Photos From Nike’s Americas Team Camp

Here are photos of Jay Triano (Portland TrailBlazers), Eric Hughes (Milwaukee Bucks), Jama Mahlalela (Toronto Raptors) and Bruno Caboclo (Toronto Raptors) working with campers at Nike’s Americas Team Camp.

Click on any of the pictures to see a larger, high res version.

Bruno Cabolco dunk Nike Team Americas Camp
Bruno Cabolco dunking at Nike Team Americas Camp

Eric Hughes Nike Team Americas Camp a
Eric Hughes working with campers at Nike’s Team Americas Camp.

Jama Mahlalela Nike Team Americas Camp a
Jama Mahlalela observing a defensive drill at Nike Team Americas Camp.

Jay Triano Nike Team Americas Camp b
Jay Triano at Nike’s Team Americas Camp.

Nike Team Americas Camp Augst 17, 2014
Nike Team Americas Camp August 17, 2014.

Bruno Cabolco defensive stance Nike Team Americas Camp
Bruno Cabolco observing a defense drill.

Jama Mahlalela Nike Team Americas Camp
Jama Mahlalela in a huddle at Nike’s Team Americas Camp.

Jay Triano Nike Team Americas Camp
Jay Triano

Bruno Cabolco Nike Team Americas Camp
Bruno Cabolco

NBA Might Tweak Lottery Odds To Curb Tanking

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Brian Schmitz
Orlando Sentinel
Displayed with permission from MCT Information Services

It’s one thing for the NBA to relegate the Magic to persona non grata (no national TV love and unfavorable schedule). It’s quite another for the league to perhaps take away the one club in the bag that they’ve used since Dwight Howard departed.

If commissioner Adam Silver has his way, he’ll make changes to the draft-lottery system in an attempt to reward winning and curtail tanking, perhaps as early as this season.

Oh, yes, tanking — the scourge of our time.

It has to be stamped out, you know, for the sake of the children.

Silver wants to balance out the lottery, maybe awarding the bottom six teams with equal odds for a shot at No. 1. Maybe then a scenario can unfold like it did in … well, May.

The Cleveland Cavaliers didn’t try to tank last season, but surprisingly won the lottery despite just a 1.7-percent chance and the ninth-worst record (33-49).

All that did was allow the Cavs to pick Andrew Wiggins, trade him in a deal for All-Star Kevin Love and make LeBron James’ homecoming the league’s next feature attraction.

What exactly is Silver’s concern again?

Let’s see: It now has been 10 years since the team with the worst record won the lottery (Orlando claimed Howard at No. 1 in 2004).

Silver is overreacting — as are various critics — to last season’s full-out tanking tactics.

Several team-rebuilding projects and a hot-shot draft class just happened to meet at the intersection of Wiggins & Parker.

Even if it is utilizing the lottery format in place, no club wants to conduct a financially harmful campaign of strategic losing in the hope of landing a franchise star.

No team prefers to painstakingly rebuild with young players and invent mysterious injuries to key players late in the season, opening itself to charges of intentionally losing.

Does anyone really think the Magic, the Sixers or the Bucks want to be in this position?

Orlando is still in recovery after Howard forced a trade. Philadelphia basically fielded a D-League team last season. And what’s confusing is that Silver fiercely defended the Sixers against tanking accusations, even going as far as saying they were “doing the right thing.”

“It’s an insult to the entire league to suggest that these guys are going out on the floor and aren’t doing their very best to win games,” Silver said. “You look at any business, you look at short-term results and long-term results. And if somebody told you a business was going to operate on a quarter-by-quarter [basis], you’d say, ‘That’s not the way to operate a business.’ You’d say, ‘You need a strategy. You need to look at the long-term.’ And I think what this organization is doing is absolutely the right thing.

“What they’re doing is planning for the future and building an organization from the ground level up.”

OK, so the commish did a little public-relations dance in taking up for the Sixers.

Understandably, the Sixers, according to ESPN, are opposed to Silver now suggesting it’s time to change the lottery odds. The Magic also should be annoyed. Picking at No. 4, this time they just missed out on the top three marquee draft choices of Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Joe

Toronto Raptors 2014-15 Schedule Summary

Toronto Raptors v Brooklyn Nets - Game Four

* Nine of Toronto’s first 12 games are at home. A big part of that is a stretch of seven consecutive games at the Air Canada Centre.

* The Raptors play four games on national TV south of the border. They play the Chicago Bulls on TNT (November 13th) and they have three games on ESPN (December 17 against the Brooklyn Nets and two games against the Charlotte Hornets. It’s a nice bump since the team didn’t have any regular season games on TNT or ESPN last season.

* The Raptors open their season at home against the Atlanta Hawks on October 29th.

* Some games to mark on your calendar are when Andrew Wiggins makes Toronto debut as member of Timberwolves on March 18, LeBron James visits the ACC on December 5 and March 4, Kevin Durant visits November 4 and February 8 against the San Antonio Spurs.

* Toronto has a nasty end to the season as six of their final eight games of the season will be on the road. Ouch. Even worse is that after the All-Star break, 18 of Toronto’s final 29 games are on the road. That means Toronto needs to get off to a strong start.

* Toronto’s last seven games of the season come against Eastern Conference teams. This could be huge when it comes to fighting for the Atlantic Division crown and/or playoff seeding.

* The Raptors have a six-game road trip that starts December 22 in Chicago. During that road trip they will play the Bulls, Clippers, Nuggets, Blazers, Warriors and Suns. That’s a nasty stretch for the team and not a fun way to spend the holidays. The “reward” is the team gets to play six games at home after the nasty road trip.

Raptors Looking To Add A D-League Affiliate For Next Season

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Time Warner Cable is reporting the Rochester RazorSharks basketball team is in talks with the Toronto Raptors about becoming their NBA Developmental League affiliate.

The RazorSharks were champions of the Premier Basketball League last season.

While Rochester is relatively close, if the Raptors truly want to become known as Canada’s team, it would make more sense for the Raptors to form a D-League team in London, Hamilton or Oshawa. It would result in the D-League affiliate being closer to Toronto and it would help drum up interest in the GTA.