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 TSNs Three Man Weave close out the first month of 2015, diag 
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TSNs Three Man Weave close out the first month of 2015, diagnosing if the Raptors have cured their January blues, explore All-Star robbery and snobbery and the return to glory of the Slam Dunk Contest. Hosts of TSN 1050s 1 On 1 with Will & Duane, Will Strickland and Duane Watson receive some crisp passes from Ray Bala, author and authority of The CanBall Report, as they also question if Jason Kidd has already run away with Coach of The Year honours. Are the Raptors finally over their January blues? Strickland: All signs point to that being the case. But even on the tails of a five-game losing strike, there are whispers and fears about the elite-level readiness of this squad. These perceived issues can either be an odd discomfort or a cause for real concern. Winning aside, the play has been loose and sloppy vs. relatively underwhelming competition. Yet and still, the Raptors possess the franchises best record ever in its 20-year existence before the All-Star break at 32-15, 17 games above .500. Odd discomfort, indeed... Bala: Maybe, but it will probably be the February blahs if they play like they did this month. With the exception of Brooklyn and New York, every other club on the schedule is currently playoff bound and though New Orleans is not, their record ties them for sixth in the East. The Raps need to have a short memory and play like its November. Watson: Yes, particularly when its more important on how you finish than how you start. A five-game win streak to close out the month with some attention to defence and, more importantly, a DeMar DeRozan who has found his rhythm are a cure all. Coach Caseys next challenge is to get them to ride this momentum into All-Star break. Damian Lillard was robbed as a reserve on the Western Conference All-Star team, whose place should he have on the roster? Strickland: Ouch! Robbed? Despite getting ethered by 2014 All-Star Game MVP and 2015 East All-Star reserve Kyrie Irving for 55 big ones recently, Lillard got all up in his feelings and let us know how he felt about the selection slight. He deserves to be on the team, but the criteria for selection after the fans popularity vote seems to shift with the wind. If combinations of personal numbers plus team record are the standard measures, Big Game Dame seems to fit the bill, averaging 21.6 PPG and 6.3 APG on a fourth-place team at 32-15 in the West. If anyone should be mad, though, it is the perennially underrated Michael Alex Conley, Jr. of Memphis Grizzlies. Bala: People will probably call this blasphemy, but Kevin Durant. I know that hes the reigning MVP, superstar and that the Thunder were 9-17 without him but hes missed half of the teams games. The All-Star player criteria should be treated like baseball stats - minimum amount of games to qualify - and that should apply here. Of course, we could keep KD on the roster and replace Carmelo Anthony with Lillard since the Knicks are just horrible. Watson: While we talk of Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade receiving legacy votes, Chris Paul is still collecting them every year. Paul is on the downside, while Lillard is on the upside, even though their team records are similar. While Adam Silvers office has a fleeting memory that Lillard competed in five events at All-Star Weekend in 2014 - Rising Stars, Skills Competition, 3-Point shootout, Slam Dunk Contest and the All-Star Game – he receives no love, no respect and no thanks. The NBA Dunk Contest has reverted to its original format. Who do you like in this years contest? Victor Oladipo, Mason Plumlee, Zach Lavine or Giannis Antetokounmpo? Strickland: Unless there is a meltdown of epic proportion or a Chuck Hayes sighting as a late entry, Minnys Zach Levine should win easily. His bungees are banoodles and on Valentines Day, hell be handing out dunks bordering on the absurdative, breaking the hearts of his fellow contestants. The setup for a showdown with his T-Wolves teammate Andrew Wiggins in 2016 for the All-Star festivities in Toronto would all be in place! Bala: Truthfully, I havent really jazzed about the dunk contest for years, but if I had to pick one it would have to be Zach Lavine. Lets see if his hops make for creative show dunks. Watson: Always bet on the little guy. Historically, you can look at shorter dunkers like Spud Webb or Nate Robinson who have captured the judges