Week That Was In The NBA

Raptors Get Drake And 2016 NBA All-Star
Pro Bball reports, “We couldn’t be more proud to have the All-Star game here,” Leiweke said.  “We are bringing today a new partner and an Ambassador – Drake.

Smith, Stoudemire sit, but Knicks insist they'll score
NBA News reports, J.R. Smith is recovering from knee surgery, then faces an NBA suspension when he returns.  Amare Stoudemire is recovering from knee surgery - yes, that's three in the last year - and faces a restriction on his minutes when he returns.

Knee surgery sidelines Wolves' Budinger indefinitely
NBA News reports, Minnesota Timberwolves forward Chase Budinger has undergone arthroscopic surgery on his left knee and is out indefinitely.  The Wolves made the announcement on Tuesday that Budinger had a procedure on his left meniscus. Budinger had a similar injury last season that caused him to miss more than four months.

Bobcats' assistant Price working to fix Kidd-Gilchrist's jumper
NBA News reports, Bobcats assistant coach Mark Price said fixing Michael Kidd-Gilchrist's jump shot is akin to performing major reconstructive surgery: It's going to take some time.  Price was one of the NBA's best shooters during his 13-year career, which is why Bobcats owner Michael Jordan hired him to correct Kidd-Gilchrist's flawed mechanics.

Pacers' Granger looks good in early practices
NBA News reports, Granger will not participate in back-to-back practices or practice three days in a row. He got through practices on Saturday and Sunday, the first two days of training camp, then sat out Monday to be safe.  West said Granger doesn't appear to be slowed in any way.

Irving, Cavs ready to pounce on playoff scene
NBA News reports, "I want to be the best player in this league," Irving said. "In order to do that, I know we have to win a lot of games. But I'm the leader of this team, and I'm ready to take responsibility for it by helping us make the playoffs. This is the best I've ever felt coming into a season."

Athletic Pistons eyeing return to playoffs
NBA News reports, "I don't expect anything less than the playoffs," said forward Josh Smith, who signed with Detroit in the offseason. "We're a confident bunch. You see it all over everybody's faces - the need to win."

Nets focused on title, not Knicks
NBA News reports, "(Beating the Knicks) Truthfully, that's not that important to me. I came here to win a championship. I don't even want to see an Atlantic banner put up if we win it," Pierce said.

Rivers gets down to business with Clippers
NBA News reports, "We have a chance to do something," Doc Rivers said Monday at the team's media day. "I believe we can (win a title), but we have a lot of work to do first."

Toronto Raptors Media Day Quotes and Pictures
Pro Bball reports, “We are excited to have Drake as part of the family, the MLSE family,” said Head Coach Dwane Casey.  “We want to be where Masai (Ujiri) was talking about by 2016 – having winning championship aspirations.  We are going to start out with defense.  That is the way it should be with any team that wants to get better.”

Predicting the NBA East and West Standings
Pro Bball reports, The Bulls operated at a first-place 62-win pace for two seasons behind Derrick Rose’s leadership. The winning core of Rose, Luol Deng, Joakim Noah, and Carlos Boozer are back and this team is good enough to produce another 60-plus win season.

Stephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre.  A member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association, Stephen is the editor and publisher of Pro Bball Report.  You can follow Stephen on twitter @stevesraptors

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