Posts Tagged ‘Ramon Sessions’

KINGS AT BUCKS, 8 P.M. ET

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  • In a season where disappointment has been the No. 1 emotion, the Bucks seem to have turned a bit of a corner. In a 20-point victory at Philadelphia nine days ago they led by as many as 35, and in  a 114-88 victory over Utah Monday night they led by as many as 33. “I would like to think we’re getting into some sort of rhythm with this team,” Bucks coach Larry Drew said. “Our starters are pretty much established. We have 23 games to go, and I would like to think we’re in kind of a rhythm as far as the starting lineup and the guys who are coming into the game off the bench. … It’s unfortunate that it’s as late as it is, but I can feel it when they’re in the game that they’re starting to play with a nice little rhythm.”
  • The Kings have been finding some success of late playing with 5-9 Isaiah Thomas and 6-3 Ray McCallum together at guard. “I think the NBA is a game of matchups, obviously, and if a team has a very big two-guard it might be hard to do,” Kings coach Michael Malone said. “What I liked about last game is we played very small at times with Isaiah and Ray out there and they tried to post up Ray with Tyreke Evans, and Ray more than held his own and showed that he’s not going to be easily exploited on the defensive end of the floor. If Ray can continue to hold his own on the defensive end, now you have two play-making guards that can play with the ball in their hands or play off the ball. And in transition it gives us two attacking guards that can make plays for themselves or for their teammates.”
  • In five games since joining the Bucks, Ramon Sessions has made 29 of 31 free throws, including his last 22. As great as the percentage and the streak are, maybe the most amazing number is how Sessions has gotten to the line an average of 6.2 times per game in just 24.8 minutes per game. “He’s got to be one of top five as far as guards that have the ability to get to the free throw line,” Drew said. “When they drive it, they know how to draw contact. A lot of guards, when they drive they look to finish. It’s finish first, look for the foul second. With Ramon, it’s the opposite. He’s looking for the contact first, because if you don’t finish you’re still going to the line for two shots.”
  • The Kings are opening a seven-game, 12-day road trip, their longest of the season. … The Bucks are attempting to win consecutive games for the first time this season. They are the only team to not do so yet. … The Kings are the only team in the NBA with three players averaging at least 20 points a game — DeMarcus Cousins (22.3), Rudy Gay (20.7) and Thomas (20.6).

Rick Braun

PACERS AT BUCKS, 8:30 P.M. ET

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  • Indiana’s new acquisitions Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen are not with the team. They are, instead, back in Indianapolis getting physicals. Pacers coach Frank Vogel said he was likely to have the team practice on Sunday to help the new players get acclimated. “We’re not going to have a lot of practice time, so a lot of it’s going to be done on film and with the coaching staff,” Vogel said of working in the new Pacers. “We understand their game, so I’ll probably use Evan similar to how I use Lance (Stephenson) as more of a creator than a spot-up shooter like Danny (Granger) was. We’ll just play them to their strengths.”
  • With the Pacers boasting the No. 2 record in the league and No. 1 in the East, Vogel noted the trade is an indication that Indiana is in all-in mode in pursuing a championship. “I think we’re in that kind of an era,” Vogel said. “We’ve got a core group of guys that are going to be together the next few years. This is the ‘now.’ This is our best chance that we’ve had in many, many years, so we are going for it now. But it’s not like the team is going to be dismantled after this year. I think we have an era where over the next few years we’re going to be right there.”
  • Bucks coach Larry Drew said he fully expected to get Milwaukee’s new acquisitions — guard Ramon Sessions and forward Jeff Adrien — into the game tonight. “I want to get them on the floor,” Drew said. “They’ve had a day of going through some things, and we kind of threw a lot at them. My intention is to get both guys out on the floor and let them get their feet wet a little bit.”
  • Drew said guard Brandon Knight and forward Caron Butler would be game-time decisions. Knight, the Bucks’ leading scorer, missed Thursday’s game because of a cut on the bottom of his right heel. “He said it felt better, but still we’ll have to see how he is at game time,” Drew said of Knight, who did play Tuesday night with the injury. Although he played the last two games, Butler is hampered by an ankle sprain that caused him to miss the last four games before the all-star break. “It’s still sore and a little stiff,” Drew said. “He got over here early to get treatment and he’s going to go out there and warm up to see how it feels.” Butler did not take part in the morning shoot-around. Knight did participate in the shoot-around.
  • With Milwaukee having the league’s worst record (10-44) and the Pacers the second-best (41-13), the spread of 31 games is the largest between any two division opponents in the league by seven games. … The Bucks have allowed their last three opponents to shoot 50 percent or better. … The game ends a six-game homestand for Milwaukee. The Bucks are 1-4 in the first five. … Indiana’s Lance Stephenson leads the NBA in triple-doubles with four.

