Raptors’ Gasol: ‘It doesn’t take a genius to know we have a lot of pieces’ — Toronto Sun

Friday’s game between Toronto Boston seemed like it would be a bit more meaningful when the NBA first announced its bubble restart schedule. Read More

Raptors’ Gasol: ‘It doesn’t take a genius to know we have a lot of pieces’ — Toronto Sun

The Raptors’ Title Defense starts on… Defense — The Playgrounder

By Andrew Lawlor After charming the hearts of NBA fans everywhere (except in the Bay Area) with their championship run, the Toronto Raptors lost Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green in the offseason. They were expected to take a step back. So far, they haven’t: after winning their first two games since the restart, the Raptors […]

The Raptors’ Title Defense starts on… Defense — The Playgrounder

Sixers: Ben Simmons’ injury obviously hurts the Sixers—but his timetable determines everything — Full Scale Philly

Yesterday, Sixers fans saw Ben Simmons leave the win over the Wizards early in the fourth quarter with a limp in his left leg. While early indications were encouraging, today’s MRI revealed a dislocated knee cap. Ben Simmons suffered a subluxation of the left knee cap, Sixers say. He’s considering treatment options and currently out. […]

Sixers: Ben Simmons’ injury obviously hurts the Sixers—but his timetable determines everything — Full Scale Philly

LeBron James says Lakers have off-court issues, out vs. Rockets (groin) — ProBasketballTalk | NBC Sports

The Lakers’ offense has stumbled so far in the bubble.

LeBron James says Lakers have off-court issues, out vs. Rockets (groin) — ProBasketballTalk | NBC Sports

The Lakers’ offense has stumbled so far in the bubble.

Joe Vardon of The Athletic:

LeBron gave a weird answer about this. He agreed that he and the Lakers were looking for a rhythm on offense. And then he said: “It’s just some things that you can’t control that’s here, that I really don’t want to talk about, that’s off the floor.”

Mike Trudell of the Lakers:

LeBron James (sore right groin) is out tonight against Houston. Alex Caruso (left neck muscle spasms) is questionable.

— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) August 6, 2020

Four Lakers are listed as probable tonight: Anthony Davis (sprained right ankle); Markieff Morris (left hip contusion); Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (right ribs contusion); Dwight Howard (sore right knee).

— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) August 6, 2020

Was LeBron referring to his groin injury? I wouldn’t call that an off-court issue, but maybe he would.

LeBron knows how to work the media. This subtle comment will draw attention and sets up LeBron to look better if he leads the Lakers through this mysterious issue.

Without more context, it’s easy for imaginations to wander – especially about a team with Dwight HowardDion Waiters and J.R. Smith. The Lakers could be facing a major hurdle. Or a minor nuisance. Who knows? But the unknown is scary.

It’ll be difficult to detect the Lakers’ progress during remaining seeding games. The Lakers have already clinched the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, and without a home-court advantage in the NBA Finals, there’s no reason to chase the NBA’s best overall record. That’s why LeBron missing tonight’s game against the Rockets could be mostly precautionary.Tags: Dion WaitersDwight HowardJ.R. SmithLeave a comment

Kevin Durant Has Theory About Why Kyrie Irving Receives So Much Criticism — NESN.com

Kevin Durant believes Kyrie Irving’s sharp tongue sometimes puts him at odds with the masses. The Brooklyn Nets superstar claimed Wednesday during his appearance on the ELITE Media Group’s “Play For Keeps” podcast his teammate has become a lightning rod for criticism because he tells it like it is, regardless of the consequences. Fans and…

Kevin Durant Has Theory About Why Kyrie Irving Receives So Much Criticism — NESN.com

