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Author: Subject: WASHINGTON - Even the most well-crafted and sensible play can be changed at the line of scrimmage. [url=http://www...
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[*] posted on 11-8-2017 at 01:50 AM
WASHINGTON - Even the most well-crafted and sensible play can be changed at the line of scrimmage. [url=]Barry Sanders Jersey[/url] . Though hes no Peyton Manning, Masai Ujiri recog

WASHINGTON - Even the most well-crafted and sensible play can be changed at the line of scrimmage. Barry Sanders Jersey . Though hes no Peyton Manning, Masai Ujiri recognizes the value in allowing circumstance to dictate his next move. Like everyone else, the Raptors first-year general manager has been pleasantly surprised by how well his team has performed in the aftermath of the Rudy Gay trade and as a result, the rebuild has been put on hold for as long as they continue to win, maybe permanently. "These guys, theres a good spirit about them," Ujiri gushed moments before his team made quick work of the Wizards, 101-88 Friday evening, winning their fifth in a row. "They like playing with each other, they play hard, they give it their all on the court and in the NBA that goes a long way." "So well keep it going and this is credit to the players and the coaches." When Gay was shipped to Sacramento - along with his $17.8 salary and $19.3 player option for next season - nearly a month ago, Ujiri was admittedly looking ahead to the future. "Long-term, I would think," he responded when pressed about the expected payoff of the deal the day it was made official. The move was executed with roster flexibility in mind. Many believed it would be the first in a series of changes made with the intention of gutting a roster that started the season 6-12 and, at the time, seemed universally flawed. "Well watch this team and see where it goes from there," Ujiri said back on December 9th. "I couldnt tell you where the team is going to go from here. Sometimes you have to make change. Were trying to figure out how we can make this team better whether its now or in the future, we have to keep that in mind." Fridays win in Washington - a game that was over before the end of a 36-point third quarter - was Torontos 10th in 13 games since the trade was made on that fateful night in Los Angeles. The Raptors have recorded 20 or more assists in 10 of those games - culminating in a season-high 29 assist performance against the Wizards - a feat they accomplished in just three of 18 games to begin the campaign. "Besides the winning it just feels good, were all playing together," said DeMar DeRozan, who had five dimes to go along with a game-high 20 points against the Wizards as the Raptors moved above the .500 mark for the first time - this late in the season - since April of 2010. "I think you could tell, were just going out there and having fun, were playing with one another." Ujiri gave the Gay experiment an 18-game audition. It was an unmitigated disaster. With a little help from a historically terrible Eastern Conference, this group of holdovers - a roster pieced together to kill time and lose games before the next domino was ready to fall - has earned the right to ride this out. "The NBA is a crazy league, one day its great, the next day its tough," Ujiri acknowledged. "I think everybody is encouraged. Im really happy how everybody has taken the opportunity and everybody is growing in the organization." For Ujiri and company the goal is to win, that has not changed, but taking a few steps back to take the ultimate step forward was - at least at one point - being strongly considered and could be revisited when and if this team comes back down to earth. "Ive communicated to everybody where we stand," Ujiri insisted. "We want to be a good team, we want to be a winning team and if its not that way we have to figure out a way to rebuild the team or figure it out. So I think everybodys clear on how this thing works." At least for the moment, that rebuild does not seem necessary and Ujiri is savvy enough to know when to hold em. Not only are the Raptors turning heads with impressive victories in Dallas and Oklahoma City, or at home to Indiana, but theyre taking care of business against beatable teams, which was the case Friday against an overachieving Wizards club. "Youve got to look at it like, a woman is a woman," DeRozan said with a smirk on his face, perhaps realizing the outlandishness of his analogy after he was asked about a "less-sexy" match-up against the Wizards following morning shoot-around. Washington had won five of its last seven but that team was nowhere to be found as the Raptors ran them out of their own, unsettlingly quiet arena. Toronto was on cruise control after outscoring the Wizards by nine in the first quarter and 20 in the third. Again, Kyle Lowry was brilliant, scoring 19 and assisting on 11 buckets. The Raptors will face Miami and Indiana - the Easts two best teams - on the road next but dont seem like a team anyone would or should feel comfortable betting against. "You feel good but again, I know what a marathons all about," said Dwane Casey, the Conferences reigning Coach of the Month. "Ive been in it too many years, seen it too many times to get too excited