#1 Seitzers philosophy of using all fields. T von miaowang123 07.03.2019 03:02

TORONTO - On Saturday afternoon, less than three years after winning an unlikely championship together in Dallas, Dwane Casey and Jason Kidd will sit on opposite ends of the Air Canada Centre sideline, getting set to make their postseason debut as head coaches. Just ahead of tip-off, as their teams stretch, shoot around and a sellout crowd - draped in white - files into the building, the two coaches will meet at centre court. Theyll shake hands, exchange a few words then return to their respective benches in the hopes of sending the other home for an early summer vacation. They havent spoken since finding out that the Raptors and Nets would face off in round one of the Eastern Conference playoffs, which isnt to say theres a lack of mutual respect between the two. On the contrary, theres actually a whole lot of it. Friendship is for the offseason, Casey always boasts. Until then, these former colleagues have a job to do, and theyre in each others way. Theyve traveled down dissimilar paths to get to this point. Casey, who celebrated his 57th birthday on Thursday, has been coaching in the NBA for over two decades. After serving as a long-time assistant under George Karl in Seattle, he spent a couple seasons as the head man with the Timberwolves, where he coached Nets veteran and future hall of famer Kevin Garnett. In 2011, his third season as Rick Carlisles lead assistant in Dallas, Casey helped guide the experienced Mavericks to an unexpected championship, with Kidd starting at point guard. Kidd, now 41, was in season 17 of his illustrious 19-year career. He was a retired NBA player for 10 days before becoming a head coach this past summer. "First of all, I texted him and [asked] him if hes lost his mind," Casey joked, asked about Kidds move to the bench earlier this season. The Nets controversial decision to hand the reins over to Kidd, fresh off his final campaign in New York, was met with more criticism than any coaching hire in recent memory. When his first season as a bench boss got off to a rocky start many called for his head, but he had a steadfast supporter in Casey, who knew it was only a matter of time before Kidd and his veteran Nets team rocketed back to top of the East. "Hes going to be a good coach because he was a computer on the floor and he just has to transfer that to his players," Casey said ahead of a late November meeting between the two teams. The Nets were 3-10 going into that game. "It takes time." "Hes one of the toughest minded guys Ive been around and Ive coached, and Ive been around some strong minded guys, but he was definitely one of them," Casey added prior to their next meeting, two months later. The Nets, 10-21 on Jan. 1, had won five in a row before losing in Toronto that night. "I knew mentally he was going to stay strong and stay into it and it would be a matter of time." Brooklyn would go on to finish the campaign with the second best record among Eastern Conference teams in 2014 and Kidd became a two-time Coach of the Month winner. As Casey met with the media Friday afternoon, less than 24 hours before Game 1, the Raptors coach was caught off guard when one reporter pointed out that he and Kidd would be sharing their playoff head coaching debuts. "I never thought about that," he said in earnest, but hes not the least bit surprised to see his counterpart in the position that hes in. "Jason was always a step ahead of the curve," said Casey, the Easts Coach of the Month for December. "I think point guards are coaches on the floor, they should be. Theyve gone through their whole career figuring out things on the fly, on the court. So I think thats the difference in Jason. Jason has been a thinker his whole career and hes doing a good job with Brooklyn." For these old friends, this series should turn into something of a chess match. The Nets rookie coach has a veteran-laden roster at his disposal. A big factor in his teams 2014 reversal of fortunes has been Kidds commitment to a small lineup, starting a couple of point guards in the backcourt and using Paul Pierce as their mobile, perimeter-oriented power forward. "I think they established an identity, much like we did," Casey told TSN.ca in an exclusive conversation Friday. "I think putting Pierce at the four position was a huge turnaround for them. Solidifying the smaller lineup really helped them." Casey has the benefit of a versatile roster. With Amir Johnson and Jonas Valanciunas, the Raptors can go against the grain and put pressure on the visiting Nets with a size and strength advantage or they can match-up using their own version of the small lineup. "Philosophy is personnel driven," Casey wisely pointed out. With Johnson and Patrick Patterson - two versatile forwards who can rebound and also step out and defend on the perimeter - Torontos coach is confident his team can utilize both their small and big units with success in this series. "Its going to be huge," he said of that versatility. "If we stay big weve got to really pound the boards and take advantage of it if they stay small but at the same time theyre such a lethal three-point shooting team. Its hard for our bigs, with our mentality to get out and guard the three-point line in those situations so were going to have to figure that out as far as when we do go small, who has the advantage. If we have an advantage on the boards or inside well try to do that but if were getting killed with three-point shooting then well have to make some adjustments." Caseys quiet confidence and poise has rubbed off on his team all season