Nate Pearson starts for Blue Jays in Atlanta

TODAY’S GAME:
NATE PEARSON
Taking a Major League mound for the 2nd time, both in interleague games (7/29 vs. WAS).
Nate Pearson, RHP #24 Born: Odessa, FL AGE: 23
Making his 2nd MLB start tonight, coming off his MLB Debut on 7/29
vs. WAS…Threw 5.0 scoreless innings, taking a no-decision as the
Jays were shutout, 4-0, by Max Scherzer and the Nationals…
Allowed 2 hits and 2 walks while striking out 5 batters…Struck out
the 1st batter he faced (Trea Turner), becoming the 7th pitcher in
team history to debut as a starter and strike out the 1st batter faced
(last: Matt Boyd on 6/27/15 vs. TEX)…Became the 3rd pitcher in
Blue Jays history to throw 5+ scoreless innings in an MLB debut,
joining Mauro Gozzo (8/8/89 vs. TEX) and Trent Thornton (3/31/19
vs. DET)…Also became the 49th player in team history to make his
MLB debut as a starting pitcher, following up a debut by Thomas
Hatch, 3 days earlier (7/26 at TB).
Entered the season as Toronto’s top-rated prospect by MLB and
Baseball America (7th overall by BA; 8th overall by MLB).
ST: 5G, 2GS, 4.22 ERA, 10.2 IP, 7H, 5ER, 1HR, 5BB, 16K, .194 AVG
2019 HIGHLIGHTS:
Started his campaign with A+ Dunedin and posted a 0.86 ERA (2
ER/21.0 IP) across 6 starts.
Promoted to AA New Hampshire on 5/7 and held a 2.59 ERA (18
ER/62.2 IP) in 16 starts.
Finished the year with 3 starts for AAA Buffalo…Went 1-0 while
allowing 6 runs over 18.0 innings for a 3.00 ERA and a 0.83 WHIP
(15K/3BB).
Threw 7.0 shutout innings in his AAA debut on 8/20 at Rochester…
Allowed 3 hits and struck out 3 batters without issuing a walk on
what was his 23rd birthday.
2018 HIGHLIGHTS:
Made just 1 start in the 2018 regular season before having his
campaign ended with a fractured right ulna when he was hit by a
line drive.
Played for the Surprise Saguaros in the 2018 Arizona Fall League
and went 2-2 over 6 starts…Had his fastball reach as high as 104
MPH while there and was named to both the AFL Rising Stars
Team and the All-Prospect Team.
OTHER HIGHLIGHTS:
Ranked by MLB as Toronto’s No. 1 prospect heading into 2020…
Listed as Baseball America’s 7th-best overall prospect.
Selected by the Blue Jays in the 1st round (28th overall) of the
2017 First-Year Player Draft.
Attended Florida International for a year before transferring to Central Florida Community College in Ocala, FL…Went 5-2 with a 1.56
ERA in his 13 starts for Patriots in 2017 and struck out 118 batters over 81.0 innings (23 walks).
PITCH SELECTION (2020)
Four-seam Fastball (55.1%, 95.7mph), Slider (33.3%, 84.6mph),
Change (9.4%, 88.8mph) Curve (2.2%, 77.0mph)
YEAR W-L ERA G GS IP H ER HR BB SO AVG
2020 0-0 0.00 0 0 5.0 2 0 0 2 5 .118
2019 (AA) 1-4 2.59 16 16 62.2 41 18 4 21 69 .186
2019 (AAA) 1-0 3.00 3 3 18.0 12 6 2 3 15 .185

Blue Jays 2, Braves 1: Postgame notes

Wednesday, August 5, 2020 – Truist Park – Atlanta, Ga.

 123456789RHELOB
Toronto Blue Jays0100100002504
Atlanta Braves0000001001314

Win: Hyun-Jin Ryu (1-1, 5.14)  |  Loss: Sean Newcomb (0-1, 6.57)  |  Save: Anthony Bass (2)

  First Pitch: 7:09 p.m.  |  Game Time Temp.: 84 degrees  |  Time of Game: 3:00 |  Attendance: —

Series Information

Braves vs. Blue Jays: The Blue Jays won tonight to force a rubber game tomorrow…These three games are the only meetings between the teams this season…This is the fourth consecutive year Toronto and Atlanta have played…Despite the loss, the Braves still lead the all-time regular-season series, having won 29 of the 54 games…Toronto has not won a season series with Atlanta since 2009, going 0-5-3 in series play in that time…The Braves took three-of-four games from the Blue Jays last season, including both games in Atlanta.

Toronto Blue Jays (4-5)

Interleague Play: The Blue Jays improved to 3-3 (.500) in Interleague Play this season following tonight’s win…With tonight’s win, they matched their Interleague win total in 20 games last season…Toronto’s 3-17 record against National League opponents in 2019 produced a .150 winning percentage, the third lowest all-time, trailing the 2010 Pirates and 2012 Rockies, who both went 2-13 (.133)…The Blue Jays’ 17 total losses in Interleague play last season were the most by any team in a single season.

Error Free: After committing one error on Opening Day at Tampa Bay, the Blue Jays have now gone eight consecutive games playing error-free defense…This is Toronto’s longest stretch without committing an error since an 11-game run in 2015, from August 6-18…The Blue Jays had two seven-game error-free stretches last season.

Hyun-Jin Ryu: Made his third start as a Blue Jay and allowed just one hit and three walks while striking out a season-high eight hitters…Tonight’s win was the 55th of his career, moving him past Byung-Hyun Kim into sole possession of second place on the MLB wins list for players born in South Korea …Chan Ho Park has the most with 124…The outing was his sixth career start against the Braves, and he moved to 2-2 with a 2.37 ERA (10 ER/38.0 IP) against Atlanta.

