May 2, 2018, 1:27 am
Tuesday had it’s fair share of close calls and big stat lines. It all started with the Cavs playing their old Canadian friends across the border. More on that below. We also saw the long-awaited return of Steph Curry, who showed no rust. Let’s check out two fun games from Tuesday night.
CAVS STEAL GAME 1 IN TORONTO
It was a different year but same result again for the Raptors, who have now lost seven straight games to King James and the Cavs. After missing multiple tipped shots in the final seconds of regulation with the game tied, the Raptors couldn’t close the game in overtime to lose Game 1 at home, 113-112.
LeBron James was terrific as usual, triple-doubling in 47 minutes. James shot 12-for-30 from the field and 1-for-6 from the line for 26 points, 11 rebounds, 13 assists, one steal, two blocks and one 3-pointer. Even with an “off” game, the King was cooking on all facets of the game. He hit a clutch Dirk-like fadeaway to tie the game with 30 seconds remaining in regulation. After just finishing off the Pacers on Sunday, he came out and played nearly a full game tonight. We are all witnesses.
JR Smith (20 points) and Kyle Korver (19 points) each hit five treys, keeping the Cavs within striking distance to lead a comeback. They made up for Kevin Love, who was ice cold for just seven points on Tuesday. Love shot 3-for-13 from the field for seven points, 13 rebounds, two assists and one 3-pointer. Love played one of his worst games in these playoffs, fumbling the basketball multiple times and missing wide-open shots consistently. There are some who believe Love still can’t feel his injured finger, but at times he gets hot and shoots his way out of slumps. If the Cavs want to make a deeper run past the Raptors, they need better production from the all-star.
Tristan Thompson shot 5-for-8 from the floor and 4-for-4 from the line for 14 points and 12 boards in 26 minutes during Game 1’s overtime win over the Raptors on Tuesday. Thompson broke out on Sunday to help the Cavs put away the Pacers and brought the same energy in Game 1 tonight. He cleaned up nine offensive rebounds, leading to aggressive putbacks and establishing hustle when the Cavs needed it.
As for the Raptors, it has become a recurring nightmare that seems to end the same. DeMar DeRozan shot 10-for-20 from the field for 22 points with seven boards, five assists, one steal and three blocks. DeRozan was 0-for-4 from downtown, reverting back to his pre-2017 self.
The real MVP for the losing cause was Jonas Valanciunas, who put up a monster double-double for 21 points and 21 boards. JV was unstoppable early in the game, imposing his will and exposing the Cavs inside. He had a golden opportunity to win the game with seconds left as the ball was bouncing around the rim, missing a tip to seal the game in regulation. He should remain a factor for the remainder of the series.
Game 2 is Thursday in Toronto. The Raptors need to even the series if they want any chance to take down the King.
CURRY RETURNS AS WARRIORS LEAD 2-0
When Steph Curry went down back in early March with a Grade 2 MCL sprain, many thought that he would miss significant time, possibly into the Western Conference Finals. He pledged to beat his timeline. He kept his promise.
Curry returned to dominate the Pelicans in a 121-116 victory at home to lead the Warriors to a 2-0 lead over the Pelicans. Curry came off the bench, shooting 8-for-15 from the field for 28 points, seven boards, two assists, three steals and five 3-pointers in 27 minutes on Tuesday. Despite playing limited minutes, he was second in the game in scoring and appeared to be at full-strength to make a title push. The Warriors just got very dangerous.
Kevin Durant led all scorers with 29 points, six boards, seven assists, two steals, three blocks and two 3-pointers in 41 minutes. KD got it done all night at both ends of the floor.
It was a huge night for Draymond Green as well, who was one rebound shy of a triple-double. Dray ended with 20 points (7-for-11 FGs, 4-for-5 FTs), nine boards, 12 assists, one steal, two blocks and two 3-pointers in 41 minutes. A KD-Dray stack was an excellent choice for DFS players on Tuesday.
The Pelicans played the Warriors very close, but it wasn’t enough to ruin Curry’s return. Anthony Davis led the Pels in scoring, posting a 25-15-5-2-3 line with one trey.
Jrue Holiday continued his playoff tear as well, scoring 24 points with eight boards, eight assists, one steal, one block and two 3-pointers in 47 minutes. The Pels went heavy with the starters on Tuesday. Close, but no cigar.
Game 3 is Friday in New Orleans in what is basically a must-win for AD and the Pelicans.
August 21, 2019, 6:26 pmTrevon BluiettPF, Utah Jazz
Trevon Bluiett and Juwan Morgan sign with the Jazz in the hopes of one day playing in an NBA game.
Bluiett was on a two-way contract with the Pelicans last season while Juwan Morgan played for the Jazz in the 2019 Summer League. They will both compete for a roster spot in training camp but neither is a guarantee to make the final roster. They both have yet to see the court in an NBA game and can be ignored from a fantasy perspective until that day comes.
