These days, Toronto Raptors director of sports science …

These days, Toronto Raptors director of sports science Alex McKechnie keeps a red shoelace in his pocket at all times. The Raptors wouldn’t be one win away from their first-ever trip to the Eastern Conference finals without it. During stoppages of play in Game 5, McKechnie treated guard DeMar DeRozan’s injured right thumb by wrapping a red shoelace around it.

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"It’s not the first time I’ve done it. I’ve done it many, many times," McKechnie said at the team’s morning shootaround Friday before Game 6 at American Airlines Arena. "I think the first thing to understand is that the process is actually a very traditional way of treating injured fingers. It’s used to create pressure and compression. You start very firm and you actually release pressure as you go through (wrapping it). Once it’s completely covered in the string of the shoelace you mobilize the joint so you actually get tissue drainage and mobilization and you get immediate recovery in range (of movement)."
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July 31, 2021 | 12:04 pm EDT Update

James Ennis discusses free agency

With teams and players able to negotiate free-agent deals beginning on Monday at 6:00pm ET, the 31-year-old will enter the new league year as a coveted three-and-D wing. “I’ve been in the league for a while,” Ennis told Hoops Rumors in a phone interview this week. “I’m in the league for a reason, obviously. Good vet, a good locker room guy, good teammate all-around. I just want to win. That’s my biggest thing.”
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The veteran forward will enter free agency armed with a respectable 41-game sample that should make him an appealing under-the-radar target for teams in need of a wing. “I like Orlando a lot. When I first got here, I got an opportunity — and that’s all you can ask from a coach,” said Ennis, who was dealt from the Sixers to the Magic at the 2020 deadline. “I’ve definitely enjoyed the city and I’ve made a lot of good memories with my daughter.”