Posts Tagged ‘Toronto Raptors’

On Tuesday the Toronto Raptors traded Terrence Ross and a 1st round pick to the Orlando Magic for Serge Ibaka. Of course with the deal just being made Ibaka wasn’t available as the Raptors faced the Chicago Bulls Tuesday night. For the 11th time in a row the Bulls picked up a win over the Raptors 105-94. The last time the Raptors won a game in this series was December 31st 2013.

Toronto took a quick 4-0 lead, but then the Bulls ran off the next 8 points to take the lead. The game was tied a couple of times before the Raptors where able to go back into the lead at 15-14. The teams traded the lead three more times before the Bulls where able to final 8 points of the quarter to take a 24-18 lead after one quarter.

The teams started the quarter out trading baskets as the Bulls slowly added to there lead. Chicago finally put there lead into double digits when Rajon Rondo hit a 3-pointer to make the score 41-29 with 6:09 left in the quarter. The Bulls continued to add to the lead with the largest lead hey built was 21 points at 56-35 with 1:44 left in the quarter. Toronto scored 4 of the final 6 points in the quarter to cut the Bulls lead to 58-39 going into the half.

Early in the 3rd quarter the Bulls pushed the lead to 23 points at 66-43 when Jerian Grant hit a 3-pointer with 7:48 left in the quarter. The Raptors did outscore the Bulls in the quarter 25-20 and managed to cut the lead to 14 points at 78-64 by the end of the 3rd quarter.

Chicago has had trouble hanging onto big leads this season and when Toronto started the quarter on a 9 to 5 run you had to wonder if they where headed down that road again. Toronto got the Bulls lead into single digits when Corey Joseph hit a 3-pointer with 6:00 minutes left to play to make the score 88-80. After DeMar DeRozen hit a pair of free throws the Raptors where just down 5 points at 96-91 with 2:08 to play. This time the Bulls finished the game on a 9 to 3 run to get by the Raptors 105-94.

Doug McDermott came off the bench to lead the Bulls in scoring with 20 points. Jimmy Butler returned to the line up and struggled from the field making just 2 of the 10 shots he attempted. Butler did go 15 of 19 from the free throw line and posted a double-double with 19 points and 12 assists. Taj Gibson had 14 points while Rajon Rondo (12 points) and Cristiano Felicio (10 points) came off the Bulls bench to score in double digits. Felicio also tied with Robin Lopez for the team lead in rebounds with 6 apiece.

Kyle Lowry was the Raptors and the game high scorer with 22 points. DeMar DeRozen added 18 points while Jonas Valanciunas had 12 points and grabbed a game high 9 rebounds. Off the Raptors bench Norman Powell scored 13 points and Corey Joseph scored 10 points. Lowry and Powell tied for the team lead in assists with 4 each.

The win improves the Bulls record to 27-29. Toronto falls to 32-24 with the loss. Chicago gets a day off before they host the 36-19 Boston Celtics. The Raptors don’t get a day off as they return home to host the 24-31 Charlotte Hornets.

 

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The Chicago Bulls made up a 19 point second half deficit to get the game into overtime and found a way to get their third win in a row 123-118 over the Toronto Raptors. With the win the Bulls go back over the .500 mark at 19-18. Toronto dropped to 24-12 with the loss.

The teams played a very even first quarter. The biggest lead the Raptors could build in the quarter was four points while the biggest lead the Bulls could get was three points. Jerian Grant hit the last basket of the quarter with .31 seconds left to give the Bulls a one point lead at 29-28.

The 2nd quarter started off very even as well with the teams trading the lead three times. With Toronto holding a one point lead at 39-38 they went on a 11-0 run to take there first double digit lead of the game at 50-38. The Bulls never got closer than eight points the rest of the quarter and the Raptors where able to keep a double digit lead heading into half time at 61-48.

The 3rd quarter saw the Raptors post there biggest lead of the game at 19 points at 82-63 with 3:42 left in the quarter after a DeMar DeRozan hit a pair of free throws. The Bulls did finish the quarter on a 11-4 run, but that cut the Toronto lead to 12 points at 86-74 heading into the 4th quarter.

