DeRozan says thumb improving daily, but time running out for Raptors | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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DeRozan says thumb improving daily, but time running out for Raptors

Toronto Raptors' DeMar DeRozan (10)controls the ball after taking from Miami Heat's Justise Winslow (20) during first half NBA playoff basketball action in Toronto on Thursday, May 5, 2016. DeRozan says his injured right thumb is improving every day. But with three games at most left in Toronto's Eastern Conference semifinal with Miami, time is running out." THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
May 11, 2016 - 7:18 PM

TORONTO - DeMar DeRozan says his injured right thumb is improving every day. But with three games at most left in Toronto's Eastern Conference semifinal with Miami, time is running out.

"I ice it, try to keep it moving, don't let it get too stiff on me but it's getting better every single day," the Raptors all-star guard said after Wednesday morning's shootaround.

DeRozan headed to the locker-room midway through the fourth quarter after apparently jarring his thumb again as Toronto hosted the Heat on Wednesday night with the series knotted at two wins apiece.

He had already been shooting horribly in the post-season before spraining his thumb late in Game 1 against Miami. In the two games since, he's looked little a shell of the player who led the Raptors to a franchise-best 56 wins in the regular season.

DeRozan said the injured thumb on his shooting hand affects "a lot of things I normally do."

"When I try to draw my fouls, grip the ball, can't really grip the ball like I want to, when I shoot just being able to control the ball," he said. "It has its challenges. I'm just trying to figure out the best way to play with it as possible. I tried having it wrapped, I hate having it wrapped so I try to go without it. It's just me figuring it out."

DeRozan shot just 4-for-17 in Monday night's Game 4 loss in Miami, but his poor shooting is perhaps most glaring at the free throw line, where he's gone 10-for-20 in the last three games.

Despite his uncharacteristically poor play in the post-season, the Raptors remarkably are still within striking distance of their first appearance in the Eastern Conference final.

"You would think it's the end of the world," DeRozan said, about the criticism heaped on the team. "Sometimes I don't understand it when it comes to the media aspect of it ... we haven't played our best basketball since we started both series, but it's going to come."

Fellow Raptors all-star Kyle Lowry got his back up after shootaround when a reporter said the "real Kyle and DeMar" have yet to show up.

"Personally, I think I've played well overall, I just haven't shot the ball well," Lowry said. "Shoot, you've got to look at the tape. Yes, scoring is a part of what I do but I'm doing everything else I need to do. Defence, leading my team, we're Game 5 second round. We're both doing something right, I think."

Raptors coach Dwane Casey also supported his all-stars.

"There's other things that they've contributed or we wouldn't be standing here today, we'd be in Cancun somewhere."

News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

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