Monthly Archives: April 2011

Hawks lose altitude

After a year away from the game, Mike Woodson might
have seen his coaching stock rise with the tumble of the Hawks, who
slipped by six wins and appeared less formidable. Woodson’s contract was
not renewed last season by Atlanta general manager Rick Sund, who believed Larry Drew was
capable of leading the team to the next level.

Amar'e: Finals are our goal

Amar’e Stoudemire isn’t only focused on the first round of the playoffs. Making the Finals is on his radar, too.

Perhaps tired of the Celtics talking more about reaching The Finals than beating the Knicks in the first round, Stoudemire traveled the same road yesterday after practice.

"Our main goal is to get to The Finals," Stoudemire said. "That’s our main goal. But we’ve got to win. We’ve got to go out to Boston and get a win. Last year [in Phoenix] we made it to the Western Conference finals. We’ve got to keep guys motivated, keep guys focused and understand we have a great shot at doing something special. It’s a matter of bringing our smarts, determination and dedication to the game every night."

No vote of confidence for Warriors coach Keith Smart

The future of Warriors coach Keith Smart is still unsettled and will
remain that way for another week or two, according to co-owner Joe Lacob
and general manager Larry Riley.

Neither decision-maker was especially complimentary of Smart’s rookie
season, and speaking in separate media sessions Friday, both Lacob and
Riley were vague on how the coach will ultimately be evaluated.

Since Lacob is in New York for the NBA Board of Governors meetings
and has commitments into next week, he predicted that he and Riley will
start discussing Smart’s future in eight to 10 days.

Last hurrah for Pistons' Rip Hamilton, Ben Wallace, Tayshaun Prince?

Now the waiting begins for Tayshaun Prince.
After 10 seasons
with the Pistons concluded Wednesday night with a 104-100 victory over
the 76ers, Prince will become an unrestricted free agent for the first
time in his career this summer, or whenever the NBA’s labor situation is
And Prince, who scored 14 points Wednesday, admitted he had mixed feelings after what will likely be his Pistons swan song.

Warriors reportedly give Larry Riley extension

The Warriors will extend general manager Larry Riley’s contract
through 2013 and bring in prominent sports agent Bob Myers to act as
assistant general manager, a league source said late Wednesday.
Details of the contracts were not available.

Riley, originally hired as an assistant coach under Don Nelson, was
an assistant general manager under Chris Mullin for the 2008-09 season
and took over when Mullin was not extended before last season. He’s been
in the league for 20 years with extensive experience in scouting,
coaching and player personnel.

Hayes reiterates desire to stay

Free agency looms

"I want to be here,"
Hayes said. "This is home for me. This has been home for me for six
years. Houston is all I know. Houston is all I want to know."

Though the Rockets
have made no secret about their desire to find a center taller than
their shooting guard, Hayes has made a strong case for a place in the

His averages of 7.9
points, 2.7 assists and eight rebounds per game are career bests. His
defensive work has been sensational, frustrating stars young and old,
from Blake Griffin to Tim Duncan. He inspired coach Rick Adelman to
campaign for him to be on the All-Defense team.

Amar'e Stoudemire wears protective boot to keep injured ankle healthy for p

Amar’e Stoudemire’s appearance on the bench in a gray suit in Newark on
Friday night was alarming enough. Then there was the fashion accessory
that no player wants to be wearing at this time of the season, the
matching gray boot he sported on his injured left leg.

"It’s for protection, to keep myself from moving the ankle," the Knicks’
power forward said. "It feels a lot better than it looks."

Stoudemire contends he will be 100% by the Knicks’ playoff opener
against Miami or Boston, "no question about it." But whether they’ll be
playing at maximum capability in their first playoff action since 2004
is now the major issue, with the opener only six or seven days away.

Pacers demote Stephenson

Lance Stephenson’s ongoing immaturity issues could be pushing him closer to the door with the Indiana Pacers.

Any chance of Stephenson playing in the final two regular-season games
or the playoffs ended Saturday, when coach Frank Vogel said Stephenson
was demoted for violating team rules.

"He’ll be the fourth point guard through the playoffs," Vogel said.
"This is being done for disciplinary reasons. T.J. (Ford) will be our
third point guard."