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Spurs edge Raptors as DeRozan plays spoiler despite Siakam and Powell's return – CBC.ca

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Pascal Siakam was mid-sentence, speaking to the media in Toronto’s post-game locker-room Sunday, when DeMar DeRozan rushed in and wrapped Siakam in a big bear hug.

DeRozan had just played spoiler in Siakam’s return from injury — and exacted a bit of revenge against his old team. The 30-year-old scored 22 of his 25 points in the second half to lift San Antonio to a 105-104 victory over the Raptors, his team for nine seasons before he was traded to the Spurs in the 2018 off-season for Kawhi Leonard.

“It says a lot especially against a great team,” DeRozan said of the Spurs’ comeback win.

Serge Ibaka had 21 points and 14 rebounds to top Toronto (25-14), becoming the third Raptor in history to record a double-double in eight straight games, along with Chris Bosh and Donyell Marshall.

WATCH | WATCH | DeMar DeRozan drops 25 points against former team:

DeMar DeRozan dropped 25 points against his former team in San Antonio’s 105-104 victory in Toronto. 1:44

Normal Powell, who returned after sitting 11 games with a shoulder injury, finished with 20 points, while Siakam, who’d been sidelined with a groin injury for 11 games, had 15 points and scored the game’s first basket just 47 seconds in when he posted up DeRozan.

The Raptors are still missing Marc Gasol — who wore a T-shirt that read “There is no planet B” — and Fred VanVleet. Both are out with hamstring injuries.

Raptors spiral in 4th

The Raptors led for most of the night, and had cobbled together an 18-point advantage by midway through an entertaining third quarter that saw Kyle Lowry and Derrick White go crashing out of bounds battling for a loose ball. Lowry landed inches from his young son, and gave his son a quick kiss before running back onto the court.

The Raptors led 82-69 to start the fourth, but it was virtually downhill from that point.

“We stopped playing,” said Lowry, who had 16 points and 15 assists. “We stopped being aggressive. We stopped being assertive. They got more aggressive. They got faster and we missed shots too … A lot happened and it was all spiralling downhill.”

A pair of DeRozan free throws capped a 21-5 Spurs run that gave San Antonio a three-point lead with 5:31 to play. The Spurs would go up by nine before Lowry, Powell and Ibaka responded with back-to-back-to-back three-pointers to tie the game with 1:17 to play, whipping the Scotiabank Arena crowd into a frenzy.

But Marco Belinelli knocked down an open three with 28 seconds left, Siakam missed on a layup, then DeRozan sprinted downcourt chased by Lowry, who fouled his friend and old backcourt partner. DeRozan connected on his two free throws, but Lowry drained a long three with four seconds left to cut the Spurs’ lead to a point. LaMarcus Aldridge breathed a bit of hope into the Raptors when he missed two free throws, but there were no last-second heroics as Siakam’s long shot at the buzzer bounced off the glass.

DeRozan receives standing O

DeRozan arrived in Toronto playing some of the best basketball of his career — he’d scored 20-plus points in each of his 10 previous games, becoming the first Spurs player in history to do so.

It took him until 1:25 left in the first half to score on Sunday.

“You always want to start off fast, but they threw a different look at me that no one threw this year, kind of corralling me, trapping me, so it’s kind of like Floyd Mayweather: first couple of rounds you feel it out and attack after that,” DeRozan said.

It was his second game in Toronto since the blockbuster trade that also sent Jakob Poeltl to the Spurs. The Raptors beat San Antonio 120-117 last February in Toronto when Leonard stole the ball from DeRozan and scored on a go-ahead dunk. Leonard drained two free throws in the dying seconds while the Toronto crowd chanted “M-V-P!”

Raptors fans gave DeRozan a standing ovation during a tribute video Sunday night.

WATCH | Raptors hold moment of silence for victims of Flight PS752:

The Toronto Raptors held a moment of silence for the victims of Flight PS752, which was shot down in Iran, before the team’s game against the San Antonio Spurs. 0:47

“I don’t know anybody who gets two tributes in a row. Find somebody else,” DeRozan joked. “It’s amazing to be able to get that much recognition. It never gets old.”

DeRozan’s teammates were happy for him.

“He’s a great teammate, man,” Aldridge said. “He’s very unselfish, he wants to win, plays the right way. I was happy to see them give him that video [tribute] again because I feel like he definitely played his heart out, he gave everything he could to this city and I think he honestly deserves it. To come back here, play great and get a win, it just feels good.”

Siakam was clearly happy to be back on the floor, smiling widely when introduced in the Raptors starting lineup. He then went to work, connecting on his first four shots for nine points before the game was five minutes old. His three-pointer put the Raptors up by 12 midway through the quarter. Toronto took a 28-21 advantage into the second.

“I feel like I kind of lost my rhythm a little bit,” Siakam said on his second half. “I wasn’t able to get back into it. It’s just going to take a little bit, I’m sure. . . I felt I could have been way more aggressive.”

