Here are five thoughts on the Eastern Conference first-round series between the Toronto Raptors and Brooklyn Nets following Game 5, including the play of Kyle Lowry, Joe Johnson, Kevin Garnet and Paul Pierce, as well as head coaches Jason Kidd and Dwane Casey. [url=http://www.officialbluejacketsfanstore.com/customized/]Custom Columbus Blue Jackets Jerseys[/url] . 1. KYLE LOWRY: Brilliant in Game 5. Watching him Wednesday night brought me back to watching Allen Iverson torch the Raptors in the 2001 playoffs. Considering Lowry is a Philly guy and one of the guys he looked up to as a young player was Iverson, I couldnt help myself but to draw comparisons. A totally different players but one quality that truly makes them alike is that they are both incredible competitors. Not the size of the dog in the fight but the fight in the dog. In the last five quarters of play (Game 4, 4th quarter and Game 5), other than the magic of Vince Carter, I cant recall a better stretch of play ever from a Raptor on so many fronts. Enjoy it - Im mesmerized by it. 2. JOE JOHNSON: Give him credit. Major bounce-back in the second half of Game 5. He was close to unstoppable. Raptors did everything they could to contain/control him and he was that much better. Im sure a significant focus of game planning for Game 6 will centre on tightening the screws on both the individual coverages associated with him and the collective scheme based upon the help you have to give his defender. He is an absolute load. Im so impressed by his talent. 3. RAPTORS FIRST THREE QUARTERS VS. 4TH QUARTER: It looked like five guys stole Raptors shirts early in the 4th and tried to imitate the real guys. In the first three quarters we saw the Raptors at their truly best - ball movement, defensive energy, effort, discipline and most importantly, a collective will and confidence that the crowd fed off of. In the fourth, we saw a team that cruised and thought it would be easy and let up with its focus. Very fortunate that they hung on, yet when I reflect on it for the majority of the game they were far better, which is good. Now its about learning from that lesson and growing. Remember back in early December at Golden State? It was the Raptors biggest collapse in franchise history and lost to the Warriors. This time, a huge collapse as well - the difference - they won and won on a much more meaningful stage than the stage back in Oakland. Speaking of Oakland, the late Al Davis (Oakland Raiders) would say just win, baby! They did. One to go but it wont be easy. Their competition has lots to play for; it should be a major challenge and lots of fun to watch. 4. KG AND PAUL PIERCE: They were spectators Wednesday night in the 4th quarter and Im sure both men will be ready to go Friday night in response to that. I dont think there have been many times in either guys career that they sat and watched at crunch time. Im sure well see two angry/ornery guys in Brooklyn talking smack and challenging their teammates and the crowd to be at optimal level. Lots of folks piling on KG these days. I respect what hes done in his career. Is he the player he once was? No, but his effort and will to win are still there all the time. Pierce - Hes still got a lot left and his matchup at the four spot is still a tough cover for the Raptors, yet I do like that the Raps are now making him guard his guy and attacking him. Fully expect both guys to come out firing guns blazing. Be prepared. 5. JASON KIDD AND DWANE CASEY: Both coaches, Im sure, are working on their teams collective psyche as we enter Game 6. Kidd challenged his team before Game 5 to be much better in the 4th quarter after being outplayed by the Raps in Games 3 and 4 in the defining stanza. They were awesome in the 4th Wednesday night… the other three quarters, not so impressive. Im sure hes pushing momentum and carryover. Coach Casey will hammer the fact that you must sustain and play every possession at the max and learn/build on the fact that you won, yet have to respect the little details of the game. You also sell that momentum in a series that lasts only as long as you allow it to or make it happen. As much as the Nets want to sell that theyre now going to pick up where they left off, youve got to sell that the score always takes care of itself if you do the right things. You concentrate on doing the right things" each possession and youll find a way in Game 6, or if necessary, Game 7. Wont be easy to put Brooklyn away Friday but it can be done. Dictate the tone and personality of Game 6 right at the start. Winning/losing - thats too much sometimes to focus on. Dive into the details of what it takes to succeed and youll handle the pressure of a road game better. [url=http://www.officialbluejacketsfanstore.com/authentic-jeff-zatkoff-blue-jackets-jersey/]Jeff Zatkoff Jersey[/url] . The Jays responded to the three-spot Detroit placed on Casey Janssen the evening before with an attack on the Tigers Achilles Heel, its bullpen, tying the game in the ninth and winning the game in the 10th. The result absolved Marcus Stroman, brilliant once again, of a tough luck loss while at the same time robbing Max Scherzer, brilliant once again, of a deserved win. [url=http://www.officialbluejacketsfanstore.com/authentic-gabriel-carlsson-blue-jackets-jersey/]Gabriel Carlsson Jersey[/url] . -- The Phoenix Coyotes have won three in a row for the first time in 4 1/2 months, and theyve done it just in time for the stretch run to the playoffs. [url=http://www.officialbluejacketsfanstore.com/authentic-pierre-luc-dubois-blue-jackets-jersey/]http://www.officialbluejacketsfanstore.com/authentic-pierre-luc-dubois-blue-jackets-jersey/[/url] . The 17-time