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Raptors vs. Bucks: Middleton and Bucks snap Raptors Winning Streak

By: Kamal Hylton (@KamalHylton)

Coming off two back-to-back overtime wins on the road, extending its winning streak to six games in the process, the Raptors were unable to push it to seven. Losing 82-75 to the Milwaukee Bucks.

Khris Middleton led the way for the Bucks with a game-high 25 points, while head coach Jason Kidd’s injury riddled squad got solid contributions from the likes of Jared Dudley with 14 points, John Henson with 12 points and Giannis Antetokounmpo with 12 points. Raptors big man Jonas Valanciunas notched a double-double of 12 points and 13 rebounds, taking advantage of his size inside, while DeMar DeRozan put up a team-high 16 points.

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Top Underrated Stars

Every team has their superstar. The guy who gets buckets when it counts, forces turnovers in the clutch and makes plays us mere mortals can only dream of pulling off. Cleveland have LeBron. The Lakers have Kobe. Houston have Harden and the Thunder have Durant. But what about the others on the roster? The ones who go unnoticed by the casual observer but are game changers to those in the know. These are the underrated stars. Their stats may not be great but it’s the little things they do that endear them to coaches, players and fans alike. Here are my top underrated stars thus far in the 2014/15 season. (more…)



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Brooklyn Nets: Need an Injection of East Coast Flavour

By: Kamal Hylton (@KamalHylton)

Since moving from New Jersey to the borough of Brooklyn, the Nets in my opinion just hasn’t looked right. Reviewing what they’ve done so far, this is a franchise that has been put through the wringer. From day one the focus from the outside looking in seemingly wasn’t on the players or having a successful longterm plan, but rather the glitz and glamour of new branding and popularity coming from its minority owner Jay-Z, his wife Beyonce and the shiny new Barclays Center.

Since that point, Jay-Z sold his stake in the team and Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov became majority owner (who is now according to reports wanting to sell), they hired Jason Kidd as head coach moments after retirement only for him to try pulling a power move, fail and then ditch them in favour of the Milwaukee Bucks and have mortgaged their future draft picks to the Boston Celtics for an aging Paul Pierce (who has since joined the Washington Wizards) and Kevin Garnett (who will likely retire at seasons end).

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Dallas Mavericks: Masterminding a Championship Contender in Big D

By: Kamal Hylton (@KamalHylton)

Mark Cuban and Rick Carlisle have constructed for my money one of the most fascinating starting fives in the association, surrounding Dirk Nowitzki with four players that arguably might be better than the title winning squad in 2011. Although that team essentially had a younger Nowitzki and Tyson Chandler, the other three players on this starting unit make them into a much more formidable team replacing Jason Kidd, DeShawn Stevenson and Shawn Marion with Rajon Rondo, Monta Ellis and Chandler Parsons.

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2015 NBA All Star Starters Announced

The 2015 All Star Game is just around the corner, and the results of the fan vote are now in! We’d like to take the opportunity to congratulate all the players on their well deserved selections and we look forward to watching them battle it out on the hardwood in just a few weeks! 

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Miami Heat: Positive Point Guard Situation in South Beach

By: Kamal Hylton (@KamalHylton)

When rookie point guard Shabazz Napier was drafted with the 24th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Hornets, and subsequently shipped to the Miami Heat in a draft day trade, things were looking pretty good. The highly touted player out of Roxbury, Massachusetts was one of the nations best players in his last two seasons of a four-year college career at University of Connecticut, winning his second NCAA title and numerous individual awards in his final year.

Going from that to joining a championship caliber team that was part of four straight NBA Finals, and even being endorsed by LeBron James via twitter as his “favourite player in the draft”, everything seemed to be falling into place.

Except, it didn’t exactly go to plan.

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Wesley Matthews: A Model of Consistency in Rip City

By: Kamal Hylton (@KamalHylton)

The City of Portland and Trail Blazers shooting guard Wesley Matthews fit each other like a lumberjack in the Oregon wilderness.

When rattling off Western Conference championship contenders, you have the flash of teams like the Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Clippers or more cerebral teams like the Memphis Grizzlies, Dallas Mavericks or defending champion San Antonio Spurs. In my eyes at least, the Trail Blazers rarely get mentioned in this regard.

Same thing goes for Wesley Matthews.

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Raptors vs. Pelicans Post-Game Videos

By: Kamal Hylton (@KamalHylton)

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Raptors vs. Pelicans: Vasquez shines against former teammates, but Pels defeat Raptors

By: Kamal Hylton (@NBANationOz)

During a Sunday matinee, with no Anthony Davis or Jrue Holiday, the New Orleans Pelicans came away with a 95-93 win in a much needed bounce back game after a rough night at the office against Philadelphia 76ers.

Desperate to get its stars back, the Pelicans got great performances from two sources. Tyreke Evans was the main threat for New Orleans, going 9-for-14 from the field for 26 points Alexis Ajinca stepped up in place of Davis for 22 points.

Toronto getting a solid contribution from Grievis Vasquez, facing his former teammates (as a New Orleans Hornet), finishing the game with 16 points and 9 assists and carrying the load for long stretches. DeMar DeRozan was the Raptors leading scorer with 22 points while Amir Johnson chipped in with a quiet double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds.

 

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New Orleans Pelicans: More than Anthony Davis is Required

By: Kamal Hylton (@KamalHylton)

When you think about the New Orleans Pelicans, it’s inevitable the first thing that comes to mind is Anthony Davis. And why not? He’s not only their most marketable player but also a superstar in the making, with league rankings of 5th at 24.2 PPG (only James Harden, LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook average more), tied for 10th at 10.4 RPG and 1st at 2.9 BPG.

With the Pelicans coming to the Air Canada Centre for a matinee, and NBA Nation Australia in attendance, all the attention will be on this athletic freak of nature… but while all the focus will be on him there are other key parts tat if left unmarked can cause problems for the Raptors and other opponents.

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