Betting News and Notes - Dec 19th

Betting News and Notes - Dec 19th

Wednesday's Tip Sheet
December 19, 2007
By Chris David

Thirteen games headline Wednesday’s pro basketball card, including a pair of top-notch televised battles. As always, we’ll break down the double-header plus offer up a closer look at some other trends that gamblers should be made aware of before placing wagers tonight.

Game of the Night, Part I: Detroit (17-7 SU, 14-9 ATS) at Boston (20-2 SU, 15-6 ATS)

Boston owns the best record in the league, yet some critics still don’t believe the team from Massachusetts has been tested. Doc Rivers’ team can silence everybody Wednesday, when Detroit visits TD Banknorth Garden for a possible Eastern Conference Championship preview.

Along with the Celtics, it appears that the Pistons and Magic are the main three teams that are going to be fighting for the right to represent the East in the NBA Finals. Orlando proved its worth to Boston 104-102 on Nov. 18 as a one-point underdog, handing Gang Green its first loss of the season.

Can Detroit repeat the feat and make it a three-horse race? It’s going to be tough sledding, especially against a Celtics’ squad that has crushed teams on their court by an average of 20 points per game (101-81) en route to a perfect 12-0 straight up and 9-3 against the spread record. The defensive effort by Doc’s team has helped the ‘under’ produce a 9-2 mark.

Detroit won’t be lying down for this battle, considering it owns a solid road ledger at 8-5 SU and 7-5 ATS. Surprisingly, the Pistons’ offense has been better on the road (100 PPG) than at home (99 PPG) this year. The ‘over’ is 9-4 in their 13 road battles.

Boston is 4-0 both SU and ATS when listed as a favorite of eight points or less, while Detroit is 1-3 both SU and ATS as an underdog.

It should be noted that Detroit has won eight straight meetings against Boston, including all four matchups last year. The Celtics have saved face during this stretch, covering five of the eight losses. Boston’s last victory against Detroit came in March of 2005 when they captured a 115-113 overtime win.

Defense will be key in this contest, with Boston (86.6 PPG) and Detroit (91.2 PPG) ranked first and second respectively in points allowed.

The Celtics’ Ray Allen (ankle) has missed back-to-back games but is listed as ‘probable’ for Wednesday. Detroit has no injuries reported.

Game of the Night – Part II: Phoenix (18-7 SU, 11-14 ATS) at Dallas (17-9 SU, 11-15 ATS)

It’s safe to say that the Western Conference is a three-horse race as well, with San Antonio, Phoenix and Dallas leading the charge. Two of those teams meet for the first time tonight, as the Mavericks welcome the Suns to American Airlines Center.

The Suns look to pull the contender sweep in this battle after knocking off San Antonio 100-95 on Monday as a two-point road underdog. The Spurs received a monster effort from Tim Duncan (36 points, 17 rebounds) but still suffered their first loss of the year. It should be noted that San Antonio was without last year’s NBA Finals MVP, Tony Parker.

Phoenix’s victory snapped a three-game ATS losing streak for the team and also improved their road record to 11-4 SU and 7-8 ATS. Mike D’Antoni’s team is averaging 109.2 PPG on the year, ranked first in the NBA. Despite the juggernaut, the Suns have watched the ‘under’ go 4-1 in their last five games.

Dallas is starting to heat up as well, posting a 5-1 SU and 4-2 ATS mark in its last six games. Avery Johnson’s team has improved defensively as well, holding teams to 94.8 PPG during this stretch. Even though Johnson stresses defense, Dallas has watched the ‘over’ go 17-9 on the season and that includes a 10-3 mark at home.

The Mavericks own a solid 11-2 SU record at home, but are only 6-7 versus the number.

Last year, the season series was split 2-2 with both the Mavericks and Suns each capturing at least one victory on the road. The ‘over’ went 3-1, with totals ranging from 207 to 214.

Blazin’ Blazers

Portland (13-12 SU, 15-10 ATS) has won and covered eight straight games, which included an 88-76 victory over New Orleans on Monday as a one-point home underdog. The Blazers have the ability to keep on winning considering it has its next five games at home. On Wednesday, Toronto (14-11 SU, 15-9 ATS) visits the Rose Garden with a decent 6-5 SU and 7-3 ATS record on the road. Portland has stifled teams at home with its defense, holding opponents to 93 PPG en route to a 10-3 SU and 9-4 ATS mark. The Raptors will be playing their second game in as many nights, but have notched a 4-2 record both SU and ATS with zero days rest. I wouldn’t recommend fading the Blazers at this point, but they do seem to lose in bunches. So far this year, they have losing streaks of three, four and five games.

