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April 26, 2015 Updates

Pierce has been the second-best player in the series, after John Wall, turning back the clock with 56% shooting from deep — many of them daggers and averages of 16 points and three rebounds on 56% shooting (after averaging 11.9 points on 45% shooting in the regular season). Pierce talked the talk and now has walked the walk. So does DeRozan wish he had just ignored Pierce? “Nah. Nah. It’s part of the game. Why not? Nothing would have changed,” DeRozan said before what could be Toronto’s final practice of the season on Saturday morning. Toronto Sun

April 25, 2015 Updates

As the series renders Valanciunas’s skill set less than integral, though, it is difficult not to project forward a bit. The Raptors can offer Valanciunas a contract extension any time before Oct. 31. The obvious reference point would be the four-year, US$53-million contract the Magic gave Nikola Vucevic in the off-season. Vucevic is a worse rim protector than Valanciunas is, but they are similarly limited defensively. National Post

Almost an hour after the Washington Wizards defeated the Toronto Raptors on Friday, Wizards forward Paul Pierce still hadn't taken that big postgame exhale. He was still pumped in the aftermath of a 106-99 victory, giving the Wizards a 3-0 series lead. "My adrenaline is through the roof right now," Pierce said. "I'm trying to come down." USA Today Sports

His personality and game has dominated the series, starting with his comments at the beginning of the series, saying Toronto didn't have that "it" factor. He scored 20 points in Game 1 and 10 in Game 2, and would not elaborate on what "it" is, though you know it when you see it. And Pierce has it. "I'm going to leave it for you guys to try and explain it and think about it and go over this small two-letter word for the rest of the series," he said. "I'm going to leave it at that." USA Today Sports

April 24, 2015 Updates
April 23, 2015 Updates
April 22, 2015 Updates

He was forced to the bench in the second quarter with three fouls Tuesday and it coincided with a lineup switch Wizards coach Randy Wittman used, going small to spread the floor with Pierce at power forward, which led to scores in 14 of the last 17 first-half possessions in the stretch that decided the game. "I've got to figure out a way to stay on the floor," Lowry said afterward. "I feel s----- right now." ESPN.com

Paul Pierce says the Toronto Raptors don’t scare them because they don’t have the “it” factor. Raptors big man Amir Johnson fires back. The Wizards take Game 1, 93-86. They then take a 60-49 lead into halftime in Toronto in Game 2, and Wizards guard Bradley Beal says this: “[The Raptors] think that we’re some punks. They think that they can push around. But we’re not rolling.” For The Win

More than half of the city's residents were born outside of Canada, so in some ways the globalization of basketball is coming home to roost, with immigrants bringing their interest in the sport as they settle into a pre-existing NBA market. "I feel like basketball is the biggest thing in Toronto," said Minnesota Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins, the Toronto native who was the first pick in the 2014 NBA draft. Bigger than hockey? "I think so," Wiggins said. "I think it changed over." ESPN.com

April 21, 2015 Updates

Warriors swingman Andre Iguodala got seven first-place votes, 16 second-place votes and 17 third-place votes for a total of 100 points in the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year balloting — and finished fourth, 402 points behind winner Lou Williams of Toronto. “I was hoping I didn’t get it,” Iguodala said before Monday’s Game 2. “I really didn’t have a good year, so I’m glad Lou got it. That’s my man. He had a great year for their team, and he’s deserved it a few years.” San Francisco Chronicle

He returned to the starting five with 21 games left in the season and started all 21 that remained. When the playoffs began Saturday, he was once again in that starting role. "Ever since he was returned from not starting to starting again, his focus has been off the charts," Casey said. "Now he still makes mistakes as a young guy will, but most of the time he is making the right reads." Toronto Sun

Asked if he was on a short leash this second playoff run, Casey said Ross' leash was only shortened once -- and that was those 21 games he came off the bench. "No question he's earning it with his defence," Casey said. "I mean he was 0-for-6 from three in Game 1. He has done a good job. He has grown. Since he came back from not starting his attention to detail has been solid. If he makes a mistake, it's an honest mistake. It's not from falling asleep and just not being where he is supposed to be." Toronto Sun

April 20, 2015 Updates

"I'm very confident that this is where I'm going to be for a number of years in the future," Williams said. "So hopefully it works out there. I'm a creature of habit, a product of my environment. And once I'm somewhere I like to be comfortable there. And this team, this city and this organization has embraced me as one of their own and I look forward to being here." USA Today Sports

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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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