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Inscription : 02/01/2020 07:46
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 Sujet du message : h a crucial mat
Publié : 04/01/2020 02:19 
TORONTO - Three weeks ago DeMar DeRozan was happily taking advantage of a flawed partnership with Rudy Gay. The Raptors two leading scorers were never able to co-exist the way they hoped or the team had envisioned, but individually DeRozan was thriving, in the midst of a career season. During his brief tenure, Gays presence meant far more to his team, to DeRozan, than his sub-par production. Despite his poor shot selection and declining percentages, the former Raptors forward consistently topped the oppositions scouting report, drawing the attention of their best defender(s) and making the game a whole lot easier for his emerging sidekick. No longer Robin to Gays Batman, DeRozan has assumed the lead role and is embracing the added responsibility that comes with it. "Lately Ive been trying to do a lot of different things," DeRozan told TSN.ca last week. "Getting my teammates involved, trying to rebound, trying to get steals, do a lot of other things that keep me going that probably before I didnt used to do." "I let my shot [dictate] my game, but now I just trust my teammates. I just try to go out there and do other stuff because I know I can be a decoy with how much of the defence I draw." For all his ability and the consequential attention it would attract, Gay was never willing to be a decoy in Toronto, at least not consistently. He was too prideful, a result of the self-imposed expectations that come with a max salary in the NBA. The moment had to be his, which to him meant the shot had to be his. Opposing defences feasted on that predictability and more often than not DeRozan became the forgotten man. A career 26 per cent three-point shooter, DeRozan was firing the long-ball at a 37 per cent clip in 18 games before Gay was dealt to Sacramento earlier in the month. In his fifth season, DeRozan was averaging career-highs across the board but his growth and maturity has become most evident in the aftermath of the trade. Despite the added responsibility in 10 games since the trade, his shot attempts have not increased (17.9 per game, up from 17.7) and his scoring average has dipped just slightly (20.5 points per game from 21.4). Instead, his assists (4.5 per contest, from 2.7) and rebounding numbers (4.7, from 2.7) have gone up. The ball is moving more than it has in a long time, the team is playing together, winning together and DeRozans fingerprints are all over it. The Raptors are 9-2 when DeRozan registers four or more assists this season. "I understand a lot of teams, mostly all the teams are going to key [in on] me so I use that to my advantage and just try to get my teammates going," he said after matching a career-high with nine assists in the overtime win against Dallas on December 20th. Hes not cowering from the defensive pressure hes facing, hes also not trying to do too much. "[Teams are] showing him a lot of respect, trying to get the ball out of his hands," Dwane Casey said of the 24-year-old guard. "Hes done an excellent job of passing out of it. His scoring average will probably go down a little bit but its going to help someone else." So far, sophomore Terrence Ross has been the primary beneficiary. The Raptors second-year guard, whose playing time has increased by over 10 minutes per game since the trade, is excelling in the starting lineup alongside DeRozan on the wing. Although DeRozans three-point percentage has plummeted without Gay in the lineup - shooting 19 per cent from long distance over the last 10 games - Ross has seen his go from 34 per cent pre-trade to 48 per cent since, setting a new career-high with seven-made triples (on 11 attempts) in Saturdays win over the Knicks. "I think its helped T-Ross," Casey said, "because [teams are] double teaming [DeRozan] and leaving him open." "Im just taking what the defence gives me," added Ross, who is averaging 14.4 points in nine contests as a starter. "DeMar [has been] consistent all year, he can go out and score in different ways and it kind of opens up things for me, Kyle (Lowry), Jonas (Valanciunas) and everybody else." His shots have been reminiscent of those DeRozan got, and made consistently earlier in the campaign, many of them coming from the corner. The corner three is the most efficient shot in basketball and the 21-year-old is perfecting it. Ross ranks 11th in the NBA, knocking down 24 corner threes this season while shooting them at a 49 per cent clip. He leads the association with 16 corner threes made since December 8th, when the Gay trade was consummated, shooting a remarkable 55 per cent from that region. Ross is developing a niche, one that could see him become increasingly valuable to the Raptors attack and its all predicated on the leadership of the teams best player. "Hes just playing with confidence," DeRozan said of Ross, his protégé. "I tell him, dont