nicks on April 11 and

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    yyys123
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    Here are five thoughts on the Eastern Conference first-round series between the Toronto Raptors and Brooklyn Nets following Game 1. 1. NETS DEFENSE: Im giving Brooklyn credit. Their offense can sometimes betray you on the road but the D is always a constant. Its ironic; just recently an advance scout who I have a lot of respect for gave me his quick thoughts on how hed defend the Raptors. Extend your pickup point and really pressure their guards. Get out and challenge threes and chase them off the line at all cost. Keep the ball out of DeMar DeRozans hands with very physical denials. Body up to their people – they dont like contact and theyll turn it over. If you allow them to have flow theyll punish you. Its interesting in the last two games that the Raptors played versus the NY Knicks on April 11 and 16; the Knicks used this strategy to force the Raptors into a combined 38 turnovers in those games. The Nets came in and did a terrific job in their coverage and forced the Raps into 17 turnovers and never allowed them to get comfortable. Raptors half-court offense needs to toughen up and get sharper. 2. RAPTORS OFFENSE: I say this a ton of times – playoff offense is like having to go five-on-six against an opponent. Some teams will even use this in practice to toughen their teams up and require even higher-end execution. Its that hard, plain and simple! You could see it on Saturday afternoon that the inability to execute their schemes and go to counters/pressure releases when they got taken out of what they wanted was evident. The ability to establish a consistent paint presence with post-ups and penetration was inconsistent. Overall, the level of offensive toughness that you must have to succeed in the playoffs was lacking. Am I surprised? No. A young team in their first playoff game and it looked it. Theyll steadily improve and fight through that and begin to establish their style of play. They looked at their best when they were able to run off their defense and have space to do their thing. A key to the Raptors offense – pick up the defensive pressure and get the Nets on their heels more. Creator of circumstance vs. creature of it – choose your approach. 3. NETS 3-POINT SHOOTING: They were abysmal, shooting 4-24, which is uncharacteristic for them. Raptors brought good energy in trying to defend the line, yet some of the shots that Brooklyn missed were just plain decent looks that didnt go down. Will be important for Toronto to stay after it and not allow the Nets to get comfortable with the long range game. 4. PLAY BETTER: (DeMar DeRozan / Terrence Ross / Amir Johnson / John Salmons): Just look at their numbers. Theyd all be the first to tell you that they have to play a whole lot better. Theyre all good players whove been significant to the success of this team and they cant win without each of them playing at the level theyre capable of playing at. Bounce back time for each in Game 2 and beyond. Cant force it yet – come in with that approach thats made you successful all year and get after it. 5. MATCHUPS: Im concerned with the Joe Johnson (24 Points) and Paul Pierce (a very difficult cover at the four-spot) matchups. The Raptors struggled with this and have to do a better job in both instances. Johnson hurt them with his physicality and efficiency in the mid and low post, while Pierces outstanding ball skills and smarts along with his three-point shooting ability at the four-spot are a tough scenario for traditional power forwards to cover. Better effort in these two matchups, along with improved defensive assistance to help the guy having to guard those guys counter the issues will help, yet it cant compromise the ability to rebound and defend the three-ball. Energy level, communication, multiple effort, help/recovery and tight rotations will be things to watch. Just a first guess here; I try not to second guess a whole lot and try to put out there a thought to consider as we go forward. I have no issues with the defensive approach in Game 1. Dwane Casey and his staff are excellent and are on top of the details. They know their team better than anybody else. Not even close. Just a thought as a respectful first guess; in my opinion, I think Landry Fields is someone to consider if the current players in the Joe Johnson and Paul Pierce matchups arent able to get the job done. Hes got the size, athleticism, smarts, defensive range and toughness to hold his own in both instances. Any time you call on him, hes ready to go and does a nice job. I understand the concerns with his lack of perimeter shooting but in the playoffs, matchups become even more important to try and counter. Johnsons size, strength and physicality are an issue and Pierces mobility and distance shooting are a problem. Im confident that if he were ever called upon he could hold his own against both. Its just something to consider, again, as a respectful first guess. New York Jets Jerseys Outlet. The group of Slava Fetisov, Igor Larionov, Vladimir Konstantinov, Sergei Fedorov, & Slava Kozlov were a dominant force for The Wings at one point in the 90s. Authentic New York Jets Jerseys.com) – The