Sports Raptors are ready for another long playoff grind

04:37  12 april  2017
04:37  12 april  2017 Source:   Toronto Star

Raptors’ Valanciunas ‘will be ready’ ahead of Game 1 against Bucks

  Raptors’ Valanciunas ‘will be ready’ ahead of Game 1 against Bucks Raptors’ Valanciunas ‘will be ready’ ahead of Game 1 against BucksHe’s likely to get a taste of each variety in the same game now that the playoffs have arrived for him and the Toronto Raptors.

XSLTransform Error. ready for the summer.

To order presentation- ready copies of Toronto Star content for distribution to colleagues, clients or customers, or The Raptors ’ best player had laboured through the opening two games of the playoffs looking either worn down by the season’s long grind or weighed down by the pressure of the moment.

Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry isn't concerned who his team's opponent will be. © Carlos Osorio Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry isn't concerned who his team's opponent will be. "We just gotta go play."

CLEVELAND—They know what’s in front of them, the pitfalls and the pressure and the pain, but the Toronto Raptors also know the NBA playoffs are about them rather than who they play or when.

A veteran team with a core that remembers well the grind of last spring has to take care of its own business first and foremost.

“We play it out and whatever happens, happens,” point guard Kyle Lowry said. “Don’t care about who we play, where we play. We just gotta go play.”

Heading into the penultimate night of the regular season on Tuesday, the Raptors were still unsure who they will meet when the best-of-seven first round begins on the weekend. There had been some culling of the herd — it’s down the Milwaukee Bucks and Indiana Pacers — but that truly is of little consideration to the players and coaches.

Super Saturday on tap for Toronto sports fans

  Super Saturday on tap for Toronto sports fans The Gods of the sports world have smiled on Toronto.On Saturday, it’s as jam-packed a sports calendar as you can get.The Leafs and Raptors each have a playoff game (starting within two hours of each other) while the Jays and TFC also have regular season games on the go. And, to add to the picture, there’s an OHL playoff between Mississauga and Oshawa, and the Marlies are finishing out their regular season in St. John’s.Basically, if you love watching local sports, Saturday is a day made for you.

The site is temporarily unavailable. We'll be back shortly, but in the meantime, here are some other ways you can stay in touch with us online

What are the Raptors already doing and what small steps do they need to continue taking to ready themselves for the playoffs ? With this in mind, it appears that the coaching staff and team have already shifted their focus from the consistent, dominating grind of the regular season to more

The “when” of the series remains a mystery, too. The only thing that can be known with any level of certainty is that Game 2 will be Tuesday night at the Air Canada Centre, in between Toronto Maple Leafs games on Monday and Wednesday. Whether the series opens Saturday won’t be clear until the league releases the full post-season schedule late Wednesday night.

When they know what’s in front of them, the Raptors can get ready for a grind they remember from a 20-game post-season in 2016. And the lessons learned in a drive to the conference finals.

“The adversity, how hard it really is to get to that point,” DeMar DeRozan recalled. “If you have never been to that point you really don’t understand how hard it really is. We faced that in every single round we was in. We had two seven game series, we played Cleveland six games and lost to them and it was rough, so we learned the hard way.”

DeRozan and Lowry add to bad NBA playoff rep: Feschuk

  DeRozan and Lowry add to bad NBA playoff rep: Feschuk DeRozan and Lowry add to bad NBA playoff rep: FeschukAnd in this case, there’s nothing to suggest Sunday’s 97-83 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks isn’t something that can’t be overcome. It was one game. It was also Kyle Lowry’s usual game in a playoff series opener. He’s played in six Game 1s as a Raptor. And in those half-dozen outings — all of them losses, as is the ancient franchise custom that predates him — Lowry is averaging a dismal 10 points a game on about 13 field-goal attempts. When your team’s beating heart is thumping so haphazardly — 2-for-11 shooting on Saturday, 27 per cent from the field in career series openers as a Raptor — well, best of luck.

This news is not existed!

Share. Tweet. Share. Share. Email. This weekend the NBA Playoffs tip- off , and for the first time in forever the Raptors will be participating. The club has put together what has arguably been their best regular ever, notching a franchise-best 48 wins (and counting)

The Raptors are expected to use all their regular players here in Wednesday’s season finale, although that’s always subject to change. Coach Dwane Casey has been adamant for weeks he feels the team needs the rhythm of games to stay sharp rather than full nights off. He may deploy the likes of DeRozan, Lowry, Jonas Valanciunas and Serge Ibaka for limited time but they should all play a bit.

DeRozan, for one, feels entirely rested anyway.

“I got rest when I went out with the ankle, I missed a few games and that helped me get back on my feet where I wanted to be,” he said, referring to a six-game, injury-induced January absence.

“You can’t really think about rest right now, it’s all about the real deal right now.”

The Cavaliers, meanwhile, are taking the exact opposite track. LeBron James and Kyrie Irving sat out a Monday loss in Miami and Cleveland reports say James will take Wednesday off as well. Irving’s availability is unclear, as is that of Tristan Thompson, who has missed three games with a thumb injury.

The Raptors, meanwhile, are mindful that the grind of the playoffs is as much mental and physical, regardless of what transpires in Game 82 on Wednesday.

“Climbing up that mountain top you gotta definitely be locked in every step of the way,” DeRozan said. “Understanding it’s not going to be an easy way out. There are going to be road bumps and it’s going to be tough, but understanding how to fight through it, how to get through it and take it game by game.”

Bored Kyle Lowry still doesn’t have a date for his Raptors return .
INDIANAPOLIS—Kyle Lowry is doing basketball things, which is better than him not doing basketball things, but it doesn’t mean a return to active duty is next.The Toronto Raptors point guard, five weeks removed from surgery on his right wrist, hasn’t put a timetable on his return but it will have to come soon if he’s going to get any on-court action in before the NBA playoffs begin.Lowry has already ruled out playing here on Tuesday night against the Pacers, which leaves one week and four games for him to participate in.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

This is interesting!