We’ve talked about this at length at PBT and we haven’t even gotten to the Clippers season preview (patience, next week) — DeAndre Jordan is at the heart of the Clippers chances to really contend this season. That team is going to have one of the best (my guess is THE best) offense in the NBA but can they get stops?
Jordan has to be at the heart of a revised defense and he was his athletic self on Monday night with four blocks, which included this fantastic combination (he finished with 16 points and 8 boards in 21 minutes). Jordan’s athleticism is on display (and that has never been in question, the only center as athletic in the league is JaVale McGee). More importantly he made the right defensive plays.
Will the more consistent structure of a Doc Rivers defense be what Jordan needs to break out? (Last year under Vinny Del Negro the Clippers threw a lot of different looks at teams but were really the jack of all trades but masters of none.) The Clippers hope so. Don’t read too much into preseason but Monday was a nice first step.
Nick Nurse got the Toronto Raptors to their first ever NBA Finals appearance. The Raptors beat Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday night. Already a budding Legend in Canada, it appears that Nurse is going to increase his sway in Ontario.
According to multiple reports, Nurse will become the head coach of the Canadian men’s national basketball team. He will also hold executive duties for that organization.
And the kicker? Nurse will also apparently have more involvement and interaction with Drake’s brand OVO.
Everything is coming up roses for Nurse. If he can eat some tape and figure out a way to slow down the Warriors the way he did with Antetokounmpo, he might just be able to give the two-time defending champions a run for their money.
Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert has reportedly suffered a stroke but is resting comfortably in the care of medical professionals.
According to the Detroit News, Gilbert was hospitalized on Sunday morning after evidencing stroke-like symptoms. His current condition is not known, but his company released a statement saying his family was seeking privacy.
Via Detroit News:
“He received immediate medical attention and is currently recovering comfortably,” said a statement issued by the Quicken Loans family of companies following inquiries from The News. “Our collective thoughts and prayers are with Dan for a speedy recovery.”
Details of his diagnosis and prognosis were not released; the family requested privacy.
Gilbert, 57, is the founder of Quicken Loans and the majority owner of the Cavs. He was scheduled to speak on Wednesday at a conference on Mackinac Island in Northern Michigan. It’s unclear if Gilbert will be keeping that appearance date as we don’t yet know the severity of his injuries.
The often-bombastic Cavaliers owner has made waves over the years, most recognizably with his Comic Sans letter. Recently, Gilbert said that he felt the Kyrie Irving trade was a winner for his team, and that Irving was likely to leave the Boston Celtics.
Gilbert has owned the Cavs since 2005.
The Toronto Raptors are headed to the 2019 NBA Finals, and they are going to need every player on their roster if they want a chance at dethroning the Golden State Warriors.
Forward OG Anunoby has been out since early April after needing an emergency appendectomy. He has not played in the playoffs yet this season, but a new report says the Raptors may be hopeful he could return before the end of this final series.
Anunoby Is a useful second-year forward who plays hard on both ends of the floor. Toronto is going to have a hard time matching up with the Warriors defensively, whether Kevin Durant plays or not. Having Anunoby available would help Toronto be more switchable and more adept at taking on some of Golden State’s smaller lineups.
We don’t have a timetable for Anunoby’s potential return yet, but the way the Finals are spaced out (Game 1 is on Thursday, Game 2 is next Sunday) it could help get players healthy and ready.
That could be good news for Kawhi Leonard, who sat out several games this year simply to rest. Leonard has looked a little banged up through these playoffs, as has just about everyone else. The bad news for Toronto is that this time between games could also help the Warriors get Durant ready to play.
Game 1 of the 2019 NBA Finals is on Thursday at 6 p.m. PST in Canada.
People are already getting tired of Drake being a prominent figure in the storyline of the Toronto Raptors. They will have to just deal with it for now as Toronto is headed to the 2019 NBA Finals after beating the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday night.
That said, Drake is actually an ambassador for the Raptors. Some folks seem to forget that.
There was a dust-up during the Eastern Conference Finals about Drake having given Raptors coach Nick Nurse a shoulder rub during Game 4. Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer thought that fans shouldn’t be interacting with members of the coaching staff or players, but the Raptors didn’t seem to think it was that big a deal.
After the Raptors won on Saturday, Drake embraced Nurse yet again, playing off of the initial kerfuffle.
Get ready to see more Drake than you’ve ever wanted.