By Doug Smith Sports Reporter Fri., March 23, 2018 For days now, Dwane Casey has been wanting to get some practice time for the Toronto Raptors so they can try to clean up some of the troubling defensive “slippage” he’s seen over the last couple of weeks. It has been a particularly brutal portion of the season — 11 games in 18 days that left no time for the practice gym — but now that a bit of a respite is coming, Casey is going to get his opportunity to work his players. And work is what they need. Read more: Raptors’ Kyle Lowry raises intensity as NBA playoffs near Article Continued Below Opinion | Damien Cox: Raptors woe-are-us complaints come across as convenient excuses Raptors take the long way to equal franchise record Even in victory — this one a come-from-behind 116-112 triumph over the Brooklyn Nets on Friday night — there are worrisome signs. Toronto allowed Brooklyn to shoot 54 per cent … [Read more...] about There’ll be no rest for the Raptors after they need another rally
Raptors playoff schedule
By Doug Smith Sports Reporter Thu., March 15, 2018 There are months to go before LeBron James has to figure out where he’ll play next season and which franchise will reap the benefits of having the generation’s most dominant player on its roster. There will be ancillary benefits as well to businesses and hotels and restaurants in whichever city he chooses. But there are companies that are already capitalizing on his impending decision, even though it won’t be made until July: Billboard companies and agencies that sell subway signage along TTC routes. Who says there aren’t trickle-down economic benefits provided by sports stars? Toronto, jumping on a trend that started in Philadelphia and continued in Los Angeles, joined the public “We Want LeBron” outcry this week. Article Continued Below A sign along the subway line this week read “#23TO416” and “The King in the #6ix” in some crazy bid to … [Read more...] about Face it, Raptors fans, LeBron pipe dream has left the station
Sun., March 11, 2018 You people have gone berserk again. Tons here and it’s all over the place and I know it’s a bit later than usual but I ended up working far longer and harder than I’d expected yesterday and things got delayed. And the time change didn’t do me any favours this morning. Have at this, I have plans for a quiet afternoon perhaps with Baseball Steve planted on a stool watching the game and then getting the work done. - Article Continued Below Q: Good morning Doug, Beautiful morning though a little cool. I would like to comment on your writing about away games while sitting at home, the office or a local stool. Not sure how others feel but one thing that is missing is the feeling of you sitting in a hotel room clicking away on the keyboard with a cool one nearby. That is terrible really. Just want to say I admire the quality of reports being as good as the past – excellent reporting. Bob A: I appreciate that and we’re … [Read more...] about U Sports, playoffs, who’s in the band, all in the mail
By Kevin McGran Sports Reporter Fri., March 2, 2018 This battle for home-ice advantage between Toronto and Boston should be interesting. The Bruins moved back atop the Maple Leafs for second place in the Atlantic Division with an 8-4 win on Thursday night over Pittsburgh. By the numbers, the Bruins have the easier path. They have four games in hand on Toronto, and already have one more point (86 to 85). The website SportsClubStats says the Bruins have a 65 per cent chance of finishing second. The Leafs have an 88 per cent chance of finishing third. Seems like a reasonable outcome. But the Bruins have a tougher schedule. Boston has more games to play in the same time frame. And they have to go out West. Boston plays 13 games in 23 days from March 10 to April 1, including two four-game road trips, with one of those trips to (in order): St. Louis, Dallas, Minnesota, Winnipeg. They have 11 games on the road, versus nine at home. Article Continued Below … [Read more...] about Can the Maple Leafs get home-ice advantage for the playoffs?
BROOKLYN—If this was a contract year, surely Kyle Lowry would be more concerned. But six months removed from signing a three-year deal worth about $100 million, the Raptors point guard can look at his depressed numbers and shrug.The 31-year-old’s scoring is down — down more than six points a game this season heading into Monday’s game against the Nets at the Barclays Center. You can make the case that some of that dip has to do with Lowry’s shooting percentage being at a three-year low, or that a big part of it involves Lowry taking fewer free throws per game than he has in five years — which suggests he isn’t as wont to throw himself into the painted area with his usual bulldog-ish relentlessness.But Lowry would tell you most of it comes down to opportunity. With his 32nd birthday less than three months away — and with young understudies Delon Wright and Fred VanVleet having emerged as capable options off the bench — the club has … [Read more...] about Raptors’ Kyle Lowry knows his time is coming