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.
Reggie Jackson to return to Pistons lineup Sunday vs. Orlando
The Detroit Pistons’ playoff dreams hinged on them being able to hang around until point guard Reggie Jackson got back from this thumb and knee injuries. They have done just that — the Pistons are 11-10 and would be the eighth seed if the playoffs started today.
And now they get Jackson back. Stan Van Gundy made the announcement Sunday at shootaround, before the team takes on the Orlando Magic.
It will take a few games to get his conditioning back, but this is huge for Detroit. Jackson running the pick-and-roll with Andre Drummond is at the heart of Detroit’s offense – the Pistons were 2.3 points per 100 possessions better with the ball in his hands. Ish Smith played well for the Pistons in his absence — 10.8 points per game, 6.4 assists, and he’s been solid. Move his playmaking to the second unit and suddenly the Pistons become a lot more dangerous.
Jakob Poeltl with huge poster dunk for Raptors. Yes, Jakob Poeltl. (VIDEO)
During the Raptors win Sunday against the stumbling Hawks, Poeltl filled the lane on the break, got the rock, and nobody was going to stop that finish. Least of all Tim Hardaway Jr., he just ends up in the poster.
“Portland was my second option,” Whiteside said at the team’s Saturday shootaround in Portland. “I would have came here.”
Interesting. There were reports the Blazers chased Whiteside, but it didn’t seem that serious. Apparently, it was. If The Blazers got Whiteside, would they still have spent $70 million on Evan Turner? Probably not. And suddenly a lot of things look better in Portland.
For Blazers fans, watching their team try to outscore opponents while playing terrible defense this season — in part because of a lack of rim protection behind their undersized guards — it’s easy to imagine how much Whiteside would have changed the picture in the Northwest. But at this point, that’s just fan fiction.
JaVale McGee tries to inbound ball for wrong team, Warriors bench cracks up (VIDEO)
JaVale McGree has become a solid contributor for the Warriors off the bench, giving them a needed shot blocking presence. He’s not getting a ton of run (seven minutes a night), but he’s efficient when he’s out there.
Still, there is his reputation as the guy most likely to end up on Shaqtin’ a Fool. He hasn’t done anything like that for a while… until Saturday night, when after a made free throw he tried to inbound the ball for the Suns for a second.
The Warriors bench was laughing under their shirts and towels.