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Raptors lose to Celtics, but they shouldn’t lose the respect they’ve earned – Raptors Republic

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Respect, like children’s belief in fairies, or lithium, is a tenuous resource. The Toronto Raptors have a long-standing feud with respect. Although it’s by no means unique to Toronto, fans of the team often feel personally disrespected by referees, media narratives, and free agents’ decisions. As the home of the only NBA team not based in the United States of America, national media coverage can occasionally dismiss Toronto and its accomplishments.

Many Toronto players have themselves used the constant weight of disrespect to fuel their careers. Terence Davis and Fred VanVleet are famously connected by the similarity of their origin stories: undrafted guards who’ve had to earn every minute they’ve ever played in the NBA. So many Raptors’ slogans are tied to that very idea: bet on yourself, understand the grind, make ‘em believe. The core concept between all three is that others don’t bet on you, don’t believe. They lack respect.

Hosting a Christmas Day game is one of the ultimate signs of respect in the NBA. The regular season’s most appetizing slate of games is intended to be reserved for the best teams and the most compelling rivalries, and it’s impossible to leave the defending champion out of the mix. So, for the first time in NBA history, a Christmas Day game took place outside of the United States.

In the brightest timeline, Toronto was supposed to host a Christmas coming-out party to a league that can occasionally be dismissive of its efforts. Pascal Siakam was supposed to explode for 40 points on a broadcast whose network hyped the Christmas games with only negative highlights of the Raptors. Toronto was supposed to bet on itself.

Instead, the Raptors were out-gunned and out-classed by a disciplined Boston Celtics in a 118-102 loss that seemed even worse than the final score. Kemba Walker dribbled into countless pull-up triples as Toronto, missing Marc Gasol, was too afraid of Boston’s offensive rebounding to lift its center out of the paint. Nick Nurse even admitted that yielding those shots was within the scope of the gameplan, at least until Walker started hitting them. Jaylen Brown stole Siakam’s spotlight as the best player in the game, hitting every variety of shot, no matter the defensive pressure, en route to his game-high 30 points.

There were, as always, some positives. Kyle Lowry was, as has been the norm since Toronto lost so much of its talent to injury, a masterclass on the offensive end. Chris Boucher was fantastic and decisive; he closed the game for Toronto over Serge Ibaka. Fred VanVleet’s shot remains absent since his return from injury, but he finished fantastically inside the arc and finished with 27 points. Still, when one of Lowry, Boucher, or VanVleet wasn’t manufacturing miracle offense, Toronto had trouble scoring in the half-court and committed countless unforced errors in transition.

The Raptors fell flat in one of the team’s few spotlight moments of the year. The defending champions did not earn respect with their Christmas performance. It’s possible that until they win another championship, as one MLSE employee (wishfully?) said to me before the game, Toronto will never again host a Christmas game. After the Christmas letdown, ESPN will likely continue ignoring the defending champions this season, and perhaps rightfully so.

Disrespect can, of course, also yield benefits. Disrespect on the court yields open shots, particularly for underappreciated players like Chris Boucher, who shot three-of-four from deep against Boston. The ever-looming specter of disrespect can result in entire Hall of Fame careers, as in the case of Kyle Lowry and the constant, general lack of belief in his abilities outside of Toronto. Disrespect off the court can yield Christmas days spent with family rather than working, playing basketball and having to justify your performance to media members who would also rather be at home.

Disrespect, however, is a thing of the past for the Toronto Raptors.

There are no moral victories once you’re a champion, but along the same lines, there should be no real demoralizing losses either. The Toronto Raptors are defending champions, and they’re currently holding court without several of their best players. They’ve won some wacky games short-handed, but they couldn’t recreate the recipe against Boston. The lights are bright on Toronto’s first Christmas game, but that doesn’t make the game matter more. The Raptors don’t need to earn respect because they should already have it. Winning the championship has freed Toronto to lose, just as it freed them to play on Christmas at all. Respect may be a double-edged sword, but the Raptors are learning that this Christmas, they’re floating above the battlefield.




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Canada's Summer McIntosh, 15, wins 2nd gold medal at world aquatics – CBC Sports

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Summer McIntosh of Kelowna, B.C., capped a sensational week of swimming on Saturday, becoming the first Canadian with two victories and four medals at a single world championship.

