Saturday, December 24, 2011

NBA Season Preview Part 2

Continued from my earlier preview:
Vince Carter: (Dallas Mavericks- Guard/Forward)  Carter signed with the Mavericks and is expected to be the starting two guard.  He is expected to split time with Jason Terry.  Carter will be 34 years old this season and his game is starting to decline.  Hopefully reuniting with former teammate Jason Kidd will help rejuvenate his career.
Ed Davis: (Toronto Raptors- Forward) Davis came off the bench in the two preseason games and is expected to start the season as a key reserve.  Davis will have an opportunity to prove he should be in the starting lineup as he is still very raw but talented.  If Davis develops, the future could be a little brighter for Toronto.
Tyler Hansbrough: (Indiana Pacers- Forward) Hansbrough averaged the second most points in the preseason with 21.5.  He did start both games in the preseason but he is expected to move to the bench with the signing of free agent David West.  Moving to the bench could be a great thing for Hansbrough as he could be a strong candidate for the Sixth Man of the Year award.
Brendan Haywood: (Dallas Mavericks- Center)  Not only does Haywood start his job back due to the departure of Tyson Chandler. but he also has no competition for his job.  He will be backed up by Ian Mahinmi and Brandan Wright.  Haywood will be expected to be the inside shot blocker and solid defender he has been in previous seasons.
Antawn Jamison: (Cleveland Cavaliers- Forward) Jamison will be the starting Power Forward for Cleveland again this season.  He will have two roles on the team, one will be to develop the 4th overall pick this year Tristan Thompson, and to be the scorer.  Jamison was the leading scorer in Cleveland last year and should be expected to put up similar numbers.
Marvin Williams: (Atlanta Hawks- Forward)  Williams had off season back surgery, but given the delay to the start of the season their should be no effects of the surgery.  Williams will start at small forward for Atlanta again this season.
Brandan Wright: (Dallas Maverick- Forward)  Wright signed as a free agent with Dallas after being traded to New Jersey last season.  Wright will serve as a backup to former Tar Heel Brendan Haywood.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

NBA Season Preview Part 1

Wayne Ellington: (Minnesota Timberwolves- Guard) Wayne Ellington played 6 minutes in his first preseason game.  However in his second game of the preseason Ellington got the start and played 27 minutes.  Ellington will come off the bench to backup Wes Johnson during the regular season.

Raymond Felton: (Portland Trailblazers- Guard)  Felton will begin the season playing for his fourth team in three seasons.  Felton is a player that Portland targeted in free agency last season before he chose to sign with the Knicks.  He will join a starting lineup that includes former teammate Gerald Wallace and Lamarcus Aldridge.  Portland will have a huge void to fill with the retirement of Brandon Roy.  Felton could be inline for his best season as a professional.

Danny Green: (San Antonio Spurs- Guard/Forward) Green has been averaging 16.5 minutes per game in the preseason for the Spurs.  Green could provide solid minutes off the bench for an aging San Antonio Spurs team.

Ty Lawson: (Denver Nuggets- Guard)  Lawson has the starting point guard spot in Denver.  He split time last year with former Tar Heel Raymond Felton but a draft day deal sent Felton to Portland.  In the preseason Lawson and fellow point guard Andre Miller have both been in the starting lineup.  George Karl thinks they are the two best players on the team right now but it is unlikely this experiment will continue into the regular season.

Rashad McCants: (Free Agent- Guard)  McCants worked out for the Lakers in early December but is still looking for a team.

Jerry Stackhouse: (Atlanta Hawks- Guard/Forward)  Stackhouse was signed earlier this month by the Atlanta Hawks.  He should provide a veteran presence coming off the bench.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Vince Carter Close To Signing With the Mavs

A day after Vince Carter was waived by the Phoenix Suns it looks like he is about to find his new team.  Carter is close to signing with the defending NBA Champions Dallas Mavericks.  Carter will turn 35 in January and averaged 13.5 points last year while playing for Phoenix.  Carter would help Dallas replace the loss of Caron Butler and the possible losses of  DeShawn Stevenson or Peja Stojakovic, as they are both free agents.  Dallas is wanting Carter to sign a one year deal so they will have flexible free agency spending next summer during the off season.  This move would reunite Carter with Jason Kidd, who were teammates in New Jersey.  Carter could join a starting lineup with former Tar Heel Brendan Haywood, who is expected to start with the departure of Tyson Chandler.  This news comes a day after the Mavericks signed former Tar Heel Brendan Wright.  This move would put 3 former Tar Heels on Dallas' roster.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Jawad Williams Makes All Star Team and Other Tar Heel News

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Eric Gay/AP
Jawad Williams has been selected to the French National Basketball League all star team.  Williams has been playing for Paris-Williams in France.

