#1 by the Ivorians representative. von miaowang123 07.09.2019 05:40

The Toronto Raptors are having one of the best seasons in franchise history - in a year when nobody expected it. Many believed sneaking into the final playoff spot would be a success for the Raptors this season, but even that wasnt guaranteed. But with only 11 games remaining in the regular season, Toronto (40-31) sits in third place in the Eastern Conference, 2 1/2 games ahead of the Brooklyn Nets for tops in the Atlantic Division and a postseason spot all but official. This will be the first time since 2008 that the Raptors will play in the NBAs second season. With all of the good fortunes the Dinos have seen this year, who has been most integral to the teams success? DeMar DeRozan is the face of the franchise and is one of the longest tenured members of the Raptors. The 24-year-old made his first All-Star Game this season and is leading the team in points scoring 22.7 per game. This is DeRozans fifth year in the Association and he signed a four-year deal last season to stay north of the border for the foreseeable future. Will the team only go as far as DeMar will take them? Kyle Lowry has quickly become a fan favourite in only his second season in Raptors colours. The rugged point guard has shown bulldog-like toughness on a nightly basis, playing considerable minutes and being the man the team has looked to when they are in need of a spark. Analysts and fans alike thought the 28-year-old should have been in New Orleans for the All-Star Game. Averaging 17.6 PPG (scoring over 20 points in eight consecutive games) along with 7.7 assists per game makes a good case for that argument. His future is uncertain in Toronto with Lowry hitting the free agent market this summer, but the Raptors are glad to have him for the time being. Is he the one to thank? Then theres Amir Johnson. At only 26, he can be considered a veteran, already playing in his ninth NBA season and is an important part of the Raps front court. He averages 11.1 PPG, 6.9 rebounds per game and is a strong force on the defensive side of the ball. Maybe the key success is coming from the sidelines. Head coach Dwane Casey is in his second year in charge of the Raptors and seems to have finally gotten through to his players. Toronto has gotten much better defensively only allowing 97.6 PPG, good enough for fifth in the NBA. Is the coachs defence-first mindset the reason the Raptors are headed to the post-season? The success could be attributed to General Manager Masai Ujiri. The Nigerian hasnt brought in a lot of highly touted talent since he took the job last off-season. Instead hes used the method of addition by subtraction to improve on the court. First, he shipped the much-maligned Andrea Bargnani off to the New York Knicks followed by sending Rudy Gay to the Sacramento Kings during the season. Toronto is 34-19 since Gay was traded out west. With the offence no longer going through Gay, the Raptors have been able to score more efficiently. Not to mention the players coming back to Toronto - namely Patrick Patterson and Greivis Vasquez – have helped the Raptors to get where they are today. Do we have to look to the front office for the reason behind the sudden improvement? So, who do you think is the most integral to the Raptors success this season? As always, its Your! Call. Marcus Allen Chiefs Jersey . On paper, it looks a little like Andre the Giant taking on a midget wrestler. It has all the makings of a rout with the Americans adding an eighth win in nine outings of this biennial event. The Yanks have eight players in the top 15 in the world while the Internationals have just one. Joe Montana Womens Jersey . 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Derrick Thomas Womens Jersey .J. -- After getting permission from his 7-year-old daughter, New York Giants offensive lineman David Diehl has retired after an 11-year career that included two Super Bowl championships.Four-time winner Yaya Toure has failed to make the five-man shortlist for the African Player of the Year award, with three other Premier League stars in the running. The Manchester City midfielder has just returned to favour with his club, making his first league appearance of the season and scoring twice in the 2-1 win at Crystal Palace. Sadio Mane of Liverpool is in contention for this years accolade His period in exile from the City first team has seen Toure, who was angry at not winning the last African award, miss out on selection from the voting panel. Sky Sports Black Friday sale Dont delay! Upgrade to Sky Sports now and get 12 months half price! Riyad Mahrez, Sadio Mane and Islam Slimani are among the five in contention for the prize, along with current holder Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and former Chelsea winger Mohamed Salah. Toure celebrates after the Ivory Coast won last years Africa Cup of Nations The award winner will be announced on January 5, the African football confederation (CAF) said.Toure was sidelined during a dispute between his agent, Dimitri Seluk, and City manager Pep Guardiola, who demanded an apology for a series of scathing comments in the media made by the Ivorians representative. Mahrez (second left) was a stellar light in Leicesters stunning title success An apology from Tooure earlier this month saw the 33-year-old phased back into the first-team matchday squad.dddddddddddd Guardiola sold Toure to City in 2010 and he has made more than 250 appearances for the club The 33-year-old railed against the verdict in January 2016 when Aubameyang ended his four-year reign as Africas top player, saying it brought shame on Africa and was indecent that his own achievement as the Africa Cup of Nations-winning captain was not sufficiently recognised.Toure has since retired from international football. Yaya Toure trained with Manchester Citys squad, despite being ineligible to play against Borussia Monchengladbach Upgrade to Sky Sports now and get 12 months half price. Hurry hurry, offer ends December 4! Also See: Champions League permutations Pep ponders Yaya CL recall Transfer Centre LIVE! International football news ' ' '

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