is part of Miami’s plan to keep their center from playing back-to-back nights.The Heat lost yesterday to in Bulls in overtime, and are now on a three-game losing streak. Without Oden in the lineup, Chris Anderson will play extra minutes at the center position off the bench. Against Chicago, Anderson had one of his better games of the season, he played 33 minutes adding 13 rebounds and six blocks.Issac Baldizon/Getty ImagesOden has played in 16 games this season, he is averaging 3.0 points and 2.1 rebounds in 8.3 minutes per game.Miami now has a four-game homestand and will be looking to build up some momentum as the Indiana Pacers continue to struggle.The Heat sit second in the Eastern Conference with a record of 43-17, a game and a half behind the Pacers

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WATCH: LeBron, Jimmy Fallon do ‘Tonight Show’ ’80s-style rap video

So Jimmy Fallon continues to roll out the big guests (and lean heavily on them, according to some). Tonight featured Lebron James making an appearance to play some wastepaper basketball with Jimmy in a throwback to some 1980s training video PSA nightmare. The tune itself reminds me of The Lonely Island’s “We Like Sportz,” so that’s a plus. I just sort of wish that c*nthole Steve was around to absorb abuse. I guess I’ll have to accept Fallon’s office boss as a proper stand in for verbal attack, but it’s going to be hard. (Via The Tonight Show)

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Marshall Henderson could set SEC record tonight

Henderson is aiming to become the SEC’s all-time leader in consecutive games with a three

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Golden State Warriors looking for a division win tonight

Tuesday night you could say that the Golden State Warriors’ offense looked much like the Denver Broncos’ offense in the Superbowl last Sunday (awful). During Tuesday nights match-up vs the Charlotte Bobcats the Warriors offense came out flat (and that’s putting it mildly), being that the game was in Oracle Arena, it was surprising to see the Warriors shoot that poorly in front of home fans, they shot a lowly 31% as a team, and they shot 4-20 from 3 point land, the team ended up scoring just 75 points in the shocking loss to the Bobcats.
As a jump shooting dominant team you’d expect some nights were the jump shot isn’t going but nobody would suspect they would have shot the ball that badly if one of those nights did happen, and well…it did.
Thursday nights match-up vs the Chicago Bulls however was a different story, as the Warriors offense came to life, even without the services of David Lee and Andrew Bogut. After being down by as many as 15 in the first quarter, Stephen Curry like …

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Zach Randolph: ‘It Was a Horrible Game They Reffed Tonight, Awful’

The Houston Rockets rallied from a 13-point second-half deficit to beat the Memphis Grizzlies, and Memphis forward Zach Randolph knows exactly who is the blame: the refs.

After the 100-92 loss, Randolph delivered a lengthy anti-ref diatribe to the media. Here is an audio clip.

Does he have a point? The Rockets shot twice as many free throws as Memphis in the game (40-20). Shockingly, none of Houston’s free throws came from the man who came into the game leading the NBA in free-throw attempts. Houston center Dwight Howard was held without a free throw on Thursday. It was Howard’s first game without a free throw since December 11, 2006, over seven years ago, per Basketball Reference.

When Randolph said, “The man’s shooting free throws every time,” he was probably referring to Houston guard James Harden. Harden was a one-man free-throw army, besting Memphis in free-throw attempts single-handedly, 25-20.

Harden scored 27 points despite shooting just 2-of-9 from the field. It was a historic feat, according to ESPN Stats.

For what it’s worth, Randolph isn’t the first player to criticize the refs for giving harden too many free throws. Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki was issued a technical foul in a November 20 game against Houston for complaining to the refs about a Harden foul call.

It’s easy to understand why opponents might have trouble accepting Houston’s propensity for getting to the charity stripe. The Rockets lead the league in free-throw attempts at 31.1 per game. With Harden and Howard, the Rockets often obliterate their opponents in free-throw margin, leading to some bad blood among the other teams.

If the NBA decides to fine Randolph for his outburst, it won’t be the first time the forward has cut a check to the league office. The league fined Randolph $25,000 in November 2012 for confronting Oklahoma City center Kendrick Perkins in a corridor near the locker rooms after a game between the Thunder and Grizzlies.

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Kobe Bryant: ‘If There Was a Playoff Game Tonight, I’d Play’

Could we be nearing the moment that everyone has been waiting for? One that many expected to have already occurred?

Kobe Bryant, unquestionably one of the biggest stars in the NBA, has been notoriously absent from the festivities as he recovers from the ruptured Achilles he suffered near the end of the 2012-13 campaign against the Golden State Warriors.

There was never a firm timetable for when he’d return from the devastating injury, but the underlying assumption had him playing either in the season opener or shortly thereafter.

Nope.

In the middle of November, Kobe is still out, but a quote from the Mamba himself has us thinking that he might be suiting up soon:

Kobe must have a little bit of labrador retriever in him. 

Those dogs just don’t know when to stop. They’ll constantly push themselves to the brink of exhaustion or injury, running until their paws are bloody or swimming after a tennis ball until they nearly sink in the water.

Remind you of anyone?

Kobe has asserted himself as one of the fiercest competitors in NBA history throughout his professional career, and it’s tough to imagine him sitting out of any game that truly mattered if he could play. As USA Today‘s Scott Gleeson wrote, “The Black Mamba doesn’t like losing, whether it’s scrabble or the NBA Finals.”

