On Pro Bball Report recently: Amir Johnson wants to re-sign, Raptors need Hansbrough’s toughness, DeRozan back in All-Star form, Ross in focus, new Dad Jonas Valanciunas, Clyde Frazier on Knicks woes, Caboclo in the D-League, Raptors winning, Psycho T, playoff seeding games, who wins NBA Sixth Man and more.
“I would love to come back,” Johnson said. “My daughter was born and raised here so I would love to stay just because my family is here, but we’ll see what happens at the end of the season. Family is always the key to everybody’s moves. You do what is best for your family. Family is everything.”
“Tyler is our energizing bunny,” Casey said. “He comes in there and does a lot that stuff, rebounding, setting screens, running the floor, getting contact in the paint. He does a lot of that for us.”
“Yes he is,” Casey said. “I think that’s a beautiful thing to see is DeMar is back. Not only is he scoring, but passing the ball, defensively he is playing at a high level – challenging the ball, getting through pick-and-rolls, doing all the things he needs to do.”
The message from the team this year and last has been consistent. The Raptors are willing to invest a lot of time and effort into Ross’ development. They know it may (will) cost them a few wins along the way, but there is a long term focus in Toronto, so it shouldn’t have surprised anyone when Casey put Ross back into the starting lineup nine games ago despite not having a compelling reason to do so.
“It’s cool (being a Dad,)” Valanciunas told Pro Bball Report. “It’s a lot of responsibility. You feel like you are not alone. You have not just a wife who can take care of herself but you have a little kid who needs a lot of attention, a lot of time to take care of him and he relies on you. It’s a great feeling.”
Walt ‘Clyde’ Frazier Struggles For Answers To Knicks Woes
By Frank McLean
The Knicks, on the other hand, have a broken down Carmelo Anthony and a list of suspects, prospects and castoffs. After their 2013 late first round draft pick Tim Hardaway Jr., pickings are slim in New York.
“I learned only mental (aspects) because I didn’t play a lot of minutes,” Caboclo said. “They had a lot of old(er) guys and they helped me. I had games where I was not playing, like five games, zero minutes. It is hard working but not playing, but this is the process.”
The Raptors Are Finding Their Winning Form Again
By Frank McLean
For one night anyways they looked like the old Toronto Raptors. They played some decent defense and DeMar DeRozan got his shooting stroke back in an exciting 99-96 win over the Houston Rockets. “I thought the entire team was ready and more focused,’’ Casey said.
“This team is still pretty young considering playoff experience, so for us losing isn’t always a bad thing,” Hansbrough said. “It makes you refocus and concentrate on things you need to work on. It’s better to lose now and realize we have some holes we need to fix versus getting to the playoffs and realizing this is what we need to improve on.”
It’s Déjà vu all over again as the Toronto Raptors and Chicago Bulls jockey for position over the final few games of the regular season, but this kind of game can prove dangerous and last season both the fourth place Bulls and the third place Raptors were first round playoff victims to lower seeded teams.
The sentiment in Toronto is strong. Lou Williams should be recognized hands down as the best man off the bench in the NBA. The Raptors would not be on the verge of setting a new franchise record for wins in a season without his instant offense. However, he is not the only reserve making a big impact for their team this season. Other cities can point to bench players making a huge contribution to their team’s success as well.
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Dan Patrick was almost certainly poking fun when he asked Wildcats Alum and current Washington Wizards All-Star John Wall, “Could Kentucky compete with any team in the NBA this year?” Wall responded quickly with, “No!”
“It’s more the feel of the game, what the game is giving me,” Johnson said. “It’s not this is the shot you should take now or this is not the one, it’s instincts. If I feel I can get to the bucket, I do and most of the time it’s not me driving, it’s me cutting off DeMar (DeRozan) or Kyle (Lowry) driving and they dump the ball off those cuts.”
“He is long. He can run the floor. You can’t beat a seven-footer, a seven-footer is always going to do some damage no matter where he plays,” Amir Johnson said.
Why Wiggins Matters To Canada
By Frank McLean
That’s what made this such a special night for Canadian basketball. Twenty years ago when I started covering the NBA if someone told me that Canadians would be first overall draft picks in the NBA I would have thought they were crazy. Now Canadian Prime Minister Harper has just met with two Canadians chosen first overall in the NBA Draft playing for the same team.
Da Bulls Turning Into Team Turmoil
By Frank McLean
Every team in the NBA has disagreements amongst the coaching staff and the General Manager, but with what is going on right now with the Da Chicago Bulls, you might want to call them “Team Turmoil”.