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Josh Selby gets his chance; Paul Pierce returns

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Josh Selby (Memphis Grizzlies) made the most of his opportunity on Friday night against the Houston Rockets. Starting point guard Mike Conley was out with an ankle injury and backup point guard Jeremy Pargo picked up two fouls four minutes into the first quarter.

And then it was Showtime.

Selby scored four points with two assists the rest of the first quarter, and, after a 40 second breather at the beginning of the second, went back into the game when Pargo committed his third foul. Selby picked up a few more assists to finish out his 19 first-half minutes. Selby ended up with nine points, seven assists, two rebounds and only one turnover in 26 minutes (he played just seven minutes in the second half once Pargo returned — full stats here).

Geoff Calkins of the Commercial Appeal wrote:

He was poised. He looked like he had been born to the job. He wound up with nine points, seven assists and a single turnover. Afterward, Hollins was asked about the rookie’s bright yellow Carmelo Anthony shoes.

“He can wear whatever color shoes he wants,” said Hollins. “He’s got game.”

Fun fact: Last time Selby had seven assists in a game? Almost a year ago, on Jan. 5, 2011, against UMKC. Selby had 16 points, seven assists and four rebounds in 24 minutes.

Fun fact, part two: Selby and former teammate/fellow rookie Marcus Morris of the Houston Rockets were on the court together at the end of Friday’s game. Marcus even guarded Josh for a couple seconds. Josh drove past Marcus, into the lane and scored.


Friday roundup

  • You know that flash of Marcus Morris, Houston Rockets role player, we saw in the preseason? Well, we might want to hold on to that memory, as coach Kevin McHale seems to have relegated Marcus to a bench/high-fiving/mop-up role. After playing seven minutes in a blowout victory on Thursday, Marcus played just six minutes (scoring three points) in a blowout loss on Friday (full stats here). Marcus came off the bench in the fourth quarter, well after fellow rookie Chandler Parsons, who had a quality 13 points off 5 of 9 shooting (3-3 from three) in 16 minutes at small forward. Complicating matters further, Marcus logged all of his minutes at power forward, where second-year PF Patrick Patterson made his season debut Friday night.

  • Markieff Morris (Phoenix Suns) didn’t fare any better than his twin brother. Markieff subbed into the game with five minutes left in the first quarter against the New Orleans Hornets, and in 30 seconds of game time, Markieff committed two fouls and lost the ball. He sat the rest of the game (game stats here). It might just be a message to a foul-prone rookie (Markieff fouled out of both preseason games, and had three and four fouls in his first two regular season games).

  • Paul Pierce (Boston Celtics) returned from a three-game absence (heel injury) and scored 12 points in 22 minutes against the Detroit Pistons. Pierce did a little bit of everything — shot two threes, collected four rebounds, passed out five assists, registered one steal (full stats here) — and the Celtics won for the first time this season, which might not be a coincidence.

Pierce talked to reporters after the game:

  • Mario Chalmers (Miami Heat) was back on the playing-time roller coaster on Friday. After having played 24, 19 and 31 minutes in his first three games, Chalmers lost time to rookie Norris Cole again and played just 14 minutes against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Chalmers did have nine points off three three-pointers, with five assists (full stats here), but his four fouls kept him on the bench for most of the game. Chalmers picked up his fourth foul just three minutes into the second half, and he sat the rest of the way.

  • Drew Gooden (Milwaukee Bucks) did not play against the Washington Wizards on Friday though he was healthy and in uniform. After the game, Bucks coach Scott Skiles explained his decision. From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

"I felt like Jon (Leuer) has earned another look and I felt like Larry (Sanders) has played well," Skiles said. "We don't have a ton of minutes for everybody. But I wouldn't read a whole lot into it."


Other notes

  • Former Jayhawks Brady Morningstar (Tulsa 66ers) and Greg Ostertag (Texas Legends) faced off against each other on Friday night in the NBA D-League. Morningstar scored seven points with three assists in 39 minutes, and Ostertag had five points and eight rebounds in 22 minutes (full stats here). The two teams will face each other again next Thursday, Jan. 5.

  • Sherron Collins (Turkish Basketball League - Hacettepe University - Turkey) scored 12 points with two rebounds, an assist and a steal in 33 minutes on Friday. Collins shot 4 of 11 overall but made 3 of 6 three-pointers (full stats here). Collins will play next on Jan. 4.

  • The Washington Post caught up with Kirk Hinrich (Atlanta Hawks) and asked him about everything from his injuries and his former teammates to his current stint with the Hawks. Hinrich told the Post’s Michael Lee that he’ll have his injuried shoulder reexamined next week before getting back on the court:

“I had a rough go of it these last couple of years, and I had the injury bug a little bit. Hopefully, after I get my shoulder healthy, put all that stuff behind me.”

  • Brandon Rush (Golden State Warriors) could be in the starting lineup tonight against the Philadelphia 76ers, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Starter Monta Ellis will not play (family funeral).

Jayhawks in upcoming NBA games

Saturday, Dec. 31

  • 6 p.m., Marcus Morris and the Houston Rockets vs. the Atlanta Hawks

  • 7 p.m., Markieff Morris and the Phoenix Suns vs. Nick Collison and Cole Aldrich and the Oklahoma City Thunder

  • 8 p.m., Brandon Rush and the Golden State Warriors vs. the Philadelphia 76ers

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