Sprung: Kyle Lowry is the Early Eastern Conference MVP

Kyle Lowry

The Eastern Conference’s leader in Win Shares signed a highly publicized free agent contract this past offseason with the East’s best team. That player is not LeBron James but Kyle Lowry, the undisputed leader of the Toronto Raptors. And it is Toronto – not Cleveland – which has the East’s best record at 18-6. Lowry and the Raptors are 5-3 without All-Star shooting guard DeMar DeRozan, who injured his groin the day after Thanksgiving in a loss to Dallas. SheridanHoops went one-on-one with Raptors

Read more...

Raptors Adjusting Well, Analytically, to Life without DeRozan

DeMarDeRozanSH1

Beasts of the East we can call them. And no, unlike what was projected in the preseason, we are not talking about the Bulls or Cavaliers. The Toronto Raptors (16-6) have been one of the more interesting teams to follow this season. Their place atop the Eastern Conference standings and the sixth-best record in the NBA is made all the more impressive by the fact that in a league where the best teams usually have at least one superstar, generally a multi-time All-Star, this

Read more...

Bernucca: For Derrick Rose, Image Becoming a Thorny Issue

Derrick Rose

If Derrick Rose wants to sit out games because he doesn’t feel 100 percent healthy, that’s fine. If Rose wants to go to the coaching staff, training staff and management of the Chicago Bulls and develop some sort of maintenance program which allows him to sit out games from time to time, that’s fine, too. In fact, given what the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat have done with their aging stars over the last several seasons – and the success that

Read more...

Five Things To Watch: Toronto Raptors

nba_u_klowry_cr_576x324

When the final buzzer sounded on the Toronto Raptors last season, the team was left deflated on its home court after a crushing last-second Game 7 loss. It was an ending to a season that no one – not pundits, not fans, maybe not even management – could have predicted. After 18 games and a 6-12 record, it appeared as though the Raptors were destined for yet another forgettable season, lodged firmly in the bottom third of the NBA. Instead, after

Read more...

Sprung: Purpose of Pierce, Garnett in question after Nets’ Game 5 loss

KGandPierce

Why did the Nets acquire Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett from Boston last offseason, mortgaging key future assets to do so? To help win a championship? To be on the floor in important moments in the playoffs, where their championship experience and leadership would prove invaluable to a team that previously had no players with real, legitimate postseason success? In the most important moments in the Brooklyn Nets’ season, the final minutes of the team’s Game 5 loss in Toronto, Pierce and

Read more...

Lowry and Raptors Show Resilient, Disciplined Aggression To Even Series with Nets

TOR_Lowry_Kyle

BROOKLYN — The Toronto Raptors were tired of being the less physical, aggressive and careful team in their first round series with the Brooklyn Nets. So they flipped the script on Brooklyn in Sunday night’s Game 4 at the Barclays Center and took control of their playoff fate. Toronto set the tone in the first quarter by scoring 35 points and finished the game by not allowing a field goal over the final six minutes and 11 seconds in an 87-79

Read more...

Scotto: Eff This: Brooklyn’s Backcourt Spoils Masai Ujiri’s Trip to Brooklyn

Masai Ujiri Raptors rally

Masai Ujiri made his first trip to Brooklyn since his infamous remarks about the borough before Game 1 at a fan rally in Toronto. “F*ck Brooklyn,” Ujiri said. (Some of you might not have known exactly what Ujiri said. Now you know.) Sitting courtside at Barclays Center before Game 3, Ujiri spoke with SheridanHoops about the incident and the hostile environment the Raptors would face in Brooklyn going forward. “It wasn’t about Brooklyn, honestly,” Ujiri told SheridanHoops. “I apologized to Brooklyn, I apologized

Read more...

SH Blog: D’Antoni says analysts need to adjust; Dantley calls Isiah a ‘con man’

Mike_DAntoni_Knicks1

The NBA playoffs got off to a good start today, with a competitive Nets-Raptors game followed by a thrilling Clippers-Warriors battle. The former reminded everyone why Paul Pierce is still a quality NBA player, and the latter was an intense battle between two rivals, albeit both playing below their potential. Blake Griffin only got 19 minutes due to foul trouble, which the Clippers have to be praying won’t happen in the rest of the series. Otherwise, they could be in

Read more...