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Post me-checked some of his famous predecessors in t
Here are five thoughts on the Toronto Raptors seven-game loss to the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. 1. JOE JOHNSON (Nets): If I had to pick the guy that was the MVP on this Series, No doubt in my mind it was him. Forget his numbers for a second which were impressive to say the least. It had more to do with his presence and the inability for the Raptors to find a viable/consistent solution to overcome his vast talents. Bottom line, hes a very difficult cover and his strength, post skills, passing ability, creativity off the bounce and distance shooting make him a fascinating and gifted offensive player. Give him credit, He took on all the challenges and made the adjustments and was the difference in this series. 2. STATEMENT: Thanks again! You - the fans have made a wonderful statement across the North American sports landscape and in the NBA community that Toronto and the country of Canada is a growing and vibrant hoops hotbed and will be heard from for generations to come. Cant tell you the impression its made on folks all across the NBA. Utterly remarkable to say the least. Great Opportunity for Raptors President and GM, Masai Ujiri, to now build from a position of strength in his retention and recruitment efforts as he formulates his vision for the long term success of the franchise. A step forward. Long way to go though - yet you can start to see the light. 3. KYLE LOWRY: No idea what will happen with him regarding his future with the Raptors. Im hopeful they can work something out. Ill say this though, the man has really impressed me this season. Every day he left everything out there on the floor for you and competed like few players ever have in a Raptors uniform. For that, we should be grateful and impressed at the same time. Hes been a joy to watch this season and an inspiration to so many young players that can learn from his sheer will and effort that you can overcome a whole lot if you give it your all. He came up short but the man is a winner. Fingers crossed it all comes together and hes back in Toronto. 4. MARCUS THORNTON (Nets): In a Game 7, many times you need that guy that just comes out of left field that gets you over the hump particularly when youre the road team. Give coach Jason Kidd credit, he played a great hunch and it paid off huge dividends for him. His perimeter shooting, creativity, rebounding and overall explosiveness were the edge the Nets sorely needed to pull off the road win in a deciding game. He was lousy in the early part of the series after playing quite well since being acquired from Sacramento but Coach Kidd showed renewed faith in him and was justly rewarded for it. Joe Johnson was the MVP but he was the difference. 5. DWANE CASEY: Actions speak louder than words. Three years and each year his teams have gotten better and he has grown each year as a head coach. As good a coach as he is - and hes a very good one - hes an even better man. Class act. He did an outstanding job this year and when I reflect over the three year period he has been consistent and stayed true to his core beliefs which I truly respect. He led a team this year that had many limitations (as we could all plainly see in this Series) to 48 wins, an Atlantic Division title and came up a bit short to a much more experienced, talented and deeper Nets team. Yes - Were all bitterly disappointed in the loss of this series yet when you take time to reflect, this organization has a true leader who is bright, steady and wont be out-worked by anyone. When I evaluate a coach, I always point to year three as my barometer of where you truly judge them. Theyve had more than enough time to get things the way they want and now you want to see that vision unfold before you. He has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt in my mind that hes more than deserving of being the head coach of the Raptors and when I evaluate him against his peers Im quite impressed. As a former coach, I think I have a pretty decent feel when I compare/contrast coaches strengths/weaknesses and when I look at coach Casey I see a man who has rolled up his sleeves, paid his dues and is truly a right fit for the task of the challenges that lie ahead for the organization. Hes a coachs coach and I can tell you flat out that the men in his profession not only truly like him but all respect him tremendously. Happy for his success. Good man. Good things do truly happen for good people. JC Tretter Jersey . Ramon, 30, played in a career-high 97 games with the Goldeyes in 2013. He also matched a career-high eight home runs and posted 52 RBI. Briean Boddy-Calhoun Jersey . The three Calgary natives will compete after the sport was skipped by the Vancouver