NBA Today - October 30

NBA Today - October 30

NBA Today - October 30
ASSOCIATED PRESS

SCOREBOARD Tuesday, Oct. 30

Utah at Golden State (10:30 p.m. EDT). The Jazz and Warriors open with a rematch of their second round playoff series last season.

TRADES

The New Jersey Nets opened two roster spots on Monday, sending swingman Bernard Robinson, center Mile Ilic and cash considerations to the New Orleans Hornets for veteran guard David Wesley. The Nets have told Wesley not to report and the team will waive him and pay the guaranteed portion of his $1.75 million contract, general manager Ed Stefanski said. ... The San Antonio Spurs traded Beno Udrih to the Minnesota Timberwolves for a protected second-round draft pick in 2008.

REJECTED

The Seattle SuperSonics may not try to escape their lease at KeyArena through arbitration, a federal judge said Monday. Judge Ricardo S. Martinez called the team's interpretation of the contract ''as errant as a typical Shaquille O'Neal free throw.'' The decision was a victory for the city and means officials may continue to seek a court order forcing the Sonics to play the next three seasons at the NBA's smallest venue. New Sonics chairman Clay Bennett last month issued a demand for arbitration, hoping to buy out the remainder of the lease unless a deal on a new arena could be reached by month's end. In response, the city sued, trying to force the Sonics to honor the terms of a deal reached in the mid-1990s: In exchange for $74 million in renovations to the old Seattle Coliseum, the team agreed to play all of its home games there through Sept. 30, 2010.

RETURN

Anfernee ''Penny'' Hardaway is officially back in the NBA, after the Miami Heat placed him on their season-opening roster Monday. Hardaway signed a nonguaranteed contract this summer after a strong tryout. He hasn't played in a regular-season game in nearly two years because of knee problems and has been limited for several seasons by an array of injuries.

SPEAKING

''I'm still a Laker. I'm here. I'm ready to play.'' - Kobe Bryant on Monday after an eventful offseason in which the shooting guard demanded a trade, criticized his teammates and called Los Angeles' front office a mess.

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Re: NBA Today - October 30

NBA season begins
VegasInsider.com

Where one sport's season ends, another begins.

The NBA will break the seal on Tuesday with TNT featuring a double-header beginning at 8:00 p.m. EDT. The first contest will pit a youthful Portland team against the veteran San Antonio Spurs. Most books have opened the Trail Blazers as 13-point visiting underdogs, with a total set at 187.

With the first games of the season ready for tip off, it’s always a tricky art to gauge these matchups on a statistical basis. So instead of laboring over numbers that won’t serve a purpose for the first few games, let’s take a look at the roster for both teams and how the rotation will impact the final result.

The biggest news for Portland was losing first-round pick Greg Oden to microfracture surgery in mid-September. With an average roster age of 23.2, the Trailblazers’ starting lineup will most likely be comprised of Jarrett Jack at point guard, Brandon Roy at shooting guard, Martell Webster taking the small forward position, LaMarcus Aldridge at power forward and Joel Przybilla posting up at center.

Look for Roy to be the glue for Portland this season, barring serious injury. Last year’s Rookie of the Year has been hampered by sharp pains in his heal. Medical diagnosis has ruled that the 23-year-old suffers from an abnormally long talus bone.

Breaking away from medicine and injuries, the Trailblazers will focus on getting newly acquired forward Channing Frye into the mix. In two seasons with the New York Knicks, Frye averaged 10.8 points per game with 5.6 rebounds per game. Known to be injury prone, the 6-foot-11 forward ended the 2005-2006 season with a strained knee ligament. Frye will look to be the sixth man in the lineup this season.

In their last 10 games against San Antonio, Portland is 1-9 straight up, 4-6 against the spread and 5-5 in the totals department.

San Antonio is heading into the new season with basically the same team that hit the hardwood last year (and year before). If it’s not broken then don’t fix it is the Spurs’ motto and formula for success.

The weakest link remains at the center position where Francisco Elson and backup Fabricio Oberto aren’t the loudest players on the court. Elson accounted for five PPG with 4.8 RPG, while Oberto squeaked out 4.4 PPG with 4.7 RPG.

Again, Tim Duncan, Bruce Bowen, Michael Finley and Tony Parker will be the main pieces on this team, but one has to wonder how much longer can a team averaging 28 years of age can remain at the top of the game?

