Raptors GM Masai Ujiri says '[BLEEP] Brooklyn' at rally before Game 1 vs. Nets, later apologizes (Video)Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie1 day ago
NOTE: The Instagram video below includes an instance of foul language. User/reader/listener discretion is advised.
After a five-year postseason drought, the Toronto Raptors returned to the playoffs Saturday, kicking off their Eastern Conference quarterfinals series against the Brooklyn Nets at home. The city's fans were extremely fired up for Game 1, with thousands flocking to Maple Leaf Square outside Air Canada Centre to watch the matinee affair on a huge outdoor screen outside the arena.
Evidently, Toronto general manager Masai Ujiri — imported in the spring of 2013 after winning Executive of the Year honors for his work with the Denver Nuggets — was pretty fired up, too. After addressing the amped-up crowd at the pre-game pep rally outside the ACC, Ujiri punctuated his remarks with a four-letter expletive to which I, personally, was first introduced as a lad by Van Halen. As we live in the age of smartphone cameras, the moment was, of course, captured and quickly shared via social media:
Well, then. Tell us how you really feel, Masai!
Knicks finish with 37 wins, just as projected by computer system that team made fun of before season
Heading into the 2013-14 NBA season, many observers and prognosticators expected the New York Knicks to take a step back from the 54-28 record they put up en route to winning the Atlantic Division and making it to the Eastern Conference semifinals last year. (I mean, when you add Andrea Bargnani in the offseason, you've got to take some type of hit.) Here at BDL, we pegged the Knicks at 49-33 — a five-game drop-off that would make it tough to maintain their spot atop the Atlantic, but still figured to keep them comfortably in the top eight of the Eastern Conference.
Others were a bit less bullish, picking the Knicks to fall closer to .500. One preview, though, raised an awful lot of eyebrows by projecting Mike Woodson's club to sink like a stone in the standings.
Tuesday marked the one-year anniversary of two pressure-cooker bombs exploding near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon, an attack that killed three people and injured 264 others. It was an unspeakable tragedy that shook Boston — and the country — to its core, and touched countless lives. But the city's response to in the aftermath of the attack — the tireless work of Boston police officers, firefighters and emergency personnel, the selfless heroism of civilians like Carlos Arredondo, etc. — also showcased the very best of the character and fortitude that Boston could offer.LiveDetroit1 - 4BostonFollow Game
A look around the league and the Web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out.
C: Sports Illustrated. Patrick Beverley tells Lee Jenkins what he wants his opponents to experience when he defends them — "It's going to be something you don't like. It's going to be hell." — in a predictably fantastic piece on what makes the hard-nosed point guard such an integral piece of the Houston Rockets' championship hopes.Sun, Apr 206:30 PM PDTPortland at HoustonPreview Game
If the San Antonio Spurs beat the Los Angeles Lakers in their regular-season finale on Wednesday, they will finish the year at 63-19, tying a franchise record for wins. Even if they don't, they will enter the postseason this weekend as the No. 1 overall seed in the 2014 NBA playoffs, having earned home-court advantage in every series by virtue of posting the league's best record.Sun, Apr 20Dallas85 - 90San AntonioGame Recap
National Guard soldier returns from Afghanistan, surprises 8-year-old son on court at Suns game (Video)
During stoppages in pay at home games at the U.S. Airways Center, the Suns often hold a "Hot or Cold?" contest, in which a contestant is plucked from the stands, brought to the court and blindfolded, and then has to find the inimitable Gorilla, who is holding a pizza. The arena crowd is asked to help the contestant out by yelling "HOT" when he or she is close to the Gorilla, and "COLD" when he or she isn't. Find the Gorilla, get free pizza for a year. (This is a pretty solid deal.)
When 8-year-old Logan Bledsoe finally got close, though, he found something even better than the Gorilla or free pizza. (Which is saying something.)
The 2013-14 NBA regular season ends Wednesday, and all 30 teams will be in action on the final night of the 82-game campaign. For 14 squads, it'll offer an opportunity to say so long, farewell, auf wiedersehn and goodbye — until the draft lottery, at least. For the 16 teams that'll enter postseason play this weekend, it offers one more potential pitfall, one last night to survive without incident or injury before loading up for the long, arduous journey to hoisting the O'Brien trophy come late June.
That journey will begin with opening-round quarterfinal matchups, a number of which have yet to be officially determined and will be locked in on the final night of the season. Here's a quick refresher on what's up for grabs and left to play for as we head into the 15-game Wednesday that will set the table for the playoffs.
What we already know for sure
• The No. 1 Indiana Pacers, who will have home-court advantage for as long as they're alive in the Eastern Conference playoffs, will take on the No. 8 Atlanta Hawks.
Iman Shumpert shakes Paul Pierce to floor, throws down off-glass alley-oop as Knicks beat Nets (Video)
New York Knicks swingman Iman Shumpert's third NBA season has been a fairly sizable disappointment. Things started off poorly, thanks to a secret offseason knee surgery, and never seemed to get on track. He got mad at himself for unfocused play during the preseason and decided to get a , which seemed to have the Samsonian effect of turning him from a swaggering Johnny Bravo type into something more like, I don't know, a 6-foot-5 Piglet at points.
- Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie5 days ago
There are only two games on the NBA calendar on Tuesday night, as the league prepares for its annual regular-season-ending 15-game, all-30-teams-in-action smorgasbord on Wednesday, but they both have playoff implications.
Yep, that's what I said, Terrence Jones. (Did I stutter?)
Here's a quick reminder of what's at stake in Tuesday's TNT double-header:
New York Knicks at Brooklyn Nets, 8 p.m. ET
• If the Nets win, they lock up the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference and the right to face whichever team loses the battle for the third seed between the Atlantic Division champion Toronto Raptors and Chicago Bulls.
- Dan Devine at Ball Don't Lie5 days ago
I shared this in Friday's 10-man rotation when i first got a look at it, but that was apparently a super-hot leak, because when I went to go re-watch it on Monday, the link was broken. (Talk about your all-time classic Internet blunders!) Now, though, I'm glad to say that the clip's not only working, but that we can embed it and share it as it's meant to be seen. Here, then, is sharpshooting San Antonio Spurs reserve Matt Bonner — a noted teacher, comedic performer, inspiration of artistic endeavor and, most of all, lover of sandwiches — sitting down with legendary Geto Boyz MC Bushwick Bill to eat tacos as part of a new Web series, "Wrapping with the Red Mamba," for ESPN: