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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Living in a van down by the river
Daily Raptor Dish - 02.01.10
Time to get Jacked up
DeMar eyeing dunk contest?
The Boston Celtics might have only one of their big three healthy, but that means nothing to Jarrett Jack.
Regardless of who suits up for the host Celtics Saturday, the Raptors point guard feels it's high time he and his teammates made a statement of their own in a game where the Celtics provide the opposition.
And if Jack is feeling that way just three months into his Raptors tenure, imagine how Chris Bosh and a handful of others who have been Raptors for the past few years must be feeling.
Toronto has exactly one win in the past nine regular-season contests dating back to the 2007-2008 season. That win came in Boston on Jan, 23, 2008 when Jose Calderon, in overtime, drove the lane and after faking a pass to Bosh finished with a driving layup to put Toronto ahead for good.
Throw in pre-season games, and the Raps are 1-for-12 over the past three seasons, including two losses prior to the start of the current campaign.
Worse still, the Celtics, at least in Jack's opinion, appear to enjoy rubbing the Raptors' faces in it and that, Jack says, isn't going to stop until the Raptors make it stop.
"They have been a team that we haven't been competitive with at all and I'm talking about going back to pre-season," Jack said. "And they're a team that have been very mouthy saying we don't have post players and stuff like that. Those guys are the beasts of the East. We have to step up and make them respect us."
The fact that both Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett aren't expected to play in tonight's game doesn't change the fact that the Raps have shown far too little fight for the better part of three years every time they have come up against this team.
"I'm not saying we have to go out there and say they're nothing, but we do have to go out there and step up to the challenge," Jack said. "The last few times we played them we haven't done that. We backed down and allowed them to hit us in the mouth first and we've backed down after that. Going into this, I don't care who's playing. I don't care if (Celtics GM) Danny Ainge is playing. We got to go out there and play and meet them with the same physical mentality that they bring."
Weary Celtics could be prime pickings for Raps
DeMar DeRozan is getting a little outside push to get a spot in the NBA all-star slam dunk contest.
The high-flying Raptors rookie, while making it clear he would love to have the opportunity to take part in the highlight event of the all-star weekend festivities in Dallas this year, has been given no indication he will even be considered for such a spot when the league finally gets around to putting the field together.
But some old friends at Ballislife.com in conjunction with Team Flight All-Stars (TFA), have started an Internet campaign to get DeRozan one of those spots.
You can take part by going to LetDemarDunk.com: DeMar DeRozan.
Raptors Blog by Doug Smith
When the conversation gets around to the relative fortunes of the Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors, the storylines are clear.
Celtics? Very good.
Raptors? Not so much.
But when the teams kick off their 2010 calendar year here Saturday night, the roles are decidedly reversed.
Boston limped home Wednesday after losing all three games of a western road trip, decimated by injuries and trying to figure out a way to survive.
The Raptors spent New Year's Eve and New Year's Day rejoicing in a string of unprecedented successes – five straight victories that have them at 16-17 and within one game of .500, a plateau they haven't seen since they were 5-5 after a Nov. 15 loss in Phoenix.
Strange times, indeed.
Raptors ready to stand up to 'beasts of the east'
So I’m working up this piece on Chris Bosh for tomorrow’s newspaper hung on the hook that he’s about to become the franchise’s all-time leading scorer.
Lots of solid stuff, it could be a good read but here’s one snippet. I asked him about being the longest-serving “best” athlete of any Toronto sports team:
“It’s cool. It just happened with Halladay leaving and everything; I guess in the next couple of months it might start to show the difference. I think it’s cool.
“Some people are like, ‘you’re the most recognizable athlete in Canada’ and that’s pretty funny to me.
“It’s a good feeling, I never really thought it would come to all of this when I was rookie, I just wanted to do my part and be a good player.”
Stay tuned for more.
Since Garnett and Ray Allen arrived in Boston before the 2007-08 season, making the Celtics one of the league's elite teams, the Raptors are just 1-8 against Boston in the regular season. Jack is right: even pre-season games gained an extra significance against Boston, if only because Garnett has turned Boston into a team that does not have an off switch for its intensity. And during that stretch, the Celtics are 3-0 against Toronto in meaningless October games.
The most embarrassing blow, however, came late in November in Boston. After going shot for shot with the Celtics for most of the first half, the Raptors eventually lost touch, losing by 13 points. That game featured Pierce dunking over Bosh, and then glaring at the temporarily injured Raptors forward. No Raptor said a word to Pierce. It sparked a debate as to whether the team had enough toughness.
"I'm not saying we've got to go out there and say, ‘They ain't nothing,' or anything like that. But we've got to go out there and step up to the challenge," Jack said. "I think in the last couple games we haven't done that. We've backed down. We've allowed them to hit us in the mouth first."
Giddens has been waiting to play
Celtics forced to shake it up
A first-round selection of the defending NBA champs, Giddens learned a quick lesson in humility by joining a locker room brimming with talent.
"Being a first-round draft pick and then not getting a chance to play, it's very humbling,"said Giddens. "I know I'm so fortunate and I feel so blessed to get it, this has made me appreciate ball a lot more and playing."
Giddens planned to return to the Celtics' practice facility in Waltham on Friday night to get in some extra shots and an additional run. Given his excitement, Giddens wasn't sure he'd be able to sleep Friday.
After all, there's no guarantee that this spaceship will come back after Saturday's game.
"It's a dream come true," said Giddens. "I've been working hard -- working and working -- I have to go out and get it done now. Me getting this chance, it's probably the biggest chance in my NBA career. I don't even know to describe it in words."
Giddens might also be playing for his future. Earlier this season, the Celtics declined a team option on the third year of his rookie contract, which will make him an unrestricted free agent following the season.
There's always a chance he could return to Boston, but Saturday night could go a long way towards proving why the Celtics need to keep him around.
The Celtics’ first unit concluded yesterday’s practice with Tony Allen at point guard and J.R. Giddens at forward. Coach Doc Rivers would not confirm a starting lineup for tonight’s game against Toronto, but with Kevin Garnett (hyperextended knee), Paul Pierce (knee infection), and Rajon Rondo (hamstring strain) out, the Celtics could be using some unprecedented combinations.
"We went over every single set, with all kinds of crazy, different lineups,’’ Rivers said, “because we may have to have those [tonight] and we are going to need some semblance of offense.’’
Rondo appears to have a good chance of returning either in a limited role tonight or when the Celtics visit Miami Wednesday. Pierce will likely be back during the three-game road trip (Miami, then Atlanta Friday and Toronto Jan. 10). Garnett is out indefinitely, “but it’s not a long indefinite,’’ according to Rivers. The Celtics are also missing Marquis Daniels (left wrist surgery) until February.
Rondo was injured in last Monday’s 103-99 loss at Golden State, but played in the 116-98 loss at Phoenix Wednesday.
“Unless something happens where he feels a lot better, I’m not going to play him,’’ Rivers said of Rondo. “He’s going to have to tell me he can really go.
RF Girl of the Day - 02.01.2009