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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Living in a van down by the river
Daily Raptor Dish - 05.12.09
Failure to communicate at the heart of Raps' problems
That's better, boys
Triano said it was a coaches meeting called by him with him asking questions of players he needed answers from. Neither Bosh nor Hedo Turkoglu spoke during the meeting.
Antoine Wright came away from the meeting with a better feeling about the direction of the team.
"I think we learned a lot about each other today," Wright said. "It was just a heartfelt conversation between men and I think it helped us far more than any practice would."
GM Bryan Colangelo was also in the meeting and according to Wright put the Raptors biggest problem into its proper perspective.
"He expects each and every one of us to come and play with some passion and attitude," Wright said of the Raps GM. "I think that's the most important thing about it. Talent right now is not the question. It's just bringing that attitude. I guess you could say it's about time and we'll see what happens from here, but I think you will find, win lose or draw, that there's a different attitude."
Across the board effort. Diving for loose balls. Refusing to quit. Helping each other on defence. Hitting a shot when it's desperately needed.
All those things that had been missing from this Raptors team showed up last night in unison and each and every one of them was needed in a nail-biting 109-107 overtime win over the Washington Wizards.
The win snapped a five-game losing streak for the Raps but more importantly gave this team a much-needed confidence boost.
The day started with a clearing-the-air morning meeting and ended with Gilbert Arenas' driving layup attempt blocked by a hard-charging duo of Jose Calderon and Amir Johnson.
Like the game itself, the final play was a team effort. Arenas, who has been known to jack up a three was forced wide by Jarrett Jack and had a lane to the basket. Calderon and Johnson came from the other side charging hard, only Johnson got there first, and with Arenas leaning in looking for contact, Johnson pulled back. When the contact didn't occur, Arenas overshot his mark and his shot went over the other side of the basket. Even then, the Wizards had a chance, but there was Calderon getting in Andray Blatche's way and preventing a put back.
Johnson was enjoying his moment in the spotlight afterward.
" I thought I played pretty good defence," Johnson said. "I mean I gave him the layup but they were probably going to give him the foul even if I would have blocked it."
Clutch defence snaps slide
Jose Calderon had a little extra pressure last night. Spanish princesses Elena and Christina were in the stands. Christina just moved to Washington while her elder sister Elena was visiting. Calderon is one of five-Spanish born players in the NBA but the only one on the floor last night in Washington.
After opting not to make any changes to his starting lineup, Jay Triano had to be thrilled to see his starters set the table with a 20-7 lead before he started subbing in the bench.
Atlanta was a forgetful night for any one in Raptors colours, but it did mark the first time DeMar DeRozan led the team in scoring. He continued that last night with a team high 16 points in the first half alone.
Reggie Evans stayed behind in Toronto for this trip and had another evaluation by the Raptors team doctors on Thursday. "He had a hard cast removed and hopefully he can start some on-court stuff in the next couple of weeks," Triano said.
Raptors stun Wizards in OT
Heading into overtime on Friday night, the Raptors faced a difficult question.
Could the worst defensive team in the NBA, though they've repeatedly shown their inability to stop opponents over 48 minutes, play credible D for five? Could the Raptors snap their five-game losing streak by locking up the Washington Wizards during the decisive extra frame?
The answer, it turned out, was a relief-producing yes. Toronto's swarming defence on a driving Gilbert Arenas was pesky enough for Arenas to miss a layup that could have tied the game with a tick or two left on the clock. The visitors were lucky enough that Andray Blatche's tip-in missed at the buzzer. And the Raptors buoyed by a pair overtime steals and a Hedo Turkoglu 20-footer from the corner that gave the visitors the lead for good with eight seconds left in the extra frame finally got a win, 109-107. For one night, at least, a team in crisis could put celebrating ahead of self-immolation.
Raptors hold off Wizards in overtime
wo days ago, everything was going wrong for the Toronto Raptors .
They had given up 146 points in a loss at Atlanta the second-most allowed in the team's 15-year history extending their losing streak to five games. Discontent led to a closed-door team meeting Friday morning.
On Friday night, Hedo Turkoglu's jumper with 8.1 seconds left in overtime capped a 109-107 victory over the Washington Wizards.
We felt it on the court, Turkoglu said. We tuned into it especially on defence. Hopefully, it wasn't for the one game. We keep it up for the whole year.
Turkoglu scored Toronto's final six points and finished with 20 overall. Chris Bosh led the Raptors with 31 points and 16 rebounds.
After Gilbert Arenas' three-pointer tied it at 107 with 30 seconds left, Turkoglu's final jumper gave the Raptors the win. He took the inbound pass on the right baseline and put up a tough shot over Caron Butler to complete the scoring.
Turkish Jordan. It was a tough shot, said Butler, who had 16 points. I tried to make him take a difficult shot, and it's exactly what happened.
Wizards fall following poor start, finish
With the game tied nearing the end of regulation, Turkoglu finally came through for the Raptors. In their bread-and-butter pick-and-roll situation, Turkoglu and Bosh executed perfectly, with the newcomer finding the franchise stalwart leading to two free throws. Bosh hit both of them, giving the Raptors a two-point lead with 20 seconds remaining.
Arenas, though, replied with a jumper to even the game on the next possession. That is when Turkoglu undid that good work, though, by settling for a three-pointer as time expired. It missed, and was a less-than-ideal shot for a club needing a win.
The Raptors also appeared to have the game sealed in the final minute of overtime. Toronto took a five-point lead into the final 60 seconds, but Bosh missed a shot in between two Caron Butler free throws and a three-pointer from Arenas that tied the game once more.
Ultimately, though, Turkoglu came through.
The Raptors were not helped by Andrea Bargnani, the lone starter to not show much in the wake of the meeting. The under-siege centre shot 6-for-20 from the field, looking out of sync all evening.
I was going right to the hole," Arenas said. "Just one of them dumb moves that I tried to do where I thought the defender was going to actually jump. Then he pulled the chair on me. I was going to try to use the contact to push me back to the rim, but he didn't jump and I was off-balance shooting the layup. I just tried to outthink him, but he [outthought] me. I don't think about dunking anymore."
Wizards coach Flip Saunders didn't even care about Arenas' missed shot, fuming that the game shouldn't have come down to that. He had hoped the Wizards - who entered the game having won two straight and four of five - would pounce on the Raptors (who had lost five straight). But that's not what he got.
The Wizards shot 1-for-14 from the field in the first 5 1/2 minutes of the quarter and found themselves in a 19-5 hole.
RF Girl of the Day - 05.12.09