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20 мая 2016 г. 12:42

in the bronze medal game on Saturday

TORONTO - Coming off a pair of wire-to-wire victories, the revamped Raptors offence will come face-to-face with the Charlotte Bobcats (11-14) and their improved defence at the Air Canada Centre on Wednesday. Nike Free 5.0 2015 . Listen live on TSN 1050 Radio beginning at 7pm et. Although the Raptors (9-13) have had a renewed confidence about them since dealing Rudy Gay - theyve won three of four games since the trade - the lowly Bobcats continue to be a perplexing thorn in their side. The Bobcats, who snapped a three-game losing streak with a 95-87 victory over Sacramento on Tuesday, have lost their last three games in Toronto but theyve won six straight over the Raptors in Charlotte and their most recent meeting is one that still haunts Dwane Casey. "Theyre a very difficult team for us to play against, to defend, to score on," Casey admitted after practice on Tuesday, reflecting on a crushing 92-90 Nov. 6 loss in Charlotte. "They came out and attacked us at their place and did what they wanted to do to us." "Charlotte happens to have our number and weve got to come out in attack mode against them and try to get that corrected." Toronto got off to a slow start in that contest and the comeback ultimately fell short in the dying seconds when Caseys team failed to commit a foul to extend the game. "For us, we definitely have to match their energy," said Amir Johnson, who had 13 points and seven rebounds against the Bobcats earlier in the season. "We looked over film [from that game] but weve got a new team. We know what they like to do and the main thing weve got to do is outwork those guys." This Raptors team is looking and playing a lot different than the one that fell to Charlotte last month. Gay, who led them in scoring with 20 points in that loss, is gone and Torontos offence has been more cohesive as a result. Last in the league in assists prior to the trade, the Raptors have recorded 20 or more dimes in three of the last four games, also shooting at least 45 per cent from the field in a season-high four straight contests. "[The ball is] moving pretty well," said newcomer Greivis Vasquez, averaging 9.5 points and 4.0 assists in two games with the Raptors. "I think our offence is so smooth, any offence is so smooth when you pass the ball and were doing that lately." For more on the Raptors improved offence and the beneficiaries of the seven-player trade, listen to TSN 1050s Raptors Report podcast. Although the Bobcats rank next to last in scoring, theyre much improved on the other end of the floor under new head coach Steve Clifford. Charlotte is allowing fewer than 93 points per contest, only two NBA teams surrender less. On Tuesday the Bobcats held Sacramento to 87 points, their 21st time holding an opponent under 100, the most in the league this season. "Theyre packing the paint, guys are making you shoot jump shots against them," Casey said of Charlottes improved defence. "Protecting the paint is a big thing, youre going to have to make jump shots, youve got to get open on the wings, youve got to be strong with the ball because theyre getting into it." Trends and Tidbits With back-to-back wins over Philadelphia and Chicago, the Raptors havent trailed in eight quarters of basketball. Its the first time theyve won consecutive games without trailing since January 2013 against the 76ers and Bobcats. The Raptors held Chicago to an opponent season-low 77 points on Saturday. It was also the first time Toronto has held an opponent under 40 per cent shooting this year. Caseys Raptors teams are 23-9 when holding teams under 40 per cent, including an 11-1 mark last season. Although the Bobcats entered Tuesdays game last in both threes per game and three-point field goal percentage, they shot 8-for-17 from long range against the Kings and are now 4-2 on the season when making six or more treys. Bobcats guard Kemba Walker, who is heating up after a rough start to the season, is averaging 20.4 points over his last eight games. What to Watch For Boxing out Although the Raptors opened the season as one of the best rebounding teams in the league, Coach Casey has noticed a slippage in that category of late and has used practice time this week to address it. "We had that same issue in the exhibition season and we corrected it," Casey said, concerned about his teams effort boxing out and establishing rebounding position in practice. "Weve just got to continue to work on it. Its a very difficult thing to do now because you dont want to do a lot of banging on the bodies just because of the time of year it is but mentally you can focus in and lock in." The Raptors coach penalized players for giving up offensive rebounds in Tuesdays practice, forcing them to do running drills and hopes he has gotten through to his team going into a matchup with the physical