Lourdes Gurriel Jr.: Drew a walk but failed to record a hit for just the second time this season in nine games.

RISP: Went a perfect 2-for-2 with runners in scoring position after going just 1-for-10 last night and 10-for-54 (.185) in such situations through eight games…Prior to tonight’s game Toronto’s .185 average with runners in scoring position was third lowest in the majors, ahead of just Philadelphia (.179) and Detroit (.143).

No Home Run: Tonight’s win was the first for Toronto in which it did not homer this season…The Blue Jays had just one extra-base hit, a double from Vlad Guerrero Jr…Toronto had been 0-3 when it did not homer over its first eight games.

Atlanta Braves (8-5)

Sean Newcomb: Made his first career start against Toronto and allowed five hits and two runs over 4.2 innings…He faced them twice in relief previously, both of which came last season…Newcomb has yet to pitch past the fifth inning in three starts this season…Tonight’s game was the 16th career Interleague appearance of his career, and his 6.75 ERA (32 ER/42.2 IP) against the opposing league is the highest among active pitchers (min. 35.0 IP) since Newcomb’s first Interleague start (7/4/17 vs. HOU).

Runs: Tonight’s game was just the second of the season in which Atlanta did not score multiple runs, joining its Opening Day shutout loss to the Mets…The Braves entered the game leading the majors with 69 runs on the year.

Vs. Lefties: Tonight’s loss was the first for Atlanta in which the opposing starter was left-handed…The Braves were 3-0 against lefties entering play and went 23-14 (.622) versus left-handed starters last season.

Josh Tomlin: Tossed 1.1 scoreless frames without allowing a baserunner and fanning two…Entered play with nine strikeouts on the season, tied for most in the National League among relievers, and his 6.2 innings pitched were tied for second most out of the bullpen in the NL…He has yet to allow a run in 8.2 innings pitched (five appearances), and is the only reliever in the NL to pitch at least 6.0 innings and not allow a run.

Adam Duvall: His seventh-inning home run capped a string of seven straight plate appearances in which he reached base, the longest streak of his career…He had previously reached in six straight in August of 2016…Duvall finished the night going 2-for-3 with a solo home run and a walk.

Markakis Debut: Nick Markakis made his season debut and grounded out to first in his only plate appearance…He entered play with 499 career doubles and would be the 64th player in major league history to reach 550 two-base hits, and only the fourth active player in the league.

Maple Leafs-Blue Jackets Game 3: PREGAME NOTES

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (1-1) vs.

COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS (1-1)

AUGUST 6, 2020 ▪ 8:00 PM EST

SCOTIABANK ARENA (TORONTO, ON) ▪
TV: SPORTSNET ▪ RADIO: SPORTSNET 590 THE FAN

MAPLE LEAFS HISTORY versus COLUMBUS


ALL-TIME RECORD
: 14-11-1-4
ALL-TIME at HOME: 6-6-1-3

ALL-TIME PLAYOFF SERIES RECORD: 0-0

ALL-TIME PLAYOFF RECORD: 1-1
2019-20: 1-0-1

THE SERIES SO FAR

GAME TWO – AUGUST 4, 2020: Toronto 3 vs. Columbus 0

GAME SUMMARY        |           EVENT SUMMARY       |           FACEOFF SUMMARY

Toronto Goals: Matthews, Tavares, Rielly

Columbus Goals: N/A

TOR PP: 0/5; CBJ PP: 0/4

Shots: 39-20 Toronto; Hits: 28-18 Columbus; Faceoff %: 53% Columbus

GAME ONE – AUGUST 2, 2020: Columbus 2 vs. Toronto 0

GAME SUMMARY        |           EVENT SUMMARY       |           FACEOFF SUMMARY

Toronto Goals: N/A

Columbus Goals: Atkinson, Wennberg

TOR PP: 0/1; CBJ PP: 0/2

Shots: 35-28 Columbus; Hits: 37-26 Columbus; Faceoff %: 58% Toronto

MAPLE LEAFS SERIES LEADERS

CATEGORYLEADERCATEGORYLEADER
GOALS(Matthews, Rielly, Tavares)BLOCKED SHOTS5 (Muzzin)
ASSISTS1 (Five players tied)TAKEAWAYS4 (Matthews)
POINTS2 (Matthews)HITS6 (Kerfoot)
SHOTS10 (Matthews)TOI PER GAME23:31 (Rielly)
FACEOFF WIN%70.3% (Tavares)PP TOI PER GAME4:37 (Matthews)
5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPT %68.1% (Marner)SH TOI PER GAME3:47 (Holl)

