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Join Date: Dec 2007
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Daily Raptor Dish - 15.12.10
Raptors loss to Charlotte just plain ugly
Growing pains cost Raptors in 97-91 loss to Bobcats
An ugly win is still a win, but an ugly loss is much, much worse.
The Raptors shot 40.4% from the field and committed 18 turnovers which led to 28 points in a disturbing 97-91 loss to the Charlotte Bobcats on Tuesday.
Toronto wasted its latest opportunity to win two straight road games, something it now has not done in 25 games this season.
The team failed to build on its inspiring 25-point comeback in Detroit, instead regressing in several areas.
“It’s real frustrating,” said DeMar DeRozan, perhaps the best Raptor on the night.
“Teams these days are too good and when you turn over the ball it's a good chance they are going to go down and make something happen and they definitely killed us with that.”
Added head coach Jay Triano: “We have to protect the basketball.”
“We were going to the basket, which was good, but they blocked a lot of shots — 13 of them.”
Toronto turned the ball over nine times in the second quarter alone. Just as worrisome, the free throw shooting was horrendous (52.4%) and apparently, Andrea Bargnani has gone back to the version that has driven the Raptors crazy over the years.
The new and improved edition of Bargnani that was playing so well has vanished.
After being so successful when going to work inside of late, Bargnani got one chance down low along with a host of long jumpers.
Bargnani once again could not explain why he didn’t go inside — is it teammates looking him off, or is he not going into the paint?
“I don’t know I have no idea,” Bargnani said. “We were tied with two minutes to go so we had our chance, they played better, they deserved to win.”
Raptors fall in Charlotte
When it came time for a big play, they got a costly turnover.
When it was time for Andrea Bargnani to step up, he stepped back.
When it was time to win, the Raptors lost.
And so it goes with a young team finding its way, meandering down a path to respectability that’s going to be dotted with spotty performances like the one they put on here Tuesday night.
Unable to hit a key shot at a crucial moment and with their best player oddly detached for most of the night, the Raptors faltered down the stretch to lose 97-91 to the Charlotte Bobcats on a night that proves Toronto still has a very long way to go.
Tied with two minutes to go, the Raptors had three straight misses followed by a turnover, being out-scored 8-2 in the last 1:58 of a game that will not be remembered for the crispness of execution or high intensity normally associated with NBA basketball.
Two of the misses down the stretch were jump shots by Jerryd Bayless, who also had a late-game turnover – one of Toronto’s 19 on the game – as he learned another valuable lesson in his development from 22-year-old youngster into an NBA point guard.
“We can’t turn the ball over,” coach Jay Triano said matter-of-factly. “We’re trying to help these guys as much as we can and a lot of (the turnovers are on plays) going to the basket, which is good, our guys are being aggressive, but we have to be more careful with the basketball.”
The Raptors’ 19 turnovers led to 29 Charlotte points and took Toronto out of any kind of offensive rhythm.
“Teams these days are too good,” said DeMar DeRozan. “When you turn over the ball, there’s a good chance they’re going to go down and make something happen. That definitely killed us.”
Bobcats' bench leads 97-91 victory over Raptors
In their first game since rallying from 25 points down in Detroit for the largest comeback victory in franchise history, the Raptors squandered a 12-point, first-half lead as they played their third straight game without point guard Jose Calderon (sore left foot).
DeMar DeRozan added 14 points and Amir Johnson, Andrea Bargnani and Linas Kleiza each scored 12 for Toronto, which shot 40 percent and committed 19 turnovers.
Three nights after addressing his team following a 31-point loss to Boston, Bobcats owner Michael Jordan was in usual courtside seat. At halftime, the Wilmington native was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame with his college coach, Dean Smith, coming on the floor with him for the ceremony.
The small crowd cheered Jordan loudly — after booing his struggling team earlier.
It came during Toronto's 20-2 run in the first quarter when the Raptors had easy paths to the lane and numerous second-chance points.
Coach Larry Brown, who said before the game that the team's biggest problem is, “We've got to play harder,” used all 12 players by halftime as he searched for answers.
Toronto vs. Chicago
Before Michael Jordan would be inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in a halftime ceremony, the Charlotte Bobcats owner had a message for his struggling team.
"He said, 'You better not lose on my night,'" forward Gerald Wallace said. "But at the same time he gave that speech about us coming out and playing with more effort."
It wasn't pretty and far from perfect, but there was vast improvement from three days earlier and it ended with a much-needed victory.
Nazr Mohammed had 18 points and eight rebounds, Tyrus Thomas hit the go-ahead jumper with just over a minute left, and the Bobcats overcame Stephen Jackson's poor night to beat the Toronto Raptors 97-91 on Tuesday night.
"(Jordan) wants to see us on the floor for loose balls, doing the little things that we used to do," said Wallace, who added 16 points and had four of Charlotte's 13 blocks but also twisted his left ankle. "I think tonight was the starting point. We've got to build off that."
Rose sore, but hopes to play in Toronto
Rose, averaging 22.0 points on 57.4-percent shooting and 8.0 assists in four career games at Toronto, is confident he'll be on the floor Wednesday.
"If it's up to me, I'm going," Rose said. "If it's sore, usually I can play through soreness. Hopefully I'll be playing (Wednesday)."
If he is unable to go, C.J. Wilson will start at point guard. With Rose out with a sore neck, Watson scored 33 points in a 98-97 loss at Denver on Nov. 26.
With or without their star guard, the Bulls (15-8) appear to have a good chance for their first seven-game winning streak since Nov. 25-Dec. 8, 2008.
Chicago's opponents have averaged 88.0 points on 39.6-percent shooting over the last six games. Monday's contest marked the third straight in which the Bulls held their opponent to a season-worst scoring total.
"They're a really good defensive team," Indiana guard Mike Dunleavy said.
The Bulls limited the Raptors to 41.1 percent from the field in a 104-88 win at Toronto in the teams' most recent meeting April 11.
Carlos Boozer, who had 22 points and 18 rebounds against the Pacers, has averaged 23.3 and 13.0 in his last seven games versus Toronto. He's averaging 15.5 points and 8.0 rebounds in eight games since missing the first month with a broken hand.
"You can really see his timing coming back," Thibodeau said.
Boozer's surge could continue that success against a Raptors club that allows 105.2 points per contest.
Derrick Rose didn't practice Tuesday and was wearing a brace on his right wrist, but the point guard said he expects to play Wednesday when the Bulls face the Toronto Raptors on the road.
"If it's up to me, I'm playing," he said. "Knowing that it's only sore, usually I can play through soreness."
Although the wrist was the biggest concern after he crashed to the floor late in the Bulls' 92-73 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Monday, Rose said that wasn't the body part giving him the most pain.
"My hip is really messed up," he said. "I've been just getting treatment, I'll get treatment on the plane and I'll get treatment in Toronto. Hopefully, for the game I should be alright.
"The wrist really isn't that bad. If anything, my elbow hurts more than my wrist. Right now, I'm a little beat up, but I should be able to play through it."