DeRozan: Shoelace treatment on thumb "hurts like hell," but works | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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DeRozan: Shoelace treatment on thumb "hurts like hell," but works

Toronto Raptors' guard DeMar DeRozan (right) is helped up by Kyle Lowry during overtime of second round NBA playoff basketball action against the Miami Heat in Toronto on Tuesday, May 3, 2016. The thin red shoelace that Alex McKechnie carries in the pocket of his sweatpants has virtually become the Raptors' sixth man. DeMar DeRozan credited McKechnie's oddball shoelace treatment on his sprained thumb for helping him score 34 points in Toronto's victory over Miami in Game 5. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
May 13, 2016 - 11:25 AM

MIAMI - The thin red shoelace that Alex McKechnie carries in the pocket of his sweatpants has virtually become the Raptors' sixth man.

DeMar DeRozan credited McKechnie's oddball shoelace treatment on his sprained thumb for helping him score 34 points in Toronto's victory over Miami in Game 5.

During timeouts, the Raptors' director of sports science wrapped DeRozan's thumb tightly from top to bottom with what the all-star guard called the "thousand-dollar shoelace." The wrapping helps reduce the swelling.

"It hurts like hell, but I like that it helps," DeRozan said. "I'm pretty sure he's walking around with his shoelace in his pocket right now."

Sure enough, McKechnie was. He demonstrated the wrapping technique on a reporter.

"It's not the first time I've done it, I've done it many, many times," McKechnie said. "The first time possibly on the bench though."

Wrapping joints is a common practice in sports. Moving the joint while it's wrapped creates a pump that reduces tissue swelling.

DeRozan spoke with reporters at Friday morning's shootaround, hours before the Raptors would try to clinch their semifinal series against Miami in Game 6. His right thumb was noticeably larger than the left.

"It's the same," DeRozan said. "Honestly, every day I try not to think about it, only thing going to help it is time, and right now, we ain't got too much time."

DeRozan jammed the thumb on his shooting hand at the end of Game 1 and while he'd already been shooting below his regular-season percentage, it plummeted from that point. He turned it around for Wednesday's Game 5, when he was also a perfect 11-for-11 from the free throw line.

On Wednesday night at Air Canada Centre, DeRozan could be seen on the bench sticking up his thumb to be wrapped during timeouts.

"There's loss of range of movement, and as soon as we drain it, there's instant range. It's instant. You create compression to drain the tissue," McKechnie explained, comparing it to taping an ankle.

McKechnie, who used the same finger-wrapping technique on Kobe Bryant when he worked for the Los Angeles Lakers, might be the busiest member of the Raptors staff these days. In what's turned into basketball's version of "The Hunger Games," players have been dropping like flies.

The Raptors have lost centre Jonas Valanciunas (ankle) for the series and defensive specialist DeMarre Carroll injured his left wrist on Wednesday night. Carroll is listed as day-to-day, although his teammates sounded as if he'd play Friday night.

"I wouldn't expect anything other," Kyle Lowry said. "He's an animal, man. He's going to be out there, he wants this situation and he wants to help us win this game."

Asked how much free time he has, McKechnie said, "Not a lot. It's a process, it's what we do. These guys, all credit to them, they're all playing through all sorts of things."

The Heat won't have Hassan Whiteside (knee) in the lineup and Luol Deng was listed as questionable for Game 6 (wrist).

The Cleveland Cavaliers, meanwhile, await the banged-up winner of this series after sweeping the Atlanta Hawks in the other conference semifinal.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

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