The 15-year-old lowered her junior record time to four minutes 32.04 seconds in the women’s 400-metre individual medley on Saturday in Budapest, Hungary. Earlier this week, she also set world junior marks in the 200 butterfly (gold) and 400 freelstyle (silver) while earning freestyle relay bronze in the 200.

‘”This is a dream come true,” McIntosh gushed to the crowd in the post swim on-deck interview. At 15 years 311 days, she is the second-youngest winner of the women’s 400 IM behind Tracy Caulkins of the United States, who was 15 years 224 days in her 1978 win in West Berlin.

McIntosh took the lead early in Saturday’s race and waged a battle with American Katie Grimes, who touched the wall in 4:32.67 for her second silver of these worlds after placing second in the 1,500. Teammate Emma Weyant, the 2020 Olympic silver medallist, earned bronze in 4:36.00.

“It’s really cool to race someone like Katie as she is around my age and she’s a really tough competitor,” said McIntosh, who clocked 4:34.86 on April 9 at Canadian trials. “So I’m looking forward to racing her and keep pushing myself.”

WATCH | McIntosh holds off American Katie Grimes for 4th world medal:

Canadian Summer McIntosh wins 400m medley at swimming worlds

8 hours ago

Duration 7:29

The 15-year-old edged American Katie Grimes by 0.63 seconds at the FINA World Championships in Budapest.

Katinka Hosszu of Hungary had her streak of consecutive world titles in the 400 medley halted at four as she finished fourth in 4:37.89. The 33-year-old has won the race five times in her last seven appearances at worlds and still holds the world record of 4:26.36 and 4:29.33 championship mark from 2016 and 2017, respectively.

Canada’s women wrapped up the competition with bronze in the 100 medley relay, matching their result from 2019 worlds.

Kylie Masse, Rachel Nicol, Maggie Mac Neil and anchor Penny Oleksiak stopped the clock in 3:55.01, behind the Americans (3:53.78) and Australia (3:54.25). It was Nicol’s first world medal while Oleksiak broke a tie with Masse with her ninth career medal at the event, all in the relay.

“‘It’s obvious at this point I wouldn’t be here without the team, so it feels weird to claim that title on my own,” Oleksiak told Swimming Canada of her success. ”I feel really lucky to be part of Team Canada.”

WATCH | Oleksiak sets Canadian record for most medals at aquatics worlds:

Penny Oleksiak sets Canadian record for most medals at aquatics world championships

6 hours ago

Duration 0:42

The 22-year-old from Toronto, Ont., becomes the most decorated Canadian swimmer at the aquatics world championships after winning bronze in the 4x100m medley relay.

Three years ago, Sydney Pickrem, Masse, Mac Neil and Oleksiak posted a time of 3:53.58 in Gwangju, South Korea.

Saturday’s relay bronze was the national record-extending 11th medal — three gold, four silver, four bronze — for Canada at these worlds after it surpassed the mark of eight at a single world championships from 2019 on Friday.

McIntosh only led Grimes by 9-100ths of a second through 50 metres but was 62-100ths ahead midway through the backstroke leg and under world-record pace through 200 metres, in front by 1.33 seconds.

WATCH | McIntosh captures gold in 400m IM:

Summer McIntosh wins gold in 400m individual medley

6 hours ago

Duration 0:43

15-year-old Summer McIntosh set a new world junior record in the 400m individual medley to win gold at the 2022 FINA world championships in Budapest.

3 top-10 finishes in Olympic debut

Hosszu gained ground in the breaststroke and moved into third spot at the 250-metre mark, with McIntosh holding a 2.15-second advantage over Grimes. But Weyant overtook Hosszu for bronze position through 300 metres and stayed there while Grimes closed to within 98-100ths of McIntosh with 50 metres remaining.

Last summer, a 14-year-old McIntosh was the youngest member of the Canadian Olympic team in Tokyo but certainly didn’t show her age on the world’s grandest athletic stage.

WATCH | McIntosh swims to world silver in 400m freestyle:

Summer McIntosh earns silver in 400m freestyle at world aquatics championships

7 days ago

Duration 6:20

The Toronto native finished with a time of 3:59.39 for the 2nd-place finish at the FINA World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

She placed fourth in the 400 free, at that point lowering the Canadian record twice. She was ninth in the 200 free and 11th in the 800 free, setting a national age group record. McIntosh was also part of the 200 relay squad that finished fourth in national record time, while her opening-leg swim broke the Canadian age group record.