Bobcats frontcourt. Throw the first punch Although the Raptors loss to Charlotte in November ended with a controversial final play, Casey stressed that it should have never come to that. Toronto was dominated in the first quarter, outscored 32-18 as the Bobcats shot an astonishing 15-for-20 from the field in the period. "It was the worst quarter, other than the Golden State fourth quarter, that weve had," Casey admitted. "So weve got to come in this game energized, ready to attack." The Bobcats got off to another hot start on Tuesday, besting the Kings 35-22 after 12 minutes. However, Toronto seems to have rectified its slow starts of late. The Raptors have won all four first quarters since the trade, outscoring opponents by a combined total of 40 points. Although theyve won all four fourth quarters as well, theyve lost six of eight second and third frames over that span. Who to Watch For Amir Johnson After a slow start to the season, Johnson has picked up right where he left off following last years breakout campaign. The Raptors forward was sent to the bench for a couple games until an injury to Tyler Hansbrough helped earn him his job back. Since then hes been lights out. Johnson is shooting 71 per cent, averaging 20.0 points and 9.0 boards in his last six games. "Players go through slumps, hes had is, hes back now," Casey said of his starting four-man. Without Gay in the lineup, the Raptors are moving the ball and running more pick and rolls, which has been largely responsible for Johnsons reemergence. He has also found instant chemistry playing alongside Vasquez. "Hes a great pick and roll player," Vasquez said of his new teammates. "He can catch, he sets good screens and its going to open up so many different things, its only been two games." Gerald Henderson Like Johnson, Henderson is one of the more unheralded players in the association and the Bobcats guard has proven himself to be a bona fide Raptor killer over the years. In 11 career games against Toronto, Henderson is averaging 14.4 points on a red-hot 54 per cent shooting. Most recently, he scored 23 on 10-of-17 shooting in this seasons win over the Raptors. Nike Free 4.0 V3 . Louis works on day in day out. "The goal he scored tonight is exactly what you see him practise every time hes on the ice," said Rangers coach Alain Vigneault. Nike Free 4.0 Flyknit . GENO SMITHOn the precipice of being unshackled from the Mark Sanchez-era in New Jersey, the Jets started the offseason with a surprising lack of drama.Gold has once again escaped the grasp of Team USA. The mens hockey team will now try to avoid leaving the Sochi Olympics without a medal at all as they battle Finland in the bronze medal game on Saturday. The United States squared off against Canada on Friday in a rematch of the 2010 gold medal game. And like those Vancouver Games, Canada got the better of the U.S. by handing the Americans a 1-0 setback. Jonathan Quick, who finishes the tournament today as the U.S. starting goaltender, was solid in net for the U.S. and posted 36 saves, but an offense that tied Finland for the most goals in the preliminary round (15) failed to get a shot by Canadian netminder Carey Price. Price ended with 31 saves to advance Canada into the gold medal game against Sweden. The only goal allowed by Quick came at 1:41 of the second period as Canadas Jay Bouwmeester unleashed a low, hard shot from the left point that was redirected into the net by Jamie Benn. The defeat dropped the U.S. to 1-4 in Olympic action against Canada since NHL players began competing in 1998. That includes an overtime setback four years ago in Vancouver. Nike Free 3.0 V4. Looking to secure a chance at winning its first Olympic gold medal, Finland instead saw its offense struggle as well in a 2-1 setback to Sweden on Friday. Without goaltender Tuukka Rask due to illness, Finland got 23 stops from Kari Lehtonen. Olli Jokinen was the lone Finn to beat Swede goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who made 25 saves. Rask will get the start in goal for the medal game. Jokinen was in the penalty box when Sweden netted its game-winning goal in the second period as Erik Karlsson scored on a one-time blast with 3:34 on the clock. The Finns had a power-play opportunity midway through the third, but failed to cash in and didnt have many good scoring chances the rest of the way. Finland is looking to secure an Olympic medal for the fifth time in the last six Olympic Games. The Finns won bronze in 2010 after taking silver four years prior. The U.S., which has not won gold since the 1980 Games in Lake Placid, won silver in 2002 and four years ago in Vancouver after being held without a medal in 2006. The last time the Americans won a bronze medal was in 1936. Cheap Jerseys Wholesale JerseysWholesale Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys China Wholesale Jerseys ' ' '

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