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Old 01-05-2009, 09:13 AM   #1 (permalink)
Dr. J. Naismith
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Default Dino Nation: Raptors Doing More With Less?

Well said James ... I too was pleasantly surprised from this weekend's outcome.

Originally Posted by Dino Nation Blog
For weeks now we had been hearing about how this team was getting close. After every lose you would hear players and head coach Jay Triano talking about it. There would be a lot of talk about how few practices this team had under Triano. It honestly sounded like a party line to explain the failure. Jay Triano a couple games ago would call a time out and the team came out and did not follow his advice. He quickly called another time out and gave his team a quick and firm message after which he walked away. Chris Bosh would follow that up with his own form of verbal abuse. The Raptors seem to have got the message. One of my points had been I did not see any emotion from anyone and that this team seemed to accepting and to easy to find excuses. Well in the last two games when this team had some really legit excuses in that they had no Jermaine O'Neal or Jose Calderon they would play well with no excuses required. O'Neal and Calderon may not even go on this mini two game road trip to Milwaukee and Washington. But after wins over Houston and Orlando maybe it will not matter as much as we would have thought a few days ago.

I seriously would have bet my house the Raptors would have gone 0-3 for this homestand and sit at 12-22. But instead they have a couple unexpected wins and sit 14-20 and have moved out last place to 3rd in the Atlantic Division. The Raptors have done it by playing with a lot more effort and energy on both ends of the floor. Triano has got this team running more on offense and playing harder on defense. The win over Houston did not impress me personally as I chalked it up to Houston looking bad as much as the Raptors looking good. The win over Orlando I walked away stunned and impressed. The Magic came into Toronto on a serious roll and had won 9 of their last 10 games. I have been very impressed with them this season and think they have been over looked in favour of the Celtics and Cavs. Once is an accident and twice is a trend. So if the Raptors can follow up with a win tonight over the improving Bucks we may just have something. Until the year 2009 came around the Raptors lacked a quality win on their resume. These type of wins get a lot of talk in college basketball. When teams are trying to get into the NCAA tournament on of the things people look at is quality wins and toughness of schedule. The Raptors had the tough schedule but no quality wins to speak of. Now to start 2009 they have back to back quality wins. When all hope was starting to fade in this fan base the Raptors have given life to the flame of hope in Raptorland.
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