Daily Raptor Dish - 16.11.09
Old 11-16-2009, 06:51 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Daily Raptor Dish - 16.11.09

Raps take it on the chin

It was hard to tell which hurt most for Hedo Turkoglu -- his hip or his heart.
This much we know for certain: Both will be stinging in the days to come.
The late-game theatre was precisely the stage Turkoglu relishes and exactly why the Raptors paid a king's ransom to lure the small forward to Toronto.
With the ball in his hands and the game on the line, Turkoglu had a chance to define his early beginning as a Raptor.
But it wasn't to be as Turkoglu's shot, just before the buzzer sounded, missed and the Raptors were sent to a crushing 101-100 loss to the Suns in a game Toronto could have easily won.
The Raptors ran a pick and forced the Suns to switch, leaving Turkoglu matched up with Amar'e Stoudemire.
There was a little hesitation when Turkoglu made a cross-over move, the slightest of errors that affected his shot.
Still, it was a good look that simply didn't go in.
"This hurts,'' Turkoglu, who played through a very sore left hip, an injury that nearly caused him to miss the game, said. "That's a shot I'll always take."

Raps Replay

Antoine Wright's early season battle with the injury bug has taken another turn for the worse. The gritty small forward, whose biggest asset is defending the perimeter, was unable to go last night because of an ankle ailment. So far this season, Wright has hurt his knee and elbow. Wright's unavailability prompted the Raptors to activate combo guard Marcus Banks, a one-time Sun

DeRozan not surprised by Jennings' 55 points

Where Amazing Happens is the catch-phrase the NBA has embraced the past few years.
As a kid growing up in Compton, Calif., Raptors rookie DeMar DeRozan saw plenty of amazing feats produced by Brandon Jennings, who posted the season's most eye-popping moment by going off for 55 points in Milwaukee's win over Golden State on Saturday.
"When I was told what Brandon did, I wasn't surprised,'' DeRozan said. "He's capable of doing that easily."
DeRozan and Jennings were on the same youth team in Grade 6. They each came into the NBA this past June.
"I've seen him do a lot of amazing things,'' DeRozan said. "I remember one game where he had 27 assists. For him to score 55 points, that's just Brandon."
Jennings went against the grain by electing to bypass college to play in Italy.
Had he gone to school, Arizona was Jennings' choice.

Raptors' valiant effort goes for naught


The old Turkish philosopher sat there, pondering the moment and what might have been, shaking his head in bewilderment
"It was just one of those nights," said Hedo Turkoglu. "Where you just have to say, 'Screw it' and move on."
Turkoglu, who was doubtful to even dress for the game, had come within a foot or so of stealing a big road win for the Raptors but his last-second shot was about a foot too long, letting the Phoenix Suns escape with a 101-100 victory here Sunday night.
Turkoglu got the match-up he wanted, isolated at the top of the key on Amare Stoudemire, but his 20-footer bounced off the rim and out, ending arguably the best 48-minute game the Raptors have played this season

Raptors lose 101-100 to Suns despite solid play

"I think a lot of teams play our system," the 35-year-old Canadian said before Sunday night's game. "We basically play the same way the Raptors play, similar to Golden State, similar to Orlando. We don't get many fast-break points and we play basically the same pick and roll offence that a lot of teams play.
"I don't really see that much difference nowadays from about a third of the league that plays this way."
Just not as well as Phoenix and Toronto coach Jay Triano warned that the biggest trap is to try and match the Suns basket for basket.
"They want you to take shots," said Triano. "They're going to gamble and they're going to try to get turnovers and create excitement, get up and down the floor.
"We're going to be careful with the ball, and we're still going to have our regular attack but not at the expense of taking the first shot and feeding their break."

