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As postgame questions go Kendall Lamm Jersey , it was relatively innocuous, and maybe because of that, and because it came at a news conference after the Toronto Raptors moved into the second round of the playoffs by eliminating the Washington Wizards in Game 6, DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry were in a playful mood.

So as Toronto’s pair of All-Star guards sat there, waiting for the other to talk, DeRozan eventually spoke up, not to respond, but to kid to his running mate: ”You want me to answer everything.” To which Lowry retorted, referring to the reporter, ”He didn’t say `Kyle.'”

DeRozan: ”He said both of us.” Lowry pointed a hand in his teammate’s direction, indicating DeRozan needed to reply, and instructed: ”That’s how this works.” And then Lowry teased: ”You don’t even remember the question.” DeRozan, with a grin, conceded: ”No, I don’t.”

As long as the DeRozan-Lowry duo works in harmony on the court – and gets plenty of help from a terrific bench unit, just as it did while No. 1 seed Toronto finished off Washington with a 102-92 road victory Friday night – the Raptors have a formula for success this postseason.

Because of those reserves, led by point guard Fred VanVleet, DeRozan and Lowry were able to spend plenty of time resting in the last game Chris Harris Jr Jersey , neither playing more than 33 minutes. They won’t be spent by the time they get to the Eastern Conference’s next round, which will come against either the Cleveland Cavaliers or Indiana Pacers.

”It’s big, especially the dynamic of how we can do it,” DeRozan said. ”He can have a big night. I can have a big night. And the nights that we don’t, we have a bench that can go out there and can win the game for us, as well. Any given night, whether it’s a closeout game or a Game 1, I think we’re just capable of showing so many different elements of how to win a game that we didn’t have last year.”

Last season, the Raptors were swept in the second round by LeBron James and the Cavaliers. A season earlier, they also were knocked out by the Cavs, in six games in the East finals.

Now Toronto has to wait a bit to find out if it’ll go up against LBJ and Co. for the third year in a row. Because Indiana won 121-87 on Friday, that series will head to a Game 7 at Cleveland on Sunday.

Asked whether he preferred one possible opponent or the other, DeRozan gave a quick answer: ”No.”

He averaged a series-leading 26.7 points against the Wizards, and Lowry was second among the Raptors at 17.2, along with 8.3 assists and 4.8 rebounds.

But what has to make them rather happy moving forward is what happened when they were on the sideline in Game 6. VanVleet, the backup point guard, finally saw extended action for the first time against the Wizards, after being out for all but three minutes because of an injured right shoulder.

Finally healthy enough to play Frank Ragnow Jersey , VanVleet led the second unit capably at both ends of the floor, contributing five points, four assists and four rebounds, while playing pesky defense against All-Star shooting guard Bradley Beal.

”He is kind of the engine, the toughness,” Toronto coach Dwane Casey said about VanVleet.

In all, the bench outscored Washington’s reserves 21-6 and outrebounded them 15-3 in the second half, allowing the Raptors to finally win a road playoff game in which they trailed at halftime.

Their record before Friday in such situations was 0-23.

Knowing they can win on the road at all should be a confidence-builder as the playoffs continue.

The Raptors already knew they had an elite bunch of reserves.

Looking at teams that reached the playoffs, they tied for first during the regular season in bench scoring, averaging 41.8 points.

”It’s been like that all year. It’s not going to be any different in the playoffs,” VanVleet said. ”I thought our bench team had been good this series at home, and we just needed to put together a performance on the road.”



For any NFL team with a star quarterback of a certain age, the draft is an annual chance to anoint a successor.

It's also a chance for fans, pundits and the rest of the league to spend several months enthusiastically discussing whether that team will make the move.

The Los Angeles Chargers have had the same starting quarterback in every game since 2006, and Philip Rivers will turn 37 years old in the fall.

Already one of the most prolific passers in NFL history, Rivers said last week he is nowhere near retirement and intends to play "a handful more years."

That hasn't stopped the football world from wondering whether general manager Tom Telesco will decide that this is the year to grab his next quarterback when he makes the 17th overall pick on Thursday night.

