18 07, 2018

Toronto Raptors send DeRozan to the Spurs

By | July 18th, 2018|Categories: N.B.A.|Tags: , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

basketball-2368164_640

Today on July 18th 2018 the San Antonio Spurs and the Toronto Raptors shook up the NBA. The Raptors sent DeMar DeRozan and Jakob Poeltl for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green. Believe it or not both teams win in this trade give or take some negative factors on both sides.

The Raptors gave up DeRozan’s contract witch he will make almost $28M over the next three seasons, and took in Leonard’s One year $23M contract. The Negative to the Raptors side of the trade is Kawhi doesn’t want to play for the Raptors, some reports even suggest that he may sit out this upcoming year until he becomes a free agent.

Danny Green also coming to Toronto is owed $10M next season but like Leonard becomes a free agent next off season. Frees up enough cap room to sign someone to a max deal , key free agents that come to mind would be Demarcus Cousins if he can stay healthy and have a good season.

Another negitive on the Toronto side is that they lied to DeRozan and told him they wouldn’t trade him. This made DeRozan who has a great relationship with Kyle Lowry, very upset.

See what im getting at? Next season will be the last season on Lowry’s Contract. Being owed $31M for that last season he would be a big attraction in a trade scenario next season. So although this may set them back a year or two it will free up alot of cap space if Leonard, Green, and Lowry were all off the team by next season.

The Spurs look like Geniuses in this trade for many of reasons. The Spurs have recently parted ways with long time all-star Tony Parker. Along with the Kawhi Leonard drama where he came out and told everyone he did not want to play in San Antonio next season.

The Spurs needed to set their sites on a new superstar witch is exactly what they did. DeMar although upset with the Raptors for trading him has not expressed that he does not want to play for the Spurs. His anger that is can be looked at more as a positive because he is more inclined to have a breakout season due to having a “chip” on his shoulder.

They take the contract off of the Raptors but that is just about the only negative there is on the spurs side. With a line up of Murray, DeRozan, Gay, Aldridge, and Gasol the Spurs upside is to the sky with this trade. The west is way deeper this upcoming season and i think as much upside as this team has with DeMar they still wont be but a 5th seed team at best.

Trade Grade:

Raptors: C+
Spurs : A-

Written By:

Michael Lynch of The BBQ Pit Live.

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26 06, 2018

Basketball Canada versus China Men’s Basketball

By | June 26th, 2018|Categories: Players and Coaches|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

Basketball Canada and it’s Men’s National Team took on Team China in an exhibition game played on June 24th in Victoria, B.C. at the Save-On Foods Memorial Center.

Planet Hoops was fortunate enough to attend to see first hand what this years Canadian team looks like and it did not disappoint. Basketball Canada is doing something right.

Media Pass and Program

Media Pass and Program

Coach Jay Triano and his staff have assembled a young but very athletic and talented squad in an effort to try to qualify for the World Cup of Basketball, which will be held next year (2019) in 8 host cities of China.

Triano’s Coaching staff consists of Roy Rana, Dave Smart, Scott Morrison and Nathaniel Mitchell. There are also a plethora of support staff including a Strength Coach, Video Coordinator, Scout, Performance Analyst, Communications manager, 2 Athletic Therapists, Team Managers, Team Doctor and a Sports Psychologist. That’s a lot of Staff for one team but when you are dealing with NBA players and trying to compete with the World’s best you need to bring in the best people to support your efforts.

The Basketball Canada men’s roster is also quite impressive, including NBA players Kelly Olynyk (who did not play in the Victoria game because the Miami Heat didn’t want him to), Dwight Powell (Dallas Mavericks),  Chris Boucher (Golden State Warriors) and Dillon Brooks (Memphis Grizzlies).  Cory Joseph (Indiana Pacers) and Khem Birch (Orlando Magic) were not available for this series but will be available to play when Canada plays this weekend in Toronto against Venezuela and the Dominican Republic.

Andrew Nicholson (ex NBA and now playing in China) and Andrew Bennet (ex NBA and now playing in the G League are also on the team.

The rest of the roster is made up on excellent Overseas pros such as Brady Heslip. Phil and Tommy Scrubb, Melvin Ejim and a few others. Nice squad. See Rosters below.



Game Photos

2 very good young players who impressed me and who will be in the NBA were R.J. Barrett and his Montverde Academy teammate Andrew Nembhard. These guys are very good already and will only get better. Barrett finished the game as the MVP with 21 points on 5 for 10 shooting (4 for 6 from the 3),  7-9 from the free throw line, 3 rebounds, 5 assists in only 23 minutes of action. Nembhard went 6 for 7 from beyond on the arc for 18 points and 3 assists in 19 minutes of play.

Granted they were playing Team China, who did not provide very stiff competition (only 4 points scored in the 1st quarter) but still, very impressive for 18 year olds.