attention due to the distance they have to get to the rim. Oladipo is just that, a 64 package of power, creativity, springs and athleticism. Brady Heslip was showing out in the D-League but opted to move across the water to play in Europe. Would he have had a realistic shot at a call-up this season? Strickland: Yes, but only to be a practice player filling due to injury. At 62, 180 lbs., Heslip doesnt possess the size, speed, handle, defensive capabilities and necessary wrinkles in his game to be an everyday NBA player. There may be mannequins out here somewhere who can beat Brady off the bounce. All jokes aside, all the best to him in his overseas endeavors. Bala: Even though I love Brady Heslip as a player and he was torching guys for 24.5 per game, I dont think he would have been called up. What can he offer to a team outside of that? Even though he could be a great benefit as an outside shooter to open up courts, hes not quick enough to defend an NBA point guard and not big enough to defend an NBA two, two big issues. I think he made the right choice right now. Watson: Heslips shooting and scoring were proving undeniable to notice by league front offices, however his role at the next level would definitely be more situational than rotational. Hes a professional and due credit to him for starting his career, getting playing time and being compensated accordingly. Jason Kidd: NBA Coach Of The Year? Strickland: Oh, indeed! The sexy, early season frontrunner, Golden States Steve Kerr, basically inherited Mark Jacksons solid teams and gave them more structure to improve their standing in a fairly dramatic way. Bud Ball is all the rage in the ATL as former San Antonio Spurs assistant-turned Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer leads a cohesive veteran group who has won 32 of their last 34 after a slow 7-6 start to impress many. But what in the wide, wide world of wins witchcraft and hoops wizardry is happening with the very surprising Milwaukee Bucks? At 24-22, the Bucks have exceeded last seasons win total of 15 and have done so mostly without mercurial centre Larry Sanders and the No. 2 pick in the 2014 draft Jabari Parker, all the while pushing point guard Brandon Knight to borderline All-Star status. The answer, Jason Kidd happened. Bala: That is a pretty good choice right now. The Bucks are playing incredibly despite missing Jabari Parker and Larry Sanders for big chunks and having a lineup that could really be role players on any other team. They are beating teams they should and losing close games to teams they shouldnt be beating, so Id say this kind of improvement needs serious consideration. If it doesnt go to him, it better go to Derek Fisher for setting the Knicks up for one epic season of futility. Watson: Jason Kidd, coach of mediocrity. There isnt any lower to go when youre at the bottom, and Kidds transformation of a lottery team to a playoff team has been great. However, his means to get there were more than unscrupulous and Steve Kerr has the Warriors on pace for a franchise-best season that could soar as high as 60 wins. Kerr gets my vote. Follow them on twitter: Will Strickland @WallStrizzle1, Duane Watson @duanewatson and Ray Bala @CanBallReport Baltimore Ravens Jerseys Outlet .ca. Kerry, In the closing minutes of the second period of Game 4 between Pittsburgh and Columbus there were the remnants of two broken sticks behind the Pittsburgh net. Cheap Baltimore Ravens Jerseys Online .Y. - Phil Varone was the lone scorer in the shootout as the Rochester Americans edged the Toronto Marlies 3-2 on Sunday in American Hockey League action. http://www.cheapravens.com/. -- Kurt Buschs Sunday at Martinsville Speedway, in some ways, was like his career wrapped into one afternoon. Stitched Baltimore Ravens Jerseys . - On the night Dirk Nowitzki overtook Dominique Wilkins on the career scoring list, Brandan Wright was a human highlight film all by himself. Cheap Baltimore Ravens Gear . -- Jonathan Diaz is easy to spot in the Blue Jays clubhouse.PHILADELPHIA -- The Chicago Cubs have activated outfielder Ryan Sweeney from the disabled list and placed Emilio Bonifacio on it. Sweeney started in centre field and batted second against the Phillies on Friday night. He was on tthe DL since May 3 because of a right hamstring strain.dddddddddddd Sweeney was batting .200 with six RBIs coming into the game. Bonifacio has right rib cage inflammation. Hes batting .266 with 13 stolen bases this season. 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