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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Living in a van down by the river
Daily Raptor Dish - 09.04.11
The beat goes on for Raptors
Triano's fate still blowin' in the wind
With Calderon, Andrea Bargnani, Leandro Barbosa and Amir Johnson not available because of various ailments, the only way for the Raptors to be competitive was play virtually error-free basketball, a virtual impossibility given the many limitations.
But Toronto showed resiliency and an edge, the emotions boiling over with 5:34 left in the game when Jay Triano got tossed after a non-call to Evans, whose driving layup was rejected by Andre Iguodala, a sequence that earned Evans a technical.
With so much adversity thrown their way, no one could accuse the Raptors of not trying or caring.
In the final 7:12 of the opening quarter, the Raptors could not produce a single basket from the field, missed shots, contested or uncontested piling up almost as quickly as the turnovers or the points produced by the Sixers.
Six turnovers would be recorded in the opening 12 minutes, five makes on 20 shots and a double-digit deficit, a lead that would swell to as much as 15 in the opening half.
At the break, the Sixers led 54-42.
There was a point when the Raptors missed 14 straight field goal attempts.
One glance at Philly’s bench and the name Thaddeus Young immediately sticks out.
By comparison, Toronto’s reserves were Sonny Weems, Alexis Ajinca, Joey Dorsey, Solomon Alabi and Wright.
Young, whose length and athleticism always pose matchup problems against the Raptors, single-handedly outscored Toronto’s bench in the first half and for the entire evening.
Just after intermission, it was learned that Weems would not return because of soreness in his right knee, Toronto’s depleted bench getting thinner and even less imposing.
The Raptors' young and restless
Four games, one practice and six days before the Raptors put to rest their season.
For Jay Triano and his coaching staff, the countdown begins in earnest with no clarity on the horizon.
“We talked about it the other day and the conversation was that it’s out of our control,’’ Triano said as he discussed the future prior to Friday’s tip against the host 76ers. “The number one thing is to keep doing what we’ve been doing, keep preparing these guys and don’t ever stop doing your job.
“It’s the same thing we say to the players.”
There’s uncertainty concerning Triano’s future, there’s uncertainty about GM Bryan Colangelo’s future, uncertainty about the potential for an ownership change and the near certainty that a league-imposed lockout will be initiated on July 1 in the absence of a negotiated deal with the NBA’s players’ union.
Whether it’s Colangelo or any of Triano’s assistants, no one has been associated with the Raptors longer than Triano, whose eighth season may prove to be his final.
“Once the season is over, I can start thinking about that,’’ Triano said when asked about his status with the team. “Right now the focus is on every single game.
“The focus is on trying to get our guys better and we’ve done that since day one. It’ll be pretty selfish if you start thinking (about his own situation) before the season ends.”
Once the season does end following next Wednesday’s visit by the Miami Heat, the speculation will only intensify, the questions a daily reminder of what may or may not await.
“You can’t worry about stuff that’s out of your control,’’ Triano added.
Depleted Raptors lose as big questions keep swirling
Only time will tell if Jay Triano and his staff will be asked to return for next season, whenever next season begins. Under Triano’s watch, three players have shown the most signs of growth. At worse, all three could be used as future trade chips or be used as a means of comparison if an identical player becomes available in the draft or free agency.
A lot of credit goes to this kid for putting in extra hours working on his jumper. He still needs to handle the ball better, extend his range and become a more consistent rebounder. Another key summer looms as DeRozan gets stronger, mentally and physically.
Points, rebounds, minutes, pick a category and Johnson is posting career averages. The Raptors have given him a chance, not to mention a lot of money, to showcase his talents. He can now attempt open jumpers because Johnson will make them. He’s got to establish a low-post game.
The instincts this rookie has come natural, an innate ability to track balls down and a willingness to battle. Davis must get bulkier and stronger, which can only happen with time and with extra work in the weight room. Long term, Davis has the most upside of any Raptor.
Raptors Blog by Doug Smith
As it turned out, it was one of the smallest rosters imaginable that pushed the Sixers to the limit, as Jose Calderon (hamstring), Andrea Bargnani (ankle), Leandro Barbosa (finger) and Amir Johnson (ankle) all missed the game, while Sonny Weems (knee) left at the half.
Still, with a bench that ended up being backup point guard Julian Wright and big men Alexis Ajinca and Joey Dorsey, the Raptors were still within a missed Jerryd Bayless shot with two seconds left of forcing overtime.
Bayless and DeMar DeRozan were once again excellent, with the former having 24 points and the latter 27.
But Triano wasn’t around to see the end of it, tossed with about five minutes left for storming the court to protest a missed call on a possible Reggie Evans basket. What irked him most, and got him tossed for just the second time in his career, was that the official waited before assessing a technical on Evans, who was bouncing around the court in a rage.
“He got fouled for sure, it’s clear as day that he hits his wrist,” Triano said of the original play. “If you’re going to miss a call, I don’t mind that. But to sit and wait until they score at the other end to call a technical foul and let it be a three-point or four-point play or whatever it could be, that’s what my disagreement was about.”
Sixers hang on to beat Raptors
Know what Ed Davis has to do this summer?
Eat to put on bulk and then work it up into muscle because his game may be very impressive for a first year big man but he’s simply not physically strong enough yet to maximize his talents.
Early in the game, he was defending Thaddeus Young on the block and Young, hardly an imposing presence, simply backed Davis down with about three dribbles and scored easily. It was a muscle-power move that Davis couldn’t counter.
Now, I’m not proposing he bloat up or become some power lifter or something but a lot of the summer needs to be spent in the weight room lifting.
Not to take away from the game he already has but to augment his already impressive skills. He’s 21 years old so I can’t imagine it’ll be a hard thing to do but he’s got to have the dedication – especially if there’s a lockout and the team can’t keep tabs on him – to do it.
Brand leads Sixers over Raptors
The Raptors played the first half like a team that couldn't wait for the season to end. They missed 14 straight shots over the first and second quarters, dribbled the ball off their feet and passes were sloppy.
Brand led the Sixers early and Iguodala's jumper midway through the second put them up 33-18.
Down 54-42 at the break, the Raptors finally got their game together. The Raptors found their touch and made 12 of 18 shots in the third. Bayless' 3 with 21 seconds gave the Raptors a 72-70 lead.
Young, though, ended the third with a three-point play and Iguodala opened the fourth with one of his own to help the Sixers get some breathing room.
Elton Brand scored 22 points, Thaddeus Young had 20 and the Philadelphia 76ers snapped a three-game losing streak with a 98-93 win over the Toronto Raptors on Friday night.
Andre Iguodala scored 16 points for the Sixers, who could still finish sixth in the Eastern Conference. The Sixers had already clinched their first playoff apperance in two years. With 41 wins and two games left, the Sixers can finish with a winning record for the first time since 2004-05. They went 41-41 two years ago.
The Sixers are not in postseason form with time winding down to get ready for a bullish battle against Miami or Boston. They blew a 15-point lead against a Toronto team long out of postseason contention. They missed four straight free throws in the fourth that had an eight-point lead cut to two.
Jerryd Bayless kept the Raptors in it with a three-pointer with 28.5 seconds left that pulled them to 96-93. Toronto snagged Iguodala’s missed driving layup, and set up one last play out of a timeout.
Bayless shot an airball to end the threat.