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Toronto delivers Detroit their 11th-straight loss and sets franchise record of 44 assists



The Raptors just set a franchise record of 44 assists in a single game during their blowout 142-113 victory at the expense of the Pistons, who lost their eleventh-straight game on Sunday. Toronto ended the contest with more assists than Detroit made baskets (39). 

Pascal Siakam led the scoring with 23 points to his name, followed by Scottie Barnes and Dennis Schroder who both dropped 17. The squad’s previous record was set on November 18, 2019, when they handed out 40 assists against the Charlotte Hornets.

“Today was one of those games where the ball was on a string for us,” teammate Jakob Poeltl said. “Everybody was sharing the ball, everybody was moving well. You create a lot of easy shots that way.”

The Raptors are playing impressive basketball lately, as they’ve been dishing out 25 or more assists per game in the last nine matches, which is their second-longest streak in franchise history. They enjoyed a 10-game run on January 2020.

As for the Pistons, who share the worst record in the NBA at 2-12, had Stanley Umude hit 19 points and 18 from Cade Cunningham. Their squad haven’t won a single game since beating the Bulls on October 28.

“I think a few of our guys are dealing with how hard the league is,” Detroit coach Monty Williams shared after the contest. “When you’re dealing with it, the one thing you can control is your competition level. I didn’t see that across the board tonight.”

As for Cunningham, he considered it “unacceptable” for his trainer to question his own squad’s level of competition as they endure their long-losing streak.

“That should be the last thing that needs to be asked of us or talked about, is how hard we compete,” the Pistons player said. “That should be a given.”

Cade, who shot 7 -for-17 this Sunday, was the only Detroit starter to drop more than 10 points. “We’ve got to be realistic about the situation,” he expressed in frustration. “It’s hard to just be like ‘Oh, we’re good, we’re good,’ because we’re bad. We’ve got to address that.”

Raptors coach Darko Rajakovic took the blame after their last-second loss against the Celtics last week

In spite of Toronto’s recent form, they lost to Boston before their blowout victory against Detroit. The Raptors went toe-to-toe with the Massachusetts franchise, but the game ended up in their rival’s favor after a strong finish in the final minutes.

However, coach Darko Rajakovic admitted the he made a poor decision that cost them the game. “I was down to two timeouts, I was hoping to get him in faster,” he told reporters this weekend. “(Scottie Barnes) was already 12 minutes straight on the court. I literally wanted 30 seconds to give him a break and get him back in the game. Unfortunately, that’s on me, I’m gonna own that one.”

The Serbian coach recognized his team’s incredible offensive displays in recent matches, but knows that this doesn’t exempt them from losing important matches.

“We had moments where we were playing really solid defense and really solid offense,” Rajakovic shared. “We’re talking about, like, one of the best teams in the league right now and we were able to hold them down to 108 points.”

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Pelicans’ Trey Murphy (knee) could make season debut next week




New Orleans Pelicans forward Trey Murphy could make his 2023-24 season debut next week, according to sources. Murphy, 23, underwent surgery to repair the torn meniscus in his left knee in September.

After surgery, it was reported that Murphy would return to basketball activities in approximately 10-12 weeks.

Over 11 weeks later, the 6-foot-8 wing is close to returning to game action. Although Murphy is unlikely to return this week, there is optimism he could play next week.

Referring to a couple of NBA betting sites, the New Orleans Pelicans hold 14th-ranked odds to win this season’s championship. Sportsbooks are showing better odds for the Memphis Grizzlies and Sacramento Kings.

After hosting the Philadelphia 76ers (12-5) on Wednesday and San Antonio Spurs (3-14) on Friday, the Pelicans are at Chicago (5-13) this Saturday and play at home against the Minnesota Timberwolves (3-14) next Monday.

Murphy was selected 17th overall by the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2021 NBA Draft out of the University of Virginia. Memphis then traded him to New Orleans. The North Carolina native made one start in 62 games played of his rookie 2021-22 season.

He averaged 5.4 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 13.9 minutes per game with New Orleans, while shooting 39.4% from the field, 38.2% beyond the arc, and 88.2% at the foul line.

New Orleans Pelicans forward Trey Murphy (knee) could return, make 2023-24 season debut next week

In the 2022-23 season, Murphy made 65 starts in 75 appearances with the Pelicans. The Virginia product averaged career highs of 14.5 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.1 steals, and 31 minutes per game. Plus, he shot career bests of 48.4% from the floor, 40.6% from downtown, and 90.5% at the free throw line.

Furthermore, Murphy ranked fifth in catch-and-shoot 3-pointers in the league last season, per Second Spectrum data. He’s the only Pelicans player in franchise history to record nine 3-pointers in a game more than once.

In New Orleans’ 127-110 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on March 12, 2023, the forward recorded a career-high 41 points, seven boards, one assist, one steal, and one block in 30 minutes as a starter.

He finished 13-of-20 (65%) shooting from the field and 9-of-14 (64.3%) from 3-point range.

