SACRAMENTO - Regardless of how the rest of the campaign shakes out, when its all said and done December 8 will be a date that jumps out as a turning point, not only for the Raptors but for Rudy Gay himself. Fred Lynn Angels Jersey . Its been two seasons in one for both parties and neither will look back on the first 18 games fondly. "I think I took the fall for a lot of things," said Gay, reflecting on his short time in Toronto ahead of Wednesdays game against his former club. "But its happened before and itll happen again." Rightly or wrongly, Gay has and will continue to shoulder most of the blame for Torontos 6-12 start, the same way his exodus will be credited for the teams remarkable turnaround. Theres no avoiding it. In Toronto, Gay was the offence, more or less. He was taking more shots than ever before, shooting the lowest percentages of his career and as a result the team was losing. The numbers are pretty conclusive, the Raptors are a better team without him on the roster. However, Gay has also taken off since the trade to Sacramento, which goes to show you that finding the right fit - although its easier said than done - can make a big difference. "I think here theres just more space [in the offence]," said Gay, who is averaging more points and taking fewer shots with the Kings. "Obviously with the kind of season Kyle (Lowry) is having and with DeMar (DeRozan) sometimes it would be a little cluttered out there, especially at the guard position. Here theres just more space for me to do what I do." Gay has shot 50 per cent or better in 17 of his 25 games with the Kings after doing so in one of 18 contests to begin the season in Toronto. Overall, hes hitting 53 per cent of his field goal attempts since the trade, having shot 39 per cent before it. "It just wasnt working up there for whatever reason," said Kings first-year head coach Mike Malone. "But when we made the acquisition we looked at Rudy as a complete player and his whole history, including his years in Memphis and you see how efficient and effective hes been for us." He credits most of that improvement to a system thats more conducive to his style of play, a system that revolves around dominant centre DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins is one of just three NBA players averaging over 20 points and 10 rebounds this season. The attention he attracts in the paint has created space for Gay to operate on the perimeter. "You look at Torontos roster and no disrespect to Jonas (Valanciunas) or Amir (Johnson) but they dont have a true low-post presence," Malone said. "When Rudy was in Memphis he had two [frontcourt] guys that he could play with in Marc (Gasol) and Zach (Randolph) and we just thought the idea of putting him on the perimeter with the inside presence of [Cousins] could really allow him to showcase his abilities." "So it is a fit and guys have to compliment each other and thats what putting together a roster is all about," he continued. "Up there, for whatever reason, DeMar and Rudy on the court maybe wasnt a mesh, maybe [there] wasnt enough shots to go around. Im not sure what it was but all I can tell you is that the games that weve had Rudy hes been a great fit." The marriage between Gay and the Raptors, which lasted less than a full year, was flawed from the outset. He and DeRozan had repetitive skill sets that clashed on the court, restricting Lowry from playing to his strengths and stunting the growth of Valanciunas. Dwane Casey tried his best to fit square pegs into round holes until the inevitable split up freed his team and their most expensive player. The pieces just didnt fit. Though his pre-trade numbers may suggest otherwise, Gay never threw in the towel or lost hope that they would figure it out. "I think we had a chance to be a really good team," he said, two months removed from the deal. "I mean obviously theyre a really good team now but I still dont feel we had a lot of time to build and become a big threat in the East." Without Gay the Raptors have a record of 20-10, third best in the Eastern Conference behind only Indiana and Miami. They have recorded 20 or more assists in 24 of those 30 games, averaging 22.9 per contest, ninth-best over that stretch after ranking last in that category before the trade (averaging 17.3). They have gone from the 19th ranked three-point shooting team (34 per cent) to the fifth best (38 per cent) and find themselves in the top 10 in both offensive (10th) and defensive (fifth) efficiency since Dec. 8. "I think the trade helped both of us," Gay said. "Im here, I have more room and they have a solid bench. [Theres] no hard feelings. I love the fact that those guys are winning." Meanwhile, Gays reprisal hasnt translated to team success in Sacramento, at least not yet. The Kings are 11-19 since the trade, tied for the worst record in the West overall. Theyre last in the NBA in assists since Gays arrival but its been their defence, among the worst in the league, that has held them back more than anything else. Yet with Gay on board, paired with a young core of Cousins and breakout point guard Isaiah Thomas, the Kings are optimistic about the future. They have reason to be. "We couldnt be happier with Rudy and hes shown that hes much more than just a scorer," Malone said. "Hes proven to everybody that he can be a very efficient player so thats been a bonus." Darin Erstad Jersey .com) - Oregon wasnt going to let Arizona ruin its national title dreams for a second straight season. Kole Calhoun Jersey .C. -- After a listless first half, the Washington Wizards used a big third quarter run to beat the Charlotte Bobcats Bradley Beal scored 21 points and the Wizards used a 17-0 run in the third quarter to take control of what had been a close game and beat the Bobcats 97-83 on