Looks too easy!

Milwaukee has won eight of its 10 games at home this year, while Sacramento (1-10 SU, 4-7 ATS) is horrendous on the road. Plus the Kings are in a back-to-back spot and 0-3 ATS in their last three against the Bucks.

Golden State (14-11 SU, 12-13 ATS) has the ability to light up anybody, while Minnesota (3-20 SU, 11-12 ATS) is the most inept team offensively in the league. Surprisingly, the Warriors are 5-1 both SU and ATS as road favorites this year, which includes Monday’s 125-117 blowout at Memphis. Meanwhile, Minnesota is 2-9 SU and 3-8 ATS at home this year.

Wrong team favored ?

If I told you that Atlanta (12-12 SU, 12-11 ATS) would be favored against Miami (7-17 SU, 11-12 ATS) in December, you’d probably think that Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O’Neal were injured. Unfortunately for Heat backers, they’re both healthy and the team is still struggling. Miami has won eight of the last 10 against Atlanta, but lost to the Hawks 82-79 on Nov. 21 at home.

Chicago (8-13 SU, 7-14 ATS) is in a very similar situation to Miami, both off to a slow start after being playoff teams last year. It could be looked at as a bit of a surprise that the Bulls are catching points on Wednesday to Washington (13-10 SU, 15-7 ATS). Despite not having their best player, Gilbert Arenas, the Wizards have won and covered six of their last seven games including four in a row. Bulls are playing their second game in as many nights and own a lousy 3-8 record on the road.

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Detroit (17-7, 14-9-1 ATS) at Boston (20-2, 15-6-1 ATS)

The Celtics look to extend a nine-game winning streak and remain unbeaten at home when they host the Pistons, by far the toughest opponent to visit Banknorth Garden so far this season.

Boston not only owns the NBA’s best record, it is destroying virtually every team it has faced, averaging 14 more points per game then its foes (101-87). The Celtics have registered a double-digit victory in each of their nine victories during their current winning streak, including Sunday’s 90-77 rout of the Raptors as a 2½-point road chalk.

Detroit rolls into Beantown on a 9-2 run (9-1-1 ATS). All nine victories have come by double digits, including Sunday’s 109-87 pasting of the Warriors as a six-point home chalk.

Boston is 12-0 at home (9-3 ATS), outscoring its visitors by an astounding 20 points per game (101-81). The Celtics shoot 49.3 percent inside Banknorth Garden (37.6 percent on three-pointers while holding the opposition to 39.3 percent (26.7 percent from beyond the arc).

The Pistons are just 8-5 on the road (7-5-1 ATS), but 4-1 in the last five (4-0-1 ATS). In the four victories, Detroit won by margins of 26 (at Milwaukee), 11 (at Atlanta), 15 (at New Orleans) and 10 (at Memphis).

Detroit owns an eight-game winning streak against the Celtics, but Boston is 6-3 ATS in the last nine clashes, with all six covers coming as an underdog. In fact, the ‘dog is 8-2 in the last 10 meetings between these two. Also, the road team has cashed in each of the last five series battles.

The Pistons are on ATS runs of 8-2 against Atlantic Division foes and 16-7-1 as a road underdog, but they’re just 2-3 ATS as a pup this season.

Boston is 9-3 ATS when favored by less than 10 points this season.

The under is 4-1 in the last five series meetings and 14-7-1 in the Celtics’ 22 games this season, including 9-2-1 at home. The under is also 4-0 in Boston’s last four overall, 6-2 in Boston’s last eight conference contests and 3-0 in Detroit’s last three.

ATS ADVANTAGE: BOSTON and UNDER


Phoenix (18-7, 11-14 ATS) at Dallas (17-9, 11-15 ATS)

Two days after handing the Spurs their first home loss of the season, the Suns head to Dallas to complete their difficult two-game Texas road trip against the suddenly surging Mavericks.

