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in Free Market Fri May 18, 2018 7:26 am
by hfy962464 • 270 Posts

TORONTO - It just wouldnt feel like the start of a new Raptors season without a little bit of expectation tempering. Marshall Faulk Jersey . Dwane Casey got the ball rolling on the eve of the opener. It started with a question. Reporter: When you take a unit and it hasnt changed that much, and last year no one gave you a chance and this year theyre saying youre going to get 50 wins… Casey: Whos they? Whos they? I want to know who THEY are. Reporter: Just people. Critics. Hows that? How do you take that same nucleus, and all of sudden it was nothing and now it is something, is it just the shear expectations of how you ended? Casey: Well the one thing we have to do as a team is we cant listen to the noise, because that same they are going to be on us if we lose a couple games. So I dont pay attention to that. Yes, the Raptors are coming off their winningest campaign in the franchises soon-to-be 20-year history. Theyve had nearly six long months to reflect on it and the league - and its pundits - have had time to react. The basketball universe has taken notice and suddenly Toronto is back on the map. Sports betting site Bodog.ca has set the over/under for Torontos regular season win total at 48.5. Should they exceed that mark it would be a new franchise best. Twenty-six of 28 ESPN prognosticators have them defending their Atlantic Division title, and yes, some believe they could be a 50-win team, a plateau they have never reached. But success in the NBA, like professional sports in general, can be fickle and Casey - head coach of last years most improved club, with over three decades of experience in basketball - knows that as well as anybody and as a result hes continued to pump the breaks, preaching patience. We havent done anything, he continued. Were still in the building process, growing. Along with that we have expectations, so its a double whammy. Im pushing us to grow and everybody around us is saying, hey you gotta win, youre supposed to win. Im reminding the guys that reality is were still a young team. Internally those expectations are consumed differently. Their locker room is filled with optimistic and ambitious personalities but Casey has worked to manage their enthusiasm while igniting their competitive spirit. Balancing confidence and humility has been his focus this fall. Now we know that were a good team and we know what we can do, said Amir Johnson, who - along with DeMar DeRozan - is the teams longest tenured player, entering his sixth year in Toronto. Theres a lot of stuff we can definitely clean up, and were working everyday, but we know that were good and we have a lot of confidence. We just have to prove it on the court. What would make this a successful season for the club? In my eyes, Patrick Patterson said, winning more games than what we did last year and going further in the playoffs. A reasonable answer and pretty straightforward method of evaluating growth, only Casey knows its not always that clear-cut. Theres a great possibility we could win less games than we did last year and be a better team, said the Raptors coach. Thats a distinct possibility and if that happens so be it. So Im not going on wins and losses or what we did last year. Im more concerned about our development and getting better. To no surprise, neither Casey nor DeRozan were especially interested in playing the how many wins are you targeting game. Nah, I think once you look at it like that youll get caught up in it, said the Raptors All-Star guard. And once adversity hits you might panic because its not going as planned. Thats why weve got to take it day-by-day. However, repeating as division champs is one specific expectation that no one is shying away from. I think defending our division [makes] a successful season, Casey admitted. The Raptors appear to be in an ideal spot to do so, as the Atlantic continues to underwhelm entering the new year. Philadelphia and Boston are still entrenched in the rebuilding phase, New York is in transition learning a new system under a new regime and Brooklyn is another year older and, presumably, slower. With most of the East in flux, there will be pressure to hit the ground running. Doubling down on last years success, the Raptors roster features 10 returning faces. Couple that with a forgiving early-season schedule - nine of their first 12 games at home - and they could have an opportunity to set the bar in their conference. Assuming they take advantage of it. Theres always pressure, Casey acknowledged. I felt pressure back when we won 23 games, even when we were developing and growing. So theres always pressure. Pressure to win, pressure to perform, pressure to produce. So thats always there. The pressure for me is the pressure to continue to grow, at the same time trying to produce. Their biggest test and most accurate barometer of team growth will come in April and May. A 50-win season would be nice - theyve gone without one longer than any current NBA franchise - but their first ever seven-game playoff series victory should top their list of goals for this coming campaign. We dont [know what to expect], Casey said. Nobody does. Thats why I say, when they say 50 games, they dont know. Whoever they are. You dont know who we are until we throw it up for real. Well find out who we really are over the next couple weeks. Pharoh Cooper Jersey . Top-seeded Djokovic, who is making only his second appearance this year after reaching the quarterfinals of the Australian Open, was a 6-3, 6-3 winner over 54th-ranked Istomin of Uzbekistan. "It wasnt as easy as the scoreline indicates," said Djokovic, who has won in Dubai on four occasions. Deacon Jones Jersey .That means, of course, that John Wall beat the Spurs for the first time ever — within weeks of his first wins in head-to-head games against nemeses Chris Paul and Derrick Rose. http://www.ramsauthenticshop.com/Youth-Troy-Hill-Rams-Jersey/ . Coaches are now allowed to challenge both called and potential defensive pass interference fouls under certain conditions.1. Lou Williams & Lucas Nogueira (Raptors): I like this deal by general manager Masai Ujiri. I have always been a fan of Williams, who fell out of favor