The Phoenix Suns, who had the league’s best record during the regular season, had no problem with the New Orleans Pelicans in their playoff opener, highlighted by Cam Johnson’s thunderous, highlight-reel first-quarter dunk. Johnson, a finalist for the NBA Sixth Man of the Year, came off the bench to score 13 points on 5 of 6 shooting as the No. 1-seed Suns beat the No. 8-seed Pelicans 110–98 in Game 1 of their first-round Western Conference series.
Garrison Brooks finished a productive three games at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament with 25 points and nine rebounds in leading his team to a victory in the fifth-place game on Saturday in Portsmouth, Va. Brooks made 11 of 15 shots, collected two assists and a block and was named player of the game as his K&D Round’s Landscaping team’s 96–86 victory over Portsmouth Partnership. Also on his team was former Miami guard Charlie Moore, who had 15 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.
Seven Tar Heels, and potentially an eighth, will begin play in the NBA playoffs this weekend. Cameron Johnson’s Phoenix Suns are a solid threat to win the title and the Dallas Mavericks, with Reggie Bullock and Theo Pinson, are playing like they could make a long run. Joining them in the playoffs are Danny Green of the Philadelphia 76ers, Coby White and Tony Bradley of the Chicago Bulls and Day’Ron Sharpe of the Brooklyn Nets.
Leaky Black announced on social media Friday that he will use his extra season of eligibility to return to Carolina next season. Black has played four seasons for the Tar Heels and is taking advantage of his COVID year the NCAA is giving players who played during the 2020–21 pandemic season.
Brady Manek’s perimeter shooting, grit inside and leadership in helping North Carolina make an improbable run to the national championship game had many Tar Heels fans wondering if he was the best transfer in program history. You have to go back to the early 1970s to find a transfer who had more impact but you only have to look on last season’s roster team to find a member of his family.
After quite the flurry of Carolina men’s basketball activity on Wednesday, there are still more decisions to be made that will have an impact on Coach Hubert Davis’ ability to bring in players from the transfer portal. If Leaky Black decides to use his extra season of eligibility and everybody else returns, Carolina would be right at the 13-player scholarship limit and unable to bring in more players.