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11.07.2019 09:00
their fourth win in a row Antworten

MONTREAL - The Raptors have made their eight-game exhibition slate look easy, for whatever thats worth. Custom New York Jets Jerseys . With Fridays 83-80 win over the Knicks in Montreal, Toronto closed out the pre-season with a record of 7-1, matching the franchise record for most exhibition victories and ensuring theyll finish camp with the leagues best record this fall. What does it all mean? Nothing, Dwane Casey said following his teams pre-season finale at the Bell Centre. Not one hill of beans. Exhibition, you can take this record and - I cant say what I want to say. But you can do whatever you want with the [stat sheet], because exhibition doesnt mean anything except for our conditioning and our timing and our rhythm that it gave us. Indeed, exhibition success is difficult to measure and theres no telling how it may translate to the real games. The last and only other time the Raptors have tallied seven pre-season wins was in 2006, just ahead of one of the franchises best campaigns which ultimately resulted in a division title. Last year they went 6-1 - their last game was canceled on account of a slippery court in Milwaukee - before starting the season 6-12. The lesson here: youre not likely to find much correlation between fall results and regular season success. Good teams, especially those with returning players, tend to excel year round, but there are always outliers at this point in the year. Going into Fridays action, the list of teams just below Toronto in exhibition standings included Cleveland, Golden State and Houston. No surprise there. It also included Detroit, New Orleans and Utah. So, who knows? We dont get a trophy for this? Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri joked. I think its the coaches time, its the players time, he continued. I think these guys have done a good job in preparing. I call it preparing. Its tough for us. I stay away, go to Europe to scout and get involved in other things just because you want to get down to it right away. Were here, a week out. And the reason why the Raptors feel good about where theyre at, just days before Wednesdays season opener, has almost nothing to do with wins and losses. Weve got a lot of guys from last year so we really dont have to figure out too many things, said DeMar DeRozan, who led Toronto with 15 points in Fridays exhibition finale. I think its mainly for the new guys to get implemented with our system on both ends. Its not too hard at all. As promised, Casey used Fridays contest to extend the minutes of his regulars, hoping to get them in rhythm and get comfortable in a more conventional rotation. One of his starters, Jonas Valanciunas, learned an early-season lesson courtesy of his defensive minded head coach. The third-year centre was beat on three box-outs in the opening five minutes, each resulting in an offensive rebound for Samuel Dalembert, before he was pulled and spent the rest of the half on the bench. Whatever message was sent at intermission, it was received in the third quarter when a noticeably more aggressive Valanciunas scored nine of his 13 points and added three boards. As a team, the Raptors held New York to 15 per cent shooting in the frame, besting them 14-7 on the glass and outscoring the visitors 25-11. As for those newcomers DeRozan referenced, they looked ready to start the new campaign on Friday. James Johnson was held without a point, on two shots, but earned praise from Casey after the game for his defence on Knicks star Carmelo Anthony. Casey called it his best game of the pre-season. Lou Williams did what he does best, knocking down a pair of big fourth-quarter shots and finishing with 12 points off the bench. Their first real test will come on Wednesday, following four days of practice and preparation, when they host the Hawks to open the franchises 20th season. Like a second home Le Nord Cest Nous, read advertisements situated throughout the city of Montreal, a French translation of the Raptors popular marketing slogan We The North. That message has resonated here, like it has in Toronto, throughout Canada and within the teams locker room. Fridays sellout crowd at the Bell Centre, like the packed house in Vancouver earlier this fall, served as a reminder that the Raptors are well on their way to being adopted as the countrys team, if they havent already. Its been huge, Casey said of the support his team has received throughout the Great White North. The pride that I see around the country for basketball, for the Raptors has been unbelievable. Part of the NBA Canada Series, the Raptors played their third pre-season game in Montreal. Along with Halifax, it’s the only Canadian city outside of Toronto to host three exhibition contests. DeRozan has made all three trips, first as a sophomore in 2010 and then again a couple years later. Its great, the Raptors all-star guard said of the atmosphere. Just coming off the season that we had last year and the success, just to come back around and be in Montreal, just to get that support in a different part of Canada definitely means a lot. I think We The North gives the country some pride and a good feeling about the Raptors, Casey added. Now we have to do our part in continuing to compete at a high level and I think its the way we do compete. Winning is important but I think people appreciate how hard our guys play, how we play defence, how we share the basketball and play together. I think thats a great lesson for the future of basketball in Canada. Respect for Nash Canada basketball took a hit late Thursday evening when the Los Angeles Lakers announced that Victorias Steve Nash has been ruled out for this coming season with a back injury that likely spells the end to his brilliant 18-year career. That said, the news did give Canadians and folks around the basketball universe an opportunity to pause, look back and appreciate everything the future Hall-of-Famer did as a pioneer for the sport in this country and one of the premier point guards to ever play the game. Its sad, Casey said of the two-time MVPs likely retirement. But hes done so much good; its hard to get sad for Steve because hes meant so much to Canadian basketball, to the NBA period. Hes the prototypical point guard that you teach your point guards to be like. We shouldnt be sad. Casey remembers his days coaching in Seattle - an assistant with the SuperSonics - when Nash used to come down to workout with Gary Payton, an iconic point guard of the previous generation. Ive known him for a long time, said the Raptors coach. Nothing but love and respect for his game. Nashs resume is undeniable. An eight-time all-star, the 40-year-old is third on the NBAs all-time assists list and has appeared in more post-season games than any other player without a ring in history. Amazingly, he was at the helm of the leagues best offence for nine straight years, on two different teams. The way that Phoenix [team] played, Casey said, that style of play was unique because of him. I think a lot of people tried to emulate that style of freewheeling, up and down basketball but unless you have a Steve Nash its very difficult to play that style of basketball. Hes been an unbelievable player, Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry echoed. Hes done a great job for basketball in general. He kind of changed the way people look at smaller guards. LeVeon Bell Jets Jersey . Goldeyes third baseman Ryan Pineda drove in three runs and the pitching staff didnt allow an earned run, as Winnipeg downed Kansas City 6-3 in American Association exhibition action at CommunityAmerica Ballpark in Kansas. Robby Anderson Jets Jersey . Darren Collison and Blake Griffin scored 23 points apiece and the Clippers beat the Suns 112-108 Wednesday night, their fourth win in a row and 17th in the last 19 games. . In the opener of the World Group first-round series, world No. 18 Kei Nishikori defeated Peter Polansky of Thornhill, Ont.The New York Rangers have acquired defenceman Raphael Diaz from the Vancouver Canucks in exxchange for a 2015 fifth-round draft pick.

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