Rick Braun

NUGGETS AT BUCKS, 8 P.M. ET

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  • The Bucks made a late-morning deal to beat the trading deadline, acquiring guard Ramon Sessions and forward Jeff Adrien from the Charlotte Bobcats in exchange for veteran guards Luke Ridnour and Gary Neal. Sessions will be in his second go-round with the Bucks. He played his first two seasons in Milwaukee after being the Bucks’ second-round pick (56th overall) in 2007. “I’m really excited about it,” Bucks coach Larry Drew said. “I’ve always admired Ramon’s game from afar. I know from having (coached) against him that there are certain things that he did on the floor that were kind of a nuisance to you as far as having to defend him.” The Bucks had high hopes over the summer with the acquisitions of Ridnour in a trade and Neal as a free agent, but neither player became consistent members of the rotation in a majorly disappointing season for the Bucks. The Hornets are in the eighth spot in the East.
  • The Nuggets made two deals on Thursday, sending disgruntled point guard Andrew Miller to the Washington Wizards in a three-way deal that netted them 6-11 forward Jan Vasely. They also sent swingman Jordan Hamilton to the Houston Rockets for veteran point guard Aaron Brooks. Miller had been suspended after a shouting match with coach Brian Shaw on during a game on Jan. 1. He was re-instated but excused from all team activities and hadn’t been with the team since. “As everyone knows, Andrew has been away from the tam since Jan. 1, and today we had an opportunity to make a trade,” Shaw said. “We pulled the trigger on that.” The acquisition of Brooks — while it won’t help the Nuggets tonight — addresses a major shortage at point guard with injuries to Nate Robinson (torn ACL) and Ty Lawson (fractured rib) and the Miller soap opera.
  • Much like Tuesday night, Bucks guard Brandon Knight is still being bothered by the cut to his right heel and is considered a game-time decision. He played 35 minutes Tuesday and scored 18 points, but went just 3 for 13 from the floor. … Guard O.J. Mayo was dressed for Tuesday’s game but did not play. He had missed the nine previous games with issues related to conditioning after a severe bout with the flu. With Neal and Ridnour gone, Mayo will play tonight. “I had all the intentions of the world of getting O.J. out there last game,” Drew said. “But the flow of the game, the rhythm of the game, it just didn’t happen.”
  • The Bucks have a chance to win consecutive games for the first time this season. They’re the only team in the league to not have done so. “Don’t talk about it,” Drew said when it was brought up. “We quietly mentioned that today during shoot-around. I’ve said it before, but we’re going to just take it one game at a time. If it happens, great. Certainly, that is a motivation. And we’ll continue to use that as a motivation.”
  • The Nuggets have lost five in a row with their last victory coming at home against the Bucks on Feb. 5.

Rick Braun

BULLS AT CAVALIERS, 7:30 P.M. ET

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  • Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving (illness) will not play. The No. 1 overall draft pick warmed up with his teammates upon arriving at Quicken Loans Arena, but was ruled out of the game after meeting with the team’s medical staff an hour before tipoff. “Kyrie has got some type of bug he caught in Orlando (during NBA All-Star weekend), and it finally caught up with him,” Cleveland coach Byron Scott explained.
  • With Irving sidelined, Ramon Sessions will run the point for the Cavaliers with shooting guard Daniel “Boobie” Gibson backing him up. Sessions is averaging 18.3 points and 12.3 assists in three starts this season. Also worth noting: When Sessions starts, power forward Antawn Jamison is averaging 27.0 points and 9.0 rebounds while shooting .582 from the field.
  • Joining Sessions and Jamison in Cleveland’s lineup are center Semih Erden, small forward Omri Casspi, and shooting guard Anthony Parker. The Cavaliers’ inactives are center Anderson Varejao (right wrist fracture) and swingman Christian Eyenga (right little toe laceration). Officially, Irving is on their 13-man active roster, but he is not in uniform.
  • Bulls shooting guard Richard Hamilton (right thigh strain) will start in the backcourt alongside reigning NBA MVP Derrick Rose. Hamilton, who missed 13 games with the injury from Jan. 27-Feb. 22, is averaging 3.5 points and 2.5 assists in two contests since returning. The remainder of Chicago’s first five includes center Joakim Noah, power forward Carlos Boozer, and small forward Luol Deng.
  • Rose sat out the Bulls’ last game in Cleveland with a left toe sprain, but Chicago still managed to hand the Cavaliers their worst-ever home loss — 114-75 on Jan. 20. “We addressed it (with the team),” Scott said. “We got our (expletive) kicked, and tonight, hopefully we come back ready to play. It’s time to man up.”
  • The Bulls have won four games in a row and are 6-1 in their last seven contests, while Cleveland has lost three straight to fall 3 1/2 games behind New York in the race for the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot.