Phoenix outlasted San Antonio 100-95 as a two-point road underdog on Monday. However, the Suns are still just 2-3 SU and 1-4 ATS in their last five, averaging 101.4 points per game, a low figure for Mike D’Antoni’s high-scoring squad.

Dallas ran its winning streak to three in a row with Monday’s 111-108 home win over the Magic, failing to cash as a 5½-point chalk. The Mavericks have followed a 3-6 slump (1-8 ATS) by going 5-1 in their last six (4-2 ATS).

These teams split four meetings last year, with the Mavericks winning the first two and the Suns taking the final two. After Dallas got the cash in the first battle, Phoenix covered the number in the last three.

The underdog is 7-3 ATS in the last 10 head-to-head clashes going back to a 2006 playoff series. Also, the Suns are 5-1 ATS in their last six visits to American Airlines Center.

The Mavericks are 11-2 SU at home, but just 6-7 ATS, including 2-7 ATS in the last nine. Dallas is also just 7-11 ATS as a single-digit favorite this season.

Phoenix has been fantastic on the highway, going 11-4 SU, but only 7-8 ATS. However, Monday’s game at San Antonio marked the first time all year that the Suns took the court as an underdog.

Both teams have stayed under the total in four of their last five games. However, the over is 12-3 in the Mavs’ last 15 contests at American Airlines Center.

ATS ADVANTAGE: PHOENIX


(2) Memphis (8-0, 2-5-1 ATS) at Cincinnati (4-5, 1-4-1 ATS)

Memphis takes the floor for just the third time this month when it puts its unbeaten record on the line at Cincinnati, which is looking to halt a three-game losing skid.

The Tigers routed Middle Tennessee State on Saturday 65-41, but came up just shy as a 25-point home chalk. Memphis is 0-3 ATS in its last three lined games.

Cincinnati has been idle since dropping a 64-59 decision to in-city rival Xavier a week ago tonight. The Bearcats are 0-3 in the month of December, producing just 54, 52 and 59 points along the way. On the bright side, Cincy did easily cover as an 18½-point road underdog at Xavier, its first spread-cover of the season.

These former Conference USA rivals have continued to face each other annually since Cincinnati bolted for the Big East a couple of years ago. In the two most recent meetings, Memphis has scored a pair of double-digit wins, cruising 91-81 as a three-point road chalk in 2005 and rolling 88-55 as a 15½-point home choice back in January. The Tigers are 5-0-1 ATS in the last six meetings dating to the 2001-02 season.

Going back to last season, the Bearcats are mired in a 2-10-2 ATS slump overall. They’re also 0-4 ATS in their last four home games (0-3 this year) and 0-6-1 ATS in their last seven battles against Conference USA.

Memphis has played four neutral-site contests this year, going 4-0 (2-2 ATS), but this is the Tigers’ first true road contest.

The under is 10-4 in Memphis’ last 14 road outings and 5-1 in Cincinnati’s last six lined games, including 3-0 in the last three. However, the over is 5-1 in the last six series meetings.

ATS ADVANTAGE: MEMPHIS


(19) Arizona (7-2, 4-3 ATS) at UNLV (7-2, 6-2 ATS)

UNLV figures to have payback in mind when it welcomes 19th-ranked Arizona to the Thomas & Mack Center for a non-conference duel in the shadows of the Las Vegas Strip.

Arizona toppled the Rebels 89-75 in Tucson last year, just missing as a 14½-point home chalk. Following that defeat, UNLV went on a 10-game winning streak and finished by winning 26 of its final 31 games en route to a Sweet 16 appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

The Wildcats bring a four-game winning streak into this contest, most recently hammering Fresno State 69-50 at home on Sunday. However, they failed to cover as a 20-point favorite in that contest, snapping a 4-0 ATS run.

UNLV’s most recent game also came against Fresno State back on Dec. 8, and the Rebels rolled to an 84-71 victory as an 11-point home chalk. Lon Kruger’s squad has won three in a row SU and is 5-0 ATS in its last five.

The Rebels are 9-2 ATS in their past 11 home contests, but just 3-2 ATS this year. They’re also 21-8 ATS in their last past 29 non-conference battles.

Arizona has played just two games on the highway this year, and both went into overtime. The Wildcats held off Illinois 78-72 as a 1½-point underdog and lost to Kansas 76-72 as a 15-point pup. Dating to last year, Arizona is on a 4-1 ATS roll away from the desert.

