Twelve months ago, Tim Leiweke was heading up Los Angeles-based sports giant AEG, partial owners of an expected-to-contend Lakers team. Air Jordan Outlet Ireland . Masai Ujiri - one of the leagues lowest paid general managers - was set to begin his third season at the helm of the Denver Nuggets, a season that would see his team produce a franchise-record 57 wins, earning him NBA Executive of the Year honours. Locally, Bryan Colangelo shared his "acceleration plan" with the Toronto media ahead of what would be another disappointing year for the Raptors, missing the playoffs for a fifth consecutive season. A lot has changed in the last four months but as training camp approaches, the Raptors roster - apart from a missing former first-overall pick and a tweaked second unit - remains relatively untouched. But for how long? For this struggling franchise, any semblance of roster uniformity falls outside of the norm. In their 18-year existence theyve started 12 different centres on opening night. Theyve used an astonishing eight different starting small forwards to open eight seasons since Vince Carter was traded in 2005 (Rudy Gay should become the ninth in nine years when the team debuts at home to Boston on Oct. 30). They cycled through 22 different starting lineups last season (6th most in the NBA) after using 20 different first units during the lockout shortened 2011-12 campaign. In light of their recent front-office shuffle, the return of a group that started 21 of the final 32 games last season may come as a surprise. When Leiweke was appointed the president and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment in late April, the Raptors new boss preached change. The makeover began shortly after with the reassignment of Colangelo and the eventual hiring of Ujiri, his former assistant. The Raptors will open training camp in Toronto on Oct. 1, Colangelo now out of the picture but the core he assembled, the core he believed could take this team to the next level, remains intact and ready to begin the season atop returning coach Dwane Caseys depth chart. Gay will attend his first camp as a Raptor, joining fifth-year guard DeMar DeRozan, sophomore centre Jonas Valanciunas, unheralded forward Amir Johnson and point guard Kyle Lowry, who is entering the final year of his contract acquired from Houston last July. Whether Ujiri believes in this group, as his former mentor did, or if the market and their value within it simply prohibited him from making a big move remains to be seen. Ultimately, it doesnt matter. Now, the onus is on the players and their coach to justify Colangelos vision as the former GM watches from a distance. Theres reason to believe that status quo could work, assuming the goal is to squeeze into the post-season. The aforementioned group was Torontos most used five-man unit last year, despite only being assembled in February. They were ranked third among five-man units league-wide (minimum 300 minutes played together) in defensive efficiency, giving up 92.5 points per 100 possessions (an impressive 15 points fewer than Torontos 22nd-ranked season mark, via NBA.com/Stats). With Gay on board from the get-go, the continued improvement of Valanciunas and the hope of a healthy Lowry paired in the backcourt with a more efficient DeRozan, Ujiri is banking on internal growth. At least for now. Returning to Toronto with a reputation for being patient, albeit opportunistic, the Raptors new GM has a knack for unpredictability, a silent assassin navigating through an era obsessed with breaking news before it even happens. Thats precisely what makes this coming season one of the most intriguing in the franchises recent history. The decision makers have changed. So, too, has the philosophy. But will the player personnel? Will the trigger be pulled, when will it be pulled and what will prompt it? Another slow start could very well bring on wholesale changes in Toronto, but couldnt a hot start conceivably do the same? If the value of players like Gay (who can opt out after this season), Lowry (expiring contract) or DeRozan (four-year extension, signed by Colangelo took effect July 1) exceed their perceived worth prior to the trade deadline, could they be moved regardless of the teams trajectory? With change comes the inevitable uncertainty that is destined to surround this organization until a direction is made clear. Ujiri has just begun to put his fingerprints on this club, adding depth in the form of journeymen Tyler Hansbrough, D.J. Augustin, Steve Novak and Austin Daye, while appeasing the fan base by jettisoning disgruntled forward Andrea Bargnani to New York. What he does next - and when he does it - is anyones guess, which should make things interesting going into what could be the Raptors most unpredictable season yet. Cheap Air Jordan Ireland . The world No. 1 had one of the most dominating performances in a final and was on his way to a possible shutout on Sunday until the third-seeded Berdych broke the super Serbs serve in the 12th game of the match. Cheap Air Jordan Wholesale .Y. - Major League Soccer is prepared to start its season this