Raptors Report Card: Lowry, Siakam receive top grades

The 2019-20 NBA season is on pause at the moment with no clear idea when, or even if, it will resume.

For the Toronto Raptors, the idea of a cancelled season is particularly disheartening because of how the club’s title defence had been going, surprising just about everyone as a legitimate-looking championship contender once again as a team with the third-best record in the NBA before the season was postponed.

But as tough a pill as this hiatus has been to swallow, it does provide an opportunity to look back and assess the team individually.

Here’s a grade for each Raptors player (and one coach) as we all continue to anxiously await news of the 2019-20 campaign’s resumption or cancellation.

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OG Anunoby

Season Stats: 10.7 PPG | 5.4 RPG | 50.7 FG% | 38.1 3P%
Grade: B

(Photo credit: Mary Altaffer/AP)

Anunoby has had games this season where he’s looked like he’s a future all-star, and games where you’ve questioned if he should be in the rotation – let alone starting.

The result of this inconsistent play has been an average-looking season on paper that doesn’t tell the whole story.

It’s important to remember that Anunoby’s best attribute is as a defender, something that’s difficult to quantify, but impossible to miss when he’s locked in such as in those two games at the end of February and beginning of March against the Charlotte Hornets and Denver Nuggets when he recorded six and seven steals, respectively, leading to two of his best offensive contests of the season.

There’s brilliance to be found in Anunoby’s play, but he’s been held back by not being able to put it together on a nightly

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Donations show ‘togetherness’ against virus, says Rashford

Manchester United’s English striker Marcus Rashford gestures during the UEFA Europa League Group L football match between Manchester United and Astana at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on September 19, 2019. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)

The public response in donating to charity to help feed deprived children after an appeal by Marcus Rashford has impressed the Manchester United forward.

The 22-year-old England international teamed up with FareShare, a food distribution charity, after schools in the Manchester area were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Donations as of Wednesday totalled £134,000 ($167,000) surpassing his initial target of £100,000.

The latter amount — which Rashford said was a “massive figure” — would feed around 400,000 children.

FareShare distributes food to 10,943 charities including schools, community centres and breakfast clubs.
Rashford wanted to ensure children now restricted to their homes have access to the free meals they would have received at school.

“The number of people not being fed is ridiculous,” he told The Times.

“It was close to one million children (924,325) who were helped every week by FareShare.

“The donations coming in so quickly showed the togetherness of people.”

Rashford, whose own donation is the largest the charity received in a year, has been researching the logistics of distributing food by reading business books.

“Getting the meals together is one thing, but distribution is just as important as otherwise it is impossible to get the food out to people,” he said.

As well as his charity work, Rashford is spending time on more relaxed pursuits such as judging a poetry competition and learning sign language.

He has also engaged in a debate on social media with England football legend Gary Lineker over who is the most graceful player of all time.

Lineker chose Frenchman Zinedine Zidane. Rashford,

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UAE jiu-jitsu: Faisal Al Ketbi on Olympic dreams, training during Coronavirus and more

Gyms and sports facilities are closed across the UAE as the country’s leadership urges people to exercise social distancing to help stem the COVID-19 pandemic. However, that isn’t stopping members of one sporting community from pursuing its quest for progress.

The Emirates’ leading jiu-jitsu athletes may be following government guidelines to stay at home, but they aren’t letting it affect their training, swapping the gym for the living room in a bid to stay sharp for when the season does resume.

In light of the recent disruptions, the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation have launched a campaign urging the people to join them to ‘Stay Safe and Stay Fit at Home’, with a series of fitness videos led by jiu-jitsu star Faisal Al Ketbi.

The Abu Dhabi native is the poster boy for the sport in UAE, having sealed four out of the last five world championships in the 94kg category. At 32, he continues to purr with class, confidence and motivation.

However, with uncertainty as to when his season will re-commence, Al Ketbi is continuing to train hard at home in the capital as he eyes a fifth world title later this year. While others have slowed down, he is still pushing the limits.

“We are doing our best to keep in shape at the moment. Ramon (Lemos), the coach of the national team, is preparing a schedule for us to keep fit and sharp. We usually do an hour of mobility and flexibility. Then, we do some fitness training and a bit of power and core work to keep our muscles awake until the season resumes,” he told Sport360.

“During Ramadan, in a few weeks’ time, it will be a bit different and we always cool down then. Hopefully in August and September, we can prepare for the world championships.”

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