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Authentic Lukas Dostal Jersey

To DeMar DeRozan Authentic Rasmus Dahlin Jersey , regular-season and playoff basketball are as different as checkers and chess.

 

In LeBron James, DeRozan and the Toronto Raptors keep running into the ultimate grandmaster. Their inability to beat him might force coach Dwane Casey into a cruel checkmate.

Toronto’s postseason fizzled out against a familiar foe on Monday night when James and the Cleveland Cavaliers finished off back-to-back second-round sweeps of Toronto. It’s the third straight year the Cavs have bounced the Raptors from the playoffs.

After a franchise-record 59 wins, good for the top seed in the Eastern Conference, it was as tough a defeat as DeRozan has endured.

”This is probably the toughest, most frustrating, difficult, lowest feeling I’ve had,” DeRozan said Tuesday. ”You get to that point where you’re standing firm through everything and you feel like you can’t get knocked down again, and you realize you do get knocked back down again. It’s kind of the worst feeling.”

Teammate Kyle Lowry was equally gloomy, calling it a ”wasted year” in spite of Toronto’s historic achievements.

”We felt like we could possibly make the NBA Finals,” Lowry said. ”That was our goal.”

The series slipped away after a Game 1 loss in which the Raptors coughed up a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter, missed multiple potential winning baskets, and lost 113-112 in overtime.

Toronto nearly rallied to win Game 3, but James banked in a remarkable tie-breaking basket at the buzzer.

”There was opportunity there, we just didn’t seize it,” guard Fred VanVleet said. ”These playoffs will be in the back of our minds all summer.”

Casey has coached Toronto since 2011, leading the team to five straight playoff appearances and three consecutive 50-win seasons. The Raptors have set franchise-record win totals in three of the past four years and finished atop the East for the first time this year.

Toronto’s deepest playoff run came in 2016 when it lost to the eventual-champion Cavaliers in a six-game Eastern Conference Finals.

Neither Casey nor team president Masai Ujiri spoke to reporters Tuesday. Ujiri is expected to speak later this week, but no date has been set.

On Monday, Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said it would be ”absurd” for the Raptors to fire Casey.

Neither Lowry nor DeRozan directly endorsed Casey on Tuesday, but both spoke glowingly about their coach.

”All of my success, I have to credit Casey,” DeRozan said. ”No matter what, I’m always going to have the utmost respect when it comes to coach Casey.”

Lowry acknowledged he and Casey have clashed over the years, but said he’s ”always believed in him.”

”He’s one of the best coaches out there Lars Eller Jersey ,” Lowry said.

Lowry said he was frustrated the Raptors let the Cavs get ”way too comfortable” after Cleveland entered the second round worn down by a tough, seven-game series against Indiana.

”We weren’t ready to be as physical as we needed to be,” Lowry said. ”We did a great job in the regular season, but playoffs are just different.”

James is different, too, a generational talent who has represented the Eastern Conference in seven straight NBA Finals and is now one round away from reaching his eighth.

Lowry called LeBron ”one of the greatest players to ever play the game.”

Despite his disappointment, DeRozan said he won’t shy away from the challenge of facing James.

”As a competitor, we want to go up against that because the story is sweeter once you dethrone a great,” DeRozan said.

Unfortunately for the Raptors, they’re still looking for a way to unseat King James.

Here are some other things to watch as the offseason begins:

BENCHED

Toronto’s deep bench was held in check by Cleveland, which made sure to match LeBron against the Raptors’ reserves.

”We pretty much shredded almost every bench in the NBA throughout the regular season,” VanVleet said. ”We just didn’t get it done in the playoffs. Kind of true to our team in terms of underperforming when it mattered the most.”

PAINFUL PLAYOFFS

VanVleet, who injured his right shoulder in the regular-season finale and missed most of the first round, admitted he dealt with lingering pain throughout the playoffs.

”I’ve been lying to myself for the last two, three weeks just because I had plans on playing into June,” VanVleet said. ”It was something I just got accustomed to.”

VanVleet plans to visit a specialist in New York City within the next week to ensure his playoff minutes didn’t cause further damage to his shoulder.

FRED’S FUTURE

A restricted free agent this summer, VanVleet said he’d be happy to remain a Raptor.

”I love it here,” he said. ”This is the place that gave me a chance, gave me an opportunity. I’m a loyal guy, I always have been. Hopefully things work out.”

The Latest from Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Washington Capitals and the Vegas Golden Knights (all times local):

8:05 p.m.

The Washington Capitals have won their first Stanley Cup championship, beating the Vegas Golden Knights in five games.

