#1

For Vancouver it was a kick in the guts

in Allgemeines 18.06.2019 06:36
von miaowang123 • 300 Beiträge

CLEVELAND -- The Raptors arent officially in the NBA playoffs. They dont look ready for them, either. Dion Waiters scored 24 points, Luol Deng added 19 and the Cleveland Cavaliers prevented Toronto from getting closer to a post-season spot with a 102-100 win over the sloppy Raptors on Tuesday night. Toronto fell behind by 21 points in the third quarter, and then battled back to take a 95-94 lead. But the Raptors fell apart in the final minutes. With their fourth loss in six games, the Raptors dropped one-half game behind Chicago for the No. 3 playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. "We gotta get back to who we are," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said in disgust. "Its easy to get up for OKC, Miami and Indiana, but the other teams are playing for something too, which is pride. That can be even more dangerous." Despite playing without All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving, who missed his fifth straight game with a strained biceps tendon, the Cavs were able to hold on and snap a five-game losing streak at home. "It was a good win by our guys," coach Mike Brown said. "Thats a playoff team. They were playing good basketball. In a game like that, maybe earlier in the season we might have lost, especially coming down the stretch when a team makes a run against us. Our guys found a way to win." Kyle Lowry scored 22 and Terrence Ross had 16 for the Raptors, who had a chance to tie it in the final seconds but guard Greivis Vasquez lost his footing and committed a turnover with 1.9 seconds left. "I was trying to spin and I lost my balance," Vasquez said. "It was just a bad play for me. It was me going to my weak hand and I lost my balance, stepped kind of weird. I turned the ball over. Ill take responsibility. Im not going to run away. Im a man. I wish I could be in that position again so we have another opportunity tomorrow (at Boston)." Toronto took a 95-94 lead on Vasquezs 3-pointer with 6:45 remaining, but the Raptors went just 1 of 9 from the floor and scored five points the rest of the way. Tristan Thompson added 15 points and 13 rebounds and Jarret Jack had 13 points for Cleveland, which kept its faint playoff hopes alive. The Cavs trail idle Atlanta by 4 1/2 games for the No. 8 playoff slot. The Raptors may be closing in on their first post-season appearance since 2008, but the Atlantic Division leaders looked out of sorts at both ends. They fought back from a big deficit, but fell apart with the game on the line. Toronto missed three free throws in the final 4:26, but still had a chance to force overtime or possibly steal their 40th win after forcing a Cleveland turnover on an errant inbounds pass with 7.8 seconds to go. But Vasquez, who finished with 16 points, drove the left side and slipped about 10 feet from the basket. As he fell, Vasquez flung the ball in desperation and it was intercepted on the right side by Deng. Vasquez remained on the floor for a few seconds grabbing his ankle before he limped off the court. "It was a handoff to Greivis to turn the corner," Casey said. "I thought he turned it pretty well and his ankle went out on him. But one play was not when we lost that game. The game was decided with the way we played in the first quarter." However, Toronto didnt execute when it needed to and lost to a Cleveland team playing for nothing more than pride. At least the Cavs overcame their own mistakes, something theyve rarely done during this disappointing season. "We just stayed with it," Waiters said. "We didnt get rattled and made plays when we needed to." Clevelands offence was clicking early on. The Cavs recorded assists on eight of their first 10 buckets, opened a 14-point lead in the first quarter and pushed their advantage to 18 in the second. Toronto made three 3-pointers -- the Raptors had eight 3s in the first half -- in a span of 1:27 to climb within 49-40, but Cleveland regrouped and led 59-45 at halftime. NOTES: The Cavs are 12-11 since Feb. 7. ... Toronto was just 16 of 26 from the line. ... Irving rode a stationary bike on the side as the Cavs went through their morning shootaround. Afterward, Irving looked good doing some shooting drills. Brown said Irving is "closer" to returning, but its not guaranteed the third-year pro will play again this season. ... Raptors F Patrick Patterson (right ulnar collateral sprain) missed his 10th consecutive game. He was cleared to resume contact practices Monday. Stitched Washington Redskins Jerseys . - The Kansas City Royals are hoping All-Star catcher Salvador Perez will be back in a few days. Custom Redskins Jerseys . Erik Cole scored on a breakaway with 4:49 to play, and the Stars rallied to defeat the Minnesota Wild 4-3 on Saturday night. http://www.cheapredskins.com/ . Fognini won 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 after Argentinas Carlos Berlocq had beaten Andreas Seppi 4-6, 6-0, 6-2, 6-1 on the outdoor clay surface. Doubles are set for Saturday with reverse singles on Sunday to decide which team reaches the quarterfinals. Wholesale Washington Redskins Jerseys . Switzerland faces Belgium or Kazakhstan in the quarterfinals in April. Serbia dropped into the World Group playoffs in September. A confident Chiudinelli and Lammer defeated veteran doubles player Zimonjic and young Krajinovic 7-6 (3), 3-6, 7-6 (2), 6-2. Washington Redskins Wes Martin Jersey . Onyshko, from Minnedosa, Man., will compete in artistic gymnastics while Hanet, from Kelowna, B.C., will compete in lawn bowling as a para-athlete. "It is exciting that our Canadian athletes are starting to arrive at the Games Village," said Chantal Petitclerc, Canadas Chef de Mission.Carl Robinsons Vancouver Whitecaps travelled to Dallas on Saturday, five points adrift of their opponents for fourth spot in the Western Conference standings. With Dallas having the most difficult run-in amongst any of the top six in the conference, anything other than a Whitecaps loss would have ensured a three-way battle between the two sides and Portland for the two remaining playoff spots. Formations For Vancouvers third game in eight days, Robinson kept the diamond in midfield but rung the changes, some forced and others out of choice. Steven Beitashour was on the trip but failed a late fitness test and was replaced