Joakim Noah named Defensive Player of the Year
by Igor Mello |
(4/21/2014) Bulls center Joakim Noah was named 2013-14 Defensive Player of the Year by the NBA on Monday. He collected 100 out of a possible 125 first-place votes for his first career DPOY award.

Noah was sixth in the league in defensive rebounds with 618, eighth in defensive boards per game with 7.7 and ninth in blocks with 121. The 29-year-old notched a career-high 99 steals and cracked 100 blocks in a season for the fourth time in his career. He had averages of 12.6 points, 11.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks over 80 games this season.

Al Jefferson questionable for Game 2
by Joe Polito |
(4/21/2014) Bobcats center Al Jefferson is dealing with a strained plantar fascia, but coach Steve Clifford says that playing Jefferson this series won't cause any "long-term" problems.

"Nothing that could be permanent," Clifford said according to the Charlotte Observer

Jefferson left Sunday's game momentarily to have his foot looked at only to return and finish with 18 points and 10 rebounds on 9-of-17 shooting. He is considered questionable for Game 2 on Wednesday. 

Al Jefferson strains plantar fascia in Game 1
by Igor Mello |
(4/20/2014) Bobcats center Al Jefferson suffered a strained left plantar fascia in Game 1 of the opening round of the playoffs Sunday against Miami. 

Jefferson made a quick trip to the locker room in the opening quarter of the game before returning in the second quarter and struggling the rest of the way. He was seen with walking boot after a 99-88 defeat to the Heat.

"I've got to suck it up. I'll be fine for the remainder of the playoffs," Jefferson told the Charlotte Observer after the game.

Game 2 is Wednesday in Miami.

Andre Drummond puts finishing touches on one-of-a-kind season
by Chris Towers |
(4/17/2014) Pistons center Andre Drummond is a unique talent; anyone can see that. He finished one of the most unique seasons in modern league history Wednesday in typical fashion, as he snared his 57th double-double in a loss to the Thunder.

Drummond finished the game with 22 points and 13 rebounds, including eight offensive rebounds to push his league-leading total to 440. That represents the eighth-highest total since 1979-80, and it isn't the only place where Drummond's season stands out.

Though he shot 62.3 percent from the field, Drummond remained the league's worst free-throw shooter. He became just the third play since 1979-80 to play 2500 total minutes while shooting below 42.0 percent from the free-throw line, as his 4-for-8 performance Wednesday raised his average to 41.8 percent.

Drummond improved his production across the board in his second season, averaging 13.5 points, 13.2 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.6 blocks per game while appearing in 81 games.  

Andrew Bynum out for first round
by Chris Towers |
(4/17/2014) Pacers center Andrew Bynum has not played since the middle of March, and even a month off has not given him enough time to recover from knee troubles. reports Thursday Bynum has already been ruled out for the first round of the playoffs against the Hawks.

Bynum ended up appearing in just two games for the Pacers and 26 games overall this season, averaging 8.7 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. 

Joel Freeland passes postseason test
by Chris Towers |
(4/17/2014) Trail Blazers forward Joel Freeland proved himself ready for the playoffs Wednesday, as he returned from a two-month absence due to a knee injury. Freeland played 18 minutes in the game, scoring six points and adding seven rebounds and two assists in the 110-104 win.

After the game, coach Terry Stotts told he has no reservations about relying on Freeland in the team's upcoming playoff series against the Rockets, though he will have to play with a knee brace.

Freeland finished the regular season averaging 3.3 points and 3.9 rebounds in 52 games, appearing in one more contest than his rookie season. 

Greg Oden scores two points in return
by Chris Towers |
(4/17/2014) Heat forward Greg Oden tried to knock off the cobwebs in his final tuneup game before the playoffs Wednesday against the 76ers, as he returned from an 11-game absence due to back spasms.  

Oden played 14 minutes in the game, scoring just two points on 0 of 2 shooting. He added five rebounds while picking up three personal fouls in the 100-87 loss.

Playing for the first time in four seasons after overcoming a slew of debilitating knee injuries, Oden gave the Heat more than they expected this season. He appeared in 23 games, the second-highest total of his career, averaging 3.0 points and 2.2 rebounds per game in just 9.2 minutes per game. 

Ronny Turiaf able to play in final game
by Chris Towers |
(4/17/2014) Timberwolves center Ronny Turiaf was able to play through a knee injury in Wednesday's game against the Jazz, after missing the team's previous game.

Turiaf played 16 minutes off the bench in the double-overtime loss, scoring 12 points and adding eight rebounds and three blocked shots as the Timberwolves fell, 136-130.

Knee and elbow injuries limited Turiaf to just 31 games for the Timberwolves this season, though he was productive when healthy enough to play. He averaged 4.6 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, the latter of which represents a career high. 

Nikola Pekovic sits out finale
by Chris Towers |
(4/16/2014) Timberwolves center Nikola Pekovic missed his ninth and final game in a row Wednesday against the Jazz, as his ankle injury ended up ending his season.

Pekovic missed the final nine and 14 of the last 17 games of the season as a result of the injury, and a career-high 28 games overall. He put together one of his most productive seasons when healthy, averaging a career-high 17.4 points and adding 8.7 rebounds per game. 

Greg Oden expected back Wednesday
by Chris Towers |
(4/16/2014) Heat center Greg Oden is available to play Wednesday against the 76ers, after missing the team's previous 11 games due to back spasms. He will likely play limited minutes off the bench, in an attempt to get back to playing shape before the start of the playoffs. 

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