DeRozan fined for throwing basketball at referee

San Antonio Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan has been fined $25,000 for recklessly throwing the basketball toward a game official and into the spectator stands, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The incident, for which DeRozan was assessed one technical foul and ejected, occurred with 5:01 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Spurs’ 117-103 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Saturday, April 20 at AT&T Center.

To view the incident, click on the following link:

http://www.nba.com/video/2019/04/21/bbops-nuggets-spurs-042019

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Spurs’ DeRozan: ‘The playoffs are everything'(WATCH)

For the 22nd straight year, the San Antonio Spurs will be in the playoffs. The Spurs got off to a slow start this season, and at times, it looked as if the Spurs would struggle to make the playoffs, especially after going 1-7 during their annual “Rodeo Road Trip” in February. But,  after that dismal road trip, San Antonio went on a nine-game winning streak and would ultimately clinch a playoff berth.

Being a lower seeded team(7th seed) at this point, not many expect the Spurs to make a lot of noise in the playoffs, which is something Spurs G DeMar DeRozan said has been the case for him throughout his whole career.

“I mean I been that way my whole career,” DeRozan said about the Spurs being a dark horse in the playoffs. “Going into the playoffs and everything, so, no, I don’t mind it. It’s fun, it’s competitive, and that’s what you look forward to.”

DeRozan has had his share of playoff struggles over the years, which is one of the reasons the Raptors traded him to the Spurs last summer.  In 2017, DeRozan averaged 27.8 ppg in the regular season, but that dropped 22.4 ppg in the playoffs. Last season, DeRozan averaged 24.4 ppg in the regular season, and that number fell to 22.7 in the playoffs.

“The playoffs are everything. It’s exciting, fun,” DeRozan said. “It’s what everybody is waiting to see. So, for us to be in that position, I think we are all excited.”

Players are judged by what they do in the playoffs, and it should be interesting to see if DeRozan can answer the call in these upcoming playoffs for the San Antonio Spurs.

Kenny Smith on Spurs: ‘They’ll still be a contending team in the West’

The Kawhi Leonard issue has finally been resolved in San Antonio. The Spurs traded Leonard and Danny Green to Toronto for DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl, and a 2019 protected first-round pick.

Despite having Kawhi Leonard for only nine games last season, the Spurs did manage to win 47 games in the always tough Western Conference. In DeRozan, the Spurs get a four-time All-Star, who averaged 20 points or more per game for the past five years, including a career-best 27.3 PPG in the 2016-17 season. So, the Spurs are getting a terrific player,

According to TNT’s NBA analyst Kenny Smith, the Spurs can still be contenders in the Western Conference with the acquisition of DeRozan:

“He(DeRozan) could do what Kawhi has been doing for the Spurs,” Smith told TMZ Sports.  “They’ll still be a contending team in the West. He and LaMarcus Aldridge, they got a good team still. Then, they have a great coach, so the Spurs won’t miss too much of a beat.”

At this point, the Spurs are probably not on the level of the Warriors or Rockets, but they still can make some noise in the Western Conference, especially if Dejounte Murray takes the next step in his development. Plus, Aldridge is an All-Star and one of the better power forwards in the game.

With all that said, life after Kawhi may not be that bad in San Antonio.

Stephen A. Smith to Kawhi: ‘Enjoy Canada for a year; see you in L.A’

It finally happened. According to ESPN, the San Antonio Spurs will trade Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green to Toronto for DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl, and a 2019 protected first-round pick.

DeRozan and Leonard are reportedly not happy with the trade.

https://twitter.com/KanyeHasAnStd/status/1019561901016035330

Regarding this deal, Toronto gets better with Leonard in the lineup, but can they keep him moving forward? Leonard, 27, reportedly wants to play in Los Angeles and can be a free agent next summer.

Concerning DeRozan, he helps the Spurs now. The Spurs won 47 games essentially without Leonard, who played in only nine games due to a quad injury.

DeRozan, 28,  has three years left on his contract and can opt out in 2021.

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith gave his thoughts on the trade via Twitter.