Additionally, Trey Murphy increased his scoring average by 9.1 points from his rookie to sophomore season  the second-largest increase in the league, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Only Utah Jazz wing Lauri Markkanen, the 2023 NBA Most Improved Player of the Year Award recipient, made greater progress.

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Pelicans teammates say Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram can carry ‘the weight of the organization’




It’s only been a month and the Pelicans have been on quite the rollercoaster ride this 2023/24 NBA season. They’ve lost as many games as they’ve lost (9-9) and are currently standing 9th in the Western Conference standings. 

Team forward Larry Nance Jr. is convinced that his team can make it all the way to the playoffs this campaign because they can lean on All-Stars Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, who he considers are built to carry “the weight of the organization.”

While Ingram is averaging 24.6 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.1 assists so far this season for the Pelicans, the former Duke athlete is averaging 23.2 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.6 assists.

“They’re the heartbeat of this team. The heartbeat of this organization. They know it. These two can carry the weight of the organization. They’re that great,” Nance Jr. said recently. “I think the message is always that you have to continue to be worthy of that. Being worthy of that is showing up and being great every day. They don’t have to be vocal. We have people who can do that. They have to go out there and show it, and we’re going to follow.”

As New Orleans are 5-3 over their last eight contests, it seems they truly are strong competitors when both of their stars are healthy and sharing the court. Zion believes the team is finally on the same page after their last team meeting.

“As a team, we weren’t on the same page before. Now, we’re on the same page,” claimed the 23-year-old. “We had a team meeting. We talked about what we want to do as a unit. That’s what we’re going to live and die with. Since we’re all on the same page, I think we’ve been gelling together a lot better.”

The Pelicans made the playoffs back in 2022 and missed out last season, so Williamson knows what needs to be done if they are to make their comeback this year.

“There’s definitely a lot of progress that’s been made,” he assured. “We both want the same thing, but we haven’t been on the court a lot together. The more we’re on the court together, the more our chemistry will build.”

Reporter claims that Zion is an offensive machine but also provokes important defensive damage to the Pelicans

As incredibly dominant as Williamson is on the offensive end of the floor, he often exposes his side on defense. NBA reporter Tony Jones gave his honest take on the matter after Utah beat New Orleans in back-to-back games.

“For as good as Zion is offensively, he’s way too often destructive to them defensively…The Jazz run a zipper screen, get him involved into the action and end up with a wide open Fontecchio three. Great coaching by Hardy to recognize and get Zion on the move,” he wrote on his X account.

Jazz coach Will Hardy credits his teams balance on both sides of the court for Monday’s 114-112 victory against the Pelicans.

“Another really gritty team win against a good team,” he explained postgame. “I think our defensive focus is continuing to show up. … Our team is improving on that end of the floor on our focus and how connected we are. I think the best part for me watching the game is that we feel like a team. … Defensively, the communication is way better, and the connectivity is way better.”

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Blazers Coach Chauncey Billups Contract, Salary, & more




Once upon a time, Chauncey Billups was the lead floor general for the beloved mid-2000s Detroit Pistons. In fact, it was Billups who took home Finals MVP in 2004 when the Pistons won it all. Now that his playing days are behind him, Billups is on to coaching. Billups is currently in the middle of his third season as a head coach with the Portland Trail Blazers.

But how much does this player-turned-coach make? In this post, we discuss Billups’ contract, his net worth, his coaching record, and more. 

Chauncey Billups Contract And Salary

Billups is in the third year of a five-year deal with the Blazers (the final year is a team option). According to Salary Swish’s database, Billups’ contract is a 5-year, 10-million dollar deal. So, he is making about two million dollars annually.

That figure is on the lower side, even for first-time head coaches. For instance, Adrian Griffin (a first-time head coach) is making four million dollars annually on his deal with the Milwaukee Bucks.

Chauncey Billups Playing Career Earnings

As we mentioned, Billups had a long and prosperous playoff career spanning nearly two decades with seven different NBA teams. And as a multiple-time All-NBA guard and Finals MVP, Billups made himself quite a bit of money during that time.

According to HoopsHype, Billups made about 106.2 million dollars during his playing days. When adjusted for inflation, that is the equivalent of 159.2 million dollars today.

Chauncey Billups Net Worth

According to the website Celebrity Net Worth, Billups’ net worth is roughly 45 million dollars. He’s only been a coach for four years (three with Portland and one with the Los Angeles Clippers). So, it is safe to assume that most of this wealth came from his time as an NBA player.

Chauncey Billups Head Coaching Record

In 181 regular season games, Billups has a record of 65-116 (win percentage of 35.9%). Those marks don’t put him too high up the all-time head coaching leaderboards. As it stands, Billups is 189th all-time in regular season wins and 235th all-time in win percentage.

Billups has never been the head coach of a playoff game.

Chauncey Billups Wife

Billups is married to Piper Billups. The couple has been married since 2001. They met each other in high school. Billups and his wife have three daughters: Cydney, Ciara, and Cenaiya.

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