DeMar DeRozan

Raptors even series with Game 2 win over Nets


The Nets had their chances in Game 2 against the Raptors, but missed opportunities more than anything are what will define this particular loss.

Toronto evened the first round playoff series at a game apiece with a 100-95 victory, but Brooklyn was in it until the final few possessions, which should give the Raptors pause in celebrating too excessively.

Paul Pierce was the Game 1 hero, scoring nine points down the stretch in all kinds of clutch situations to help the Nets pull out the victory. But he was dismal in this one offensively, picking up two early fouls which wrecked his team’s offensive rhythm, and finished with just seven points on 2-of-11 shooting in 25 minutes of action.

Pierce also launched a quick three with 16 seconds left with his team down four, when a quick two followed by an intentional foul (as the Nets had done on the previous possession) would have been a better choice in trying to extend the game while playing the percentages.

On the Raptors side, they got huge games from two players who were both invisible in Game 1. DeMar DeRozan was much more aggressive, and though he wasn’t all that efficient, he was impactful in finishing with a game-high 30 points. Amir Johnson did nothing statistically in Game 1, but ended up with 16 points and nine rebounds in this one.

Brooklyn has three guys who can take the game over offensively at times and none of them did so in Game 2 — yet, it was still anyone’s game with under a minute to play. This series feels more and more like it’s Brooklyn’s to lose, although the Raptors have enough talent to have something to say about that before the series is finished.

76ers owner: Brett Brown deserves an ‘A’

Brett Brown
Leave a comment

Only one person in NBA history has coached as many games as Brett Brown and had a worst winning percentage.

The 76ers coach, who sports a 37-127 record, is trumped by just Brian Winters. Winters went 36-148 with the expansion Grizzlies and during interim stint guiding the Warriors.

Brown is entering the third season of his four-year contract, and Philadelphia general manager Sam Hinkie has been mum about an extension.

76ers owner Josh Harris is taking a similar approach, but he also says a lot of nice things about Brown.

Harris, via John Finger of CSN Philly:

“It’s probably not appropriate for me to talk about specifics about what the negotiations are with him,” Harris said during a media conference on Thursday at the team’s training camp at Stockton College.

“I give Brett an A for the job he’s done,” Harris said. “He’s been an incredible player development person, which is what we need at this point in time. He’s a great person to be around. He’s enthusiastic and he’s a born coach and a leader of men. I’m very impressed with Brett and I hope and expect Brett to be around the team for a very long time.”

Brown has done a fantastic job keeping this team engaged through losing and developing its young players. It’s not his fault Philadelphia stinks. Tanking is an organizational decision.

But the 76ers aren’t tanking forever, and soon, they’ll require a different type of coaching.

Is Brown up for it? No idea. He hasn’t had any chance to prove it.

After all he’s done, though, he probably deserves a chance to find out.

Thabo Sefolosha found not guilty

Thabo Sefolosha
Leave a comment

Thabo Sefolosha clearly believed in his innocence.

The Hawks wing rejected a plea deal of only day of community service and six months probation. That probably would have been easier than a trial.

But Sefolosha opted to fight the charges – misdemeanor obstructing government administration, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Today, he was vindicated.

Robert Silverman:

Sefolosha, who missed the playoffs due to a leg injury that seemingly occurred during his arrest, has made his case clear: New York police targeted him because he’s black. Given everything else we know about policing habits, that’s certainly believable.

We’ve also seen video of multiple officers literally pulling Sefolosha in different directions and one striking him in the leg with a nightstick. We don’t know what preceded that video, but especially given the information revealed at trial, it’s difficult to justify that use of force.

This verdict probably sets up Sefolosha’ to sue the NYPD.