– Brian Dulik

PACERS AT CAVALIERS, 7:30 P.M. ET

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  • Pacers small forward Danny Granger (left ankle sprain) will not play after being hurt Tuesday in a 105-90 home loss to Miami. “Our trainers were not optimistic, but he wanted to go to go out and give it a shot (during pregame warmups),” Indiana coach Frank Vogel said. Veteran Dahntay Jones makes his second start of the season in Granger’s spot. Vogel also said that power forward Tyler Hansbrough (strep throat) is active.
  • Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving (concussion) returns to action after missing three games. The No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft was injured on Feb. 7 in Miami when he was accidentally kneed in the head by Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade. Cleveland coach Byron Scott said he plans on limiting the rookie to 30-34 minutes, but added, “There are no restrictions on Kyrie. He’s a full-go now that he’s back.”
  • With Irving medically cleared to play, point guard Ramon Sessions returns to backup duties for the Cavaliers. Sessions averaged 18.3 points and 12.3 assists over the last three contests, leading Cleveland to a 1-2 record while boosting his potential trade value. “Ramon has been fantastic,” Scott said. “His experience definitely helps in situations like this when we call on him.”
  • Indiana center Jeff Foster (sore lower back) and point guard George Hill (left ankle chip fracture) are out, as are Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao (right wrist fracture) and shooting guard Anthony Parker (lower back strain). Center Semih Erden and shooting guard Daniel Gibson continue to fill in for the latter duo in Cleveland’s starting lineup.
  • The Pacers have lost four straight – dropping them into sixth place in the Eastern Conference – and are in the middle of a three-games-in-three-days stretch. “The schedule gives you gifts, and the schedule screws you sometimes,” Vogel quipped.

– Brian Dulik

BUCKS AT CAVALIERS, 7:30 P.M. ET

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  • Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving (concussion) will not play tonight against Milwaukee or Saturday against Philadelphia, but remains listed as “day-to-day.” The No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft was injured Tuesday in Miami when he was inadvertently kneed in the head by Heat guard Dwyane Wade. Former Bucks point guard Ramon Sessions makes his second straight start in Irving’s place. “Obviously, they’re a very different team without Irving, but Ramon will do a nice job,” Milwaukee coach Scott Skiles said.
  • Also out for Cleveland is shooting guard Anthony Parker (lower back strain), who last played on Jan. 29 at Boston, but power forward Tristan Thompson will return to action after missing four games with a sprained left ankle. Daniel Gibson makes his third start of the season at shooting guard. Center Anderson Varejao, power forward Antawn Jamison, and small forward Omri Casspi round out the Cavaliers’ first five.
  • Skiles downplayed comments made by Bucks point guard Brandon Jennings, who said he was “doing my homework on big market teams,” but later tweeted, “Just because I said I’m keeping my options open don’t mean I’m leaving Milwaukee.” Jennings cannot become an unrestricted free agent until 2014. “It’s premature because Brandon is still in his rookie deal,” Skiles said. “He’s still got to become a restricted free agent (in 2013) before any of that comes into play.”
  • The Bucks will start center Drew Gooden, power forward Luc Mbah a Moute, small forward Carlos Delfino, shooting guard Shaun Livingston, and Jennings. Out for Milwaukee are center Andrew Bogut (left ankle fracture) and power forward Larry Sanders (illness), but power forward Ersan Ilyasova (back spasms) returns to action after sitting out one game.
  • For additional depth, the Cavaliers signed NBA D-League point guard Ben Uzoh to a 10-day contract. Uzoh was averaging 16.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. The 6-foot-3 Tulsa product spent the 2010-2011 NBA season with the New Jersey Nets.
  • The Bucks are holding down the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, one-half game ahead of the Knicks and Cavaliers.

