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The Canucks host

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The Canucks host

Postby elaine95 on 14 Aug 2018, 08:02

As postgame questions go Aaron Rodgers Packers Jersey , it was relatively innocuous, and maybe because of that, and because it came at a news conference after the Toronto Raptors moved into the second round of the playoffs by eliminating the Washington Wizards in Game 6, DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry were in a playful mood.

So as Toronto’s pair of All-Star guards sat there, waiting for the other to talk, DeRozan eventually spoke up, not to respond, but to kid to his running mate: ”You want me to answer everything.” To which Lowry retorted, referring to the reporter, ”He didn’t say `Kyle.'”

DeRozan: ”He said both of us.” Lowry pointed a hand in his teammate’s direction, indicating DeRozan needed to reply, and instructed: ”That’s how this works.” And then Lowry teased: ”You don’t even remember the question.” DeRozan, with a grin, conceded: ”No, I don’t.”

As long as the DeRozan-Lowry duo works in harmony on the court – and gets plenty of help from a terrific bench unit, just as it did while No. 1 seed Toronto finished off Washington with a 102-92 road victory Friday night – the Raptors have a formula for success this postseason.

Because of those reserves, led by point guard Fred VanVleet, DeRozan and Lowry were able to spend plenty of time resting in the last game, neither playing more than 33 minutes. They won’t be spent by the time they get to the Eastern Conference’s next round Roquan Smith Jersey , which will come against either the Cleveland Cavaliers or Indiana Pacers.

”It’s big, especially the dynamic of how we can do it,” DeRozan said. ”He can have a big night. I can have a big night. And the nights that we don’t, we have a bench that can go out there and can win the game for us, as well. Any given night, whether it’s a closeout game or a Game 1, I think we’re just capable of showing so many different elements of how to win a game that we didn’t have last year.”

Last season, the Raptors were swept in the second round by LeBron James and the Cavaliers. A season earlier, they also were knocked out by the Cavs, in six games in the East finals.

Now Toronto has to wait a bit to find out if it’ll go up against LBJ and Co. for the third year in a row. Because Indiana won 121-87 on Friday, that series will head to a Game 7 at Cleveland on Sunday.

Asked whether he preferred one possible opponent or the other, DeRozan gave a quick answer: ”No.”

He averaged a series-leading 26.7 points against the Wizards, and Lowry was second among the Raptors at 17.2, along with 8.3 assists and 4.8 rebounds.

But what has to make them rather happy moving forward is what happened when they were on the sideline in Game 6. VanVleet, the backup point guard, finally saw extended action for the first time against the Wizards, after being out for all but three minutes because of an injured right shoulder.

Finally healthy enough to play, VanVleet led the second unit capably at both ends of the floor, contributing five points Clay Matthews Jersey , four assists and four rebounds, while playing pesky defense against All-Star shooting guard Bradley Beal.

”He is kind of the engine, the toughness,” Toronto coach Dwane Casey said about VanVleet.

In all, the bench outscored Washington’s reserves 21-6 and outrebounded them 15-3 in the second half, allowing the Raptors to finally win a road playoff game in which they trailed at halftime.

Their record before Friday in such situations was 0-23.

Knowing they can win on the road at all should be a confidence-builder as the playoffs continue.

The Raptors already knew they had an elite bunch of reserves.

Looking at teams that reached the playoffs, they tied for first during the regular season in bench scoring, averaging 41.8 points.

”It’s been like that all year. It’s not going to be any different in the playoffs,” VanVleet said. ”I thought our bench team had been good this series at home, and we just needed to put together a performance on the road.”



Vancouver Canucks forwards Henrik and Daniel Sedin announced they will retire at the end of the season.

The 37-year-old twins disclosed their plans Monday in a letter on the team’s website before addressing media later.

The Sedins are in their 17th season in the NHL, all with Vancouver. They led the Canucks to within one game of winning the 2011 Stanley Cup.