Sean May has been putting up solid numbers in Croatia while playing for the KK Zagreb of the ULEB Euroleague.  May is averaging 12 points and 7 rebounds in seven games.  He is joined by fellow Americans TJ Ford, who played at Texas, and Josh Heytvelt from Gonzaga.

Rick Fox has been honored by the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame as a member of the 2012 Hall of Fame Silver Anniversary team.

Dante Calabria is director of basketball operations at UNC-Wilmington under Buzz Peterson.  Calabria replaced Brooks Lee who was promoted to assistant over the summer.

Brendan Wright signed with the defending NBA champions Dallas Mavericks.  Wright will help fill a need in the front court with Tyson Chandler leaving.

Ademola Okulaja was in attendance for Carolina/UNC-Asheville in November.  It marked the first time he had been in Chapel Hill since graduating in 1999.  Okulaja played throughout Europe before he retired in the Summer of 2010.  He is now doing television work for European basketball.  Okulaja was diagonosed with cancer in 2008 but is now cancer free and in good health.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Rashad McCants Works Out For Lakers

Rashad McCants has been out of the NBA since 2009.  He had previously said he was fine never playing in the NBA and would only come back if he could play with Kobe.  He might be getting his wish as McCants worked out with the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday.  Going all the back to his days in Chapel Hill, McCants has always been an enigma.  With tattoos on each arm reading "Born To Be Hated" and "Dying To Be Loved" some could say he is misunderstood.  After all McCants has never had any "Off-the-Court" issues.  He has claimed he had been "blackballed" from the league.  He has been given opportunities as of recently last off season when he failed to show up for a workout with the Cleveland Cavaliers.  McCants could be down to his last chance and who better to give you an opportunity than, former Tar Heel and current Lakers GM, Mitch Kupchak.  McCants understands he has to put the past behind him and look to the future.  It seems he realizes what he needs to do to make an NBA roster this season.  

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Around the NFL

(Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Julius Peppers:  Peppers had a great month of November as he recorded 4 sacks and one forced fumble.  The Bears went 3-1 in the month and have a strong hold on the 5th seed in the NFC playoff race as they hold the tiebreaker over the Falcons and Lions.  This week Peppers and the Bears defense will try to stop Tim Tebow and the ground attack in Denver.
Chicago@Denver 4:05 FOX

T.J. Yates:  Yates will get the start this week and Coach Gary Kubiak says he expects the team to "rally around" Yates.  Yates will play host this week to his hometown's team, the Atlanta Falcons.  I would expect to see a lot of the Texans running game this week with Arian Foster and Ben Tate.
Atlanta@Houston 1:00 FOX

(John Kuntz/The Plain Dealer)
Greg Little:  Little was target 13 times last week as the Browns fell to division rival Cincinnati Bengals.  He had 5 receptions but unfortunately he dropped 4 of the passes.  Little says he feels like he should catch every pass. Little stated, "It is just like free throws.  Even if you have a bad day, you know you can do it because you have done it 1,000 times".  Little is coming off a game where he recorded his first professional touchdown while he and the Browns will host the Ravens this week.
Baltimore@Cleveland 4:05 CBS

Hakeem Nicks:  Nicks is coming off a seven catch 87 yard game, in a Monday Night Football loss to the New Orleans Saints.  Nicks has not practiced this week so his status for this week is unclear.  He has been cleared of a concussion but his ribs remain an issue.  Giants will host the undefeated Green Bay Packers this week.
Green Bay@New York 4:15 FOX

Gerald Sensabaugh:  Sensabaugh was a little slow at practice this week as he is battling a sprained right foot.   He was able to play through pain Thanksgiving day against the Dolphins and recorded 4 tackles.  Sensabaugh is expected to play against Arizona this week.
(Aaron Francisco/AP)
Dallas@Arizona 4:15 FOX

Johnny White:  White only had one carry Sunday against the Jets.  He should see more time this week and the remainder of the year as he will serve as the backup to C.J. Spiller, who was thrust into the starting role when Fred Jackson was placed on IR.
Tennessee@Buffalo 1:00 CBS