or too low. Im going to be the same way if we lose five in a row or win five in a row, you have to be in this league because it can turn around and knock you in the butt and thats what Ive got to get these guys to do." One day at a time. Thats how Casey and his players are approaching it, despite a remarkable run that has them sitting on top of their division, bearing down on third-place Atlanta. That is also the mantra of Ujiri, the Raptors patient assassin, who has wisely altered his game plan and may do so a few more times before the season comes to a close. Kerry Hyder Jersey . -- The Sacramento Kings and guard Jimmer Fredette have completed a buyout of his contract, clearing the way for the former BYU sensation to become a free agent. Haloti Ngata Jersey .com) - P.K. Subbans power-play goal 4:08 into overtime sent the Montreal Canadiens into the All-Star break with a 2-1 win over the Nashville Predators on Tuesday. . This is Lowry’s third time winning the award in his career. He won the award last season and as a member of the Houston Rockets in 2011.PHOENIX -- A trip to the desert was enough to get the Chicago Bulls back on track. Carlos Boozer had 19 points and 12 rebounds, and the Bulls snapped the Phoenix Suns five-game winning streak with a 101-92 victory on Tuesday night. The Bulls shot 45 per cent from the field and had five players score in double figures, bouncing back from an ugly 99-70 loss at Sacramento on Monday. The Bulls shot 28 per cent and were outrebounded 53-30 against the Kings. One night later, it was a completely different story. "You could have used an excuse if you chose to do so, but thats what I love about the team," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "They come out and theyre going to fight. They picked themselves up and did it together and you could tell in the first quarter the commitment to get back, the commitment to get to put their bodies in front of people and take charges, make hustle plays, make effort plays." Jimmy Butler and D.J. Augustin had 18 points apiece for the Bulls, who won for the fifth straight time in Phoenix. Joakim Noah, who was ejected in the third quarter of the loss at Sacramento, had 14 points and 14 rebounds. Chicago (24-24) had dropped three of four, including an 88-79 loss at New Orleans on Saturday. "We got punched in the mouth in New Orleans, we got punched in the mouth in Sacramento and we just wanted to come out and compete for 48 minutes as a team," Noah said. The Bulls kept the Suns prolific offence in check, holding them 13 points under their average even though Phoenix (29-19) was coming off two days rest. Boozer didnt play for much of the fourth quarter as Chicago went mainly with Taj Gibson as an interior defender, but his teammates did damage on offence down the stretch. Augustin had three fourth-quarter 3-pointers to help keep the Bulls in front. Noah also had a couple of key baskets in the final period. Butlers 3-pointer with 4:43 to play gave the Bulls an 89-80 lead, but Goran Dragic hit a 3 and Leandro Barbosa, playing extended minutes with sharpshooter Gerald Green struggling, drove for a layup to cut the lead to 89-85. Then Butler and Noah came up with back-to-back baskets, and the Suns rally fizzled. Drragic, the reigning Western Conference player of the week, led Phoenix with 24 points. T.J. Jones Jersey. It was the guards fifth straight game with 20 or more points. Channing Frye had 18, and Barbosa scored nine of his 13 in the fourth quarter. "We gave up so much easy stuff," Dragic said. "We didnt bring it, no energy and we didnt do smart plays. They did not let us run our actions. They were denying our big guys. It was just hard to pass and cut." Down 13 points in the third quarter, the Suns went on a 13-4 run to close to 50-46 on Dragics driving layup at the 9-minute mark. The Bulls went up by 11 on a follow by Boozer, but the Suns cut the lead to 60-55 on a pair of Dragic free throws with 4:36 left. Mike Dunleavy scored eight of his 11 points in the third quarter, helping Chicago carry a 69-63 lead into the fourth. The game started with a brisk pace, but the Suns missed more shots and had more turnovers in what turned out to be an offensively deficient first quarter. So low that the 13 points for Phoenix was its lowest total in a first quarter this season. "Thats the difference of a team that really gets after it defensively and makes it tough on all the shots," Suns coach Jeff Hornacek said. "They took us out of our stuff but we let them do whatever they wanted." Boozer had eight points and five rebounds to help Chicago to a 21-13 lead after one. NOTES: Noah was fined $15,000 by the NBA for verbally abusing officials after he was ejected Monday in Sacramento. Noah started Tuesday nights game. "I never thought it warranted suspension, so it was probably appropriate," Thibodeau said. "He got fined for cursing." ... Noah has 22 double-doubles and Boozer 15 this season . Suns players Markieff Morris, Dragic and Green were assessed technical fouls. ... The Suns never led on Tuesday after being in front for all but 1:59 of the 192 total minutes of the previous four games . Suns guard Eric Bledsoe missed his bobblehead night with a right knee injury. ... 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