With a double digit deficit to make up the Bulls didn’t so themselves any favors early in the quarter as Toronto held a 13 point lead 96-83 with 8:40 left in the game. It took a 16-3 run by the Bulls to get the game even at 99 all with 3:33 left to play. It looked as though the Bulls would win the game in regulation when Doug McDermott hit a 3-pointer with :39 seconds left to put the Bulls ahead 107-105. Then  Dwayne Wade fouled DeMar DeRozan with :31 seconds left and after DeRozan hit both free throws the game was headed to overtime tied at 107 all.

The Bulls got out to a five point lead 116-111, but the Raptors where able to get right back in the game and cut the lead to two points at 116-114. That was as close as the Raptors could get as the Bulls scored five of the game final seven points to pull away to a 123-118 victory.

Jimmy Butler was the Bulls and the games high scorer with 42 points. Dwayne Wade added 20 points and had a team high 7 assists. Doug McDermott (17 points) and Nikola Mirotic (12 points) came off the Bulls bench to score in double figures. McDermott and Butler tied for the game high in rebounds as they each grabbed 10 boards. As a team the Bulls made 36 of the 39 free throws they shot.

DeMar DeRozan was the Raptors high scorer with 36 points. Kyle Lowry just missed a triple-double scoring 27 points handed out a game high 12 assists and grabbing a team high 9 rebounds. Jonas Valanciunas and Cory Joseph each scored 14 points for the Raptors.

The Bulls will get a day off before they put there three game wining streak on the line Monday night as they host the 22-16 Oklahoma City Thunder. Tonight was the first of a back to back for the Raptors. Toronto returns home tomorrow to face the 29-9 Houston Rockets.

The Cleveland Cavaliers became the first team to lock down a spot in the NBA Finals with a 113-87 victory over the Toronto Raptors. This was the first time in  the series that a home tam had lost a game. The Cavaliers won Game 1, 2 and 4 in Cleveland while Toronto had surprisingly held serve winning Games 3 and 4 in Toronto. The Cavaliers built a 6-point lead 31-25 after the 1st quarter and just continued to add to it. They extended the lead to 55-41 going into halftime and that was pretty much the end of it for Toronto. The Raptors where able to cut into the Cavaliers lead in the 3rd quarter, but the 2 points they knocked off the lead wasn’t enough to get them back in the game. The Raptors outscored the Cavaliers 33-31 in the 3rd quarter, but that cut the Cleveland lead to 12 points at 86-74. The Cavaliers where able to pull away in the 4th quarter as they outscored the Raptors 27-13 to get the game to it’s final score of 113-87.

LeBron James led the way with 33 points for the Cavaliers. Kyrie Irving scored 30 points and had a team high 9 assists while Kevin Love scored 20 points and grabbed a team high 12 rebounds. J.R. Smith also scored in double figures adding 15 points as four of the five Cavaliers starters scored in double figures. The Cavaliers where an impressive 17 of 31 (54.8%) from behind the 3-point line in the game.

It seems for the raptors when Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan play well they win those game. Well both Lowry and DeRozan shot 50% from the floor. Lowry had 35 points while DeRozan added 20 points. Lowry shoot 11 of 22 from the field and was 6 of 12 from behind the 3-point line and 7 for 7 from the free throw line. DeRozan was 9 of 18 from the floor and made both free throws he shot; he did miss his only 3-point attempt of the game. Lowry and DeRozan also tied for the team lead in assists with 3 apiece while Bismack Biyombo grabbed a team high 9 rebounds.

This is the second straight season that Cleveland will represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals, but this is the 6th consecutive trip to the NBA Finals for LeBron James. He went four seasons in a row with the Miami Heat and then of course these last two seasons with the Cavaliers. The other seven players to accomplish this feat where all members of the 1950’s and 1960’s Boston Celtics dynasties. Those seven other players are Bill Russell, Sam Jones, K.C. Jones, Satch Sanders, Tommy Heinsohn, Frank Ramsey, and Bob Cousy.

The last year James did not play in an NBA Finals was 2010 – which marked Kobe Bryant’s last title with the Los Angeles Lakers. LeBron played in another Finals in 2007 with Cleveland, and sports a record of 2-4 so far – both titles coming with the Heat.

