Can we officially put to bed the idea that DeMar DeRozan is a genuine All-Star caliber shooting guard? Like, once and for all, please?
If the disgrace that was the Raptors getting clobbered by LeBron James and friends on the Cleveland Cavaliers didn’t make it abundantly clear, DeRozan is not a player for the modern league. He shoots midrange jumpers, can’t guard elite players, and disappears when it matters most.
Which, come to think of it, the same could be said for Kyle Lowry, minus the midrange jumpers part. He’s perfectly content to miss threes like a proper 2018 overrated player.
Cleveland won a monster closeout game on their home floor, completing the sweep and winning 128-93.
LeBron had 29 points, eight rebounds, and 11 assists because it seems like he’ll have to average a triple-double in the playoffs if the Cavs want to win the title.
Kevin Love had 23, all five starters were in double figures and shot a combined 68.5 percent from the field and 56.3 percent from three. Even crazier, the starting five hit 73.7 percent of their two-point shots and had an eFG% of .769.
The team overall shot 59.5 percent from the field and 46.2 from three, while Toronto hit just 45.6 and 26.7. Sometimes basketball is as simple as who makes shots, and the Cavs had so many uncontested shots, it looked like the shootaround.
DeRozan was minus-29 in the game, a team-worst yet again; he was minus-74 for the series and in three games (2, 3, and 4) he was the worst on the team. Toronto was actually plus-18 without him.
LeBron is the man of the match. He’s the man of the playoffs. He’s the man of his era, and the man of all time:
— NBA (@NBA) May 8, 2018
The Scott Foster/Tony Brothers Tim Donaghy Referee Comedy Spectacular!
Don’t tell me the bad old days of “Knick” Bavetta, Joey Crawford, and Bennett Salvatore aren’t alive and well in today’s NBA.
The league knew full well the Cavs would sweep, so in order to avoid dead TV air for the rest of the conference semis, they rigged a game in Philadelphia so the Sixers could beat the Celtics 103-92.
The 76ers were the lucky beneficiaries of some of the worst officiating in a playoff game since David Stern’s reign of terror over small-market Western Conference playoff teams in the Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant era. (Kings and Blazers fans are nodding right now.)
The record will show that Philly and Boston both shot 26 free throws. But timing is everything, and the early-game ticky-tack fouls called on Marcus Smart and Marcus Morris had an indelible effect on the timbre of Brad Stevens’ strategy out there.
Or, y’know, Boston turned the ball over 15 times to Philly’s 8, couldn’t make a shot to save their lives (41.3 percent from the field, 34.4 from three), got killed on the glass (53-43), and just generally lost the game the way teams who get outplayed lose playoff games.
It’s a moot point when the series ends in five games in Boston, but it gave TNT or ESPN something to broadcast besides dead air, not that the Western Conference series are going past five games either.
But those refs, man.
McConnell’s efficiency makes him man of the match:
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) May 8, 2018
It’s two-for Tuesday as the Rockets and Warriors try to close out on their home floor in Game 5; we’ll have highlights and analysis and possibly referee beef (mmm, delicious beef) tomorrow for breakfast.
So stay tuned, and thanks for reading!