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Raptors congratulate fired Dwane Casey on being finalist for Coach of the Year

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The Raptors fired Dwane Casey on Friday.

Wednesday, he was named a finalist for Coach of the Year.

Raptors:

This looks awkward, but it fits Toronto’s stance. Even in his press conference following firing Casey, Raptors president Masai Ujiri said he believed Casey should win Coach of the Year and said he hopes Casey wins it.

Toronto can think both Casey did a good job this season and another coach would be better for the team going forward.

It’s a high-risk gamble to fire a coach so successful.

Sometimes, it pays off. The Warriors fired Mark Jackson then reached a far higher level with Steve Kerr. The Pistons fired Rick Carlisle then won a title and returned to the NBA Finals with Larry Brown. The Cavaliers fired David Blatt

Sometimes, it doesn’t. The Grizzlies didn’t get any better by dumping Lionel Hollins. The Bulls firing Tom Thibodeau for Fred Hoiberg didn’t solve all their problems. The Pistons firing Flip Saunders for Michael Curry hastened their downfall.

The Raptors aren’t content with just winning a lot in the regular season and stumbling in the playoffs every year. They were willing to fire a demonstrably good coach to raise their ceiling, and that’s fine. That doesn’t mean they must pretend the fired coach was no good.

Still, this looks funny. It’d be even more awkward if Casey actually wins Coach of the Year and accepts the award June 25 while coaching elsewhere or unemployed.

Stephen Curry gets four-point play after Klay Thompson foul, Curry does some taunting

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Stephen Curry is enjoying going against Klay Thompson. Maybe a little too much.

In the first half, Curry was matched up on his Warriors’ backcourt mate and enjoyed that Thompson missed the shot.

Then in the fourth quarter, with the game tight, Curry drained the contested three and drew the and-1 on Thompson — and did a little taunting.

That’s some All-Star fun.

Stephen Curry bounces alley-oop way above rim, Giannis Antetokounmpo slams it down (video)

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CHARLOTTE – Stephen Curry bounced this so high!

I suppose it helps that Giannis Antetokounmpo has such ridiculous reach.

Dirk Nowitzki walks on All-Star court, quickly splashes three threes

Associated Press
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Maybe Dirk Nowitzki shouldn’t retire after this season.

Added to the All-Star Game by Commissioner Adam Silver (along with Dwyane Wade) in what is expected to be the final season for the future Hall of Famer, the greatest shooting big man of all time showed he still has the touch. Entering the game midway through the first quarter, Nowitzki proceeded to quickly splash a couple of threes.

And he was not done yet.

Nowitzki never officially said he was retiring….

Giannis Antetokounmpo throws himself alley-oop on free throw… that obviously doesn’t count (video)

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CHARLOTTE – It’s an All-Star game, but you still can’t do that. A free throw that doesn’t hit rim is a violation, and Giannis Antetokounmpo clearly crossed the line early, too:

He was clearly going for levity, and at least he accomplished that.