NBA Notes: Paul, Wade captains for All-Star Saturday


NBA Notes: Paul, Wade captains for All-Star Saturday

Andrew Bynum received injections into both knees in anticipation of ramping up his rehab (see story), but Sixers head coach Doug Collins remains cautious about the center's return (see story).

Meanwhile, Nick Young is turning into more than just a scorer (see story).

Now, let's look at some news and notes from around the NBA.

Wade, Paul All-Star Saturday captains
NEW YORK -- Dwyane Wade will captain the Eastern Conference and Chris Paul will lead the West when All-Star Saturday becomes a team event for the first time.

The conferences will play for $500,000 in charity in Houston on Feb. 16. The winning conference gets $350,000 for its charities, with $150,000 going to the loser's.

The All-Star Saturday events consist of the slam dunk contest, 3-point contest, the Shooting Stars, and the Skills Challenge. Players will accumulate points for their conferences.

The East will play for Big Brothers Big Sisters and Make-A-Wish America, while the West will be playing for Boys & Girls Club of America and Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign.

The charities were selected by Miami's Wade and Paul of the Clippers, the NBA, and State Farm.

The money is being donated by NBA Cares and State Farm.

Raptors' Casey fined 25K
NEW YORK -- Toronto Raptors coach Dwane Casey was fined $25,000 by the NBA on Thursday for criticizing officials the previous night after a loss at Atlanta.

In the closing seconds of the Raptors' 93-92 loss to the Hawks, Toronto's DeMar DeRozan grabbed the rebound of a missed shot by teammate Alan Anderson and had his attempt under the basket blocked by the Hawks' Al Horford. There was apparent contact from Horford on DeRozan, but no foul was called.

The Raptors wanted a foul called during the intense exchange, but no whistle meant the Hawks survived for the win. Casey charged onto the court with his arms extended, demanding an explanation and was still upset during his postgame news conference.

"I'm tired of this," Casey said. "I'm tired of losing games because of missed calls at the end of the game. I know the league's going to come down on me for this, but I don't care. Guys have fought their hearts out, played their hearts out and at the end of the game we get cracked, apology, go back to Canada."

Casey said his initial belief a foul should have been called was supported by his review of the video.

"I've been in this league 18 years and I've never seen as many missed calls at the end of the game to cost us the game," Casey said. "We have good officials. Too good to miss calls and short-change these young men like that. And it's not right."

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Report: Sixers exec Jason Wiley led meeting on national anthem issue

Report: Sixers exec Jason Wiley led meeting on national anthem issue

The Sixers' meeting on Thursday to address the national anthem situation on opening night was led by VP of Content and Integrated Marketing Jason Wiley, John Gonzalez reported.

Wiley and team executives decided not to have Sevyn Streeter perform the national anthem because she wore a "We Matter" shirt, according to the report. The team had concerns Streeter would have further protests. 

A member of the Sixers' dance team performed in her place.

Wiley helped book Streeter, according to the report, and had previously worked for Bad Boy Records and had music industry contacts.

CBS3 reported Thursday that Streeter had signed a contract that barred her from making a political statement during the performance (see story).

The Sixers discussed the incident and are considering options on how to address it (see story).

“I think the team, not only do we want to speak up on the matter that happened yesterday, but I feel like we’re now starting to push, like it’s not just about saying something, it’s about making a difference,” Nik Stauskas said. “It’s about going out there and doing something. So we don’t really know what we’re going to do yet, but I know a lot of guys on this team are eager to go out there and make a difference one way or another.”

Brett Brown: Sixers' Nik Stauskas set for 'breakout year'

Brett Brown: Sixers' Nik Stauskas set for 'breakout year'

CAMDEN, N.J. — The irony of Nik Stauskas’ reputation as a three-point shooter is that he doesn’t view himself that way.

Stauskas was drafted eighth overall by the Kings in 2014 after shooting 44.1 percent from three over two years at Michigan. But that’s not how he envisioned himself being in the pros.

“It’s crazy,” Stauskas said after practice Thursday. “I know I was a great shooter coming out of Michigan, but I don’t consider myself a shooter. I consider myself a gamer. I don’t think I’m an effective NBA player when I just stand and spot up and shoot threes. That’s really not my game.”

Stauskas has struggled to find offensive consistency in the NBA. The third-year two-guard averaged 32.4 percent from long range in his first two seasons. He wasn’t reliable as a knockdown shooter and bounced in and out of the starting lineup last season.

Rather than being a finesse player, Brett Brown encouraged Stauskas to get aggressive. Brown wanted to a see an edge from Stauskas and not hold back at the basket.

Stauskas displayed that side to his game on opening night against the Thunder. In 23 minutes off the bench, he scored 13 points on 5 for 6 shooting. His only miss came on a three-point attempt. His 83.3 shooting percentage was a single-game career high.

“He was cocky,” Brown said. “He was in attack mode. He was not afraid to put it to the floor and get to the rim. I feel like he’s got a real chance to have a breakout year. We need him to have a breakout year.”

The Sixers picked up the options on Stauskas, Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor on Thursday.

“I think the statement the club made on his contract lets him probably have a little bit more comfort on what we think of him,” Brown said. “I was really happy with his swagger last night.”

Stauskas is figuring out his role on the Sixers this season. It is one that can change often given injuries. A key to being successful, whether he is on the perimeter or at the rim, is feeling confident and in a rhythm on the floor.

“I had fun out there,” Stauskas said. “More than anything, I think yesterday was the first time in a while that I’ve really enjoyed myself out there and had a smile on my face.”