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Old 01-22-2011, 09:45 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Daily Raptor Dish - 22.01.11 (NSFW)

Remembering Kobe's 81 against Raptors

It is five years ago today that Kobe Bryant made headlines at the expense of the Toronto Raptors.
Jay Triano was an assistant and Jose Calderon was a rookie when Bryant got locked in like no one before or since other than that Wilt Chamberlain fellow who had 100 way back in 1962.
Bryant’s 81 points that night are the stuff legends are made of.
What people looking back on that night though forget, and something Triano pointed out, is the Raptors had a 16-point lead as late as the second half in that game.
And what Joe Public doesn’t realize is that night the Raptors went into the game intent on giving Bryant single coverage and making sure no one else around him got on any kind of roll. Even if Kobe had gone off for 40, the thinking was, they limit the surrounding cast to very little and they still have a good shot to win the game.
“And it was working,” Triano said. “We were up. We just didn’t expect him to go off for 31 in the fourth quarter.”
Actually it was 28, but when you’re dealing with 81 in a game, it’s acceptable to be a little off.
Triano’s worst part of the night was an easy one.
“The fact that no one put him on his ass,” Triano said, “but at the same time he was too far away and in such a zone we never really got that close to him.”
Calderon wasn’t getting a lot of court time at that stage in his career, but he did get into the game late and was matched up against him.
“I just fouled him,” Calderon said. The way Calderon remembers it the only Raptor not get scored upon that night was Mike James.
Morris Peterson, Matt Bonner, Chris Bosh, Jalen Rose all took their Kobe lumps that night.

Raptors run over in Orlando

Four games into what every Raptor knew would be a trying road trip, the bottom fell out.
And not just a little bit, but all the way to rock bottom.
It was the type of night where three quarters of Dwight Howard was better than the combined production of the Raptors entire starting five.
Howard rested the final 12 minutes after putting up 31 points and 19 rebounds, nine of them at the offensive end.
The five Raptors’ starters combined to match him in the points department with 31 total but were two shy of his rebound total.
It was the type of night that saw the Raptors reach depths this franchise rarely has seen.
The 112-72 final and the 40-point spread is something that the Raptors have not experienced since losing to the Seattle SuperSonics on Jan 15, 1997.
In the Raptors inaugural season, they set a franchise worst mark losing to the New York Knicks by 46.
So it wasn’t the worst, but it certainly felt like it.
It was the type of night where even mild-mannered Julian Wright would blow off a little steam, the intended direction of his rant appeared to be Jerryd Bayless, but Wright played it down after the game as just heat of the moment stuff.
For head coach Jay Triano it was the kind of night that was almost predictable given the health of his team, the condensed schedule it has been playing and the extended minutes he has had to ask of those few healthy Raptors.
“I think we just wore down,” Triano. “Dwight was just too much for us on the boards. We couldn’t keep him off the glass offensively or defensively and then our strategy of trying to foul him backfires in the third quarter when he makes six of seven from the line.”

Turkoglu leaves the past in the past

Hedo Turkoglu politely declined the request through a team publicist.
Turkoglu didn’t see any point in re-hashing his forgetful (our words, not his) one season in Toronto with a couple of visiting media members.
Safe to say, the conversation likely would have gone something like this.
Q: Hedo, now that it’s working for you again here in Orlando, what was it about Toronto that made it impossible for you to play?
Hedo: Ball.
And that would have been it.
“I sometimes look in the mirror and wonder, did I not use him the right way but then I see him go to Phoenix and it was the same thing,” Triano said. “Maybe this (Orlando) is where he wanted to be all along. He just seems very comfortable here and very comfortable in the system here.”
Suffice to say Turkoglu in Orlando is better for all concerend.

Raptors' tipoff: Bring on the Heat

Toronto Raptors (13-29) at Miami Heat (30-13)
AmericanAirlines Areana, 7:30 p.m.
MARQUEE MATCHUP: We’ll go with DeMar DeRozan up against Dwyane Wade. DeRozan has been hot lately and got another confidence boost a couple of days ago when he was added to the slam dunk contest for the all-star game. DeRozan, with Bargnani struggling has been carrying the load offensively. In the past two games — not including Friday night — he is averaging 25.5 points a night and getting to the line with regularity. Wade, who has soldiered on while both LeBron James and Chris Bosh have missed games, is averaging 25.1 a night for the season to go with 6.5 rebounds and 4.2 assists.
The injuries to first LeBron and then Bosh, who is doubtful for Saturday’s tilt, have wreaked havoc with the Heat, who has now lost four in a row. It’s locating that chemistry all over again, although instead of finding it with LeBron and Bosh, Wade has had to find it with Joel Anthony and James Jones in the starting lineup. Don’t kid yourself though. The Heat still are a monster matchup but interestinginly it’s mostly about their defence. Even with offence to spare, the big numbers have bene opponent’s field goal percentage (.428), which is second in the league, opponents three-point field goal percentage (.321), which is also second in the league and the 93.7 points a game it gives up, which is fifth in the Association.
Canadian Joel Anthony, who lost his spot in the starting lineup to Zydrunas Ilgauskas is coming off a career best night in Atlanta where he pulled down a career high 16 boards and played a career high 43.2 minutes with Chris Bosh out ... The Heat has had some struggles this year, but against the Eastern Conference they own a 19-6 record ... Reserve guard Eddie House is the brother in law of Atlanta starting point guard Mike Bibby ... Mike Miller and Udonis Haslem were college roommates at the University of Florida

