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y to be a leader as much as I can with our team with our

 
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BerichtGeplaatst: Vr Sep 22, 2017 10:05 am    Onderwerp: y to be a leader as much as I can with our team with our Reageren met citaat

TORONTO - With just over seven seconds left on the clock and Fridays game hanging in the balance, a sellout Air Canada Centre crowd rose to their feet, holding their breath in anticipation. Cheap NFL Jerseys . Theyve been holding their breath for six years now, but finally they can exhale. As Celtics forward Jared Sullinger forced up a wild, off-balance runner, the building erupted. It was official. The Raptors are heading back to the post-season. "We made it," shouted Amir Johnson repeatedly as the media filtered into Torontos locker room. "Its a satisfying, kind of overwhelming feeling," he described, following his teams 105-103 victory over Boston, officially snapping the Raptor five-year playoff drought. "Its been six years since this team, this organization made it to the playoffs. This team has worked so hard. We deserved it. Weve been playing our butts off, playing through injuries. Weve had our ups and downs." "Weve made it." Not lost on the team was the fact that they stole a game, their 41st victory of the season, that probably shouldnt have come down to the final possession. Down by four with under three minutes to play, it looked like the Raptors would have to hope for a New York Knicks loss later in the evening or wait until Sunday to punch their ticket to the playoffs. Theyve been resilient all year, so why wouldnt they be now? First DeMar DeRozan drained a fadeaway jumper, then Johnson hit the game-winning put-back layup. "It was fitting," Dwane Casey said. DeRozan and Johnson, the teams longest tenured players, were responsible for Torontos final four points. For them, this moment was a little sweeter. "It means a lot, honestly, man," said DeRozan, the Raptors fifth-year guard, who will make his post-season debut next month. "Especially for me and Amir and what weve been through here with the tough seasons, through the ups and downs and the struggles. We stuck with it." The only player in the building that could give a firsthand account of the Raptors last playoff experience - a five-game, first round defeat at the hands of the Orlando Magic in 2007-08 - was Celtics forward Kris Humphries. Only four other players from that team are currently on an NBA roster, but DeRozan and Johnson who arrived the year after have both been in Toronto long enough to appreciate what a night like this means to the franchise, the city and the Raptors long-suffering fan base. "It was all worth it," said DeRozan. "These fans stuck behind us every single day and theyre going to continue to do so. Thats the reason why we work extremely hard. Our fans definitely push us." Of course, it was just a formality. It was inevitable, only a matter of time. Toronto wasnt going to go winless in its remaining games, just like the Knicks were not going to run the table the rest of the way. Still, they have refused to count their chickens before they hatched and for that you can credit the humility and focus of their head coach. Moments after the win, a loud chorus of applause could be heard from outside the teams locker room. Finally, they could celebrate, albeit behind closed doors. Even Casey, who wouldnt pat himself on the back and likely never will, found a way to indulge in what the evening represented. "Were excited about it," he admitted. "My hat is off to all the guys whove come through here," said Casey, crediting MLSE chairman Larry Tanenbaum as well as former general manager Bryan Colangelo for their contributions to the process. "To DeMar DeRozan [and] Amir Johnson, who have been through it all and for the fans, the fans for understanding and being patient. I know they didnt see the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but its a process. You dont build Rome overnight in this league. Is very difficult to do. You talk about rebuilding, its a hard gig." The Raptors have surpassed every rational expectation, going 35-19 since the trade of Rudy Gay in early December. Its been a season of firsts for a franchise on the cusp of its 20th birthday, a franchise many pundits wrote off for dead after selling off its highest-paid player. "Everybody who writes something on a piece of paper isnt always right, thats how I look at it," said DeRozan, the first-time All-Star. Hes right. He and his team have proven a lot of people wrong. As the Celtics made their run, cutting their deficit - once 14 - down and ultimately taking the lead, DeRozan came through yet again. With Kyle Lowry slowed by an ankle injury he sustained in the first half, DeRozan picked him up and scored 24 of his game-high 30 points in the final 24 minutes. 16 of his 27 career 30-point games have come this season. With 10 games remaining and their spot in the pos-tseason locked up, the team can shift its attention to seeding but most importantly, going into the playoffs healthy and with momentum. "We cant be satisfied," Casey repeated, with his team moving into soul possession of the third seed following the Chicago Bulls loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday. "We still want to continue on and weve still got to get better." Lowrys injury scare With three minutes to go in the second quarter, Lowry limped to the locker room after turning his right ankle while back-pedaling to get back on defence. After being examined by the medical staff, the Raptor point guard and most important player was able to return, starting the second half with his ankle taped up. As per usual, Lowry shrugged off whatever pain he was in after the win. "Im a little sore, but Im fine," he said after scoring nine points in 33 minutes. "Im okay. Good to go." Revenge of the second unit Naturally, Casey was frustrated with his under-performing bench after they were outscored 51-7 in Boston on Wednesday. "I challenged them before the game," said the Raptors coach. "I got on them about their productivity or lack thereof in the Boston game. I challenged them. I said, Look, guys want