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Daily Raptor Dish - 11.12.09
Wade changes recruiting tune
Multi-tasking is name of the game for Raptors' Jack
With every Raptors loss, and that's now 14 and counting, the spectre of Chris Bosh winding up in another jersey next year looms large.
And while Bosh and Cleveland's LeBron James have opted to decline comment on their NBA futures with free agency around the corner this summer, Miami's Dwyane Wade has opted for a different route acting as the wanna-be 2010 recruiter.
Wade's Heat, unlike the Raptors, have the cap room not only to bring Wade back but add as many as two other free agents from a class that potentially includes those three as well as the likes of under-appreciated Atlanta Hawks guard Joe Johnson. The Raptors are not in the same boat. It's Bosh, if they choose that route, and little else.
So it was interesting to see Wade quoted in yesterday's Miami Herald suggesting the status quo might be the safer bet when it comes to superstars staying or going this summer.
"I wouldn't be surprised at all. Not at all," Wade told the Herald. "I know everyone has something special in their hearts for their organizations. You've been here for seven years. You can't have nothing but love for the city that you're in, nothing but love for the organizations."
But that doesn't mean Wade won't continue to give it the college try.
"We're all boys," Wade said. "It's no secret that we're all going to sit down again and talk about it."
Raptors Blog by Doug Smith
"Sometimes, your role is going to change daily and you have to be able to adapt."
Jack said he feels equally comfortable at either position. Coach Jay Triano likes the versatility Jack brings to the court.
Late in games, Triano has used both Jack and Calderon along with Hedo Turkoglu as the primary ball-handler.
The coach sees it as a chance to have three players capable of initiating the offence on the court at the same time, and it also gives them three good free-throw shooters in tight situations.
"That's the position I'm in," said Jack. "That's why they brought me here, for reasons like this, if Jose needs a little relief. I'm just trying to come in and do the best job I can."
Bosh, Bargnani third in voting
This is a day or so old, but I hope a lot of you saw Jay’s quote from my early game story the other day about the handling of Belinelli as it affects his play right now.
"The way I play him, it’s my fault. If I don’t get him in early enough, I just don’t feel like he gets into a flow. I think we’re starting to find that out with a couple of guys. We have to get them a little bit earlier and get them a feel for the game. When that happens, they seem to play better.
“When I leave him (Belinelli) on the bench for a little bit because DeMar’s going well or I put a different sub in, he kind of gets lost. I don’t know if he starts thinking he’s not valuable or he’s not going to help us and I take the blame for that.”
It’s a nice quote and all that, went a long way to helping a quick game-over story have some oomph, but really it’s little more than a coach taking a bullet for an under-achieving player.
I guess the only rotation thing I’d do, if Jay really believes that, is make Belinelli the first sub – putting him in for DeRozan – and bringing Antoine Wright in a few minutes later for Turkoglu.
Not sure that works, though, because there seems to be a continued desire to stretch out the rookie’s first-half minutes and taking him out first cuts him back a bit.
A quandary, indeed.
But it’s easily solvable.
Maybe Belinelli, who has some very good games in the exact same rotation, should just play better more often.
Raptors Game Day
Toronto Raptors Chris Bosh and Andrea Bargnani are both third in voting for the NBA’s Eastern Conference all-star team, while Victoria’s Steve Nash is third among guards in the West.
Bosh, who is seeking to make his fourth consecutive all-star appearance, has 303,550 votes in the first set of returns announced Thursday, and trails Cleveland’s LeBron James (649,327) and Boston’s Kevin Garnett (533,187) in voting for Eastern forwards.
Bargnani ranks third among Eastern centres with 67,310 votes, well back of Orlando’s Dwight Howard (625,279) and Cleveland’s Shaquille O’Neal (206,657).
Hawks' Joe Smith out with thumb injury
Who's hot? Jamal Crawford might be the early front-runner for Sixth Man of the Year. He has scored in double digits in 18 of 21 games this year.
Who's not? Mike Bibby has just 10 points over the last three games. He has made four of his 20 field-goal attempts over that span.
Who's hot? Chris Bosh has 20 double-doubles this year. Nobody else in the league has more than 15 (Dwight Howard).
Who's not? Marcus Banks, who has been pressed into action because of Jose Calderon's injury, is shooting just 1-for-7 over his last two games.
Read more: Raptors Game Day
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Forward Joe Smith will sit out of the team's Friday night game in Toronto with a dislocated left thumb, an injury sustained in the Hawks' win over Chicago Wednesday.
"It's pretty sore right now," Smith said Thursday after practice at Philips Arena. "We'll see how it feels on Sunday."
Smith will stay home to treat the digit. He could possibly play Sunday at home against New Jersey, or be held out until next Wednesday's game with Memphis.
Sunshine Girl - 11.12.09