Kobe Bryant is injured and Earl Clark is gone in free agency, but the play those two ran in Detroit to end the first half against the Pistons a season ago was alive and well on Friday.
The play above shows Steve Blake inbounding the ball from just inside the halfcourt line on the sideline, and Wesley Johnson ditches a sleeping Josh Smith to streak to the rim before Blake delivers the on-target pass and Johnson hammers it home.
As the announcers on the Lakers feed noted, this should have looked extremely familiar. Because L.A. ran this exact same play in this very same building back in February of last season.
To be fair to the Pistons, there are plenty of new players on the roster and the team has replaced its head coach since the last meeting between the two teams. Credit Mike D’Antoni for recognizing that the new personnel probably wouldn’t have a clue as to what went down last year, and calling the same play which ended up having the very same result.
If you believe there is a difference between being dunked on and being dunked around, this definitely falls in the latter category.
Still, it’s an impressive move by Toronto’s Anthony Bennett to make the move and dunk around Lakers’ big man Robert Upshaw during the Raptors’ 105-97 preseason win over the Lakers Thursday night.
Bennett only had four points, but Kyle Lowry had another impressive preseason outing with 25. He has looked sharp. Julius Randle had 17 for the Lakers on 7-of-10 shooting.
The Cavs are shorthanded in the backcourt right now, with Kyrie Irving still out and Iman Shumpert sidelined for up to three months. Yahoo’s Marc Spears reports that they’re bringing in former Temple guard Dionte Christmas, who played for the Suns in 2013-14:
In 31 games for the Suns two seasons ago, Christmas averaged 2.3 points and 1.2 rebounds in 6.4 minutes per game. He probably won’t get very many minutes if he makes the Cavs’ final roster, but there’s a chance they’ll keep him around on a non-guaranteed deal until Irving and Shumpert are healthy, just to have another body in the backcourt.