In the future Hall of Famer’s mind, nothing could help the Lakers more than his return. And he’s probably right, even though he’s coming back from one of the worst injuries a basketball player can suffer. 

However, the timing of this announcement is a little strange, as it comes on the heels of Mitch Kuphchak’s proclamation.

As reported by Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times, the Lakers general manager recently told his season-ticket holders that he didn’t see Kobe returning in the next two weeks, and Kobe himself said that he had a week to go in his three weeks of intense conditioning. 

But hey, when has Kobe ever been constrained by a normal timetable? He takes pride in shattering the expectations and then jutting his chin out with a smug look on his face.

Could this be the latest example? Lakers nation is waiting with bated breath, and the same can probably be said for most every basketball fan around the world.

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Patrick Ewing to Coach Against New York Knicks Tonight

Patrick Ewing spent the better part of his 17-year playing career giving everything he had physically to help the New York Knicks win basketball games.

Tonight, Ewing will rely on his coaching mind to keep his former team from doing just that:

As Charlotte Bobcats coach Steve Clifford’s top assistant, the head coaching duties fall on Ewing’s shoulders after Clifford underwent a heart procedure earlier this morning:

Ewing told Newsday’s Al Iannazzone that Clifford couldn’t have picked a worse time to go under the knife:

I’m going to have to curse Cliff out for especially it being this game against [the Knicks]. I mean it is strange. The only head coaching that I’ve done is during the summer league. Like I said, against [the Knicks]. I see all of you guys here, I can see the writing on the wall right now.

 

What makes this so strange?

The fact that Ewing carved out his Hall of Fame career in New York’s blue-and-orange threads. He spent the first 15 seasons of his playing career in the Big Apple, averaging 22.8 points, 10.4 rebounds and 2.7 blocks as a member of the Knicks.

As if coaching against his former team isn’t awkward enough, this also happens to be Ewing’s NBA head coaching debut. Butterflies are understandably swarming in his stomach:

Ewing had the misfortune of peaking during the Michael Jordan era. Ewing’s Knicks were good, but never quite good enough to handle Jordan’s Chicago Bulls. When Jordan took his baseball sabbatical before the start of the 1993-94 season, the title window seemed to open for Ewing and the Knicks.

New York seized the moment, tying the Atlanta Hawks for the best record in the Eastern Conference (57-25). The Knicks dispatched the then-New Jersey Nets in four games in the opening round, then eked out seven-game series wins over the Jordan-less Bulls and Reggie Miller’s Indiana Pacers.

The Knicks made the franchise’s first NBA Finals trip that season since winning the title in 1972-73, and met up with Hakeem Olajuwon’s Houston Rockets. After jumping out to a 3-2 series lead, the Knicks dropped back-to-back games in Houston and their championship dream was officially shattered.

The Knicks made a return trip to the Finals in the strike-shortened 1998-98 season. But Ewing was already on the wrong side of 35 and his body was battered. He could only watch from the sideline as the San Antonio Spurs took the series 4-1.

Ewing’s name is all over the Knicks’ record books. Among his more notable entries, Ewing is the franchise’s all-time leader in games (1,039), points (23,665), rebounds (10,759) and blocks (2,758).

Since joining the coaching ranks, Ewing hasn’t hidden his desire to return to his basketball home, via ESPN New York’s Ian O’Connor:

I’d be interested in any job, but this is home, naturally. I still have my place here (in New Jersey), and I’d love to interview for any job, here or anywhere. I played here. I know the ins and outs of New York, the media, the fans.

 

After overlooking Ewing in previous coaching searches, the Knicks came calling with a job offer last September. Only the position wasn’t with the Knicks, it was with their D-League affiliate, the Erie BayHawks.

Ewing, reportedly, was not impressed. “Patrick has paid his dues,” a source told ESPN New York’s Ian Begley. “He was a little insulted.”

Tonight, he can show the Knicks brass exactly what they’re missing.

Emotions are sure to run high, but for Ewing, he just needs to keep things the way they are. His Bobcats scored a five-point win on the Knicks’ home floor on Tuesday night.

 

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Lakers welcome reality against the Spurs tonight

Opening Tip covers everything you need to know for Friday’s NBA action.

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Warriors Open Preseason Tonight Against Star-Less Lakers

 
Yes, the time has finally arrived for all you basketball-starved crazies, as the Golden State Warriors take on their division rivals, the Los Angeles Lakers, tonight at 7PM at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario. For all it’s courtside starpower, expect that to be the only place you’ll see stars if you manage to tune into this game. As reported by ESPN LA’s Dave McMenamin, Laker All-Stars Pau Gasol and Steve Nash will sit tonight for some rest.
Kobe Bryant, who ruptured his achilles tendon against the Warriors last season, is currently in Germany undergoing more orthokine treatment on his knees, and will remain there for about a week. Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni told reporters following Friday’s practice that his projected starters for tonight’s game would be returners Steve Blake and Jordan Hill, along with newcomers Nick Young, Wesley Johnson, and Chris Kaman.
While D’Antoni was willing to offer up his starting five for tonight’s game, Warriors coach Mark Jackson was a

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