NBA News and Rumor Roundup – August 16, 2009

Duhon’s point is to make Knicks better

Krieger: Stan, don’t lose your focus on Nuggets

Report: Magic’s Marcin Gortat hurts back while playing for Polish national team
Duhon’s point is to make Knicks better

KIMBERLEY A. MARTIN

Chris Duhon will welcome any newcomers to the Knicks with open arms.

Even if it means he’ll be relegated to the bench.

The Knicks openly have courted several guards in the offseason – including Milwaukee Bucks restricted free agent Ramon Sessions – but Duhon, the team’s starting point guard last season, said he has no ill feelings about any possible roster moves.

"I’m confident with my situation, where I am, my place with the team," Duhon said in Manhattan Saturday. "I understand this is a business. That’s what it all is. The only thing I can do is prepare myself to lead this team and get to our goal, which is to make the playoffs."

Regarding the Knicks’ interest in other guards, including Sessions, Andre Miller, Jason Kidd, Jason Williams and Jamaal Tinsley, Duhon says that’s a good thing.

"If we get a guy like Sessions in, it’s only going to make our team better," said Duhon, who got off to a strong start last season before appearing to wear down under heavy minutes. He wound up averaging 11.1 points and 7.2 assists.

He added, "That was my thought process throughout the whole time. If we get a guy like Jason Kidd, we’re going to be better. If we get a guy like Grant Hill, we’re going to be better. Andre Miller, we’re going to be better.

"I’ve always been a team player. It’s never been about me as a player; it’s always been about the team. Whoever we bring here, that makes us better, gives us a chance to win, bring ‘em in."

The Knicks – who are owned by Cablevision, which also owns Newsday – appear to want to improve at point guard. And that could mean a new role for Duhon, who signed a two-year deal worth almost $12 million in July 2008.

http://www.newsday.com/sports/basketball/knicks/duhon-s-point-is-to-make-knicks-better-1.1372242

Krieger: Stan, don’t lose your focus on Nuggets

Dave Krieger – The Denver Post

The time might have come. The key to the Nuggets’ resurgence last season, Chauncey Billups, turns 33 next month. I don’t know how long the championship window will be open with Billups at the helm, but it won’t be that long.

The yin to your yang among NBA owners, Mark Cuban, made a slew of moves, bringing back Jason Kidd and adding Shawn Marion, Drew Gooden, Quinton Ross and Tim Thomas in an effort to reverse the outcome of the second-round series in which your guys spanked his guys.

The Spurs added Antonio McDyess, whom you’re still paying, and Richard Jefferson in an effort to reverse the outcome of the first-round series in which the Mavericks spanked them.

The Blazers added Andre Miller. The Lakers added Ron Artest and brought back Lamar Odom.

The Nuggets lost Linas Kleiza to Greece and apparently intend to move J.R. Smith into the starting lineup, leaving them without a scorer off the bench. They also don’t have a true center or a fourth quality big man in case of injury to Nene, Kenyon Martin or Chris Andersen.

Even though they’re over the salary cap, the Nuggets have a trade exception of almost $9 million they can use to address these needs, but it’s good only until Nov. 3.

Such a move would be expensive, especially with the tax, but these chances don’t come around every year, especially for the Nuggets. While you’re frying bigger fish, this might also be your best chance to achieve an older dream.

http://www.denverpost.com/nuggets/ci_13132460

Report: Magic’s Marcin Gortat hurts back while playing for Polish national team

A blog based out of the United Kingdom is reporting that Orlando Magic backup center Marcin Gortat hurt his back Friday night while playing for the Polish national team against Great Britain in a tournament in London.

According to the blogger, journalist Mark Woods, Polish officials initially described Gortat’s injury as a mild back strain. Woods is reporting that Gortat didn’t play today against Israel and is scheduled to have an MRI and return to Poland for treatment.

Magic spokesman Joel Glass said minutes ago team officials hadn’t heard any confirmation that Gortat was injured. That would indicate that any injury is not serious.

Gortat’s agent, Guy Zucker, didn’t immediately return a phone call for comment.

Woods reported Gortat was hurt when he collided with Great Britain’s Joel Freeland as they went after a loose ball.

Gortat, 25, was one of this summer’s most coveted free-agent centers. The Magic retained him by matching the five-year, $34 million offer sheet that Gortat signed with the Dallas Mavericks.

This weekend’s Game On at the O2 tournament in London essentially is a tune-up for next month’s Eurobasket 2009 tournament in Poland, where Gortat is one of the country’s most popular athletes.

http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/sports_magic/2009/08/report-magics-marcin-gortat-hurts-back-while-playing-for-polish-national-team.html

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