At national trials two months ago in Victoria, McIntosh turned heads by winning four events and swimming the 400 free in the third-fastest time this year.

WATCH | McIntosh wins world 200m butterfly semifinal in junior record time:

Toronto teen Summer McIntosh sets world jr. record to qualify for world 200m butterfly final

4 days ago

Duration 7:06

15-year-old Summer McIntosh swam the fastest qualifying time, and set a world junior record in the women’s 200 metre butterfly semifinals, to advance to the final at the 2022 FINA world championships in Budapest.

In the women’s medley relay, the Americans were favoured for gold while the Swedish foursome of Hanna Rosvall, Sophie Hansson, Louise Hansson and Sarah Sjoestroem were the fastest in qualifying in 3:56.77.

Masse, who fell short of the 200 backstroke podium on Friday in her bid for a third medal in Hungary, got the Canadians off to a quick start with the second-fastest reaction time at 0.54 and led Regan Smith of the U.S. for top spot through 50 metres and by 1-100th at the end of the leg.

Nichol took over in backstroke and fell off the pace, trailing the Americans 1.27 seconds. Mac Neil fell behind by 1.51 halfway through the butterfly and by 1.40 when anchor Penny Oleksiak entered the pool for the free.

Trademark finishing kick

Canada’s most decorated Olympian ever was unable to close the gap in the first half of her leg but managed to draw closer near the wall and finished 1.23 seconds off the winning time.

WATCH | Canada reaches podium in women’s medley relay:

Canadian women take bronze in 4x100m medley at swimming worlds

8 hours ago

Duration 6:57

Kylie Masse, Rachel Nichol, Maggie MacNeil and Penny Oleksiak claimed third place at the FINA World Championships in Budapest.

Masse, who won gold in the 50 backstroke and silver in the 100 earlier this week, is tied for second with Ryan Cochrane with eight career medals.

“It’s always special to be part of a relay team,” said Masse, based at HPC-Ontario. “It’s nice to be doing it more than just yourself and that always pushes me.”

The American quartet of Lilly King, Torri Huske, Claire Curzan and Smith proved too strong for the rest of the field.

“We take a lot of pride in that relay and really wanted to put in a good time and get that gold back from last summer [ at the Olympics]. We came out and did that, and it was a great race,” said Curzan, who anchored the U.S. home.

On Friday, the 22-year-old Oleksiak provided her trademark finishing kick in the mixed 100 relay, overtaking Curzan to push Canada to a silver medal with a national record time of 3:20.61. All eight of her medals (two silver, six bronze) have come in the relay.

WATCH | Oleksiak anchors Canada to mixed relay silver medal:

Silver in 4x100m freestyle gives Canada a national record 9th medal at swim worlds

1 day ago

Duration 8:53

Penny Oleksiak, Kayla Sanchez, Javier Acevedo and Josh Liendo swam to a silver medal in the 4×100-metre mixed freestyle relay, giving Canada its ninth medal (two gold, four silver, three bronze) at the 2022 FINA world championships in Budapest. Canada’s previous record of eight medals (two gold, six bronze) was set at the 2019 worlds.

Oleksiak was fourth in the women’s 100 freestyle on Thursday, reaching the finish an agonizing 6-100ths behind bronze medallist Huske. The Toronto native won gold in the event at the 2016 Rio Olympics and placed fourth last summer in Tokyo.

WATCH | Oleksiak narrowly misses bronze in 100m freestyle:

Penny Oleksiak misses the world championship podium by 0.06 seconds

2 days ago

Duration 5:21

Toronto’s Penny Oleksiak fell 0.06 seconds short of landing on the podium in the women’s 100 metre freestyle final, finishing in fourth place with a time of 52.98 seconds. Australian Mollie O’Callaghan won, ahead of Sarah Sjoestroem of Sweden and American Torri Huske. Toronto’s Kayla Sanchez finished in sixth place.

Mollie O’Callaghan won Thursday’s competition before anchoring the Australian medley relay team to silver two days later.

In the men’s 4×100 medley relay, Canada’s Javier Acevedo, James Dergousoff, Joshua Liendo and Ruslan Gaziev swam to 11th in the preliminaries in 3:35.62.