but those characteristics have never been more important than they are now. By now youve heard of their inexperience, Caseys embraced it because, what choice does he have? They cant pretend like theyve been somewhere they havent, they wont pretend to be something theyre not. If you want to count them out because of it, Casey understands, but he doesnt advise it. "I dont want to diminish [experience], its very important," he said. "In any walk of life its important if youre going to do a job at a high level to have as much experience as you can possibly have. We are who we are, we cant change it. The way our guys get experience is to go through this. But at the end of the day you still have to go out and play the game. Theres been a lot of young teams that beat older teams in the history of the game and were ready for that challenge. I think were better with a chip on our shoulder, being the desperate team. I think we struggle when were the favourite so I like that part about it. I dont even talk about it to our players, about experience. 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Colorado came up big against Chicago last spring, and repeated that performance Tuesday night. Varlamov stopped 36 shots and Paul Stastny had a goal and an assist for the Avalanche in a 5-1 victory over the Blackhawks. Cheap MLB Jerseys . Top-seeded Djokovic, who is making only his second appearance this year after reaching the quarterfinals of the Australian Open, was a 6-3, 6-3 winner over 54th-ranked Istomin of Uzbekistan. "It wasnt as easy as the scoreline indicates," said Djokovic, who has won in Dubai on four occasions.NEW YORK – The Blue Jays entered Thursdays series finale at Yankee Stadium losers of eight of their last 11 games. Theyd dropped 15 in a row in the Bronx dating back to 2012 and had seen their lead over their pinstriped rivals in the American League East dwindle to two and a half games. This is a slump. Its lasted for about two weeks. The downturn comes on the heels of a terrific May, when Toronto won 21 of 30 games and Edwin Encarnacion captured the imagination of fans with his 16-home run month. This is not is the end of the world, nor does this slump suggest a long-term trend. This is on the offence and thats a good thing because theres too much talent in the Blue Jays lineup for the widespread malaise to continue. To wit: The starting pitching has been fine. You could say its been good and you wouldnt be wrong. In the last 11 games, Jays starters have allowed four or more earned runs only twice and have pitched to a staff ERA of 3.71. The starting pitching was supposed to be the weakness. So far it has held up. The Jays have hit only four home runs in their last 11 games. Not surprisingly, three of the home runs came in two of the three victories. Toronto continues to lead baseball with 93 team home runs, which is crucial to the clubs attack. Of the 338 runs the Jays have scored this season, 147 (43.4 per cent) have come via the long ball. Jose Bautista hasnt hit a home run in 11 games, his longest power drought of the season. Hes still hitting for a respectable average, .275 with five of his 11 hits going for doubles, but the Jays miss his power bat as the club struggles, having scored three or fewer runs eight times in the span. This is a phase, both for the individual and for the ballclub, Bautista said, that was bound to happen. "If you can execute every single day for 162, youd probably win 140 games," said Bautista. "We dont expect to execute every single day. But we do have to pick it up. Its one thing, were running into some St. Louis good pitching, soome other pitching staffs.dddddddddddd I dont want to speak badly or worse about the Yankees or the Orioles but its not the same. We faced much better pitching at home during the last homestand than we have on this road trip, except for Tanaka, who did a tremendous job. So we shouldve won some of these games that we lost." It hasnt helped, either, that Edwin Encarnacion has hit only one home run in the last 11 games. "Weve lacked some timely hitting," said Bautista. "Our pitching has been there enough, I think, that we shouldve won some of these games that weve lost. We just need to keep going on offence. We got really hot at one point and kind of hitting a little cold spurt now. Weve just got to overcome it and not get 10 hits a day but get them when you get the baserunners on." Bautista has repeatedly acknowledged hes bought in to hitting coach Kevin Seitzers philosophy of using all fields. The slugger has become a better all round hitter. His 1,000th career big league hit, achieved in the eighth inning of Wednesday nights loss, was a double to right field. That alone would have been a story last season. This year its commonplace. "I think Im more aware of some situations where people are going to keep challenging me inside, especially when Im behind in the count or theres the right situation when theres a defensive shift," said Bautista. "Why not try to go over there and it ended up working out again? But the previous at bat I tried going that way and I hit into a force out, when Melky got forced out at second. So it works sometimes, sometimes it doesnt." Its difficult to watch a team go into a funk, especially when it had become customary for fans to watch Toronto out-slug and, often, out-pitch opponents. Despite the recent struggles, the Jays offence remains top 10 in important statistical categories: Home runs – 93 (1st)On-base percentage - .329 (5th)On-base plus slugging percentage - .760 (2nd)Walks – 243 (9th) ' ' '

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