Daily Raptor Dish - 19.01.10
Old 01-19-2010, 08:40 AM   #1 (permalink)
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DeRozan hard at work for dunk contest


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DeMar DeRozan won't be heading to Dallas and the NBA's first Dunk-In contest alone or unprepared.
The high-flying Raptor rookie already is plotting a strategy to make sure he joins yesterday's announced trio -- defending champ Nate Robinson of the New York Knicks, the Lakers' Shannon Brown and Charlotte's Gerald Wallace -- as the fourth and final participant in the NBA slam dunk contest.
"Sonny thinks he's a better dunker than me so he thinks every piece of advice he gives me is great," DeRozan said of teammate Sonny Weems. "That's my man so I'm going to listen to him and take his advice. He won the college dunk contest so he has a good enough resume to listen to."
And Weems already is part of DeRozan's travelling party for all-star weekend along with some veteran savvy in Jarrett Jack.
"Jarrett will be there and Sonny will be there so I might mess around and use both of them," DeRozan said of incorporating some of his teammates into the contest. "Just going up throwing down dunks by yourself is so cliche now. You have to have a partner throwing some out of the stands or something like that."
Cavs a big test for streaking Raptors


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Turkoglu is averaging 13 points a night, which is down just under four points from last season and seven from the year before that. His assist and rebound totals, though, are down only marginally from the past two seasons — less than one a game in both categories.
Calderon, who has always felt North Americans put too much emphasis on individual scoring (he doesn’t measure himself on his points per game output), says just having Turkoglu on the court opens things up for everyone, including himself.
“As soon as you give him the ball, the defence of the opposing team changes totally,” Calderon said. “That’s why myself, and (Chris Bosh) and Andrea (Bargnani) are getting those wide-open shots. They collapse on him. But everyone wants to look at his points.”
Calderon says Turkoglu’s shot will come around but he wants people to know that even without scoring, Turkoglu has been an effective weapon for the Raptors.
“For sure he is going to make more shots but he’s like anybody,” Calderon said. “There’s going to be times when they’re not going in. I’m not worried. I get more wide-open shots because of him. He catches the ball and my guy goes over to help. He’s very important to our offence. I want him out there.”
As for Calderon himself, scoring has not been a problem.
“It’s because I’m healthy,” he said. “I can turn the corner. I’m faster. I feel like I can react faster right now.”









Perkins: Raps' rookie DeRozan setting himself apart


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"We watched quite a bit of Portland last year, when they started (Nicolas) Batum and had him out there with four other guys that were pretty established players," Triano said. "You have to get draft picks minutes. If we don't start him, there are going to be times when maybe we don't find a way to get him into the game. That's not going to help his development. We really believe this kid is going to be good, with time."
"It really helped me a lot, putting me out there and helping me grow fast," said DeRozan, averaging 20.6 minutes and eight points a night. "Forty-one games into the season, being a starter, I've learned a lot so far. I come in every day, watch film, try to get better and learn something I didn't know previously."
The learning curve bends more sharply for some than for others. DeRozan, for instance, often needs urging to attack the basket.
"He did it a lot early, then for a long time was satisfied just with jump shots," Triano said. "That Knicks game showed him what can happen. You drive the ball, you get respect, not only from officials, but from opponents."








Raptors on the rise


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Chris Bosh is quietly optimistic about the Toronto Raptors as they get ready to start the second half of their season.
“I haven’t been this encouraged in a while,” the seven-year veteran, who leads his NBA team in scoring and rebounds, said after practice yesterday. “Before it’s been tough, not winning as many games and kind of leaving things on the table. But this year, we can really start pushing ourselves over .500 and see where we can get at by the end of the season.”
The second half begins tonight the same way the first did – with a date against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Toronto (21-20) will be on the road this time, and will be hard-pressed to duplicate the opening-night upset it recorded against LeBron James , Shaquille O’Neal and friends.
Cleveland (31-11) started the season 3-3 and are now returning from a five-game Western Conference road swing, during which it went 3-2. In between, the Cavaliers were 25-6 and have the best record in the East, second in the NBA to the Los Angeles Lakers .
But win or lose tonight, the Raptors have a lot to look forward to based on their 10-3 stretch in the past month, and 14-7 mark since the one-quarter pole of the season.



Grading the Raptors


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Jay Triano
Overall Grade: B
Strengths: Willingness to change on the fly. By embracing a more aggressive defensive style he was able to utilize his roster better and get players competing rather than thinking on the defensive end. Young players have made progress under his watch and kept his head during the Raptors early season stumbles. Toronto consistently gets good shots on play calls coming out of timeouts
Needs to work on: Finding a way to get Hedo Turkoglu playing optimally. In Orlando his reputation was as a player who required a heavy hand to provide maximum effort. Nothing in Toronto has suggested otherwise. Can Triano drag the best out of the Raptors $53-million man?






Blue Monday anything but for Raptors


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Chris Bosh believes confidence has a lot to do with his team's recent success.
"If we step on the court knowing that, okay, if we play hard and do these small things that we need to do, we're going to be able to win the basketball game," he said. "We just have to keep building on that and make sure we feel like that for the rest of the season."
To that end, Bosh said beating Cleveland on the road would be a big milestone for a team looking to do more than simply make the playoffs.
"You have an ounce of doubt, that's not really going to do well for you. It's really going to show on the court and I think that sometimes you step on the court [and say], 'Okay, we can beat these guys.' And you have to have that mentality going in. Especially on the road against good teams."



Raptors Game Day


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THE RAPTORS
Who's hot? Besides averaging 20 points a night over his last five games, Andrea Bargnani is rebounding and providing shutdown defence not often seen before from the Italian since he's been in the NBA.
Who's not? As an injury fill-in Marcus Banks showed himself a capable point guard but he has played just four minutes in Toronto's last six games.
THE CAVALIERS
Who's hot? Before dipping to 32 points in a win over the Clippers on Saturday, LeBron James had scored at least 35 in four straight games.
Who's not? Cleveland is going to need much more from Mo Williams than his 35% shooting in his last five games, including just 26%from three-point range.






Skilled at making themselves at home


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The Cavs will host the Toronto Raptors (21-20) tonight for the first of three consecutive home games. The Raptors handed the Cavs a 101-91 loss in the second game of the season in Toronto.
''We're playing at a different level right now, but so are they,'' Williams said. ''They won 10 out of their last 13, and they are playing well. At the same time, we feel like we owe them. They handed us a loss and you always want to use that as motivation, and that's what we're doing. We've played 40 games since then, and we learned a lot about ourselves since that game.''




Sunshine Girl – 19.01.10

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Old 01-19-2010, 08:58 AM   #2 (permalink)
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7.7/10

See Jose is smart. He knows there's more to Hedo's game than just stats.

Last edited by babyface; 01-19-2010 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 01-19-2010, 11:42 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by babyface View Post
7.7/10

See Jose is smart. He knows there's more to Hedo's game than just stats.
i really agree with u and jose because he is absolutely right! I think more people need to see this to understand why turkoglu is effective and important for this team.
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Old 01-19-2010, 02:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I said the same thing myself a week ago. Hedo and his fans need to calm down about him being able to do so much more, and just be happy with what he is able to do for others. And the people that want to call him names need to calm down as well. That's as long as they keep winning. If they can't win then it's just one major bitch session ready to happen.
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