Lars Eller scored with 7:37 left, giving the Capitals a 4-3 lead and they hung on after Vegas pulled goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury for the extra skater.

It is the first championship for the Capitals, who began play in 1974.

The Golden Knights wrap up a storybook year, advancing all the way to the final in their first year of existence.

7:50 p.m.

Washington has moved a big step toward its first Stanley Cup.

Lars Eller scored with 7:37 left Donte Jackson Color Rush Jersey , giving the Capitals a 4-3 lead against the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Washington went into the third trailing 3-2 and went ahead after Devante Smith-Pelly and Eller scored 2:31 apart midway through the final period.

The Capitals are up 3-1 in the series, a win away from their first NHL championship in franchise history.

7:45 p.m.

Devante Smith-Pelly has pulled Washington into a 3-3 tie with Vegas midway through the third period in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Brooks Orpik sent the puck toward the net, it went off Smith-Pelly’s left skate to help him corral it and he sent a shot past Marc-Andre Fleury as he fell to the ice.

Smith-Pelly has seven goals this postseason, matching his total during the regular seasons. He was relegated to signing a two-way contract with the Capitals entering the season and earned a spot in the lineup 75 times during the regular season. He scored in Game 4, too, also collecting the puck off a skate before his shot.

Washington has a 3-1 series lead and is looking for its first Stanley Cup championship. If Vegas holds on, Game 6 in Washington will be Sunday night.

7:25 p.m.

The Vegas Golden Knights are 10-0 this postseason when leading after two periods, as they do 3-2 against Washington in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final.

The Capitals have lost four of the six games they’ve played this postseason when trailing after the second period.

Washington has a 3-1 series lead and is looking for its first Stanley Cup championship. If Vegas holds on, Game 6 in Washington will be Sunday night.

7:05 p.m.

The Vegas Golden Knights are 20 minutes away from forcing Game 6 in the Stanley Cup Final.

Vegas leads Washington 3-2 going into the third period after the two teams combined for five goals in a wild second period. There were lead changes, a coach’s challenge, fights and power plays as the teams picked up the pace following a goal-less opening period.

Reilly Smith gave Vegas the lead, shooting into an open net off a fantastic pass from Alex Tuch with 28.2 seconds left in the second period.

The Golden Knights didn’t get to celebrate very long because there was a lot of pushing, shoving and face-washing behind the net right after the go-ahead goal.

Vegas goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 18 shots through two periods and Braden Holtby made 17 saves for the Capitals.

A win would give the Capitals the first Stanley Cup in franchise history. The expansion Golden Knights are hoping to extend their stunning, record-breaking season.

6:50 p.m.

Washington and Vegas are tied 2-2 late in a wild second period of Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final.

After no goals in the opening period, the offenses got rolling and then some with four goals in a heart-pounding 6:32 stretch.

Washington’s Jakub Vrana opened the flurry with a goal 6:24 into the second, rifling a shot over the glove of Marc-Andre Fleury.

Alex Ovechkin put the Capitals ahead 2-1 on a power play just 34 seconds after Vegas’ Nate Schmidt was credited with a goal that went off Washington defenseman Matt Niskanen’s skate.

David Perron pulled Vegas into the second tie of the period. The goal stood after a coach’s challenge, a move Washington had to try because Braden Holtby was trying to make a save while two players were wrestling in the crease.

Washington has a 3-1 series lead, one win away from the franchise’s first Stanley Cup.

6:25 p.m.

Washington has taken a 1-0 lead in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final against Vegas.

Jakub Vrana got behind the Golden Knights’ defense and took advantage of the time and space, scoring from the inside of the left circle 6:24 into the second period. He beat Marc-Andre Fleury on his glove side, sending the puck over his left elbow and into the net.

The Caps have a 3-1 series lead and are trying to clinch their first championship in 43 seasons.

The Golden Knights have scored only five goals in losing the last three games and are having trouble finding much space again against the Washington defense and goaltender Braden Holtby.

6:05 p.m.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is defending the expansion draft that loaded first-year franchise Vegas with talent.

The Golden Knights were the surprise of the NHL this season, winning the Pacific Division and rolling all the way to the Stanley Cup Final against Washington. Critics have suggested the expansion draft was too generous for the new franchise, which saw strong play from veterans including goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, James Neal and others.

Bettman was asked about it during an NBC interview during the first intermission of Game 5 and said the league’s ”competitive balance shows anything is possible.” He noted the turnaround seasons this year by Colorado and New Jerse

Posted in Beach on October 12 at 08:39 AM

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