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  1. Lithuanian coach not exactly singing Valanciunas’ praises

    Aug 7, 2012, 12:14 PM EST

    Lithuania's Jonas Valanciunas (C) vies f

    The Olympics were going to be the coming out party for soon-to-be Raptor Jonas Valanciunas, the No. 5 pick of the Raptors from the 2011 NBA draft who will join Toronto next season. Except, it hasn’t been that way at all. What he’ll be most remembered for from these games is Kobe Bryant elbowing him…

  2. USA’s path to gold could feature rematch from 1972. Or 2008.

    Aug 7, 2012, 9:29 AM EST

    US forward Carmelo Anthony (L)  and US f

    We have reached the medal round and if you look at the way the USA played the last two quarters against Argentina — pressure defense where they did not gamble, then LeBron James and Kevin Durant scoring — nobody can stop them. We’re just going to pretend the first two quarters didn’t happen. So what…

  3. Kyle Lowry started his own juice-drink company, Famjuice

    Aug 6, 2012, 11:46 AM EST

    Kyle Lowry

    There’s a lot of money in the juice drink market. Which is why it is a very crowded and competitive market to get into. But Kyle Lowry is in. The new Toronto Raptor (heading into a contract year) has started a company called Famjuice (via Ball Don’t Lie and Deadspin). The company’s motto — “reflavor…

  4. In case you missed it, Linas Kleiza is playing well in London

    Aug 6, 2012, 1:59 AM EST

    US centre Tyson Chandler (C) vies with L

    Team USA noticed. Toronto Raptor Linas Kleiza put up 25 points on them in a game that was a lot closer than expected. Kleiza is a known commodity who has turned heads in London. The USA is not the only team that Kleiza has cause problems for — he has averaged 18.3 points and 6.3…

  5. How Darius Songaila’s play in the Olympics is a bad sign for the Raptors

    Aug 4, 2012, 6:30 PM EST

    Lithuania's Jonas Valanciunas (C) vies f

    In Saturday’s Team USA squeaker against Lithuania, fringe NBA player (who hasn’t been in the league for a year) played nearly 18 minutes, particularly down the stretch. Raptors lottery pick and presumed starting center next season, Jonas Valanciunas, played just eight. It’s yet another game where Valanciunas has struggled to see floor time and struggled…

  6. Lithuania gives USA a real test, but LeBron passes it in 99-94 win

    Aug 4, 2012, 12:04 PM EST

    James of the U.S. goes in for a lay-up past Lithuania's Kleiza during their men's preliminary round Group A basketball match at the Basketball Arena during the London 2012 Olympic Games

    There is a script for beating the USA, we talked about it before the Olympics: Pack the paint on defense and hope they miss threes, play good transition defense, don’t turn the ball over, and have a hot shooting night yourself. Lithuania did almost all of that, playing their best game of the Olympics by…

  7. USA needs to forget about Nigeria, focus on Lithuania and gold

    Aug 3, 2012, 2:20 PM EST

    Kevin Love

    Forget about it. Or, for a New Yorker like Carmelo Anthony, fugeddaboutit. That is what USA coach Mike Krzyzewski told his Nigerian counterpart to do with the game tape after Team USA’s historic win on Thursday (Coach K actually said “flush it”). But that is exactly what his team needs to do with that epic…

  8. Thursday Olympics recap: Spain almost falls to host nation

    Aug 2, 2012, 8:31 PM EST

    Olympics Day 6 - Basketball

    On a day that the USA routed Nigeria and looked pretty invincible doing it, some of the other supposed powers of the Olympics showed signs of vulnerability. Now comes the disclaimer — d read too much into that. Once you get into the one-and-done medal round tournament a sloppy game a week before doesn’t matter.…

  9. Is Daryl Morey following the Danny Ainge playbook?

    Jul 31, 2012, 8:02 AM EST

    Daryl Morey

    For the past few years, the Rockets have been stuck in a rut of mediocrity — not terrible, fighting for a bottom playoff seed and either way ending up with a pick in the middle of the first round somewhere. Not a bad team, not a contender, just a team riding along in the middle.…

  10. Friday And-1 links: Marv Albert is ready for Nets vs. Knicks

    Jul 27, 2012, 6:32 PM EST

    Deron Williams, "Jay-Z" Sean Corey Carter , Beyonce Knowles

    Here is our regular look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT) — done in bullet point form. • Marv Albert with the imaginary first call at the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn as the Nets take on…

  11. Raptors ink John Lucas III to deal, giving them 3 point guards

    Jul 27, 2012, 5:45 PM EST

    John Lucas III, Carlos Boozer

    We told you recently this was close and now it has become official. Although, that hints at other moves. The Toronto Raptors have signed John Lucas III to a new deal, the team has confirmed. Lucas played well in the absence of Derrick Rose in Chicago for much of last season, averaging 7.5 points a…

  12. Here are all 39 NBA players taking part in Olympics

    Jul 27, 2012, 12:29 PM EST

    File photo of U.S. basketball Chairman Colangelo and the 2012 U.S. Olympic men's basketball team posing in Las Vegas

    The Olympic basketball tournament is loaded with NBA players. Loaded. There are 39, and that is just guys currently on rosters (there are a couple not on now that likely will be by the time camp opens. Here is a list of all the NBA players in the Olympic tournament. Not a coincidence that the…