No matter what happens, three titles in five seasons is impressive enough and although never repeating a championship run, expect the Spurs to continue their winning ways.

Head-to-head analysis is tough on the first few games of the season, but youth versus veteran experience has the line in the double-digits.

**Houston at L.A. Lakers**

In the second game of TNT’s double-header, the Rockets will look to get moving on the right foot when the squad travels into hostile territory to take on the Lakers. Bodog.com has installed L.A. as a 4 ½-point home ‘dog, with a total set at 194.

Houston enters this 10:30 p.m. EDT showdown with a revamped team behind new head coach Rick Adelman. Only five days after management fired Jeff Van Gundy, Adelman accepted terms to coach the Rockets with the main goal to advance past the first round in the playoffs.

Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming will once again be called upon to get this team through the grueling regular season. Can Ming step up his game by becoming more aggressive on both sides of the court? That will be a big question to answer, but coach Adelman will try hard to improve the offensive flow of the game. Van Gundy left Houston with his suitcase of defensively skewed playbooks, but Adelman was called in to change that. The chance for the Rockets to make big things happen is there.

There’re definitely some questions to raise about Houston’s starting lineup. Can Argentinean Luis Scola materialize into the power forward that TAU Ceramica witnessed (the team Scola played for in Spain)? How much production can Mike James and Steve Francis donate to the team in the backcourt and will Luther Head continue to improve his stats heading into his third season?

The Lakers have a lot of work in-front of them.

Trade talks involving franchise player Kobe Bryant circulated around the NBA like a whirl wind during the off-season. Now that he looks to be dressing for Tuesday’s game, focus shifts to the rest of the squad.

First problem to tackle is who will step up to take over Lamar Odom’s production? Odom is expected to miss the next two weeks of ball (while other sources have his return date as unknown). Next on the list is at the center position. Does Andrew Bynum or Kwame Brown deserve the starting job? And was brining Derek Fisher back the right move to make (Fishers offensive numbers dropped last season from 13.3 PPG to 10.1 PPG and 4.3 assists per game down to 3.3 APG)?

Sure, there’s plenty of questions behind every club but what else can we do until there’s a data base of numbers to attach to these previews?

Whatever the case may be, most books are looking for Houston to explode onto the scene with reasoning coming from the offensive shift in power on Tuesday.

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Re: NBA Today - October 30

Wolves buy out Howard
October 29, 2007

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -The Minnesota Timberwolves did some wheeling and dealing on Monday, reaching a buyout with veteran Juwan Howard and making a trade with San Antonio to get to the 15-man roster limit before the deadline.

The Timberwolves sent a protected 2008 second-round pick to the Spurs for cash considerations and guard Beno Udrih, whom the Wolves immediately waived.

The deal helped both teams.

San Antonio was able to avoid taking a luxury tax hit, while the Wolves were able to get some cash to help them buy out the final two years of Howard's deal.

Howard was initially ecstatic when the Rockets traded him to Minnesota for guard Mike James in June. He had wanted to play with Kevin Garnett for some time and spoke about regretting choosing Orlando over Minnesota the last time he was a free agent.

But when the Wolves shipped Garnett to Boston at the end of July, Howard made it clear he was not interested in being part of a youth movement in Minnesota. He requested a trade, but the Wolves found no takers for a 13-year veteran who was owed $6.88 million this year and $7.38 million next year.

So the Timberwolves reached a buyout agreement on Monday, and now Howard is free to try and land with a team that is closer to contending for a championship, something that has eluded him in his career.

To get to the 15-man limit, the Timberwolves released forward Wayne Simien, who was acquired from Miami last week along with Antoine Walker and Michael Doleac in a trade for Ricky Davis and Mark Blount.

Monday's transactions ended a whirlwind preseason for vice president of basketball operations Kevin McHale, who made the difficult decision to part ways with Garnett after 12 seasons in Minnesota and start from scratch.

McHale acquired five players and two draft picks for Garnett, got rid of James' and Blount's bad contracts and Davis' bad attitude and bought out Howard and guard Troy Hudson to completely reshape the roster.

Just five players - Marko Jaric, Mark Madsen, Randy Foye, Craig Smith and Rashad McCants - remain from last year's team that missed the playoffs for the third straight year.

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Re: NBA Today - October 30

Hi

My First NBA Picks

Rockets (Houston)-230 -5.5(-110) o195.5(-110)
Warriors (Golden State) -150 -3(-110) u214(-110)

P.s. God luck if you betting...


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