NBA season in review: Rough year for Elton Brand, Ben Gordon and other local players
NBA fans in the Hudson Valley didn't find much reason to cheer for their homegrown stars during the 2012-13 regular season. Injuries, aging and lack of team chemistry took their toll on the veteran players, and two newcomers struggled to make their mark.
Here’s a look at how players with local ties performed this season.
Elton Brand, F/C, Dallas
Now 34 years old, Brand saw his minutes cut to a career low this season, which not surprisingly led to him posting personal worsts in scoring (7.2 points per game) and rebounding (6.0 per game) averages. The Peekskill native was part of a Mavericks team (41-41) that missed the playoffs for the first time in 12 years. Brand will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
Ben Gordon, G, Charlotte
The former Mount Vernon High School star had a rocky first season with the Bobcats. Gordon, 30, was soundly on the trading block in February, although no deal ever was worked out. Then, he and coach Mike Dunlap reportedly got into a heated exchange during a practice. Gordon averaged 11.2 points for a Charlotte team that posted the second-worst record in the NBA (21-61). Despite his troubles, Gordon is expected to exercise his option to return to the Bobcats next season, a move that would pay him $13.2 million.
Amar’e Stoudemire, F/C, Knicks
The Knicks (54-28), the second seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, might have finally got into gear this season, but Stoudemire’s year did not go according to plan. He missed the first two months of the season with a knee injury, was relegated to coming off the bench when he was healthy and then he suffered another knee injury that sidelined him for the final 23 regular season games. Coach Mike Woodson said Thursday that he does not expect Stoudemire, 30, who spent part of his childhood living in Newburgh, to play in the Knicks’ first-round series against Boston. In 29 games, “STAT” averaged 14.2 points and a career-worst 5.0 rebounds.
Kevin Jones, G, Cleveland
In his rookie season, Jones, 23, bounced back and forth between the Cavaliers and their NBA Development League affiliate in Canton, Ohio. But the former Mount Vernon Knight saw increased minutes this month and responded with 11 points and 10 rebounds – both season highs -- against Philadelphia on Sunday. The Cavaliers had a dismal 24-58 record.
Scott Machado, G, Houston/Golden State
Like Jones, Machado, who was a star point guard at Iona College, spent much of the season trying to stick on an NBA roster. He played in six games for Houston earlier in the season, averaging 1.3 points and 1.0 assist, before being released. The Warriors signed him to a 10-day contract this month, and although he has yet to see any playing time, they opted to extend his contract, ensuring that Machado, 22, will remain with the team through at least the playoffs. The Warriors (48-35), the sixth seed in the West, will play third-seeded Denver in the first round.
Channing Frye, F/C, Phoenix
Frye, who was born in White Plains, missed the entire season after he was diagnosed with an enlarged heart in September. He is hopeful that his condition won’t end his career. Without Frye, 29, the Suns finished with the worst record (25-57) in the Western Conference.
Tags: NBA , Amar’e Stoudemire , Knicks , Elton Brand , Mavericks , Channing Frye , Suns , Ben Gordon , Bobcasts , Scott Machado , Iona , Rockets , Warriors , Kevin Jones , Cavaliers , Peekskill High , Mount Vernon High