Ball back in Nash's hands


His teammate Amar'e Stoudemire may have Black Jesus tattooed on his neck, but Steve Nash has inspired a Phoenix Suns resurrection, with the Toronto Raptors as the latest to give witness.
Last night, Nash was Nash as the Suns and Raptors – two of the most explosive offensive teams in the NBA—met on his home court.
Just before the tip, Nash strolled over to the Raptors bench while tying his shorts and gave his friend, Raptors coach Jay Triano, a big smile as if to say, “Just watch me.”
And, as always, the pride of Victoria put on a show as he engineered a 101-100 win for the Suns over the Raptors.
He finished with 10 points and six assists in the first quarter, paused ever so slightly during the middle of the game, and then won it for the Suns by converting a three-point play with 39 seconds left. Phoenix then survived a last-second game winner by Raptors forward Hedo Turkoglu that rimmed out.

Stoudemire helps Suns beat Raptors

Happy birthday, Amare Stoudemire.
Stoudemire celebrated his 27th birthday one day early, scoring 30 points and grabbing eight rebounds, leading the Phoenix Suns to a 101-100 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Sunday night.
He followed one of the worst games of his career with his best game of the season, his first 30-point performance since Feb. 18, his final game of last season before he was sidelined because of eye surgery.
"Anytime you have a game like that, especially as a team, it feels great," Stoudemire said.
"This was a bounce-back game," he added, referring to his 2-for-15 shooting and eight-point effort against the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night.
"We defintely wanted the win to make sure we took care of home court."

Turkoglu Jumper Falls Short At Buzzer

It seemed inevitable, but for so long, it did not arrive.
Playing a questionable Toronto Raptors defence, the Phoenix Suns seemed destined to score well in excess of 100 points last night. Through three quarters, though, they were quiet.
And then, in one fourth-quarter tidal wave, it hit: five points from Amar'e Stoudemire; a three-pointer from Steve Nash; and two layups from Jason Richardson to cap a 14-2 run. The Raptors' response was what was going to define them.
Well, Hedo Turkoglu punched back, but not hard enough.
Turkoglu hit two huge jumpers down the stretch, but missed two shots that would have given Toronto the lead in the last minute, as the Raptors (5-5) fell 101-100 to the Suns in Phoenix.


Turkoglu almost joined Suns in 2004

Steve Nash and Joe Johnson in the backcourt and Amaré Stoudemire, Shawn Marion and Hedo Turkoglu up front.
It sounds like an NBA "Where Amazing Happens" commercial cast from four teams, or maybe even an All-Star collection if Turkoglu ever gets his credit. It nearly was the Suns' 2004-05 starting lineup.
Things still turned out well in that 62-20 season, with the Suns signing Quentin Richardson instead of Turkoglu, who was an Italian dinner away from securing a future with the Suns and then-General Manager Bryan Colangelo in 2004. Turkoglu and Colangelo now are with the Toronto Raptors.
In July 2004, Turkoglu was a 25-year-old free agent who had been a part-time starter in San Antonio. The Suns, after deciding Kobe Bryant could not be wooed, struck fast in free agency by landing Nash. They wanted to pair him with Mehmet Okur. When Okur received a $50 million deal from Utah, Phoenix turned its focus to Turkoglu.
Turkoglu was in Phoenix nearing an agreement with the Suns when they decided to break.
"It was very close," said Colangelo, who returned to his hometown Sunday. "We had him in the conference room. We more or less agreed on a number that we were zeroing in."
The plan was to firm up a six-year deal worth about $30 million over a 7 p.m. dinner reservation. News-conference plans for the next day were under way. At 5 p.m., Turkoglu's agent, Lon Babby, called to say, "We have a bit of a problem." Orlando had called to offer $36 million.
"I've got a problem, because I've got to cancel the reservation," Colangelo told Babby.
Turkoglu signed the Magic contract, which had a sixth-year player option that he declined this past summer, making him a free agent again. He agreed to a $50 million contract with Portland but wound up in Toronto for $53 million. This time, it was more about location than money.

Sunshine Girl - 16.11.09

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Old 11-16-2009, 09:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 11-16-2009, 12:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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