TORONTO - Toronto Raptors head coach Dwane Casey used words like growing, adjusting and learning frequently throughout a 30-minute conference call with reporters Monday.His young team is soaking up the NBA playoff experience and showing the Brooklyn Nets that they wont be pushovers at the same time.What Caseys squad lacks in experience, it makes up for in effort. That was on full display a day earlier as Toronto showed its mettle in an 87-79 road victory that tied the best-of-seven first-round series at two games apiece.The Raptors are focused on results this spring but theyre also trying to build a foundation they hope will lead to long-term success.Were a young team, nobody expected us to be here, Casey said. Every experience is a new experience for us. Guys are growing in every situation.After a jittery start, Toronto has held its own against a tough Brooklyn lineup that features veteran players Kevin Garnett, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce and Deron Williams.The Raptors are banged up and have had to go deep into their bench over the first four games. But they have responded well as a team in a series that will be a key building block for the future.Going through the playoffs is nothing but a plus for our franchise, Casey said. As I said, you dont want it to be a one-time (appearance) in the playoffs and never be seen again for six more years. You want it to be a growing experience. With our core guys being so young, that should be their goal going forward.Now that youve been in the playoffs once, you know what it tastes like, you know what it feels like. You know going through the season when the coach is preaching physicality, how hard youve got to play, how youve got to take care of the ball, why hes saying that. Because all that comes into play in playoff basketball.Several Toronto players are nursing injuries but most are expected to be available for Wednesdays Game 5 at Air Canada Centre.Among the starters, Kyle Lowry has been hobbled by a sore knee and Amir Johnson has had ankle problems. Patrick Patterson was a little gimpy last night, according to Casey, who added that Landry Fields (back) was feeling much better.Were nicked up, banged up a little bit but nothing that we know of thats major right now, Casey said.The series will return to Barclays Center on Friday for Game 6. If a seventh game is necessary, it will be played on Sunday in Toronto.This whole series for us is a learning experience because we are such a young team, Casey said. Its the first time in the playoffs for a lot of our key guys. So Im learning that they are growing from it. They are getting better in certain situations and theyre still making mistakes in certain situations.But the adjustment part is something thats big for us. To be able to change things on a days notice or even in game situations, thats good to know and good to see.DeMar DeRozan scored 24 points in the Game 4 win and Lowry added 22. The Raptors came through with key defensive stops late in the game and showed they wont be intimidated by the Nets.I think as the series has gone on our guys have gotten more comfortable, Casey said. But again we know were going against a very veteran, experienced team that has seen everything and experienced everything.Theyre going to make some adjustments, were going to have to continue to make adjustments as the series goes on.The Raptors have managed to split the first four games despite the struggles of starter Terrence Ross, who was held off the scoresheet in 16 minutes of play on Sunday.Casey plans to stick with the youngster, noting its important to keep an eye on long-term development as the post-season continues.The only thing that will help him next year is to go through this, he said. He is a talented young man. This says nothing about his potential and where hes going to be this time next year. This is still a learning experience for him. Is he going to stub his toe? Yes. But hes still got to go through it.I thought his defence was superb in the first quarter last night against Deron Williams. I thought he did a good job. Hes just got to get a feel and a rhythm and a style of play with his offence.The Raptors should get a boost from the boisterous Air Canada Centre crowd. Casey wants his players to feed off that energy and build on what they have accomplished so far.I think our guys are growing as we go, he said. Thats the hard thing about being a young team in the playoffs. A team like Brooklyn has seen everything, theyve experienced everything, theyve had every atmosphere you can have in the playoffs and some of them have won championships.Thats the advantage you have as an experienced team and the disadvantage you have as a young team. But our guys are growing and learning as we go.Notes: Game 4 was a ratings hit for TSN. Overnight data from BBM Canada indicated an average audience of 885,000 viewers watched the game. It was the second most-watched Raptors game ever, just behind the teams Game 7 second-round loss to Philadelphia in 2001, the network said in a release. Sports TV ratings have skyrocketed in recent years following the introduction of a new ratings system.Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter. Marcus Stroman Jersey
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. Harrison Barnes had 15 points and Reggie Bullock scored 11 for the Tar Heels (17-3, 4-1 ACC), who took the court for the first time without starter Dexter Strickland. The junior guard tore his right ACL last Thursday at Virginia Tech and will miss the rest of the season. Russell Martin Jersey
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. Parnell will be out much longer if it turns out he needs surgery. But first, he will try resting for two weeks before beginning a throwing program that could last up to a month, general manager Sandy Alderson said.ASTANA, Kazakhstan -- Winnipegs Brittany Schussler won her seventh individual long-track World Cup medal Saturday, skating to a bronze in the womens 1,500 metres. Schusslers time of one minute 57.78 seconds put her 0.50 second behind the winning time of American Brittany Bowe (1:57.28) and 0.08 behind silver medallist Yuliya Skokova of Russia (1:57.70). "I have felt like my 1,500-metre races have been getting stronger every weekend," said Schussler. "I know theres still a lot of work to be done, but Im confident I can build off this performance." Schussler now has one silver and six bronze medals on the World Cup circuit. Her last individual medal was a bronze in the 3,000 metres in Moscow on Jan. 28, 2011. She also has won 15 medals -- including nine gold -- as a member of Canadas womens team pursuit squad, which currently holds the world record. In mens competition, Dennny Morrison of Fort St.dddddddddddd John, B.C., placed fourth in the 1,000 metres with a time of 1:09.15. Shani Davis of the United States won his third straight 1,000 metres. Morrison was also fourth in the 1,000 metres in Salt Lake City, Utah on Nov. 16. "Staying out of the spotlight has its advantages," Morrison said. "Despite two fourth place finishes now Ive actually managed to beat everyone on the World Cup circuit, except for Shani Davis. And I know I can beat Shani Davis." Kaylin Irvine of Calgary was second in the womens B 500 metre. In mens B 500 metre, William Dutton of Humboldt, Sask., was fifth, Winnipegs Tyler Derraugh was eighth and Morrison was 17th. Ottawas Ivanie Blondin placed 13th and Edmontons Nicole Garrido was 16th in womens B 1,500 metre. Dutton was fourth, Derraugh fifth and Reginas Lucas Makowsky 10th in the mens B 1,000 metres. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys
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