ding to a thin schedule and several large spre

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ding to a thin schedule and several large spre

Notapor lw789 » Mié Jun 27, 2018 8:11 am

NEW YORK - The basketball gods have spoken, with an assist from Jason Kidd. The Toronto Raptors will open their first playoff series in six years at home to the Brooklyn Nets at 12:30 PM et Saturday afternoon. The Raptors learned their fate early in the second half of Wednesdays season final - a 95-92 loss to the Knicks - when Chicago fell to Charlotte in overtime, assuring Toronto would finish with the third seed in the Eastern Conference. Brooklyn had been red-hot, winning 33 of 46 games - the second best record in the East since Jan. 1 - until they dropped four of the last five contests, conceding a division title to the Raptors and ultimately falling to sixth place. Their last stand in Cleveland suggests that the late-season collapse, or at least the latter half of it, may not have been an accident. Kidds Nets squandered a couple of opportunities to lock up the fifth seed, setting up a likely matchup with the surging Bulls, on the final two nights of the campaign. On Wednesday evening, with four teams jockeying for playoff seeding, the Nets rookie head coach opted to sit all five of his starters, suiting up only seven players in a winnable game against the lowly Cavaliers. They would go on to lose by 29. "In my experience, youve got to be careful what you wish for," Dwane Casey cautioned ahead of Wednesdays finale. "You think you want to play a certain team then you start preparing for them and say, wow that teams pretty good. Then youve got a dogfight. I think the best way to approach it is let the basketball gods decide." Faced with a similar decision, Casey - who was an assistant in Dallas when he and Kidd won a championship together in 2011 - chose to play his stars against the Knicks and compete to win. Thats just one of the factors that separate these two teams, that creates a trace of animosity going into this weekends first-round matchup. Whether they care to admit to it or not, the Nets took their foot off the gas in the hope of maximizing the odds of facing an inexperienced Raptors team. Whether Torontos players or coaches care to admit it, thats a slap in the face, or at least it should be. Do they feel slighted? "No, man," Lowry responded, after the game. "They rested their players. Thats what they did." They shouldnt need added motivation, Casey wisely posted out. The Raptors have been underestimated and theyre about to be again. They will be lost in a sea of publicity surrounding the compelling storylines of a big market team with a payroll exceeding $100 million. "Weve played all season as the underdog, as the small guy trying to come up, whatever you want to call it," said DeMar DeRozan, who is one of three Raptors starters slated to make his postseason debut Saturday. "We always play with a chip on our shoulder and we understand going into the playoffs, we havent done nothing. We havent made it to the playoffs in six years. So weve got to go in there with a chip on our shoulder and understand its going to be a dog fight every single game, just like the season was." Their starting lineup goes into the series with 24 games of playoff experience to Brooklyns 399. The average age of the Nets first unit - complete with veterans and future hall of famers - is eight years older than Torontos. Its a clash of old and young, the battle-tested versus the unproven soldiers. "Experience is one thing but youve got to go play," said Casey, who is also venturing into uncharted waters, his first postseason as a head coach. "You have to go out and compete, its why they play the games. Our guys are going to be ready." "Theyve got a lot of older veterans that have been in the league 10-plus years so thats an advantage that we have," DeRozan said. "We understand that theyre experienced and everything but hey, who isnt? Once you come in this league youre going against players all season that are experienced in some way. You just have to find a way to win." The Raptors and Nets split a four-game season series, with each team winning one on the road. Perhaps it was fate. In a redditt AMA chat last month, Terrence Ross identified the Nets as a preferred playoff matchup, to which Brooklyns Andray Blatche took issue and responded, "Ross asked for this, so theyve got to back up their words." These teams faced off in the 2007 playoffs - Toronto the third seed, the Nets, then in New Jersey, the sixth - after the Raptors won their first and only other division title. It was the first postseason experience for the likes of Chris Bosh, Jose Calderon and Anthony Parker, among others. That inexperience against a veteran Nets team - led by Kidd, Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson - proved costly, as inexperience tends to be in the playoffs. This Raptors team believes theyre different, that they have something special. They may be right. As most observers - both devoted and casual alike - are aware and will continue to be force-fed ad nauseam ahead of their first postseason game since 2008, the Raptors rapid return to relevance in the East was unexpected. Generous prognosticators billed them as a conference wild card, a fringe playoff team, at best. Division winner? No chance. Not with a pair of entitled New York-area giants and their gargantuan payrolls occupying