Logo
Login Register
 
 

In the Spot!

This is the thread reading mode page ...


Create a Topic | Search | Back to Subject | Reply | Delete thread

   
 

r fourth in league with car


Picture
panxing18
Date Aug. 9th 07:36 AM Icon 21 Date 0

 

A ”culture reset” carried the Toronto Raptors to the top of the Eastern Conference for the first time this season.

Next [url=www.ravensauthorizedshops.com]www.ravensauthorizedshops.com[/url] , the Raptors will try to hit reset on their playoff history with the Washington Wizards.

After Cleveland swept the Raptors in the second round last spring, team president Masai Ujiri promised to change the culture surrounding the club.

That meant greater emphasis on ball movement and 3-point shooting, something the Raptors were able to execute immediately. Toronto had 67 games with at least 20 assists, up from 34 the previous year, and averaged 33 shots a game from beyond the arc, third most in the NBA.

”We won 59 games,” All-Star guard DeMar DeRozan said. ”I think that speaks for itself. We know what works for us, what got us here, and what’s going to take us even further.”

Thanks to the offensive overhaul, this Raptors team is far removed from the one swept in the first round in 2015, a series in which the Wizards won by an average of 14 points.

”That’s old news, it’s years ago,” All-Star guard Kyle Lowry said. ”We’re a different team [url=www.titansauthorizedshops.com]www.titansauthorizedshops.com[/url] , different style of play, different people, different egos.”

Raptors coach Dwane Casey said the humiliating sweep helped sow the seeds for Ujiri’s reset.

”That’s one reason why we did change things,” Casey said. ”To give us some other options in the playoffs when teams do try to take away DeMar and Kyle.”

Toronto may have retooled its way to the top of the East, but the Raptors still face a tough first-round test against Washington’s tandem of All-Star guards, John Wall and Bradley Beal.

The speedy Wall averaged 19.4 points and 9.6 assists this season. He would have ranked second in the NBA in assists but was limited to 41 games because of injuries, too few to qualify.

”We’re not going to look at them like they’re the eighth seed because we understand what this team is capable of,” DeRozan said.

Still, the Wizards lost five of their final six games, including defeats to Chicago, Atlanta and Orlando, the three worst teams in the East.

Some other things to watch in the series:

GAME 1 BLUES

The Raptors have lost 10 straight opening games in playoff series, six at home. Toronto has played 13 series in franchise history and won one Game 1 [url=www.authenticsdetroitlions.com]Sylvester Williams Color Rush Jersey[/url] , beating Philadelphia in the second round in 2001. ”We’ve lost a lot of Game 1s,” said Lowry, who has been part of the past seven defeats. ”We have to play it like a Game 7.”

WHERE’S WALL?

Toronto and Washington split their four games this season, but Wall missed them all because of injuries. Facing the Wizards with Wall is ”a whole new dynamic,” DeRozan said. Wall returned March 31 after being sidelined for more than two months because of left-knee surgery and was held out on the second night of back-to-backs down the stretch. Wall will have plenty of time to rest in this series, with two days off between Games 1 and 2, two more before Game 3 and, if necessary, two days off between Games 4 and 5.

BENCH MOB

Toronto’s bench averaged 42 points a game this season, tied with San Antonio for fourth most in the NBA. Led by guards Delon Wright and Fred VanVleet, forwards C.J. Miles and Pascal Siakam, and center Jakob Poeltl, Toronto’s bench posted an NBA-best plus-minus of 3.6 [url=www.authenticsminnesotavikings.com]Mike Hughes Color Rush Jersey[/url] , easily outpacing second-place Houston (2.3). Casey said he doesn’t want to be bound by traditional basketball thinking in which starters play more and reserves less in the postseason. ”They’re a huge part of who we are,” Casey said. ”We’re going in making sure we try to keep our second unit intact.” VanVleet, however, is questionable for Game 1 because of a bruised right shoulder.

ROSTER REPORT

Toronto F Serge Ibaka left Wednesday’s season finale after being elbowed in the mouth but is expected to start Saturday. … Washington F Otto Porter is questionable for Game 1 because of a strained right calf. He sat out Wednesday. … Wizards F Mike Scott (concussion protocol) could miss Game 1 after being hit in the head Wednesday. … Washington G Jodie Meeks will miss the series after being suspended 25 games Friday for a drug violation. … The Wizards added depth Thursday by signing G Ty Lawson. The 30-year-old Lawson played most recently in the Chinese Basketball Association.

