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 Заголовок сообщения: TORONTO - It wasnt until practice let out that Raptors playe
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TORONTO - It wasnt until practice let out that Raptors players learned about the news sending shockwaves around the NBA early Sunday afternoon. Kevin Durant, the leagues reigning MVP, could be sidelined for up to eight weeks with a right foot fracture that may require surgery. The Raptors were already in the gym as word of the injury spread over social media. Its very tough, man, its very tough, said Raptors guard Greivis Vasquez, a good friend and high school teammate of Durant, as he processed the information. I didnt know about KD, I just found out and Im going to pray for him and hopefully he comes back even stronger. Durant is just the latest star player to sustain a significant injury before the start of the upcoming regular season. Wizards talented third-year guard Bradley Beal broke his wrist in an exhibition contest last week, an injury that required surgery and will keep him out of action for roughly two months. Celtics all-star point guard Rajon Rondo broke his hand in a freak accident at home. And then theres Paul George, whose gruesome leg injury in a Team USA scrimmage over the summer will cost him his entire season. Its just hard, Vasquez added. Our sport is very physical and injuries are part of the sport, unfortunately. The NBA is going to continue. Like many others around the Association, Raptors head coach Dwane Casey has taken notice and plans to exercise caution before the stakes rise at the end of the month. Were going to be smart with it, Casey said Sunday, promising to monitor the minutes of his prized backcourt - DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry - closely for the duration of the pre-season. The list of recently fallen star players serves as further proof that injury prevention is not a simple proposition. High performance athletes, like anyone else really, can get hurt anywhere, at any time, whether its the result of overexertion or simply bad luck. You can slip down the stairs and hurt yourself, DeRozan noted. The Raptors were fortunate with good health a year ago, losing just 52 games to injury or illness, fewest in the NBA. While Torontos training and medical staff, one of the leagues finest, deserve credit there are far too many variables - some of them luck dependent - to count on that good fortune repeating itself in 2014-15. For a team with their sights set on April and May, the risk of setting an impact player back before games begin to matter is just not worth it. You can work hard but weve got to be smart in making sure we are efficient with [their] minutes on the floor, said Casey. That way [they] maintain that rhythm offensively and also establishes our defensive identity but we dont want to wear out everything in exhibition, especially with the guys who are going to have high minutes in regular season play. Both of Torontos starting guards logged career-highs in minutes played last season. Only two players, Durant and the Mavericks Monta Ellis, saw more court time than DeRozan. By late March, Casey and his staff were forced to cut back on Lowrys minutes as the aches and pains of a long season began to catch up with him. Meanwhile, DeRozan - coming off a busy summer, playing for USA in the FIBA World Cup - hasnt had much time for rest since the Raptors were eliminated in seven games during the first round of the playoffs. Looking to be in mid-season form, theyve each hit the ground running in exhibition but, through three games, Lowry is playing just over 26 minutes per night and DeRozan has logged an average of 22. The Raptors will be halfway through their eight-game pre-season slate following Mondays contest in New York. Casey intends to utilize the next couple weeks to experiment with different lineups, take a look at some of the teams younger players and, hopefully, manufacture some much-needed rest for his two workhorses. He didnt rule out the possibility of giving them a night off before the regular season gets underway on Oct. 29, at home to the Atlanta Hawks. George Hill Jersey . New York City FC introduced Frank Lampard in Brooklyn on Thursday after signing the 36-year-old former Chelsea midfielder to a two-year contract. Vin Baker Bucks Jersey .C. -- The Steve Smith era in Carolina is over. http://www.nbabucksproshop.com/Authenti ... ks-Jersey/. The 28-year-old from Rochester, Alta., was selected by the Redblacks from the Saskatchewan Roughriders roster in the 2013 CFL Expansion Draft. Eric Bledsoe Jersey . "I have had no discussions with Chad Johnson or his representation," Popp said Friday in an email. However, he appeared to confirm a report on Twitter from TSN this week that Johnson was on Montreals negotiation list. Vin Baker Jersey .com) - Patrick Reed poured in a 19-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole Monday to defeat Jimmy Walker and win the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.CHICAGO -- Experience trumps talent. At least at this point in the year. Branden Dawson tipped in a miss with less than six seconds left, and No. 2 Michigan State hung on for a 78-74 victory over top-ranked Kentucky and its latest cast of young phenoms in the first game of the Champions Classic on Tuesday night. As James Young missed a 3-pointer, the Michigan State fans -- including the Spartan in Chief, Magic Johnson, erupted. Gary Harris held up his index finger, indicating the No. 1 ranking the Spartans (2-0) are sure to have next week. But this might not be the last these two teams see of each other. With four of the top five teams in the one-day tournament -- Duke and Kansas played in the nightcap -- its no stretch to imagine this as a sneak peek at the Final Four. The Spartans Keith Appling came within two rebounds and two assists of a triple-double, finishing with 22 points, and eight rebounds and assists. Harris had 20 points and Adreian Payne had 15 points and four rebounds. Julius Randle led the Wildcats (2-1) with 27 points -- all but four in the second half -- and 13 rebounds. Andrew Harrison had 11. But the Wildcats were hurt by early turnovers and they were just 20 of 36 from the free throw line. This was the earliest 1 vs. 2 match-up, and first since Feb. 23, 2008, when Tennessee beat top-ranked Memphis. The Tigers coach then? None other than John Calipari. This game had even more hype, mostly because of the Kiddie Cats. Much has been made of the youngsters, with good reason. The last time Calipari had a roster this star-studded, the Wildcats won a national title. And this group might be even more impressive. Six were McDonalds All-Americans, and all are considered lottery picks in next suummers NBA draft, with Randle a possibility for the overall No.dddddddddddd. 1. The youngsters did nothing to lessen the hype in their first two games, with Randle averaging 22.5 points and 15 rebounds, and the Harrison twins averaging in double figures. No wonder the game brought out scouts from almost every NBA team and celebrities including Nazr Mohammed and Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. But the Spartans arent exactly slouches, returning six of their top seven scorers. Just as important, big-time games like this are nothing new to them, with coach Tom Izzo routinely scheduling the likes of Connecticut, Duke, North Carolina and Kansas before Jan. 1. The experience showed early, as the Spartans harassed Kentucky relentlessly on both ends of the court. But Kentucky has too much talent to stay down for long. After trailing by 13 with 11:32 to play, the Wildcats came roaring back behind Randle, who left little doubt why coaches throughout the NBA covet him. He scored nine points in Kentuckys 13-1 run, including a "Howd he do that?" off-balance jumper from behind a sea of green jerseys. Andrew Harrison followed with a layup to cut Michigan States lead to 60-59 with 8:05 to play. Andrew Harrison and Randle each made a pair of free throws, tying the game at 66 with 4:48 left. But Appling drilled a 3, and Harris stripped Randle at the other end and took it in for a layup that put Michigan State back in front, 71-66. Randle wasnt done just yet. After Andrew Harrisons free throws Kentucky within 76-72 with 1:33 to play, the Wildcats pounced on an Appling turnover and Randle scored on a jumper. But Dawson tipped in a miss by Denzel Valentine at the other end to seal the win. ' ' '


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