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rebound to score his second

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    August 14, 2018 7:38 PM PDT

    There arent too many teams that can boast having two point guards who have been starters in the NBA. Tracy Walker Jersey . The Toronto Raptors will have that luxury this season. D.J. Augustin, a former starter with the Charlotte Bobcats, gives the Raptors some much-needed depth as they try to improve on their 34-48 record from last season. "D.J. has a very steadying effect and hes an excellent floor general," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. Augustin, a New Orleans native whose family was forced to relocate to Houston by Hurricane Katrina, was a McDonalds All-American in high school. He appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated as a star guard at the University of Texas, and went on to be was selected ninth overall by Charlotte in the 2008 NBA draft. However, he seemed to have lost his confidence last season, recording career lows in scoring and field goal percentage and starting just five games as a backup in Indiana. Hes looking for a fresh start in Toronto. "Its just about getting an opportunity, getting a chance," he said. "Here Im getting a chance to play, and Im just trying to get comfortable and keep playing well." Augustin was impressive in the Raptors intrasquad game last weekend in Halifax, leading the black team in a win over the grey squad that was led by starting point guard Kyle Lowry. Augustin, who played almost 30 minutes, was the straw that stirred the drink for the black team. He notched five points, but doled out seven assists and did a great job distributing the ball, consistently finding DeMar DeRozan and Jonas Valanciunas in the paint. "The more we practise, the more I get comfortable, the more confident I am and my teammates are confident in me, so that helps me out." said Augustin. Augustin had a shakier outing in Torontos 97-89 pre-season win over the Celtics in Boston on Monday, finishing with four points and three assists in 18 minutes. Augustin was the subject of one highlight-reel play that saw Bostons Jeff Green leap over Augustins head on a hard block. With last seasons deal that sent Jose Calderon to Detroit, it was obvious that the Raptors needed to acquire a point guard in the off-season. New general manager Masai Ujiri signed Augustin as a free agent in the summer could give the Raptors a great backcourt duo. With Augustin and Lowry, the Raptors can expect solid play from the point guard position for 48 minutes each night, Casey said. Augustin, a five-year NBA veteran, plays a "driving" style and describes himself as a pass-first point guard who shoots well enough to keep defenders honest. The 25-year-old, who has started 147 games in his career, doesnt expect to be a starter again this year. He said Casey has mentioned the idea of pairing him with another point guard to provide some ball movement if the team needs it, but hes prepared to play any role. "Whatever coach needs me to, whatever the team needs me to do," Augustin said. "This is all about opportunity and I think here, Im getting a chance." The Raptors trip to Boston marked their third city in almost as many nights, as they held camp in Toronto and then Halifax before opening their pre-season against the Celtics. Casey said he wasnt worried about the hectic travel schedule. "Its good because its like an NBA season," he said. "It gives us a feel of how its going to be." The Raptors continue the pre-season Wednesday when they host the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Air Canada Centre. Former Raptors No. 1 draft pick Andrea Bargnani returns to Toronto with the New York Knicks on Friday. LeGarrette Blount Jersey . Manager Ryan Nelsen has confirmed Brazilian No. 1 Julio Cesar will be rested for Wednesdays first leg of the semifinal. That opens the door for Bendik, who started 33 games for Toronto last season. DeShawn Shead Jersey . Some members of the U.S. Congress arent so sure. They say Russia isnt doing enough to assure that athletes will be protected at the Feb. 7-23 games, happening not far from an Islamic insurgency that Russias huge security apparatus has struggled for two decades to quell. Russia may run greater risks in towns outside the tightly controlled Olympic zone. Suicide bombs last month a few hundred kilometres (miles) away have increased concerns, and an Islamic warlord has urged his followers to attack the Sochi Olympics, Russian President Vladimir Putins pet project.WINNIPEG -- Niklas Backstrom was supposed to be a spectator when his Minnesota Wild visited the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday afternoon. Instead, the goalie was called into action for the first time since suffering a concussion on Nov. 13 when