Source: Tony Jones on Twitter
August 21, 2019, 5:25 pmZach CollinsC, Portland Trail Blazers
Zach Collins (ankle) began daily contact workouts on Monday and is on pace to head into training camp fully healthy.
Collins is heading into what could be a breakout season as he is likely to start at the power forward position. In the 2019 playoffs, the Gonzaga product blocked a shot in 11 of the 16 games including three games in which he blocked three, four and five respectively. Collins has averaged around 33% from distance throughout his career which is exactly what he shot in the postseason (7-21). If he is able to improve from long range and plays starters minutes, Collins is a can't-miss player. It's far from a guarantee though as the 21-year-old has never finished with standard-league value. It does seem like Collins will be ready for training camp barring a major setback.
Source: The Athletic
August 21, 2019, 10:34 amCory JosephPG, Sacramento Kings
Nick Nurse said that reports of Cory Joseph missing the FIBA World Cup are “incorrect”.
Nurse added that he spoke to Joseph on Wednesday and that the guard has his flights booked to China. Joseph was in Canada’s camp at home earlier this month, but did not make the trip to Australia and has missed the past four exhibition games. The situation has become a little bit murky but Canada Basketball keeps holding out hope that Joseph will rejoin the team before they depart for China, which doesn’t happen until Monday.
Source: John Casey on Twitter
August 20, 2019, 10:33 pmTyronn LuePG, Los Angeles Clippers
Shams Charania of The Athletic is reporting former Cavs championship-winning coach Tyronn Lue has agreed to join the Clippers as their top assistant coach to Doc Rivers.
The Lakers and Clippers rivalry continues to heat up. Lue was very close to a deal with the Lakers in May to become their head coach, but the sides couldn’t reach an agreement. Lue now joins Kawhi Leonard as another person to spurn the Lakers this offseason.
Source: Shams Charania on Twitter
August 20, 2019, 10:28 pmPJ TuckerSF, Houston Rockets
P.J. Tucker says he is optimistic about signing a contract extension soon.
The 34-year-old 3-and-D wing hopes to extend his deal with the Rockets, but a potential extension wouldn't begin until his age-36 season. Houston has him under contract for two more seasons at this point, so they may not be motivated enough to get something done this offseason. However, a maximum Tucker extension would only have him in the $10 million per year range. Even as a 37-year-old, that could be a great deal if he can keep up his current production. Tucker remains a sneaky source of threes and steals late in fantasy drafts or off the wire.
Source: Kurt Helin on Twitter
August 20, 2019, 6:11 pmJaylen AdamsPG, Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks officially announced the signings of guards Jaylen Adams and Rayjon Tucker on Tuesday.
Adams and Tucker have their work cut out for them in their bid to claim a roster with the big club, as the Bucks have a reasonably deep guard rotation. Adams and Tucker are more than likely competing to get playing time in the G-League this season and can be ignored in fantasy.
August 20, 2019, 4:55 pmJeff LedbetterG, San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs have offered summer league guard Jeff Ledbetter an Exhibit 10 deal, but he is still mulling over his options which include playing in Europe.
Ledbetter had a productive summer league and now finds himself with a chance to play for the Austin Spurs of the G-League. Ledbetter is sure to be staring at a bigger payday in Europe, so his choice will be an interesting one. We should have a decision soon.
Source: Nicola Lupo on Twitter
August 20, 2019, 4:49 pmEric MikaC, Sacramento Kings
The Kings announced on Tuesday that they signed summer league standout C Eric Mika to an exhibit 10 contract.
The former BYU big man is now set up to play for the Stockton Kings of the G-League. The Kings have a deep big man rotation, and it's unlikely that we'll see much, if any, of Mika on the roster this season.
Source: Sean Cunningham on Twitter
August 20, 2019, 4:44 pmJA MorantPG, Memphis Grizzlies
Ja Morant (right knee) said that he is completely healed from the minor knee surgery earlier this summer, saying he is "100 percent right now."
Morant will look to get back into the swing of things in the coming weeks as he prepares for his rookie season. Morant has the talent and the role on rebuilding team and is undoubtedly going to cost a pretty penny in fantasy drafts.
Source: Peter Edmiston on Twitter
August 20, 2019, 2:17 pmDerrick AlstonTeam, New York Knicks
The Westchester Knicks have named Derrick Alston as the new head coach, replacing Mike Miller who was promoted to join David Fizdale’s staff.
Alston, a former NBA player, has been an assistant for Westchester for four years. Before that, Alston was a player development coach with the Rockets. This will be Alston’s first head coaching gig as he continues to move up the ladder.
Source: Ian Begley on Twitter