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Good time for Powe’s big game

Prior to last night, one of the bigger things going for Leon Powe in his quest to make the Celtics was the fact he has some guaranteed money coming his way. But by the time last night’s 94-90 preseason win over the New Jersey Nets ended, the rookie had added 15 rebounds and a pile of grit to his resume.
After playing just four minutes in the preseason opener and sitting on the pine for the next three games, Powe turned 29 minutes against the Nets into 11 points and the 15 boards.
Whereas Celtics coach Doc Rivers had been questioning Powe’s grasp of the game plan, the forward came up with the right answers.

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Miami can't afford to fire Coker

Michael Irvin, as loyal to the University of Miami as he is to the Cowboys, thinks Larry Coker should be fired. So why doesn't Coker's boss agree?

Coker's 2001 national title, after all, is fading with the mob. When Miami edged Houston by a point this season, planes flew overhead with "Fire Coker now!" banners, and others were too bored to care. About 35,000 went to the Orange Bowl that day.

So why isn't Coker a convenient scapegoat? Why did the Miami president stick by a man with few supporters? She instead offered a laughable alternative this week, announcing it has been put in writing that Coker and his staff will be held accountable for players' actions.

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McInnis rips Nets over being in limbo

Jeff McInnis said the Nets are stopping him from resuming his NBA career, and hinted that coach Lawrence Frank is behind it.

"Not playing me is one thing, but having a personal grudge against me is another thing," McInnis, in his first remarks since being told to stay away from the team before last season's playoffs, said in a phone interview. "I have a family just like he's got a family, and he knows who I'm talking about.

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Stars missing from never-ending preseason

Welcome to the rip-free zone.

I know a lot of you out there in cyberspace don't think I can go a whole newsletter without poking fun at D-Moore. You see no chance of me avoiding such easy targets as his new, midlife crisis car that is smaller than I am.

But you're wrong. I am taking the high road.

Sort of like my opinion of the Mavericks right now. True, we've seen more from Ndudi Ebi so far than Jason Terry or Dirk Nowitzki. And by the way, did you notice on Tuesday in the exhibition against Houston that Ndudi was covering Haryasz, as in Matt Haryasz. Public-address announcer Billy Hayes could hardly contain a snicker with those names.

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Mavs want a well-rounded Howard

For any fans, media members or even a team owner who might have concerns about how Josh Howard handles his contract season, Avery Johnson has a suggestion.

He's not worried, so why should anybody else be?

"Josh is the least of my problems," Johnson said Wednesday. "He's coachable. He wants to get it right. He makes the Mavericks a championship-caliber team if he can move from two to four categories."

That last little detail is what Johnson is stressing to Howard this season. The fourth-year swingman's points and rebounds have been solid and consistent for the last two seasons.

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Stakes High as Walton Steps In

Maybe there's a big-picture message at work here, life reminding us that when you put others first, rewards come to you.

There isn't good news in the Lakerland medical report, but injuries to Kobe Bryant and Vladimir Radmanovic might wind up benefiting Luke Walton.

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Kaman Looks at Others' Deals

The Clippers are waiting on Chris Kaman, hoping the 7-foot center accepts their five-year, $50-million contract offer before the NBA's Oct. 31 deadline.

If he rejects the offer, Kaman would become a restricted free agent this summer, and the Clippers could match any offer he received from another team.


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It's all business for Nachbar

He doesn't readily admit this, but Bostjan Nachbar knows something about running a basketball team, about budgets and marketing, about player development and long-term goals, and about roster management.

At least his résumé says so.

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Wright injured, out 3 weeks

Moments after Heat coach Pat Riley spoke of the need for early-season depth with his veteran-laden roster, another piece of that depth was sidelined.

Four days after losing backup center Michael Doleac for two to three weeks with a sprained right ankle, the Heat announced that swingman Dorell Wright would be lost for three weeks with a sprained left ankle.

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Bryant Slows Down His Pace

The Lakers, whatever's left of them, carried on with another practice Wednesday before sending three players to doctors and watching Kobe Bryant down-shift from his rehabilitation routine.

Aaron McKie went to a back specialist, Vladimir Radmanovic to a hand doctor and Kwame Brown to a shoulder specialist, all after Bryant, recovering from surgery on his right knee, went from light scrimmages at recent practices to an individual workout at the team training facility.

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Gasol's foot healing as well as expected

It's usually fitting when the Grizzlies follow Pau Gasol's lead.

That is, under normal circumstances. Lately, though, keeping up with Gasol has gone a bit far figuratively with several players missing practice and preseason game time because of injury.

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Isiah picks on ESPN's Anthony

Saying that Greg Anthony should "never ever be in a position to question myself on anything about basketball because I do remember the kind of player he was" Isiah Thomas yesterday criticized the ESPN analyst for comments Anthony made on draft night after Thomas selected South Carolina forward Renaldo Balkman with the 20th pick in the draft.

"This so-called former Knick, who on draft night with millions of people watching had the audacity to take me to task on a player that I'm pretty sure he had never seen before in his life," Thomas said. "But he stands on national television and he talks about a kid that he has absolutely no idea about. I'm glad that all of New York doesn't think like Greg Anthony."

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Telfair robbed at NYC club -- Point guard pulled from game to view police lineups

A guarded Sebastian Telfair admitted last night that he spent the second half of the Celtics’ loss in New York Tuesday night at a police station, looking at lineups in an attempt to identify the man who stole his gold chain the previous night outside a Manhattan club owned by Sean “Diddy” Combs.
The theft occurred just hours before rapper Fabolous was shot in the right thigh outside the club.
Telfair, a Brooklyn native, said he was inside Justin’s Bar and Grill with his fiancee, Samantha Rodriguez, at approximately 10 p.m. when he decided to walk outside. Telfair told police that the chain, reportedly valued at $50,000, was ripped from his neck by an unknown man. The alleged thief, part of a group, then ran off.

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