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TOPIC: hich happened early in Saturdays 2-2 draw

hich happened early in Saturdays 2-2 draw 2 months 1 day ago #1468

TORONTO - At the ripe old age of 26, Amir Johnson - the teams second-most experienced player - is one of only two Raptors starters that can give a firsthand account of what it will be like to compete in the postseason. "All he says is, its crazy," DeMar DeRozan told reporters following Torontos win over the Pistons Wednesday. The Raptors longest-serving members, Johnson and DeRozan have had two coaches and 56 different teammates in five seasons with the club, all without appearing in a single playoff game. Before becoming a fixture in Toronto, Johnson logged 56 minutes in 11 postseason contests spanning over two seasons with the Pistons. At the time, the forward was primarily a spectator, mentored by the likes of Rasheed Wallace, Chauncey Billups, Richard Hamilton and Antonio McDyess. Johnson is a man of few words but hes shared a couple with DeRozan, who is poised to make his playoff debut next month. "Amir says one word and you really just have to go off that one word, how he explains something," said the Raptors all-star guard. "Everything is crazy to him. So, he always says its crazy." "Its crazy, D," Johnson interjected from his locker on the far side of the room. "See, so its crazy," DeRozan continued. "Playoffs are going to be crazy." Up until this season, DeRozan and Johnson had endured 190 losses to just 119 wins in Raptors red. They havent played in a meaningful late-season game since their first year with the team, Chris Boshs last. Their bond is a unique one, as you might expect, having experienced the trials and tribulations of the Raptors four-year playoff drought together. "Thats my dog, man," DeRozan said of Johnson, both hail from the state of California. "Amirs known me [since] I was running around with the same pair of dirty shoes on playing basketball. We always used to look up to Amir, especially in LA. He was a big star and everything. Its definitely cool just to be here with him." "People dont know, Amirs my cousin," he said with a smirk, jokingly, we think. "You can ask Amir." So we did. "Oh man, I dont know," he responded, this was news to him. "I have no idea. Somewhere down the line, I guess. I guess were cousins, I dont know. Ive got to talk to his mom, talk to my mom and see." DeRozan, the Raptors leading scorer, is enjoying a career year but the playoffs - as coach Dwane Casey has cautioned - are a different animal. The atmosphere is intensified, the competition more fierce, scoring opportunities are harder to come by, weaknesses are magnified and in a seven-game series the oppositions scouting report will undoubtedly feature DeRozan. Theres been a steep playoff learning curve for Raptors stars of the past. Bosh, Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady each shot under 40 per cent from the field in their first postseason series. Making his playoff debut as a 23-year-old in 2000, Carter shot just 30 per cent, turning the ball over nearly three times per contest in a three-game sweep to the Knicks. Even with that in mind, DeRozan believes hes more prepared than most. While many players on losing teams find it far too maddening to watch their peers compete for a title in April and May, the Raptors guard has done just that each year hes missed out, making notes and using them for motivation. "I had to [watch]," he admitted, "just to understand, to see how it was. Youre playing the same team, possibly seven times. Just to understand that and see the different schemes out there and try to really get a knowledge of how its played." "Thats why I work so hard. It always bugged me going home early, just sitting there, doing nothing. It used to make me so hungry. Ive got a lot of friends that play in the playoffs and Ive always got to hear them all summer talk about their experience in the playoffs. Its always pushing me even further. I just want to get there, not even for myself, just for this organization as well. It definitely feels good that were moving in the right direction now." Cornellius Carradine Jersey . Many of those eyes are in the United States of America, a country that the sport has wanted on its side for some time. On Sunday the football Gods delivered once again, only this time it was time for good old USA to experience as much heartache as joy. Will Redmond Jersey . Everton Preview West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has been around the game long enough to not get too high when things are going well and not get too low when they arent. www.officialauthenticsf49ersonline.com/A...RSPOON-49ERS-JERSEY/. Inter moved five points behind fourth-place Fiorentina and eight points behind third-place Napoli, which visits relegation-threatened Sassuolo on Sunday. 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Dortmund doctor Markus Braun says the 28-year-old player can expect to return to training after the summer break. Dortmund has already had to cope with long-term injuries to Ilkay Gundogan, Mats Hummels, Lukasz Piszczek and Neven Subotic this season. Poland failed to qualify for this years World Cup in Brazil. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '
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