playing time, when the opportunity comes, youve got to do something, whether its defence, knocking somebody down, taking a charge, whatever. And they came through." Greivis Vasquez, who scored all seven of the benchs points on Wednesday, led the teams reserves with 15, but Chuck Hayes and John Salmons were also productive on both ends of the floor. Combined, the three former Kings - along with Tyler Hansbrough, who logged five minutes - totalled 28 points on the night. Patterson nearing a return Although he missed his 12th straight game, Patrick Patterson has been making progress and appears to be on the verge of returning from his right elbow injury. Although the Raptors havent had much practice time to get Patterson back up to speed - a concern Casey expressed before Fridays game - the Raptors forward has been able to participate in smaller, three-on-three scrimmages since being cleared for contact earlier this week. "[His] conditioning is probably going to be step behind a little bit," Casey acknowledged. "Its not going to be where he was before stepping away, so thats going to be expected. Thats why now we need to kind of get him back in rhythm and with the lack of practice time its going to have to be in a game situation." Patterson could be back in uniform this weekend in Florida, as the Raptors begin a back-to-back set with the Magic on Sunday before visiting the Heat Monday evening. The stat With their 41st win of the season, the Raptors secured a .500 record for the sixth time in franchise history and first since 2007-08, the last year they qualified for the playoffs. The quote "My grandmother called," Johnson told the media after his team clinched a spot in the playoffs. "She said that she was proud." NFL Jerseys Cheap Authentic . Napoli beat high-flying Hellas Verona 3-0 to keep up the pressure on the top two while AC Milan had another disappointing night as four goals from teenage forward Domenico Berardi saw relegation-threatened Sassuolo come back from two goals down to win 4-3. Authentic NFL Jerseys For Sale . -- The Sacramento Kings have claimed forward Travis Outlaw off waivers under the NBAs new amnesty provision, filling out the frontcourt with another veteran. http://www.authenticfootballjerseyssale.com/ . How foolishly wrong I was. Forget the now inherent corruption and back handed favours that plague the beautiful game. Goal Line Technology? Youre having a laugh. As for them penalty cheating bandits, footballs lawmakers upend them by awarding the penalty to the opponent each time a player attempts to con the referee into awarding ghost penalties.TORONTO - Logan Couture doesnt have to look far to be reminded of the San Jose Sharks playoff collapse against the Los Angeles Kings. His surgically repaired right hand still has scars from last months surgery, and the recovery has been slow. He expects the hand, injured in a fight with Kings centre Mike Richards, to be OK by training camp. And Couture works out with Kings defenceman Drew Doughty, who was set to have his day with the Stanley Cup on Friday. Doughty doesnt chirp his good friend, but that doesnt stop Couture from thinking about the painful first-round series loss. "I think every time I see hockey on TV or read about it in the paper," he said. The Sharks were in command of the series, up three games to none. But they proceeded to become the just the fourth team in NHL history to blow that lead. The Kings won the Cup, and the Sharks were left to wonder what went wrong. Couture doesnt ponder what he and his teammates couldve done differently. The thoughts are more simple than that. "I just think about how much it hurts," he said Thursday night at Dominic Moores Smashfest charity event. "The feelings arent going to go away probably never. Its just something that sticks with you for a long time." In time, Couture thinks the collapse should serve as motivation for the Sharks who remain. For now, at least, that includes captain Joe Thornton and veteran winger Patrick Marleau, whose new contracts start next season and include full no-move clauses. San Jose general manager Doug Wilson has talked about rebuilding and going younger. In the process the Sharks traded 38-year-old defenceman Dan Boyles free-agent rights, traded 34-year-old defenceman Brad Stuart and bought out 33-year-old winger Marty Havlat. In free agency, the Shaarks signed enforcer John Scott in an effort to "act as a deterrent and help keep teams and opposing players honest," according to Wilson. Wholesale NFL Jerseys Authentic. The vast majority of the roster looks similar to the one that finished the playoffs, though San Jose hopes to have defenceman Marc-Edouard Vlasic back after his injury and will move Brent Burns back to the blue-line. "We knew something was going to happen. Every year changes happen," Couture said. "Well see what happens going forward. Some things may happen, some things may not, so well see." One thing that may happen in the not-too-distant future is Couture becoming the captain. The Sharks took the "C" off Marleau four years ago and he has continued to play and produce, so that concept isnt far-fetched for Thornton, as well. Couture, who served as captain of the OHLs Ottawa 67s, has had conversations with Wilson this summer but said he had not been specifically asked to increase his leadership role. "I think its just expected," the 25-year-old Guelph, Ont., native said. "I think each year you play more with an organization youre expected to take on more of that role. Those are kind of the things that dont have to be said." Couture will begin his new US$30-million, five-year contract this season and hopes that his tenure in San Jose is a long one. With that, he anticipates a larger role in the locker-room and on the ice. "I think I learned a lot from the leaders on our team in San Jose the last couple of years and taking small things from them and try to be a leader as much as I can with our team with our young guys," Couture said. "Weve got a lot of leaders on that team, a lot of veteran players, so I think well be fine." --- Follow @SWhyno on Twitter Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '
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