Joel Embiid tops ranking of all 14 team representatives

The full list of team representatives for the 2017 NBA Draft lottery has been revealed ahead of Tuesday night’s event (8 p.m. ET, ESPN), and while it’s not a group that will have NBA fans sprinting toward their televisions, there are a few interesting characters.

1.08. Let’s talk pick-and-rolls, because that has been Cleveland’s biggest defensive weak spot all season, and even with the sweep of the Pacers, the Cavs’ inability to stop ballhandlers in pick-and-rolls was evident. They allowed Indiana to score 1.08 points per possession on ballhandler pick-and-rolls, which ranks worst in the playoffs. The Pacers were a good PNR team during the season, ranking ninth at 0.89 points per possession in the play, but against the Cavs, they were juggernauts.

This matters because Toronto was far and away the top offensive producer in the regular season on ballhandler pick-and-rolls, scoring 24.5 points per game out of the play (Phoenix was second, at 21.9 points). The Raptors don’t get much from ball movement (they were last in the league in assists), and a good portion of their scoring comes from setting up DeRozan and Lowry with the ball in their hands, then letting them work off screens.

The Raptors were seemingly out for revenge after losing to the Cavs last year in the playoffs, but trailed by double digits for most of the game en route to being blown out for the fourth straight time in Cleveland.

Also blown out were the Spurs, who trailed the Rockets 69-39 at halftime in the first game of their Western Conference semifinal series. The 30-point halftime deficit was the Spurs’ largest in franchise history and they failed to make much ground in the second half, dropping Game 1 126-99, the worst playoff loss under Gregg Popovich. jets_004

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