<span class="vcard">Kurt Helin</span>

Toronto Raptors vs Chicago Bulls

Raptors Terrence Ross skies for one of best alley-oops this season (VIDEO)

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The Toronto Raptors are off to an 8-2 start this season in part because they have athletes on the wings — DeMar DeRozan and Terrence Ross.

This is Ross showing off his skills making a ridiculous grab and dunk for the alley-oop in Toronto’s Saturday night win over the Jazz. What really makes this work is it is not a perfect pass from Kyle Lowry, Ross has to adjust and lean back a little to get the rock before slamming it home.

The Raptors are a fun team to watch.

Nuggets’ Gary Harris throws it down hard, his mom missed it (VIDEO)

Gary Harris

Don’t take your eyes off Gary Harris — especially you, mom.

During the fourth quarter of a needed road win for the Nuggets, Harris got the ball out near half court, blew past his man, turned the corner and just threw it down over the late-rotating defender. It was a huge throwdown.

And apparently Harris’ mother was texting a friend or doing some people watching or something, but she wasn’t watching her son. She’s going to hear about that one.

Dwyane Wade to miss first game of year, has sore hamstring

Minnesota Timberwolves v Miami Heat

Last season, Dwyane Wade missed more than a third of the Miami Heat’s games on a knee maintenance program designed to keep him healthy come the playoffs.

This season Wade had been part of each of the Heat’s first eight games, averaging more than 32 minutes a night. New season, new responsibilities, but there were serious questions about how much he would play

Wade’s hamstring is bothering him and he is about to miss his first game of the season Friday, but he told Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel this is different.

After pushing through three sets of back-to-back games this season, Dwyane Wade said Friday that it is time to stop pushing and instead take time to deal with a strained left hamstring sustained early in Wednesday’s loss to the Indiana Pacers at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Wade not only decided to skip Friday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena, but indicated he would be careful not to rush back too soon. He missed nine games late last season with a similar strained left hamstring.

“For me, obviously I want to play as many games as possible,” he said Friday. “As I said before, you can’t control certain things. I’ve had worse. I’ll be back out there soon enough. Just when I come back, I want to be able to play the way I was playing the way before, and not hampered like I was the other night.”

Wade is averaging 19.8 points on 50.8 shooting this season.

James Ennis — a PBT favorite — will get the start in his place.

Timberwolves’ Thaddeus Young to miss at least two games following death of mother

Minnesota Timberwolves v. Philadelphia 76ers

Our thoughts go out to Thaddeus Young. This is sad news.

The Minnesota Timberwolves’ forward’s mother Lulu Young passed away Thursday, the team announced Friday. He has been granted an indefinite leave of absence from the team and will miss at least a couple games, according to the press release.

Coach and GM Flip Saunders said this, via the New Orleans Times Picayune.

“Fortunately for him, he was able to get home and have a chance to talk to his mother before she passed away,” Saunders said after Friday’s shootaround at the Smoothie King Center. ”Our sentiments go out to him and his family. He’s part of our family. She was part of our family. It’s a sad day for everybody.”

In a released statement the organization said.

“The Timberwolves organization is deeply saddened to learn of the passing yesterday of Lula Hall, Thaddeus Young’s mother. The Timberwolves send our condolences to the Young and Hall families in this difficult time. Thad will be away from the team with his family for an indefinite period of time, including tonight’s game at New Orleans and Saturday night’s game at Dallas.”

On the court, this will mean more Anthony Bennett, who has been slowed by a sore knee already.

Swaggy P… er, Nick Young targeting Tuesday return to Lakers lineup


The Lakers desperately need a defensive stopper, a game changer on that end of the court, where they are the worst team in the NBA this young season.

Nick Young isn’t that — but he will make the games far more entertaining. And maybe win a couple by just helping the Lakers pure outscore the other team.

Young is targeting a Tuesday return to the Lakers, from Lakers sideline reporter (and new father of twins) Mike Trudell.

That would be in Atlanta against the Hawks, the start of a three-game Lakers’ road trip.

Announcement: Pro Basketball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $200,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Friday’s NBA games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $20,000. Starts at 7pm ET on FridayHere’s the FanDuel link.

The Lakers are hard to watch right now, we need reasons to tune in. A potential Swaggy P show is a good reason — if Kobe Bryant likes teammates who are fearless and will take the shot, he’ll love Young. How much he loves Young after he takes a couple shots when Kobe thinks he has a better one remains to be seen.

This is good news, the league is more fun to watch with Swaggy P in it.