”There’s been a lot of talk,” Henrik Sedin said at Rogers Arena. ”We felt the longer the season went, it became clearer to us this was going to be our last year.”

”It’s a happy day for all of us,” Daniel Sedin added. ”We’re really comfortable where we’re at.”

They relived the tough early times when they were criticized for being too slow and soft, the high-flying glory days, the crushing defeats, and the last three seasons that have seen the Canucks lose more combined games than any other team in the league.

”It’s always tough losing,” said Daniel Sedin, who along with his brother will play just three more NHL games. ”But with the team we had Reuben Foster Jersey Limited , you have to stay positive, you have to keep playing the right way, and trying to teach the young guys.”

Heading into the final year of their contracts, the Sedins penned an open letter in the fall stating their desire to remain with the only franchise they’ve ever known – even if it meant forgoing the chance at a Stanley Cup elsewhere.

”We know we had the best jobs in the world,” Henrik Sedin said Monday. ”We tried to treat it that way. … We haven’t looked too far ahead or we haven’t looked back. I’m sure we will after this is done.”

The twins said in their letter Monday that they originally wanted to wait until after this season to make a decision, but they decided the time was right to make the call.

Selected second and third overall at the 1999 draft after the Canucks made a series of trades to grab both brothers, the Sedins have been the faces of the franchise for more than a decade. However, it wasn’t initially a smooth transition from Sweden to North America.

”There’s lot of people that believed in us early on that were part of this organization,” Henrik Sedin said. ”If they would have listened to a lot of voices out of this room, it would have been easy to trade us because we didn’t live up to the hype.”

The Sedins would eventually do so to become one of the most fearsome duos in the league, with what sometimes seemed like a telepathic ability to find each other with passes. Their vision and ability to find each other on the ice often left opponents shaking their heads.

”We’ll miss them as people and as players,” said Canucks president of hockey operations Trevor Linden, who played six seasons with the Sedins. ”Happy for them because I know this is a decision they’ve come to for the right reasons.”

Two likely Hall of Famers when their numbers are eventually called, Henrik Sedin has 1,068 points (240 goals, 828 assists) in 1,327 regular-season games, while Daniel Sedin has 1,038 points (391 goals Joe Montana Jersey , 647 assists) in 1,303 outings.

Henrik added 23 goals and 55 assists in 105 playoff games, with Daniel adding 25 goals and 46 assists in 102 games.

Henrik won the Art Ross Trophy as the league’s top scorer in 2009-10 with 112 points. He also won the Hart Trophy as league MVP that year.

Daniel won the Art Ross in 2010-11 with 104 points. He also won the Ted Lindsay Award as the league MVP voted on by the players.

”When they dropped the puck, we wanted to be on the ice,” Henrik Sedin said. ”We wanted to be the go-to guys.”

The Sedins plan to stay in Vancouver for the time being and are looking forward to spending more time with family.

”Going on the road, leaving the kids home, family, that’s been the toughest part,” Daniel Sedin said. ”It will be fun to be around them a lot more.”

The core that got so close to a Stanley Cup title in 2011 has been slowly stripped away, with the Sedins among the only players left.

With players like Brock Boeser and Bo Horvat at the front of a new wave under the leadership of rookie coach Travis Green, the Sedins said they feel they’re leaving the franchise in good hands.

The Canucks also now have some holes to fill. Daniel Sedin has 21 goals and 31 assists in 78 games this season, while Henrik Sedin has three goals and 45 assists in 79 outings – a combined 100 points Vancouver will have to replace.

”It’s the right time for us to leave,” Henrik Sedin said. ”We’ve been part of a coaching staff and a group that we really enjoyed working with.”

The Canucks host the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday before the Sedins’ final home game Thursday against the Arizona Coyotes. The twins will then wrap up their careers Saturday at Edmonton.

”It’s a chance for us to thank the fans,” Daniel Sedin said. ”We told our teammates this morning they should be regular games. Treat us the same way.

”It should be no different this last week.”



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elaine95
 
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