Daily Raptor Dish - 13.01.2012
Old 01-13-2012, 07:31 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Daily Raptor Dish - 13.01.2012

Raptors hold their breath on Bargnani

Raptors head coach Dwane Casey is rightly concerned about his club’s sputtering offence.

Wait until he gets a load of it without Andrea Bargnani.

Bargnani, averaging 22.3 points per game despite missing the latter half of Wednesday’s loss to Sacramento because of a calf injury, underwent an MRI on Thursday.

The Raptors will update his status at shootaround on Friday after doctors and the training staff discuss the situation.

There are several degrees of calf strains, but each usually forces an athlete out of action for at least a couple of days, with more serious ones taking weeks to months.

Bargnani was not noticeably limping following the Kings game.

Toronto takes on Indiana at the ACC on Friday, the Bulls in Chicago on Saturday night and the Hawks in Atlanta on Monday afternoon.

Even with Bargnani the team sits a lowly 26th of 30 teams in offensive rating (points scored per 100 possessions). Bargnani is averaging 8.2 points per game more than No. 2 scorer DeMar DeRozan and 10.1 more than third-leading scorer Jose Calderon.

Kings get past Raptors

Wednesday night’s 98-91 loss to the 4-7 Sacramento Kings at the ACC provided ample amounts of evidence to back up his claims.

Playing for the third night in a row and fifth time in six, the Raptors looked gassed throughout and had no answers for mercurial sophomore DeMarcus Cousins, who turned in a monster 21 point, 19 rebound performance.

Andrea Bargnani started 2-for-13 from the field and left for the night in the third quarter after at least hauling in 10 rebounds. Bargnani said he will have an MRI on his strained calf, which he said was similar to an injury he suffered last season.

The punchless Raptors could not score enough without Bargnani, even though Sacramento shot just 37% from the floor and even though the return of forward Linas Kleiza clearly sparked the team.

Andrea Bargnani is playing like an all-star because

The big wonder is how Andrea Bargnani has been able to do so much so far in this NBA season while running around the court with that lightbulb finally shining over his head.

Yes, after six seasons of little more than maddening inconsistency — flashes of excellence followed long stretches of infuriating lethargy — Bargnani seems to finally get it.

He is engaged at both ends of the floor, he rebounds in traffic, he is animated and excellent and one of the premier scorers in the entire league.

“Andrea for me, and I’ve been telling all my coaching friends around the league, is playing like an all-star on both ends of the floor,” is the oft-stated belief of Raptors coach Dwane Casey and when Casey says that, eyebrows aren’t necessarily raised in disbelief.

Ugly Raptors burnt by turnovers

DeMar DeRozan became the face of the Toronto Raptors the second Chris Bosh left town and he was not very good during this stretch of three games in as many nights.

Yet for all the talk about how Dwane Casey will find out some things about his new team in this compressed NBA season, there is a wisdom in not viewing the past five games as a referendum on DeRozan. Because when it comes to offence, the NBA has shown a distinctly and predictably ugly face. Not yet 1998-99 ugly – when the NBA came out of a lockout with a jerry-rigged season that turned into the lowest-scoring season since the shot clock was introduced in 1954 – but ugly nonetheless.

Toronto Raptors keep a close eye on DeMar DeRozan

Let’s get this out of the way: DeMar DeRozan is struggling, and fiercely.

His 5-for-9 shooting night against Sacramento on Wednesday might look quietly efficient, but in reality, it was just quiet. He had just 13 points, and is now averaging just 8.8 points per game on 31% shooting over his last five games.

“He’s still 21. I look at that from [this] standpoint: There’s a lot of growth to be [had] there,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said before the game. “I remember Rashard Lewis when I had him in Seattle, it was the same type of thing: He’d go through games where he couldn’t hit the side of a barn…”

“That’s going to be a part of a young player. Patience is a key word. He works hard at it. If he wasn’t working, I’d be concerned, if he wasn’t working on his shot every day. And he’s concerned about it himself.”

Hibbert's new mind-set, added strength reshape his game

Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert's biggest critic stood 7-2, attended Georgetown and was the No. 17 pick in the 2008 draft.

His critic was blunt, no matter how high or low it made Hibbert. He had to tune out that critic -- himself -- because the constant emotional roller-coaster ride affected his production on the court too much.

At the same time, Hibbert started relaxation exercises to help ease his mind.

That, along with 15 pounds of added muscle, have made Hibbert almost a regular in the double-double department in points and rebounds for the Pacers (7-3) this season. He's tied for fourth in the league in double-doubles with six.

Hibbert heads into tonight's game at Toronto averaging 14.1 points and 9.9 rebounds.

Sunshine Girl - 13.01.12

SUNshine Girl Sara wants to own a business one day. Sara says she has an edgy comedic side to her, hence her love of TV shows like South Park and Family Guy. But she has a soft side too, and adores Adele.

RF Girl of the Day - Helen Lindes

RF Man Candy of the Day

Last edited by Belsius; 01-13-2012 at 07:34 AM.
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Old 01-13-2012, 10:19 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 01-13-2012, 10:28 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Old 01-13-2012, 05:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Old 01-13-2012, 05:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Old 01-13-2012, 05:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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