A Sun Blog

Gators Gone Pro

Tracking former UF athletes through their professional sports careers

Haslem key again for sluggish Heat in pivotal Game 5

It was halftime, and the Heat needed an igniter. The defending champs didn’t need to sweat their 44-40 deficit as much as their lackluster sense of urgency in an Eastern Conference final that was tied 2-2 and headed back to Indiana for Game 6. LeBron James, likely feeling like he was back in his days as a Cavalier, needed serious help. Luckily, Miami has loads of options in times like these. Obvious ones like Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh. Less… Read More »

Bonner spearheads biggest wild card of NBA playoffs

The San Antonio Spurs’ ability to make it rain from long range is the biggest X-factor in this year’s NBA playoffs, and Matt Bonner is their ace. The Memphis Grizzlies got that memo in Sunday’s 105-83 Game 1 loss. Bonner is on fire from beyond the arc in these playoffs (60 percent) and after going 4-of-6 from deep in Game 1, the Grizzlies know they need a defender attached to his right shoulder cannon at all times. Only problem is,… Read More »

How Gators can make an impact in NBA playoffs

Even more impressive than the fact that eight of 10 former Gators in the NBA will be playing in the NBA playoffs is the fact that each of those eight players are key contributors, if not cornerstones, to their respective teams. While The Sun’s Kevin Brockway highlighted each player that will be in action starting today, I’ll go into each first-round matchup and what role each Gator can play to help their respective teams. DAVID LEE: The All-Star forward/center always… Read More »

Brewer clutch as Nuggets extend NBA’s other streak

Corey Brewer spiked the ball, then roared at midcourt. Fitting that his primal scream came on top of a logo with pickaxes since it was Brewer who dug the Denver Nuggets out of an improbable hole in a streak-saving 101-100 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night. With the victory, the Nuggets extended their franchise record with a 14th straight win, a mark that would’ve ended if it weren’t for Brewer’s heroics. Denver trailed by five before the sixth-year… Read More »

NBA Gators: Parsons drops 32 in best game as pro

Chandler Parsons was too busy having the best game of his young NBA career to realize he was closing in on one of the best games in his franchise’s history. Parsons, who scored a career-high 32 points in the Houston Rockets’ 136-103 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday, was 11-for-11 from the field with 3:57 left in the third quarter after draining his fifth 3-pointer. At that point, Parsons admitted he got carried away the next time down the… Read More »

Noah’s historic night strengthens case for best big

Back in December, Joakim Noah said he’d haunt the City of Brotherly Love “for the rest of my career.” No one thought he’d channel the ghosts of Shaquille O’Neal or Hakeem Olajuwon. Noah recorded 23 points, 21 rebounds and 11 blocks for a monstrous triple-double in leading the Bulls to a 93-82 win over the 76ers in Chicago on Thursday night, numbers duplicated only by those aforementioned legends since 1985. “That’s legendary stuff,” Carlos Boozer told the Chicago Tribune. “I’ve… Read More »

All-Star nods are uniquely special for Lee, Noah

Golden State Warriors forward David Lee and Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah already knew they’d be playing against each other on Friday night. As it turns out, they’ll do the same on Feb. 17. Lee and Noah were chosen to go to the NBA All-Star Game on Thursday, and both of the Gators’ selections were special for different reasons. Lee, who made the Western Conference squad as a reserve, is the first Warriors player selected to the All-Star Game since… Read More »

Beal hits winner against team that prized him

If Gator fans know anything about Bradley Beal, it’s that he matures quickly. His savvy game-winner on Monday is only a reminder. Last night, the Wizards’ shooting guard got an opportunity to not only come through for a wounded Washington team still playing without star point guard John Wall, leading scorer Jordan Crawford and low-post option Nene, but to prove his worth to an Oklahoma City franchise that may have coveted him more than any in June’s draft. With 12.2… Read More »

Vengeful Noah brought extra for Philadelphia fans

Joakim Noah typically manufactures energy from his own limitless supply, but he had a little more in store for the 76ers last night. The Chicago Bulls’ center never forgot Game 3 of last year’s Eastern Conference quarterfinals, where the notorious fans in Philadelphia cheered when he severely sprained his ankle. Noah was forced to miss the rest of the playoffs, then the Olympics. That was a motivational catalyst all offseason for Noah, who felt “disrespected.” “I’ve been thinking about it… Read More »

Shooting touch has Parsons taking off in Houston

Houston is hosting this year’s All-Star Game on Feb. 17, and don’t be surprised if its former Gator is a representative. While James Harden and Jeremy Lin continue to get more national attention, Chandler Parsons continues to make headlines in Clutch City. Parsons, a second-team All-Rookie selection last season, is on the All-Star ballot this season as he’s taken his game to another level. The Rockets’ forward has gone from making 45.2 percent of his shots last season to 47.6… Read More »