Tuesday night. http://www.baseballangelslockroom.com/andrelton-simmons-angels-jersey/ . "It feels good, Ive never had one before, not even in College," Hagelin said after the Rangers outgunned the Jets 4-2, behind some solid goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist following a pretty wide open first period.OTTAWA -- The Florida Panthers have been put on notice, and the players say the message has been received. The Panthers fired head coach Kevin Dineen and assistants Gord Murphy and Craig Ramsay on Friday after the team got off to a dismal start to the regular season. More changes could still come if the team doesnt soon find a way to improve its on-ice performance. The Panthers have lost ten of their last eleven games, sit seventh in the Atlantic Division with a 3-9-4 record and are 27th in the league heading into Fridays games. "Its easier to fire a coach than to fire 23 players," general manager Dale Tallon said on a conference call earlier in the day. "But were on the phone constantly and were going to make changes as we go. We want people that want to be Panthers, and if they dont want to be well accommodate them. Right now Im dissatisfied with the effort from most of the guys and we need to be better." Peter Horachek, who had been coaching the teams American Hockey League affiliate in San Antonio, was named interim coach. Director of player development Brian Skrudland and professional scout John Madden will serve as assistant coaches. The Panthers took part in their first practice Friday with Horachek at the helm. Afterwards they said they were disappointed by Dineens firing and know its up to them to turn things around. "I think for us as players we definitely share or take most of the blame for what has gone on, but were trying to look forward now," said defenceman Brian Campbell. Players are well aware of the situation and say they control their own fate. "Who knows whos safe and what not, but now its just going out and playing the right way as a team," said Erik Gudbranson. "Weve put ourselves behind the eight ball early in this season and the only way that we can get out of it is within our dressing room and going out there and playing hard and playing the right way." When asked about Tallons comments on potential trades, Campbell admitted such things shouldnt even need to be said at this point. "I dont think Dale needs to say a word about that," said Campbell. "Us as players should realize that, but hopefully it can bring us together closer and we can think about the good times we had with Kevin and then move forward to hopefully great times ahead." Tallon met with reporters in Ottawa late Friday afternoon and said, "we need our better players to play better or I have to get better players." Rumours had been swirling for weeks that a change was likely imminent and Tallon said he felt a change was necessary. "Youve got to do something, you cant sit still when were doing this poorly," he said. "We have new ownership and they have high expectations of excellence and performance and so weve got to make sure and we had to change direction. Justin Upton Jersey. quot; Panthers owner Vinnie Viola, who bought the club in late September, wrote a letter to fans saying the change in direction was "absolutely necessary." "With 66 games remaining this season our expectations remain the same," Viola wrote. "We expect a team that plays hard, that sacrifices for each other, that gives everything they have for our fans and supporters, and a team that wins hockey games. By the end of this season we expect to be competing for a place in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and we expect to have taken a significant step toward achieving the goals and objectives we have set for this franchise." With the Panthers playing the Senators Saturday afternoon Horachek, known as a no-nonsense coach, has little time to implement many changes, but he does hope the days events resonate with players. "I think the guys know theres a talent there, theres ability there and they have pride and they have to understand that theres a big responsibility on their backs for where they are and whats gone on," said Horachek. "I think theres a professionalism and they have to move forward here and do all the things necessary to be a competitive team, be where we need to be and how we need to play and I think they realize that. They feel good about committing and being part of that journey right now." Horacheck says its up to the players to look in the mirror and take responsibility for the situation. "We have to take a bigger, better approach on how we approach our day and how we approach ourselves," he said. "Are we prepared to practice, are we prepared to play? And how we want to go about that. What kind of team do we want to be? Do we want to be individuals or do we want to start playing the way were capable of playing?" When asked what the biggest problem has been this year Campbell summed it up fairly easily. "I think our consistency definitely," said Campbell. "We can be more consistent throughout a game, shift to shift. Expectations put on yourself, but also accountability. I dont think theres enough accountability right now put on each and everyone of us. I think thats something we need to change and expect everybody playing on the same page and nobody taking shortcuts." Tallons message to the players was simple. "Win a fourth game and go from there. Win the next game and be ready to play hard in that particular game." Dineen was 56-62-28 in parts of three seasons, leading the Panthers to the 2012 Southeast Division title and guiding the team into the playoffs for the first time since 2000. Tallon said Dineen has been offered a spot within the organization. -- With files from The Associated Press. ' ' '