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Toronto Raptors highlights

April 19, 2014 Updates

Ujiri, the NBA's reigning executive of the year, apologized in a brief news conference at halftime, saying he'd made the "wrong choice of words" and was "just trying to get our fans going." Asked if the profanity represented his feelings about the Nets, who have been accused of tanking in order to face Toronto in the first round, Ujiri said: "You know how I feel. I don't like them, but I apologize." Macon Telegraph

Nets coach Jason Kidd, meanwhile, claimed not to have heard about either the controversial comments or Ujiri. "I don't even know who the GM is," Kidd said. Macon Telegraph

The regular season is in the books and the Nets are ready to start their expedition to a championship for the second straight year. Through all the agony and doubt in the early season due to poor play, to the rejuvenation of this Nets team in the year 2014, we've finally made it to game one of the NBA playoffs. Who better to play in the first round, than the Atlantic Division-champions, Toronto Raptors. The Nets began this best of seven series, Saturday afternoon against the Toronto Raptors, winning 94-87, in a tightly contested battle the entire way. The game was tied in the fourth quarter, but on the backs of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, and some big shots from Paul Pierce, the Nets notched a huge road victory. NetsDaily

The opening game of the NBA playoffs was meant to display the best the league has to offer. Instead, it ended up with a goofy technical malfunction that turned the end of Saturday's Game 1 between the Toronto Raptors and Brooklyn Nets into a goofy scene. Approximately halfway through the third quarter at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, both shot clocks malfunctioned and turned off, forcing a stoppage in play. Arena workers and technicians attempted to install portable clocks at the corners of the court, but those didn't work either. So, with the break in play stretching on, they decided to resort to a decidedly more analog solution. Public address announcer Herbie Kuhn informed the players and crowd when the shot clock had reached 10 seconds, then five seconds, and then counted down to zero from there. Except, when the shot clock expired, there was no horn — he just said "horn." Yahoo! Sports

Casey will be on the shortlist of candidates for coach-of-the-year for helping the Raptors pull out of what looked like a fatal nosedive early in the year and earn the Raptors home court in the first round. A big factor was his ability to connect with Lowry, of course the Raptors point guard had to be willing after clashing with coaches at Villanova University, the Memphis Grizzlies and Houston Rockets and even last season under Casey at times. ”I was a young kid, a stubborn kid, a hard-headed kid, very closed, never opened up to anybody, a kid who never thought he needed help from anyone,” said Lowry, who turned 28 last month. “And I was wrong. I grew up.” SportsNet

The points were driven home at a sit down on the eve of training camp with MLSE minority shareholder Larry Tanenbaum, president and chief executive officer Tim Leiweke and general manager Masai Ujiri. “Everything got put on the table, to be honest,” says Lowry. We all showed our hands, spoke honestly and that was that. “I told him I could play for him and he could coach me. That was a big thing for both of us: he coaches, I play and that’s it.” SportsNet

Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri made an appearance at the team’s “Party in the Square” outside Air Canada Centre on Saturday as Toronto prepared to host the Brooklyn Nets in the team’s first playoff game since 2008. Thousands gathered in Maple Leaf Square to celebrate and watch the 12:30 p.m. game between Brooklyn and Toronto on the ACC’s giant outdoor screen. Ujiri, hired in May 2013 to lead the Raptors back to respectability following a long post-season drought, was not mincing words when addressing the feverish crowd. National Post

Ujiri addressed the media at halftime. “I apologize. I used wrong choice of words out there. This thing is really not about me. It’s about the players and the playoffs. So, just trying to get the crowd out there rattled. Wrong choice of words. I apologize to kids out there and to the Brooklyn guys. Nothing against them. Trying to get our fans going, that’s it.” For The Win

Casey worked for Kentucky basketball coach Joe B. Hall during some of his summers, something that wouldn’t be allowed by today’s NCAA rules but was permitted in the 1970s. “I would work on coach Hall’s tobacco farm, cutting tobacco, putting it on sticks, and hanging it in the barn,” Casey said. “I had to find work. I knew I wasn’t getting money from home.” Toronto Globe & Mail

April 18, 2014 Updates
April 17, 2014 Updates

Yet he approaches the first playoff game of his life as if he’s been doing it forever, entirely confident, not at all intimidated and fully accepting of what’s to come when the Toronto Raptors face the Brooklyn Nets at the Air Canada Centre on Saturday afternoon. He’s heard the chatter and read the stories and been told the tales about how different it will be, how much more intense it will be, how some think he might cower from it. And he laughs. “I mean, it ain’t like it’s rocket science,” he said Thursday afternoon. “Everybody keeps talking to me like . . . it’s rocket science or I’ve got to know trigonometry or something. You just figure it out. You just go out there. “I’ve been playing this game long enough, I’ve been in the league long enough, been in a lot of situations. So it shouldn’t be hard.” Toronto Star

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Nasty break-up and all, Air Canada is the best thing that ever happened to the Toronto Raptors.

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