In the 6th round of the NFL draft the Baltimore Ravens took Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds. The Ravens will look to use Reynolds as a return man and wide receiver. Of course the issue when you draft any player from a service academy is they have a commitment to that branch of the service. Of Friday at his graduation speech at the Naval Academy  Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter said Reynolds can defer his military service to play in the NFL. This was considered the final step in allowing Reynolds to play for the Ravens.  It was two weeks ago when Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus submitted a request where he “strongly recommended” that Reynolds be cleared to join the NFL after a standout college career. Mabus recently said he couldn’t think of “a better ambassador for the United States Navy or for the United States military than Keenan Reynolds.” Reynolds finished his college career as the FBS’ all-time leader in total touchdowns (88), rushing yards by a quarterback (4,559) and points scored (530).

While the Ravens got some good news with Reynolds they also had an issue this week as the NFL forced Baltimore to cancel one week of organized team activities and fined both the team and coach John Harbaugh on Thursday for violating off season rules. The Ravens acknowledged the punishment by releasing a statement on Thursday. It’s being reported that the Ravens were fined $343,057 and Harbaugh was fined $137,223. Apparently the rule that was broken was when the Ravens put rookies and first-year players in pads for a five-minute period at a recent rookie mini-camp. This is the second time in six years that the NFL has punished the Ravens for violating off-season rules. In 2010, Baltimore had to cancel the final week of OTA’s, after six players complained to the players’ union about late meetings and two others reported being held too long on the field after practice. I honestly didn’t know that either of these things would be a violation. I thought that it was just part of your job as an NFL player, but what do I know. This punishment was similar to what the Seattle Seahawks  received in 2014. The team was fined $200,000 and Carroll was hit with a $100,000 fine. The Seahawks also lost two days of mandatory mini-camp for violating non-contact rules in the off-season.

It seems like there’s been talk of Julio Urias being brought up to the major for quite a while now. Well last night it finally happened as Urias made his major league debut for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Urias started against the New York Mets and it was quite the debut performance a lot of people expected. The Dodgers had announced that they would keep Urias to 85 pitches in this start and he did get close to that total, but it was in just 2 2/3rd innings. Urias gave up 5 hits, 3 runs (all earned) while walking 4 and striking out 3. Urias pitch count reached 81 in his short outing. Urias wasn’t involved in the decision; a 6-5 win for the Mets.

Dick Calmus was the last teenager to start a game for the Dodgers back in 1963 and he didn’t get out of the 1st inning. I’m sure there are a lot of people out thinking that it was Fernando Valenzuela. While Valenzuela did pitch for the Dodgers as a teenager it was out of the bullpen; he actually didn’t start a game for Los Angeles until he was 20 years old. Felix Hernandez was the last teenager to make a start in the majors. Hernandez started for the Seattle Maruners on August 4th 2005 against the Detroit Tigers. Hernandez pitched 5 innings gave up 1 run, 3 hits with 2 walks and 4 strikeouts. With the way starting pitchers are handled now they may be a big gap between Julio Urias and the next teenage starter.

 

You can listen to The Podcast by clicking the link and you can follow me on Twitter @Burketime

The Cleveland Cavaliers didn’t show any rust coming off their 9 day lay off as they easily handled the Toronto Raptors in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals 115-84. The Cavaliers put up 33 points in the 1st quarter to take a 5-point lead 33-28. They followed that up with a 33 point 2nd quarter to really extend the lead going into halftime to 66-44. Still pressing in the 3rd quarter the Cavaliers added 6 points to the lead by outscoring the Raptors 29-23 in the 3rd. With a 95-67 heading into the 4th quarter the Cavaliers still outscored the Raptors in the quarter 20-17 to get the game to the 115-84 final and a 1-0 lead in the series.

Kyrie Irving led the Cavaliers with 27 points and handed out a team high 5 assists. LeBron James shot 11 for 13 from the field on his way to a 24 point night. Kevin Love was the only other Cleveland player to score in double figures with 14 points. Richard Jefferson came off the Cavaliers bench to lead the team in rebounding with 11. The Cavaliers went 41 of 74 (55.4%) from inside the 3-point line in the victory.