MAPLE LEAFS CAREER LEADERS versus COLUMBUS

GAMES: John Tavares (27), Jason Spezza (22), Kyle Clifford (20), Morgan Rielly (20)
POINTS: John Tavares (33), Mitch Marner (12), Jason Spezza (12)

GOALS: John Tavares (14), Mitch Marner (5), Jason Spezza (4)

ASSISTS: John Tavares (19), Morgan Rielly (9), Tyson Barrie (9)

PENALTY MINUTES: Kyle Clifford (23), John Tavares (16), Jake Muzzin (14)

BLUE JACKETS CAREER LEADERS versus TORONTO

GAMES: Nick Foligno (46), Brandon Dubinsky (32), Gustav Nyquist (27)

POINTS: Brandon Dubinsky (23), Nick Foligno (22), Gustav Nyquist (20)

GOALS: Gustav Nyquist (11), Nick Foligno (10), Brandon Dubinsky (7)

ASSISTS: Brandon Dubinsky (16), Nick Foligno (12), Seth Jones (9), Gustav Nyquist (9)

PENALTY MINUTES: Nick Foligno (38), Brandon Dubinsky (26), Nathan Gerbe (16)

MAPLE LEAFS ACTIVE PLAYOFF LEADERS

GAMES: Jason Spezza (82), Jake Muzzin (59), Kyle Clifford (57)

POINTS: Jason Spezza (70), John Tavares (28), Jake Muzzin (22)
GOALS: Jason Spezza (25), John Tavares (14), Auston Matthews (11)

ASSISTS: Jason Spezza (45), Jake Muzzin (15), John Tavares (14)
PENALTY MINUTES: Kyle Clifford (62), Jason Spezza (30), Jake Muzzin (22)

2019-20 SEASON SERIES

October 4, 2019: Toronto 4 vs. Columbus 1

GAME SUMMARY         |           EVENT SUMMARY        |           FACEOFF SUMMARY

Toronto Goals: Marner (2), Ceci, Matthews

Columbus Goals: Atkinson

October 21, 2019: Columbus 4 vs. Toronto 3 OT

GAME SUMMARY         |           EVENT SUMMARY        |           FACEOFF SUMMARY

Toronto Goals: Kapanen, Matthews, Nylander

Boston Goals: Nash, Dubois, Wennberg, Nyquist

MAPLE LEAFS SNAPSHOTS

Postseason Appearances– The 2020 postseason marks the Maple Leafs’ 69th appearance in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Series History– The Maple Leafs have played a total of 114 series in their previous 68 playoff appearances, winning 58 of them.
Playoff Record– Toronto has a record of 262-285-4 in 551 franchise playoff games.
Best of Five– The Toronto franchise (Arenas, St. Pats, Maple Leafs) has played in 15 best-of-five series in its history and have a 7-8 record in that span
Toronto vs. Columbus– This is the first time the Maple Leafs and Blue Jackets have met in a postseason series.
Postseason Experience– Frederik AndersenKasperi KapanenZach HymanAuston MatthewsMitch MarnerWilliam Nylander and Morgan Rielly have appeared in all 20 postseason games contested by the Maple Leafs since the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, per NHL Stats.
In the Atlantic– Toronto finished third in the Atlantic Division and 13th in the NHL standings with a record of 36-25-9 (.569 points percentage).
Team Discipline– The Maple Leafs took the sixth-fewest penalties in the NHL (219) and averaged the third-fewest penalty minutes per game (6.7). 
Faceoffs– The Maple Leafs finished third among NHL teams in faceoff win percentage (52.5%) and tied for second among NHL teams in offensive zone faceoff win percentage (54.0%).
Goals by Strength– The Maple Leafs were third in the NHL in goals scored at 5-on-5 (159).
Power Play– The Maple Leafs have the third fewest power play opportunities (195) among NHL teams that have scored at least 40 power play goals (45).
Penalty Kill– Toronto was shorthanded 193 times this season, which was the eighth-fewest times shorthanded in the NHL.
Scoring First– Toronto had a .774 win percentage when scoring first, which tied for the third highest in the NHL.