For the Wildcats, the under is on runs of 10-3 in non-conference action and 7-2 on the road. Conversely, the over is 6-2 in UNLV’s last eight against the Pac-10, 3-0 in its last three overall and 4-1 in its last four at home.

ATS ADVANTAGE: NONE

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Georgia Tech's Dickey to miss season due to injury
ASSOCIATED PRESS

ATLANTA -- Georgia Tech senior center Ra'Sean Dickey, who has missed the first eight games of the season with an injury, will sit out the rest of the season as a redshirt.

Dickey will retain his final year of eligibility for the 2008-09 season.

Dickey (6-10, 250), has acute tendinitis in his right knee.

''Ra'Sean is just not healthy,'' said Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt, who said Dickey also has problems with his left knee. ''It is in his best interest at this point to get healthy, and he is assured of graduating in the spring of 2009 if he continues on his current schedule academically.''

Dickey has career averages of 8.7 points and 5.1 rebounds in his three seasons. He averaged 8.1 points per game last season.

''I've decided that it's best for me to stay on my present course, concentrate on my academics and do everything I can to get healthy so hopefully I can play another season and get my degree,'' Dickey said.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Dec 19th

Tar Heels' Hansbrough listed as probable for Wednesday night
ASSOCIATED PRESS

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- All-American Tyler Hansbrough was listed as probable for North Carolina's next game following a concussion during a victory at Rutgers.

The school said Monday that Hansbrough was able to fly back with the team, but it was unclear whether he would have lingering effects.

He went through a light weight workout and will be examined the next two days before Wednesday's game against Nicholls State, school spokesman Steve Kirschner said. It will be North Carolina's first home game in nearly a month.

Hansbrough was injured Sunday night while taking a charge from Earl Pettis with 5:47 left in the Tar Heels' 93-71 victory. Hansbrough went down in a sitting position and hit the back of his head on a television cameraman's knee and then the bottom of the basket support.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Dec 19th

NBA Today - Dec. 19
ASSOCIATED PRESS

SCOREBOARD

Wednesday, Dec. 19

Toronto at Portland (10 p.m. EST).

The Trail Blazers have won eight straight.

STARS

Tuesday

-John Salmons, Kings, scored a career-high 31 points to lift Sacramento over New Jersey 106-101.

-Chris Bosh, Raptors, finished with 24 points, including 12 in the third quarter, to lead Toronto over the Los Angeles Clippers 80-77.

-Lamar Odom, Lakers, had 17 points and grabbed 16 rebounds to help Los Angeles get past Chicago 103-91.

TEAM RECORDS

Chris Bosh pulled down nine rebounds in Toronto's 80-77 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday to become the Raptors' career rebound leader with 2,847. He moved past Antonio Davis' mark of 2,839. ... Rookie Sean Williams had eight blocked shots in New Jersey's 106-101 loss to Sacramento, tying a team record set in 1981 by Mike Gminski.

SNAPPED

Kirk Hinrich made 27 straight free throws before missing his first attempt in Chicago's 103-91 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday. Hinrich, who finished with 17 points and eight assists, went 3-for-5 from the line.

STRONG IN DEFEAT

Chris Kaman recorded his 20th double-double of the season with 12 points and 16 rebounds, but the Los Angeles Clippers were edged by Toronto 80-77 on Tuesday. ... Richard Jefferson scored 36 points, but New Jersey fell to Sacramento 106-101 for its sixth loss in seven games and eighth in its past 10 at home. It was just the second road win of the season for the Kings. ... Luol Deng led Chicago with 26 points, but the Bulls were defeated by the Los Angeles Lakers 103-91.

SPEAKING

''It's just frustrating. You can use any word you want, but it's just frustrating.'' - Chicago's Ben Gordon, after scoring eight points on 3-for-9 shooting in the Bulls' (8-14) loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday.

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Wednesday's NBA matchup notes
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Chicago at Washington

Chicago has won seven of the last 10 meetings with Washington.

Utah at Charlotte

Charlotte and Utah each won a game at home in last season's series, and have split six all-time meetings.

Miami at Atlanta

This will be the second meeting of the season between Atlanta and Miami. The Hawks beat the Heat 82-79 on Nov. 21 to snap an 11-game losing streak at Miami. Atlanta has dropped two straight and six of its last seven home games to the Heat.