Toronto was led by DeMar DeRozan with 18 points. DeRozan also tied for the team lead in assists with Kyle Lowry at 5 apiece.  Bismack Biyombo made every shot he took as he went 5 for 5 from the field and made both his free throw attempts for 12 points. Biyombo also tied for the team lead in rebounds with Lowry and James Johnson at 4. Johnson also came off the Raptors bench to add 10 points. In comparison to  Cleveland’s 55.4% the Raptors shot just 42.1% from inside the 3-point line going 32 for 76.

Game 2 will be tomorrow (Thursday) night in Cleveland. Do the Raptors have a chance to even the series? or will the Cavaliers make it 10 straight playoff victories this season?

If you listened to the Sports Time radio podcast yesterday (Tuesday) I was convinced that the Los Angeles Lakers would move up in the NBA Draft Lottery and get the #1 overall pick. I was wrong; not only didn’t the Lakers move up no one did. The Philadelphia 76ers had the best chance to get the #1 pick and they did. The Lakers stayed at 2 with the Boston Celtics at #3 on a pick they acquired from the Brooklyn Nets. The Phoenix Suns have two lottery picks and the first one is at #4. The Minnesota Timberwolves are at #5 with the New Orleans Pelicans at #6. The Denver Nuggets will pick 6th as they picked up this pick in a deal with the New York Knicks. The Sacramento Kings will pick 8th while the Raptors have the well traveled 9th pick as it was originally owned by Denver, but was sent to the Knicks and then to Toronto. The Milwaukee Bucks are at #10 with Orlando Magic at #11 and Utah Jazz at #12. The Suns show up again at #13 with a pick they acquired from the Washington Wizards. The Chicago Bulls round out the lottery with the 14th pick. The draft will be held in Brooklyn at Barclays Center on Thursday, June 23, 2016.

Both the Eastern and Western Conference finals in the NHL are tied at 1-1. The Pittsburgh Penguins used a quick goal by Sidney Crosby in overtime of Game 2 on Monday to tie up the series with the Tampa Bay Lighting. The series now shifts to Tampa Bay’s Amalie Arena for tonight’s Game 3 and Friday nights Game 4.

Tommy Wingels put the San Jose Sharks up 1-0 in the 1st period of last nights game against the St. Louis Blues. Brent Burns had a power play goal in the 2nd period to make it 2-0 Sharks. Burns added another power play goal at the start of the 3rd period and then a Dainius Zubrus empty net goal made it 4-0 as the Sharks evened the series with the Blues. The series will head out west to San Jose’s SAP Center for Game 3 on Thursday and then Game 4 on Saturday night.

The suspensions where handed down by Major League Baseball (MLB) for the bench clearing brawl in Sunday’s Texas Rangers/Toronto Blue Jays game. To no one’s surprise Roughned Odor got the longest suspension of anyone at 8 games. I was quite surprised to hear that Jose Bautista received just a 1 game suspension. I really thought that Bautista would end up getting something in the 3 to 5 game area, but it turned out to be just 1. Blue Jays manager John Gibbons got a 3 game suspension. Remember Gibbons had been ejected earlier in the game and came back out on the field during the fight. Blue Jays 1st base coach Tim Leiper also got a 1 game suspension as he was also ejected, but came back out onto the field when the fight broke out. The other suspension I was a little surprised by was the 3 game one Jesse Chavez got. While Chavez did hit Prince Fielder in retaliation I thought 3 games was a little high for that. Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus was the other player to receive a suspension; he got 1 game. While Toronto’s Josh Donaldson and Rangers bench coach Steve Buechele where both ejected during the brawl they weren’t suspended, but where fined. It appears as Odor will be accessed the largest fine at a reported $5000. There where four other players who where just fined for the parts in the brawl. Rangers pitchers San Dyson, A.J. Griffin and Matt Bush; who hit Bautista along with catcher Robinson Chirinos where all fined as was Toronto outfielder Kevin Pillar.

The Rangers series clinching victory Sunday was the final regular season meeting between the two clubs. A feud had been simmering between the teams since Bautista’s bat flip in last year’s American League Division Series.