The final score was 108-72 for Canada. Canada also beat the same Chinese team on Friday in Vancouver by a score of 97-62, played at Rogers Arena before about 8000 fans.

The game was enjoyable to watch with lots of hard, aggressive play, nice passing, tough defence, impressive 3 point shots and even a few dunks. Canada played hard and so did China but China just did not have what it takes to compete with the younger, faster and more athletic Canadians.

Basketball Canada Final Stats:

Here’s hoping this is the Golden Age of Canadian Basketball and that Canada can qualify for the World Cup of Basketball next year and then the Olympics in 2020, something they have not done in a very long time, having to make it out of the always tough Tournament of the Americas. With the new format, they’ll now have to do that via the World Cup of Basketball in 2019.

Videos

Pre-Game Workouts


National Anthem


Tip Off


Rough Play


China Offensive sequence


3rd Quarter Action

Baseline Courtside Action

Coach Jay Triano Post-Game Comments

12 06, 2018

Golden State Warriors to Extend Dynasty if Offseason is a Success

By | June 12th, 2018|Categories: N.B.A.|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

As you will know, the Golden State Warriors obliterated the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2018 NBA Finals to the tune of a 4-0 series drubbing. This marks their third championship win in four years, only losing to the Cavs in the 2016 Finals during that spell. The last four NBA Finals have seen the Warriors take on the Cavs, but, now, with Cleveland waning and LeBron James potentially departing, the Warriors look set to extend their dynasty once again next season.

However, there is plenty for the Warriors to do in the offseason before they can embark on another campaign. The needs list isn’t as pressing as most of the other teams in the league, but the needs are necessary for Golden State to continue its almighty dominance.

Keep the core intact

Source: Bleacher Report, via Twitter

When it comes to any dynastic team in any sport, the key has always been to keep the core players together. Losing one or more can throw the whole team out of balance without a viable replacement. This summer, Kevin Durant is set to become a free agent. But, unfortunately for the rest of the league, he’s declared his intentions to remain a Warrior.

The NBA All-Star and NBA Finals MVP in 2017 and 2018 joined the Golden State Warriors following their loss to the Cavaliers in the 2016 NBA Finals. His addition solidified the Warriors as the best team in the league and helped to reignite them to the run of dominance that we’re witnessing today.

Kevin Durant has become a key part of the Golden State core, which also boasts Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green. It’s this core that keeps the Warriors in such high standing coming into next season. In the NBA betting, they are the clear favorites to win it all next year at +125, with potential future contenders in the Philadelphia 76ers and Houston Rockets the next closest at longer odds of +400. Durant will likely re-sign and the dynasty is expected to continue.

Draft to bolster the rotation

Source: Basket-Infos, via Twitter

Due to the core of the team taking up a huge chunk of their cap, the Golden State Warriors would do well to draft a rotation-ready player as they may struggle in the free agency. In this year’s draft, Golden State has picked number 28, which can certainly be used to bolster the rotation.

Golden State is setting its sights on wing players who can defend and shoot, which leaves them with a few potential options at their spot. Chandler Hutchinson, Grayson Allen, and Jerome Robinson could be available at 28 and could fill a spot in the rotation.

Despite the Warriors being at the tighter end of their salary cap, the fact that they’re expected to continue a dynasty could play a major role in their free agency negotiations. This free agency is set to be stacked with decent rotation players, some of which are coming towards the end of their careers and desperate for a Championship win. As was the case with David West, a strong journeyman-type player may be willing to take a pay cut to join the ride to the title next season.

With some shrewd moves in the offseason, alongside the big-money re-signing of Kevin Durant, the Golden State Warriors look set to extend their dynasty next season. 

8 05, 2018

Oklahoma City Thunder Experiment a Complete Disaster

By | May 8th, 2018|Categories: Players and Coaches|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

Oklahoma City Thunder Experiment a Complete Disaster

With the influx of several super teams in the NBA, every summer has become an arms race to amass enough talent to compete with the league’s best. For teams that do not yet have enough talent to beat the Warriors or Cavaliers, this means taking some chances in an effort to get those pieces. And while the Oklahoma City Thunder definitely took their chances in an attempt to build the latest super team in the NBA, it is safe to say that their experiment was an unmitigated disaster.

Destroyed By Utah

After the first game of the first round playoff series between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Utah Jazz, there may not have been a point where the Thunder played better than the Jazz. Utah averaged over 105 points per game during the six-game series, compared to just over 101 for the Thunder, for a margin of four points per game. The Jazz also outshot the Thunder, shooting 45.4% from the field compared to the 43% mark of the Thunder. They managed to destroy the Thunder despite shooting 68.6% from the free throw line, a bottom-three mark in the first round of the playoffs.