Powell’s three midway through the second saw Toronto go back up by 12, and the Raptors went into the halftime break up 51-43.

Toronto shot just 32 per cent from long distance in the first half, but San Antonio was even worse at 20 per cent.

The Raptors head to Oklahoma City on Wednesday then return home to host Washington on Friday.

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Mirtle: This may very well be the last stand for this Maple Leafs core – The Athletic

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Kyle Dubas stood in front of a small group of reporters on the NHL’s trade deadline day and offered some serious honesty about his Maple Leafs.

He swore. He called their play embarrassing. And he offered a firm “I don’t know” when asked why they were so inconsistent — or “Jekyll and Hyde,” as he put it at one point.

“The truthful answer is we don’t know,” Dubas said. “That might draw some criticism to say ‘I don’t know,’ but I’m not gonna bullshit and tell you I have some magical solution. I think we have to go through this.”

Dubas spoke for nearly 18 minutes on Monday afternoon, with long answers that followed a now familiar theme. The tale he told was about how his team still has lessons to learn and that this adversity, these brutal losses, are the path to getting there.

It seemed some came away from the speech believing it was another rousing…

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Trade grades: Oilers acquire 2020 version of Mike Green – ESPN

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Edmonton Oilers trade for Detroit Andreas Athanasiou

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This in from Gord Miller of TSN, that the Edmonton Oilers have traded for Andreas Athanasiou and Ryan Kuffner from Detroit. The Oilers gave up Sam Gagner and two second round picks to get Athanasiou, who will be a Restricted Free Agent this summer.

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My take

  1. It looks like Oilers GM Ken Holland wants his team to take a run at the Stanley Cup. Can you blame him? Not me.
  2. Athanasiou, 25, is a major pick up for the Oilers. He’s having an off year but he scored 30 goals in 2018-19.
  3. When it comes to even strength scoring, Athanasiou ranks 238th out of 393 regular NHL forwards this year, with 1.57 points per game.
  4. Sam Gagner ranks 284th for even strength scoring with 1.38 points per game. But Gagner lacks the wheels to play with Connor McDavid. Athanasiou has got them. Gagner was moved for cap reasons, so Edmonton can fit Athanasiou under their cap.
  5. Kuffner, 23, is a struggling AHL player.
  6. Athanasiou kills penalties and plays on the power play in Detroit. This year he’s at 1:37 per game on the PK and 2:21 per game on the PP. But his big number is that -45 NHL plus-minuus in 46 games. That’s a wretched number but it’s a number earned by the entire Detroit Red Wings team when Athanasiou is on the ice, it’s not an individual stat. We’ll see how well Athansiou plays defence when he gets here, though there are doubts about him in this regard.
  7. Athanasiou has been on the ice for 21 even strength goals for this year and 60 against.
  8. Brian Burke of Sportnset said: “All I can tell you about Athanasiou is: he makes both teams dangerous. This is a guy who has speed for sure, but he is not a fanatic about defence. I can tell you that. This one, I’ll give Kenny the benefit of the doubt. They definitely got faster but this guy is not a defender.”
  9. Former NHL coach Bruce Boudreau of Sportsnet said Athanasiou would help push NHL defenders back with his speed. “I think it’s going to work out. If Connor is skating full speed and this guy can keep up to him, how do you check them”?
  10. Louie DeBrusk of Sportsnet said: “This is going to be the first time that Connor McDavid has a running mate that can actually keep up to him and be right there with him and be right on the door step waiting for those back door tap ins.”
  11. Scottie Upshall on TSN said, “I like the move. They need speed. He’s one of the fastest players in the league. And Connor needs that. He needs a guy who is going to step up and keep the pace of play and be able to move the puck, be able to create some space.”
  12. TSN’s Ray Ferraro said: “Certainly Ken Holland knows him from Detroit. He’s seen the ups and downs of AA as he’s gone from Grande Rapids to a part time pro in Detroit to a full time guy. Seen him score 30 goals. He’s there to watch him -42 this year. So I think there be a pretty direct line of communication of what’s expected from Athanasiou. He can skate. He can score. McDavid is on a line right now with Alex Chiasson and Sam Gagner. That doesn’t fit. They need more there. And I think the Oilers… they’ve got a player that can play with McDavid. Will it be successful. We’ll see…. It feels like this is the type of player who has had such a crappy year that can hit lightning here playing with a guy like McDavid.” Ferraro said he’s intrigued by this for Edmonton. “I think that what concerns me is that he likes the puck. Athanasiou likes the puck. He likes to rush it. He likes to carry it. The guy he’s going to be playing with should be carrying the puck all the time.”
  13. TSN’s Craig Button wondered if Athanasiou would get to the right places at the right time on the ice. “He plays with blinders on… He’s like a drag racer. He’s not a formula one racer. He’s just straight ahead. And if you’re going to play with Connor McDavid, you better be thinking, ‘Where’s Connor so I can get him the puck?’ I don’t think Athanasiou will be a good fit for Connor McDavid. I don’t.” Buttons suggested playing Athanasiou with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and putting Drasaistl back with McDavid.
  14. TSN’s Jeff O’Neill said: “It’s going to be nice to see him in a competitive situation too. There’s not a lot of fun going on in Detroit right now and I don’t think there’s going to be a lot of fun. That would be a player who would just be drowning in that year after year.”
  15. TSN’s Mike Johnson said: “Even if it doesn’t fit perfectly, if they’re not a perfect blend, Connor McDavid is talented enough, if you have any kind of offensive instincts, or even enough to know just get out of the way, go to the net and let him do his thing, you’ll pick up points, you’ll pick up goals, you’ll feel better about yourself. There is an element of truth that if you just keep it simple even it’s not exactly your style of game, if you just keep it simple and go to to the net and get out of the way, Connor McDavid is great enough for you to have a little bit of success just like that.”
  16. I like this deal. Edmonton has a great chance to both win the Pacific division and to make the Stanley Cup semi-finals. Second round picks are valuable, but they have about a one in five chance of turning into a good NHLer.
  17. Athanasiou makes $3.0 million this year. He’s a restricted free agent this summer, so Edmonton will have to make a call on him then. For now, we’ll see how he does this spring in Edmonton.

