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a group of guys to lead the fight on the
Posted On 09/13/2017 03:05:41 by bellis555

TORONTO -- In the moments before the Toronto Raptors took the court for Game 4 in Brooklyn, they huddled in the locker-room and watched footage of their fans gathered back home in Maple Leaf Square. Nike Free 3.0 Flyknit . The Raptors went on to win Game 4 and even up the series and say theyve drawn inspiration from the swell of support theyre receiving in their home city. "I told the team, the fans are doing their part, weve got to do our part as a team, as a group of guys to lead the fight on the court, because the fans are behind us 100 per cent and theyre loud and theyre very proud. And they should be," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. The Raptors expect a repeat of Sunday, when a capacity crowd of 2,500 red-clad fans jammed Maple Leaf Square to watch the game on the giant screen outside the Air Canada Centre. Thousands more packed the roads leading up to the ACC in a raucous outdoor celebration similar to the citys playoff party during the Maple Leafs brief run last year. "Oh man, its unbelievable, our fan base," Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry said. "It makes you want to just be a part of it. Things that were doing right now and the way the fan base is going out there, we want to go out there and play hard and give them a reason to keep coming back and packing Maple Leaf Square and packing the ACC. "We need our fans, we love our fans. . . We cant wait to see (Wednesday) night, the vibe and the energy were going to get." The series has been a spirited battle even before the first ball was tossed up, thanks to general manager Masai Ujiris now-famous F-bomb. Its been a fierce fight on the court. Casey said Kyle Lowry looked like hed been through a 15-round bout after Game 4, and the coach expects both teams to come out swinging in Game 5 on Wednesday. "Its not going to be all smiles and bubble gum and fruitcakes. . . Its going to be a street fight," Casey said. "Thats the way weve got to come out, with that mentality." The Raptors, said Lowry, were caught on their heels Game 1 of the series. The less-experienced Raptors -- three of the teams starters had never made a playoff appearance -- werent prepared for how physical post-season action would be. They lost that game. They put up a fight in Sundays Game 4 victory in Brooklyn, holding the Nets to just three baskets in a scrappy fourth quarter. But they were forced to battle back from a lackadaisical third quarter, a bad habit the Raptors havent been able to shake all season long. "Weve got to compete like that for 40-plus (minutes)," Casey said. "The third quarter has been our nemesis. . . thats what we have to remedy, coming out of the locker-room at halftime with that desperate disposition." Despite being the No. 3 seed, the Raptors were considered underdogs in this series based on playoff experience. DeMar DeRozan said theyve played with a chip on their collective shoulder with that underdog mentality all season, so this is nothing new. "We understood coming into this series that people still counted us out, people still doubted us, people said: Brooklyns experience, this, that and the third. . . whatever you want to hear," said DeRozan, who struggled through playoff jitters in Game 1 but has shone for Toronto in the three games since. "Weve been counted out so long, weve got the underdog mentality. I dont think thats going anywhere." Playoff experience was a major theme when this best-of-seven series began. Future Hall of Famer Paul Pierce alone -- with 136 playoff appearances -- had played in almost as many post-season games as the entire Raptors roster combined. None of Torontos starters -- Lowry, DeRozan, Terrence Ross, Amir Johnson and Jonas Valanciunas -- had ever started in a playoff game. DeRozan, Ross and Valanciunas had never played in the post-season, period. The Raptors say that four games in, experience doesnt mean much anymore. "Its just who wants it more from here on out. Thats what it boils down to now," DeRozan said. Added Casey: "I dont think were as wide-eyed and bushy-tailed as we were in Game 1." Ross remains the one Raptor struggling with the playing on the big stage of the post-season. The athletic sophomore, who poured in 51 points in a game earlier this season, scored zero in Game 4. Casey and the players remain fiercely supportive of the 21-year-old. "Im not going to do anything to crush that young mans confidence or what hes brought to the table thus far," said Casey, pointing out that Ross has done some good things on the defensive end. "And its not about Terrence Ross, its about our entire team," the coach added. "The spotlight should not be on him in any way whatsoever. The reason why we win or lose is not because of what Terrence Ross did or didnt do." Adidas Superstar Bleu . - Christophe Lalancette scored a third-period goal and added the shootout winner to lead the Drummondville