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Raptors’ Ujiri on Ibaka: ‘Our team needed a boost’

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And he (Serge Ibaka) arrives at the perfect moment, as the Raptors have been sagging, losing 10 of their last 14 games, with concerns about the club’s direction bubbling out of the dressing room and into the public sphere, expressed by Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, the franchise’s twin pillars.

“He’s a guy that we’ve always had an eye on,” said (Raptors president Masai) Ujiri, who has known Ibaka, 27, since he coached against the Congolese big man in the African junior championships a decade ago. “But I think our team needed a boost, to be honest, and we’re at that point where I think everybody knows, it’s not rocket science, that [a starting power forward] was a missing link on our team.”

Source: Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca

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Westbrook Notches Triple-Double as OKC Gets Win

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It appeared a fitting beginning to Carmelo Anthony’s next chapter, a 3-pointer on his first possession with the Thunder, playing against his former team. Then he missed his next seven shots.

Like the rest of the Thunder, it was a slow burn as Anthony revved up in the second quarter and into the third, scoring 22 on 8-of-20 shooting in a 105-84 win over the Knicks on opening night. In their first regular-season game, there were some rough patches for the Thunder’s new big three, with Paul George missing a number of open looks and Anthony going cold at times, but in the end, talent prevailed. George finished with 28 on 9-of-23 shooting, and Russell Westbrook picked right up where he left off in his historic MVP season notching the first triple-double of this season with 21 points, 10 rebounds and 16 assists.

Source: Royce Young of ESPN

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LeBron Vows to Improve his Conditioning

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LeBron James says his left ankle feels strong enough to play in Friday’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks. It’s the rest of his body that needs work.

“I just want to get to where I should be,” James said after participating in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ practice Thursday. “The ankle and the foot injury just kind of kept me out and set me back further than I would like, but I got some time now along the course of these games that we got. We got two back-to-backs coming up, so that’s going to help and we have some opportunity to get some practice time in as well.”

Source: Dave McMenamin of ESPN

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Nets’ Jeremy Lin Out For Year With Ruptured Tendon

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Brooklyn Nets guard Jeremy Lin has been diagnosed with a ruptured patella tendon in his right knee and will miss the entire 2017-18 season, the team announced Thursday. Lin sustained the injury during Wednesday night’s game against the Indiana Pacers. 
Source: Brooklyn Nets

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