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we get to keep him

    • 106 posts
    August 9, 2018 1:37 pm IST
    As postgame questions go [url=http://www.authenticskansascitychiefs.com/cheap-breeland-speaks-jersey]Breeland Speaks Color Rush Jersey[/url] , 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 [url=http://www.clevelandindiansteamshops.com/authentic-carlos-carrasco-jersey]Carlos Carrasco Cleveland Indians Jersey[/url] , 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, 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 [url=http://www.seattlemarinersteamshop.com/authentic-edwin-diaz-jersey]Edwin Diaz Seattle Mariners Jersey[/url] , 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 [url=http://www.authenticsbaltimoreravens.com/cheap-lamar-jackson-jersey]Lamar Jackson Color Rush Jersey[/url] , VanVleet led the second unit capably at both ends of the floor, contributing five points, 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.”



    The Latest on NBA Free Agency (all times EDT):

    7:40 p.m.

    Zaza Pachulia is signing a one-year [url=http://www.authenticstampabaybuccaneers.com/cheap-alex-cappa-jersey]Alex Cappa Color Rush Jersey[/url] , $2.4 million contract with the Detroit Pistons.

    A person familiar with the terms confirmed the deal to The Associated Press on Sunday. The person confirmed it on terms of anonymity because the Pistons had not announced the signing.

    Pachulia was with the Golden State Warriors in each of the last two seasons, winning championships both years and starting 127 of a possible 164 regular-season games. Detroit becomes the sixth team for the 34-year-old center, a career 6.9-point-per-game scorer. The Pistons waived center Eric Moreland earlier Sunday, presumably the precursor to the Pachulia signing.

    – Reporting by AP Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds in Las Vegas.



    5:10 p.m.

    Brook Lopez has agreed to a one-year, $3.5 million contract with the Milwaukee Bucks.

    A person familiar with the negotiations confirmed the terms to The Associated Press on Sunday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal has not been announced by the Bucks.

    The 30-year-old Lopez is going into his 11th NBA season. He averaged 13 points per game last season for the Los Angeles Lakers, and has averaged 17.9 points over his career.

    – Reporting by AP Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds in Las Vegas.



    2 p.m.

    Zach LaVine is staying with the Chicago Bulls, after the team matched a four-year, $80 million offer sheet that he got from the Sacramento Kings.

    The Bulls made the announcement Sunday, two days after the Kings and LaVine agreed to the offer terms. LaVine was a restricted free agent, which meant the Bulls had right of first refusal. It was expected that the Bulls would match, and now they have.

    LaVine has missed 91 of a possible 162 games over the past two seasons because of injuries, and the Bulls will have some language in this contract protecting them if his surgically repaired left knee remains problematic. He appeared in only 24 games for the Bulls last season [url=http://www.authenticstampabaybuccaneers.com/cheap-carlton-davis-jersey]Carlton Davis Color Rush Jersey[/url] , averaging 16.7 points on 38 percent shooting.

    ”Zach showed a relentless work ethic in rehabbing his ACL injury to return to the court, and he has a visible passion for the game of basketball,” Bulls vice president of basketball operations John Paxson said.

    ”We know that those attributes, along with his honed skills, will make him an impact player in this league for years to come. We’re thrilled to keep Zach on this Bulls team moving forward.”

    The Bulls acquired LaVine a year ago, as part of the trade that sent Jimmy Butler from Chicago to Minnesota.

    ”We’re excited now that we get to keep him,” Paxson said.

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