According to the Associated Press, LeBron James’ hometown of Akron, Ohio, plans to throw a three-hour rally on the University of Akron campus to show its support for LeBron James. “LeBron Appreciation Day,” which was organized by local community leaders, will take place this Saturday. It will take place at InfoCision stadium, the arena on the University of Akron campus where James accepted his 2nd MVP award.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson had a dumb idea about the Sonics.
So, he posted it to Twitter:
Yes, because this is how the NBA decides where to place teams.
Seattle’s City Council voted not to sell part of a street to Chris Hansen, essentially blocking a new arena – which is probably for the best. Why build a stadium when you might not even get a team? NBA commissioner Adam Silver says the league isn’t expanding anytime soon, and no franchise appears imminent to move.
But a petition could change all that do nothing – except rile up Wilson’s fans, no matter how detached the idea is from reality.
The Raptors’ Game 1 loss to the Heat ended at 11 p.m last night.
Kyle Lowry didn’t finish shooting until nearly 1 a.m.
Bruce Arthur of the Toronto Star:
Beyond his half-court buzzer beater to force overtime, Lowry scored four points on 2-of-12 shooting, including 0-for-6 from beyond the arc.
Lowry, via Arthur:
“I passed up a lot of shots,” Lowry said after a 102-96 loss, cradling a basketball an hour after the game, after going to the team’s practice court to shoot postgame. “I passed up a ton of shots. The poor shooting, I think that’s what it did to me tonight.
“I’m going to hang out here for a little bit and just be in the gym, try to get back to just enjoying it, being in the gym, and having fun . . . I shoot the ball well when I’m by myself, but I’m by myself . . . it’s weird . . . I have (been through slumps like this), but not at this time, and that’s what sucks. Playoffs, all eyes are on you. So it sucks that I’m playing this bad when all eyes are on me, because I know I’m way better than this. So I’ve got to pick this s— up.”
Lowry is being more selective, waiting for only the shots he believes he has the best chance of making. And he’s still missing them at an alarming clip! That’s a major problem.
Unfortunately for him, this game wasn’t an aberration.
Lowry’s field-goal percentage – 30.6 – is the lowest in the playoffs since the NBA-ABA merger (minimum: 100 attempts). His teammate, DeMar DeRozan, isn’t far behind at 33.1%.
Here’s the full “leaderboard:”
The Raptors came to expect so much from Lowry, who should make an All-NBA team for his regular-season performance.
But this postseason has been a disaster, Lowry’s scoring average fell from 21.2 in the regular season to 13.0 in the playoffs. It’s one of the biggest drops in the league this year:
Curry has an excuse. He has played just 38 total minutes in two injury-shortened games. Lowry is averaging 39 minutes per game. Likewise, nobody expected Blake Griffin to near his early-season output after injuries and suspension.
And at least DeRozan showed some signs of shaking loose in Game 1 against Miami. No longer hounded by Paul George, DeRozan scored 22 points (albeit on 9-of-22 shooting).
But Lowry has been a colossal disappointment, which speaks to both the high standard he has set for himself and the low marks he’s hitting now.
Maybe he’s banged up. Maybe playoff basketball, where teams can better scout individual players, doesn’t suit him. Maybe he just hit a cold stretch at the worst possible moment.
No matter the cause, it’s difficult to see Toronto advancing with its biggest star struggling so mightily.
Can Lowry fix this?
He’s at least putting in the time.
Addressing coach Frank Vogel on Monday, Pacers president Larry Bird said: “What I don’t want to do is leave Frank hanging — there’s other jobs out there he could get.”
Two days later, Vogel is still left hanging.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
If Bird’s statement isn’t the kiss of death, I don’t know what is.
Vogel is a good coach, and based on what we can see from the outside, the Pacers should keep him. But if Bird is waiting this long to give Vogel a new contract, that’s probably a telltale sign.
I doubt this lasts past tomorrow. Bird won’t want to get grilled about Vogel’s job status then do it all over again once he makes a decision. And at face value, Bird has the decency to end this saga before Vogel misses on the Rockets job (which I think would be an excellent fit) or any other.
The bad news: Warriors general manager Bob Myers says Curry isn’t qualified to make a definitive statement.
Myers on 95.7 The Game, as transcribed by Diamond Leung of The Mercury News:
“I know everybody wants to know is it going to be Saturday, is it going to be Monday? It’s in that range, but it’s hard to say. But those games (3 and 4) are so close together.
“I don’t know if he’s coming back (ahead of the two-week timetable),” Myers said. “Nobody knows. He doesn’t know. He thinks he is, but that’s good.”
The good news: Myers puts Curry on a similar timetable. With Golden State leading the Trail Blazers 2-0, it probably doesn’t matter whether Curry returns Saturday, Monday or next Wednesday for Game 5.
As long as he’s healthy enough to stave off a potential Portland comeback and produce in the conference finals, the Warriors can’t ask for more.