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TORONTO - The Raptors havent had an All-Star player since Chris Bosh left town but that could change this February, especially if coach Dwane Casey has his say. "Im pushing our guys," Casey said after practice Friday, making the case for his backcourt duo, Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, to get voted in as first-time All-Stars. "I dont know if we can get two [but] Im going to push two and hope to get one, because both guys are playing at a high level." The Raptors coach initially broached the subject in Miami on Sunday. "Theyre playing like All-Stars," he said. "You look at the other guards in the East and theyre right there with them." Since then, he has been busy campaigning to his peers. "All my friends, all the coaches, [Ive] talked to them about it, texted them, they did me the same way when they were trying to get their guys in last year," Casey admitted. "Ill beg the coaches, bribe them with lunch or dinner, whatever, when we have a coaches meeting," he joked. "But its what we should be doing as an organization, and we are doing it as an organization and Im doing it with the coaches." More than likely, Miamis Dwyane Wade and Clevelands Kyrie Irving will get the nod from fans to start in the backcourt for the Eastern Conference. The leagues coaches will then vote in the reserves, two backcourt players, three frontcourt and two wild-card spots (players at any position). Theres a legitimate case to be made for both Raptors guards to represent the East as reserves in the annual midseason showcase, taking place on Feb. 16 in New Orleans. DeRozan is 13th in the NBA in scoring, averaging a career-best 21.2 points per game. He has made notable strides as both a passer and a defender, once considered to be holes in his game. Hes recorded five or more assists in eight of 34 games after doing so 12 times last year and accomplishing that feat in just five contests combined over his first three seasons in the league. "Look at what hes doing," Lowry said of his teammate. "He leads our team in scoring, hes done a great job of being our go-to guy, hes been a complete professional and he gets better every single night." Lowry has been Torontos most valuable player, carrying the team at the point guard position. In his eighth season, Lowry is averaging career-bests in points, assets and steals while shooting his highest percentage from three-point range. His career-best streak of 24 consecutive games with six or more dimes recently came to an end, topping his previous high of eight straight. Hes fourth in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio. "Look at the stat sheet after he plays," said DeRozan, making the case for Lowry. "Any given night he gives you 16 points, 11 rebounds, nine assists, somewhere around that margin every game. Thats just what he [does]. He goes out there and plays hard, hes scrappy, hes a bulldog when hes out there on that court. Hes definitely a leader, he definitely wants to win, I see it in his eyes." True to character, both players were hesitant to make their own case but neither could downplay what the honour of being named to the All-Star squad, alongside the leagues best, would mean to them. "It would be an unbelievable, phenomenal thing, it would be humbling," Lowry admitted. "Im sure if either one of us [makes] it, it would be a great time and a great accomplishment and achievement to tell our families and our kids one day." Lowry made sure to follow up that statement with a reminder that he, DeRozan and the rest of the team remain far more concerned with their collective success than individual accolades. The Raptors recent success could be the very thing that nets them their first All-Star since Bosh was named to the team in 2010. "We deserve it," Casey said proudly. "Our record, were ranked at the top of our division, were number four in our conference so we do deserve All-Star ranking and All-Star consideration with our players, because those guys are playing at a very high level." Entering Fridays slate of games, Toronto is one of just four teams in the East with a record at or above the .500 mark. As a team, the Raptors have gone 11-5 since the early-December trade of Rudy Gay with both Lowry and DeRozan - the teams two leading scorers - playing key roles in the resurgence. Although his percentages have dropped slightly, DeRozan is taking the same amount of shots as he was pre-trade and hes averaging nearly two more assists per contest. Lowry is tied for fifth in the league in assists since the trade was made on Dec. 8, averaging 8.4 to go along with 17.6 points. While Lowry may be more deserving of the honour given his value over replacement this season, DeRozan should have a favourable shot at earning recognition from the leagues coaches. DeRozan is highly thought of as a hard working, evolving player and has been universally praised by opposing coaches this season, whereas Lowry has developed a reputation for being somewhat combative. "Kyles showed hes a positive leader," Casey said of his point guard, who - in the final year of his contract - came into training camp with a renewed focus, in