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Join Date: Dec 2007
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Daily Raptor Dish - 03.02.11
Raptors lose 13th in a row
Raptors' Davis could get all-star call
History appears to be in the making.
The Raptors hung around but ultimately dropped a 100-87 decision to the Hawks on Wednesday night, extending their losing streak to 13 games.
Twice before — most recently back in 2002 — the club has dropped 13 straight, four short of the club record set in late 1997.
The Raptors coming off a franchise-worst two-win January, looked dramatically improved compared to recent contests — particularly on offence — but could not pull out a win against a steady Atlanta squad.
One of the most unselfish teams in the league moved the ball effortlessly with 30 assists on 42 makes, leading to an endless parade of open shots.
Joe Johnson, one of the NBA’s finest performers in January, showed February is to his liking as well, finishing with a season-best 37 points while Josh Smith added 18.
“Joe had it going and we didn’t really have a match for him. He picked us apart,” said Raptors head coach Jay Triano.
Amir Johnson led the Raptors with 20 points and 14 rebounds as each starter scored in double figures.
“Offensively we were a little bit better than the other night, but I don’t know if we could have been worse,” Triano said.
Raptors lose 13th straight, 100-87 in Atlanta
The NBA will name its all-star reserves on Thursday night and it will be interesting to see if Clippers rookie Blake Griffin makes the cut.
If he does, it might have an impact in Toronto.
Griffin is angling to become the first rookie since Yao Ming (voted in due to his immense popularity in his native China) to make it as a freshman.
Raptors coach Jay Triano said Wednesday he thinks Griffin should go.
But if he does, will he still play in the rookie-sophomore game? LeBron James made the all-star team as a sophomore and still suited up in the lesser contest, the only player who has ever done so.
But the Clippers might not want Griffin — who missed his true rookie season last year due to injury — to play twice as well as compete in the slam dunk contest and that could open the door for Raptors rookie Ed Davis — presumably the best big man left off the initial rookie roster.
Raptors Blog by Doug Smith
It’d be easy for the Raptors to wallow in self-pity, to blame snow and ice and a disruption in the workaday life of an NBA player.
It would be easy for them to point to injuries and youth and the inexplicable tendency to make precisely the wrong play at exactly the wrong time.
But there’s no room for any of that — not much, at least — and they won’t get much sympathy from their fans or their opponents.
The NBA is a man’s league; you just have to suck it up and find a way to be better.
So as they come home, having lost their 13th straight game, this one 100-87 to the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday, there can be no signs of feeling sorry for themselves.
“You hang your head but if you want to do it, do it right now because we have to turn around and practice (Thursday) and we have to play on Friday,” said coach Jay Triano after the Raptors tied the second-longest losing streak in franchise history.
“Nobody’s feeling sorry for themselves, everyone’s pissed off that we’re losing. We have to try to get a win under our belts.”
Raptors drop 13th straight
You don’t think they were glad to put January behind hem?
The HOTH went 2-15 in that month, and it was the worst month in the history of the franchise for wins.
A dubious achievement, of course, but it does get them in the record book.
And here’s one thing to think of: There was no one reason for the disaster.
Some nights it was offence, some nights it was defence, some nights it was a combination of both, which is going to be no easy fix.
Bring on February and March and April.
Raptors keep losing streak alive in Atlanta
Joe Johnson scored a season-high 37 points, Josh Smith had 18 points and 11 rebounds, and the Atlanta Hawks beat Toronto 100-87 Wednesday night for the Raptors' 13th straight loss.
The Hawks have won two of three and five of eight.
Toronto's losing streak is the team's longest since it dropped 13 in a row from Feb. 12-March 7, 2002.
Amir Johnson scored 20 points and DeMar DeRozan added 16 for Toronto, which dropped to 5-22 on the road.
The Raptors didn't arrive in Atlanta until Wednesday morning because of a Midwest snowstorm that kept them stuck in Indianapolis since Monday and forced them to check into the same hotel three times.
At one point, the team's charter flight sat on the runway for five hours before returning to the gate.
Joe Johnson scores 37 points to lead Hawks past Raptors
The Raptors put in something of an improved effort, refusing to let Atlanta simply run away with the game until late. In the end, though, the Raptors suffered yet another loss, falling 100-87 to the Hawks at Philips Arena. That is the Raptors’ 13th straight loss. The franchise record of 17 consecutive losses, set back in the 1996-97 season, is lurking in the distance.
The Raptors hung around for the majority of the evening, taking the lead once in the third quarter, but they managed just 18 points in the fourth quarter. Ultimately, the Raptors were done in by their own defence once more. Aside from one stretch in the third quarter, the Hawks found their offence at will. Hawks guard Joe Johnson scored a pretty easy 37 points.
A big reason for the Raptors’ seemingly never-ending slump is the recent play of their stars. DeMar DeRozan shot just 25% from the field in the Raptors’ previous three losses. Andrea Bargnani has been worse for longer, shooting just 34% from the floor over the previous nine losses. The disappearance of his offence has only served to accentuate his defensive and rebounding flaws.
There appeared to be slightly more resistance from Bargnani this time around. In the second quarter, he worked hard to get position inside the paint, eventually hitting a turnaround jumper over Josh Smith. The next time he touched the ball, he backed down the athletic Smith and earned two shots at the free-throw line. As he has slumped, for the most part, Bargnani has spent most of his time on the offensive perimeter.
After Smith blocked another interior attempt, Bargnani returned the favour by finishing a delicate layup off of a pick-and-roll situation, dancing around Smith for the basket. Still, the end result was a four-for-12 shooting night. DeRozan added 16 points, while Amir Johnson had 20 points and 13 rebounds.
Sonny Weems also showed up. Weems, put into the starting lineup three games ago, has been very inconsistent since coming back last week from a serious back injury that sidelined him for almost six weeks. However, he showed some pop in Atlanta. He finished with authority on a well executed Raptors fast break in the first quarter and scored eight of his 12 points in the opening half.
Remember when everyone wondered what was wrong with Joe Johnson.
Now, after yet another strong scoring game for Johnson, the question has become: How can the Hawks' star guard be stopped?
Don't ask the Raptors, who are among the NBA's worst defensive teams. Johnson scored a season-high 37 points as the Hawks won 100-87 at Philips Arena to complete a season sweep of Toronto, which lost its 13th consecutive game.
"He is playing with a sense of confidence I've seen him play with since he's been here," Hawks forward Josh Smith said. "It's fun to watch. He's healthy now. He's definitely our offensive leader, and he's showing it."
Johnson missed only six of 21 field-goal attempts. In the final period he made five of six shots and scored 14 points to help put away the Raptors.