starter Josh Harding was injured during the warm-up. Backstrom made a smooth transition, turning aside 37 shots in regulation and overtime before teammate Charlie Coyle scored the winner in the fourth round of the 3-2 shootout victory. "You have to be ready all the time and you never know whats going to happen so you have to find a way to be ready and be at your best," Backstrom said after picking up his second win of the season. Harding suffered a lower-body injury in warm-up after he slipped on a puck. Backstrom was returning from his first concussion, suffered after an elbow to the head by Nazem Kadri on Nov. 13 that led to the Toronto forward being suspended for three games. His first full practice was Friday. Wild backup netminder Darcy Kuemper was on his way to Iowa of the AHL, but was contacted at the Winnipeg airport and whisked to the MTS Centre to sit on the bench in case Backstrom needed relief. "He (Backstrom is) the difference in the game for us," Minnesota head coach Mike Yeo said. "I mean, obviously I give our players a great deal of credit for dealing with the adversity with what happened at the beginning of the game. Its a little bit easier to deal with it when you see your goalie go out and play the way that he was. "In the first period, we just werent good enough by any stretch and he kept us in it and gave a us a chance to continue to find our game and its a real credit to Backy." Minnesota moved to 15-5-4 and has won six of its past seven games and is 9-1-1 in November. The loss extended Winnipeg (10-11-4) winless streak to four games (0-2-2). It was the Jets eighth shootout of the season and third loss in the contest. Pavelec stopped 35 in regulation and overtime for Winnipeg. Aside from Coyle, who deked to beat Pavelec for his first career shootout goal and second attempt, Mikko Koivu also scored in the shootout. Bryan Little beat Backstrom for the Jets. Michael Frolik and Matt Halischuk each had a goal and assist for Winnipeg in regulation. Nino Niederreiter and Zach Parise scored for Minnesota, with Parises 11th of the season sending the gamme into overtime. DeShawn Shead Lions Jersey. Parise added an assist and now has 12 points in his last 10 games. Jets coach Claude Noel said his team played a pretty good game against the surging Wild. "Theyve been the best team in the National Hockey League in the month of November," Noel said. "Its not been an easy task. Weve lost to them 2-1, 2-1 and now 3-2 in a shootout so were close, were getting there." This time, the back-breaker for the Jets came in the third period. Winnipeg was ahead 2-1 and it looked like the lead might be secure when Wild defenceman Marco Scandella was called for hooking at 14:02. But the short-handed situation was no challenge for the Wild. Ryan Suter, Mikko Koivu and Parise got on a 3-on-2 breakway and Parise fired a low shot past Pavelec with 4:48 remaining. "The puck got rimmed around, didnt quite make it to the defenceman and boom, they came back 3-on-2," Noel said. Pavelec thought his teammates played better, but was lamenting not getting two points. "The way we lost today, its disappointing," Pavelec said. "We had the game. We had it. We should close it up. We didnt and we lost the point." After a scoreless first period in which Winnipeg outshot the visitors 14-4, Frolik marked his sixth goal of the season late in the second when the Wild turned the puck over just outside their blue-line. Frolik got the puck and sent a pass to Halischuk, who fired high at Backstrom. The puck went into the air and then onto the ice near the crease, where Frolik was on the spot to flip it into the net at 13:07. Minnesota tied it up 1-1 at 3:21 of the third when Scandella took a pass from Parise and fired a shot from the high slot. Niederreiter got the rebound and put it past Pavelec. The Jets regained the lead just over two minutes later after Halischuk took advantage of his own rebound to score his second of the season. Winnipeg had four shots in overtime, with Wild winger Jason Zucker breaking up a 2-on-1 rush as Evander Kane was about to shoot and Devin Setoguchis low shot stopped by Backstrom. The Wild had one shot on net in overtime. Winnipeg embarks on a six-game road trip, beginning Monday in New Jersey. Minnesota finishes a four-game road trip in St. Louis on Monday. Notes: Veteran Winnipeg defenceman Mark Stuart returned to the ice after missing the past 10 with a hip injury. Cheap Ducks Jerseys Cheap Coyotes Jerseys Cheap Bruins Jerseys Cheap Sabres Jerseys Cheap Flames Jerseys Cheap Hurricanes Jerseys Cheap Blackhawks Jerseys Cheap Avalanche Jerseys Cheap Blue Jackets Jerseys Cheap Stars Jerseys Cheap Red Wings Jerseys Cheap Oilers Jerseys Cheap Florida Panthers Jerseys Cheap Los Angeles Kings Jerseys Cheap Wild Jerseys ' ' '

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