landry fields forever
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Living in a van down by the river
Daily Raptor Dish - 02.01.11
Stars in suits
Weems just wants to get back
If the first Raptors practice of 2011 was any indication, there might be more talent sitting on the sidelines Sunday at the ACC than actually on the court.
Three-fifths of Toronto’s most common starting lineup — Andrea Bargnani (calf), Jose Calderon (foot) and Sonny Weems (back) — and reserve point guard Jerryd Bayless (ankle) missed practice entirely Saturday because of their injuries. Starting power forward Amir Johnson “didn’t do much” because of ongoing back woes, according to head coach Jay Triano.
Bargnani went through a vigorous workout on an elliptical machine, indicating a return to action might not be that far off, Weems pronounced that he is “getting close,” while Bayless said he was hurting a lot and indicated that suiting up against the Boston Celtics might be a stretch.
Calderon was unavail*able for comment, while Peja Stojakovic and Reggie Evans remain sidelined.
Meanwhile, the Celtics come in minus future Hall of Fame power forward Kevin Garnett — out up to two weeks with a calf strain — and possibly NBA assists leader Rajon Rondo, who continues to be listed as day-to-day because of a sprained ankle that has kept him out of seven straight games.
The team is also without starting centre Kendrick Perkins and sixth man Delonte West.
Injuries mount as Raptors prepare for Celtics
"I came in for shootaround, running around, jumping, doing my normal thing," Weems said of the morning of Dec. 17 as the Raptors were preparing to play the New jersey Nets. "I went home, laid down to take a nap before the game. Came back and it was done."
Weems hasn't played since and is still feeling pain in his pelvic area.
"It's painful," Weems said. "It's not tight now. It's moved down into my pelvis a little bit. It's not even really in my back anymore. I don't know what it is anymore."
Weems also knows he's sick of being a spectator. Even as he spoke about the pain he's in, Weems was lacing up his court shoes and getting ready to warm up a little bit, move around a little, but not too much.
"I hate it," Weems said of his spectator status. "You hate when you're sitting out there and watching everyone else play. You know you are supposed to be playing but it's something I have to deal with. I look at it like everything happens for a reason -- so I guess this is my test."
Weems says he hoping to be moving at full speed in a week.
Celtics look to end struggles vs. banged-up Raptors
Andrea Bargnani, who missed the holiday week trip to Memphis, Dallas and Houston, has been ruled out for the Celtics game, and Jerryd Bayless, who sprained his ankle in Dallas and lasted only eight minutes Friday night in Houston, is doubtful for the Celtics.
Sonny Weems will also miss the game and the long-term injured Raptors — Peja Stojakovic and Reggie Evans — are still not available.
“We go with what we’ve got, it gives other players an opportunity,” coach Jay Triano said as the injury toll mounted.
If there is good news, it looks like starting point guard Jose Calderon will be available, but team officials are still saying his availability will be determined at game time.
If there is one saving grace, it’s that the Raptors, who went 1-2 as they limped through the road trip, will be meeting a Boston team suffering through its own spate of injuries.
Toronto vs. Boston
Having lost nearly as many games this past week as they did the first two months of the season, the injuries appear to be starting to catch up with the Boston Celtics.
The Atlantic Division leaders are unlikely to receive any sympathy from the Toronto Raptors.
The Celtics, who again might be without star point guard Rajon Rondo, try to avoid losing three straight games for the first time this season Sunday night against a banged-up Raptors team that only had eight healthy players its last time out.
Rondo has missed Boston's last seven games after spraining his left ankle in New York on Dec. 15. The NBA leader with 13.8 assists per game went through a workout before Friday's game against New Orleans and was sitting on the bench during pregame warmups, but coach Doc Rivers said he wasn't ready yet.
The Celtics (24-7) were also without forward Kevin Garnett after he strained a right calf in Wednesday's disappointing 104-92 loss to Detroit, and ended up losing to the Hornets 83-81. Garnett is expected to be out two weeks, but Rondo's return could be imminent.
Despite injuries to two of the team's best players, Boston nearly beat New Orleans but Ray Allen's 3-point bid missed in the closing seconds.
A near victory means little to Rivers, who saw his team lose for the third time in four contests following a 14-game winning streak.
"I told the guys after the game that I'm not happy, we should have won the game," Rivers said.
"I heard guys saying somebody needs to step up. Nobody needs to step up. The guys just need to do what they can do."
Allen led Boston with 18 points Friday, but Paul Pierce didn't have one of his better games, finishing with 12 points and a season-high six turnovers.
"Regardless of the injuries, we've still got to show up and play," Pierce said. "There's no moral victories."
The Raptors (11-21) are fully aware of how difficult it is to win with injuries.
Toronto was without Andrea Bargnani (strained left calf), Peja Stojakovic (swollen left knee), Reggie Evans (broken foot) and Sonny Weems (back spasms) in Friday's 115-105 loss to Houston, and Jerryd Bayless played only eight minutes in the first half before re-aggravating a left ankle sprain.
Stojakovic, Evans, Weems and Bayless are likely to be out again, but Bargnani's status is uncertain for the Raptors, losers of 10 of 13. Bargnani, Toronto's leading scorer at 21.2 points, has missed three straight and five of the last seven games
DeMar DeRozan stepped up against the Rockets, finishing with a career-high 37 points on 12 of 21 shooting but the rest of the team shot 37.3 percent. Toronto's depleted bench was outscored 65-23.
"With only eight healthy bodies, we needed more guys to play better," coach Jay Triano said.
Injuries have been a season-long problem for the Raptors, who dressed only eight players when they faced the Celtics on Nov. 12, but still won 102-101. Amir Johnson made two free throws with 2.7 seconds left and Bargnani had 29 points for Toronto, which snapped an eight-game losing streak in the series.
Boston avenged that defeat five days later with a 110-101 home win over the Raptors, behind Garnett's 26 points and 11 rebounds.