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inconsistent, occasion
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CHARLOTTE - With his role on a new team in flux, Raptors back-up point guard D.J. Augustin is in the middle of a nostalgic week. Just four games into his Raptors career, Augustin returned to Charlotte - a city in which he played and lived for four years - on Wednesday and will make his first return to Indiana two days later. "Its different," Augustin said of his emotions, sitting in the visitors locker room at Charlottes Time Warner Cable Arena moments before Wednesday nights game. "Its a different feeling being on this side of the locker room but thats how life is, you have different experiences, you change, [experience] different changes in your career and thats where Im at now." "[Its] familiar territory. I lived [in Charlotte] for four years. The team drafted me, gave me a chance in the NBA so its real special, always to come back is a great feeling." The sixth year guard signed a one-year deal with Toronto during the summer after spending last season with the Pacers and the four prior as a Bobcat. Charlotte and Indiana are the only NBA homes Augustin had ever known. Coming off his worst statistical season with the Pacers, Augustin is still trying to find a comfort level in his new home. The back-up point guard has already experienced ups and downs in his short time with the Raptors. After a disappointing preseason, the veteran was given first crack at the gig, spelling Kyle Lowry off the bench, based on his experience over rookie Dwight Buycks and the recently signed Julyan Stone. Averaging 2.8 points and 1.4 assists, playing just under 12 minutes as reserve in Torontos first five games, Augustin has shown glimpses of the player he once was in Charlotte. Most concerning, he has been inconsistent, occasionally erratic at the point of attack and has struggled with his jump shot - one of his strengths as a player - shooting just 24 per cent from the field and missing all seven of his three-point attempts. "[Im] still trying to get comfortable," Augustin admitted. "Weve got a lot of games to go. [Im] still trying to get comfortable [and] get in a rhythm but once it comes I think well all be clicking." "Hes just finding his rhythm," Dwane Casey echoed. "I think hes trying to be a good teammate now, trying to find his teammates and move the ball. I think that may be taking away from his shooting a bit." "Hes done a solid job," his new coach continued. "You always want more but hes done a solid job for what we need." In the first of his two homecomings, Augustin played just six first half minutes against the Bobcats Wednesday, missing his only field goal but connecting on his three free throw attempts. Searching for answers at the position, Casey opted to go with Stone off the bench in the second half as Augustin watched his new team drop a disappointing and controversial game to his old one. Drafted ninth overall by Charlotte in 2008, Augustin experienced his greatest personal success on mostly terrible Bobcats teams during his four-year tenure. With the Bobcats, Augustin averaged 10.9 points and 4.4 assists, shooting 37 per cent from long range and starting in 142 of 282 games. He is still trying to get back to that level. "This is my sixth year in the NBA, I know its a long season," he acknowledged. "Youve got to take care of your body and do the little things to help you play better on the court." On Friday he will make his first return to Indiana to face the undefeated Pacers, where both he and his team have something to prove. John Havlicek Jersey . This week, they discuss the NCAAs revenue sharing, Don Zimmer, soccer language and Super Bowl 50. Kevin Mchale Jersey .  Arsene Wenger reportedly wants to convert the player into an attacking force, much like he did with Robin Van Persie. http://www.authenticcelticsproshop.com/W...wn-Jersey/ . Leverkusen said on Friday it signed Schmidt on a two-year contract. He guided Red Bull Salzburg to the Austrian championship this season. Marcus Smart Jersey . And I wanted to take this opportunity to share some of my experiences gained through International competition and the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. Seven NHL referees and six linesmen will be assigned upcoming games in Sochi by the IIHF as part of their 28-man officiating roster comprised of 14 refs and 14 linesmen. Reggie Lewis Celtics Jersey . -- Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Sidney Rice tweeted an apparent goodbye after a report about his pending release. HOUSTON -- The Seattle Mariners used a power display to help out their young starter -- and improve their playoff chances. Dustin Ackley hit two solo homers, and Mike Zunino and Kyle Seager each hit three-run shots in a seven-run fourth inning as Mariners cruised to a 10-5 win over the Houston Astros on Friday night. Ackley homered in the third and eighth innings for his second career multihomer game for the Mariners, who moved a 1/2 game back for the second AL wild card with the victory and Royals loss to Detroit. "I felt good today," said Ackley, who has a career-high 13 homers this season. "I dont know what it was, going into the game. Sometimes you come to a park and its just one of those places where you get a good feeling about it and thats pretty much the way it was." Twenty-one-year-old rookie Taijuan Walker (2-2) yielded eight hits and two runs with seven strikeouts in 5 2-3 innings for his third career win in his return to the rotation for injured left-hander Roenis Elias. It was his first start since July 23. "I think eight runs helped him quite a bit," manager Lloyd McClendon said. "But he knows that club. He knows what theyre capable of doing. More than anything he executed pitches very well tonight. I cant tell you how pleased I was with his execution and his command of the strike zone." Four of Walkers seven career starts have come against the Astros and each of his wins have been in Houston. "Its kind of like my home park, I guess," he said with a laugh. "Home-field advantage." The game was tied at 1 before things fell apart for the Astros in the fourth inning. Logan Morrison reached on an error by Jonathan Villar and an error by Chris Carter allowed Michael Saunders to reach with no outs. Zuninos homer, which bounced off the wall in left-centre, came next to make it 4-1. Brad Peacock (4-9) walked two batterss with one out before Robinson Cano chased him with a single for his 900th career RBI.dddddddddddd "Those were two routine groundballs, and they turned into a three-run homer," interim manager Tom Lawless said of the errors. "You make those plays, and theres nobody on and two outs. Thats the importance of playing defence." Peacock was replaced by Jake Buchanan, who was greeted with Seagers three-run homer which landed in the bullpen in right-centre and pushed the lead to 8-1. Major league hits leader Jose Altuve bounced back from Thursdays 0 for 6 night with three hits to give him 216, which are the most by a second basemen since Rod Carew had 218 in 1974. Its his 24th three-hit game this season, which sets a franchise record, and he tied Magglio Ordonez for most hits by a Venezuelan player in major league history. "I was 0 for 6 last night and I knew I wasnt going to go 0 for 6 again," Altuve said. "I tried to go up there, swing the bat. I saw like three pitches, three or four. I was ready to swing." Peacock allowed six hits and seven runs -- two earned -- with four walks in 3 1-3 innings in a game where seven of Seattles 10 runs were unearned. Ackley tied it at 1 with a home run in the third inning. His second homer was off Darin Downs and pushed the lead to 9-3 in the eighth. TRAINERS ROOM Mariners: Elias had an MRI in Seattle on Friday after feeling stiffness in his elbow. Manager Lloyd McClendon said that they wont know the results of the MRI until Monday. Astros: Downs left Friday nights game after the homer to Ackley with discomfort in his right oblique. UP NEXT Houstons Dallas Keuchel opposes Chris Young when the series continues on Saturday. Keuchel is first in the American League with five complete games. Young has tied his career-high in wins with 12 this season and is 1-0 with a 3.21 ERA in two starts against Houston this season. ' ' '
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