Philadelphia didn’t expect scoring out of Samuel Dalembert, he was the defensive stopper. Last season he got an average of 6.4 shots per game and that led to 8.1 points. Not much, but those numbers were up from the year before.
But Dalembert can score, and he wants the rock, as he told RDS.ca (as translated by Hoops Notes):
“In Philadelphia, I was asked to focus more on defense. But with the Kings, they expect me to play a more offensive role. I’ll be able to accomplish many more things with my new team,” he said in his adopted hometown Saturday as part of the NBA’s promotional tour in Canada.
Dalembert was a very effective scorer as the roll man on the pick-and-roll, shooting 65.5 percent and scoring a very good 1.21 points per possession in that roll role, according to Synergy Sports. He and Jrue Holiday had a chemistry there, with defenses paying a lot of attention to Holiday and Dalembert being able to slip the pick or just have room on the roll. And get him the ball inside and he can finish — he shot 67 percent at the rim last season.
Substitute Tyreke Evans in for Holliday and the up-and-coming Kings may have another player they can really count on for some more points. Certainly more than Philadelphia counted on him.
The Celtics didn’t have another comeback in them.
After overcoming a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit against the Mavericks on Monday to extend its winning streak to 16 games, Boston lost to the Heat tonight, 104-98. The streak ends as the NBA’s longest since the Hawks won 19 straight during the 2014-15 season.
The Celtics trailed Miami by 16 in the fourth quarter then cut the deficit to only one with three minutes left. But Dion Waiters hit back-to-back 3-pointers, helping the Heat pull away.
Goran Dragic (27 points) and Waiters (26 points) led Miami, which needed a reason to feel good after losing three of four to fall to 7-9.
The Celtics, on the other hand, still have a four-game cushion over the rest of the Eastern Conference. This might help them regain focus.
J.R. Smith (slightly out of context): “We don’t start paying attention until after All-Star break.”
Raptors guard Delon Wright dislocated his shoulder, but at least he won’t need surgery.
Raptors media relations:
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
The Raptors (11-5), off to a surprisingly strong start, are second in the Eastern Conference. They’ve bought themselves margin for error. All in all, a month-long absence for Wright isn’t so bad.
Wright had been a key part of an excellent all-bench unit that included Fred VanVleet, O.G. Anunoby, C.J. Miles and Jakob Poeltl. Two-way player Lorenzo Brown has assumed Wright’s role, and Norman Powell – returning from his own injury – will provide a boost. Toronto can also stagger Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan more.
The chemistry of the bench mob was something to behold, but the Raptors should withstand this.