In case you’re wondering about the value of draft picks, Brad McPherson has dug into this a this website, the Blue Bullet Report:

Essentially, he’s found that a forward taken in the various rounds has the following average career value:

  • 1st overall: 102 value
  • 10th overall: 26.2
  • 20th: 13.2
  • 30th: 8.9
  • 40th: 4.8
  • 50th: 4.2
  • 60th: 3.6
  • 70th: 3.4
  • 80th: 2.2
  • 90th: 1.8
  • 100th: 1.5
  • 110th: 0.9
  • 120th: 0.9
  • 130th: 0.8
  • 140th: 0.8
  • 150th: 0.8
  • 160th: 0.8
  • 170th: 0.6
  • 180th: 0.6
  • 190th: 0.5
  • 200th: 0.5
  • 210th: 0.5

The first overall pick has an average career value four times greater than the 10th overall pick and more than 10 times greater than the average 30th overall pick, and more than 20 times greater than the average second round pick.

Sometimes lower round picks turn into fine players, like Ethan Bear and Caleb Jones. Most often, they do not.

Major recent trades:

  • Edmonton gets Athanasiou for two second round picks and Sam Gagner.
  • Pittsburgh gets Patrick Marleau for a third round pick.
  • Carolina Hurricanes get Vincent Trochek for forwards Erik Haula and Lucas Wallmark and two prospects (Chase Priskie and Eetu Luostarinen).
  • Washington Capitals acquire Ilya Kovalchuk for a third round draft pick.
  • New York Islanders get Jean-Gabriel Pageau for first round draft pick in 2020 (lottery protected), 2nd in 2020 and 3rd round pick in 2022 if Islanders win the Cup.
  • Colorado gets Vlad Namestnikov for a fourth round pick in 2021.
  • Boston Bruins get Ondrej Kase, traded for a 2020 first-round pick along with David Backes and defensive prospect Axel Andersson, Bruins retaining 25 per cent of Backes’ contract.
  • Vegas Golden Knights get Alec Martinez, D – Traded for ’20 2nd-rd pick, ’21 2nd-rd pick
  • St. Louis Blues get Marco Scandella, D – Traded for ’20 2nd-rd pick, ’21 cond. pick
  • Washington Capitals get Brenden Dillon, D – Traded for ’20 2nd-rd pick, ’21 cond. pick
  • Winnipeg Jets get Dylan DeMelo, D – Traded for ’20 3rd-rd pick
  • Vancouver Canucks get Tyler Toffoli, RW – Traded for Tim Schaller, Madden, picks
  • Tampa Bay Lightning get Blake Coleman, LW – Traded for Nolan Foote, ’20 1st-rd pick
  • New Jersey Devils get David Quenneville, D – Traded w/ ’21 2nd-rd pick for Andy Greene
  • Pittsburgh Penguins get Jason Zucker, LW – Traded for Alex Galchenyuk, Addison, ’20 1st-rd pick
  • Los Angeles Kings get Trevor Moore, LW – Traded w/ picks for Jack Campbell, Kyle Clifford
  • Buffalo Sabres Michael Frolik for 4th -round pick (2020)
  • Montreal Canadiens Marco Scandella for 4th-round pick (2020)
  • Arizona Coyotes Taylor Hall and Blake Speers for 2020 conditional first-round draft pick, 2021 conditional third-round draft pick, Nate Schnarr, Nick Merkley Kevin Bahl

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