#1 TORONTO - Amir Johnson has never been one to sulk over playing time. [url=http://www.cheapsenatorsjerseys.com/]Cheap Ottawa Senators Jerseys[/url] . Whether starting or coming off the bench, Johnson has always accepted his role in stride, part of whats ma von jokergreen0220 24.06.2019 10:10

TORONTO - Amir Johnson has never been one to sulk over playing time. Cheap Ottawa Senators Jerseys . Whether starting or coming off the bench, Johnson has always accepted his role in stride, part of whats made him the Raptors unsung hero for the better part of the last three seasons. His body language spoke louder than words on Sunday, both before and after his teams 112-98 loss to the Nuggets, their third straight defeat at home. An hour before tip-off a subdued Johnson sat alone in front of his locker. Playing a racing game on his phone - with the volume turned up - he knew what everyone else would find out 50 minutes later. For the first time since Mar. 23, a span of 27 games, Johnson would come off the bench with Tyler Hansbrough replacing him in the Raptors starting five. Dwane Casey had hinted a lineup change could be on its way after practice the day prior but the Raptors coach kept his cards close to his vest during his pre-game availability, with the Nuggets withholding the status of starter Kenneth Faried. Following a couple slow starts in back-to-back defeats at home, the shakeup was not a surprise. "Weve been talking about it, a few days back," Johnson said, despondent after the game. A man of few words. While Johnson was held scoreless in 14 uninspiring minutes as a reserve - an uncharacteristic minus-16 on the afternoon - the change seemed to spark his team out of the gate. Along with Jonas Valanciunas, Hansbrough set the tone for the Raptors, who took an early 15-point lead thanks in large part to Torontos energy and physical work on the boards. However, that lead shrunk in a hurry as both teams went to their second units. The Nuggets - a team assembled, at least in part by Raptors GM Masai Ujiri - dominated the final 36 minutes with their superior depth, exploiting the deficiencies in Torontos shallow roster. "Masai did too good of a job of putting that group together," Casey joked before the game. The Nuggets and their new coach Brian Shaw went 10 players deep, six of them scoring in double figures, including four off the bench. "Our bench has got to give us something," Casey maintained after Denvers subs scored 72 points, an opponent record against the Raptors. "Our (starters) cant play for 48 (minutes), so weve got to get production from the bench." "The guys coming in have got to develop a toughness, a resilience of getting stops and it starts on the defensive end. Thats where our problems started in the second half. They shot well but we didnt make them feel us and thats the difference." As a team, the Nuggets shot 65 per cent in the second half and their bench went 17-for-23 from the field. Johnson - now a member of the Raptors second unit that managed just 16 points on Sunday - has not been himself this season, to his own admission. "No, Ive been on and off," he responded, asked if his early-season play has met his standards. "I mean thats why we made the change in the lineup," Casey said in agreement. "Just to give us some energy, give (Johnson) a chance to recharge a little bit, refresh a little bit, refocus a little bit." Even after Sundays game, Johnson is a plus-20 this season - the teams second best mark - shooting 54 per cent from the field, tops on the Raptors. Still, his effort and consequently his impact has been inconsistent following a career season last year. At times Casey has questioned the forwards focus. "Everybodys been through some rough times," said Rudy Gay, who had a team-high 23 points on 10-of-23 shooting in the loss. "Ive been through it… and hes going through it now." "Everybodys going to go through it at some point in their career and this is the time hes been going through it. But I have all confidence in Amir. Hes going to be great, hes going to be the same Amir we know he can be." Frustration boiling over The Raptors have now dropped three straight and five of their last six games at home, prompting a sensible question; is frustration beginning to get the best of them? "It should hurt," Casey insisted. "But the teams that we played against, if you looked at the schedule before the season started, how many of them would we have been favoured (in)? But thats no excuse because we put ourselves in a position (to win) in each of these games and even in this one in the first half. I dont see frustration." DeMar DeRozan didnt mince words, expressing his frustration after the loss. "Me personally, Im frustrated period," he exclaimed after scoring 17 points in defeat. "Just losing, I mean I hate it, I hate it with a passion." "I mean were right there. Were the ones doing it. Nobodys making us miss our coverages or nothing like that. Its on us. We show it in spurts, weve just got to be more consistent with it." Rare third-quarter touches for Valanciunas Coming into Sundays contest, Jonas Valanciunas had scored 71 points on 57 shots in first quarters this season, tallying just 60 points on 58 shots in the other three quarters combined. The sophomore was utilized more consistently against a smaller Denver team and he responded with one of his better performances of the campaign. "I thought he had a (good) matchup with those guys so we made it a focal point of getting him the ball in the paint," Casey said of Valanciunas, who had a double-double of 18 points and 11 rebounds in 36 minutes of action. "He did an excellent job of getting to where he wanted to go." Valanciunas had four points on seven shots in the first frame, a quarter the Raptors won, also taking seven shots and scoring eight in the third, their next best quarter. As Toronto got steamrolled in the fourth, Valanciunas attempted just one field goal in over nine minutes. If the Raptors hope to diversify their offence, which has largely been centred on Gay and DeRozan, they must find ways to incorporate their centre more consistently, a task thats easier said than done given the teams personnel and the sophomores continued development on both ends of the floor. Up next After winning one of four games during their season-long home stand, the Raptors travel west next week. Their first stop is in Oakland to face the Golden State Warriors. Cheap Adidas NHL Jerseys . Chelsea took until the second half to trouble the leagues bottom team, but Schuerrle then ripped through the defence with ease at Craven Cottage to keep Jose Mourinhos side on track for the title. Cheap Adidas Senators Jerseys .com) - The Oklahoma City Thunder will try to get back on track Monday night when they welcome the Minnesota Timberwolves to Chesapeake Energy Arena. http://www.cheapsenatorsjerseys.com/ . At a news conference Tuesday where it was thought that the fiery Schallibaum may be shown the door after a dismal finish to the Major League Soccer season, team president Joey Saputo said no decision has been made on whether the Swiss Volcano will be back in 2014.Jonathan Berniers return to the Maple Leafs lineup took another step forward on Friday, when the netminder participated in his first full practice since suffering a groin strain. Bernier was sharing goaltending duties with James Reimer during Fridays drills at the Mastercard Centre, while Drew MacIntyre watched from the corner of the ice. Centre Dave Bolland was also on the ice, skating on a regular line with Mason Raymond and David Clarkson for the first time in almost three weeks. Out for 56 games following an ankle injury, Bolland has had a rocky recovery, having last participated in a full practice on March 2 before suffering a setback. Following Fridays skate, head coach Randy Carlyle said a decision on thhe availability of Bernier and Bolland for Saturdays contest against the Montreal Canadiens will be made on game day. Cheap Senators Jerseys. The 25-year-old Bernier was on the ice for the teams optional skate on Wednesday, where he did side-to-side and up-and-down movements while taking some shots in his 25 minutes on the ice. The injury goes back to the teams 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings last week. Bernier took himself out of the game in the first period and has not played since. Reimer has been in goal in his absence, posting three straight losses at the hands of Washington, Detroit and Tampa Bay. Bernier has a 25-16-7 record with a 2.64 goals-against average, a .925 save percentage and a shutout in his first season with Toronto.

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