Fredi Gonzalez became the first manager to get fired this season as the 9-28 Atlanta Braves made the move before their game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night. Brian Snitker, manager of Atlanta’s Triple-A Gwinnett farm team, will replace Gonzalez as the Braves’ interim manager through the end of the season. Snitker was Atlanta’s third-base coach from 2006 to 2013. Snitker also had two stints with Atlanta as the bullpen coach in 1985 and from 1988 to 1990. Gonzalez learned he was likely to be fired about an hour after Monday night’s loss, when he received an automated email from an airline notifying him that he was scheduled to be on a flight from Pittsburgh to Atlanta on Tuesday, even though the Braves are playing the Pirates through Thursday. Braves general manager John Coppolella and president of baseball operations John Hart had planned to inform him Tuesday morning. Gonzalez, 52, managed the Marlins from 2007 to 2010 and was named manager in Atlanta in 2011 after Hall of Famer Bobby Cox retired. He coached third base for the Braves for four years before landing the Marlins job. Gonzalez wasn’t the only one fired. Braves bench coach Carlos Tosca, an assistant under Gonzalez in Atlanta and Miami, was also let go. First-base coach Terry Pendleton, a former Braves great, will become bench coach, with bullpen coach Eddie Perez moving to first. Gwinnett pitching coach Marty Reed will take Perez’s spot.

Former Braves All-Star Chipper Jones is said to not interested in managing the Braves this season,

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Out of the big four sports I’d have to say that basketball is my least favorite. It always seem to me that the games are just dunks and 3-point shots. I always try to catch a little bit of the game just to keep up with the score and see what’s going on. Now last night was the first time in a long time that I was sorry I missed a game. I noticed that there was a very early start time for the Indiana Pacers/Toronto Raptors game yesterday. I guess it was because they had two Eastern Conference games on the television schedule. The series was tied at 2-2 with Game 5 being played at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre. By the time I actually got to the game it was coming to the end of the 3rd quarter and the Pacers had a 13 point lead 90-77. I had pretty much given Indiana the game which would’ve also given then a 4 games to 3 games lead in the series. Little did I know that the Pacers would score just 9 points in the 4th quarter. Toronto was able to even the score at 92-92 and then after back to back 3-pointers by DeMar DeRozan and Corey Joseph sandwiched around a missed 3-point shot by Indiana’s Monta Ellis the Raptors found themselves with a 98-92 lead. Solomon Hill hit a big 3-pointer for the Pacers to cut Toronto’s lead to 100-99. DeRozen made two free throws to make the score Toronto 102, Indiana 99. The Pacers had the basketball under Toronto’s basket with 2.7 seconds left. Ellis inbounded the basketball to Paul George who you’d expect to take the last shot, but he was double teamed and passed the ball to Solomon Hill who appeared to hit a game winning 3-pointer for the Pacers. After the referees reviewed the play it was ruled that the ball left Hill’s hand after the game clock had expired. With those 3 points taken off the board the Raptors get the win 102-99 and they take a 3 games to 3 lead in the series. You have t wonder if this is the kind of loss that might stick with the Pacers. Not only did they give away a 13 point lead in the 4th quarter they appeared to have saved the game for themselves only to have the referees change that on a review. Will this impact Indiana’s play in Game 6 which isn’t until Friday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indiana.

DeRozen had what many are saying was his “best playoff performance” leading Toronto with 34 points. Kyle Lowry scored 14 points and had a team high 5 assists while  Jonas Valanciunas added 11 points. Off the Raptors bench Norman Powell and Bismack Biyombo each scored 10 points and Biyombo grabbed a team high 16 rebounds. Paul George had a game high 39 points for the Pacers and also led Indiana in rebounds and assists with 8 of each. George Hill had 15 points while Myles Turner scored 14 points; Turner also grabbed 8 rebounds to tie George for the team lead.  Solomon Hill was the only Indiana player to score double digits points off the bench and he ad 11 points.

The other NBA playoff game last night saw the Atlanta Hawks take a 3 games to 2 lead in their series with the Boston Celtics by winning Game 5 110-83. After the 1st quarter Atlanta found themselves down by 5 points at 20-15, but a 32 point 2nd quarter gave the Hawks a 47-39 lead at halftime. Atlanta continued to put up the point as they had a 42 point 4th quarter to pretty much put the game away. At the end of that 3rd quarter Atlanta led 89-62 and the Celtics never got any closer. Both teams scored 21 points in the 4th quarter to get to the final of 110-83. Atlanta was led by Mike Scott who came off the bench to score 17 points. Jeff Teague and Kent Bazemore each scored 16 points while Kyle Korver scored 13 points and Paul Milsap added 10 points. Milsap and Al Horford led the Hawks with 8 rebounds apiece while Milsap tied with Thabo Sefolosha for the team lead in assists with 6. The Celtics where led by Evan Turner with 15 points. Jae Crowder, Marcus Smart and Jared Sullinger each had 10 points for Boston. Terry Rozier led Boston with 4 assists and Jonas Jerebko grabbed a team high 8 rebounds for Boston. The series heads back to TD Garden in Boston for Game 6 on Thursday night. The home team has won each of the 5 games played in this series; so will Boston be able to hold serve on Thursday night or can Atlanta close them out and move on to the 2nd round.

