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World Champ

Joined: May 20 2015
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01:46, Apr 25 2016

Charles Hamelin won gold in the mens 1,500m short track speed skating event in Sochi on Monday. Charlie Blackmon Jersey . The victory marks his fourth career Olympic medal and first of the 2014 Games. Hamelin is three medals away from becoming the most decorated Canadian Olympian ever. More to come Colorado Rockies Jersey . Stepanek retired from his Australian Opens first-round match against Blaz Kavcic in the fourth set. Thursdays draw also pits Australian Open semifinalist Tomas Berdych against Igor Sijsling. Berdych and Stepanek teamed up to beat Spain in the 2012 final and did the same to defeat Serbia in November to retain the title. Todd Helton Jersey .com) - Another trip to Oakland . http://www.baseballrockiesonline.com/carlos-gonzalez-rockies-jersey/ .com) - Devin Booker scored 19 points and top-ranked Kentucky put on a defensive clinic in an 83-44 obliteration of UCLA in the CBS Sports Classic.If DeMar DeRozan is going to keep waiting until 25 games into the season to get going, the team is going to become motivated to wait until 25 games have passed before they let him into a game. For the second straight year, DeRozan has shaken off a wretched start to an NBA season and begun playing like everyone expected him to when the season kicked off at the end of December. Hes averaging 18.6 ppg since the start of February, hes getting to the line nearly six times per game (still not enough, but a vast improvement over his early season output) and hes pulled his shooting percentage up to .452 in that span. Its still not quite at the level that he played most of last season at, but at least it shows that last year wasnt a total fluke like many were fearing it might have been. A lot of his improvement has come from the fact that hes managing to get more shots off around the rim, which is partially due to his not getting stripped on drives nearly as often, and the fact that hes started to work harder to get to his sweet spots on the floor rather than floating around and taking whatever shots presented themselves. His repeated efforts to post-up Kevin Martin against Houston on Wednesday also showed an actual offensive move (the turnaround jumper à la Paul Pierce and Kobe Bryant) that he could go to in order to help establish his offensive rhythm. Little steps like that can eventually lead to a more mature NBA player. Hes also starting to get a better feel for the teams offence outside of his own shots. In his last 10 games, hes averaged 2.3 assists per game whereas in January he averaged only 1.3. While no one will confuse him with LeBron James with his passing, considering the tunnel vision he played with until recently, its a positive sign for both DeRozan and the Raptors, especially if they want to make him their primary perimeter scorer. Despite the uptick in production, though, DeRozan still does not appear ideally cast for that primary perimeter scorer role. According to Hoopdata, DeRozan ranks 66th amongst swingmen in True Shooting Percentage, a stat that factors in three-point shooting and free throw shooting. That puts DeRozan behind Michael Beasley, Nick Young and Monta Ellis - none of whom are known for their offensive efficiency. The fact that he still cannot hit threes with any consistency (he still sits below 30% in that area) is a problem in a league that is increasingly prioritizing floor spacing, he still cannot create offence with his dribble and he remains the sort of player whos in no way productive if hes not scoring. Thats because that DeRozan cant really do anything if he isnt scoring. Hes ranked 42nd amongst shooting guards in rebound rate, behind Daniel Gibson, Roddy Beaubois and - gulp - Michael Redd. Hes ranked 67th amongst shooting guards in assist ratio, four back of teammate Leandro Barbosa, he of some of the sstickiest hands in the NBA. Nolan Arenado Jersey. According to 82games.com, the Raptors allow 4.3 fewer points per 100 possessions when DeRozan is on the bench, although because of his scoring, the team actually nets out positive by having him on the court. Basically, DeRozan remains a one-dimensional player and hes only solid in that dimension, not nearly good enough justify his lack of impact in virtually every other area. However, if DeRozan truly has found his game in Dwane Caseys system, I dont know that much of the above is all that worrisome right now. It paints a rather foreboding picture, but it shouldnt. This Raptors roster is something of a mishmash assemblage designed to get the team through the season before their big talent-grab in the summer where Jonas Valanciunas, their 2012 rookie selection and any free agents signings will join the club. Right now, they are fairly talent starved, which makes things harder for the younger players searching for their NBA sea legs. Casey himself has lamented the lack of dependable basketball I.Q. in his locker room (a result mostly of youth, not dumb players), and if the team can balance out their roster with some veteran pieces that simply fit together better than todays team, it could make DeRozan look a lot better than he does today. Of course, the onus still falls on DeRozan to improve this summer. He has to get better in other areas to justify the team making roster considerations to accommodate his game. He has to become a more active rebounder and he has to be able to make teams pay by making the smart, easy pass. If the Raptors inject more offensive firepower into this club in the summer (which they have to do), then DeRozan needs to find ways to impact games when hes not the guy taking shots for the team. Either that or he needs to get his offensive game to Kevin Martin levels of efficiency by living at the free throw line and lighting it up from long range. Whatever he does, he cannot report to camp next season and take another two months to get back to the place he left off this season. He has to be an improved player from day one because the team is going to start prioritizing wins big time next season and if he isnt contributing to them, then he wont be finding himself on the court for 35 minutes per game. For now, lets wait and see how DeRozan finishes off the season. Lets see how he blends with Andrea Bargnani back on the court. Lets see what kind of players the Raptors surround him with this summer. His comfort level on the court of late has been a world apart from where it was back in January and he and Casey look to have found a methodology to maximize DeRozans effectiveness when hes playing. Thats a major turnaround from earlier in the season. Its still impossible to gauge exactly what Toronto has in DeRozan but suffice it to say that whatever they do have looks a lot better today than it did only a few weeks ago. 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World Champ

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22:45, Mar 15 2018

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