MAPLE LEAFS NOTABLES

Frederik Andersen– Stopped 33 of the 34 shots he faced in game one. He has allowed one or fewer goals in 12 of his 49 playoff appearances.- Since joining the Maple Leafs in 2016-17, Andersen is 9-12 in 22 Stanley Cup Playoffs appearances. He is tied for eighth among Maple Leafs goalies in all-time playoff wins.
Tyson Barrie– Averaging 18:34 in ice time and 21.49 shot attempts per 60 minutes of ice time through two games in the series.- Has appeared in 23 career playoff games and recorded 14 points (one goal, 13 assists).
Jack Campbell– Could make his Stanley Cup playoff debut this postseason.- Had a 3-2-1 record with a .915 save percentage and a 2.63 goals-against average after being acquired by the Maple Leafs.- Has made two career appearances against the Blue Jackets and is 1-0-1 with a 1.99 goals-against average and a .927 save percentage.
Cody Ceci– Has recorded four blocked shots through two games of the series after recording 79 blocked shots in 56 games during the 2019-20 regular season.- Has skated in 27 career playoff games, recording three assists.
Kyle Clifford– Has appeared in 57 career playoff games and is a two-time Stanley Cup Champion (2012, 2014) with the Los Angeles Kings.
Justin Holl– Leads the Maple Leafs in shorthanded ice time per game (3:47) in the series thus far. – Made his Stanley Cup playoff debut on August 2 vs. Columbus. 
Zach Hyman– Registered his first point of the postseason with an assist in game two. Ranks fourth among Toronto skaters in even-strength time on ice per game (15:38).- Has appeared in 22 career playoff games and recorded nine points (3-7-10).
Kasperi Kapanen– Has drawn a team-high three penalties through two games of the series.- Has appeared in 22 career playoff games and recorded five points (4-1-5).
  
Alex Kerfoot– Leads the Maple Leafs in hits with six through two games.- Has appeared in 20 career playoff games and recorded five points (2-3-5).
Mitch Marner– Had a 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage of 68.1 percent (47 for, 22 against) which leads the Maple Leafs.- Has appeared in 22 career playoff games and recorded 17 career points (5-12-17).
Auston Matthews– Ranks third among NHL forwards in ice time per game (23:22) through two games of the series.- Had his fourth career multi-point playoff game on August 4 vs. Columbus (1-1-2). – Has skated in 22 career playoff games and recorded 11 goals and four assists.- Per NHL Stats, Matthews’ 11 career playoff goals (20 GP) are tied for the second-most among Maple Leafs before age 23. He trails Ted Kennedy (20 G in 38 GP) and is tied with Wendel Clark (11 G in 23 GP).
William Nylander– Registered his first point of the postseason with an assist on August 4 vs. Columbus. Has started 65.2 percent of his 5-on-shifts in the offensive zone.- Has recorded three goals and eight assists in 20 career playoff games.
Jason Spezza– Leads the Maple Leafs in career playoff games (82), goals (25), assists (45) and points (70).
John Tavares– Recorded his first point of the playoffs with a goal on August 4 vs. Columbus. Leads the Maple Leafs in shots on goal (10) through two games. – Has skated in 33 career playoff games and recorded 28 points (14 goals, 14 assists).
  

INJURY REPORT

Andreas Johnsson (Knee)On injured reserve.
Jake MuzzinLeft Toronto’s game on August 4 and has been ruled out for the remainder of the series.

MAPLE LEAFS – BLUE JACKETS FINAL 2019-20 TEAM STATS

 TORONTOCOLUMBUS
GOALS FOR (Rank):237 (2nd)180 (t-28th)
GOALS AGAINST (Rank):     222 (25th)183 (t-3rd)
POWER PLAY [%] (Rank):45/195 [23.8%] (6th)31/189 [16.4%] (27th)
PENALTY KILL [%] (Rank):150/193 [77.7%] (21st)138/169 [81.7%] (12th)
SHOTS (Rank):2302 (4th)2272 (6th)
5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPTS FOR (Rank):3466 (3rd)3133 (14th)
5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPT % (Rank):52.0% (6th)49.2% (19th)
FACEOFF % (Rank):52.5% (3rd)48.5% (26th)

MAPLE LEAFS 2019-20 LEADERS

CATEGORYLEADER
GOALS47 (Matthews)
ASSISTS51 (Marner)
POINTS80 (Matthews)
POWER PLAY POINTS25 (Matthews)
SHORTHANDED POINTS(Engvall, Kapanen)
PIMs43 (Holl)
SHOTS290 (Matthews)
FACEOFF WIN%55.3% (Tavares)
5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPT %54.6% (Nylander)
BLOCKED SHOTS110 (Muzzin)
TAKEAWAYS78 (Matthews)
HITS109 (Muzzin)
TOI PER GAME24:12 (Rielly)
PP TOI PER GAME3:13 (Marner)
SH TOI PER GAME2:50 (Ceci)