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Raptors: Atlantic Division title banner unveiled

Another big moment for the Raptors, as they set a single season franchise-record of 48 wins, with their 110-100 victory against the lowly Brewers. (I just can’t get over the false feeling of superiority, being able to say that about another team.)

However, that wasn’t the only cause for celebration at the ACC last night. DeMar DeRozan and his teammates also unveiled the Raptors 2013-14 Atlantic Division championship banner before the game:

Is it just me, or does Jonas Valanciunas look like he’s itching to have a drink? “Hey guys. Is it okay if we have the celebration champagne before the game?!?!”

If you have any tips or information about any of Toronto’s sports teams, please email me at Englishpaul@hotmail.co.uk

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Raptors: DeMar DeRozan throws down lethal dunk

It goes without saying last night was a big win for the Raptors. With two games to go, destiny is back in their own hands in terms of clinching the number three seed in the Eastern conference.

Mind you, wherever the Raptors end up, I think it’s safe to say DeMar DeRozan is ready for the playoffs:

Talk about a vicious dunk. DeRozan was probably fuming at the way Lowry fouled out, hence why he felt it necessary to show up Ben Drummond.

If you have any tips or information about any of Toronto’s sports teams, please email me at Englishpaul@hotmail.co.uk

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Raptors: Kyle Lowry fouls out in controversial circumstances

Do you remember the days of the Detroit Pistons ‘bad boys’ and Pat Riley’s ‘rough and tumble’ New York Knicks? Call me an old fart, but I miss that era.

Today, I reckon the NBA is a joke with some of the fouls that get called. Take a look at the Kyle Lowry ‘foul’ on Andre Drummond, that resulted in the Raptors point guard fouling out:

You know what really grinds my gears? If and when the Raptors come up against any of the big name teams in the playoffs, you know they’ll get screwed over even more than an NBA groupie.

Credits: 500poundcake  & gfycat.com

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Raptors: Jonas Valanciunas works on low post game

Most Raptors game are important these days (it still sounds a bit strange saying that about the Raptors), and this afternoon is no different. They need to beat the Pistons in Detroit, while also hoping the Knicks can do them a favour against the Bulls.

With tip-off less than an hour away, Raptors centre Jonas Valanciunas works on his low post game with assistant coach Bill Bayno:

Apr 13, 2014 | JV working on low post game with asst coach Bayno #Raptors #rtz by Paul__Jones on Keek.com

If you have any tips or information about any of Toronto’s sports teams, please email me at Englishpaul@hotmail.co.uk

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Raptors: Kyle Lowry reacts to technical foul

What is it with these Toronto teams? First, the Marlies clinch a playoff berth after a 5-1 loss. And now the Raptors have won their second ever Atlantic Division title, despite last night’s 108-100 defeat by the Knicks.

(To be fair though, it’s better than the alternative right? *cough!* Leafs. *cough!*)

Obviously, I should be happy about winning the division, but I’m more concerned about the fact the Raptors may now have to face the Nets in the first round of the playoffs. Let’s just say Kyle Lowry’s reaction after being called for a technical foul sums up how I feel:

(Unlike the Phil Kessel and Dion Phaneuf incident, I think we can all agree no subtitles were necessary there to work out what Lowry was saying!)

Credits: 36DDhttp://gfycat.com/

If you have any tips or information about any of Toronto’s sports teams, please email me at Englishpaul@hotmail.co.uk

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Raptors: Jonas Valanciunas scores career-high 26 points

As you’d expect, all eyes were on Jonas Valanciunas against the 76ers, to see how he would respond to being charged with drink driving early on Monday morning. With a career-high 26 points and 12 rebounds, I think it’s safe to say the Raptors centre passed (or should that be dunked?) with flying colours.

In fact, I’m thinking Dwane Casey should send the whole team to Wasaga Beach ahead of their first playoff appearance in six seasons. Anyway………………..here’s the highlights of Valanciunas’ performance which, amusingly, appear to have no continuity whatsoever:

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Raptors: Should embrace the underdog role in the NBA playoffs

Inside NBA's Photo

The NBA playoffs start up later this month, and for the first time since 2008, the Toronto Raptors will be participating. Since the franchise will be looking for its first playoff series win since 2001, Toronto should fully embrace the underdog role in the Eastern Conference.

If the playoffs started today, Toronto would be the number 3 seed in the Eastern Conference. That would mean they would actually be a favourite in the first round, and if they moved on, they would go up against Indiana or Miami. This would be the round in which Toronto can play the spoiler.

