Jeff Hornacek Impressed With Improvements Toronto Raptors Have Made This Season

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“They are a well-rounded team. They’ve got scorers. They’ve got defenders and they really help each other defensively. If you’re not quick with your thoughts and your passes you’re not going to get a good shot off so we are going to really have to execute. I think they are kind of like us in that when you trade a star guy away it gives other guys opportunities to step it up even more. (DeMar) DeRozan and (Kyle) Lowry have done that. It also makes more opportunities for (Jonas) Valanciunas. And then there are some of the pieces that they have added off of the bench. When you look at their bench that comes in – that’s a pretty good bench. (Greivis) Vasquez was a starter last season. (Steve) Novak was a big piece of what New York did last season. (Patrick) Patterson is a great three-point shooter. They’ve added talented guys that can come into the game off the bench and there’s not letting up against these guys.”

Jeff Hornacek

Monty Williams Talks About Being Tough On Greivis Vasquez

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“It will be (a nice reunion for me) but Greivis (Vasquez) probably doesn’t want to see me. I was really tough on him. He will probably start itching or sweating when he sees me because he will probably think I will yell at him or something. He was a bright spot for me last season. A big time flagship for our program. He is a guy who came in and worked his tail off. He had his best year with us and I feel fortunate to have been able to coach Greivis. He’s another guy I was really tough on. But I tell the guys we can be friends later or you can get better now, so which one do you want? We can be friends now and you’ll suffer. He was a guy who took hard coaching. He’s a great kid and I know the people up here feel the same way.”

Monty Williams on being tough on Greivis Vasquez last season

Dwane Casey Raves About David Stern’s Impact On The NBA

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“He has given an opportunity to so many people in this league. So many people are thankful for his vision and how the NBA has grown. It is unbelievable how much the NBA has grown in my lifetime from one game a week on television to nightly (games on League Pass). Salaries have grown tenfold. New jobs. And, like you mentioned, the popularity has grown all over the world. His vision will go down as something that will never be repeated in our sport. We should all be thankful for his vision and as a minority he has done so much for racial integration. He has provided an opportunity for everyone regardless of their colour. What he fought back in the ’70′s when everybody was against the NBA was huge. I think sometimes it’s lost – it’s not lost on me – on some of the young players how much he did for integration and equality for all races.”

Dwane Casey on David Stern’s impact on the NBA

Casey On Recent Struggles of Valanciunas

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“JV is gonna’ be fine. He’s done nothing wrong. Again, there were so many expectations on the young man. Everybody was expecting him to be the next great center right now and he’s not there. He’s going to be some day, but right now he’s still growing and enduring growing pains. He’s facing some great centres. Tonight he’s facing DeAndre Jordan who is one of the more athletic centres he is going to go against. Earlier this week he faced one of the tougher post-up guys in Al Jefferson. So he’s had his hands full the last couple of weeks and it’s nothing he’s done wrong. I think it’s more just who he has gone against in the last week or so.”

Dwane Casey on the recent struggles of Jonas Valanciunas

Vince Carter Proud Of His Legacy In Canada

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“It’s a great feeling. For someone who I am now playing against to hear them say I was their hero while growing up and now I’m playing against, first of all, it makes me feel old. I was a Dr. J fan so I couldn’t imagine growing up idolizing Dr J and then playing against him. I did play against Michael Jordan and I had a very strong appreciation for him. When I played against Jordan, I was like, dang. I’m very appreciative for it and I’m very thankful for it. I’m glad I’m still able to be around to play around some of these guys now that are current NBA players and future NBA superstars. It’s just the ground work that was laid. The Raptors’ fans who weren’t really old enough to understand how much fun it was to really come to the games and be a part of it. It was fun. Night in and night out it was a packed house. Loud as hell.”

Vince Carter on what it means to have Canadian players like Andrew Wiggins, Tristan Thompson and Anthony Bennett talk about how his success in Toronto impacted them