Basketball News And Notes 2/6

Basketball News And Notes 2/6

Lewis to practice Tuesday, could return Saturday
Mon, Feb 5, 2007
By Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Seattle SuperSonics forward Rashard Lewis will participate in full-contact practice Tuesday after missing 1 1/2 months with a right hand injury and could be back in the lineup as soon as Saturday.

''I think he'll do fine. I really do. He's done a good job with rehab,'' coach Bob Hill said before Monday night's game against the Washington Wizards.

The game at Washington was the 21st in a row Lewis has missed since getting hurt.

Hill said Lewis, Seattle's second-leading scorer with 21.9 points per game, would move into the starting lineup when he can play, with Mickael Gelabale heading to the bench.

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Michigan's Petway hopes to play at Ohio State
Mon, Feb 5, 2007
By Associated Press

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan forward Brent Petway hopes to be healthy enough to play at No. 3 Ohio State on Tuesday night.

The forward injured his left knee in last week's loss at home against Iowa.

''The big thing is how my knee responds on game day after practicing,'' Petway said Monday. ''It really will be a game day decision, but I'm hoping to be able to play because we really need to win this game to prove we can win on the road.''

Petway has started in 21 of 23 games, averaging 6.8 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.7 blocks for the Wolverines (16-7, 4-4 Big Ten).

''I've referred to him as the heart and soul of our team,'' Michigan coach Tommy Amaker said.

Petway limped off the court against the Hawkeyes late in the first half after landing awkwardly on defense, and was limited to six minutes in the second half.

''That knocked us back in that game,'' Amaker said.

If Petway can't start, Amaker said he would probably replace him with freshman Ekpe Udoh.

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Tennessee's Lofton to return against LSU
Mon, Feb 5, 2007
By Associated Press


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee guard Chris Lofton may see limited action Tuesday against LSU after missing two weeks with a sprained right ankle, coach Bruce Pearl said Monday.

Oddsmakers have the Vols set as 5-point favorties. The total is set at 143.

The Southeastern Conference's leading scorer has missed four games since sustaining the injury Jan. 20 against South Carolina. He has been listed as doubtful for each game, and while he dressed for the last two, Pearl said he would be available for emergencies only.

''Chris is going to try and play. I don't know much he'll play. I don't know how effective he's going to be,'' Pearl said during the SEC coaches' teleconference.

Lofton, a junior, is averaging 21.5 points. He missed games against Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia and Florida. The Volunteers (15-8, 3-5) lost three of those games, beating only Georgia.

LSU coach John Brady said his team is preparing for Lofton to play.

''I'm sure they'll parachute him out of the roof for our game Tuesday night,'' he said.

''We're just going to have to pay attention to him and guard him and put our best defender on him and give a lot of help off some screens and hopefully from the layoff he won't be as sharp.''

Lofton could struggle to change directions on defense, and he may be slower driving to the basket or running on fast breaks, Pearl said.

Lofton struggled last year against at LSU, a loss for Tennessee. He was held to a season-low two points on 1-of-7 shooting from the field.

''It's a really tough game for Chris to come back to,'' Pearl said.

The Volunteers have lost six of their last eight games.

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Favored Suns without MVP tonight
Tue, Feb 6, 2007

Steve Nash will not play tonight against the Portland Trailblazers because of a shoulder injury suffered last night against the Denver Nuggets.

The Phoenix Suns point guard was taken out of last night’s game at the end of the second quarter and did not return. Phoenix won the game 113-108 after trailing 60-51 at halftime, but did not cover the 7 ½-point spread.

“My shoulder is frozen,” Nash told the Arizona Republic following the last night’s game. “I can't move like I want to without the ball. That's when the pain gets worse.”

The league’s reining MVP is expected to return to the Suns' lineup in time for Friday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks.

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Warriors' Backcourt Suffers Another Knee Injury

In the CONTRA COSTA TIMES, Geoff Lepper writes "the injuries to surgically
repaired left knees are piling up for the Warriors, and they're getting more
ominous along the way. A few hours after Warriors coach Don Nelson said that he
expected point guard Baron Davis' injury to cost him a few games, guard Monta
Ellis was rolling on the floor in pain after banging his own left knee against
the right knee of Indiana Pacers forward Danny Granger midway through the third
quarter of Golden State's 113-98 victory. X-rays on Monday proved negative, but
Ellis said, 'I won't be relieved until I get an MRI.' He expects to undergo such
an exam today."

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Bulls' Nocioni To Miss 7-10 Days With Foot Ailment

In the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, Brian Hanley writes "the Bulls likely will be without
forward Andres Nocioni for at least the final four games of their seven-game
road trip. Nocioni, who underwent an MRI on Monday and was inactive against the
Utah Jazz, has plantar fasciitis in his right foot -- inflammation or small
tears on the fibrous band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the base.
Nocioni, who is averaging 15 points and six rebounds, said he will wear a brace
for the next couple of days."

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