Rudy Gay is on his way to Toronto. The deal is done.
But he will not report to the team until Friday afternoon and that means he will not play Friday night when the Raptors host the Los Angeles Clippers, tweets Eric Koreen of the National Post.
The Raptors next game is Sunday against the Miami Heat. You know, the game LeBron James isn’t thrilled about because it’s causing him to miss the Super Bowl.
“Welcome to Toronto! Here’s your new uniform, your locker, make yourself at home. Now get dressed and go out there and guard LeBron.”
Gay averages 17.2 points and 5.9 rebounds a game and instantly becomes the best player the Raptors put on the court. Normally when you get the best player in the trade it’s a win, but this deal just brings up more questions about Toronto’s roster construction. They already had DeMar DeRozan at the three, and they can slide him to the two spot and then both of them can hope that the aggressive Kyle Lowry decides to give up the rock. Then they have young guys like Landry Fields (on a pretty healthy contract) and rookie Terrence Ross also looking for perimeter minutes.
Maybe there are more moves coming for Toronto — anyone want Andrea Bargnaini? Anyone? Bueller? Baller? — but I still just struggle to see the big picture here.
But it will be an interesting picture when Gay takes the court. On Sunday.
Apparently, all it takes is a little public discussion of LeBron James‘ “broken” jump shot to get him back on balance and knocking down the three ball — he was 4-of-6 from deep Wednesday.
Then again J.R. Smith was 7-of-13, Kyrie Irving 4-of-5, and as a team the Cavaliers knocked down a record 25 threes — while shooting 55.6 percent — as they wiped the floor with the Hawks in Game 2.
In case you’re curious where the Cavs were hitting from, here’s the team’s shot chart.
The Houston Rockets aren’t in any rush to hire a new head coach, preferring to interview a wide range of candidates to find the right one. Jeff Van Gundy has been widely believed to be at the top of their list, now that Tom Thibodeau and Scott Brooks are off the market, but ESPN.com’s Marc Stein is reporting another name that has entered the mix: Mike D’Antoni, who last held a head coaching job from 2012 to 2014 with the Lakers and currently serves as the Sixers’ lead assistant.
The Pacers, meanwhile, haven’t made a final decision on Frank Vogel’s future with the team, but all signs seem to point to him getting let go in the next few days. And if that happens, Stein reports that Vogel will also be on Houston’s list of candidates.
Given the Rockets’ massive drop-off on the defensive end this season, Vogel would seem to be a better fit than D’Antoni. But it sounds like the Rockets aren’t close to finding a replacement for J.B. Bickerstaff, although it would make sense to have a new coach in place by next month’s draft.
On Monday, the Hawks played the Cavaliers close and even led in the fourth quarter, leading plenty of optimism that Game 2 would be equally competitive, that the Hawks had something to build on.
The Cavs dominated from the start on Wednesday, with a 123-98 final score that was far closer than the game actually was — the Cavs led 74-36 at the half and led by as much as 38 at one point in the second half.
The Cavs also hit 25 three-pointers, which is the all-time record for a single game — regular season or playoffs. J.R. Smith hit seven of them, along with four each from LeBron James and Kyrie Irving and three for Kevin Love.
18 of Cleveland’s threes came in the first half, also a playoff record, and this was all Atlanta could do:
That’s the kind of night it was for the Hawks, who now trail 2-0 in the series as it heads back to Atlanta.
LeBron James has always been an incredible passer. In the midst of the Cavs’ Game 2 beatdown of the Hawks, he zipped this one-handed beauty into the paint to Kyrie Irving, who kicked it out to Kevin Love for a corner three:
The three was just one of the 18 Cleveland hit in the first half, which set an NBA playoff record.