Grand Slam champion, who lose three straight finals in Monte Carlo to Rafael Nadal from 2006-08, has not played in the tournament since 2011, when he lost to Jurgen Melzer in the quarterfinals.Check in throughout the day for the very latest from around the NHL, including injury updates, roster moves, and other breaking news. Arizona Coyotes Chris Summers and Brandon McMillian cleared waivers. - TSN, Pierre LeBrun Boston Bruins Forward Bobby Robins will be out until October with a concussion. - Boston Herald Brad Marchand was not at practice this morning. - Team Tweet Buffalo Sabres Jhonas Enroth will get the start tomorrow vs the Wild. - Team Tweet Calgary Flames Flames acquisition Drew Shore was called up and practiced with the team on Wednesday. - Jermain Franklin, TSN Karri R?m? skated this morning on his own. Ramo will be on the road trip with the Flames. Ramo said he felt good following a practice yesterday and will see how he feels tomorrow. They are being cautious with his head injury. - Jermain Franklin, TSN Columbus Blue Jackets Forward Artem Anisimov (torn triceps) skated today with teams strength and conditioning coach. - Rob Mixer, Blue Jackets Defenceman Cody Goloubef is expected to play tonight. - Team Tweet Edmonton Oilers Boyd Gordon did not practice today. - Team Tweet Florida Panthers Shawn Thornton (groin) took part in the morning skate. - Harvey Fialkov, Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel Los Angeles Kings Martin Jones likely to get the start tonight against the New Jersey Devils. - Jon Rosen, Kings Insider Pittsburgh Penguins Steve Downie was back at practice after missing the third period of Tuesday nights game. - Team Tweet Claim Mark Arcobello off waivers from the Nashville Predators. - TSN, Pierre LeBrun Re-assign Bryan Rust and Taylor Chorney to AHL. - Teamm Tweet Montreal Canadiens P. [url=http://www.officialbluejacketsfanstore.com/authentic-jack-johnson-blue-jackets-jersey/]Jack Johnson Jersey[/url]. A. Parenteau (concussion) is expected to play tonight. - Canadiens Website Alexei Emelin might be a healthy scratch for tonights game against the Blue Jackets. - Pat Hickey, Montreal Gazette Tomas Plekanec is expected to play with Max Pacioretty and Brendan Gallagher on Wednesday night. - Pat Hickey, Montreal Gazette Nashville Predators Predators netminder Pekka Rinne left Tuesdays game against the Canucks early in the third period after being run into by Chris Higgins and Anton Volchenkov. The Predators are calling it a lower-body injury. - TSN Toronto Maple Leafs James van Riemsdyk did not skate this morning in Anaheim, but he is expected to play tonight. van Riemsdyk was under the weather this morning. Also absent this morning and perhaps in more doubt to play is Leo Komarov. Komarov is dealing with a shoulder injury. He did not skate yesterday either. The Leafs are hopeful that hell be available to play. Sam Carrick would rejoin the lineup if Komarov cant play. Jonathan Bernier is expected to start against the Ducks. Peter Horachek wouldnt commit to splitting the goaltenders with the Leafs playing in San Jose tomorrow. Horachek said he was comfortable with playing James Reimer, but would see how the game went tonight before making that decision. Horachek continues to play around with the line combinations. Back on the wing after a pair of games down the middle is Mike Santorelli, who joined Nazem Kadri on Torontos second unit. - Jonas Siegel, TSN Winnipeg Jets Wednesday is a complete day off for the Jets. They fly to Dallas tomorrow afternoon. - Sarah Orlesky, TSN [url=http://www.cheaptigersjersey.com/]Cheap Throwback Baseball Detroit Tigers Jerseys[/url] [url=http://www.cheaprockiesjersey.com/]Cheap Throwback Baseball Colorado Rockies Jerseys[/url] [url=http://www.cheapastrosjersey.com/]Cheap Throwback Baseball Houston Astros Jerseys[/url] [url=http://www.cheaproyalsjersey.com/]Cheap Throwback Baseball Kansas City Royals Jerseys[/url] [url=http://www.cheapangelsjersey.com/]Cheap Throwback Baseball Los Angeles Angels Jerseys[/url] [url=http://www.cheapdodgersjersey.com/]Cheap Throwback Baseball Los Angeles Dodgers Jerseys[/url] [url=http://www.cheapmarlinsjersey.com/]Cheap Throwback Baseball Miami Marlins Jerseys[/url] [url=http://www.cheapbrewersjersey.com/]Cheap Throwback Baseball Milwaukee Brewers Jerseys[/url] [url=http://www.cheaptwinsjersey.com/]Cheap Throwback Baseball Minnesota Twins Jerseys[/url] [url=http://www.cheapmetsjersey.com/]Cheap Throwback Baseball New York Mets Jerseys[/url] [url=http://www.cheapyankeesjersey.com/]Cheap Throwback Baseball New York Yankees Jerseys[/url] [url=http://www.cheapathleticsjersey.com/]Cheap Throwback Baseball Oakland Athletics Jerseys[/url] [url=http://www.cheapphilliesjersey.com/]Cheap Throwback Baseball Philadelphia Phillies Jerseys[/url] [url=http://www.cheappiratesjersey.com/]Cheap Throwback Baseball Pittsburgh Pirates Jerseys[/url] [url=http://www.cheappadresjersey.com/]Cheap Throwback Baseball San Diego Padres Jerseys[/url] [url=http://www.cheapsfgiantsjersey.com/]Cheap Throwback Baseball San Francisco Giants Jerseys[/url] [url=http://www.cheapmarinersjersey.com/]Cheap Throwback Baseball Seattle Mariners Jerseys[/url] [url=http://www.cheapstlcardinalsjersey.com/]Cheap Throwback Baseball St. Louis Cardinals Jerseys[/url] [url=http://www.cheapraysjersey.com/]Cheap Throwback Baseball Tampa Bay Rays Jerseys[/url] [url=http://www.cheaptexasrangersjersey.com/]Cheap Throwback Baseball Texas Rangers Jerseys[/url] [url=http://www.cheapbluejaysjersey.com/]Cheap Throwback Baseball Toronto Blue Jays Jerseys[/url] [url=http://www.cheapnationalsjersey.com/]Cheap Throwback Baseball Washington Nationals Jerseys[/url] ' ' '