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edge into the fourth.
 
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MessagePosté le: Mer 14 Mar - 07:45 (2018)    Sujet du message: edge into the fourth. Répondre en citant

TORONTO - Raptors centre Jonas Valanciunas is not going to sneak up on anybody in his second NBA season. Jack Tatum Jersey . Hes no longer the Raptors ace in the hole. Hes a known commodity and the league has been paying attention. If youve waited this long to hop on the bandwagon, you may be too late. Its already nearing capacity. Valanciunas, a member of last seasons All-Rookie Second Team, was recently voted the international player most likely to have a breakout campaign in NBA.coms annual GM survey. Expectations are sky-high for the sophomore, and for good reason. Sometimes its easy to forget hes only 21 years old. "Hes still learning," head coach Dwane Casey said of the Lithuanian following the teams second-to-last practice before Wednesdays season opener. "His is a growing process. Hes not there [yet], he wasnt there last year [and] hes still growing this year." Caseys reminder is an important one. For all he accomplished in his first season as a 20-year-old learning the NBA game and mastering a new language, for all the work he put in and the strength he put on during a busy summer, he still has work to do. With the rest of the league - including several elite Eastern Conference centres - zeroing in on him, the learning curve wont get easier. The hope, for Casey and the Raptors, is that hes better prepared for whats to come now that he has a full year under his belt. "Its my second year and its easier because its kind of the same thing as last year," a more comfortable and noticeably more confident Valanciunas said Monday. "[Its the] same coach [and] same defence so Im familiar with the schemes." "I just think his confidence is up," said teammate Landry Fields, whos also going into his second year with the Raptors. "Hes playing a lot more comfortably out there and the chemistry he has with the first group is that much better as well." As a rookie, Valanciunas averaged 8.9 points and 6.0 rebounds in 62 games, including 57 starts. In a season loaded with the peaks and valleys expected from any young big man - specifically on the defensive end - he finished strong, scoring in double figures in 17 of the final 19 contests while showing positive growth as a defender when paired with Amir Johnson. After earning MVP honours at the Las Vegas Summer League and helping guide Lithuania to a second-place finish in FIBAs Eurobasket tournament, Valanciunas has been asked to focus on his continued growth as the anchor of Caseys defence in training camp. Part of that process began in the offseason when he put on approximately 10 pounds in added muscle and is now predicated on his wherewithal to use it the right way. In addition to improved balance, to avoid some of the "silly fouls" he picked up last season, Casey and the coaching staff have worked with Valanciunas on his vertical jump. The goal, Casey says, is for Valanciunas to defend the paint and contest shots in the lane by going straight up, without reaching in or coming down with his hands. "The officials have to know hes going straight up every time, thats his game," the Raptors coach said, stressing the importance of consistency in Valanciunas approach. "If you get that reputation [then] you dont get the cheap fouls so hes got to earn that reputation of verticality." "Were working every day," Valanciunas said of the technique. [It] still needs work but were working and I hope [Im] going to be good [at] that." "Thats the challenge he has," Casey continued, "is doing it every night." Internally, the Raptors know theyll need to remain patient with the young centre regardless of the second-year expectations they have - and the rest of the league has - for him. "The game is so fast for a young player that youve got to process [the little things] probably in about a three- or four-second period of time," Casey pointed out. "Hes still learning that." "Theres days, theres possessions [where] hes great at it and theres possessions that he has no clue what hit him. Every young player goes through it, hes going through it and hes [still] a work in progress." No ones expecting the adjustment hell need to make in year two to be easy, it wasnt in year one, but Valanciunas has made believers out of the Raptors organization with his dedication and unrelenting work ethic. "I like his approach," Casey said, praising his young centre. "I like his attitude. He doesnt give up [and] he continues to work at it but its something he has to learn and something he has to go through." It wont happen overnight but Casey and the Raptors are expecting big things from Valanciunas. As the start of his second season approaches, the league watches with anticipation. How good will he be and how long will it take for him to get there? Jalen Richard Jersey . "If we could score a six in every game, obviously I would be pretty excited," Jones said. "Its a long week but a short week. Its a pretty short round robin from what were used to so you dont want to get behind the eight ball early. Reggie Nelson Jersey . Those who impressed in each of the three events were asked to attend the main CFL Combine which begins Friday in Toronto. http://www.authenticraidersfansclub.com/Black-Friday-Jared-Cook-Jersey/ . TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie tweeted that its believed the Flames are working towards a new contract with the defenceman.Phoenix, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - Isaiah Thomas finally got the Phoenix Suns over the hump. Thomas had 23 points off the bench and the Suns defeated the San Antonio Spurs 94-89 on Friday night. After the Suns came close many times throughout the game to take a lead over the defending champs, Thomas blew past Boris Diaw in the open floor to finally put the hosts in front 88-87 with 3:34 left. San Antonio trailed 92-89 with 6.5 seconds remaining following a timeout, but Diaw was whistled for a five-second violation just before he signaled for a 20-second timeout. Eric Bledsoe sunk two game-clinching free throws at the other end. Markieff Morris posted 20 points and 11 rebounds, Eric Bledsoe tallied 12 points and nine boards and Alex Len provided his first career double-double, 10 points and 11 rebounds, off the pine for Phoenix, which beat the Los Angeles Lakers in its season opener Wednesday. The way he was playing with his length had a real effect on the game, Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek said of Len. Tony Parker supplied 19 points and six assists, while Tim Duncan added 16 points and nine rebounds for the Spurs, who edged Dallas in their first game of the year on Tuesday. Parker and Marco Belinelli sandwiched 3-pointers around a Gerald Green triple to stake the Spurs to a 77-70 cushion early in the fourth before three consecutive Thomas buckets trimmed the gap to 77-76. Sann Antonio, though, responded with an 8-1 spurt, with a Cory Joseph turnaround jumper providing it an 84-78 spread with 6:53 to play. Keith McGill Jersey. . Phoenix answered back with a 12-3 surge and Hornacek used a three point guard lineup in the final 4:35. After Thomas layup, Morris sunk two free throws and then put down a dunk off a Len interior pass to make it 92-87 in favor of Phoenix with 1:09 left on the clock. Manu Ginobili was fouled on a three and made 2-of-3 foul shots at the other end. Bledsoe was off on a jumper, Len backtapped the ball back to Thomas to retain possession, but Thomas misfired to give San Antonio possession with 16.9 ticks left. Earlier, a 15-3 Spurs first-quarter swing gave them an early 24-9 margin and they led 24-11 after the frame. The Suns began the second with a 13-2 run and later tied the game at 30-30 midway through the stanza after Len threw down an alley-oop pass from Bledsoe. San Antonio responded by putting in eight straight points and took a 45-36 lead into the break. The Spurs took a 71-67 edge into the fourth. Game Notes Thomas became the fourth Sun, joining Tom Chambers, Tom Gugliotta and A.C. Green, to scored at least 23 points in his first two games with the team ... Phoenix shot just 2-of-18 (11.1 percent) from beyond the arc, but made 22-of-26 (84.6 percent) from the foul line. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '

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