Podcap: Toronto Beats Washington 103-84

Here’s audio from Amir Johnson, Dwane Casey, DeMar DeRozan and Terrence Ross after Toronto’s 103-84 win over Washington.

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Observations From Toronto’s Locker Room After Beating Washington 103-84

Here are eight observations, notes and quotes from Toronto’s locker room after they beat Washington 103-84:

  • Amir Johnson was limping through the locker room with his injured ankle secured with a tensor bandage, yet he still had a huge smile on his face. it’s amazing what a big win can do for a players emotions. Despite the setback in the second half tonight, after the game Johnson told the media that he’s hopeful of being able to play on Sunday against Philadelphia.
  • DeMar DeRozan was rocking this epic shirt while talking with the media.
  • Actually, speaking of emotions, this was the most jovial the locker room has been all season. Players were ribbing each other and the atmosphere was upbeat. In fact, Terrence Ross had a tough time getting through his media scrum because he was getting ribbed by teammates and even some members of media from across the locker room.
  • Amir Johnson has been using a shuttle board this week to work on his ankle and help with his range of motion.
  • Ross bristled briefly and appeared flustered when he was asked what it was like matching up against Paul Pierce again. His teammates, however, howled as the question was asked. My assumption is Ross took that playoff series against Brooklyn to heart and there’s a chip on his shoulder to prove he can stop Pierce. Mission accomplished tonight as Pierce was held to eight points while going 3-11 from the field.
  • DeMar DeRozan on wearing the purple jersey tonight: “Oh, man. It meant a lot. Especially to me as a kid who was amazed with the jersey.”
  • Derozan wasn’t the only fan of the purple jerseys as Amir Johnson gushed to the media: “I grew up loving those (purple) jerseys so it was an honour to wear ‘em tonight.”
  • Greivis Vasquez doesn’t only dish out assists on the court. After the game, James Johnson recruited Vasquez to give him a hand buttoning up the wrist buttons on his shirt.

Dwane Casey Compares The Toronto Raptors To Seabiscuit

Dwane Casey was in rare form tonight while comparing the Toronto Raptors and their slow starts to Seabiscuit.

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Weekend Warrior Tips From Harrison Barnes

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Golden State Warriors forward Harrison Barnes recently took to the outdoor courts of Oakland to share some workout tips with The Red Bulletin Magazine that weekend warriors can incorporate into their routines. Together with respected trainer Travelle Gaines, he shares a three-pronged offseason workout that focuses on lower body, and helps him transition from defense to offense.


1. Lunges:
benefits single leg strength and range of motion in toes/ankles
2. Squat to press:
triple extension workout for ankles, knees and hips
3. Around the World 3’s: five shots from six different spots for shooting form/stamina

“My fitness plays a huge part into my success as a basketball player, “ says Harrison Barnes. “Doing things that make your body fire right, to be explosive as you can, to make sure to be as fast as a you can, those are the things that separate great athletes from the good athletes.”

Podcap: Raptors Hold On To Beat Thunder 100-88

Here’s audio from Dwane Casey, Patrick Patterson, Lou Williams and Kyle Lowry after Toronto’s 100-88 win over Oklahoma City.

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Observations From Raptors’ Locker Room After Beating Thunder 100-88

Here are five observations, notes and quotes from the Toronto Raptors locker room after the team beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 100-88:

  • Amir Johnson was rocking a black OVO jacket that was also Canada Goose. Impressive. Also impressive – and very Canadian – was the lumberjack look Lou Williams was rocking with a red flannel shirt.
  • Lou Williams was struggling to unplug his phone charger from the top shelf in his locker. He had to get Chuck Hayes to give him a hand. #ShortGuyProblems
  • It never fails to amaze me what finely-tuned athletes eat. After the game Patrick Patterson was scarfing down some Pizza Pizza. I shouldn’t judge as I ate some myself before the game… but sat in front of my MacBook pro instead of burning calories while playing 35 minutes.
  • Dwane Casey wasn’t impressed with the defensive effort from his team: “Sometime this year we are going to find some defence from somebody, somewhere. I don’t know when, but we are going to find it.”
  • Kyle Lowry was in an ornery mood after the game and wasn’t too chatty with the media. I kept waiting for him to break into a Rasheed Wallace inspired, “both teams played hard.”

Scott Brooks Tries To Find A Silver Lining With Oklahoma City’s Recent Rash Of Injuries

Losing two all-stars for the first month of an NBA season is never ideal.

However, having Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook miss time due to injuries will allow Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Scott Brooks to give more minutes to Perry Jones, Reggie Jackson, Andre Roberson and Jeremy Lamb. That experience and increased confidence could pay big dividends come playoff time for the Thunder.

Brooks talked about how some of Oklahoma City’s younger players are stepping up early in the season.

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Dwane Casey Explains The Difficulties In Preparing For An Injury-Ravaged Oklahoma City Thunder Team

Dwane Casey talked about how tonight could be a trap game, the danger in playing a team with only eight players suiting up, Serge Ibaka shouldering a larger load and why Oklahoma City’s half-court sets haven’t changed much with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook out.

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NBA Season Preview For SiriusXM

Cleveland Cavaliers Media Day

I joined Norm at Night on SiriusXM to preview the 20-14-15 NBA season. We talked about if the Toronto Raptors can build on last season, if the Cleveland Cavaliers are ready to win a title, why the Charlotte Hornets are a sleeper team and a bunch of other topics.

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Mike Budenholzer Talks About Al Horford’s Impact

Last season the Atlanta Hawks limped into the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference after Al Horford was lost early in the season with a pectoral injury that required surgery.

