Sports Raptors hope experience takes DeRozan to new playoff heights

10:52  14 april  2017
10:52  14 april  2017 Source:   Sportsnet

Raptors blow 19-point first-half lead in loss to Pacers

  Raptors blow 19-point first-half lead in loss to Pacers Paul George scored 18 of his 35 points in the third quarter Tuesday night and the desperate Indiana Pacers rallied from a 19-point, first-half deficit and blew out Toronto 108-90. The Pacers ended a four-game losing streak that saw them slide from a tie for the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference to the very real possibility of missing the post-season.DeMar DeRozan scored 27 points and Jonas Valanciunas had 10 points and 10 rebounds for Toronto, which had won its previous two.It was an astounding comeback for Indiana, which was so lethargic in the first half it needed an 8-2 spurt just to get within 51-40 at halftime.

Donnovan Bennett and JD Bunkis talk everything Toronto Raptors and take fans inside the NBA with news, analysis and interviews. %2Fbasketball%2Fnba%2Fraptors- hope - experience - takes - derozan - new - playoff - heights %2F.

Raptors hope experience takes DeRozan to new playoff heights . Raptors fans have started to take Joseph for granted, but the way he took over the starting point guard spot when Lowry went down was admirable.

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The problem with experience is it can take a long time to get some.

Listen to DeMar DeRozan as he and his Toronto Raptors teammates turn their attention to their first-round matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks – Game 1 set for Saturday at 5:30 — and the 27-year-old sounds like a wise old man.

Making the playoffs four straight years will do that to an NBA player, particular if the success followed years playing for a lottery team. Playing two Game 7s and stretching the Eastern Conference Finals to a respectable six games a year ago hurried the process along, too.

Not long ago, DeRozan and the Raptors were relative post-season newbies, trying to figure it out, hoping to solve the puzzle and advance to the second round. Not anymore. It’s the youthful Bucks who will have that excuse to use, subconsciously or not.

PJ Tucker rips ‘classless’ Lance Stephenson for layup

  PJ Tucker rips ‘classless’ Lance Stephenson for layup Lance Stephenson’s layup with 3.3 seconds left in Indiana’s win over Toronto on Tuesday night may have made a teammate happy, but it is not going over well with an opponent. PJ Tucker ripped Stephenson for being “classless” by padding his stats. “Tasteless, classless. There’s nowhere in the league for that,” Tucker said of Stephenson’s actions, after the game, per the Indy Star’s Nate Taylor. “That ain’t the way you finish games. I think those guys know that. That dude, he has no class. He has no taste.” Stephenson put in a layup with 3.3 seconds left despite the Pacers already holding a 15-point lead. Most players in that situation would have simply run out the clock. The layup resulted in a skirmish breaking out between the teams (video here) and some technical fouls doled out, including one to Tucker. Stephenson’s teammate, Myles Turner, actually liked what Stephenson did because he felt it gave the team a spark they were missing. Stephenson is in his second game with Indy this season after recently signing with his former team.

Raptors hope experience takes DeRozan to new playoff heights . Michael Grange. Prediction: Cavs in six. DeMar DeRozan and the Raptors will kick off their playoff run against the Milwaukee Bucks. (Tom Lynn/AP).

Raptors hope experience takes DeRozan to new playoff heights . Michael Grange. NBA Roundtable: Raptors end-of-season awards. 1 hour ago. DeRozan , VanVleet out for Raptors ' game against Magic.

The Raptors? No longer.

“We’ve learned every type of way you can learn,” said DeRozan. “From being swept [by Washington in 2015], to being an inexperienced young team playing against the most veteran team you can go against in Brooklyn that year [2014] to going to the Eastern Conference Finals, six games.

“The experience that you gain from that is damn near everything you can get out of the playoffs other than a Finals. So going into Saturday’s game, we’ve got to keep that mindset of understanding how hard it is to win, especially that first game. Go out there, be locked in.”

One thing DeRozan can expect is the Bucks will be locked in on him – standard operating procedure when you finish fifth in the scoring race, as DeRozan did, putting up 27.3 points a game, the second-highest average in franchise history to only Vince Carter’s 27.6 in 2000-01.

DeRozan leads Raptors past Heat 96-94

  DeRozan leads Raptors past Heat 96-94 DeMar DeRozan had a strong first half and finished with 38 points to go with six rebounds as the Raptors beat the Miami Heat 96-94 on Friday night in Toronto's final home game of the regular season. Canadian point guard Cory Joseph came off the bench with 14 points and three assists for Toronto (49-31), who cut the idle Boston Celtics lead in the Atlantic Division to 1 1/2 games. Kyle Lowry had 12 points, six assists and seven rebounds in his first game back in Toronto since wrist surgery on March 1 forced him to miss 18 games.

DeRozan then took it a step further. have a player older than Kyle Lowry’s and DeMarre Carroll’s 30 years of age but have real time playoff experience over the past three years. Casey sees potential for more growth from his returning vets and certainly from the young men new to the Raptors ’ locker

New predictions for playoff matchups, seeds and wins. Despite history, Raptors have real hope of emerging from East. play . DeRozan has taken 2.8 fewer midrange jumpers per game in 2017-18 than he did a season ago, turning those into 3-point and layup attempts.

It’s been the story of DeRozan’s playoff career, for the most part because it’s worked. He’s only a career 39 per cent shooter in the playoffs, compared with the 46.7 per cent he shot this past season. A scorer who makes a living at the free-throw line suddenly looks very ordinary when defenders are disciplined enough to avoid fouling – the past two playoffs DeRozan has got to the line just 4.3 and 6.2 times per game, well off the 8.6 trips to the line he’s managed in the regular season the last two years. In Toronto’s life-and-death struggle to get past the then-seventh-seeded Indiana Pacers a year ago, DeRozan shot a miserable 31.9 per cent over the seven games.

DeMar DeRozan vows Raptors will be ‘different team’ in Game 4 .
Next time it’s going to be different. That was DeMar DeRozan’s pledge less than 24 hours after one of the worst games of his career and one of the worst moments for the Raptors in his eight seasons. He was 0-for-8 from the floor. His team scored 17 points in the first 17 minutes of the game. The outcome of an important playoff game was decided by halftime.“[I take it] tremendously personally,” said DeRozan as the Raptors gathered for practice after a lengthy film session at their hotel with Game 4 of their best-of-seven first-round series with the Milwaukee Bucks. “Like I said, it won’t be the outcome tomorrow.

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