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Old 01-29-2008, 09:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
Dr. J. Naismith
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Post Today in Raptorland - 1/29/08

Shot change paying off for Bosh success

"A lot of repetition, a lot of practice,'' Bosh said yesterday. "(The change in mechanics) isn't really that big a deal, but just enough to affect the shot a little bit.

"And now it's going in."
Raps' sked gets strange

As odd as the back-to-back appears, even odder will be the calibre of foes that await the Raptors in February.

Toronto's 12-game dance card for the month features only three teams currently above the .500 mark.

Raptors hoping to cast a spell on Wizards

"You don't want to get into that type of game when CB is going to force people to double-team him," said Mitchell. "Chris has been a tough matchup for Jamison and if you put Jamison on him, how quickly do you come (double-team) Chris? What if Jamison screws around and gets a couple of fouls early or if Haywood gets a couple of fouls early, now who do you go to?

"You don't want to get into an up and down game like that, because my advantage is Chris and Chris, to his credit, has been pretty good getting the ball out of double-teams."
Campaign trail holds no appeal for Sam

While some coaches would rather have all their players on vacation all-star weekend to rest up for the grind of the final post-season push, there are those who actively campaign to have someone chosen.

Denver's Karl, for instance, told reporters last week about Camby that "it will be interesting to see a coach who doesn't pick him ... I'll make some phone calls."

Scott, meanwhile, said he'd make some calls about Paul, who is bidding to be an all-star in front of the hometown fans.

Raptors ready to bear down

If you look at trends, you'd have to think the Raptors might just get it, too. The Raptors went 3-1 against Washington last season, with much of the credit going to Bosh, who averaged 30 points on 60.3-per-cent shooting against the Wizards.

Bosh's new shot finally starting to fall

And the strange thing is that it was barely a change at all. Bosh shifted his left hand slightly to the right, and loosened his left wrist, just enough. It was not as if Bosh had decided, after a lifetime of left-handed jump shots, to start jacking them up with his right. But still, despite shooting every day, it took Bosh a year and a half to feel fully comfortable with minor changes.

Wizards Cash In on Some 'Free' Advice

Hopla, who worked for the Raptors last season as a consultant, breaks down a basketball shot the same way baseball hitting coaches break down a player's swing.

He pays attention to technical matters, like how a player gets his legs into a shot, foot placement, elbow position, release point and follow through. But regardless of an individual player's shooting style, he believes that documenting success and failure is one of the keys to developing a consistent shot.

Hopla keeps a color-coded chart on each player's shooting patterns by quarter. When reviewing tape of a given game, Hopla sees a player miss a shot and jots down something like: DLH (dropped left hand), BS (bad shot) or TQ (too quick).

The good, the bad and the ugly

Raptors will challenge the Wizards’ perimeter defense. They are the most accurate team in the NBA in 3-point shooting (41.8 percent).

“They spread you out. They have five guys who can shoot threes,” said guard Roger Mason. “With us, our big thing [on defense] is being in the paint. So we’ll have to adjust.”

Mail Bag

It seems Vince Carter is wearing out his welcome in New Jersey. Trade rumours and questions about his character are front and centre. It seems Carter is starting to wilt under the pressure. A couple of 10-point games and a string of losses have put him under the gun. The Nets are eight games below .500 and sinking fast. Trade rumours have Carter being shipped to the Knicks or Pacers -- it would look good on the whiner. He left the Raptors because he wasn't happy with management. He didn't even want to dunk any more. His work ethic in New jersey appears to be in decline along with his PPG. His three-year shelf life is over and we are seeing the real Vince Carter, a defensively challenged crybaby.

Who is the Raptors' true MVP?

Looking back at Berri's formula, it becomes clear why Calderon is valued so highly. Maintaining possession of the ball is a key component of Wins Produced. Calderon's low turnover rate is well known, but what haven't gotten as much attention have been the Spaniard's incredible shooting percentages. Calderon is hitting 50.7 percent from the field, 43.4 percent from behind the arc and 91.2 percent from the free throw line. Steve Nash is the only other player in the league shooting better than 50% from the floor, 90% from the line and 40% from 3.

Not only is Calderon effectively getting his teammates the ball, but he's also doing it at an incredibly efficient level. A highly efficient player, particularly a point guard, can limit the number of possessions and scoring opportunities the other team gets. In other words, the Raptors' best defense might just be Calderon's offense.
Sunshine Girl - 1/29/08

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