Tag: Boston Celtics

Atlanta Hawks v Washington Wizards - Game Six

Evan Turner dishes, Bradley Beal throws it down in Africa exhibition (VIDEO)

Leave a comment

The NBA played its first ever game in Africa Saturday and the players put on a show — it felt like an All-Star style exhibition, with little defense and lots of room for guys to show off their skills.

Giannis Antetokounmpo did try to play a little defense, tracking down Evan Turner to look for the block on the fast break, only to see Turner make a sweet dish to the trailing Bradley Beal. And Beal knew how to finish.

Still, the biggest highlight of the game was getting to see Hakeem Olajuwon doing the “dream shake” and Dikembe Mutombo playing again in the game.

Hakeem Olajuwon and Dikembe Mutombo make surprise appearances for Team Africa in NBA exhibition game (VIDEO)

Houston Rockets Championship Anniversary Luncheon

A contingent of current and former NBA players have spent the past week in Johannesburg, South Africa as part of the league’s annual Basketball Without Borders clinic. But this year’s edition of the event is special in that it includes the NBA’s first-ever officially sanctioned exhibition game on the content of Africa. The game features a team of African NBA players including Luol Deng, Serge Ibaka and Bismack Biyombo against “Team World,” which features the likes of Chris Paul, Bradley Beal, Marcus Smart and the Gasol brothers.

Fans in South Africa got an extra surprise during the game on Saturday: two of the most legendary African players in NBA history, and two of the most important ambassadors for the sport in Africa, suited up along with the current players. Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon and second all-time leading shot-blocker Dikembe Mutombo checked into the game in throwback Rockets and Nuggets jerseys, respectively:

Olajuwon scored on the Magic’s Nikola Vucevic using his patented “Dream Shake”:

And Mutombo got a stop against the Jazz’ Trey Burke:

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said this week that it’s only a matter of time until the NBA plays a regular-season game in Africa. This exhibition game is just the first step in that direction. But it was cool to see two legends in action alongside current players helping to grow the sport all over the world.

Warriors trade Gerald Wallace to Philadelphia in exchange for Jason Thompson

Dallas Mavericks v Sacramento Kings

Players have been traded, but it was all about the money.

The Golden State Warriors agreed to send Gerald Wallace to Philadelphia in exchange for Jason Thompson (Wallace had come to the Bay Area in the David Lee trade with Boston). The Sixers also get some cash and the right to swap the lower of Miami or Oklahoma City’s 2016 picks (the Sixers have the rights to both) for the Warriors’ pick. (That pick swap borders on meaningless, Golden State likely has a top three — top five at worst — record next year.)

Why did the defending champion Warriors make this move? To save money at the end of the bench without hurting their rotation. Former Nets executive and now Twitter star Bobby Marks breaks it down, n0ting you need to consider this move in tandem with the David Lee trade.

Thompson, who has spent his entire career in Sacramento not living up to his potential, is not going to see a lot of playing time behind Marreese Speights and Festus Ezeli on the bench. Thompson provides some inconsistent but at times solid defense, and he doesn’t take a lot of shots on offense.

Why do the Sixers make this move? To add some money to the payroll this season — they want to try to get to 90 percent of the salary cap number, which is the salary floor — plus save some money next summer. Wallace will get $10.5 million in this last season of his contract. Thompson makes “only” $6.4 million this season but has a $2.8 million guarantee next season (on a $6.8 million contract). Don’t be shocked if the Sixers just waive Wallace.

Neither guy is going to make a difference on the court for these teams. This was just moving some money around.

Raptors’ coach Dwane Casey says expect more small ball from the Raptors this year

Toronto Raptors v Washington Wizards - Game Four
1 Comment

Dwane Casey didn’t follow the small ball trend much last season. Leaning on Jonas Valanciunas and Amir Johnson as his starting front line and guys like Patrick Patterson behind them, Casey didn’t experiment with putting the athletic DeMar DeRozan at the four much last season (not enough to draw any real conclusions).

That could change this coming season, especially with the addition of DeMarre Carroll.

Casey still prefers to go big. But considering that Johnson now in Boston and Carroll replaces him, plus surveying the landscape of the East, expect to see the Raptors go smaller next season at times, Casey told the Toronto Sun.

“I think the trend now is smaller basketball but I’ve always said as long as the goal is 10 foot high, size matters,” Casey said during an appearance at the team’s summer camp at Humber College on Monday. “But DeMarre (Carroll) can play the four, the three. He can guard the four position with LeBron James at the four, Carmelo Anthony at the four, Paul George back and at the four. He helps us in that respect.

“You can play Kyle (Lowry) and Cory (Joseph) at the same time, you can play Kyle, Cory and DeMar (DeRozan) at the same time. We’ve got a lot of flexibility as far as our roster is concerned.”

A lineup with Kyle Lowry, Cory Joseph, DeRozan, Carroll and Valanciunas would be interesting. It should be explored at the very least.

Raptors GM Masai Ujiri revamped the Raptors roster this summer into something that will be more defensive oriented. That’s where Carroll comes in, and that will be the biggest adjustment for Toronto this season. They had been a Top 10 defense just a couple of years ago, the goal is to get back to that being a calling card.

But to me, making that work — and making the offense work with those lineups — will come back to Valanciunas. For the Raptors to take a real step forward, he is going to have to make leaps forward, and that has to start with rim protection on defense. It’s not been his forte, he needs to become more of a force that way.

Also, Valanciunas shoots a high percentage with his touches in the paint and close to the basket. Will a smaller lineup with some shooters around him (Carroll at the four, he shot 39.4 percent from three) open up space inside for him to operate?

Toronto is still going to win enough games to win the Atlantic division this season. They have some talent and will put up points. But there is going to need to be success with both small ball and more Valanciunas to take a leap back up with teams in the second tier in the conference such as Chicago, Atlanta, Washington and Miami.

Report: Warriors to sign Ian Clark

Denver Nuggets v Golden State Warriors
Leave a comment

Ian Clark led the Warriors to the 2013 Las Vegas Summer League title.

That earned Clark a two-year contract with the Jazz.

Now a free agent again, Clark is headed back to the champion Warriors.

Shams Charania of RealGM:

Free agent guard Ian Clark has agreed to sign with the Golden State Warriors, league sources told RealGM

Clark will give the Warriors 16 players – one more than the regular-season limit – though James Michael McAdoo’s contract is just $100,00 guaranteed and Chris Babb’s is unguaranteed.

Clark’s guarantee will say a lot about how much the Warriors value him. Given their impending luxury-tax bill, they’ll be especially reluctant to waive players with guaranteed salaries. Any guarantee would give Clark a leg up on Babb in a potential training-camp battle, and if the guarantee is big enough, it could put put Clark ahead of McAdoo, too.

Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are obviously excellent 3-pointer shooters, but Golden State could use another outside threat off the bench. Clark, who made 43% of his 3-pointers in four years at Belmont and 38% professionally between the NBA and D-League, would fit the bill.