So besides the two games last night injuries seem to be the story of the NBA playoffs right now. First Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors goes down with a sprained knee in Game 4 against the Houston Rockets. Golden State still won the game (121-94) and have a 3 games to 1 lead in the series. Curry is scheduled to be out at least 2 weeks; so with another win Golden State will go into Round 2 of the playoffs without Curry. Golden State will meet the winner of the Los Angeles Clippers/Portland Trail Blazers series which is tied at 2 games apiece right now. The Clippers where another team that suffered from the injury bug in their Game 4, but they not only lost one player they lost two. First Chris Paul suffered a broken hand in the game. He had surgery on that hand yesterday and has been ruled out indefinitely. Then the Clippers announced that Blake Griffin would miss the rest of the playoffs with a left quadriceps injury. Now it looks as though the Warriors will be able to advance without their best player, but how are the Clippers going to do in a series that’s even and missing their two best players. All four teams are on the court tonight; so we’ll see if the Warriors can close out that series and we’ll see how the Clippers play without Paul and Griffin.

NHL

While the 2nd round of the NHL playoffs gets started tonight with the New York Islanders at the Tampa Bay Lighting there’s still one 1st round series left to be decided. The Anaheim Ducks are hosting the Nashville Predators tonight at 10:00 p.m. on the NBC Sports Network. The winner goes on to face the San Jose Sharks in the 2nd round of the playoffs while the loser heads home. Frederik Andersen has picked up all 3 of the Ducks wins this series and has a Goal Against Average (GAA) of 1.26. You have to think that Anaheim will go with Andersen in net over John Gibson who’s 0-2 with a GAA of 3.08. For Nashville it will be Pekka Rinne in goal since he’s played all 6 games of this series and has a GAA of 2.68. Who do you have winning this Game 7? If it helps you at all Dan the Man had Anaheim winning this series when he made his picks at the start of the 1st round.

Listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast on BlogTalkRadio.com and you can find me on Twitter @Burketime

 

 