Raptors drop sixth straight in blowout loss to Magic

"(Saturday) is a pride game," said Linas Kleiza, the starting forward who finished with 4 points and 2 rebounds in 23 minutes. "After a loss like this, you've got to come out ... We'd better. We feel bad about this loss. Nobody here feels anywhere close to decent right now ... Everybody is messed up. So we'd better come out and lay everything we have and see what happens."
What happened on Friday night wasn't all bad. The Raptors only trailed 47-41 at the half. But the Magic outscored the Raptors 26-16 in the third quarter, wherein Howard outgunned the Raptors starters 17-10. Toronto would trail by 25 before the fourth quarter was three minutes old. And at that point, facing another tipoff in less than 22 hours, Triano shelved starters and essentially conceded defeat. Howard, for his part, didn't see any action in the final frame.
"I thought Dwight was dominant tonight," said Stan Van Gundy, the Magic coach. "They decided that they were going to play him one-on-one ... but, I mean, if they're going to give you layups at the basket, you're not really going to look for anything else ... When we did miss shots, (Howard) was basically uncontested on the glass."
It was enough to have some observers lamenting the prolonged absence of Reggie Evans, the injured Raptors forward who had 12 rebounds in Toronto's previous visit to Orlando this season, a long-ago November victory.
"With Reggie -- Reggie's going to use his fouls, and some of our guys were afraid to use the fouls early," said Triano. "Reggie's going to get a body on 'em and box 'em out. Our guys think they can go out and it's a macho game, that they can outwork 'em and outjump 'em, but you can't do that."
In a season devoted to the development of a young roster, Friday was no epic stepping stone. DeMar DeRozan, the second-year shooting guard, led the starters with 16 points, but he needed 16 field-goal attempts to get them. Andrea Bargnani, meanwhile, the 25-year-old centre, missed 11 of his 14 field-goal attempts, managed to pull down just four rebounds and finished with 11 points. It was the Italian's third straight stinker; he is shooting 13 of 51 from the field (25%) in the past three games.
"We are playing bad," Bargnani said. "After every game it seems like we played worse."
Certainly the schedule hasn't been helped; Saturday's game will be Toronto's sixth in nine days, and its fifth on the road. The schedule, like Toronto's 30 losses in 43 games, is but one sad fact in a slog of a season.
"We called the NBA and they won't let us cancel the game (on Saturday)," Triano said, "so we've got to f---in' play it."

Raptors Blog by Doug Smith

And the misses keep coming
Another terrible shooting night for Bargnani, who was 3-14 and is now 22-for-72 over his last four games.
He told us the other night in San Antonio that he’s not going to use any knee pain as an excuse but he just looks off out there. He never was the most fluid guy in the history of the game but he’s even more tentative this last week, it appears.
I don’t think it’s to the point where he needs to take some time off – trust me, if he thought it would help, he’d do it – but the simple fact is this team can’t beat anybody if he’s shooting like that and he needs to find a way out of this slump, or get his knees healthy, or something.

Magic rout struggling Raptors

Dwight Howard had 31 points and 19 rebounds, helping the Orlando Magic rout the reeling Toronto Raptors 112-72 on Friday night.
Ryan Anderson added 21 points for Orlando, which avenged a four-point home loss to the Raptors in November. Howard earned his 31st double-double of the season, J.J. Redick scored 12 points and Brandon Bass finished with 10.
DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors with 16 points. Andrea Bargnani scored all 11 of his points in the first half as Toronto picked up its sixth consecutive loss.
The Raptors were within four in the third quarter, but the Magic dominated the rest of the game. They led 73-57 after three and outscored the Raptors 39-15 in the fourth.

