With the series even at 2-2, Game 5 between the Toronto Raptors and New Jersey Nets at the Air Canada Centre on Wednesday should be quite the event. USA Soccer Shirts . TSNs Jack Armstrong offers his thoughts on the series so far. 1. Improved Offence: Though the Raptors struggled mightily in the second and third quarters, they were impressive in the first and fourth and overall took much better care of the ball and exhibited better shot discipline. That must continue against an outstanding defensive opponent. Got the ball swung to the weakside and made the defence shift enough to get quality looks and just seemed less rattled and a little more sure of what they wanted to accomplish per trip. Still room for lots of improvement and theyll need it; will take the Nets best punch so far in this series on Wednesday. 2. Defensive Details: Much better job guarding the ball straight up and limiting straight-line drives and easy paths to the paint. Have to stay sound and stop closing out on perimeter guys out of control and going for pump fakes that lead to drives. Better job here. Really worked hard to contest shots. Help was very good in the fourth quarter and the rotations and communication were sound. 3. Red Alert: Game 5 and youre all even. Needless to say the pressure and excitement will be there for both sides. It comes down to this the next 48+ hours: which team stays focused better on the task at hand? Which team really locks in better on the game prep and the subtle adjustments you have to make per game? Do you stay true to your fundamental habits and execute them? At this point, youve played each other eight times already so theres no secrets. Whos going to be better and can sustain the edge? Lastly, with all the hype/hoopla surrounding you, are you able to maintain your poise/composure and get at the task at hand. Not easy for either side yet this is what makes the games so much fun. 4. Joe Johnson: Raptors did a nice job getting the ball out of his hands and making him work for his shots. No Landry Fields and in spite of John Salmons not scoring, his effort was outstanding in this matchup. He fronted him at times in the mid/low post and whomever was guarding Johnson stood their ground better and the help/double came quicker and harder. An absolute must in Game 5. Hell be looking to make a statement early and often to re-establish himself. 5. Raptors Square: What a scene! Believe me. NBA folks along with players and agents take notice of whats going on outside the ACC and compare it to the level of passion/interest they see in the other 29 NBA markets. Were in the recruitment and retention business; every little bit helps gain the upper hand on your opponent. The level of passion and love for the sport that people see from fans all across Canada right now will help Raptors ownership and management in so many ways continue to improve the organization on many fronts. You the fans are making your own statement. Keep it up. Thanks! Jackson Yueill Jersey . Ted Ligety, Mikaela Shiffrin, Bode Miller and Tim Jitloff underlined the squads enormous potential on the Rettenbach glacier in Austria. Stitched USA Soccer Jerseys . Mesoraco hurt his hamstring while scoring from second in Friday nights 5-4 loss at Atlanta. Chapman was hit by a line drive during an exhibition game on March 19, breaking his nose and a bone above his left eye. The left-hander looked strong while throwing 43 pitches in batting practice before Saturday nights game against the Braves.NEW YORK -- As Freddie Roach recalled, he recently received a phone call from Miguel Cotto, who suggested he only had three fights left. Judging by his performance Saturday night, Cotto has plenty left in the tank. Cotto became the first Puerto Rican fighter to win world championships in four weight divisions, stopping Sergio Martinez in their WBC world middleweight title fight Saturday night. "It was a reflection of my hard work (for) 10, 11 weeks," Cotto said. Martinez didnt get off the stool when the bell rang for the 10th round. He did not speak to the media after the fight, as he was taken to a hospital as a precaution. "Miguel beat him from pillar to post," said Martinezs promoter, Lou DiBella. "Miguel Cotto is a great champion." Cotto improved to 39-4 and is 8-1 at Madison Square Garden. Martinez fell to 51-3-2. According to Todd duBoef, the President of Top Rank, the attendance was 21,090, and the gross gate was under $5 million. In the week leading up to the fight, Roach, Cottos trainer, said his pupil would be able to use his footwork to control the fight, and still possessed power even though he moved up in weight class. Cotto proved Roach right from the opening bell, knocking down Martinez twice in the first round with a flurry of body shots. As the fight progressed, Cotto pressured Martinez around the ring, and attacked when openings were presented. Cotto won every round, including a 10-6 first. "Miguel fought a really great fight," Roach said. "Thank you, Miguel, for making me look so good. "He really gave the guy a boxing lesson." Martinez forced Cotto to fight in the middle of the ring instead of on the ropes or in thee corners. USA Soccer Store. But Cotto was able to land a variety of jabs and hooks. By the end of the eighth round, Martinez had swelling around his right eye. He also had a cut on his forehead due to a head-butt. Both cuts were glued shut. Cotto landed 54 per cent of his punches, and 54 per cent of his power punches. By comparison, Martinez connected on 31 per cent of his punches, and landed 60 of 157 power punches. "Martinez couldnt hurt him," Roach said. "Miguel listened to the game plan." The Cotto-Martinez fight was the main event of a nine-fight card. Marvin Sonsona (19-1-1) became the NABF featherweight champion with a 10-round split decision win over Wilfredo Vasquez Jr (23-4-1). "Hes a dirty, rotten fighter," Vasquez said. "When I pressured him, he held. He landed one good punch, the punch that knocked me down." Javier Maciel (29-3) won the USNBC super welterweight title, defeating Jorge Melendez (28-4-1) by split decision, and Andy Lee (32-2) stopped John Jackson (18-2) with a left hook in the fifth round. "I ran into a bad one," Jackson said. "What a lucky punch." Prior to the main card bouts, Felix Verdejo improved to 13-0 with a first-round technical knockout of Engelberto Valenzuela (9-2); and Jose Lopez (13-0) won an eight-round unanimous decision over Raul Hidalgo (21-11-0-1) to retain the WBC super bantam FECARBOX title. Jose Pedraza moved to 17-0 with a first-round technical knockout of Arturo Uruzquieta (15-6); and Willie Nelson improved to 22-1-1 with a first-round technical knockout of Darryl Cunningham (29-7). In his first professional bout, Jantory Ortiz stopped Elio Ruiz (1-5) in the first round. ' ' '
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Dec 20, 2019
TSNs Jack Armstrong
TSNs Jack Armstrong