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Old 12-12-2009, 10:43 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Daily Raptor Dish - 12.12.09

Triano still has faith in Turkoglu

He leads the team in three pointers made and attempted. He’s averaging just shy of 14 points and four assists a night.
Decent numbers by most accounts but not so much when you arrive with the reputation, recent successes, and heightened expectations.
In short, Hedo Turkoglu hasn’t been the Turkoglu that Raptors fans had hoped for or expected.
Head coach Jay Triano believes he has a pretty good feel for his nine-year veteran and what makes him tick but like everyone else still is waiting to see the complete package.
“He’s a guy who wants the basketball in the pressure situations,” Triano said. “He wants to contribute. But yeah, he’s probably a guy who has to be challenged. Hopefully, we are starting to do that more and putting him in the situations where we’re relying on him at critical points in the game.”
To date, Triano feels the team has got the ball in his hands when they needed to, but admits there is room for improvement.
“I’d probably like to see him have it a little bit more, but again, did he have it at the end of the game in Phoenix? Yes,” Triano said. “Did he have it at the end of regulation in Washington?
Yes. In overtime (in the same game)? Yes.”
Turkoglu delivered in the overtime in Washington but came up short both at the end of regulation in that game and at the end of the Phoenix game.
Triano though remains convinced that the Raptors’ best chance in those situations involve putting the ball in Turkoglu’s hands.

Weak effort leads to another loss for Raps

The Raptors faced a couple foes of the avian variety Friday night, the Atlanta Hawks and, by late in the second quarter, the Air Canada Centre boo birds.
But, hey, the latter tend to come out when you allow the visiting team to shoot 52% from the field and score 89 points by the end of the third quarter.
In the end, the Hawks spanked Toronto 111-89, for the Raptors’ second loss in a row.
The defeat wasn’t quite as embarrassing as the 146-115 debacle Toronto suffered in Atlanta on Dec. 2, but it certainly was up there as one of the weaker efforts of the season, particularly on the defensive end of the floor.
The visiting Hawks out-hustling their hosts for much of the game, picking up 20 second-chance points to eight by Toronto. Power forward Chris Bosh chalked up to the loss to the fact that Atlanta is a better team than the Raptors, at least at this point in the season.
“It’s not disheartening. They beat us. Sometimes teams are better than you. They smoked us once. And they beat us again,” Bosh said. “But I believe this team is going to be good because I see the potential. We’re five games under .500. It could be worse. We could be 0-25. It’s not that bad. We still have a chance to improve and, at the end of the day, we’re going to be in a playoff race.
"The whole season isn’t going to be dictated off of two games


Toronto the city was getting some love from Atlanta centre Zaza Pachulia yesterday on his Twitter account. "Can we say that Toronto is mix of Euro countries? I see all kind of people here. Actually it feels good. Toronto has a STYLE. Love it."
Pachulia is from the Eastern European nation of Georgia.

Calderon's hip worse than thought

Just when you thought a loss couldn't get any uglier comes news that Jose Calderon's hip injury now appears the sort that will keep him out of the lineup for the long term.
How long won't be known until today. Calderon aggravated the injury last night and underwent diagnostic testing after the game to get a better gauge of the severity.
The fifth-year point guard went through the club's shootaround yesterday without problems and while he didn't take his regular spot in the starting lineup, did play in last night's game.
Calderon came in for Jarrett Jack with three minutes left in the first quarter and then left with 71/2 minutes remaining in the second quarter. He did not play any more and to hear head coach Jay Triano tell it, it might be a while before he plays again.
Triano was asked if he thought it would be a long-term injury. " I don't know because I haven't talked to anyone yet, but I would speculate yes," Triano said.

Timid Raptors lack any fight

When it goes bad, it goes bad in a hurry for the Raptors, who get down and tend to cower, unable or unwilling to fight through even the tiniest bit of adversity most nights.
Whether it's a flaw of the collective character of the players, an ill-conceived playing rotation or, most likely, a combination of both, it needs to be fixed and fixed fast before the NBA season gets entirely away from them.
It was evident again Friday night at the Air Canada Centre as the Raptors hung with the more-powerful Atlanta Hawks for a quarter before caving in the second and eventually dropping a 111-89 decision in front of a disgruntled crowd of 17,032 that booed the home team off the court.

Raptors Blog by Doug Smith

I don’t know if you remember this play, but it’s sort of telling in a “they don’t listen” kind of way.
Sonny Weems finishes a break with a dunk, a pretty impressive runout on a night when they had so few, and he’s got a couple of teammates near the basket with him and, I think, maybe two Hawks.
A perfect time to apply some pressure in the backcourt, to stay up, maybe force the Hawks into a turnover and keep the momentum.
The coaches thought so, too.
Jay’s up off the bench, Marc’s up off the bench, Reggie Evans is up off the bench screaming “stay up, stay up, stay up” while waving their hands indicating they would like the Raptors to, you know, STAY UP!
What happens? All the guys in the front court retreat, the Hawks walked the ball up the floor and take the air out of the moment.
Not a big thing but something.

Raptors lay another egg


“They’re a tough team for us to guard because we have a hard time keeping them in front of us,” said Raptors head coach Jay Triano. “They’re very good one-on-one players.”
Toronto didn’t give up 146 points as they did in Atlanta just over a week ago, but after jumping out to a peppy 18-10 lead through the first eight minutes they were outscored by 30 points the remaining 40 minutes of the game.
The versatile Hawks lineup shot a cozy 22-of-37 from the floor during the second and third quarters, including 5-of-8 from the three-point line, with a good share of their offence involving Joe Johnson or one of his teammates dribbling into the middle of the defences and either scoring in the paint of pitching out for an open three-pointer. When they missed, they regular chased down the rebound and were rewarded by scoring 20 second-chance points to eight by the Raptors. The closest Toronto got in the fourth quarter was 16 points.
Toronto shot 48.6 per cent from the floor, but just two-of-10 from behind the three-point line.
“It’s a little bit deflating because you work hard, force them to miss shots and they scramble to get the ball back, throw it out and a guy knocks down a three,” Triano said.

Hawks make the most of Raptors' flaws

The Atlanta Hawks and Toronto Raptors are studies in contrast.
On two separate occasions last night, Atlanta's off-the-charts athletic forward Josh Smith got up above the rim to block the shot of Toronto's seven-footer Andrea Bargnani, who was so aware of Smith's presence that he was basically just trying to get the ball to the glass as quickly as possible.
Meanwhile, the Raptors have players such as Bargnani and Hedo Turkoglu, big, versatile but not necessarily leapers. They make uber-athletic players such as Smith and Marvin Williams look more than human.
So, a second-straight blowout loss to the Hawks, a 111-89 defeat last night, should not come as a surprise. That does not make it any more palatable, though. Atlanta's athleticism makes it looks as though the Raptors are lacking in the effort department. Only the players can truly answer if that perception was in line with reality.
"Our effort was there at the beginning but it slowly [began] to lack as the game went on," swingman DeMar DeRozan said.


Johnson leads way as Hawks beat Raptors

Atlanta finished 9 for 17 from 3-point range while Toronto made just two of 10. The Raptors are shooting 43 for 148 (29 percent) from behind the arc in their past eight games.
Toronto had as many turnovers (17) as assists.

Sunshine Girl - 12.12.09

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