the Atlantic. Internally, expectations were being tempered, justifiably so. After years of false promises, the word "playoffs" was quickly dismissed in place of a new goal; "growth". They were indeed a wild card in the East. A newly structured front office, an expiring head coach and starting point guard, an $18 million experiment inherited from the previous regime. "We didnt go into the season thinking we were going to be division winners," Casey admitted. "That was our goal but we knew that was going to be a lofty goal. We always go in trying to swing for the fences. Once the trade happened, no one knew. The guys kept working, kept working, kept working and [it] kind of came together." The Raptors were 6-12 before that fabled evening in Los Angeles, the night Rudy Gay was shipped to Sacramento and the fortunes of a long-suffering franchise began to turn. From that point on they would finish the season with a record of 42-22, tops in the East. Some will shrug them off as the poster team of a historically weak Eastern Conference and at one point, early in the season, that may have been the case. However, they made it here on their own merit. Theyre one just four teams, in either conference, to finish in the top 10 in both offensive and defensive efficiency. Their 22 road wins, a franchise record, tied Miami and Washington for the best mark in the East and they finished with 16-14 against the superior Western Conference. Their individual and collective accomplishments seem countless. Their starting five has won more games than any other in team history, each player putting up career highs in minutes logged and scoring. On Monday they hung their second division championship banner and set a new franchise mark in wins. Six months ago that would have been more than enough. Now, its an appetizer. Theyve tasted success and they want more. No one is satisfied. "When I first got here that was one of my biggest goals, to get this team back to the playoffs," said Kyle Lowry. "Im happy to be there but Im not satisfied. I want to go out there, I want to make some noise and show that were really a good team." Mallory Pugh Jersey . Lisicki beat South African Chanelle Scheepers by a 7-5, 7-6 (7-1) margin. Next up for the Wimbledon runner-up will be Slovenian Polona Hercog, who outlasted Czech Petra Cetkovska 6-4, 5-7, 6-1. Crystal Dunn Jersey . Bach, a 59-year-old German lawyer, was elected Tuesday as president of the International Olympic Committee. He succeeds Jacques Rogge, who stepped down after 12 years. Bach, the longtime favourite, defeated five candidates in a secret ballot for the most influential job in international sports, keeping the presidency in European hands. http://www.socceruswntshop.com/Sydney-L ... sa-Jersey/. The rest of the team was already on the field stretching before batting practice while Puig was getting dressed in the clubhouse. He had been slated to start in right field for the afternoon game against the San Francisco Giants, who beat the Dodgers 8-4. Casey Short Jersey . - Alex Dostie scored two goals and assisted on another to lead the Gatineau Olympiques to a 5-3 victory over the Drummondville Voltigeurs in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action on Sunday. Megan Rapinoe Jersey . The Maple Leafs may not have had a pick until the third round, but they have made the biggest move of the second day of the Draft, dealing defenceman Carl Gunnarsson and a fourth-round pick in the draft to the St.Fans of blowouts rejoice, Week 4 of the NCAA football schedule is going to be full of them. Several top teams are taking on FCS opponents, leading to a thin schedule and several large spreads. No. 7 Louisville and No. 13 UCLA are each laying 40+ points in their matchups. Basically its a great weekend for Heisman candidates to pad their stats. But amongst the carnage that is the Week 4 schedule there is one matchup that could be worth keeping a close eye on. The Arizona State Sun Devils jumped into the Top 25 with a win over Wisconsin and their “make or break” stretch of the schedule continues against the fifth-ranked Stanford Cardinal. Beating Wisconsin is one thing, and upcoming games against USC and Notre Dame could be winnable too, meaning the Sun Devils have a chance to spend some weeks in the Top 25, but Stanford is a differennt beast, and should halt Arizona States momentum before it gains too much traction.dddddddddddd After a less than dominant win over Army last week, Stanford has a lot at stake in this game too. With No. 3 Clemson looking ordinary in their win over North Carolina State on Thursday, the Cardinal could make a jump in the rankings with a big win over the Sun Devils. Action on TSN 2 – Purdue at No. 24 Wisconsin, Saturday at 3:30pm et/12:30pm pt Its a Big 10 showdown as the Purdue Boilermakers travel to the No. 24 Wisconsin Badgers. The Badgers were lucky to stick in the Top 25 after their loss last week to the aforementioned Sun Devils, but should have an easier road this week opening conference play against Purdue. Wisconsin opened the year with two shutout wins and with a spread in the mid-20s, could make it three of four. Discount Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Online Jerseys NFL China Wholesale Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Womens Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping China Jerseys Cheap ' ' '
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