LEBRON LOOMS

The series winner will face Cleveland or Indiana. That likely means a matchup with LeBron, whose team has represented the East in seven straight NBA Finals. James and the Cavs have eliminated Toronto from the playoffs two straight years, including a conference finals defeat in 2016. Toronto is seeded first and had hoped it could steer clear of James & Co. until the conference finals. But Philadelphia’s season-ending 16-game winning streak vaulted the 76ers past Cleveland.

MINNESOTA (14-3) vs. PHILADELPHIA (14-3)

Sunday, 6:40 p.m. ET, Fox

OPENING LINE – Vikings by 3 1/2

RECORD VS. SPREAD – Minnesota 12-4-1, Philadelphia 11-5-1

SERIES RECORD – Tied 13-13

LAST MEETING – Eagles beat Vikings 21-10, Oct. 23, 2016

LAST WEEK – Vikings beat Saints 29-24; Eagles beat Falcons 15-10

AP PRO32 RANKING – Vikings No. 2, Eagles No. 5

VIKINGS OFFENSE – OVERALL (11), RUSH (7) [url=www.authenticsatlantafalcons.com]Isaiah Oliver Color Rush Jersey[/url] , PASS (11).

VIKINGS DEFENSE – OVERALL (1), RUSH (2), PASS (2).

EAGLES OFFENSE – OVERALL (7), RUSH (3), PASS (13).

EAGLES DEFENSE – OVERALL (4), RUSH (1), PASS (17).

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES – Eagles are 3-0 vs. Vikings in playoffs. … Vikings seeking first trip to Super Bowl in 41 years. Eagles seeking first Super Bowl appearance in 13 years. Neither team has won a Super Bowl. … Vikings are 6-16 on road in playoffs. … Vikings were 6-2 on road this season. … Minnesota led NFL in fewest yards allowed per game (275.9) for first time since 1993 and also allowed fewest points (15.8). … Vikings held opponents to 25.2 percent conversion on third downs, best mark in league. … Offense converted 43.5 percent on third down, third in league. … QB Case Keenum was second in NFL with 67.6 completion percentage. … RB Latavius Murray had 842 yards rushing and eight TDs. RB Jerick McKinnon had 570 yards rushing and three TDs. … WR Adam Thielen was fifth in NFL with 1,276 yards receiving and eighth with 91 receptions. … DE Everson Griffen tied for fourth in league with career-high 13 sacks. … LB Eric Kendricks has led team in tackles each of his first three seasons. His brother, Mychal, is LB[img]www.sndpic.com[/img] for Philadelphia. … All-Pro S Harrison Smith tied career high with five picks. … WR Stefon Diggs had 137 yards receiving vs. Saints last week [url=www.giantsauthorizedshops.com]www.giantsauthorizedshops.com[/url] , including 61-yard game-winning reception on final play. … Eagles have reached conference championship six times since 2000, most appearances by NFC team in that span. … Eagles in NFC championship game for first time since losing 32-25 at Arizona on Jan. 18, 2009. … Eagles host NFC title game for first time since beating Atlanta 27-10 on Jan. 23, 2005. … Philadelphia is 14-7 at home in playoffs, including 5-3 at Linc. … Eagles are 14-3 at home under coach Doug Pederson, best home record in NFL over last two seasons. … Philly has outscored opponents 244-117 at home this season. … QB Nick Foles set franchise playoff record with 76.7 completion percentage vs. Falcons. … Foles has completed 46 of 63 (73 percent) for 441 yards, two TDs, no picks and 102.7 passer rating in two playoff starts. … RB LeGarrette Blount scored ninth career postseason rushing TD last week. … RB Jay Ajayi had 98 scrimmage yards (54 rushing, 44 receiving) vs. Atlanta. … K Jake Elliott’s 53-yard field goal vs. Falcons last week was longest in team’s postseason history. Elliott is 6 of 7 from 50 or more yards, but he’s 39 of 43 on extra points and missed one against Atlanta.



.


 
Spacer
  There is no reply to that thread yet.  
   
   
   
 

Post a reply 11

  Sorry, guests can not last post this topic: Login or Register
 
     
Important References
Contact us / Report Abuse
Bookmark us
Privacy policy & terms of use