Games in 2010 but later included on the program for Sochi, Russia. The fight to include womens ski jumping prior to Vancouver went to the courts only to have the Supreme Court of Canada rule against the athletes appeal in 2009. http://www.brownsauthenticproshop.com/Y ... tt-Jersey/. Pikul Khueanpet scored early in the second half and Kanjana Sungngoen made it 2-0 in the 65th minute of the playoff. Tuyet Dong narrowed the margin with goal four minutes from time. The win gave Thailand fifth place at the Asian Cup and the last of the continents qualifying spots for the 2015 Womens World Cup in Canada. Kevin Zeitler Jersey . Lawrie was hit on the hand by Cincinnati pitcher Johnny Cueto in the second inning of Sundays 4-3 loss to the Reds. Duke Johnson Jersey . The three Calgary natives will compete after the sport was skipped by the Vancouver Games in 2010 but later included on the program for Sochi, Russia. The fight to include womens ski jumping prior to Vancouver went to the courts only to have the Supreme Court of Canada rule against the athletes appeal in 2009.LOS ANGELES, Calif. - In the middle of Andrew Friedmans introduction as the Los Angeles Dodgers president of baseball operations, a question was asked from a corner of the room.Are you looking to acquire a younger, faster, stronger first baseman? someone queried.Friedman swiveled his head to see who was speaking, and then he laughed. The question came from incumbent first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, who lives in Southern California during the off-season.Gonzalez can count on other outsiders being brought in under Friedman, who plans to hire a new general manager and to retain Don Mattingly as manager.Friedman was introduced at Dodger Stadium on Friday, and he said hes having conversations about hiring a GM to work under him but offered no timetable. Ned Colletti was shifted from the GM job to senior adviser to team president and CEO Stan Kasten.A 37-year-old former Wall Street analyst, Friedman was hired this week from the Tampa Bay Rays, where he guided the team to four post-season appearances, including division in titles in 2008 and 2010.Friedman said has spoken twice with Mattingly, and they plan to meet next week. He said Mattingly will definitely be the manager next season and he tamped down speculation that close friend, Rays manager Joe Maddon, would follow him to Los Angeles.Im going into it with the mindset that were going to work with Donnie for a long time, Friedman said. Were very aligned on a lot of things philosophically.Mattingly has two seasons remaining in his three-year deal, while Maddon has one year left in his contract.In Tampa Bay, Friedman oversaw one of the major leagues lowest payrolls. With the Dodgers, he will have baseballs highest payroll at his disposal, one that rose to a record $256 million this year.Its obviously different, he said. Our focus is going to be on constructing the best team we possibly can.dddddddddddd There are things that will make much more sense here than in other markets.Friedman was short on specifics, and he repeatedly said it was premature to comment on such things as GM, farm director, coaches and the roster, including whether free-agent shortstop Hanley Ramirez would be given a $15.3 million qualifying offer.Friedman opened his comments by reading from several prepared pages.Ive been busting him a little bit for having to write a speech. Its not something were used to, but he wanted to make his points, Kasten said. I think he did pretty well.Friedman name-checked some of his famous predecessors in the job, including Buzzy Bavasi and Branch Rickey, while also saluting such former Dodger greats as Sandy Koufax, Tom Lasorda and Don Newcombe, who was on hand. He also thanked the Rays and Colletti.It feels great to be a Dodger today, Friedman said, smiling. I fully recognize the magnitude of the job ahead of me.The Dodgers won 94 games and the NL West title but lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in the playoffs in Collettis last two seasons as GM. They were beaten in four games in the NL Division Series, a year after losing in six games in the NL Championship Series.I have a ton of personal and professional respect for Ned, Friedman said. Hes got a lot of institutional knowledge. Id be foolish not to tap into it.Friedman repeatedly used the words process, collaboration and information is king in describing his approach to the job.All I care about is getting more decisions right than wrong, he said.Friedman is known for his use of analytics, and he acknowledged those will blend with traditional scouting in building the roster.We do a lot of digging on people were going to acquire, he said. People are going to know exactly what were thinking. 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