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Morning Coffee – Tue, Jan 22

Long Island Nets never recover from slow start in loss to Raptors 905

Raptors 905 hit 46.2 percent (42-for-91) on the afternoon and was a sizzling 18-for-40 (45 percent) from deep.

Alan Williams, on a two-way contract with the parent Brooklyn Nets, led Long Island with 20 points, but was just 9-for-24 from the floor.

Okaro White finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds, Shannon Scott dished out eight assists and Brooklyn’s other two-way player, Theo Pinson, had 13 points, seven assists and three steals. Murphy blocked two shots and Nuni Omot dropped in 10 points — on 4-of-14 shooting — off the bench.

It was the two-way players from the Toronto Raptors who led the way for 905, with Jordan Loyd scoring a game-high 24 points to go with six assists and Chris Boucher adding 22 points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots.

Kyle Collinsworth also had nine boards for the Raptors.

Tuesday NBA preview: Sacramento Kings at Toronto Raptors | The Star

Hield/Green

Hield is prospering in Sacramento’s fast-paced transition game. He leads the Kings with 20.5 points per game and averages 7.4 three-point attempts, making 45.6 per cent. Green, meanwhile, had Raptors fans chanting his name after hitting a career-high eight threes in Saturday’s win over the Grizzlies. He’s shooting 42.1 per cent from beyond the arc this season.

NBA Fantasy: Toronto Raptors stock report and trade candidates

NBA Fantasy Stock Report: Sell High
Danny Green (SG/SF): Few Raptors have been as hot as the “Green Ranger” in recent weeks, especially from three-point range. Green has been a scorching 52.4 percent from downtown and making 3.7 threes a game.

Over his last 14 days, Green is ranked 19th in 9-cat Yahoo! leagues pulling an average of 14.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, and a combined 2.5 stocks (1.5 steals, 1 block) with just 0.7 turnovers.

Despite his impressive play, Green is still just owned in 53-percent of leagues. If he is still somehow on the waiver wire, pick him up. But if you happen to own him, now would be the best time to trade him.

As good as Green has been, his current streak is unsustainable. He just buried eight threes last Saturday (seven in one period!) and there’s no chance he’ll keep this up. The threes and defensive stats will still be there but at a lesser rate. He’s due to regress soon.

He's Back: Josh Adams Signs With G-League Raptors-905 In Bid For NBA Opportunity – Welcome to 7220

Former Wyoming guard Josh Adams took the gamble.

It paid off.

He reached a settlement with his team in China, and returned to the United States in December, banking on getting an opportunity with either an NBA team or a member of the NBA’s G-League.

On Monday, Adams made his G League debut with the Raptors 905, who are affiliated with the NBA Toronto Raptors. After playing in Russia two years ago, and Turkey last year, Adams signed with Shanxi Zhongyu of the Chinese Basketball Association and was averaging 26.4 points, 5.4 rebounds and 4.8 assists in 15 games before getting his release.

Adams played four years at Wyoming, averaging 13.9 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.1 steals in 132 games (123 starts). As a senior, he was named NABC All-District First team, Mountain West Player of the Year – Media and Mountain West All-Conference First Team – Coaches and Media.

Adams worked out with the Wyoming basketball team earlier this month to stay in shape, and at the time he said he had been able to save enough money from playing overseas that he could afford to take his shot at catching on with the NBA.

“I’m in a good position,” Adams said during a recent Wyoming basketball game. “I am 25, the perfect age. I have my money from (overseas), so I am financially secure. It’s a perfect time to stay stateside and put all my effort into the NBA. We will know a lot more (in the next two weeks).

NBA trade deadline is Raptors' chance to boost all-in approach – Sportsnet.ca

The rest of the NBA believes if any team should be in ‘go for it’ mode, it’s the Raptors, given they are viewed as championship contenders with a runway that only extends as long as Leonard is on the roster.

“Short answer: ‘yes,’” was one NBA executive’s assessment of whether Toronto should be throwing caution to the wind.