Liendo led all Canadian men this week with bronze in the 100 free and 100 fly and silver in the mixed 100 free relay.

WATCH | Liendo bursts to bronze in 100m butterfly:

Josh Liendo claims 100m bronze for his 2nd medal at FINA world championships

1 day ago

Duration 6:08

Josh Liendo of Markham, Ont., won bronze in the men’s 100-metre butterfly at the FINA world championships in Budapest on Friday, just two days after capturing his first career world championship medal by taking bronze in the 100-metre freestyle.

American Ress awarded backstroke gold after review

Justin Ress of the United States won gold in the 50 backstroke in dramatic circumstances after officials overturned his initial disqualification following a lengthy review.

Victory was earlier awarded to compatriot Hunter Armstrong after it was ruled that no part of Ress’s body was above the water as he reached first for the wall.

Ress, who had set the pace in the heats and the semifinals, was later reinstated as the winner and the medal ceremony held again, with Armstrong taking silver and Polish teenager Ksawery Masiuk having to settle for bronze.

In other action:

  • Gregorio Paltrinieri, gold medallist at the 2016 Rio Olympics, set a new championship record in the 1,500 freestyle, comfortably finishing ahead of Robert Finke and Florian Wellbrock in a time of 14:32.80. The Italian looked on course to break Sun Yang’s world record of 14:31.02 but faded in the last 100 metres.
  • Earlier, former Olympic champion Ruta Meilutyte of Lithuania clinched gold in the women’s 50 breaststroke, beating Italian Benedetta Pilato by 0.10 seconds, with Lara van Niekerk of South Africa coming home in third.

Meilutyte was handed a 24-month suspension in 2019 for anti-doping violations and returned to competitive action only in December last year.

Action in Budapest continues Sunday for live action beginning at 7 a.m. ET with the open water swimming team relay, followed by Canada vs. Netherlands in the women’s water polo crossover game at 8 ET.

The first diving final, men’s 3-metre springboard synchro, is scheduled for 10 a.m.

Coverage continues every day through July 3. Click on the link below for a full schedule of events.

CBC Sports streaming & broadcast schedule

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Dufour nets four as Sea Dogs rally past Cataractes, advance to Memorial Cup final – TSN

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SAINT JOHN, N.B. — The Shawinigan Cataractes scored 49 seconds into Saturday’s final round robin game at the Memorial Cup and enjoyed a 3-0 lead after 20 minutes.

Then William Dufour of the Saint John Sea Dogs said “hold my (root) beer.”

Dufour, the 2020 fifth-round draft pick of the New York Islanders, rattled off three consecutive goals in the second period and added a fourth in the third as the tournament hosts scored five unanswered goals to defeat the Cataractes 5-3 to earn a berth in Wednesday’s Cup final.

The trip to the final erases a bit of the disappointment of the Sea Dogs’ first-round loss in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoffs.

The Cataractes, with two wins and a loss in the round robin, will have to beat the Hamilton Bulldogs in Monday’s semifinal game to get another shot at their QMJHL rival.

Jeremie Poirier scored Saint John’s other goal, while teammate Josh Lawrence added two assists. The Sea Dogs finished the round robin with two wins and an overtime loss.

Loris Rafanomezantsoa, Olivier Nadeau and William Veillette scored for Shawinigan, who outshot the Sea Dogs 15-10 in the first period but were outshot 21-5 in the second.

The six-foot-three Dufour, named MVP of the QMJHL this season, had 56 goals and 116 points during the QMJHL regular season.

“To finish my (junior) career like this is so great,” said the 20-year-old Dufour, calling the win one of his greatest moments in hockey. “We have one more game to win. We’re just going to go for it.”

POKE CHECKS: The Hamilton Bulldogs, who finished the round robin portion of the 102nd Memorial Cup championship with one regulation win for three points, lost to the Sea Dogs 5-4 on June 20, then dropped a 3-2 decision to the Cataractes on June 23, before beating the Edmonton Oil Kings 4-2 on Friday. The Oil Kings finished the tournament with one overtime win and two losses for two points and failed to make the playoffs. … Next year’s Memorial Cup will be held in Kamloops, B.C., home of the Western Hockey League Blazers who won the national tournament in 1992, 1994 and 1995.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 25, 2022

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