TORONTO - The Raptors learned a little bit about themselves in a narrow defeat to the Chicago Bulls Wednesday, a game with playo

#1 von jokergreen0220 , 14.12.2018 07:34

TORONTO - The Raptors learned a little bit about themselves in a narrow defeat to the Chicago Bulls Wednesday, a game with playoff-type intensity and their third consecutive against an opponent directly behind them in the standings. Shoes Wholesale China Free Shipping . On Thursday theyll learn even more. Despite the cloud of uncertainty that has followed them around from the moment general manager Masai Ujiri was brought in to put his stamp on the franchise, the Raptors have surpassed all pre-season expectations. They have navigated through early-season tank speculation, theyve come together after a momentum shifting seven-player deal and they continue to block out the noise emitting from the incessant batch of rumours surrounding their starting point guard. At 3:00 PM et Thursday afternoon all that noise will be muzzled until the offseason, all the uncertainty finally put to bed. Finally, they will all know where they stand, at least for the next couple months. So, with the big day rapidly approaching, will Kyle Lowry - the primary subject of trade speculation - be losing any sleep on the eve of the deadline? "Nope," scoffed the Raptors point guard, as that question was posed following his teams 94-92 loss to the Bulls. "Not at all." "Any other questions about that," he asked, daring the hoard of local media to try their luck again. There were no more questions. It was worth a try, after all, its the question thats on everyones mind. Will Lowry be wearing a Raptors jersey when the team hosts the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday? Still, it was a futile attempt to get a rise out of a player who has been relatively unshakable all season. Lowry, like the rest of his teammates, is fully aware of whats at stake as he waits to learn his fate. The upcoming deadline has been on the their minds, whether they care to admit it or not, but its not a subject thats welcome for discussion in the locker room. "Thankfully on this team, no, no ones talked about it, no ones mentioned it," said Patrick Patterson, ahead of the teams win in Washington Tuesday. "The only thing Ive seen is just stuff on Twitter, the internet, Bleacher Report, whatever, yada, yada, yada, rumours but as far as this group of guys from the coaching staff on down to each player on the roster, no one has mentioned anything." Patterson arrived in the trade from Sacramento on Dec. 9, along with Kings teammates Greivis Vasquez, John Salmons and Chuck Hayes. Since then, this team has gelled in a way that no one could have possibly imagined, going 22-12 with the new additions in uniform. Chemistry is a word thats been used to describe this group both on and off the floor and, as Ujiri has insisted, its something the Raptors general manager values above all else. Ujiri, in conversation with over the weekend, expressed a reluctance to disrupt that newfound chemistry unless the right deal comes along. Hes not alone. Dwane Casey wouldnt mind seeing 15 familiar faces in the locker room when he comes into work on Friday. "I like our guys," Casey said. "I know Masai is working 24/7 on the phones and looking at different scenarios. We talked a long time today. But I like our guys. If we (bring) our team back Im happy." "I always said since I came (here), the players will dictate where we go and the team will dictate where we go," Ujiri told on Sunday. "Thats kind of how its been." The players have spoken. The Raptors hold third place in the Eastern Conference, a 1/2 game in front of the fourth-seeded Bulls after Wednesdays loss. They were outplayed on both ends of the floor in the second night of a back-to-back. It was a brutally physical and fiercely competitive game in which seven technical fouls were handed out. The Raptors were down and out early but they fought back, as they have done time and time again, showing mental and physical toughness. Theyre a resilient bunch, theyve proven that, and they believe theyve earned the right to see this thing out. "I believe that nothing will (happen Thursday)," Patterson predicted. "No trades will be made due to the success that weve had since the (Sacramento deal)." "Why break up something thats been going so well," he asked, rhetorically. "None of us are talking about trades, none of us are talking about wanting to leave and everyone is happy with the current situation." Cheap Shoes Wholesale Free Shipping . The Montreal Alouettes announced Tuesday that they have acquired the return specialist from Calgary, as well as the Stampeders fifth-round draft pick in the 2014 CFL Canadian Draft. Cheap Clearance Shoes Online . Bayern winger Franck Ribery marked his league return after recovering from a cracked rib by scoring two goals and setting up two more as the league leaders inflicted the heaviest home defeat on Bremen in the Bundesliga. . -- During Kansas shootaround on Wednesday before the Jayhawks faced Oklahoma, coach Bill Self told Wayne Selden Jr.The Vancouver Canucks ended their longest home losing streak of the season by taking care of a last-place team and another one visits Sunday. The Minnesota Wild, though, have been successful of late and will try to keep their momentum going in the first of three matchups with the Canucks in 16 days. Vancouver (27-17-3) snapped a three-game slide on its own ice and avoided dropping its third in a row overall with a 5-2 win over Buffalo on Friday. Ryan Miller made 20 saves against his former team, and five different players scored for the Canucks, who totaled three goals in their prior three games. Vancouver scored twice on the power play - matching its total in 28 attempts over the last nine games - but gave up two goals while short-handed after killing off 32 of its prior 35 penalties. It was a big win for us and a lot of guys scored, which can help us in other parts of our game, but I dont think we were pleased with the game overall, forward Henrik Sedin said. The Canucks will try for a more complete performance against the cellar dwellers in the Central Division, but Minnesota (22-20-6) is 4-1-1 in its last six and 3-0-1 in its past four road games. The Wild have a chance to complete a three-game sweep of Western Canada, and theyre three points behind Colorado and Dallas in the division. Devan Dubnyk made 30 saves in a 1-0 win over Calgary on Thursday, his second shutout in six games with Minnesota after being acquired from Arizona on Jan. 14. Zach Parise scored the lone goal, giving him six in his last six games. I was haappy with the way my game was in Arizona so I wanted to really concentrate on sticking with the same things I was doing there that was helping me be successful there, said Dubnyk, 4-1-0 with a 1. Shoes Discount Sale Online. 6 goals-against average for the Wild. While with the Coyotes, Dubnyk stopped 35 shots in a 5-0 win in Vancouver on Nov. 14 and gave up three goals on 29 shots in relief in a 7-1 drubbing at Rogers Arena on Dec. 22. The Wild will face their former Northwest Division rivals three times in the next eight games and return to Vancouver to finish that stretch on Feb. 16. Certainly, well have the opportunity to get very familiar with each other again, coach Mike Yeo said. New coach for them but a lot of the same players and a lot of the same rivalry still exists. I think theyre having a great season. Were looking forward to the challenge. If its unknown if Yeo will have star defenseman Ryan Suter available for the first meeting this season with Vancouver. Suter, who reportedly has a lower-body injury, did not practice Saturday in Vancouver, and Justin Fontaine is out due to a groin injury suffered in Thursdays victory. Fontaine had the shootout winner in Minnesotas most recent visit to the Canucks, a 2-1 victory Feb. 28. The Wild have won their last two games there after losing 11 in a row. Vancouver snapped a four-game overall skid in the series with a 5-2 win in Minnesota on March 26. Parise has four goals and one assist in his last five matchups with Vancouver, and Charlie Coyle has three goals in his past four. 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