While those stats would be impressive in a matchup between any team, it is even more so in a battle between a star-studded team like the Thunder and a team like the Jazz. Utah lost its best player last offseason in Gordon Hayward, and replaced him with rookie Donovan Mitchell. Instead of faltering, Mitchell demolished the Thunder by averaging 28.5 points per game in the series victory.

This was by no means the biggest upset in the history of the NBA Playoffs, but it was surprising nonetheless. According to Betway, the Thunder were favorites to win the series before it started. But the clearly superior performance by the Jazz flipped those odds to where Utah was nearly a -300.00 favorite before the start of game six, as of April 30.

Russell Westbrook’s Tailspin

Russell Westbrook

Image Source-Flicker

The downward spiral of Russell Westbrook has been an intriguing one. He went from being a convincing MVP of the league last season, averaging a triple-double, to being looked at as overrated despite having a similar season this year. While the weight of expectations certainly has something to do with the change in outlook, Westbrook will now watch his former teammate James Harden win the MVP award as Westbrook’s season ends in disgrace.

Westbrook didn’t have a bad series, per se. He averaged 29.3 points per game and carried his team back from 25 points down to win game five at home. But he tried to do too much, something that is all too common from him. Westbrook shot seven three point attempts per game in the series, doubling his career average in attempts from beyond the arc. That is not the strength of his game, and he hurt the Thunder as a result.

But perhaps the biggest shock of Westbrook’s postseason was his postgame meltdown after being eliminated, when he got physical with a heckler. Nobody deserves to be heckled, but that was a poor way of handling a difficult situation by Westbrook, who should be used to the spotlight by now.

Paul George’s Inconsistency

Paul George

Image Source-Facebook

Paul George scored five points in the Thunder’s season ending loss to the Utah Jazz in game six. Known as one of the best players in the league right now, he completely disappeared when his team needed him the most. It was baffling to watch him go 2/16 from the field in one of the most important moments of his team’s season against a fundamentally sound Jazz team. His inconsistency on the court was difficult to overcome, as will his inconsistency off the court.

His off-court inconsistency, of course, is about whether or not he will stay in Oklahoma City or leave for another team after this season. That decision could impact whether or not the Thunder can even remain this good for an extended period of time.

There will be a lot to sort out this offseason for the Oklahoma City Thunder, as they will look to rebound from what can only be described as a disastrous season. Given the weight of expectations on this group, the pressure will only intensify if they stay together.

10 04, 2018

Harden heading for MVP award LeBron deserves

By | April 10th, 2018|Categories: N.B.A.|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

While James Harden appears to be heading towards his first NBA MVP award, the Houston Rockets man might not actually be the player who deserves it. LeBron James might be playing in his 15th season in the NBA and 33 years of age but it’s hard to argue against those who claim the four-time regular season MVP is in the best form of his life. Unlike Harden, who leads the league’s scoring charts, James has been playing in a team that has had a lot thrown at them this season. The Rockets, who are the runaway Western Conference leaders, might currently be the best team in the NBA, but the Cavs still have the best player in the NBA.

Following the loss of Kyrie Irving last summer, the Cavs have had to deal with a number of crucial injuries during a tough campaign that sees them fourth in the Eastern Conference. Despite everything, though, their leader has stepped up to produce one of the best seasons of his career; averaging 27.4 points, 9.1 assists and 8.6 rebounds, not to mention appearing in all of the Cavs’ 74 games this season. The number of times James has single-handily led his side to victory from the jaws of defeat is well in the double figures, and even Harden couldn’t argue that King James wouldn’t be a definite MVP winner in almost any other season.

LeBron James
“LeBron James” (CC BY 2.0) by EDrost88

Behind Harden and James has been a group of players that have all put in seasons that certainly deserve to be in the MVP conversation. Russell Westbrook is edging towards another season-long triple-double, and the likes of Anthony Davis, Ben Simmons, Damian Lillard and Giannis Antetokounmpo have all produced incredible campaigns. But ahead of all of them is Harden. For those looking to take advantage of the numerous free bets available at Oddschecker, the Houston Rockets are looking an increasingly attractive bet to win their third NBA championship – and Harden has been an integral part of their success.

LeBron James and James Harden
“LeBron James and James Harden” (CC BY 2.0) by EDrost88

Harden is on course to not only beat James to the MVP award but also become the second man in history behind Michael Jordan to finish the regular season with 30 points, eight assists, five rebounds and 1.7 steals. The 28-year-old has already broken Jordan’s record of most consecutive double-digit scoring games. So, while he might be in the league’s best team, with a player the calibre of Chris Paul alongside him, but Harden’s stats this season have been remarkable. But despite the fact Harden has done everything, and more, that you need to be the league’s MVP, LeBron is still the NBA’s real MVP.

 

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