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Raptors' OG Anunoby doesn't only beat the buzzer against Boston – CBS Sports



Nathaniel S. Butler

That’s Pretty Interesting is a recurring column by James Herbert, in which he examines all the fascinating little things around the NBA

There was no time to think. Half a second was on the clock and the Boston Celtics were playing zone and Fred VanVleet couldn’t get open and Pascal Siakam couldn’t either and the 6-foot Kyle Lowry threw a pass over the 7-5 Tacko Fall and the ball was on its way to OG Anunoby with the season essentially on the line. 

“There’s not many options there,” Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. “You’ve got to catch and shoot that thing, right?”

Anunoby was open, but Jaylen Brown leaped in his direction. Had Anunoby not shot the ball with sufficient arc, Brown might’ve joined James Harden’s Game-Winning Block Club, instead of lamenting that the final possession was a “f—ing disgrace.” 

The buzzer-beater saved the Raptors’ season, and it also continued a trend: In short shot clock situations, Anunoby tends to deliver. 

According to Synergy Sports, Anunoby led the entire NBA in effective field goal percentage in such situations, among players with more than 80 attempts. What do you think about that, Russ?

Anunoby has been proficient specifically when it comes to making 3-pointers with little time to spare. He shot a career-high 39 percent from deep in the regular season, but that number jumped to 46.7 percent with less than four seconds on the clock, per Synergy. 

In Oklahoma City, Anunoby pump-faked and passed up a spot-up 3 with 13 seconds on the clock, then made an absurd, contested, much deeper 3 off the dribble just before the buzzer. Look at how high he shoots this thing:

Anunoby hardly ever takes pull-up 3s unless he’s forced to do so. But he made two of them with time ticking down against the Charlotte Hornets

And he made a moonshot off the bounce in Detroit:

The game-winner on Thursday was immediately the biggest shot of his life, and one of the most incredible moments in Raptors history. But it wasn’t the first buzzer-beating corner 3 against the Celtics in the bubble. 

Or the second.

In the wrong context, most players hate getting the ball late in the clock. “If there are three or four seconds left on the shot clock, you better not pass me that shit,” Thaddeus Young told Jake Fischer in a 2018 Sports Illustrated story about the phenomenon known as the “grenade.” It can lead to a low-percentage shot or a shot chock violation, which many mistakenly believe results in a turnover attributed to the last player to touch the ball. 

The other side of this, though, is that you have no choice but to shoot the ball quickly, and with confidence.

Near the end of the shot clock, Anunoby is shot-ready. He is excellent at holding his follow-through, too:

In 2018, Ben Sullivan, now an assistant coach for the Milwaukee Bucks, told the Washington Post‘s Sally Jenkins that, even when a buzzer-beater looks rushed or desperate, “if you freeze the tape, the split-second they are actually shooting, their body is on balance and their eyes are on target.” 

Great shooters do this almost automatically. What’s incredible about Anunoby is that, coming into the NBA, shooting was supposed to be his major weakness. Only in his third year, he has turned it into a strength. 

“When I took that shot I expected to make it,” Anunoby said. “I don’t shoot trying to miss. Every shot I shoot I try to make it. So I was not surprised.”

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Jays lose third in a row to Yankees – Bluebird Banter



Blue Jays 7 Yankees 10

Well, game three end up a lot closer than the first two games.

There were lots of Yankees home runs. Lots. Yankees seem to have that swing down to loft the ball to the short porch to left.

Julian Merryweather ‘opened’ and he managed not to give up a home run. But he wasn’t good, 2 hits, 2 walks, 2 earned. I hoped he could go two innings but no such luck.

Chase Anderson followed and threw a very good second inning. Then he gave up 5 home runs in the third, while getting just 2 outs. He gave up three consecutive home runs on three pitches.

It did remind me of a joke from my youth. What goes whoosh, crack, whoosh, crack, whoosh, crack. A pitcher going down to the minors.

Wilmer Font finished out the third inning and got through the fourth without allowing a run. Our pitching MVP of the series.

T.J. Zeuch pitched 3 innings, giving up just 1 run on, you guessed it, another homer. He allowed 3 hits, 3 walks with 3 strikeouts.

On offense, it was the Lourdes Gurriel show, with 4 hits, 2 homers, a double and a single. Danny Jansen had 3 singles.