Take a look:

Even if Leonard leaves, Toronto still makes out pretty good with this deal. It became clear that they were not going to the NBA Finals with DeRozan and Kyle Lowry leading the way. Therefore, taking a shot at Leonard and trying to convince him to stay, is not a bad move, and with LeBron out the way, Toronto can be considered one of the favorites in the East.

Stephen A. Smith on Raptors: ‘They’re not good enough'(WATCH)

For the Toronto Raptors, the season ended in a familiar way. Unfortunately, that familiar way is losing to LeBron and the Cavaliers. Yesterday, Toronto lost a playoff series to the Cavaliers for the third straight season, and for the second straight season, the Raptors were swept by Cleveland in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Now, Toronto has a lot of questions to answer as they go into the offseason. Are the tandem of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan good enough? Is Dwane Casey the right man for the job?

Let’s start with Casey. I think Casey is the right man for the job. This team has improved under Casey. They won a franchise best 59 games this season. You’re not going to find many coaches as good as Casey. He’s not the problem.

Regarding the Lowry and DeRozan, maybe it is time to think about trading one of these guys. If LeBron stays in Cleveland, they will continue to be tough to beat. Plus, Philly and Boston are coming. Lowry and DeRozan have proven that they are very good players, but they have proven that they are not good enough to win a title.

The Raptors have close to a $100 million tied up in Lowry, DeRozan, Serge Ibaka, and Jonas Valanciunas next season, so unless they want can find a trade partner, they are pretty much stuck was their current roster.

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith thinks it might be time to make some changes in Toronto. Here is what he had to say on First Take on Tuesday:

 

In the 90s, Hall of Famers Charles Barkley and Patrick Ewing were great players, but they ran into Michael Jordan. Sadly, for the Raptors, they keep running into “King James.”

ESPN’s Max Kellerman: ‘Raptors would beat Cavs in 6′(WATCH)

For the Toronto Raptors, what happens in the regular season does not matter. It’s all about the playoffs.

The big question is can Toronto beat the Celtics and/or Cavs in the playoffs?

The Raptors are a better team than they were last season, and currently, have the best record in the Eastern Conference. However, if the Raptors want to make a long run in the playoffs, Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan need to be at their best.

In the 2016-2017 season, DeRozan went from 27.3 ppg in the regular season to 22.4 ppg in the playoffs. As for Lowry, he went from 22.4 ppg in the regular season to 15.8 ppg in the playoffs.

All that being said, according to ESPN’s Max Kellerman, he believes the Raptors can beat the Cavaliers in the playoffs.

Here is what Kellerman had to say on ESPN’s First Take today:

DeRozan on Depression: ‘You can’t name nobody that don’t go through something’

Toronto Raptors All-Star DeMar DeRozan is having a fantastic season and has the Raptors on top of the Eastern Conference coming into Thursday night.

While DeRozan is flourishing on the court, he let the world know that at times, he has some struggles off the court.

Recently, DeRozan revealed to the Toronto Star his struggles with depression.

DeRozan, just like everybody else, is human.

“We all go through stuff,” DeRozan told TMZ Sports. “You can’t name nobody that don’t go through something.

“Just because you are successful or on TV don’t mean we don’t all go through something or got problems. It’s life.”

It’s refreshing to see a man like DeRozan reveal his flaws. In the end, we all got issues, and DeRozan is no different.

 

DeMar DeRozan: ‘My first year with Kyle (Lowry), (we) didn’t say a word to one another'(Listen)

The Raptors’ DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry are one of the better backcourts in basketball. The two have had a lot of success together, including leading the Raptors to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2016.

Coming into tonight’s action, the Raptors have the second-best record in the Eastern Conference.

During most of their time together in Toronto, DeRozan and Lowry have been inseparable.  However, during their first year in Toronto, DeRozan and Lowry barely talked. As transcribed by Adrian Wojnarowski, here is what DeRozan said:

“My first year with Kyle (Lowry), (we) didn’t say a word to one another,” DeRozan told the WOJ Podcast. “We didn’t speak. We didn’t have a conversation. We didn’t hang out. We didn’t go eat. We didn’t sit next to each other. Nothing! I didn’t have his phone number. Nothing!”

 

Ultimately, DeRozan and Lowry became the best of friends. DeRozan talks about his relationship with Lowry at the 11:16 mark: