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Old 10-30-2008, 09:07 AM   #1 (permalink)
Dr. J. Naismith
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Default Today in Raptorland - 10/30/08

Bosh gets Raptors started on high note

"Jason Kapono's defence was good," said Mitchell. "It was a luxury for us to be able to keep him on the floor. He did his job. That's something he's worked on, his defence.

"He was guarding some quick guys. He ... was just keeping guys in front of him."
O'Neal silences the hecklers

"They were talking about how I didn’t have it anymore ... I wasn’t in the game ... I make X amount of money," said O’Neal, who will make about $21 million (U.S.) this season.

O’Neal didn’t ignore the blather. He turned around and faced the trash talk. "I said to ‘em, ‘Okay, hold on,’” O’Neal would tell it later. “I said, ‘I’ll be in the game in just a second.’”

Said O’Neal, smiling at his tęte-ŕ-tęte: “(After the dunk) I made the next shot and they were like, ‘Okay. That’s enough.’ They didn’t bother me any more.”

Raps crash the party

"I told them that we can't get into our offence if we can't get the ball," said O'Neal, who finished with 17 points. "There has never been a possession in the history of the game to score without the basketball. We were running out. It was like me and four white (Sixers) jerseys at one time. As athletic as we are and as big as we are at certain positions, we should be able to get the ball. Philly sends everyone to the basket, so you have to send everyone and that's what I told those guys and they corrected it."
Little love for Sixers

The Sixers were doing their best to direct some of the celebratory atmosphere surrounding the Phillies their way.

Fans holding tickets to the conclusion of last night's suspended Game 5 of the World Seriers were being offered half-price tickets to the Sixers opener, which started about 21/2 hours before the Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays were set to square off in the resumption of their game.

And it wasn't like the fans had to go out of their way to take advantage of the offer. Citizens Bank Ballpark is just a couple of parking lots away from the 76ers home venue, the Wachovia Center.

Still the arena was anything but crowded last night, although there were plenty of Phillies jerseys in the stands.

Raptors use mix of old and new to take opener

But perhaps an even more important boost came from Roko Ukic who earned his first NBA minutes to start the second quarter while the Raptors — after a sluggish first quarter — were trailing 21-18.

The 76ers, possibly the fastest team in the NBA, greeted the 23-year-old Croatian with a dose of full-court pressure.

Rather than wilt, he handled it flawlessly, to the point that the Raptors seemed to thrive under his care, going on a 26-15 run that helped send them into the half up by six.

Raptors get off to good start in Philly

And both played a major role in a strong defensive effort. Philadelphia shot just 35% from the floor. Andre Miller, Andre Iguodala and Elton Brand, the 76ers' version of a triple threat, went 16-for-47.

The Raptors showed a flash of toughness that has not been their calling card, even during their two straight playoff appearances.

"We really banged bodies," O'Neal said. "You try to lead by example, like giving hard fouls and trying to punish guys. This team has not been a very emotional team and you saw a lot of emotion out there. And that's one thing you want, especially with myself. I'm a very emotional player. I want to make sure that I rub off on the team in that manner."
Dalembert still can't explain departure from Team Canada

"When Basketball Canada wanted to fly me in, I knew their budget was limited so I told them to put me in coach," he said. "A prima donna doesn't do that. I took the team out to dinner at my expense as well. I was so excited to play for my country and I really liked the group of guys."

In terms of deviating from team protocol, Dalembert admits he required his own food to stick to his diet, but says he paid for it. He admits to upgrading to a larger room in Europe while with the team, but says it was to accommodate his girlfriend and that he paid for the room himself.

Sixers fall to Raptors in opener

"Everyone was saying after the game, in all the side conversations I had with the guys, that they weren't in their rhythm," said guard Lou Williams, who finished with a team-high 16 points. "When we can get those guys - guys like Andre [Iguodala] - back in their rhythm, we'll still be the team to beat."

Sixers drop debut

"It's the start of a new season and we certainly didn't want to start it that way," Sixers coach Maurice Cheeks said. "For some reason, when Chris Bosh comes into this building he always seems to have a really nice game."
Sunshine Girl - 10/30/08

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