Daily Raptor Dish - 10.01.10
Old 01-10-2010, 11:46 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Post Daily Raptor Dish - 10.01.10

Emotions in motion

Andrea Bargnani's added confidence on the basketball court has been on display for the past few weeks.
Yesterday, as the Raptors prepared for Boston and the gorilla-sized monkey that team represents on the Raptors proverbial backs, Bargnani's comfort level was again on display.
Asked about Kendrick Perkins, his biggest challenge today, Bargnani gave the Celtics big man his proper due, but not too much.
"He's a good player," Bargnani said. "He's strong. He's always after the offensive rebounds. He's tough to guard."
But asked specifically about Perkins' toughness, Bargnani stopped his questioner short.
"I don't know about tough," he said. "I mean he's good, like I said, strong with a big body and definitely a good shot blocker ..."

Pick and roll tough to beat

The basic premise behind the play is simple: As the guard dribbles, a teammate comes over, stands stationary and "picks" off the man covering the guard. The guy setting the screen then "rolls" towards the basket, where he should have a smaller defender behind and relatively clear passage to the rim.
"When you play pick and roll, you try to get someone else to guard you," said Calderon. "As soon as somebody helps, you know somebody is going to be open."
Essentially, if the guard makes the right decisions the play becomes virtually indefensible.
"You know if one of the big guys is coming (to help on the screen), you know one of your big guys is open. If they are helping on your big guy, it is the wing who is going to be open," said Calderon.

Raptors Blog by Doug Smith


: Hi Doug, two questions: (1) Can you break down what exactly Antoine Wright is doing to earn minutes, esp. over Sonny Weems? To me it just looks like he's always taking terrible shots (which he almost always misses). Is his defense really that good? And (2) any explanation for why Marcus Banks didn't get any minutes last year when we were languishing through our horrible backup PG situation? Thanks.
J S, Toronto
A: We asked Jay pretty much that exact same question about Antoine-Sonny on Saturday at practice and he said they believe Wright to be a very good, strong, smart defender and there are some matchups they feel he’s better suited for than Weems would be. Sonny’s more athletic, no question, but tends to “gamble” a bit more on defence but there are times when he’s best suited to play.
Banks? Let’s just say last year, his enthusiasm level for being in Toronto with the Raptors was much lower than it is this year. I’m not sure, but I think he realizes he is what he is, has no illusions of grandeur about his place on the team or in the NBA.

Raptors look to erase past mistakes vs. Celtics

For a team that's had half of its losses come by at least 18 points, the Toronto Raptors' turn from underachievers to winners of eight of nine certainly registers as an eye-opener.
The Raptors can avenge the lone loss in that span Sunday as they try to avoid dropping a seventh straight game to the visiting Boston Celtics, who have Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo back after beating Toronto short-handed earlier this month.
The Raptors (19-18) hardly seemed interested in defending during an 11-17 start in which they allowed 108.6 points per game, and nine of those losses came by 18 points or more.
Since Dec. 18, though, Toronto has turned up its defence — allowing an average of 94.1 points — while operating an extremely efficient offence. The Raptors are shooting 50.4 per cent and averaging 24.2 assists over their last nine games, both Eastern Conference bests

Burned by Hawks, Celtics now run up against hot Raptors

Though the Celtics have had few difficulties with Toronto, they should be on alert today: The Raptors have won eight of nine, losing only to the Celtics since Dec. 16.
“The one thing that we’ve always done as a team here is respect everybody, regardless of their record, or where they’re coming from,’’ Ray Allen said. “Nobody goes without a win in this league, and the worst teams, they have games where they hit every shot and they play the way they are capable of playing, or the way they want to play.
“So you don’t ever go into a game thinking that the team is going to lay down for you. Being in the league for the time that I have, I’ve known the mentality of people that played against the Bulls: You could see some teams knew they couldn’t win. I don’t think there’s teams [like that] in the league now, in the last five or six years.
“The teams that we’ve played the last three years, everybody’s looking to play us and get their team turned around, they’re getting the best speech in the locker room every night. For us, we’ve got to always remember that we are the hunted.’’

Raptors improving as decision on Bosh looms

As the Toronto Raptors flopped out of the starting gate, the future of Raptors forward Chris Bosh seemed to become clearer.
While Raptors management blew up the roster last summer after a 33-win season, the team's 7-13 start suggested that there wasn't much reason for the former Georgia Tech star to stay when he is expected to become a free agent next summer. The Raptors were among the worst defensive teams in the NBA, and after the Hawks hung 146 on them Dec. 2, Bosh cited effort as the culprit.
However, Toronto has won 12 out of 17 since then, including eight of its past nine. The Raptors have beaten San Antonio, Orlando and Houston over the 17-game stretch and have surrendered 115 only three times, and they have kept teams under 100 eight times. They play at home against Boston on Sunday.
"I think everybody knows everybody else better now," said forward Hedo Turkoglu told reporters after Toronto beat Orlando on Wednesday. "We're kind of getting comfortable with each other, and it's starting to show."
Point guard Jose Calderon has come back after missing 12 games with a sore hip. Bruising forward Reggie Evans, who has missed the entire season with a sprained foot, could come back soon.
It all makes for an interesting next few weeks for Toronto. The Raptors hold out hope that they can persuade Bosh, who last Sunday became the franchise's all-time leading scorer, to re-sign.

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Old 01-10-2010, 11:58 AM   #2 (permalink)

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Old 01-10-2010, 11:59 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Old 01-10-2010, 12:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Old 01-10-2010, 12:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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