After winning nine of their final 12 games and barely missing the playoffs last season, the Chargers have a solid roster with few obvious weak spots. The time could be right for a move toward the future behind center, but Telesco isn't sure.

"That's a question we know we'll get every year until we draft a quarterback Lorenzo Alexander Jersey ," Telesco said Monday.

"The great thing right now is that we're very happy with Philip. He's our quarterback, hands down, rest assured, for this year and hopefully beyond. But we always have to have an eye on the future. That's part of our job. There are a lot of other areas on our football team that we'd like to add to, too. That's all part of it."

Telesco realizes the questions are particularly sharp this spring not because of any decline in Rivers' play, which was largely outstanding last season, but because a handful of elite prospects could be available when the Chargers are on the clock.

Local product Josh Rosen and Heisman Trophy winners Lamar Jackson and Baker Mayfield all are conceivable possibilities for the Bolts, particularly if they elected to trade up a bit.

Telesco agrees the crop of quarterbacks in this draft is "a deep class, not only in the first round, but some other rounds as well. We've seen it the last couple of years. The quarterback classes have been pretty good. Guys are coming into the league and playing a little bit quicker than they used to."

With Geno Smith and Cardale Jones on the roster behind Rivers, Telesco has the luxury of knowing he doesn't need to draft a quarterback. He'll decide soon whether the succession plan will wait another year.

Here are more things to contemplate before the Chargers make their picks:

TOUGH CHOICES

The Chargers' prolonged surge into playoff contention last season left them squarely in the middle of the pack for the draft. Telesco would have rather been in the postseason than the 17th overall slot, but his scouts and executives believe they can get a worthy talent with their current position.

"You typically have about 18 to 20 first-round-graded players, give or take a couple," Telesco said. "If we don't trade out, we'll still get someone who we feel is a first-round player on our board. It's just more scenarios you have to work through."

BACK ON D

Telesco's team has plenty of desires, but no gaping needs that would compel them to value position over talent. Telesco said he will stick to his philosophy of picking the top available player, but he sees "more defense" among the desirable picks in this particular draft pool.

If that's a clue to the Chargers' intentions, they have plenty of needs Menelik Watson Jersey , including a topflight safety to replace Tre Boston or a starting linebacker to help out Denzel Perryman.

While Los Angeles has one of the NFL's best pass-rushing duos with Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram, another defensive tackle such as Vita Vea or Da'Ron Payne would bolster a sometimes porous run defense.

RUN IT BACK

Telesco acknowledges he could be looking for an offensive playmaker who can double as a kick returner after Los Angeles finished 30th in the league in return yards. The Bolts already have elite talent at receiver in Keenan Allen, Tyrell Williams and Mike Williams, who is hard at work in the offseason program after an injury-filled rookie year as the seventh overall pick.

DO THE WORK

The Chargers' front office executives and scouts were busy this week preparing for the draft by sifting through hundreds of scouting reports and making their final evaluations before going into a massive mock draft.

"We'll go through different scenarios of where guys would go, and what we would do," Telesco said. "Because (on) draft day, you can't have those discussions. It's hard enough making decisions with the clock ticking down in front of you. You can't have those long discussions at that point. You have to have that decided."

HITS, MISSES AND BARGAINS

Telesco's first five years in charge included big hits in 2016 with first-round pick Bosa and second-round tight end Hunter Henry, both budding stars. He also grabbed running back Melvin Gordon in the first round in 2015 and got starting linebacker Denzel Perryman in the second round.

Telesco hasn't been as successful in unearthing hidden gems, with few later-round picks becoming major contributors. For instance, 2016 third-round pick Max Tuerk lasted just two years and failed to become the Bolts' starting center. But he got a huge hit in the third round in 2013 when he drafted Keenan Allen, who overcame injuries to become a Pro Bowl receiver.

Much of the evaluation of last year's class must wait, since first-round receiver Mike Williams didn't play much and second-round offensive lineman Forrest Lamp missed the whole season because of injuries.

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Obsahová správa JUDr. Jiří Kubík, MBA, ceskaastrologie@seznam.cz, Tel. 607 646418