go out there second guessing yourself. You have the ability to do anything on that court, you jump higher than everybody on that court, youre a great shooter, you could do so much just use it and dont worry about messing up so much. Thats what hes doing." "I know I can score, I can get up shots when I need to but I look at it like, let me use myself to get Terrence an open shot or use myself to free up Kyle or create a shot for somebody else," he continued. "Thats what its all about because I know I draw so much attention, I just use that to my benefit." Cheap Vapormax Australia . "He came up to me and said, I want to train," said Toronto coach Ryan Nelsen. The 26-year-old midfielder is expected to play Saturday night when Toronto hosts D.C. United, returning to his Major League Soccer squad with mixed feelings about the Americans World Cup run -- sad that it ended when it did but proud of his teams performance. New Balance Outlet Online . -- The Minnesota Twins have granted relief pitcher Matt Guerrier his unconditional release, making the 35-year-old right-hander a free agent. http://www.discountaustraliashoes.com/cheap-air-max-95-fake.html . - Mathew Barzal scored 3:47 into overtime as the Seattle Thunderbirds downed the visiting Everett Silvertips 4-3 on Tuesday in Western Hockey League playoff action. Air Max 90 Online Store . The International Ice Hockey Federation says Pavlovs avoided a two-year sanction because he acted "without significant negligence in failing to verify the safety of the supplements he was taking. New Balance Shoes Australia . -- Quarterback Josh Johnson has returned to the San Francisco 49ers and his former college coach, Jim Harbaugh. CURITIBA, Brazil -- A little under a year after the sudden death of star striker Christian Benitez, Ecuador has unearthed a new goal-scoring dynamo. Enner Valencias two calmly-taken goals that secured a 2-1 comeback win over Honduras on Friday took his tournament tally to three and put the team in second spot in a group that is likely to be won by France. Valencia, who plays for Mexican club Pachuca, only consolidated his position in the Ecuador starting lineup after Benitez died from a heart problem last July. "He hasnt even celebrated a year with us, I think hes grown a lot, improved a lot," Ecuadors coach Reinaldo Rueda said of his new star forward. Valencia, who is no relation to his captain Antonio Valencia, hopes the "joy" that the win has generated will help inspire the team in its crucial final Group E match against France, which has tallied eight goals and conceded two in a pair of dominating wins. Ecuador has three competition points, level with Switzerland but ahead on goal difference after the Swiss lost 5-2 to France earlier Friday. Honduras, which has never won a World Cup match, isnt completely out of contention despite its two losses but it faces an uphill battle ahead of its last group game against Switzerland. "We still have that possibility, though it is remote and we will fight for it," Honduras coach Luis Fernando Suarez said. Rueda praised the Honduras team for its tenacity and expressed the hope that his former charges could do Ecuador a favour by beating the Swiss. Rueda steered Honduras at the last World Cup in South Africa. Should Honduras beat Switzerland, Ecuador would oonly need a draw against France to progress to the knockout rounds of the World Cup for only the second time.dddddddddddd The first time Ecuador qualified for the second round was in 2006 and, coincidentally, the team was then was managed by current Honduras coach Suarez. Rueda conceded it was difficult to meet his former team in such a crucial match. "For me, its a mix of emotions, professional and personal," he said. Honduras took the lead in the 31st minute with its first World Cup goal in 32 years when Carlo Costly latched onto a long ball following a misjudgment from Ecuador defender Jorge Guagua. The goal ended a 511-minute drought that stretched back to the 1982 World Cup. Valencia equalized three minutes later, tapping in with his left foot from close range after sloppy Honduran defending failed to stop a cross in from the right. Honduras applied more of the pressure leading up to halftime and nearly took the lead. A fierce free kick in injury time from Victor Bernardez forced a good save from Ecuador goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez. Honduras got the ball in the Ecuador net seconds before the break when a Costly header rebounded off the post into the path of Jerry Bengtson, but it was disallowed -- apparently for a hand ball. The second half was far less frenzied than the opening 45 minutes and Valencias winner came in the 65th minute when he out-jumped the Honduras defence to head home a left-sided free kick from Walter Ayovi. "These are goals in the World Cup, this is something you dream of when you are a young kid and thank God that this dream is becoming a reality," said Valencia. ' ' '





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