Philadelphia at Indiana

Indiana and Philadelphia both won a game at home and on the road in last season's series.

Detroit at Boston

Getting Ray Allen back should give the Celtics a better chance at ending an eight-game losing streak to the Pistons, who have won 13 of the last 14 meetings. The only loss in that span came in double overtime, 115-113 at Boston on March 11, 2005. This is the first meeting of the season between the teams.

Cleveland at New York

Cleveland has lost 12 of its last 17 visits to Madison Square Garden, including four of the last five.

Sacramento at Milwaukee

Michael Redd led all scorers with 24 points in these teams' first meeting Dec. 10, but the Bucks lost 96-93 at Sacramento - their 11th loss in their last 13 games against the Kings.

San Antonio at Memphis

San Antonio has won both games against the Grizzlies this season, giving it a 9-1 mark over the last 10 games of the series.

Golden State at Minnesota


Golden State won two of three meetings last season, but has lost four straight in Minnesota since a 99-93 victory on March 2, 2005.

Orlando at Houston

Houston has won three straight and nine of 10 against Orlando.

Phoenix at Dallas

Phoenix has won its last two meetings with Dallas, but the series has been very even since the start of 2003-04, with the Mavericks holding an 8-7 advantage.

Toronto at Portland

The road teams won both games last season, with Toronto needing overtime to beat the Trail Blazers 101-100 in Portland on Dec. 22.

New Orleans at Seattle

New Orleans has won the last three meetings - all at home - but has lost three straight and six of seven in Seattle.

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Wednesday's NCAAB Top 25 matchup notes
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Bradley at No. 18 Butler


Butler has won seven straight home meetings with Bradley, including a 70-60 victory on Dec. 6, 2005 in the schools' last matchup.

No. 2 Memphis at Cincinnati

Winning at Cincinnati shouldn't be the daunting task it once was when the Bearcats were a national power under former coach Bob Huggins. Cincinnati is one of only two Big East teams with losing records, along with DePaul, and has already suffered home losses to Belmont and Bowling Green.

North Carolina-Asheville at No. 12 Tennessee

The Volunteers have won all four games in the series, including an 80-67 victory in the teams' last meeting Dec. 30, 2003.

Detroit at No. 11 Texas A&M

Texas A&M beat Detroit 81-72 in overtime on Dec. 30, 2000 in the Rainbow Classic in the only meeting between these teams.

San Jose State at No. 10 Michigan State

Michigan State leads the series with San Jose State 2-0, but this is the first meeting between the teams since Dec. 29, 1989.

Nicholls State at No. 1 North Carolina

This is the teams' first meeting.

No. 19 Arizona at UNLV

Arizona defeated UNLV 89-75 at home last season, the first meeting between the schools since 1990

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Stanford's Brook Lopez regains eligibility
ASSOCIATED PRESS

STANFORD, Calif.  -- Stanford forward Brook Lopez regained his academic eligibility and can return to competition.

Coach Trent Johnson will have Lopez available for the first time for Wednesday night's home game with Santa Clara, the Cardinal's first action after a two-week break for final exams.

Lopez was ruled academically ineligible for the fall quarter on Oct. 5 and was limited to practice only. He missed nine games for the Cardinal (8-1).

Lopez and his fellow 7-foot twin, Robin, are sophomores who played key roles last season. Brook Lopez averaged 12.6 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in 25 minutes and earned Pac-10 All-Freshman team honors.

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Allen eyes return after missing 2 games with right ankle injury
December 19, 2007

BOSTON (AP) -Guard Ray Allen said he hoped to return to the Boston Celtics lineup Wednesday after missing two games with a sore right ankle.
   
Allen said he originally got the injury Nov. 24 in Charlotte when he rolled the ankle late in the fourth quarter. He said he tried to play through the pain, but took a seat when the lingering discomfort started to affect his jump shot.

Allen shot around in practice Tuesday, but did not fully participate in the workout. He planned to test the ankle again in a shootaround prior to Boston's home game against the Detroit Pistons.

Allen, acquired in a draft day trade with Seattle, is the second-leading scorer for the Celtics (20-2), averaging 19.2 points.

