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Viesti  Viestin otsikko: return would certainly reduce the workload  |  Lähetetty: La Helmi 10, 2018 4:44 am

Liittynyt: Ma Loka 16, 2017 9:17 am
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TORONTO - Its been a while since the Raptors could genuinely speak about a meaningful game in February but Dwane Casey is not just blowing smoke when he stresses the importance of Wednesdays showdown with Atlanta, his teams final game before All-Star weekend. "Its huge," Casey said of Torontos matchup with the fifth-place Hawks, who sit 1.5 games behind the Raptors for third place in the Eastern Conference. "Its not like in the past where games dont matter. In the past we were building, getting guys experience. Now the games matter." Toronto will go into the break with at least 27 wins for the first time since the 2009-10 campaign and could pad its cushion over Atlanta in the standings with a victory on Wednesday. TSN 1050s Josh Lewenberg and Duane Watson took a look at the importance of Wednesdays tilt at home to Atlanta and finishing the first half of the season strong in this weeks edition of the Raptors Report podcast. Generally, this is one of those games - the one just before All-Star - that coaches fear most, and for good reason. Its just one of 82 and its easy to look past if youre headed to New Orleans for this weekends festivities or eagerly awaiting time off with family and friends. NBA players are only human after all. Perhaps that would be the case against an inferior opponent, a trap game of sorts, but this years unofficial finale to the first half of the season has a different feel and the mentality going into it reflects a new level of focus. "(We have to) make sure we take care of business before we go on the break," Casey said following a light practice on Tuesday. "(Weve) been talking about that now for the last week or so and we didnt do a good job on the West Coast trip of closing out. Weve got one more game before the break and we dont want to take the break before it starts." His troops seem to have bought in. "Before anything else weve got to care of business (Wednesday) against a team were going back and forth with at our spot in the Eastern Conference," said DeMar DeRozan, Torontos representative in Sundays All-Star Game. "Weve got to take advantage of (Wednesdays) game on our home floor and go into the break feeling good." Despite dropping three of five games on the road last week, the Raptors have an opportunity to go into the five-day layoff with some momentum, coming off a 108-101 win over the Pelicans at home Monday. Meanwhile, the Hawks are backing into the break having lost four straight, most recently falling 100-85 to the Bulls, who leapfrogged them for fourth place with the win. Atlanta has failed to break 90 points in three of its last three games, scoring 86.5 over that stretch after averaging 116.5 in the previous four contests, winning three. "Theyre definitely a team of runs, that can get real streaky on you fast," said DeRozan, who scored 31 points in Torontos 102-95 road loss to the Hawks on Nov. 1, the second game of the season. "So weve got to take all that out the game from the start and not give them (any) hope and take care of business from the get go." Hawks centre Al Horford had 22 points and 16 rebounds in the first meeting but has since been lost for the season after undergoing surgery on a torn pectoral muscle. Paul Millsap - who will join DeRozan as a first-time all-star in the East this weekend - has stepped up in Horfords place, averaging a career-best 17.7 points to go along with 8.4 rebounds, already knocking down more threes this season (46) than he had in his previous seven combined. "Hes another example of a guy who has developed his game (and) brought something back to the table every year," Casey said of the Hawks forward. "Hes made some threes in his career in Utah but now hes a consistent three-point shooter. Hes self-made and thats what you respect about Millsap." Certainly you cannot talk about the Hawks and their three-point shooting without mentioning one of the most impressive, albeit under the radar streaks in professional sports right now. With two treys in Tuesdays loss, Kyle Korver extended his historic run of consecutive games with at least one made three-pointer to 119. He broke Dana Barros old record of 89 straight games back in December and is shooting the three-ball at a 46 per cent clip on the season, third best in the NBA. His accomplishment - and the threat it represents - has not gone unnoticed in the Raptors locker room. "Its crazy to do something like that," DeRozan said. "Especially when they know youre a three-point shooter and you scout a guy like that and your whole objective is to run him off the three-point line, make him shoot twos. Hes still knocking down threes, its definitely tough." "Hes a good athlete, its not like hes just a stand still guy," Casey added of Korver. "So were going to have to have a lot of energy to chase him around, to run with him, to move with him and we cant relax because if you lose site of him for a split second its a three-point shot." Three days before defending his Slam Dunk title at All-Star Saturday Night, Terrence Ross should draw the assignment of chasing down Korver, at least initially. As for Millsap, he should see more of a committee at the four-spot, especially if Amir Johnson cant go for the Raptors. Johnson has been nursing an injury to his right ankle since coming down on it in last months win over Orlando. Casey and the coaching staff opted to rest the Raptors ailing warrior in Mondays win - the first game hes missed due to injury in nearly two years - but havent determined his status for Wednesdays contest. Previously it would have made perfect sense to sit him again, extending his rest into and through the break but now, with higher stakes, the decision becomes more difficult. "Hes still sore but were going to see," Casey said. "Right now we need all hands on deck." David Perron Jersey .J. -- New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning is going to start the off-season training program with a surgically repaired left ankle. Deryk Engelland Jersey . Every once in awhile, it seems like life lets dreams become real - and that is a gift. http://www.goldenknightsnhlshop.com/malcolm-subban-golden-knights-jersey-c-43/ . Ontario Superior Court Case Management Master Ronald Dash released the decision on Monday, saying John McCaw Jr. must testify in front of a jury by live video conference. Moores lawyer, Tim Danson, asked the court to compel McCaw - who is based in Seattle - to testify in the case back on February 27. William Karlsson Jersey . -- Billy Andrade hasnt played much competitive golf over the past four years. William Carrier Jersey . -- Max Gilbert captured his first pro victory at the Tour Championship of Canada.EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - Adrian Peterson has been away from the Minnesota Vikings for almost two months.If hes allowed back this season, teammates would welcome him without hesitation.That was the consensus from players as they left the practice field Tuesday, shortly before Peterson avoided jail time and a trial on the child abuse charge against him with a plea agreement in Texas. No special address or apology would be necessary, they said.Guys have chatted amongst each other, and I dont think theres anyone in that locker room that would need to hear from him, tight end Kyle Rudolph said. We all know the kind of person Adrian is, and I feel like hes proven that over his time here.So now the question is whether he will return to the Vikings this season. He has been on paid leave, making more than $690,000 each week, via a special roster exemption issued by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.That hiatus was the result of an intense deliberation by the team, the league, the union and Peterson, after the Vikings initially announced Sept. 15 he would be back in the lineup as usual after sitting out the teams Sept. 14 home opener against New England on the heels of the indictment. The public backlash to that decision was swift and strong, prompting the NFL and the Vikings to reconsider and shelve him while his case played out.Now after his plea agreement, the focus of Petersons unprecedented story has shifted from the courtroom back to the league.We will review the matter, including the court record, and then make a determination on his status. We cannot provide a timetable, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said.Earlier in the day, prior to the plea agreement, Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said the organization would withhold comment on Petersons situation until its appropriate to speak. About five hours after Petersons court appearance, the Vikings issued a 20-word statement acknowledging the plea agreement and delaying comment until the appropriate time.NFLPA spokesman George Atallah declined to comment. Petersons agent, Ben Dogra, said he wasnt prepared to discuss anything at this time but would gladly do so aat the appropriate time.ddddddddddddThe nameplate is still on Petersons cubicle in the locker room, filled with equipment just the way he left it. The offence has been different, of course, but with elusive rookie Jerick McKinnon and powerful overachiever Matt Asiata the backfield has been the least of the teams concerns since Peterson was placed on leave.McKinnon has two 100-yard performances and a total of 446 yards rushing, plus 106 yards receiving.I think we have a nice combination going with him and Matt, two different styles, Spielman said. Everybodys seen what Matt can do last year when he got the opportunity and some of the things hes doing this year.Asiata has a pair of three-touchdown games, with 277 yards rushing and 199 yards receiving.Though Peterson would first have to prove he stayed in playing shape, his return would certainly reduce the workload for both Asiata and McKinnon. But despite the hit his image has taken in public, Peterson has long been a revered presence on the team, not to mention an elite talent.Wed be happy to have him back. Hes a leader on this team, McKinnon said, adding: Obviously if Adrian comes back hes going to be the starting running back. Its just one of those things where everybody has a role. Got to accept it.Peterson sent coach Mike Zimmer a message before the Sept. 28 game against Atlanta that was shared with the team. Many players have kept in touch with him since he was put on leave.Hes one of the best players in the world, and hes obviously somebody whos meant a lot to this community, meant a lot for the team, fullback Jerome Felton said. Hes one of our leaders. He was up here in the off-season. People follow his lead because of how hard he works. So itd be pretty nice to add that back into the team.Said quarterback Teddy Bridgewater: If he does come back, Im pretty sure everyone would still take him in and welcome him with open arms.___AP Pro Football Writer Howard Fendrich in Washington and Associated Press Writer Juan Lozano in Houston contributed to this report.___AP NFL websites: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '


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