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The 10 Most Reckless NBA Franchises

81

Thanks to the ridiculous contracts awarded to questionable players like Andrea Bargnani and Hedo Turkoglu, the Toronto Raptors were one of the most reckless franchises operating under the last CBA. It's hard to side with the owners in the current labour dispute when some of them (*cough*MLSE*cough*) appear to be incapable spending their money wisely.

Canada is out of the running for London, Leo steps down

31

As many people have been calling for in the last few years, head coach Leo Rautins will be stepping down as the lead man of the Senior Men's National Team. The announcement was made following the loss to Panama which had eliminated Canada from the fifth spot in the FIBA Americas Championship and eligibility for the Olympic qualifying tournament next summer. This should be no surprise to anyone who has followed the team over the last few years. The public had wanted him out for a little while after a poor showing at last summer's World Championships. Leo had done a remarkable job with the parts that he had. He was definitely not the most popular of the people but he was smart enough to surround himself with the parts to help him, and Canada, succeed. Of course there was the issue of lack of quality young players on the team and rumours of some of them not wanting to play for Leo. Whatever. Bottom line is that he did the best he could in the circumstances he was given and we can't fault him for that. Should we be in the Olympics, of course we should. Could we have placed better in international games and tournament, defnitely. In my opinion, anyone that looks to bash Leo now is totally missing what he was dealt with and what he had to work with. He was definitely not my first choice as head coach but I can't hate on a man who did remarkabley well with what little he had. Coach Leo, we salute you.

Valanciunas leads host Lithuania over Serbia

6

Toronto Raptors draft pick Jonas Valanciunas helped host Lithuania become the first team at the EuroBasket tournament to score 100 points with a 100-90 win over Serbia. Valanciunas had 18 points (on 8-of-9 shooting), five rebounds and a block in just 20 minutes, as Lithuania, 2-1, got 47 points from its bench. Valanciunas, one of the youngest players competing, is now shooting 75% from the field and averaging 9.2 points, 3.6 rebounds, a block and a steal in 17 minutes per game.

Hope alive as Canada downs Uruguay

5

Canada's Senior Men got a timely win this morning bolstered by the double-double of Levon Kendall to beat Uruguay 70-68. The victory is much needed since with only one game left to play in the championhsip for Canada, they need to beat Panama to be within in striking distance of a shot at the fifth spot to get to the Olympic qualifying tournament next summer. Canada plays tomorrow at 10:30am ET on TSN2 or on your favorite streaming site,

The Senior Men fall short against Puerto Rico

2

This morning, Canada made a valiant comeback but ran out of time falling to Puerto Rico 79-74. Despite tying the game at one point after being down 15 points, PR pulled away late. This loss means that the window of opportunity is closing for the Senior Men to qualify for the Olympics and Canada will need to win both the next two games against Uruguay and Panama to have any hope of making it to the now coveted fifth place spot in this tournament. The team plays again tomorrow morning at 10:30am.

Canada takes an L from Argentina

3

Canada looked good from time to time in this game but Argentina was too much as they put the Red and White down 79-53. The downside is that the team only shot only 29% from the floor, 22 to 13 turnover differential and a minus eight (40-32) rebound difference. The plus side is that Kelly Olynyk had a great game going off for 19 points and 12 rebounds. Kendall was still out of this game but everyone played in this loss which is a good thing moving forward. In what was a likely loss going into the game, this was the best possible scenario for the players - get some minutes for the guys who play little and rest the guys that play heavy. Tomorrow's game will be a tough one against a very, very good Puerto Rico team that features an NBA backcourt. Tune in tomorrow at 10:30am on TSN2 or your favorite pirate streaming site.

Canada Loses an Overtime Thriller

4

The Senior Men looked like they had a shot a winning against a very good Venezuela team but lost steam in the overtime period. They looked like they may have been a little worn out and you can see that in the mental lapses like the missed boxouts. Regardless, Jermaine Anderson, Denham Brown and Carl English all scored in double figures and the team put on a very good show. This only serves to indicate that when all pistons are firing, or in this case most pistons are firing, and they can string together four quarters of effort Canada can hang with these upper tier teams. With all the players needing time to rest, Sunday is a day off and will be much needed for the coming round which could be harder than the one they managed to get out of. Play resumes on Labour Day.

Raptors’ Bargnani brilliant for Italy

29

Andrea Bargnani scored a tournament-high 36 points along with seven rebounds vs. Latvia to give the Italians a fighting chance of reaching the second group stage at EuroBasket 2011. For more on the game and the tournament, check out the EuroBasket site.

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