Dante Exum

Dante Exum to come off the bench for Australia in World Cup


Earlier this year, Dante Exum was playing Australian high school basketball.

Though he’s competed internationally and made a mark in summer league (not completely positive), Exum is still a mystery by top-five-pick standards.

So, I was particularly looking forward to watching him in the World Cup. I figured he’d have a huge role playing for Australia, not exactly a powerhouse.

But the Jazz guard won’t take over Team Australia.

Roy Ward of The Sydney Morning Herald:

coach Andrej Lemanis is expected to bring Exum off the bench, charging his young star with using his speed and athleticism to make an impact.

Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Matthew Dellavedova and Besiktas swingman Ryan Broekhoff are expected to start in the guard positions.

Lemanis has both started Exum and played him off the bench during the team’s lead-up games.

Exum, at times, has stood out offensively but he has also struggled to get over the many screens which are set during international play.

Lemanis said Exum would likely come off the bench but every game would present a different challenge for the team and the player.

“Having Dante come off the bench and make an impact is something which is good for us,” Lemanis said.

“He can change the pace of the game and with the initial energy out of the game, he can find his feet a bit easier and be more effective for this team.”

This could be a strategic decision to balance the starting lineup and bench, or Exum, 19, just might not be ready to start.

I’m a big Dellavedova fan, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s better than Exum right now. Broekhoff… I’m not so sure.

Hopefully, Exum still gets plenty of playing time. I want to get a better idea what all the fuss is about.

Cavaliers stand in middle of Raptors dancers’ routine (video)

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The Cavaliers were ready for their game against the Raptors tonight, and Toronto’s dance team wasn’t going to change that.

The last time I remember something like this happening, Grizzlies guard Tony Allen walked through the Warriors’ kid dancers. This video doesn’t show got the Cavaliers got to that point, but they might have the defense of being there first. Allen definitely didn’t have that.

Wizards score 6 (!) fourth-quarter points in loss to Hornets

Cody Zeller, Ramon Sessions
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Gary Neal made a jumper with 10:12 remaining in tonight’s Wizards-Hornets game.

That was Washington’s last basket.

Jared Dudley made a pair of free throws on the Wizards next possession, and Neal added two more free throws with 23 seconds left.

And that was all the Wizards scoring in the quarter.

Washington, which entered the final period up seven, lost 101-87 after its 1-for-20 final-period shooting.

The six fourth-quarter points were the fewest by an NBA team in a quarter since Cavaliers scored six third-quarter points in a Jan. 26, 2014 loss to the Suns. Last time a team scored so few in a fourth quarter: Nov. 13, 2012, when the Raptors had five against the Pacers.

At least Neal’s late free throws spared the Wizards further shame. Nobody has scored four or fewer points in a quarter since the Warriors managed just two in a Feb. 8, 2004 loss to the Raptors.

As it stands, this is one of only 44 times in the shot clock era a team has scored so few points in a quarter.

76ers tie NBA-record losing streak, dropping heartbreaker to Celtics

Isaiah Thomas, T.J. McConnell

After a rare period of on-court competence, the 76ers led the Celtics by five with two minutes left tonight.

Then, Philadelphia snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

The 76ers yielded a 9-0 run to close an 84-80 setback.

They’re now 0-16. Combined with their 0-10 finish to last season, that’s a 26-game losing streak – tied for longest in NBA history. Last year’s 76ers already shared the record.

Philadelphia is also in danger of the worst start to a season. The 2009-10 New Jersey Nets began 0-18, and last year’s 76ers won only one game sooner.

The 76ers will try to avoid the all-time longest streak at the Rockets on Friday. If that goes unsuccessfully, they’ll try to avoid matching the worst season start at the Grizzlies on Sunday. And if both fail, they could set the worst-start record against the Lakers on Tuesday.

76ers-Lakers – it’s shaping up to be a big one.

Timberwolves read mean tweets about themselves (video)

Flip Saunders, Karl-Anthony Towns, Tyus Jones
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The Timberwolves didn’t select the meanest tweets about these players, but credit Karl-Anthony Towns, Tyus Jones, Shabazz Muhammad and Zach LaVine for being good sports.