Daily Raptor Dish - 05.01.12
Old 01-05-2012, 06:59 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Daily Raptor Dish - 05.01.12

Raptors crush Cavaliers

The coach singled out Bargnani for — of all things — his defence, particularly his ability to cover enough ground to make the defence effective.

He’s playing at an all-star level,” Casey said.

“I’ve been around some great players: Shawn Kemp, Gary Payton, Kevin Garnett, Dirk (Nowitzki), he’s playing at that level offensively and defensively.”

Bargnani has averaged 27.5 points per game over his past four games.

The Raptors were also buoyed by the play of DeRozan, who continues to emerge as a completely different player.

DeRozan hit two ridiculous three-pointers in the first half, including one in the final seconds from a few steps past halfcourt, to help the Raptors claim a seven point advantage heading into the break.

DeRozan has now nailed 10 three-pointers on the season after hitting only nine – total – over his first two NBA campaigns.

Raptors' Alabi headed to D-League

Solomon Alabi is heading back to the NBA Development League.

The 7-foot-1 centre was assigned to the Bakersfield Jam of the NBADL on Wednesday. He will still be included on Toronto's roster, but will be placed on the inactive list.

Alabi made three trips to the D-League last season, totalling 22 games, where he averaged 7.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.8 bloocks per game in 18.5 minutes.

Alabi has only managed to get off of the Raptors' bench once this season and played 12 games for the club last season.

Raps dominate Cavs from start to finish in 92-77 win

Yes, it’s only Cleveland.

But on Wednesday night, the Raptors provided new coach Dwane Casey with a tantalizing vision of what is possible here by putting in a comprehensive, season-best effort on both ends of the court.

On defence in particular, they were collectively monstrous.

Every time a Cleveland shooter squared up, he found a white-shirt or a hand extended from one up in his face. The Cavs shot just south of 30 per cent as a team, only three percentage points better than the worst shooting night by any Raptors opponent in team history.

“We did a decent job of closing out, tagging (cutting down open space),” Casey said afterward, in that blasť way he sometimes favours. “It was a solid defensive effort.”

This is Casey’s pattern — under praise the group; over praise the individual

DeRozan elevating his game with new-found confidence

A year ago, DeMar DeRozan would set himself to launch a three-pointer and the ball would be passed to him and the shot would fly and he’d have zero confidence it would go in.

That lack of confidence was a big reason why the Raptors swingman only attempted 52 three-pointers in 82 regular-season games and a huge factor in him making only five of them.

But an extended summer in the gym, and the discipline to stay there shooting until he’d made up to 500 in a session, have imbued DeRozan with a new-found sense of confidence.

And a shocking new proficiency in three-point shooting

Bargnani, DeRozan pour it on as Raptors down Cavs

Andrea Bargnani scored 31 points on 11-for-16 shooting and the Toronto Raptors won for the second game in a row, 92-77 over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday.

DeMar DeRozan added 25 points on 9-for-18 shooting for the Raptors while Jose Calderon had 11 assists to go with 13 points.

The Raptors took the lead late in the first quarter and held it the rest of the way for their second victory of the season over the Cavs.

Jose Calderon flirts with triple double in Raptors’ win over Cavaliers

Ever since Jose Calderon signed his five-year contract back in 2008, the Toronto Raptors have received diminishing returns.

In each of the three seasons that followed, Calderon has missed 14 of the season’s 82 games. And while the unnatural efficiency that defines him as a player has remained, parts of his game have been slowly eroding. He has gone from a passable defender to one that can offer only good intentions. He has gone from an elite shooter to an average one.

He was on a slow decline, at least until this season started. Calderon is off to a fantastic start, and he had another nice night in Wednesday’s 92-77 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Air Canada Centre.

Among other dips in productivity, Calderon shot just 44% from the field last year, his worst performance since his rookie year. Calderon’s fast start might be surprising fans and observers. Not everybody, though, was oblivious to the possibility that Calderon could rebound from an off season.

“I was at the [European Championships in Lithuania] this summer, and I came away with a different opinion of Jose at that time,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. “Any time you win a championship [with Spain] the way he has, that tells you something. He’s much better than people give him credit for, as far as his solid play, running the team, shooting the basketball. He’s one of our best three-point shooters. He and Andrea [Bargnani] have a thing going on with our pick-and-rolls. He has a sixth sense of where [Bargnani] is and where the open guy is on the pick-and-rolls.”

Punchless Cleveland Cavaliers drop road trip opener, 92-77, to Toronto

The Cavaliers (3-3) shot 29.6 percent from the field. The Raptors were dropping 3-pointers from the top of the CN Tower. Guard DeMar DeRozan matched his 3-point output from all of last season as he converted five of eight attempts and finished with 25 points. Power forward Andrea Bargnani was terrific from the field again, making 11 of 16 shots and contributing a game-high 31 points.

It was the second time in nine days the Raptors handled the Cavaliers -- they beat Cleveland, 104-96, at The Q -- in games that appeared eerily similar. The Cavs could not defend the high pick-and-roll and were repeatedly stung by Raptors' 3-pointers. Point guard Jose Calderon (13 points, 11 assists) again gave Irving fits.

Toronto Star Game Pictures

Sunshine Girl - 05.01.12

SUNshine Girl Rachel, 19, loves physical sports, like rugby. She also enjoys horror films and shopping, which can also be pretty physical. But this 5-foot-2 Virgo has a softer side. She wants to be an esthetician one day and has a kitten called Marshmallow

RF Girl of the Day

RF Man Candy of the Day

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Old 01-05-2012, 11:33 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Thanks Acie! Nice choice on the Rf Girl. Who is she?
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Old 01-05-2012, 11:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Ha. :cookie:
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Old 01-05-2012, 12:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Old 01-05-2012, 06:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ClingRap View Post
Thanks Acie! Nice choice on the Rf Girl. Who is she?
Sorry, I don't know.
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Old 01-05-2012, 10:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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It looks like Jose's about to light his fart, which, truth be told, would be epic in the middle of an NBA game.

"Jose with the basket and the foul!...and the lighter?"


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Old 01-05-2012, 11:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Old 01-09-2012, 08:25 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ClingRap View Post
Thanks Acie! Nice choice on the Rf Girl. Who is she?
Amanda Carrier
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