NBA will be on display overseas Thursday with the New York Knicks taking on the Milwaukee Bucks at O2 Arena in London. http://www.jetscheap.com/. — The Chicago Bears agreed Tuesday to a one-year contract with defensive lineman Israel Idonije and are bringing him back for a second stint. New York Jets Quinnen Williams Jersey. Hamelin overcame a weak start to win bronze in the 500-metre race behind winner Wu Dajing of China and American J.R. Celski on Saturday at the world short track speed skating championship. Wholesale New York Jets Jerseys. Gough finished in fourth, 0.433 seconds behind American Erin Hamlin, who took the bronze medal at the Sanki Sliding Center in Rzhanaya Polyana.OKLAHOMA CITY — The Memphis Grizzlies might have all summer to think their dismal effort Thursday night. The Grizzlies could have closed out the Thunder at home, but Oklahoma City jumped on them from the start and rolled to a 20-point victory. Now, Memphis must play Game 7 on the road Saturday without scoring leader Zach Randolph and possibly point guard Mike Conley. Randolph was suspended for punching Steven Adams in the jaw late in Game 6. The Grizzlies had no comment on the NBAs decision after landing in Oklahoma City, according to team spokesman Jason Wallace. Conley strained his right hamstring in the loss and is struggling to recover. Memphis backup point guard, Nick Calathes, is out for the series because of a drug suspension, meaning No. 3 point guard Beno Udrih will likely carry more responsibility against Russell Westbrook and Reggie Jackson, two of the quickest point guards in the NBA. Conley said Friday that he plans to play, but he expects to be sore. “Me being banged up, youre going to have to ask more out of different guys, see a lot of guys step up,” he said. “Were still excited and confident going into tomorrows game, regardless of injuries and how last nights game went.” Memphis coach Dave Joergers team has dealt with injuries and lineup changes all season. Tony Allen missed 27 games this season, Marc Gasol 23 and Conley nine. Kosta Koufos and Ed Davis will likely fill Randolphs minutes. “This is it,” Joerger said. “Whatever you want to say about the season, its all come down to one game. Certainly, for us to have the best chance to win, we have to play better than we did last night.” Even with the issues the Grizzlies face, nothing has been certain in this matchup. The home team has won just twice in a series that has featured four overtime games. Thunder star Kevin Durant said Game 7 is like playing in the NCAA tournament. “You dont have no other option but to win,” he said. “You cant get the game back. Its Game 7. You have to be ready to go.” The teams have met in the playoffs three of the past four years. Oklahoma City beat Memphis in seven games in the 2011 Western Conference semifinals. “I remember the feeling afterward, and I dont want to repeat that,” Gasol said. If the Grizzliess cant control Westbrook, a repeat is possible.ddddddddddddWestbrook, who at times has played recklessly in the series, scored an efficient 25 points on Thursday and engineered an offence that shot 49 per cent. His willingness to set up his teammates helped Durant score 14 points in the first quarter. “He was really mindful of looking for guys and finding guys early, picking and choosing his spots well,” Durant said. Durant bounced back from his recent struggles with 36 points and 10 rebounds in Game 6. He made 6 of 10 shots in the first quarter Thursday night to set the tone and went 11 for 23 from the field. “Kevin just came out with a different kind of assertiveness last game,” Oklahoma City guard Caron Butler said. “He was just real precise and he was vocal.” The Grizzlies said they cant allow Durant to get going like that again or their season might be over. “We have to be better at finding him,” Allen said. “We understand what he wants to do. Weve just got to be the aggressors on the defensive end. We understand coming into this series, hes going to be an MVP-type player, and we just have to be ready.” Thunder coach Scott Brooks, who rarely makes lineup changes, started Butler at shooting guard over Thabo Sefolosha in Game 6. Butler, a better offensive threat than Sefolosha, helped space the floor and opened lanes for Durant and Westbrook. Brooks said Butler will remain in the starting lineup for Saturdays game. Brooks also played Adams more than usual in Game 6, and he responded with five blocks in 21 minutes on Thursday. Brooks said Adams earned the increase in playing time with his hard work in practice and his improvement throughout the season. The game could come down to tempo. In Games 1 and 6, the two matchups with a quicker pace, the Thunder won by double digits. Memphis turned the other four games into slower-paced, grind-it-out overtime battles and won three of them. “It makes for great storylines, but it comes down to playing good basketball,” Brooks said. “Executing on both ends, making shots along the way, just continuing to play together and understanding that theres going to be some runs by either team that you have to stay focused and stay together through, and just being committed to what we want to do each possession.” Wholesale Jerseys ‘ ‘ ‘

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