As first reported Tuesday by CNY in the Pros, Demetris Nichols has been reassigned to the NBADL by the Bulls. Well, he is technically not yet reassigned. The story from the Chicago Daily Herald says Demetris will be officially moved when the Bulls’ roadtrip ends. Well, the trip ended today so an announcement is expected any time now. Demetris will soon report back to the Iowa Energy, where he will hopefully rejoin his classmate Darryl Watkins on the roster. However, the Heat have also assigned two of their young players to the Energy in the past couple of days, and Iowa also signed (on their own) free-agent forward Courtney Sims. So, depending on roster limit rules and other such in the D-League, Mook might just end up looking for work in the next few days.
However, Darryl has had two good games in the past week. He had 12 points and 3 boards on Feb 20, and then busted out for 17 points (on 8-10 shooting) and 8 rebounds on Feb 22. Unfortunately he followed those up with a 4-point clunker on Feb 24. He played only 11 minutes due to foul trouble. Iowa goes on a six-game road trip starting Sunday; we’ll see if Watkins goes with them. As for Demetris, this has got to be a good move for him. His game needs, well, development. And while it would have been great if he could have chipped in for the Bulls while he was there, the truth is his time will be better spent improving his defense and floor game in actual game play. He was playing well in Iowa the first go-around and there is no reason to think he won’t continue to do so.
By the way, I seem to remember someone in this forum suggesting last week that Demetris could be headed back to Iowa once Luol Deng got healthy. Deng re-entered the Bulls’ starting lineup Monday. I’m just sayin’.
In other NBA news, Jason Hart has officially lost his backup PG duties to Ronnie Price. This has been brewing since before the All-Star break — here’s a story from Feb 12 about the situation. Price played well as the backup while Jason was injured, and when Jason continued to struggle on offense after returning, Price stepped in and took his minutes. Hart has not played in any of the Jazz’s last three games.
But while Hart’s stock tumbles, Hakim Warrick’s is back on the rise. It’s well-known (and we discussed last week) that the Grizzlies traded Pau Gasol to the Lakers about a month ago, opening up some minutes in the frontcourt. But more quietly, the Grizz also traded Stromile Swift for center Jason Collins. Suddenly, Warrick became the clear best option at power forward, and he has taken full advantage of the situation. He’s started the last seven games (five since the last Update) and has averaged just over 20 ppg in those games. More importantly for his continued development, Hakim has been hitting the boards, pulling down 9 rebounds per game since entering the starting lineup. He’s cut down on turnovers too. Looks like he may be maturing into the player Memphis has been hoping for all along. I also discovered this mini-interview with Hakim by a certain Anthony X Gilbert, taped when the Grizz were visiting DC to play the Wiz about a month weeks ago.
The Nuggets have struggled a bit of late, losing three in a row before snapping out of it in record-setting fashion last night, scoring the most points in the NBA this year and having every player who appeared in the game shoot at least 50% from the floor. (Carmelo had only 16 points, in 29 minutes.) In the three losses — all to Eastern Conference teams — Melo did average 23 points and 9 rebounds. Right now the Nuggets are on the outside of the playoff race in the ridiculously stacked West, but there is a lot of ball to be played yet.
Finally, Etan Thomas is (as we mentioned last time) back practicing but still taking it slow. According to this report, he took a bump to the chest in practice a couple days ago and it hurt enough that he sat out the rest of the session. Remember, his heart is basically fine now but his sternum still needs to heal fully from being broken as part of the surgery.
A quick rundown of the overseas events of the past week:
- In Ireland, Matt Gorman had an off night on Sunday — only 21 points as Neptune lost a squeaker to Abrakebabra. (no game report available)
- In Latvia, Matt’s former roommate Gerry McNamara had a whopping one point as Ventspils was crushed in what became their final ULEB game of this year. Here he is playing some killer defense during that game:
If I am reading this right, he also chipped in 2 points in 12 minutes in his first Latvian league game over the weekend, and the fans leaving comments are glad to have him:
Whatever that comment actually says, I’m just glad it’s not the Latvian equivalent of “1st!!!”
- In Belgium, Elvir dropped a crappy game of 3 points and 1 rebound in a one-point Belgian League loss over the weekend. This follows a 6-point, 1-board outing in an ULEB loss that eliminated Telindus from the tournament. My dreams of an Elvir-vs-Shumpert ULEB game are once again dashed against the rocks of reality.
- Speaking of Shumpert, he had just 4 points and 3 rebounds but his team clobbered its ULEB foe and will be advancing to the Round of 16. In Turkish League play, he dropped 19 points in an easy win over the weekend.
- Otis Hill had 17 points and 12 rebounds over the weekend but his team lost to fall to 7-7, 6th place in the Israeli League. They have a big game against the 5th-place team this weekend.
- In Holland, Damone Brown last Friday shot 10-13 for 23 points, plus grabbed 7 rebounds, as Den Bosch rolled over the Groningen Hansevast Capitals, whose logo is this:
Damone then had 6 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 steals in a loss Monday to the West-Brabant Giants.
Ryan Blackwell had two huge games over the weekend in a pair of wins over the Toyoma Grouses. Ryan had 23 points and 9 boards on Sunday, but that was almost an afterthought to the 35-point, 12-rebound beatdown he laid on Toyoma on Saturday.
Josh Pace had 22 points and 7 rebounds on Feb 23 but it was not enough to lead the Miners past Pittsburgh. The Miners’ next two games, which were supposed to be in Atlanta, were postponed. No reason given (at least not to readers of the CBA website). Josh was also named one of the top 20 minor-league basketball players in the country by ProBasketballNews.com. This includes not just CBA players but D-League players, as well as the ABA and PBL. Josh was third-rated among CBA players.
Dayshawn Wright started two more games for Albany last week (they also had two games postponed). He had 10 points and 7 rebounds in the first game, then just two points but 8 boards in the second, both of which were blowout losses to the Yakama Sun Kings. It was so bad that albanypats.com did not provide any entertaining photo captions this week. Maybe next time.
Finally, I just want to point out that Satan approves of this post. (Check the URL)