Rudy Gay has knocked down the game winner for Toronto for the second time since he moved there. Think they like that trade north of the border?
In both cases, Gay was able to use some hard dribbles to the basket then pull up and get a really clean look — this time against a solid defender in Corey Brewer. The result was a 109-108 Toronto win at home over Denver. At some point soon teams are going to start doubling Gay in these situations, or trying to take the ball out of his hands completely.
The Nuggets had time for one last shot but after a pretty much botched hand-off screen and so it was Ty Lawson trying to create on the drive against the longer Gay and the contest on that shot made it nearly impossible. Gay had 17 points on the night but he won the Raptors that game down the stretch.
Last year, Russell Westbrook had a historic season on his way to the MVP award, with James Harden and Kawhi Leonard right on his heels. But heading into this season, the dynamic for MVP — and many of the NBA awards — feels very different and wide open.
In this latest PBT Extra, I lay out my preseason predictions for every award — LeBron James for MVP, Ben Simmons for Rookie of the Year, and on down the list. There are a few leaps and surprises in there (predicting Most Improved or Sixth Man before the season is a crap shoot, so why not gamble).
Now the predictions season is over, let’s get on to the games.
Jazz: Dante Exum undergoing surgery after shoulder injury
The following is a medical update on Utah Jazz guard Danté Exum who suffered a separated left shoulder on October 6 vs. Phoenix.
After further evaluation, Exum (6-6, 190, Australia) has elected to undergo surgery to stabilize the AC joint of his left shoulder. The surgery is scheduled to take place Tuesday, October 24 in Los Angeles. Further updates will be provided when appropriate.
Exum (obviously) didn’t receive a contract extension before today’s deadline, so he’ll become a free agent next summer. After one full missed season already and two years of limited effectiveness, it’s not even clear Utah will extend Exum a qualifying offer to make him a restricted free agent. The former No. 5 pick almost certainly won’t meet the starter criteria, which means his qualifying offer would be worth $4,333,931 (down from $6,619,903 based on his draft slot).