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Raptors starting lineup by Paul Saini Fylmm

Pro Bball Report Week In Review 07/19/15

On Pro Bball Report recently: Raptors rebounding, free agents, Team Canada’s Brady Heslip and Anthony Bennett,  Luis Scola wants a ring, block and board Bismack Biyombo, James Johnson’s value, NBA Summer League, Norman Powell, Lucas Nogueira, McBuckets McDermott, waiting on Tristan Thompson  and more.

 

Carroll Joseph ScolaToronto Raptors Set To Aggressively Rebound This Season
Last season the Toronto Raptors could score the ball. Their 104 points per game was fourth best in the Association. Their defense was better than it appeared as well, but all too often this team failed to secure the rebound. At 14.2 second chance points allowed, the Raptors were tied for third worst in the NBA.

 

Brady Heslip walkingShould Raptors Give Canadian Brady Heslip a Camp Invite?
The long ball comes naturally to Canada’s best shooter. Brady Heslip shot 46 percent from three-point range in his final season at Baylor, however, that didn’t get him drafted into the NBA. He spent last year overseas and in the NBA D-league proving his long range game works just as well out the NBA three-point line and beyond.

 

Anthony Bennett - croppedTimberwolves Anthony Bennett To Play Center For Canada
“(Bennett will) probably (play) the four and the five,” Triano said. “I don’t mind him playing the five spot, especially if Andrew Nicholson is spreading the floor as a stretch four. He has got that ability where he, depending on who he is on the floor with, he can be a guy who can stretch the floor or he can roll and do damage inside.”

 

Carroll & JosephThe Rise Of The Toronto Raptors
All of the inbound players are known for their toughness and defense. Joseph already has a reputation as one of the better defensive guards in the league. Carroll anchored the perimeter defense for the 60-win Hawks. Scola remains a solid two-way player and Biyombo averaged more blocks than all four of the outbound former Raptors combined and he did it in less than 20 minutes per game.

 

Luis Scola faces leftLuis Scola Is Ready To Chase A Ring With The Raptors
“I wanted to find a place where I could win and be a part of the team, be important. I was trying to get options to see how close to a ring could I get, but I was also trying to be part of a team, not just be (there) – (not) a team (that) is going to be good but not playing any role. To me it was also important that I could be on a team that is strong, a good place (standings) team with chances to grow and hopefully chase a ring at some point down the line, but also be a part, be important on the team and I felt that this was the situation (here).”

 

Bismack Biyombo skiesRaptors Ink High Potential Center Bismack Biyombo
“The game has kind of slowed down for me,” Biyombo told Pro Bball Report in an exclusive at the end of the season. “I understand the game better. I know how I can help the team on defense. Help different guys on the floor to cover weaknesses and help them play to their strengths on offense.”

 

Norman-Powell-bToronto Raptors Are Pretty Much Done With Free Agency
It has been a very good summer in Toronto for Raptors President and General Manager Masai Ujiri. Ujiri’s roster has taken shape. All but two of the roster spots are spoken for and his second round pick Norman Powell is dominating the Las Vegas NBA Summer League and forcing his team’s hand.

 

James Johnson warmup line Paul Saini FYLMMWhy Raptors James Johnson Is A High Value Forward
In the past Johnson finished about 60 percent of his shots within three feet of the rim as he would fade away or get stripped, but this past year he figured out how to protect the ball and finish through contact and 77.7 percent of his attempts went in.

 

Luis Scola with mediaRaptors Slip May Indicate Intentions For Luis Scola
Contrary to earlier reports, a Raptors press release said veteran forward Luis Scola has signed a multi-year deal with the Toronto Raptors – oops maybe not. Perhaps this slip (unintentionally?) confirms what Scola told the media on Monday when he said he wanted to be an important part of a team that was growing towards the possibility of him getting a ring before he retired.

 

Norman Powell NBANorman Powell Leads Raptors To Victory Over Bulls
For the second Summer League game in a row, Norman Powell has led the Toronto Raptors rookies, sophomores and prospects to victory in Las Vegas. This time it was the Bulls that couldn’t contain the 22-year-old UCLA senior guard as Powell poured in a game high 19 points to go with 7 rebounds, 2 steals and a blocked shot in the 81-66 win.

 

Lucas Nogueira head shot closeupLucas Nogueira Swats Away Rockets As Raptors Win Again
Raptors center Lucas Nogueira swatted away four shot attempts and ripped down a game-high 13 rebounds as Toronto overcame a 10 point first quarter deficit caused by 11 early turnovers and then a Rockets push in the dying minutes of the game to come away with the 95-87 win.

 

Nogueira and McDermottBulls McBuckets McDermott Downs Raptors At Summer League
It was a game the Toronto Raptors Summer League squad had won in the first quarter and but for a 15 point fourth quarter from Doug “McBuckets” McDermott combined with some horrendous Raptors turnovers and missed free throws, the Bulls wouldn’t have pulled this game out of the fire.

 

Boston Celtics Media DayWhich Players Have Owned The NBA Summer League?
With only a handful of games left in Las Vegas after today, the potential future stars of the NBA have already left their mark at one of the Summer League venues. Some of these kids have been a huge surprise while others – looking at you Marcus Smart – simply don’t belong here anymore.

 

Norman PowellRaptors Lock Up High-Flying Guard Norman Powell
A highlight reel performer in each game, Powell has flown in for dunks, swatted away shots, played impressive defense and even made his share of jump shots. The sample size may have been small, but the impression has been huge.

 

Tristan Thompson with superfan MoVernieAre The Raptors Waiting For Tristan Thompson To Come Home?
By Michael Hobson
Thompson had grown up as a Raptors fan. Now Thompson is a restricted free agent and the Cavs are having a hard time signing him to an extension. Could it be because Thompson harbors a desire, like LeBron James, to come home?

 

 

• Big Stories From The Previous Week

 

 

Carroll & Ujiri with ball closeupDeMarre Carroll Is The Start Of A Raptors Blue Collar Era

“We want to add players that are going to fit different roles and what we feel that we haven’t done so well and hopefully these (new) guys do,” GM Masai Ujiri.
“Finally the blue collar guys are getting a little recognition,” DeMarre Carroll.

 

NBA Adam Silver formal shot - webNew NBA Salary Cap Even Higher Than Expected

When the league first started guessing at what the NBA Salary Cap for the 2015-16 season would be, they were suggesting $67 million would be about right. Then during the July Moratorium, there was an oops, maybe that should be $69 million. Now it looks like even that guess wasn’t high enough.

 

Tristan Thompson - croppedA Door Opens For The Raptors To Pursue Tristan Thompson

As LeBron James signed a brand new two-year contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers, a door opened slightly for the Toronto Raptors to pursue restricted free agent Canadian power forward Tristan Thompson. Everyone seems to remember James saying he wanted Thompson back next season and there were plenty of “experts” implying James wouldn’t sign before a deal got done with his NBA Finals starting power forward. However, what seems to be missed is precisely what James said.

 

Jonas Valanciunas practice shot by Paul Saini (Fylmm.com)Raptors Jonas Valanciunas Wants To Play Power Forward

Valanciunas isn’t afraid to put in the extra work required to improve his game and he can currently be found at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas honing his craft while the rookies, sophomores and free agents practice for the the upcoming games.

 

Sim Bhullar stretches out

A Slimmed Down Sim Bhullar To Join Team Canada

Most of the “A” list for Team Canada will miss the Pan Am games because of NBA free agency, Summer League, and because the Olympic Qualifying tournament is being held at the end of August in Mexico. However, just seeing how far Bhullar has come since last summer could be worth the price of admission.