Another: “Your window to win in pro sports doesn’t open often and it can shut very quickly. I wouldn’t jump in and do something ridiculous, but yeah, I’d think they go for it.”

Yeah, they should.

Trading franchise icon DeMar DeRozan for one season of Leonard was the ultimate ‘win now’ move. Once the deal was made, there was no walking back. And given the Raptors can only hope Leonard will be here after this season – although, encouragingly, they’ve had no indications otherwise and they can offer him $50-million reasons more than any other team to stay – this would be the time to be bold.

It is not the time to stress about the possibility that second-year wing OG Anunoby – scheduled to return to the team for the Raptors’ upcoming three-game road trip after an absence from the team due to personal reasons – might one day morph into some version of Leonard.

It’s the time to consider packaging Anunoby and point guard Delon Wright – likely the team’s most marketable trade chips – if that’s what it takes to help the real-life Leonard help the Raptors get to the NBA Finals.

Raptors forward Green enjoys first taste of NHL action at Maple Leafs game | Toronto Sun

“It was very exciting, interesting. First time seeing it live, how fast everything’s moving,” Green said of the experience.

Many Leafs players have taken in Raptors games, so Green was happy to return the favour and see something new up close.

“I think most sports people that are sports fans are big fans of what they don’t do. Because we’re good at something we want to know how somebody can become so good at something else and we wish we were that good at that, too,” he said. “It’s kind of like when you’re a basketball player you want to be a rapper or a singer or when you’re a singer/rapper, you want to be an athlete. When you’re a football player, you kind of want to learn how to play baseball. Everybody respects each other’s craft and kind of want to be well round, add more things to their repertoire.”

Green said that a member of the Leafs will be joining him on his popular Inside the Green Room podcast soon.

Raptors veterans understand Kawhi Leonard’s rest days crucial in grand scheme of things | Toronto Sun

“We’re playing for April, May and June, we’re not playing for right now. He’s getting older. He’s getting old so, you know, you got to take a couple days here and there,” said a smiling Green.

While it’s tough to build on-court chemistry with Leonard and fellow all-star Kyle Lowry, in particular, spending a huge portion of the year so far not being in action together on the same night, Leonard’s teammates, especially some of the most experienced like Green and C.J. Miles, appear to fully support the process.

“I think the amount that he does in the game, night after night and the amount that he works, I think that load has to be watched,” Miles, a 14-year-veteran, said after practice on Monday. “I think having another teammate (Paul George while both were with the Indiana Pacers) that went through an injury that kept him out for a year, knowing what it’s like coming back from something and you’re trying to be yourself and get back to dominating the game the way you do, as he’s done this year, I believe just as you’re climbing back because I don’t think you want any setbacks.”

Jordan Loyd and Raptors 905 Big Three beat Long Island Nets, 113-87 – NetsDaily

To put it politely, Long Island got off to a slow start in the first quarter, going down 16-2, forcing Will Weaver to call an early time out with 8:42 left in the first. The Nets slowly crept back into the game ending the quarter trailing 34-20. Raptors 905’s biggest lead was 16 points in the first period.

Williams underwent a particularly painful quarter, shooting 1-of-8 from the field and 2-of-4 from the free throw line scoring only four points. Pinson led the Nets in first quarter scoring with six points to go along with his five rebounds.

For Raptors 905, Duane Notice had a strong first with eight points shooting 3-for-5 from the field and 2-of-4 from behind the arc. Loyd had eight points as well for the Raptors 905.

The Nets started the second quarter playing well on both ends of the floor. Throughout the quarter, the Nets chipped away at the Raptors 905 lead but had trouble defending the Raptors shooting behind the arc.

Richardson had a hot second quarter for the Raptors 905 and their biggest scorer of the second quarter. He shot 5-of-10 from the field and 3-of-5 from behind the arc in the first half leaving him with 14 points to go along with his four assists and 2 rebounds. Loyd recorded 14 points, 5 assists, and 3 rebounds for the Raptors 905.