We had a rally in the ninth, giving us a few moments of fun. . With one out:

Aroldis Chapman came in:

  • Bo Bichette singled home 2. 10-7, bringing the tying run to the plate.
  • Randal Grichuk struck out.
  • Teoscar Hernandez struck out to end the game. Hernandez was 0 for 5 with 4 strikeouts in his first game back. It will take couple of games to get his timing back

Jay of the Day: Lourdes (.124 WPA).

Suckage: Anderson (-.319) and Merryweather (-.140), Grichuk (-.111, 1 for 5) and Teoscar (-.093)

Matt Shoemaker can’t come back quick enough.

Tomorrow is a double-header, in Philadelphia. first game is 4:00 Eastern.

We had 753 comments in the GameThread. 13yearoldbaseballfanatic led us to defeat.

The series had me thinking of this song, the chorus is ‘Burn this cabin down’. I’m thinking we should do that to Yankees Stadium, burn it to the ground.

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Blue Jays lose big again – Bluebird Banter



Blue Jays 2 Yankees 13

We held them to a couple of touchdowns today. Progress of sorts.

Yankees hit 7 home runs. 4 off of starter Tanner Roark. The first, a solo homer in the first inning, was a Yankees Stadium special, one that would only be a home run with the short porch in the Bronx. But the other ones were crushed.

Roark went 4 innings, allowed 6 hits, 6 earned, 2 walks and 4 strikeouts.

Jacob Waguespack pitched the next 2 innings, giving up 5 hits, 5 earned, 1 walk with 2 home runs.

Hector Perez got into his first MLB game. He pitched 1.2 innings with 3 hits, 2 earned, 3 walks, 1 k with 1 home run.

Anthony Bass got the last out.

Someone named Kyle Higashioka (the Yankees backup catcher) hit 3 home runs.

Offensively, we only had 5 hits. We didn’t get our first hit until the sixth inning, when Jonathan Villar led off with a double. He would score our first run on a wild pitch. Joe Panik homered in the ninth, to get our second run.

Villar, Grichuk, Vlad, Panik and Espinal had our hits.

Can’t blame the defense today.

No Jays of the Day today. Danny Jansen had the high mark at .007 WPA for his 0 for 2 and a walk.

Suckage: Roark (-.246).

It’s possible that the Jays will send out Wags before tomorrow’s game, if they decide they need someone who can give them a few innings.

We had 643 comments in the GameThread. FlipDown Shades led us to crushing defeat.

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Blue Jays: Tanner Roark does not belong on postseason roster – Jays Journal



If the Toronto Blue Jays earn a postseason berth, it may go without saying that pitcher Tanner Roark does not belong on the postseason roster.

Tanner Roark once again got torched by the opposition last night as the Blue Jays lost their second contest in a row to the New York Yankees. The 33-year old hurler gave up six runs including four gopher balls over four innings of work.

Roark now sports an inflated 6.41 earned run average allowing 28 earned runs on the season and has not pitched past the fifth inning in any of his nine starts. The veteran pitcher has also surrendered an American League-leading 14 home runs in his first season with the Blue Jays.

The right-hander was very outspoken to the media following his previous start when Manager Charlie Montoyo lifted him after just 67 pitches. However, Roark brought much of the same last night and definitely did not adhere to the old “Put up or Shut-up” adage.

Toronto’s magic number for the postseason now sits at eight games and regardless of their last two efforts, they should still earn a berth in the playoffs. The Blue Jays brain trust will then have to decide if Roark is worthy of a roster spot.

The team will hopefully have Matt Shoemaker back before the conclusion of the season so they could employ a rotation of Shoemaker, Hyun Jin Ryu, Taijuan Walker, and Robbie Ray. That would not only leave Roark but Chase Anderson on the outside looking in.

The Jays inked Roark to a two-year pact this past offseason that will see him earn $12 million again next season. Anderson could hit free agency if the Jays decide not to pick up his $9.5 million dollar team option.

Regardless of the contractual obligations, Roark has done nothing to prove he belongs on the postseason roster and will in all likelihood not pitch once the season concludes at the end of September.

Next: Blue Jays: Fisher should never step foot in the outfield again

Talk is cheap, actions speak louder than words, Tanner.

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