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Messaggioda lw789 » 10/02/2018, 6:25

TORONTO – There is still a long ways to go for a Raptors team that drew rave reviews following their first full day of training camp. There is nearly a month left in camp, eight exhibition contests around the corner and 82 regular season games ahead of them. This was one day. Still, after a 2012-13 season laden with disappointment, the team will happily take the small victories wherever and whenever they come. The end goal is far greater, but this is a start. "Very high level," coach Dwane Casey said of his teams effort following the first of two practices Tuesday afternoon. "We had a lot of little mistakes but guys are playing hard, diving on the floor, knocking the crap out of each other and thats what we need. "Well clean up the little things." Although the majority of Caseys team has been in Toronto for a few weeks now participating in individual and player-organized workouts, Tuesday marked the first day that coaches could facilitate an actual practice. Not wasting any time, they held two. Despite the long day, the team got through it unscathed and Casey was impressed with the conditioning of his players, although he did note some expected fatigue throughout the afternoon. As expected, there was an immediate emphasis placed on defence after the team regressed on that end of the floor a year ago. "[Defence] was a big focus," said Rudy Gay, who is in camp with the Raptors for the first time after opening the previous seven seasons with Memphis. "Its just picking up your level. Defence is all about competitiveness and as long as we stay competitive and also stay true to our principles well be a good defence team." Casey estimated that 90 percent of the days contact drills were defensive in nature and anticipates that will mostly be the case for the remainder of this week and perhaps into next. Not surprisingly, the tone was set by one of the newest Raptors: spark plug Tyler Hansbrough who comes to Toronto with a reputation for getting after it in games and in practice while also getting under the opponents skin. "Tyler Hansbrough, I call him Freddy Krueger," Casey said, comparing the forward to the fictional horror movie character. "Thats what made him such a great monster, every once and a while you think you have him dead and here he comes back again, thats Tyler Hansbrough." "Hes added that to our team, so either you stay with it, with that effort, or you get your butt kicked and thats one thing thats really amped up the effort and the intensity in practice and we need that." Passion, as Casey put it, is contagious and has spread around this organization quickly, seemingly from the top. The Raptors held a team meeting last night, prior to the start of training camp and the person leading the charge was the very man who put this group - or at least some of it - together. "Masai gave a passionate speech last night about what he expects [and] the passion guys have to play with," Casey said. "Leaving all the complaining and all the problems, all the issues, check them at the door and then set the tone. Hes empowered everybody to do their job." "Our new GM is very passionate and were taking his lead," point guard Kyle Lowry added. "It starts at the top and we all take his passion, his ferocity and take it on the court with us and to practice with us. The intensity that Masais bringing to us is definitely a ramp up from anything Ive ever seen." The hope for Casey and this organization is that the passion that filled the Raptors practice gym on day one will stick around for the remainder of camp and throughout the season. For now, the vibes are all positive but maintaining that togetherness through the inevitable adversity of a long NBA season will be the clubs real challenge. "The copouts are gone so now its about playing [and] having fun," said Casey. "How you have fun is kicking peoples butt and competing and I think thats what were seeing. "I hope thats what were seeing." Cole Bardreau Jersey . Calgary finished atop the CFL standings with a 14-4 record and earned the right to host the West Division final at McMahon Stadium on Nov. Shayne Gostisbehere Jersey . Louis Blues, having added Ryan Miller and Steve Ott from Buffalo, remain the No. http://www.nhlflyersproauthentic.com/br ... ey-jersey/. Off-Season Game Plan looks at what the Blue Jackets may do to build upon last seasons success to return to the playoffs again next year. Bobby Clarke Jersey . He, the 25-year-old Toronto backup net-minder and Manitoba native, would be making just his fourth start in the past 16 games against the Jets the following evening. It was the word of opportunity for Reimer, who has fallen into the role of backup, outmatched in recent weeks by Jonathan Bernier, his Quebec counterpart. Claude Giroux Jersey . However, Therrien added that Galchenyuks status for next Wednesdays game against the Detroit Red Wings is questionable. Galchenyuk has been out since Jan. 6 with a broken right hand.TORONTO - Canadian international Dwayne de Rosario leads the list of 62 players available in Stage 1 of the MLS re-entry draft Friday.The 36-year-old De Rosario, a former league MVP, is the all-time leading scorer for both Toronto FC and Canada.Other Toronto FC players available are defender Ryan Richter, midfielder Jeremy Hall and striker Andrew Wiedeman. Also in the draft are Vancouver Whitecaps defender Carlyle Mitchell and midfielder Mauro Rosales, as well as Montreal goalie Troy Perkins and defenders Matteo Ferrari and Futty Danso.Players chosen in Stage 1 of the MLS re-entry process have to have their contract option exercised or get a bona-fide offer.The re-entry process covers players at leaast 23 years old with a minimum of three years of MLS experience whose options were not exercised.dddddddddddd It also includes players out of contract who have not received a bona-fide offer and who are at least 25 years of age with a minimum of four years of MLS experience, and/or players at least 30 years old with a minimum of eight years of MLS experience.Stage 2 goes next Thursday with clubs then able to renegotiate contracts with the players.Other former Toronto FC players included in the draft are Edson Buddle, Bobby Convey, Aaron Maund, Nathan Sturgis and Marvell Wynne.Canadian international Nana Attakora, whose contract option was declined by D.C. 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