Kawhi Leonard’s ‘load management’ regimen backed by Raptors teammates | TheSpec.com

Leonard played just nine games with the San Antonio Spurs last season because of a right quad injury. The work it took to get from there to here — Leonard is averaging 27.6 points a game, fifth-best in the league — puts the Raptors’ “load management” regimen for their star forward in perspective.

“The load has to be watched … (you don’t) want any setbacks,” Miles said. “I think he’s extremely important to our team, as does everybody else, so whatever he needs to do to continue to progress, we’re behind him 100 per cent.”

Leonard didn’t practise with the team on Monday — a “scheduled maintenance checkup,” said Raptors head coach Nick Nurse — and eight of the 12 games he’s missed this season have been attributed to the need for rest.

“It was an ideal time with two days in between, this time of year,” Nurse said Monday. “He’ll be back here (Tuesday).”

Leonard sat out back-to-back games in November because of a sore left ankle, and again on consecutive nights in December because of a bruised right hip. It wasn’t until last week — home dates against the Phoenix Suns on Thursday and Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday — that he had missed consecutive games when healthy.

Most of the enforced time off has coincided with the Raptors’ nine back-to-backs to date. He has yet to play on consecutive days this season, usually sitting out the second. That points to another break for Leonard — whose longest stretch of games played this season is nine — when the Raptors visit the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday, after hosting the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night.

The club has just two back-to-backs remaining after this week’s Kings-Pacers double: March 10 and 11 (road dates with the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers); March 17 and 18 (in Detroit, then home to the New York Knicks).

Raptors' G-League team claims former UW hoopster Josh Adams | Men's Basketball | trib.com

Josh Adams is now a member of an NBA G League team.

Raptors 905, a G-League affiliate of the Toronto Raptors, claimed the former Wyoming basketball standout off the waiver wire Sunday. Adams, who played 15 games for Shanxi Zhongyu of the Chinese Basketball Association this season, has also played professionally in Turkey and Russia.

Adams, who joins former UW hoopster Derek Cooke Jr. on the 905’s roster, was the Mountain West Player of the Year as a senior in 2016. The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder finished his career as the fifth-leading scorer in program history with 1,819 points.

NBA All-Star Predictions: Is Raptors' Lowry a lock to make the roster? – Sportsnet.ca

This year’s rosters are difficult to predict. There a handful of locks, but the relative lack of star power in the East makes for some tough decisions to round out the roster, while some regressing play on the part of typical all-star inclusions has opened up conversations we didn’t expect to be having.

Take, for instance, the case of Kyle Lowry. Is he a lock to be named an all-star? The argument isn’t as cut and dry as you might think.

Lowry’s 2018-19 season has been fairly confounding for a player serving an crucial role on the NBA’s top team heading into the all-star break, following a sharp decline and see-saw production in recent months.

For the first 20 games of the season, Lowry was playing the best ball of his career – not an insignificant statement to make about a four-time all-star. He was averaging 15.4 points and 10.5 assists, pacing the league in the latter category, as the Toronto Raptors carved out a 16-4 record.

Since then, parts of his game have taken a hit. He’s currently averaging 13.9 points on the season, the fewest since his first year in Toronto when he was still splitting point guard duties with Jose Calderon.

For whatever it’s worth – Lowry’s clout as an all-star has taken a hit among the fans, who with one day remaining now for fan balloting sits just sixth among East guards.

On This Date: Kobe Bryant scorches Raptors with career-high 81 points | NBA.com

On this date, in 2006, Kobe Bryant erupted for a Lakers’ franchise record of 81 points in an 18-point comeback win over the Toronto Raptors at the Staples Center.

Along with his career-high figures, he also recorded six rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 assists. He dropped his points tally at an efficiency of 60.9% from the field (28-of-46), 53.8% from beyond the 3-point line (7-of-13) while knocking down 18 of his 20 attempts from the chairty stripe. .

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