weekend even if there isnt a labour deal with its referees and other on-field officials. http://www.airjordanireland.com/ . Chief prosecutor Gerrie Nel also accused Pistorius of tailoring his testimony to fit the evidence at the scene. Pistorius denied the accusations. Nel alleged that the Olympic runner changed his aim with his 9 mm pistol to ensure that he hit Steenkamp as she fell back against a magazine rack in a toilet cubicle.ATLANTA -- When Andrelton Simmons botched a grounder, the St. Louis Cardinals seized their opportunity. For the Atlanta Braves, it was another night of missed chances. Matt Carpenters two-run double that helped carry St. Louis past the slumping Braves, who shook up their lineup but still lost their seventh in a row, 4-3 on Monday. The Cardinals scored three runs in the fifth inning, taking advantage of shaky defence by Atlantas Gold Glove shortstop. In fact, Simmons had a couple of plays that couldve been scored errors but were initially ruled hits. The second one was changed to an E-6 and turned out to be especially costly, leading to a pair of unearned runs. St. Louis built a 4-0 lead and barely held on to win the series opener. "It was big," Carpenter said. "Especially when we got out to a big lead, to be able to hold them off, that was big for us." Desperate for more offence, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez batted pitcher Aaron Harang eighth and put second baseman Ramiro Pena in the ninth spot. Pena had two hits, including a seventh-inning homer that brought the Braves within a run, but they couldnt overcome a 4-0 deficit. Juston Upton took a called third strike from Trevor Rosenthal to end the game with the potential tying run at second base -- Uptons fourth strikeout of the night and extending Atlantas woes with runners in scoring position. The Braves were 1 for 12 in those situations and are 6 of 51 during their losing streak, though Freddie Freeman saw some encouraging signs. "We hit some balls hard with runners on," he said. "We were in the game the whole game. We couldnt say that the past week." The last time the Braves had such a lengthy skid was May 21-28, 2012, when they dropped eight in a row. Their longest losing streak last season was four straight. Shelby Miller (4-2) got a shaky win, giving up six hits and two runs in five-plus innings. Trevor Rosenthal pitched out of trouble for his ninth save, giving up a leadoff single to Simmons. Jordan Schafer bunted the runner to second, but Pena flied out to right before Upton whiffed. Harang (3-3) took the loss, though he pitched much betteer than his previous start, when he was pounded for nine runs by the Marlins. Wholesale Air Jordan. This time, he gave up four runs in six innings but only two were earned. The game was scoreless until the fifth, when Peter Bourjos led off with a single before Mark Ellis grounded one off Simmons glove. The shortstop, looking to make a force at second, appeared to take his eyes off the ball as it skipped past him. After Miller bunted the runners to second and third, Carpenter doubled to right-centre to bring them both in. Matt Holiday followed with a hard liner past third baseman Chris Johnson to make it 3-0. "Those things happen," Harang said of Simmons error. "I told him not to be too hard on himself. Hes probably going to save my butt plenty of times this year." St. Louis added another run in the fifth on Bourjos RBI single, but Gonzalez challenged a call at third base that had seemingly given the Cardinals a 5-0 lead. Yadier Molinas bases-loaded grounder ricocheted off Harangs leg, right to Johnson at third. He caught it and blindly stepped back in search of the bag and managed to barely nick it, as the replay showed. The called was quickly overturned after a review of only 37 seconds. The Braves knocked out Miller in the bottom half of the sixth, the first three hitters reaching safely. The Cardinals went to the bullpen after Evan Gattis RBI single, and B.J. Upton followed with a sacrifice fly off Pat Neshek. Neshek escaped the jam by striking out Simmons. NOTES: The Cardinals sent pitcher RHP Joe Kelly back to St. Louis to continue his rehab from a strained left hamstring. "Joe just wasnt to the point where they thought they could push him, so keeping him around the rest of this road trip didnt make any sense," general manager John Mozeliak said. "I dont know Id call it a setback as much as he just wasnt progressing as quickly as we wanted." ... Atlanta RHP Gavin Floyd will make his season debut when he starts Tuesday against LHP Tyler Lyons (0-2) of the Cardinals. Floyd is coming back from Tommy John surgery and will start in place of Ervin Santana, who has a bruised right thumb. China NFL Jerseys Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys NFL Jerseys Cheap Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap Basketball Jerseys Online Stitched Hockey Jerseys Wholesale Baseball Jerseys Football Jerseys Outlet College Jerseys For Sale Cheap MLB Jerseys Wholesale Soccer Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys For Sale Wholesale NFL Jerseys ' ' '
jokergreen0220, 12.01.2019 08:59