On Pro Bball Report recently: Bigger Better Raptors, Luis Scola rebounds, Terrence Ross to bounce-back, a Tyler Hansbrough return, targeting Dorell Wright, Camp invites for Ronald Roberts, Axel Toupane and Michale Kyser, Team Canada defeats Team USA, Jamal Murray, Brady Heslip, Anthony Bennett, Silver for Host at Pan Am Games and more.
“I think we grew up throughout the tournament and throughout this game. I’m glad that we showed some fight to get back in the game,” said Head Coach Jay Triano.
The comments from the Toronto Raptors head coach Dwane Casey say the NBA has gone small and his team is going to match, however, one look at the roster President and General Manager Masai Ujiri has put together and one can only conclude the Raptors are built to go big.
Scola has enjoyed a solid NBA career and as the top player from Argentina, he’s been a Team Canada killer since 2007. He is 5-0 against Canada at the FIBA Americas tournaments and in 2009, he took away Canada’s last and best chance at a medal in the final game, you’d think someone would have remembered?
The upcoming season is a contract year for Ross and there is a lot at stake for the young wing. A big bounce-back is required if Ross is to regain the “3-and-D” status that will get him paid next summer.
In the revamp of the Toronto Raptors and Charlotte Hornets this summer, the Hornets free agent center Bismack Biyombo headed north to Toronto to build on his young career and the Raptors free agent power forward Tyler Hansbrough returns to North Carolina after six NBA seasons where he remains a local college basketball hero.
Dorell has already been active in helping his younger brother Delon with the transition to the NBA and it has become apparent their is a lot of family support available for the Raptors rookie – support that would only be stronger if Dorell was playing in Toronto.
It’s yet to be officially confirmed, but it looks like Toronto Raptors President and General Manager Masai Ujiri is at it again with (at least) three new training camp invitees getting the nod while the NBA Summer League showcase was on. Raptors Republic has been keeping track of the twitter leaks and believes Ronald Roberts, Axel Toupane and Michale Kyser will secure non-guaranteed deals with Toronto.
The Toronto Raptors have officially signed undrafted free agents Ronald Roberts, Axel Toupane and Michale Kyser to bring their training camp roster to 17 players. It is believed that all three players have been signed to modest non-guaranteed deals. An NBA team can have a maximum of 15 players on their roster once the season starts.
The Toronto Raptors are returning to play a regular season game in London, England on January 16, 2016. They will face the Orlando Magic at the O2 arena. DeRozan has averaged 30 points, 4 rebounds and 3.5 assists there.
This game was close in the first quarter until head coach Jay Triano brought in Heslip off the bench. Canada’s best shooter poured in 18 points in the first half as Canada dominated the Dominican 54-37 in large part because Heslip changed how the visitors had to defend. Heslip finished with 24 points in 23.3 minutes hitting 5-10 three-point attempts and 4-5 field goals in close.
Jamal Murray has yet to arrive at the University of Kentucky to play his first collegiate game, but the 18-year-old guard contributed 20 points to a 88-83 victory over powerhouse Argentina at the Pan Am Games in Toronto.
Heslip’s highlight bucket in this game wasn’t from beyond the arc, however. It was on a deep football-style pass from the 18-year-old Jamal Murray the length of the floor that was caught by Heslip taking just one-step to lay it in at the other end.
Team Canada went 3-0 in Men’s Basketball pool play at the Pan Am Games by defeating Mexico 96-76 to advance to the semi-finals against the loser between the USA and Brazil. It may seem like a surprise, but Brazil won 93-83 and Canada will now face the US Men’s National Team at 6 pm ET on Friday.
In a one minute span Murray scored eight points including back-to-back three-pointers to put Canada up 110-106 and deny the Americans their chance to end that 32-year Gold Medal drought at this tournament.
• Big Stories From The Previous Week
Toronto 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.
Should 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.
Timberwolves 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.”
The 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 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).”
Why 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.