Marc J. Spears

  • Tony Parker faces biggest challenge of his career as Spurs try to find old form

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 1 day ago

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Tony Parker drove to the basket for what should have been a routine running lay-in against the Sacramento Kings. Only, nothing has been routine for Parker in recent months, including that shot, which, like many for the San Antonio Spurs point guard, failed to fall.

    Shortly after that miss, Parker spun 180 degrees with his hands on his hips and stared blankly at Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. Popovich can be tough on his players, but with his veteran point guard fighting a hamstring injury, he responded with encouraging words and a clap of his hands.

    "I've been through a lot of tough challenges in my career," Parker said. "Right now, this is up there."

    Parker initially suffered a left hamstring injury on Dec. 5 against the Memphis Grizzlies and missed nine of the next 12 games. Since returning fully on Jan. 6, Parker's scoring average has dropped from 16.2 points per game to 13.8. His scoring average is his lowest since his rookie season 13 years ago. He's also playing the fewest minutes his career at 28.2 per game.

    "We always try to push for better. If I were satisfied, I would have relaxed when I was 29."

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  • Source: Forward JaMychal Green signs extension with Grizzlies

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 1 day ago

    The Memphis Grizzlies have secured the services of forward JaMychal Green for the remainder of the season, signing him to a two-year, $1.6 million contract extension on Monday, a source told Yahoo Sports.

    Green is averaging 2.0 points and 1.4 rebounds in four games in a reserve role for the Grizzlies. The 6-foot-8, 240-pounder's two-year minimum contract extension is partially guaranteed, the source added. Green also played sparingly in four games for the Spurs during a 10-day contract this season after having a strong showing for the D-League Austin Spurs.

    Undrafted from the University of Alabama in 2012, Green spent the 2013-14 season in France with Chorale Roanne.

    RealGM first reported the contract extension talks between Green and the Grizzlies.

  • NBA Power Rankings: MVP race shaking things up

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 2 days ago

     

    1. Golden State Warriors (Record: 46-11; last week: 1): Could the Warriors have interest in center JaVale McGee when he becomes a free agent? He could be postseason insurance for Andrew Bogut.

    2. Atlanta Hawks (Record: 47-12; last week: 3): Atlanta will unveil a 13½-foot statue of Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins outside of Philips Arena during a private ceremony on Thursday.

    3. Houston Rockets (Record: 41-18; last week: 7): James Harden isn’t fearing discipline from the NBA for kicking the Cavs’ LeBron James in the groin on Sunday, but he should.

    4. Cleveland Cavaliers (Record: 37-24; last week: 4): While the Cavs have made some solid roster moves recently, one need they haven’t filled is a veteran backup point guard for injured Kyrie Irving.

    5. Memphis Grizzlies (Record: 42-16; last week: 2) Injured forward Vince Carter (left foot strain) hopes to return to practice in about a week, a source said. Memphis could use his perimeter shooting.

    6. Portland Trail Blazers (Record: 39-19; last week: 9): The Blazers have the West’s fourth-best record, but they’ve struggled on the road, going 2-9 since Jan. 14 and 14-13 overall.

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  • Sources: Darren Collison's surgery expected to end his season with Kings

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 5 days ago

    Sacramento Kings point guard Darren Collison will have surgery on Tuesday to repair a core muscle injury that is expected to end his season, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

    Collison suffered a strained hip flexor on Feb. 5 against the Dallas Mavericks and has not played since. He will meet with Dr. William Meyers in Philadelphia on Monday, a day before the surgery. Collison will be re-evaluated three to six weeks after the surgery and there is no timetable for his return.

    Collison has averaged 16.1 points and 5.6 assists in 45 games this season with the Kings. The Kings are expected to continue to start young point guard Ray McCallum in Collison's absence while backing him up with veteran Andre Miller, who was acquired from the Washington Wizards at the trade deadline.

    New Kings coach George Karl, who was hired during the All-Star break, did not get a chance to coach Collision this season.

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  • NBA Power Rankings: Injuries taking toll on some playoff contenders

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 8 days ago

    1. Golden State Warriors (Record: 43-10; last week: 1): Stephen Curry missed his first game of the season Sunday because of ankle soreness in a loss at Indiana, but it’s not deemed serious.

    2. Memphis Grizzlies (Record: 40-14; last week: 2) So when do the Grizzlies finally play the Warriors again? There are two meetings left: March 27 in Memphis and April 13 in Oakland.

    3. Atlanta Hawks (Record: 44-12; last week: 3): The Hawks have dropped three of their last five and four of eight, including a 25-point home loss to Toronto on Friday.

    4. Cleveland Cavaliers (Record: 35-22; last week: 5): David Griffin may have further helped his candidacy for NBA Executive of the Year by signing free-agent veteran center Kendrick Perkins.

    5. Toronto Raptors (Record: 37-18; last week: 4): Despite rumors about forward Terrence Ross being dangled and interest in Indiana’s David West, Toronto stayed pat at the trade deadline.

    6. Los Angeles Clippers (Record: 37-19; last week: 11): Keep an eye on Austin Rivers, son of coach Doc Rivers, who scored a career-high 28 points in a win over Sacramento on Saturday.

