A push in the back proves costly for Trail Blazers' Andre Miller
Cleveland coach Byron Scott has shuffled his lineup, starting Antawn Jamison at power forward and putting J.J. Hickson on the bench, and starting Daniel Gibson at shooting guard and shifting Anthony Parker to small forward. Scott said the moves were warranted since what they were doing wasn't working.
Hickson, who scored 18 points in a 20-point loss to Philadelphia, found out about his demotion minutes before the next game (against Chicago) when the coaches were going over that night's matchups. Hickson said Scott wanted him to play hard and rebound.
"I thought I did that (against Philadelphia)," said Hickson.
Pearls of wisdom
Swingman Terrence Williams returned to the New Jersey Nets after a three-game stint with the D-League's Springfield Armor.
Williams received a wake-up call from a 12-year-old ball boy in Springfield who asked him why he would blow an NBA career with questionable behavior.
According to Williams, the ball boy asked him: "Why would you want to have an attitude and be late, the simplest things you can control? You get to be in the NBA. I would die (for) that.
"So don't blow it."
Said Williams: "It's a 12-year-old telling me that."
Roy's a driven man
Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert, who has improved in every statistical category this season, makes no secret about the fact he has his eye on the league's most improved player award. It was something he used as inspiration during his off-season workouts.
"During the summer, that was one thing I was working toward," said Hibbert. "That award was on my mind. But throughout the season, it's on the backburner."
Hibbert was guarding the inbounds pass of Milwaukee's Luc Richard Mbah a Moute when Mbah a Moute delivered that perfect, game-winning toss to Andrew Bogut at the Bradley Center on Wednesday.
The Cavaliers got their white Christmas a bit early when a blizzard hit downtown Cleveland on the night of their game against Chicago, bringing traffic to a standstill and causing eight of the Cavaliers players to arrive late at the Quicken Loans Arena.
Center Ryan Hollins was seen running through the downtown streets to get to the arena, while Mo Williams and Leon Powe parked on city streets and walked the rest of the way. Coach Byron Scott lives 5 minutes from the arena, but it took him about 40 minutes to get there.
"I was able to make it, so I don't have to fine myself," said Scott.
Passing the whistle
Nets coach Avery Johnson returned to Dallas for the first time since being fired in 2008 and admitted it wasn't just another game since he had so many fond memories in that city.
Most notable, he said, was the day he took over from Don Nelson as Mavericks coach.
"That whole day was kind of surreal," said Johnson. "Nellie, at 9 a.m., informed me that I was going to be the head coach and the next thing you know we had a shoot-around at 11 and he passed me a whistle and said, 'Boys, so long, here's the next coach.'
A tip from Chauncey
Denver forward Carmelo Anthony contends he's not concerned about the seven technical fouls — one was rescinded by the league — he's received already.
Veteran teammate Chauncey Billups said he hadn't felt the need yet to offer Anthony any advice regarding the technicals.
"I don't think it's out of control," said Billups. "All his techs have really been emotional plays. It's not really been nothing crazy, most of them. He knows (how many he has). Trust me, he knows."
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