Five Things To Watch: Toronto Raptors

Raptors claw

There is no way to sum up the 2014-15 season for the Toronto Raptors without including the word disappointment. You can debate the extent of it, of course – the team did win a franchise-record 49 games and saw point guard Kyle Lowry start in the All-Star Game – but the basic conclusion remains the same. Touted as a new power in the Eastern Conference, the Raptors exploded into last season borne on a wave of “We the North” expectation. This


Fantasy Spin: Update From FIBA Americas & NBA Sleepers

Mirza Teletovic

The first round of the FIBA Americas tournament was like a four-game warmup to eliminate the worst team in each group. Cuba simply wasn’t good enough, though 21-year-old Jasiel Rivero has talent. The surprise was a weak team from Brazil. It’s understandable that Leandro Barbosa, Nene Hilario, Anderson Varejao and Tiago Splitter preferred to rest, but younger NBA players like Bruno Caboclo and Lucas Nogueira might have helped. The second round gets under way at 1:00 Eastern on Sunday, with every team


No, Canada! Luis Scola Leads Argentina To FIBA Americas Win

Andrew Wiggins

Aiming for a 2016 Olympic medal next summer in Rio (and dreaming of gold in 2020) the Canadian team began its FIBA Americas tournament with an ugly loss to Argentina. Canada could not stop 35-year-old forward Luis Scola was unstoppable, who scored 35 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in a 94-87 upset. [Read more…]


Mitnick: Looking at the NBA’s 2015-16 Euro Rookies

Magic Rob Hennigan Mario Hezonja

In the past, a handful of players have come over from Europe and made a big impact in their rookie seasons in the NBA. Pau Gasol came from Spain to win NBA Rookie of the Year with the Memphis Grizzlies in 2002. Coming off two straight Italian League MVP awards, Manu Ginobili gave the San Antonio Spurs the extra push off the bench they needed to win the NBA title in 2003. Luis Scola and Juan Carlos Navarro were immediate contributors as


World Cup Day 9: Group A dominates; Greece, Argentina headed home

Marcelinho Huertas, Brazil

Throughout the FIBA World Cup, most of the attention was on Team USA and Spain and their anticipated matchup in the gold medal game a week from today. And while the Americans and Spaniards both stormed through their groups undefeated, so did Greece, running the table in Group B. The Greens, as they are known, won their first four games by double digits before dismissing Argentina, 79-71, to clinch the group. As the last team to defeat the United States – winning the semifinals


World Cup: Round of 16 Preview


The group stage of the FIBA World Cup is over, with 16 of the 24 teams moving on and three of them – the United States, Spain and Greece – still unbeaten. But they cannot afford to lose now. The knockout stage begins Saturday, and it’s pretty much the same as the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. Win and keep playing. Lose and go home. And being one of the last four teams is something special – in this case,


FIBA World Cup Day 5: Faried helps Team USA dominate Dominicans


In a day where all 24 teams played in the FIBA World Cup leading up to Thursday’s frenetic first round finish, it was The Manimal who again stood out in another Team USA victory. After a closely contested first quarter, Kenneth Faried helped the Americans (4-0), once again propelled by their big men, take the second and third quarters by a combined 26 points and defeat the Dominican Republic (2-2) 106-71 to advance to 4-0 and clinch the best record in