The clock was quickly ticking toward midnight on June 30 and NBA free agency was about to begin.Bismack Biyombo was about to get swamped with offers after his stellar playoff run. What team in the league does not need a rim-protecting center?But Biyombo was still on the phone talking with his Toronto Raptors teammates. The group he became so close with during his only season in Toronto that took the franchise to its first Eastern Conference Finals.There was little reason for Biyombo to leave.Except he wanted more. And when the Orlando Magic came calling at midnight on July 1, offering a four-year, $70-million contract, Biyombo wanted to take the chance.Leaving his former teammates was tough, but Biyombo said he wanted to be part of a rebuilding process and help a team grow from the ground up, rather than joining it midstream as he had with the Raptors.This was his opportunity, not only to cash in as a free agent, but to be part of the change in a franchises culture.In the end, it was tough, Biyombo said. At some level, I think what we did in Toronto was special, but I wanted to go back through the process and do it again. ... When I had the opportunity to come (to Orlando), it was to go back and do it again. I believe there have been a lot of stories here. I want to be able to help to go back and make some more.Biyombo, who will face the Raptors for the first time at Amway Center in Orlando, helped the Magics defense improve. But that process has taken some time to develop and jell.The Magic are 12-16 and fighting to stay in the early playoff race.The Raptors are thriving and perhaps playing better for the experiences they shared last year.Toronto has firmly planted itself as the second-best team in the Eastern Conference, for now. A place they expected to be.Their replacement options for Biyombo as backup center -- Lucas Nogueira, Pacsal Siakam and rookie Jakob Poeltl -- have performed admirably.But none of them have provided the same defensive presence and timing Biyombo brings.Toronto struggled with its defense in a 125-121 home loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Friday. It has been a larger theme throughout the season for the Raptors despite their success.It doesnt take a rocket scientist to figure out where our problem is, Raptors coach Dwane Casey told Doug Smith of the Toronto Star. Weve got to have defense in the game. We can score. Im not worried about us scoring.Until we individually make a decision to guard your man ... were going to be an up-and-down team.The Raptors have won games this year with one of the best offenses in the league. But their defense is middle of the road. They give up 105.8 points per 100 possessions and average 4.4 blocked shots per game, 22nd in the league.The Magic have used Biyombo -- along with Serge Ibaka -- to rise to 5.6 blocked shots per game, sixth in the league. Their defense has played well with Biyombo as one of its anchors in the paint.For sure, both Biyombo and the Raptors will be happy to see each other before the game. Then it will be back to business at tip-off. Dallas Goedert Jersey . -- James Young couldnt wait to apply those tweaks to his jump shot, and the first one he made against UT Arlington told him it could be a good night. Wholesale Eagles Jerseys . 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ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Different coach, same start.When the Anaheim Ducks began last season under coach Bruce Boudreau, they lost their first four games and gained only one point from an overtime defeat before earning their first win. Under Randy Carlyle, who guided the Ducks to the 2007 Stanley Cup and replaced Boudreau in June, the squad achieved the same results after five games.Carlyle and the Ducks hope to reverse that trend Sunday night in the teams home opener against the Vancouver Canucks at the Honda Center.The Canucks began the season with four consecutive victories for the first time since 1992 before losing Saturday night to the Los Angeles Kings in a shootout, 4-3. Only the Canucks and the Montreal Canadiens have yet to lose in regulation this season.Its a lot of fun to play hockey right now, Vancouver goalie Jacob Markstrom said. Were really buying into what we say were going to do, and it gets results.Vancouver achieved its success without placing one player among the NHLs top 20 in goals, assists, points or plus-minus rating. Nor did the Canucks rely on goalie Ryan Miller for four of the first five games. Miller, the former Vezina Trophy winner who played in the past two Winter Olympics for the United States, missed the last four games with unspecified tightness in his core muscles.But Miller will make his second start of the season Sunday night. The 36-year-old began his 15th season Oct. 15 with 25 saves in win against the Calgary Flames.Anaheim, meanwhile, seeks to avoid the kind of phenomenon that occcurred after last years 1-3-1 start.dddddddddddd Following a 4-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild to end that four-game losing streak, the Ducks lost their next five and owned only two points after their first 10 games.Undisciplined play, disorganization on offense and the lack of forechecking defined Anaheims poor start this year. But the Ducks overcame all three problems in Thursday nights 3-2 victory against the Philadelphia Flyers. Despite taking eight penalties, Anaheim kept the Flyers from scoring on all but one of their seven power plays. Last year, the Ducks led the NHL by defusing 87.2 percent of opponents power plays.You got almost the same group in here thats killing penalties, guys that work hard and are hard on the puck, Anaheim winger Ryan Garbutt told the Orange County Register after scoring the winning goal Thrusday night. I think confidence carries over. I think our penalty kill is going to be a strength of ours for the season.Off the ice, the Ducks and defenseman Hampus Lindholm remain at an impasse in contract negotiations. Lindholm, a restricted free agent, seeks a contract between $5.5 and $5.8 million per season while Anaheim is offering between $5.1 and $5.4 million per year, report various sources.The Ducks have only $323,335 in room under the salary cap after signing forward Rickard Rakell, another restricted free agent, to a six-year contract extension Oct. 14. 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