e Raptors most unpredictable season ye from miao1234's blog

Twelve months ago, Tim Leiweke was heading up Los Angeles-based sports giant AEG, partial owners of an expected-to-contend Lakers team. Kirk Hinrich Bulls Jersey. Masai Ujiri - one of the leagues lowest paid general managers - was set to begin his third season at the helm of the Denver Nuggets, a season that would see his team produce a franchise-record 57 wins, earning him NBA Executive of the Year honours. Locally, Bryan Colangelo shared his "acceleration plan" with the Toronto media ahead of what would be another disappointing year for the Raptors, missing the playoffs for a fifth consecutive season. A lot has changed in the last four months but as training camp approaches, the Raptors roster - apart from a missing former first-overall pick and a tweaked second unit - remains relatively untouched. But for how long? For this struggling franchise, any semblance of roster uniformity falls outside of the norm. In their 18-year existence theyve started 12 different centres on opening night. Theyve used an astonishing eight different starting small forwards to open eight seasons since Vince Carter was traded in 2005 (Rudy Gay should become the ninth in nine years when the team debuts at home to Boston on Oct. 30). They cycled through 22 different starting lineups last season (6th most in the NBA) after using 20 different first units during the lockout shortened 2011-12 campaign. In light of their recent front-office shuffle, the return of a group that started 21 of the final 32 games last season may come as a surprise. When Leiweke was appointed the president and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment in late April, the Raptors new boss preached change. The makeover began shortly after with the reassignment of Colangelo and the eventual hiring of Ujiri, his former assistant. The Raptors will open training camp in Toronto on Oct. 1, Colangelo now out of the picture but the core he assembled, the core he believed could take this team to the next level, remains intact and ready to begin the season atop returning coach Dwane Caseys depth chart. Gay will attend his first camp as a Raptor, joining fifth-year guard DeMar DeRozan, sophomore centre Jonas Valanciunas, unheralded forward Amir Johnson and point guard Kyle Lowry, who is entering the final year of his contract acquired from Houston last July. Whether Ujiri believes in this group, as his former mentor did, or if the market and their value within it simply prohibited him from making a big move remains to be seen. Ultimately, it doesnt matter. Now, the onus is on the players and their coach to justify Colangelos vision as the former GM watches from a distance. Theres reason to believe that status quo could work, assuming the goal is to squeeze into the post-season. The aforementioned group was Torontos most used five-man unit last year, despite only being assembled in February. They were ranked third among five-man units league-wide (minimum 300 minutes played together) in defensive efficiency, giving up 92.5 points per 100 possessions (an impressive 15 points fewer than Torontos 22nd-ranked season mark, via NBA.com/Stats). With Gay on board from the get-go, the continued improvement of Valanciunas and the hope of a healthy Lowry paired in the backcourt with a more efficient DeRozan, Ujiri is banking on internal growth. At least for now. Returning to Toronto with a reputation for being patient, albeit opportunistic, the Raptors new GM has a knack for unpredictability, a silent assassin navigating through an era obsessed with breaking news before it even happens. Thats precisely what makes this coming season one of the most intriguing in the franchises recent history.  The decision makers have changed. So, too, has the philosophy. But will the player personnel? Will the trigger be pulled, when will it be pulled and what will prompt it? Another slow start could very well bring on wholesale changes in Toronto, but couldnt a hot start conceivably do the same? If the value of players like Gay (who can opt out after this season), Lowry (expiring contract) or DeRozan (four-year extension, signed by Colangelo took effect July 1) exceed their perceived worth prior to the trade deadline, could they be moved regardless of the teams trajectory? With change comes the inevitable uncertainty that is destined to surround this organization until a direction is made clear. Ujiri has just begun to put his fingerprints on this club, adding depth in the form of journeymen Tyler Hansbrough, D.J. Augustin, Steve Novak and Austin Daye, while appeasing the fan base by jettisoning disgruntled forward Andrea Bargnani to New York. What he does next - and when he does it - is anyones guess, which should make things interesting going into what could be the Raptors most unpredictable season yet. Michael Jordan Grey Jersey . Laughton, a centre with the Ontario Hockey Leagues Oshawa Generals, is representing Canada internationally for the third time. Michael Jordan Electricity Fashion Jersey . -- Nick Bjugstad snapped out of his scoring slump and spoiled Drew MacIntyres first NHL start.REGINA - The Saskatchewan Roughriders have signed safety Tyron Brackenridge to an extension.The six-foot, 190-pound Brackenridge started all 18 regular-season games for the Roughriders last year, registering 64 defensive tackles, ten special teams tackles, three interceptions, three forced fumbles, two sacks and a blocked field goal.He was named a West Division and CFL All-Star for the second tiime in his career and second consecutive season. Michael Jordan Black Shadow Jersey. Saskatchewan signed Brackenridge as a free agent in October 2011 after he was released by the NFLs Jacksonville Jaguars.The 30-year-old has recorded 196 defensive tackles, 16 special teams tackles and nine interceptions 59 career regular-season CFL games.Brackenridge was eligible to become a free agent on February 10th. Cheap Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys China Wholesale Jerseys ' ' '

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By miao1234
Added Jun 15 '16


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