Everyone knew it was coming — after a lackluster season on the court then pushing for a trade out of there, you knew Raptors fans were going to boo Hedo Turkoglu when the Suns came to Toronto for a preseason game Sunday.
But the boos and hate had about as much passion behind them as Turkoglu played with last season. Not impressive, not LeBron in Cleveland.
Turkoglu even booed himself, as well. He also laughed. Which basically is just who Turkoglu is.
Turkoglu said the right things — telling the Toronto Sun it was about the team, not the city.
“When I (said) that I wanted to get out of here, I think (the fans) thought I was talking bad about the city,” said the Turk, who scored five points with five rebounds in 20 minutes. “But I love the city, I never had any problem with anybody.
“I never said anything about the city at all,” he continued. “I was the one who wanted to come here and play. I think people were upset that I left and I guess that’s why they’re mad at me.”
Maybe if this Raptor team had been on the verge of something, maybe if Chris Bosh had stayed the Toronto fans could work up more hate for Turkoglu.
Turkoglu says it was a lack of chemistry that caused his problems in Toronto. If “chemistry” is a code word for defense then there might be something to it. The Raptors just unraveled last year and Turkoglu — the high priced free agent coming in — gets a chunk of the blame for that. He was not what they though they had paid for (which was a mistaken belief anyway, but that’s another issue entirely).
When a team comes apart like Toronto did last year, plenty of people deserve blame. Maybe that’s why it’s hard to work up a lot of hatred for Turkoglu. Maybe he’s just not worth it. Or maybe it’s hard to have a lot of passion about anything Raptors right now.
The New York Knicks couldn’t get out of their own way on Thursday night, even with a historic performance from Carmelo Anthony. With the Washington Wizards in town, it was John Wall‘s finishing ability that pushed the Wiz over New York, 113-110.
The final 45 seconds were hectic, as Wall took the lead for Washington with just 32 seconds left after drawing a foul on Carmelo.
Down by 1, Anthony then missed a jumper with 18 seconds left and the Knicks allowed Wall to do this:
Wall would go on to steal the final possession from the Knicks, and the Wizards left MSG with a win.
Gregg Popovich can be a fiesty dude, and sometimes he just wants to get his team pumped up. After news that Pau Gasol was going to be absent from the San Antonio Spurs’ lineup against the Denver Nuggets on Thursday, perhaps this was his way of doing that?
Late in the second quarter in Denver, Popovich was seen arguing with a baseline official as play continued on. Pop was hit with an initial tech, and as the officiating crew walked away he blasted ’em with the best dad insult I’ve heard in a long time.
“You’re a terrible referee!”
Meanwhile, Emmanuel Mudiay was more than happy to assist with the second technical and ejection portion of Popovich’s tirade.
Long Live Pop.
Kristaps Porzingis is “The Unicorn” perhaps in part because of his high basketball awareness on the offensive end of the floor. On Thursday night against the Washington Wizards, the New York Knicks big man had an incredible putback dunk that surprised even his teammates.
Thanks to a missed Courtney Lee 3-pointer, Porzingis was able to fly in from beyond the arc to slam home two points.
Yeah, that’s crazy.
There’s putback dunks and then there’s flying in from beyond the 3-point line like this one. Wild.
The San Antonio Spurs will have to make do without PF/C for a while Pau Gasol thanks to a recent fracture in his left ring finger.
That’s according to a press release from the team, who said Gasol fractured his fourth metacarpal — the bone that connects the ring finger down to the carpal bones in the wrist area — during warmups before a game against the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night.
No word yet from the team on recovery time, but estimates given similar recent NBA player injuries suggest anywhere from 4-8 weeks.
Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward missed the first month of the season after fracturing his finger in early October. Cleveland Cavaliers PG Kyrie Irving missed around a month in 2012 with a similar injury.
Here’s hoping Gasol can make it back to the court quickly for the Spurs.