San Antonio Spurs star DeMar DeRozan took the court for the first time not wearing a Toronto Raptors jersey, and although it looked weird at first DeRozan seemed to fit right in with the team that acquired via trade over this past summer.
DeRozan played 18 minutes and finished with seven points on 3-of-6 shooting.
“Just getting out there, lacing them up in front of the fans for the first time, it was fun,” DeRozan said, according to ESPN’s Michael C. Wright.
“I’m glad I got to get the rust and kinks out and [got to] go out and get that part out of the way. It’s going to come along. I’m not worried at all. I was out there more anxious than anything.”
DeRozan knows that the transition is a process, but believes things will only get better moving forward.
“As the next few days go by, the next few games, it’s only going to get easier and easier,” DeRozan said. “I expect I’ll be rusty. Just go out there and try to feel things out and understand what I can get better at.”
“It’s pretty much a given that team-oriented players, when they get into situation like DeMar’s in now, he’s gonna probably pick and choose a little bit,” Spurs head coach Greg Popovich said. “He’s gonna take his time, get the lay of the land, figure out his teammates, and in that respect I thought he was great. He looked for his stuff, he helped with his teammates. It was a great first outing for him.”
Teammate Rudy Gay understands what DeRozan is going through, joining the Spurs himself last season.
“We had a couple guys who have been there. We have them on the court and you throw DeMar in, and we could pretty much coach him just like I was coached last year,” Gay said. “It’s easier that way to keep a couple veterans out there with DeMar so he can learn where he’ll be most productive. The younger guys? They’re just playing, trying to find their way, and coach is trying to figure out where he can put them in the lineup and how our team can benefit off of each one of them.”
Suns Prefer Ja Morant Over Zion Williamson
The Phoenix Suns could end up with the 1st overall pick for the second consecutive year, depending on how the ping pong balls drop, but landing the #1 overall pick doesn’t mean they are locked in on Duke phenom Zion Williamson.
According to The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie, the Suns actually prefer Murray State point guard Ja Morant, who had an impressive breakout year in 2018-2019, over Williamson.
Morant became the first player in school history to be named a first-team Associated Press All-American.
Point guard is the biggest position of need for the rebuilding Suns, but passing on Zion could mean passing on a bonafide superstar to pair with Deandre Ayton and Devin Booker.
The thought of a frontcourt featuring Williamson and Ayton would instantly elevate the Suns.
Thunder’s Billy Donovan defends Paul George for End of Game Dunk
Oklahoma City Thunder forward, and MVP candidate, Paul George ruffled the feathers of the Portland Trail Blazers for opting to dunk the ball as opposed to dribbling out the clock in their Game 3 victory.
While George made no friends with the Blazers, who visibly took issue with the dunk, Thunder head coach Billy Donovan had no issue with what took place.
“My feeling was they probably shot a shot,” Donovan said, according to Ben Golliver of the Washington Post. “Paul kind of went in and dunked it. Both teams played the game all the way out.”
George declined to comment on the dunk in the post-game presser.
Celtics’ Brad Stevens Praises Kyrie Irving
Celtics head coach Brad Stevens heaped some incredible praise on Irving for his impressive performance.
Kyrie gets the highest Stevens praise: The 'joke.'— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) April 20, 2019
"The little floating shot he hit was just a joke. He’s ridiculous."
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