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One dismissed, one leaves Wis.-Milwaukee
December 18, 2007

Associated Press

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Senior forward Torre Johnson, Wisconsin-Milwaukee's leading scorer and rebounder, was dismissed from the team Tuesday after being arrested early Saturday morning.

Milwaukee coach Rob Jeter also said that sophomore guard Roman Gentry left the team for personal reasons.

Johnson, a transfer from Oklahoma State, had been suspended in the immediate aftermath of his arrest on suspicion of battery. The 22-year-old Johnson allegedly hit a woman in the mouth and she needed 10 stitches, police said.

"I have had the chance to speak to Torre and express to him my extreme disappointment in his behavior," Jeter said in a statement. "The conversation also gave me the chance to tell him this was not something we could accept and that he would no longer be a part of our basketball team."

Johnson started all 10 games for the Panthers (3-7) and was averaging 17.8 points and 8.0 rebounds.

Jeter said Gentry wanted to return closer to home in Iowa.

Gentry, averaging 5.1 points per game, started the first four games this season, but played in limited minutes off the bench recently.

Just before the season began, Jeter tossed leading scorer Avery Smith off the team for an unspecified violation of team rules. Smith had been named to the Horizon League's preseason all-conference team.

The Panthers host Central Michigan on Wednesday night.

Johnson, charged Monday with substantial battery, was released on $1,000 signature bond and has a preliminary hearing scheduled Dec. 27 in Milwaukee County Circuit Court.

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Aldridge ready to return tonight

The Blazers forward is set to start against Toronto after missing five games with an injured right foot Wednesday

Just when it seems life can't get any better for the streaking Trail Blazers, it does: LaMarcus Aldridge -- the team's second-leading scorer and leading rebounder -- will start tonight at power forward against Toronto after doctors deemed the plantar fasciitis in his right foot healed.

Aldridge, who missed the last five victories in the Blazers' eight-game winning streak, has been given an orthotic in his right shoe to help absorb the pounding his foot will take. Aldridge is averaging 18.7 points and 7.7 rebounds and shooting 53.3 percent from the field.

"It definitely should make us better," coach Nate McMillan said. "We've had some guys step up and play well, and we are hoping those guys continue to do what they have been doing. But now we put him out there and hope he keeps doing what he was doing. He was one of our best players up until the point where he had to sit down. That should just add to what we are doing."

And what the Blazers (13-12) are doing is playing some of this franchise's best basketball in nearly five seasons, so much so that Aldridge joked that he doesn't want to return.

"I don't want to be that bad karma, or that bad apple, you know?" Aldridge said. "I'm just going to come back and try to rebound right now, and the rest will happen. But it's crazy. They have won so many games, I'm kind of iffy about getting back in there."

McMillan said he didn't hesitate to capitalize on Aldridge's availability.

"That's our foundation," McMillan said. "That's our future, and as long as he is healthy and ready to go, we are going to put him right back in that lineup."

It certainly appears that Aldridge is ready to play in his first game since Dec. 9, when he scored 24 points on 10 of 15 shooting against Milwaukee. On Tuesday, while most of the Blazers went through a light day of shooting, Aldridge worked himself into a lather while playing one-on-one against rookie Josh McRoberts. However, that didn't last as long as Aldridge would have liked, as he flattened McRoberts with an elbow to the eye, then ended the rookie's day when McRoberts tore the thumbnail off his right hand.

"It seemed like every play or two Josh was screaming for the trainer," McMillan said, smiling.

Added Aldridge: "I'm trying to get back and be physical, but then I was hurting him, so he quit. So then I had to go one-on-nobody. Nobody will guard me today."

Aldridge said he felt no pain in his right foot after the workout.

"I don't have the pain anymore, but when I did, it was like somebody taking a knife and stabbing you in the bottom of your foot every time you take a step," Aldridge said.

Note:

The flu bug continues to bite the Blazers. This time, it has guard Brandon Roy, who was sent to the doctor after arriving at Tuesday's practice feeling ill. "I talked to Brandon before he went to the doctor. He didn't look good," McMillan said. "You can look in their eyes and tell they are a little weak." Martell Webster and Raef LaFrentz, as well as lead assistant Dean Demopoulos, have struggled with the bug in the past 10 days. "We've had a number of guys come down with this, and they seem to be OK after 24 hours," McMillan said. "So Brandon should be ready to play(Wednesday)."

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