TORONTO - Raptors centre Jonas Valanciunas is not going to sneak up on anybody in his second NBA season. Wilbert Montgomery Eagles Jersey . Hes no longer the Raptors ace in the hole. Hes a known commodity and the league has been paying attention. If youve waited this long to hop on the bandwagon, you may be too late. Its already nearing capacity. Valanciunas, a member of last seasons All-Rookie Second Team, was recently voted the international player most likely to have a breakout campaign in NBA.coms annual GM survey. Expectations are sky-high for the sophomore, and for good reason. Sometimes its easy to forget hes only 21 years old. "Hes still learning," head coach Dwane Casey said of the Lithuanian following the teams second-to-last practice before Wednesdays season opener. "His is a growing process. Hes not there [yet], he wasnt there last year [and] hes still growing this year." Caseys reminder is an important one. For all he accomplished in his first season as a 20-year-old learning the NBA game and mastering a new language, for all the work he put in and the strength he put on during a busy summer, he still has work to do. With the rest of the league - including several elite Eastern Conference centres - zeroing in on him, the learning curve wont get easier. The hope, for Casey and the Raptors, is that hes better prepared for whats to come now that he has a full year under his belt. "Its my second year and its easier because its kind of the same thing as last year," a more comfortable and noticeably more confident Valanciunas said Monday. "[Its the] same coach [and] same defence so Im familiar with the schemes." "I just think his confidence is up," said teammate Landry Fields, whos also going into his second year with the Raptors. "Hes playing a lot more comfortably out there and the chemistry he has with the first group is that much better as well." As a rookie, Valanciunas averaged 8.9 points and 6.0 rebounds in 62 games, including 57 starts. In a season loaded with the peaks and valleys expected from any young big man - specifically on the defensive end - he finished strong, scoring in double figures in 17 of the final 19 contests while showing positive growth as a defender when paired with Amir Johnson. After earning MVP honours at the Las Vegas Summer League and helping guide Lithuania to a second-place finish in FIBAs Eurobasket tournament, Valanciunas has been asked to focus on his continued growth as the anchor of Caseys defence in training camp. Part of that process began in the offseason when he put on approximately 10 pounds in added muscle and is now predicated on his wherewithal to use it the right way. In addition to improved balance, to avoid some of the "silly fouls" he picked up last season, Casey and the coaching staff have worked with Valanciunas on his vertical jump. The goal, Casey says, is for Valanciunas to defend the paint and contest shots in the lane by going straight up, without reaching in or coming down with his hands. "The officials have to know hes going straight up every time, thats his game," the Raptors coach said, stressing the importance of consistency in Valanciunas approach. "If you get that reputation [then] you dont get the cheap fouls so hes got to earn that reputation of verticality." "Were working every day," Valanciunas said of the technique. [It] still needs work but were working and I hope [Im] going to be good [at] that." "Thats the challenge he has," Casey continued, "is doing it every night." Internally, the Raptors know theyll need to remain patient with the young centre regardless of the second-year expectations they have - and the rest of the league has - for him. "The game is so fast for a young player that youve got to process [the little things] probably in about a three- or four-second period of time," Casey pointed out. "Hes still learning that." "Theres days, theres possessions [where] hes great at it and theres possessions that he has no clue what hit him. Every young player goes through it, hes going through it and hes [still] a work in progress." No ones expecting the adjustment hell need to make in year two to be easy, it wasnt in year one, but Valanciunas has made believers out of the Raptors organization with his dedication and unrelenting work ethic. "I like his approach," Casey said, praising his young centre. "I like his attitude. He doesnt give up [and] he continues to work at it but its something he has to learn and something he has to go through." It wont happen overnight but Casey and the Raptors are expecting big things from Valanciunas. As the start of his second season approaches, the league watches with anticipation. How good will he be and how long will it take for him to get there? Brandon Graham Eagles Jersey . Galatasaray said in a statement on its website Monday that Mancini signed a three-year contract and will be paid 3.5 million euros for the upcoming season, with his salary upped to 4. Andrew Gardner Eagles Jersey . LUCIE, Fla. http://www.eaglesnflpro.com/c-17-eagles ... ersey.aspx
. After Gasquet beat fifth-seeded Ivan Dodig of Croatia 7-5, 6-3, Tsonga followed up with a 6-7 (3), 6-2, 6-2 win against sixth-seeded Edouard Roger-Vasselin in an all-French match. CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- NASCAR unveiled a revamped penalty system Tuesday that for the first time will define specific offences with pre-determined penalties. The new "Deterrence System" classifies six different levels of penalties, with fines and point deductions increasing as the infractions become more severe. The new system will be applied only to technical infractions; NASCAR will still handle behaviouraloffences individually. The structure also allows the sanctioning body to hit repeat offenders with a multiplier that could increase penalties by 50 per cent. NASCARs previous penalty system did not tie pre-determined sanctions to specific offences. "Our goal is to be more effective, fair and transparent," said Steve ODonnell, senior vice-president of racing operations. "Its never our intent to penalize, but in order to keep the playing field fair for everyone, we recognize that strong rules need to be in place." NASCAR has also removed chief appellate officer John Middlebrook. The retired General Motors executive has been replaced by Bryan Moss, president emeritus of Gulfstream Aerospace. Middlebrook had overturned or modified some key NASCAR decisions, including a penalty to Hendrick Motorsports in 2012 and Penske Racing last year. "I wanted to clearly state that Bryans appointment is not a result of recent appeals outcomes or because of the changes to the Chase," ODonnell said. "John did a great job for us, but Bryan will take over as the final appeals officer." NASCAR also has removed track promoters from its appeals panel in order to keep them from having to rule on a team while also needing that teams members to help promote races. "We have probably put some people in soome tough spots in the past," ODonnell said. Cody Parkey Jersey. "You wont see national series promoters as part of that panel and youll see more industry experts participate in that role in the future." Another change to the penalty system is in the appeals process: Penalized teams will be allowed to see NASCARs presentation during the first appeal. Previously, each side presented its case without the other side in the room. Parties will now submit summaries of issues in advance of the hearing and it will be NASCARs burden to prove that a penalty violation occurred. During second and final appeals, the burden will shift to the team to prove the panel decision was incorrect. The biggest changes are to the penalty system, which is now broken into six classes. Minor technical infractions in the P1 class could lead to lost track time and other relatively light punishments; violations affecting the internal workings and performance of the engine in P6, on the other hand, could lead to the loss of 150 points, a fine of at least $150,000 and suspensions. If P5 and P6 infractions are found in post-race inspection, wins would not be eligible to be used to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship or to advance through the Chase rounds. And if the same car repeats an offence in the same category during the season, the penalty increases 50 per cent above the normal standard. "We believe the new system is easily understood and specifically lays out exactly what disciplinary action will be taken depending upon the type of technical infraction," said vice-president of competition Robin Pemberton. "More importantly, we believe we have strengthened our system to ensure even more competitive racing." Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys ' ' '