– Brian Dulik

RAPTORS AT CAVALIERS, 7 P.M. ET

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  • Cavaliers rookie Kyrie Irving, the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft, will start at point guard ahead of veteran Ramon Sessions. Though Cleveland coach Byron Scott didn’t announce the move until game day, he said starting Irving was “pretty easy, when you think about putting him out there with veterans who can help him adjust like A.P. (Anthony Parker), Andy (Anderson Varejao), and Antawn (Jamison).” Irving averaged 16.0 points and 3.0 assists in the preseason.
  • Raptors center Aaron Gray (rapid heartrate) traveled with the team, but is being held out of the game for “very precautionary reasons,” according to general manager Bryan Colangelo. Coach Dwane Casey said Gray’s heart “fluttered on him in practice” on two occasions during the past week, prompting Toronto’s front office to seek additional medical advice before returning him to the court. Gray was signed as a free agent on Dec. 11.
  • The Raptors’ starting lineup is center Amir Johnson, power forward Andrea Bargnani, small forward Rasual Butler, shooting guard DeMar DeRozan, and point guard Jose Calderon. Casey gave Butler the nod at the three over James Johnson because he was a “steady Eddie.”
  • The Cavaliers are starting small forward Omri Casspi with Irving, shooting guard Parker, power forward Jamison, and center Varejao.
  • When he enters the game, center Jamaal Magloire will become the first native Canadian to play for Toronto.
  • Inactive for Cleveland were center Semih Erden (right thumb fracture) and guard Mychel Thompson, while the Raptors did not dress forward Linas Kleiza (right knee surgery) and Gray.

– Brian Dulik

MAGIC AT CAVALIERS, 7 P.M. ET

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  • Magic guard Gilbert Arenas (sore left knee) is expected to play after sitting out one game. “He went out to warm up tonight, so I’d assume he’ll try and go,” coach Stan Van Gundy said. “We’ll watch him, though, because he hasn’t done anything physical since Friday.” Arenas has missed a total of three contests this season due to left knee problems. He is averaging 8.1 points while shooting just .349 in 41 games with Orlando.
  • Guard J.J. Redick (lower abdominal strain) will miss his sixth straight game for the Magic, while center Daniel Orton (left knee surgery) remains on the shelf. “J.J. is feeling better, but we’re just waiting for him to be fully recovered,” Van Gundy said.
  • Cavaliers guard Baron Davis (back spasms), who has appeared in four out of a possible 11 games since being acquired from the Clippers on Feb. 24, again will not play for the wine and gold. “It’s not doing me any good and it’s definitely not doing the team any good for me to be out there,” Davis said. “I want to be out there when I can have an impact on the game.”
  • Also ailing for Cleveland, but continuing to tough it out, is point guard Ramon Sessions (hernia). “To be in this league is a dream come true, so I just try and play through it the best that I can,” the fourth-year pro said. “But heat and ice are my best friends most nights.” Sessions has played in a team-high 67 games, starting 33 times.
  • The Cavaliers’ inactives are centers Semih Erden (right adductor strain) and Anderson Varejao (right ankle surgery), and power forward Antawn Jamison (left little finger surgery).
  • Orlando has won five straight games over Cleveland, including two in a row at Quicken Loans Arena.

– Brian Dulik

 

HORNETS AT CAVALIERS, 6:30 P.M. ET

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  • Hornets power forward David West (left ankle sprain) will start, but small forward Trevor Ariza (left adductor strain) is unlikely to play “because that’s an injury you don’t want to mess around with,” according to New Orleans coach Monty Williams. West made it through the morning shootaround without a hitch, giving him the go-ahead from his coach. “The thing about David is he’s a warrior,” Williams said. “No matter what the situation, he’s going to try and play.”
  • Cavaliers coach Byron Scott said point guard Baron Davis will not replace Ramon Sessions in the starting lineup just yet. Davis made his Cleveland debut Friday and scored 18 points off the bench in a 119-115 win at New York. “Baron is going to be (starting), it’s just a matter of time,” the coach said. “It could be four games from now, it could be six games from now, but I want him to get real familiar with our offense before I make the move.”
  • Hornets rookie Quincy Pondexter will assume Ariza’s spot at small forward, while swingman Willie Green also will see some time at the three. It will be Pondexter’s fifth professional start. He is averaging 2.8 points and 1.3 rebounds on the campaign.
  • Center Semih Erden (right adductor strain) is a game-time decision for the Cavaliers. He was seen stretching with a trainer on the court, but Scott would not reveal if he would see his first action with Cleveland. Erden was acquired from Boston on Feb. 24.
  • Guard Marcus Banks and center D.J. Mbenga comprise the Hornets’ inactive list, while the Cavaliers did not dress guard Daniel “Boobie” Gibson (left quad contusion), forward Antawn Jamison (left little finger surgery) and center Anderson Varejao (right ankle surgery). Scott said he “probably could have played Boobie tonight, but my policy is you’ve got to get one day of practice in first.”

– Brian Dulik