Mike Budenholzer talked about what Horford’s return means to the Atlanta Hawks, how his all-star big man helps the rest of the team on both ends of the court and the leadership he brings on and off the court.

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Predicting The Pacific Division This Season Won’t Be Tough

For the past two decades, the Pacific Division has been filled with some of the NBA’s top teams.

When Steve Nash was at his peak winning MVP awards, his Phoenix Suns were among the NBA’s elite, regularly winning 50 plus games. The Suns are in the midst of a youth rebuild, so while they may sneak into the playoffs this season, they appear to be at least a year or two away from serious contention.

The Los Angeles Lakers with Kobe Bryant have regularly been championship contenders except for a few years due to injuries and other hiccups. This year the Lakers may be among the worst in the NBA as Bryant attempts to come back from season ending injuries last season and his supporting cast is weak to say the least.

Even the Sacramento Kings have had a few seasons where Chris Webber led them back to prominence. But a core of DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay won’t be enough to lead them back to the playoffs and Rajon Rondo won’t be acquired this season via a trade with the Boston Celtics.

This summer the Golden State Warriors were close to making the jump to become serious contenders but they blinked when the Minnesota Timberwolves asked for Klay Thompson as part of a package for Kevin Love. That hesitation resulted in Golden State needing to offer a huge extension to Thompson a couple of days ago. It’s one thing to build around young players you have drafted and developed, it’s another to pass on one of the top five players in the NBA for a player who has yet – and may never – make an all-star game.

A team with Andrew Bogut, Stephen Curry, Andre Iguodala, Harrison Barnes and Love would have become instant contenders for an NBA Championship. However, now, with Thompson, they are just another strong team in a loaded Western Conference.

The cream of the cop in the division is clearly Los Angeles Clippers who appear poised to move out of Donald Sterling’s shadow and move forward with boisterous new owner Steve Ballmer. The team has an iconic coach in Doc Rivers and two all-stars in Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. When you throw DeAndre Jordan’s defensive prowress and Jamaal Crawford’s scoring spark off the bench, the Clipers have a chance to be playing in the NBA Finals this June.

Observations From Raptors’ Locker Room After Beating Hawks 109-102

Here are eight observations, notes and quotes from the Toronto Raptors locker room after the team beat the Atlanta Hawks 109-102:

  • Dwane Casey has a funny analogy about how it only matters what you do when the popcorn’s popping. It’s his way of saying big players step up in big moments when fans are packed in the stands. After the game Casey was asked about Amir Johnson being ready to play when the popcorn was popping and couldn’t resist letting loose with this great quote: “He put butter on it and salt and everything else. He was ready to roll tonight and I was really happy with his energy.”
  • Lucas Nogueira never stops smiling. Literally.
  • Amir Johnson: “We have a lot of things to clean up. They shot the hell out of the ball and we were lucky to get the win.”
  • Greivis Vasquez was wearing combat boots and Wu-Tang socks. Awesome combo.
  • Speaking of fashion, Lou Williams was wearing a Hawaiian-esque jacket.
  • Terrence Ross on the fans: “I mean, you can’t really explain it. You just have to experience it. It’s unbelievable how they mobbed out like this.”
  • DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry are proud dads. DeRozan has a prominent picture in his locker of him kissing his daughter while Lowry has a big picture of himself watching TV with his son.
  • Tyler Hansbrough: “I feel much more comfortable this year. I came into training camp having already learned all of the plays so I was able to pick up on things a lot faster than I did last year. I’m really comfortable this year and I hope I can continue to bring a spark off the bench for this team.”

Podcap: Raptors Beat Hawks 109-102

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Here’s audio from Dwane Casey, Terrence Ross, Patrick Patterson, Amir Johnson, Jonas Valanciunas and Tyler Hansbrough after Toronto’s 109-102 win over Atlanta.

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Podcast: 2014-14 NBA Season Preview

Cleveland Cavaliers Media Day

McNeill and Mark and back with another Hoops Addict Podcast. We break down the big changes in each conference, make some fearless predictions for the upcoming season, talk about Byron Scott ripping on Dwight Howard, Steve Nash not playing this season and the brilliance of LeBron James.

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LeBron James Raves About Steve Nash

“It’s tough. You hate to see anyone have the game be taken away from him because of injury and especially a talent like that. Obviously he’s worked his tail off to try to be healthy and play for that franchise and over his career he’s always kept his body in shape, we all knew that. For his body to fail him at a time where he still feels like he has something to give to the game, I think it sucks. At the same time, he has nothing to be ashamed of. He should be proud of every moment that he had in this league — from him waiting behind and sitting on the bench behind J-Kidd (Jason Kidd) to finally getting his opportunity in Dallas and going back to Phoenix and having an unbelievable career, the two MVPs, and doing the things that he did. You just look at him, you would never (know). If you’re playing street basketball and he’s out on the side, you’re not going to pick him. And then when he finally gets his chance to pick the four guys that he wants to run with, then you’re going to be like, ‘Damn! I should have took that guy. I should have took him.’ And he’s part of that 90-50-40 club (with) a few guys — (Kevin) Durant, (Larry) Bird, Dirk (Nowitzki). Nash, he did it multiple years. I think 4-5 years straight, which is crazy. And never one of the most athletic guys. Always just played with his mind and his agility. So it sucks. It’s always bad when a guy, like I said before, I’ll harp on it again, when your career is kind of shortened because of injury.”

LeBron James raves about Steve Nash