  13. A closer look at the USA’s opponents in Group A

    Jul 27, 2012, 7:36 AM EST

    Carmelo Anthony of Team USA fights for a ball against Federico Kammerichs of Team Argentina during their men's exhibition basketball game ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Palau Sant Jordi arena, in Barcelona

    Anything less than a gold medal will be seen as a failure by Team USA in London. So, no pressure. Just the American basketball legacy on the line. But in reality, the pressure doesn’t ramp up until the final eight — the three knockout-round games. First, there is the group stage. There are 12 teams…

  14. Wednesday And-1 links: Team USA on Segways

    Jul 25, 2012, 5:38 PM EST

    durant-williams-harden-segway-tour-1

    After a little hiatus, here is our regular look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers love bullet points. • As you can see from the photo to the…

  15. Video: Valanciunas throws down an off-the-glass ally-oop

    Jul 25, 2012, 2:40 PM EST

    Lithuania's Jonas Valanciunas (C) vies f

    For a lot of Raptors fans, and a lot of NBA fans in general, the Olympics and watching Lithuania will be the first reach chance to get a look at last year’s No. 5 overall pick, center Jonas Valanciunas. He was the guy everyone was saying maybe turns out to be the best (or second…

  16. USA sends golden message to Spain with 22-point win

    Jul 24, 2012, 7:11 PM EST

    USA v Spain - Men's Exhibition Game

    This was not the gold medal game, nothing was really at stake in Tuesday night’s exhibition in Barcelona. Spain did not put everything they had into this one — for starters, Marc Gasol did not even play. Nonetheless, the message the USA sent in the final three quarters of this rout — that their speed…

  17. Kevin Love finds minutes on Team USA slipping away

    Jul 24, 2012, 11:08 AM EST

    Kevin Love, Andres Nocioni

    On paper, Kevin Love should be playing increasingly key minutes for Team USA — he is second most logical center behind Tyson Chandler, his rebounding and outlet passing skills fit the up-tempo style Team USA wants to play, and on offense he can hit the three and pull opposing bigs away from the basket. But…

  18. Argentina’s Nocioni not sure USA wins gold medal

    Jul 23, 2012, 5:56 PM EST

    Kevin Love, Andres Nocioni

    It’s the problem Team USA faces — they are judged as much on style points as wins and losses. So far they are 4-0 in preseason games, but because Brazil led after one quarter and Argentina lost 86-80 — two teams with big front lines playing into a weakness of the U.S. squad — they…

  19. Damian Lillard continues to impress at NBA Summer League

    Jul 20, 2012, 12:01 AM EST

    damian lillard

    LAS VEGAS — Seven days in Las Vegas is a long time regardless of the occasion, but there are times that it has seemed particularly long this week as four games in a gym watching fringe NBA players play basketball can surprisingly take its toll on a guy. There are always a few moments that…

  20. Report: Raptors near deal for John Lucas III

    Jul 18, 2012, 7:06 PM EST

    John Lucas III, Carlos Boozer

    Kyle Lowry is in for Toronto (and will play well, this being a contract year and all). Jose Calderon wants no part of being a backup, so his agent and the Raptors are working to find a trade for him. Which means the Raptors need a backup point guard… enter John Lucas III. The former…

  21. NBA Summer League: Where Tyler Zeller stands out above the rest

    Jul 17, 2012, 12:43 AM EST

    zeller

    The NBA Summer League is already through four days of basketball, leaving those around the world clamoring for non-Team USA basketball just six more days of games until the annual extravaganza is complete. There’s already been one player that has received a confirmed NBA training camp invite (congratulations, Chris Copeland!), but plenty more players are hoping for…

  22. Toronto to trade James Johnson to Sacramento for pick

    Jul 16, 2012, 9:29 AM EST

    James Johnson Raptors

    The Kings have picked up a good wing defender who can give them some solid if not spectacular minutes, and do so at a good price. The Toronto Raptors have agreed to trade James Johnson to the Sacramento Kings for a second round pick, reports Marc Stein of ESPN. Other reports have confirmed this and…

  23. NBA Summer League’s second day features plethora of solid performances

    Jul 15, 2012, 12:26 AM EST

    Houston Rockets v Memphis Grizzlies

    LAS VEGAS — The second day of NBA Summer League featured pretty the same things as the first — random cameos in the crowd by established NBA like Baron Davis, J.R. Smith and David Lee; a lot of less than stellar basketball interspersed with jaw-dropping highlights and 32 quarters of players most of the crowd…

  24. Raptors working to trade Jose Calderon

    Jul 13, 2012, 8:05 AM EST

    Toronto Raptors' Calderon drives to the basket past Sacramento Kings' Thomas during their NBA basketball game in Toronto

    Think there are teams that could use a point guard who averaged 10.5 points and 8.8 assists per game last season (to 2 turnovers per game), who can shoot the three and assisted on 44 percent of his teammates baskets when he was on the floor last season? Anyone want Jose Calderon? He’s the guy…

  25. Welcome to NBA signing day tracker: Griffin, Nash, more ink deals

    Jul 11, 2012, 9:05 PM EST

    Blake Griffin arrives for a news conference announcing the players selected for the 2012 U.S. Olympic men's basketball team in Las Vegas

    It’s official, Steve Nash is a Los Angeles Laker. And Blake Griffin is a very rich Clipper. All the deals that have been reported in the past 10 days — such as Deron Williams re-signing with the Nets — go from “agreement reached” to “pen on paper” today. The league has a 10-day moratorium on…

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