Just about every NBA analyst out there has predicted the Pacers and Heat will play in the Eastern Conference Finals. Toronto has the individual talent from a fantasy basketball perspective to give those teams a scare.

Led by the backcourt duo of DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry, the Raptors went 2-2 on the season against Indiana, but 0-4 against Miami. The good news right now it is looking as though Indiana will settle in as the number 2 seed, meaning Toronto would face them in the second round if both teams win. Toronto’s size inside will be able to neutralize Indiana’s greatest strength in that matchup.

Along with the guards, Jonas Valanciunas, Amir Johnson and Terrence Ross are all having breakout fantasy basketball seasons for the Raptors. No one gave this franchise much attention at the start of the season, but they have been playing very well since the Rudy Gay trade early on in the year. That trade allowed Toronto to obtain key rotation players to add depth.

Despite a very respectable 45-32 record, many will dismiss Toronto as a non-contender. Embracing the underdog role could really motivate the franchise to push the best teams in the Eastern Conference quite a bit.

Photo credit: @GettingInsideNBA

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Raptors: Jonas Valanciunas to play against 76ers

BallOverAll's Photo

The Raptors have confirmed that Jonas Valanciunas will play tonight against the 76ers at the ACC. This announcement comes after speculation about what disciplinary action will be taken against the 21-year old.

The NBA usually enforces a two-game suspension for situations such as Valanciunas being charged with drink driving. However, with the court case set for April 22, any decision will be delayed until then, meaning the Raptors centre will like not miss any playing time until next season.

With the Raptors set to return to the playoffs for the first time in six seasons, there are concerns about what impact Valanciunas’ DUI charge will have on the organisation. Fortunately, it appears that his teammates are firmly behind him.

As Kyle Lowry told the Canadian Press: “He’s really hurt by it, he’s really embarrassed by it, very disappointed in himself. I can tell you that for sure. It’s just a mistake that he made, it’s unfortunate that it happened to such a good kid in JV, but it happened, he’s 21, he’s going to learn from it.”

DeMar DeRozan was also asked about the incident: “At the end of the day, we’re all human. We can look at everybody in here and ask them: have they done something wrong, or made a mistake in life. It’s part of life. It’s something you learn from and grow from.”

Photo credit: @BallOver_All

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Raptors: Reaction to Jonas Valanciunas DUI

Francis Perez's Photo

My only surprise about this whole Jonas Valanciunas DUI story is that people are surprised it happened. Something had to go wrong for the Raptors, because things were going too well. Don’t forget this is a Toronto sports team after all.

Anyway, as you can imagine, the incident has resulted in a frenzy of reaction on social media. Despite not condoning drink driving whatsover, here’s some of the more amusing comments:

 

Not everyone seemed to care about what Valanciunas had done, as per these tweets:

 

 

Tsk! And women are always talking about what a bunch of randy buggers men are. Focus on the task at hand ladies!

Photo credit: @francisperez_

If you have any tips or information about any of Toronto’s sports teams, please email me at Englishpaul@hotmail.co.uk

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Raptors: Jonas Valanciunas charged with DUI

Baller Breakdown's Photo

There’s always something happening in the Toronto sports scene. Unfortunately, this has been proven in dramatic fashion, with the shocking news that Jonas Valanciunas has been charged with drink driving,

The incident happened early on Monday morning in Wasaga Beach (around 2:30 am), when open beer bottles were seen in Valanciunas’ car after he went through a drive-thru. The vehicle was then tracked by police, who subsequently arrested the Toronto Raptors centre and charged him with exceeding 80 mgs.

What makes this news particularly surprising, is that Valanciunas has been no trouble whatsover since coming to Toronto. The 21-year old accepted full responsibility, releasing the following statement through the Raptors:

“I hold myself to a high standard and take my role as a member of the Toronto Raptors very seriously. I apologize to the organization, my teammates, my family and my fans, and regret any negativity this incident has brought upon them.”

The incident couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Raptors, who are preparing for their first playoff appearance in six seasons. Valanaciunas himself has enjoyed a fine campaign, starting 76 games and leading the team with 8.60 rebounds per game, while averaging 11.0 points.

How this will impact the chemistry of the team is anyone’s guess, with the court date set for April 22nd, during the first round of the NBA playoffs. Incidents like this usually result in a two-game suspension by the NBA, although it should be noted this is unlikely to be enforced until next season.

Photo credit: @BallerBreakdown

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