Howard leads Orlando to 112-72 win over Toronto

Howard had 31 points and 19 rebounds, helping the Magic rout the reeling Raptors 112-72 on Friday night.
"I try to do the best I can to get my teammates involved, so they try to get my involved," Howard said. "If I have it going on the inside, they continue to pound the ball inside."
Howard went 12 for 21 from the field and had nine offensive rebounds, almost as many as Toronto had as a team (14). He outrebounded the Raptors' starting five (19-18) and dunked almost at will, scoring off what seemed like an endless stream of lobs from the Magic guards.
"There wasn't a whole lot of balance tonight, the ball just kept going to Dwight," Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. "But, I mean, if they're going to give you layups at the basket, you're not really going to look for anything else."
Ryan Anderson added 21 points for Orlando, which avenged a four-point home loss to the Raptors in November. J.J. Redick scored 12 points and Brandon Bass finished with 10.
DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors with 16 points. Andrea Bargnani scored all 11 of his points in the first half as Toronto picked up its sixth consecutive loss.
Howard earned his 31st double-double of the season and has scored at least 30 points in three of Orlando's last five games.
"Sometimes it looks like he's playing against high school kids out there," Anderson said. "Actually, all the time it looks like he's playing against high school kids."
Gilbert Arenas said it another way: "Some of those young fellas over there looked like they were scared of him."
The Raptors were within four in the third quarter, but the Magic dominated the rest of the game. They led 73-57 after three and outscored the Raptors 39-15 in the fourth.
Toronto beat the Magic 110-106 in Orlando in November, with Bargnani using an assortment of inside and outside shots to confound the Magic front court. Bargnani had 27 points in that one, but wasn't nearly as effective in the rematch.
The Raptors opted not to double team Howard for most of the game and paid the price for it. He had 17 points in the third quarter, allowing him to rest during the final period. His one blemish was a 7-for-13 night at the free-throw line.
"He's good, we're not," Raptors coach Jay Triano said. "We're not a good rebounding team. It's a conscious effort to get it and we don't have a lot of guys that have a nose to go get the ball."

Preview: Toronto Raptors at Miami Heat, 7:30 p.m., Saturday

When/Where: 7:30 p.m., AmericanAirlines Arena
Tickets: Limited tickets are still available at Heat.com or 1-800-4NBA-TIX.
TV: ESPN. Radio: 790-AM, 760-AM, 1140-AM (Spanish)
Scouting report: The Heat have received a spark off the bench from guard Eddie House, who is averaging 13.3 points the last three games. … C Joel Anthony is coming off a career-high 16-rebound effort against Atlanta on Tuesday. …The Heat are 13-2 when LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh score at least 75 points. … Raptors G DeMar DeRozan is averaging 18.8 points in January, leading all second-year players. … Andrea Bargnani ranks sixth in the Eastern Conference with 21.5 points a game. For the Heat, Bosh (ankle) is doubtful and Udonis Haslem (foot) is out. For the Raptors, Linas Kleiza (knee) is day-to-day and Leandro Barbosa (hamstring), Reggie Evans (foot), Peja Stojakovic (knee) and Sonny Weems (back) are out.
Off the court: Fans wearing a HEAT jersey will receive a free collectible HEAT player album cover. This Saturday's album cover features guard Mario Chalmers.

Miami vs. Toronto

The Heat are 1-4 when playing without James, Bosh or Dwyane Wade and they likely will have a chance to improve that record Saturday with Bosh expected to sit out after missing practice Friday.
The losing streak doesn't have the team concerned, however.
"When you don't understand why you're losing, now you're in trouble," Wade said. "We understand why. This is about us correcting it. The biggest thing is for us to continue to get healthy and now knowing that we might have to play with different lineups is to try to learn how to play with these lineups and learn how to win with this different teams. That's what the good teams have done."
Wade scored 27 points in the loss to Atlanta and has done his best carrying the team while Bosh and James have tried to get healthy. He's averaging 28.2 points the last five games.
Coach Erik Spoelstra said he was going to look at possibly adjusting the lineup Saturday. Right now, Joel Anthony, Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Carlos Arroyo round out the starting five with Wade and James.
James said that the pieces in place just need time to adjust.
"One or two games isn't enough to get into a rhythm," James said. "Guys will step up. ... We're still learning. We're going to deal with some adversity and this is one of them."
Regardless of the lineup, Miami, which is 15-5 at home, has to feel confident about snapping its losing streak at home against Toronto (13-30), which has matched a season high with six straight losses, falling 112-72 at Orlando on Friday.
The Raptors lost 109-100 at Miami on Nov. 13. Wade had 31 points on 11-of-16 shooting, leading the Heat to their second straight win in the series and third in a row at home.
Toronto has lost five straight on the road and is concluding a five-game trip Saturday.
On Friday, it shot 35.4 percent and was outrebounded 60-44. The Raptors were within four in the third quarter, but the Magic surged to a 73-57 lead after three and outscored Toronto 39-15 in the final 12 minutes.
Andrea Bargnani had 11 points on 3-of-14 shooting, more than 10 below his season average. He has scored 36 points the last three games.
"We're playing bad," said Bargnani, who scored 22 points in the November loss to Miami. "After every game it seems like we played worse. We have to find a way to stop this and play better."
The Raptors haven't lost seven in a row since Feb. 27-March 13, 2009.

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