in Atlanta. In the final year of his contract, the Raptors will be getting a player who can score in bunches off the bench and give his team a lift on many nights. He plays with energy and can run the point for a possession or two but is definitely more of a scoring two guard. Nogueira is a guy that is under contract overseas for another year, which is a good thing because there is no rush to bring him over and start his NBA Contractual Clock. The Raptors want to be getting him when hes more mature and prepared to give them a greater return on their yearly investment. I like the move, though. Hes a young man who can make things happen in the lane with his rebounding and shot blocking potential. His offence is a bit raw yet but in time he should be a sound pickup. John Salmons was a good pro, but as we could all see in the playoffs, hes clearly on the downside of his career. For Salmons, this is a nice trade particularly with the fact that Williams is off the books after this upcoming season. Helps you, yet doesnt damage your salary cap long term. 2. Jason Kidd (Bucks): How about this for a Machiavellian Move on the part of J-Kidd?! You literally cant make this nonsense up. He tries to back-door GM Billy King in Brooklyn and gets shown the door for two second-round picks. I guess you beat the Raptors in Round 1 and win one playoff game against the Heat and youre a genius with the NBAs Highest Payroll. No one else in the league would have given him the shot he got last year to coach and this is the appreciation. I feel bad for coach Larry Drew, he gets one year and then the door from his new owners. This is a tough business and theres very little honour and respect left anymore in the coaching profession, thats for sure in this case. 3. Derrick Rose (Bulls): Rose is catching a lot of flak for saying that its not his job to recruit Carmelo Anthony. He is correct; its ownership, management and the coaches jobs to do the work. When you evaluate what he said after that about Melos skills, its pretty evident to me that hes impressed with Melos game and how it would help the Bulls. In defence of him, Im sure if management asked him to publicly make comments about Melo or behind the scenes recruit him, hed assist them. Hes a team guy. On the other hand, maybe he just deep down in his heart knows that Melo wouldnt be a great fit in their system/team identity. Well all know in the next few days if this has any impact on Melos decision with Chicago. Usually guys with the ego the size of Melo want to be recruited by everyone involved. 4. Nets coach: Youll hear the names of Lionel Hollins, George Karl & Mark Jackson among many for this job, as their agents cash in favours with media members to float their clients names to increase their profile and possibilities. In a market like New York, with such a high profile and a small window of opporrtunity with this older team thats got the huge payroll, it actually makes lots of sense to consider each of these guys for the job. Ethan Westbrooks Jersey. The Nets will need both a strong and capable personality/coach to handle this job. GM Billy King knows that and the fact that he was supported by ownership in the coup attempt doesnt mean hes not under tremendous pressure to win big right now. Kings has got to get the right guy and he better win lots of games next year or they might actually need a new GM next spring. I like Lionel Hollins for this job. 5. July 1: Here we go! Always a fun few days when free agency begins. The Big 3 and Melo set the tone and other movement will follow from a decent free agent class, when you look at the Top 10. Theres quite a drop off once you get past the Top 15 names. For Raptors fans, its very important to balance the desire to build on the 48 win season last year with the long term understanding that the Raptors as currently constructed (Even if Kyle Lowry, Patrick Patterson & Greivis Vasquez return) are still a ways away from being a legit contender to go to the NBA Finals out of the East. Particularly if the Big 3 stay in Miami, Chicago gets healthy and adds a guy like Melo and the Pacers improve and take a good look around. Other teams in the East added some pieces in the early part of the Draft that will make each win a little harder to get within the Conference. Remember back to Bryan Colangelos first season as GM with a 47 win season? You can win too early. As crazy as that sounds, its true. Truly be honest with your team and organization and always try to evaluate yourself vs. the top four and top eight in the East as well as the top four and top eight in the West this past season. How did you stand up vs. those teams and vs. the non-playoff teams? Obviously, a nice season in the NBA is when you beat who youre capable of beating and the Raps did that with some other fun wins sprinkled in along the way to make it a neat experience. Lots and lots of work still needs to be done for this team/organization to be a contender. Slow and steady wins the Race. Im quite confident in the patience and long-term view of Ujiri, that he wont get sucked in to believing that theyre close and try to build on a foundation that isnt there yet. Manage the cap properly, improve internally and be patient. The right defining move will present itself to you in the near future, youve got to be properly positioned when it shows up at your doorstep to be able to consummate the transaction. Yes, I love making the playoffs, but we all want more. So build with the idea of long term/organization vs. the 2014-15 team. You want to be in the playoffs on a yearly basis as well as - and this is what really matters - being a team with a legitimate chance to play in the Eastern Conference Finals & possibly get to the NBA Finals. Those are really hard steps to take. Obviously, if the Big Three break up, Melo goes to the Western Conference instead of the Bulls, etc. Then you reconsider that because you do have greater opportunity. But for now, big picture. It will be a fun few days to watch and follow. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Discount NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys 2019 Wholesale Jerseys China Wholesale Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys NFL Cheap ' ' '

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