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  • Kevin Durant has another surgical procedure on his right foot

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 9 days ago

    Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant underwent a surgical procedure to replace a screw in the right foot he broke earlier this season and will be sidelined at least a week, the team announced Sunday.

    Durant initially had surgery to repair a fracture in his foot on Oct. 16, forcing him to miss the first month of the season. The screw inserted in his foot in that operation was causing him discomfort, so doctors replaced it with a different type of screw this weekend, Thunder general manager Sam Presti said in a statement.

    Durant will be re-evaluated in a week. The Thunder did not give a specific timeline for the reigning MVP's return, but expect him back during the regular season. Including Sunday's game against the Denver Nuggets, the Thunder play five games over the next eight days.

    Durant experienced the soreness during Thursday's victory over the Dallas Mavericks. He sat out Saturday's victory over the Charlotte Hornets while Kyle Singler started in his place.

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  • 2015 NBA trade deadline's winners and losers

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 12 days ago

    After a frenetic trade deadline, Kevin Garnett stood out as one of the day's biggest winners.

    The Minnesota Timberwolves drafted Garnett with the fifth overall pick in 1995. The 15-time All-Star became the franchise's all-time leader in scoring and many other categories while leading them to eight straight playoff appearances. The struggling T'wolves convinced Garnett to waive his no-trade clause to return in a trade that sent Thaddeus Young to the Brooklyn Nets.

    Garnett is 38 years old and is averaging 6.8 points and 6.8 rebounds in the final stretch of his career. Still, the Timberwolves are expected to give him a contract extension. Garnett is making $12 million in the final year of his deal.

    Moreover, Garnett told Yahoo Sports last November that he was interested in owning the T'wolves when he retires. A Wolves source also previously said Garnett would likely become a minority owner before eventually getting help from investors to buy the team. His return will likely ease the road to an eventual ownership move.

    Another cool thing is the possible sight of Grammy-winning record producer Jimmy Jam, Garnett's brother-in-law, sitting courtside at games again.

    WINNERS

  • NBA Power Rankings: Plenty of teams looking to make moves

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 16 days ago

    1. Golden State Warriors (Record: 42-9; last week: 2): The Warriors have not been receiving a lot of trade calls because of their success this season, a source told Yahoo Sports.

    2. Memphis Grizzlies (Record: 39-14; last week: 3) The surging Grizzlies appear to be the only team that poses a real threat to the Warriors for the top playoff seed in the Western Conference.

    3. Atlanta Hawks (Record: 43-11; last week: 1): Keep an eye on Atlanta, which is 3-3 in February, regarding free agent Ray Allen. The Hawks have the East’s top record and nearly $5 million in cap space.

    4. Toronto Raptors (Record: 36-17; last week: 6): Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri has long been infatuated with power forward David West, but it’s hard to see Indiana dealing him with Paul George trying to return.

    5. Cleveland Cavaliers (Record: 33-22; last week: 5): The Cavaliers are interested in acquiring a big man, but former Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire doesn’t appear to be on their list.

    6. Houston Rockets (Record: 36-17; last week: 4): It is a little odd that Houston is often interested in re-acquiring former players. This time it’s Phoenix Suns point guard Goran Dragic.

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  • Wilt Chamberlain's NBA All-Star scoring record survives Russell Westbrook's challenge

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 16 days ago

    NEW YORK – Wilt Chamberlain scored a record 42 points in the 1962 NBA All-Star Game. Fifty-three years later, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook came one point shy of tying that mark when he scored 41 while winning 2015 All-Star Game MVP honors after leading the Western Conference to a 163-158 victory Sunday night at Madison Square Garden.

    "You have on the court here the greatest players in the world, and everyone wants the ball," NBA commissioner Adam Silver said. "There is a lot of offense out there. So to be able to score 42 points, especially in the old days when there were lower-scoring games, it may be one of those records that may never be broken."

    Chamberlain made 17 of 23 shots and half of his 16 free throws while grabbing 24 rebounds in 37 minutes for Philadelphia during the 1962 All-Star Game in St. Louis. St. Louis Hawks All-Star Bob Pettit earned MVP honors after netting a double-double of 25 points and 27 rebounds during the West's 150-130 win over the East. Prior to Sunday night, the closest any All-Star got to Chamberlain's record was Michael Jordan, who scored 40 points in 1988.

  • Paul George eyeing mid-March return for Pacers

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 18 days ago

    NEW YORK – Indiana Pacers guard Paul George told Yahoo Sports he is eyeing a mid-March return that could be as early as the team's March 14 game against the Boston Celtics.

    George hasn't played since sustaining a compound fracture in his right leg on Aug. 1 while playing in an exhibition game for USA Basketball. He says he expects to begin practicing in early March and hopes to be ready in the middle of that month. If all goes well, George mentioned the home game against the Celtics as a possible return.

    "March 1 isn't when I wanted to play my first game, but when I wanted to be full-out practicing, doing up-and-down full court without any restrictions or limitations," George told Yahoo Sports. "From there on, it's seeing how far I can progress to where I play my first game. My hope is it's an opponent where I feel comfortable coming back to where there isn't too much pressure to perform, where I can ease my way back in. But I want to say around mid-March, I could probably come back around that time."

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