Voltigeurs to a 5-4 win over the Quebec Remparts in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League play on Sunday. Nike Flyknit Chukka .ca. In Sundays Blackhawks-Penguins game, Pittsburgh defenceman Brooks Orpik laid a huge hit on Chicagos Jonathan Toews. Now in my view, Orpik can be clearly seen leaving his feet while delivering a moderately high hit.Marc-Edouard Vlasic is one of the most intriguing players in the National Hockey League. Hes become a staple of the San Jose Sharks blue-line. He earned national recognition after being named to Team Canadas roster at the Sochi Games. And yet, despite consistent performance on the biggest stages, hes often left off of the list of the leagues best rearguards. One of the elements that seems to hold Vlasic back from proper consideration as an elite defender is that he doesnt necessarily fit neatly into the boxes used to describe his comparables. Players like P.K. Subban, Erik Karlsson, Drew Doughty, and Duncan Keith are recognized for their ability to create offensively and drive play territorially. Players like Zdeno Chara, Shea Weber, and Ryan Suter are more regarded for their ability to deter shot attempts and scoring chances, relatively excelling in the defensive zone. Generally, the above group of players – you can throw in Alex Pietrangelo, Mark Giordano and Ryan McDonagh – are talked about as the games best on the back end. I find the regular omission of Vlasic here odd, and I think its largely because hes a unique player. Theres no definitive aspect of his game that stands head and shoulders above everyone else. He doesnt have Erik Karlssons skating, or Zdeno Charas physicality, or Shea Webers slap shot. Hes just pretty good at – well, everything. Consider this simple plot of the top defenders performances over the last three seasons. Here, the x-axis is raw Corsi%, or the shot-share the players team had when he was on the ice. The y-axis is Goal%, or the goal-share the players team enjoyed when he was on the ice. The size of the bubble indicates 60-minute scoring rates. The larger the bubble, the more productive the scorer.  These are fairly crude multi-year numbers, but the driving point here should be that Vlasic is right in the mix with some of hockeys finest. Here, Vlasic has enjoyed just over 54 per cent of the shot-share with his team on the ice, and just under 54 per cent of the goal-share. As an aside, other bubbles of note: Chara, for an older guy, has still more or less dominated (56 per cent of shot-share; 58 per cent of goal-share). Karlssons bubble is the size of Jupiter because his scoring rate is miles aand miles ahead of the competition. Nike Free 4.0 Flyknit. . Its also remarkable to see how close Ryan McDonagh and P.K. Subban are here. Terrifyingly, Montreal could have had both. Back to Vlasic. Where I think he ultimately stands out is in his relative numbers, in which we can compare San Joses performance with the player on the ice as opposed to San Joses performance with the player off the ice. Intuitively speaking, if Vlasic was really driving play, wed see San Joses numbers spike when he takes a shift. So, lets take Marc-Edouard Vlasics Relative Corsi% over the last three years, and roll it over 10-game spans. I prefer to use rolling averages for player and team data analysis because it can smooth out short-term fluctuation and help identify longer-term trends. What we generally see with the leagues leading defenders is consistency over break-even or 0.0% Relative Corsi% - which is the threshold where a team sees the same shot-share with the player on the ice as off the ice. How does Vlasic fare?  The games are chronologically ordered, starting in 2011 and 2014. Other than a small blip (games 43-50) where Vlasic was lagging behind the team average, hes generally been a positive Relative Corsi% player. And youll quickly notice the longer-term trend here, too – Vlasics numbers continue to rise above the team averages, which probably speak both to his improvement as a player, and San Joses reliance on him to drive play at even-strength. The latter part is interesting. While it speaks to Vlasics capabilities, it may also speak to San Joses capabilities – or, lack thereof – when Vlasic steps off the ice. San Joses still getting the better part of the shot-differential when Vlasics off (its a touch over 50 per cent over the last three seasons), but its considerably lagging behind what the teams accomplishing with Vlasic. For a team with legitimate Stanley Cup hopes, bringing their "without Vlasic" numbers closer to their "with Vlasic" numbers should be an organizational goal. All in all, it seems to me that Vlasic is one of the leagues premier defenders. San Joses recognized it. Team Canadas recognized it. But, the discussion of the leagues best defenders has far too often omitted the rock on San Joses back-end. Lets try and change that going forward. Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys ' ' '



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