by Ethen Sampson, who made only his second MLS start. Fellow 20-year-old Christian Dean joined him in the back four, with veteran Andy OBrien left at home. Pedro Morales was not 100 per cent so was left on the bench, leaving Mauro Rosales to occupy the playmaking number ten role as Mehdi Ballouchy came in on the right to help Sampson defensively. Darren Mattocks returned up top alongside Sebastian Fernandez. Dallas boss Oscar Pareja abandoned his back three experiment from the loss last week against Real Salt Lake, choosing a straight 4-4-2 featuring an explosive front four that surprisingly included Blas Perez, back from international duty with Panama. The Game Dallas won 2-1 in a match that was decided on moments and key decisions. It can be a cruel game sometimes and a steep learning curve for a young side like Vancouver. Robinson will have had a difficult time post match with what to say to his players, an all too familiar story for the Whitecaps lately. Dallas opened the scoring after 20 minutes from a freak wondergoal by Perez. Defender Jordan Harveys reaction said it all. The experienced left back, who had 168 of the combined 172 MLS starts for the defence heading in, just waved his hand towards the net as a signal for how ridiculous the goal was. For Vancouver it was a kick in the guts. A team that has struggled so much to find ways to score did not need to see first hand clear evidence of how easy sometimes a ball can go in from nothing. In truth, the Whitecaps should have already been ahead when Darren Mattocks was played in alone at the other end but once again took too many touches and wasnt able to finish. Another familiar story. The Whitecaps, led by the brilliant Rosales, grew back into the game and deserved their equaliser, scored by Erik Hurtado who had replaced the ineffective Mattocks. It was a goal orchestrated by Rosales and one that highlighted the weaknesses of the hosts. Central midfielders Michel and Victor Ulloa struggled throughout with their collective defensively responsibilities, allowing Rosales to run the show in behind them. On the goal he broke into that space again, while Hurtado made an intelligent run in the channels between Zach Loyd and Jair Benitez at left back who had come on for Moises Hernandez. Hurtados run was good but his finish was even better. Dallas was a threat in the final third when they got there but struggled throughout the game in keeping possession, an issue they havent solved all season. However, that is their identity now, a team so dangerous from set pieces and once their quick, explosive wingers get the ball in the final third. Their winning goal, not surprisingly, came from a set piece with Michel sending a ball into the box that the Whitecaps didnt deal with, allowing, on the second phase, Perez to place the ball into an empty net after David Ousted came off his line and didnt get the ball.dddddddddddd It capped off a mixed night for the Danish keeper who made two magnificent saves to keep his team in the game between each of the goals he conceded. The Positives Vancouver is a team who has no legitimate goalscorer. Their best player isnt fit and was a shadow of his former self when he came on. They had three centre-backs, who have all started big games for them over recent weeks, unavailable, while key pieces in Beitashour and Gershon Koffie were injured. Yet, they still went toe-to-toe with a team that will qualify for the playoffs in a very competitive Western Conference. Some Whitecaps fans dont want to hear that this season is a year of transition for this franchise but that is a reality as a new boss tries to bring in his own players and deal with the challenges left behind by the former coach. If Vancouver wants to be a consistent challenger for a playoff spot it is about building a strong spine and that showed some great signs of improvement on a cloudy night in Frisco. Ousted is a rock in goal and is allowed a mistake, one that haunted him as he was still talking at length about it later that night at the hotel. Kendall Waston had another excellent game and his inexperienced partner, Dean, grew into the game. He will have less severe tests than ones given to him by Castillo and Perez on his debut. Matias Laba had another outstanding game and completely ran the central midfield. His workrate showed Dallas exactly what they miss as they look a broken team who struggle to get midfielders in the game to combine with the front four. Ahead of Laba, Rosales was the best player for the Whitecaps and the only thing missing to complete a strong spine is a pure finisher, although Hurtados goal will give him a lot of confidence and may earn him a start next week in Portland. The Weaknesses It is a broken record by now. If Mattocks scores his chance inside the first fifteen minutes it is a different game. Too often when balls were played to the feet of the front two they didnt stick. Zach Loyd and Matt Hedges put on a centre-back clinic on how to press, be aggressive and take the forwards out of the game. The longer the game wore on the more intimidated they were by them with only Fernandez looking a threat when he gets space to dribble into. A new striker is needed and will arrive for 2015 and with him needs to come a natural winger who can push opposing full backs deep and attack the white line just to give Robinson another option and make sure their attacks are not too narrow and predictable. Star Man Rosales was a magician. No one works harder, no one reads the game better and he isnt afraid to tell team-mates that also, educating them on their choices and helping them be better. With Morales struggling, we have yet to see the best of these two playmakers together and it was wise that when the Chilean did come on Robinson kept Rosales in the central role were he tortured the Dallas midfield. He, like Waston at the other end, has become an on-field leader already and one the team cannot afford to be without. Both players are examples of Robinsons Whitecaps that need to be at the club next season to help take them to the next level. Right now, though, the immediate goal is the playoffs and despite all the adversity the team is still in fifth spot with six games remaining. That in itself is a huge sign of progression for this franchise no matter when the curtain comes down on their 2014 campaign. 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