11/22/14

Last week we took a look at some fantasy player who have been disappointing so far this football season. So after 11 weeks let’s take a look at players who have been surprises or have out performed were they were ranked to start the season. I’m using the pre-seasons rankings from our Yahoo! fantasy football league entitled Next Year is Here 13. At quarterback Philip Rivers of the San Diego Chargers was ranked at 100 to start the season. Going into Week 12 Rivers is ranked in the 19th position among all NFL players. Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was ranked at 94th to start the season and right now Roethlisberger is the 6th rated player in the NFL. As hard as it is to believe Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts was rated as the 59th player coming into the season. Right now Luck is the #1 overall player in our league. Looking at running backs Justin Forsett of the Baltimore Raves was ranked as the 190th player coming into the season. If you took a chance on Forsett it’s paid off for you as he is right now the 32nd ranked player. Chris Ivory was ranked at 134th coming into the season, but has moved into 61st place right now. Denard Robinson wasn’t even the starter for the Jacksonville Jaguars to start the season. Since Robinson was just going to be the 3rd down change of pace back he was ranked at 212nd to start the season. If you drafted him or found him on your waiver wire Robinson has helped your team as going into Week 12 he’s ranked as the 93rd best player. Looking at the wide receivers. Jeremy Maclin was coming off of an injury and you had to wonder if he’d be the guy in the Philadelphia Eagles offense. With some questions coming into the 2014 season Macklin was rated at 68th overall. Macklin has stayed healthy and is rated in the 18th spot right now. Mohamed Sanu of the Cincinnati Bengals wouldn’t be considered the top wide receiver on his team; that would be A.J. Green, but Sanu is still a quality fantasy player. Sanu started the season ranked at 178th, but has moved himself into the 53rd overall spot. A lot of fantasy players stayed away from Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. thinking he might not have much left. Smith started the season ranked at 149th and even though he has cooled off a little bit the last couple weeks he’s still ranked at 62nd though Week 11. There are few elite tight ends in fantasy football and if you’ve listened to the Sports Time Radio podcast you know that the league I’m using for rankings is also the league where we have to start 2 tight ends a week. While Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots is the highest ranked tight end at 20th you could’ve found some guys to help out your fantasy team. Larry Donnell of the New York Giants started the season being ranked in the 203rd position. Going into Week 12, Donnell has moved into the 75th spot for the season. Coby Fleener of the Indianapolis Colts started the season 2 spots behind Donnell in the 205th spot and Fleener is also in a 2 tight end system with Dwayne Allen. Fleener is now ranked 84th and with Allen out injured and possible missing some games Fleener’s ranking could continue to go up. It can be tough to invest in any Oakland Raiders when it comes to fantasy football but tight end Mychal Rivera has been solid. Rivera started the season with a ranking of 246th but he’s been coming on in the last few weeks and is now ranked at 144th. I don’t know if you can be surprised by a kicker n fantasy football but there are some guys who have moved up in the rankings from where they started. Stephen Gostkowski of the New England Patriots started the season ranked 196th, but has moved up to 79th in the rankings. Adam Vinatieri of the Indianapolis Colts started the season ranked 202nd and is now ranked 91st. Shaun Suisham of the Pittsburgh Steelers started the season ranked 235th and is now ranked at 145th. When it comes to Defense?Special Teams there are a few that have moved up the rankings from where they started out. The Philadelphia Eagles started the season ranked at 191st overall, but have moved up to 54th overall with the season they’ve had. The Miami Dolphins where in the 194th position overall to start the season and right now the Dolphins are 81st overall. The Arizona Cardinals were ranked in the 200th spot to start off the season. Going into Week 12 Arizona is ranked at 109th. Hopefully you where able to draft these guys or trade for them or even find them on your waiver wire, but they’re some of the biggest movers up from where they started the season. We’ll see where they all end up by the end of the season.

Are you buying the Toronto Raptors? The Raptors are off to a 10-2 start to this NBA season after making the playoffs last season. DeMar DeRozan is averaging 20 points a game to lead the Raptors in scoring while Kyle Lowry is handing out 5.8 assists per game and adding 18.4 points per game. Jonas Valanciunas is the Raptors leading rebounder averaging 8.1 boards a game and is adding 11.4 points per game. Guard Lou Williams is also scoring 11.5 points per game for Toronto. The Raptors defeated the Milwaukee Bucks 124-83 on Friday night in the first game of back to back games for them, Tonight; Saturday they have a match up with the Cleveland Cavaliers (5-6); in Cleveland. Obviously 12 games into a season is too early to tell where a team will end up, but there are times where a hot start can carry a team through a season even an 82 game season like the NBA. With the NBA’s Eastern conference like it is would it be a big surprise if Toronto re[resents the Eastern conference in the NBA finals.

Is tonight the night for the Philadelphia 76ers to get their first win of the NBA season? The 76ers are 0-12 after losing 122-96 to the Phoenix Suns last night (Friday) at home. Tonight the 76ers go to New York to play the 3-10 and struggling Knicks. On Thursday’s podcast you might have heard Jerry Hoover mention how upset he’d be if the Knicks lose this game. Dan the Man also has a rooting interest in the Knicks but this could be the 76ers shot to get that 1st win. If the 76ers don’t get that win tonight then when. After tonight’s game against the Knicks the 76ers have the Portland Trails Blazers (9-3) on November 24th. The Brooklyn Nets (5-7) on November 26th. The Dallas Mavericks (10-3) on November 26th. The San Antonio Spurs (8-4) on December 1st and the Minnesota Timberwolves (3-8) on December 3rd. Even on the road the 76ers have a chance tonight against the Knicks and if you’re a 76ers fan you have to ask yourself; if not tonight then when?

You can find Sports Time Radio on BlogTalk Radio and you can find me on Twitter @Burketime.

So how was your week?