the best shape of his career. "I think that was the biggest question among coaches around the league, could he be a positive leader and be productive on the court. Hes done that." "I think theyre [both] very well respected. DeMar has been playing at a very high level, being very efficient, not just a volume shooter, so hes done that. Everything those guys have [done have answered] the questions about them as players. Plus on top of that theyve put us at the top of our division." The Raptors backcourt duo, or at least one of them, could be the beneficiary of a weak Eastern Conference. Unlike the loaded West, the conferences player pool reflects its overall inferiority. Their primary competition figures to come from Washingtons John Wall (19.7 points, 8.7 assists), Orlandos Arron Afflalo (21.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists), Atlantas Jeff Teague (16.8 points, 7.9 assists) and Indianas Lance Stephenson (13.4 points, 6.6 rebounds, 5.2 assists). All-Star starters will be announced live on the TNT broadcast Jan. 23 and the reserves will be revealed a week later, also on TNT. Cheap Nike Shoes Wholesale . In fact, with a few improvements, this could very well be a decent team over the next few seasons. I will go into more detail when digging into the Canucks Off-Season Game Plan, which will be coming earlier this year since they are part of the non-playoff contingent, there are some reasons to think this is a favourable situation for President of Hockey Operations Trevor Linden and whomever he selects to be the new general manager. Adidas NMD R1 Clearance . The stakes were higher, the competition more fierce and the atmosphere was that of a playoff game - something the young, upstart Raptors have five weeks to better prepare themselves for or the result will be eerily similar. http://www.nikeshoesoutletwholesale.com/nike-air-huarache-sale.html . This time, it was Eric Chavezs turn. Stuck in a rut since coming off the disabled list, Chavez hit the first pitch he saw in the ninth inning for a run-scoring single, sending the Diamondbacks to another walk-off victory, 4-3 over the San Francisco Giants on Saturday night. Air Max 270 Sale Outlet . The deal will pay Hainsey $3 million for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons and $2.5 million in 2016-17. Nike Shox Mens Clearance .com) - Devon Johnson ran for a school record 272 yards with four touchdowns and No.LONDON - The Czech Republic became the first team to reach the Davis Cup semifinals Saturday, while heavily favoured Switzerland had another disappointing loss in the doubles and France kept alive its quarterfinal against Germany. The defending champion Czechs clinched an unassailable 3-0 lead over Japan after Radek Stepanek and Lukas Rosol comfortably beat Tatsuma Ito and Yasutaka Uchiyama 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 in the doubles. Thats the only quarterfinal that has gone according to script so far, as Switzerland and France both find themselves down 2-1 going into the reverse singles on Sunday. Many expected Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka to have wrapped up Switzerlands best-of-five series against Kazakhstan by now as well, but the former Olympic doubles champions were beaten 6-4, 7-6 (5), 4-6, 7-6 (6) by Andrey Golubev and Aleksandr Nedovyesov. That came after Wawrinka lost his singles match to Golubev on Saturday, meaning theres no more room for mistakes for the heavily favoured Swiss. "Im actually very excited for tomorrow," Federer said. "We are still the favourites for each singles match tomorrow, but with no more margin for error and were aware of that." Germany entered its quarterfinal without its top three players, but Tobias Kamke and Peter Gojowczyk surprisingly won their opening singles matches to give the vvisitors a 2-0 lead on Friday against France.dddddddddddd However, Julien Benneteau and Michael Llodra held their nerve to beat Andre Begemann and Kamke 6-1, 7-6 (5), 4-6, 7-5 to stay in the series. "Were still alive. It was a great performance from Julien and Mika. Its very hard to play when youre 2-0 down because you have no room for error," France captain Arnaud Clement said. "They deserve it because they really pushed themselves." In Sundays matches, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is scheduled to play Kamke, and Benneteau faces Gojowczyk. Andy Murray was the busiest player of the day as he first had to complete a 6-4, 7-5, 6-3 victory over Italys Andreas Seppi in their delayed singles match, before returning to the court to help Britain take a 2-1 lead with a win in the doubles. Murray and Colin Fleming beat Fabio Fognini and Simone Bolelli 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 to boost Britains bid to reach the semifinals for the first time since 1981. Rain delays had interrupted play in Naples on Friday and Murrays match was suspended because of darkness in the second set. Murray can secure the victory when he plays Fognini on Sunday. "It should be a tough match," Murray said. "Fabio has played very well this year so itll be a great challenge. But I hope I can have a good match and get us to the semis." ' ' '