Daily Raptor Dish - 20.02.10
Old 02-20-2010, 11:16 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Post Daily Raptor Dish - 20.02.10

No Bosh? No problem for Raps

Since he first donned a Raptor uniform some seven years ago, there have been 53 nights where the Raptors took the floor without Chris Bosh in the lineup. Prior to Friday, they had managed to win just 17 of those games.
Granted it was the New jersey Nets, who have managed just five wins all season, but for a night anyway the Raptors proved they can get it done with the big man out of commission.
And one need look no further than the 30 assists the team put up and the fact that seven different Raptors reached double figures in scoring for the formula to win a game with your biggest scoring threat some 540 kilometres away.
"If we just keep moving the ball, we're going to be OK," head coach Jay Triano said following the Raps 106-89 win over the woeful Nets. "I didn't see a selfish play tonight at all where someone tried to get their own. Everyone was looking to help each other and that's why you have that many assists."
One of the bigger benefactors of that generosity was Bosh's replacement in the rotation, Rasho Nesterovic.
The seldom used Slovenian veteran was left wide open in the early going and when his teammates found him, he knocked down the shots.
Looking like a guy who had been playing 30 minutes a night all season, Nesterovic finished with a season-high 16 points. You have to go back a little over 15 months to a game last November against Atlanta for a better scoring game by the 12-year veteran. He had 21 that night.
Nesterovic said his success, and that of the team, stemmed from the commitment to making the extra pass -- something he said was necessary if the Raps hoped to win.

Triano opts for D

On the surface, replacing Chris Bosh and his contribution of almost 25 points a night with Rasho Nesterovic seems a tad ... well, conservative.
But the truth of the matter is no team in the NBA loses its franchise player and has a replacement of anything close to the same calibre on the bench.
Raptors head coach Jay Triano could have gone with Amir Johnson to start in Bosh's place Friday and probably got a little more offence than he could expect out of Nesterovic, but offence isn't now, nor ever has been, the Raptors' focus.
"We have to get stops tonight," Triano said before his team beat the New jersey Nets 106-89 on Friday. "Our biggest thing is going to be our focus at the defensive end of the floor. Hopefully offence takes care of itself. We have a lot of guys that can score points. We just have to find ways to get them to do it."
Triano has been nothing if not consistent when replacing injured starters. He chooses the player who will disrupt what the Raptors are doing the least. In most cases, that means leaving the guy who might look like the obvious choice to move up and start and go with the guy behind him.
In this case it's Nesterovic leap-frogging Johnson.

Raptors Replay


The game was barely three minutes old and Hedo Turkoglu had already had enough. On the fourth time down the floor, the cumbersome mask that he began the game with somehow msyteriously disappeared. Even after a time out, Turkoglu returned without it.
Rasho Nesterovic isn't Chris Bosh but he certainly lessened the latter's absence in the first quarter last night. Nesterovic played nine of the first 12 minutes and had the team lead with eight points, the team lead with four reboudns and the team lead with five rebounds.
After an uncharacteristically quiet game in the first action back from the all-star break Wednesday, Jarrett Jack was looking more like himself again Friday night. Through the first half Jack already had dished out seven assists, gone 4-for-5 from the field for 10 points and pulled down four boards.
A game after they put up 43 against the Memphis Grizzlies in a losing cause, the Raptors bench once again more than held its own with 18 points in the first half.

Rasho Nesterovic comes up big for Raptors

Raptors scored in double figures, no starter had more than Jack's 18 or fewer than Andrea Bargnani's 13 and Jose Calderon led the bench scoring with 16.
And, perhaps most important, no one played more than Bargnani's 32 minutes, a key fact considering a back-to-back set ends with a home game against Washington on Saturday.
"When CB (Bosh) isn't playing, you have to play like a team and share the ball. ... That was our only chance to win," Nesterovic said.
Without Bosh and with Nesterovic playing more in one game than he might expect to in some months, Triano had to mix and match his lineups all night.
He did trot out a front court of Reggie Evans and Amir Johnson for the first time ever, willing to live with the offensive liabilities that might present because of the work ethic the two provide.
"It was probably out of necessity," the coach said. "I would like to have either Chris or Andrea on the floor with one of those guys but, with Chris out, we're going to have to have different combinations."

Raptors Blog by Doug Smith

Big finish
End of the first quarter, Nets score with 5.5 seconds left. Raptors inbound the ball, Jose goes 50 feet in a blur, hits Antoine Wright with a perfect pass, Wright takes his time, pump fakes a Net and drills a three-pointer with two-tenths of a second left.
End of the third quarter, Raps have the ball up eight, the Nets have been charging. They move it smartly around side-to-side, Andrea (I believe it was) finds himself on the post with a double-team coming and the clock running out. Instead of forcing it, he kicks it to Jose who pump fakes someone and drills a smooth three with four-tenths of a second left.
This has not generally been a team that finishes quarters like that; quite to the contrary, actually. They usually give up those shots instead of making them (how many uncontested buzzer beaters can you remember them giving up to end quarters?) and that’s what made last night at least mentionable.

Raptors bench dumps Nets

“There are some nights you just feel it,” said Nesterovic, who has played in 29 games this season. “I felt it tonight. I had a bunch of open shots at the beginning. With CB not playing, we were going to have play like a team and share the ball. That was our only chance to win. Knocking down the first couple, I relaxed a little bit. It's much easier than if you're struggling. All I can do is try and do my best.”
Nesterovic matched his previous season high of 12 points by halftime and his basket early in the third quarter helped Toronto open a 20-point lead it never lost.
“It was pretty remarkable,” said point guard Jarrett Jack , who had a team-high 18 points and 10 assists. “In my opinion, basketball is a game of rhythm and he hasn't been in the lineup for a while. For him to come in and contribute the way that he did is really unbelievable. It's a testament to him always been ready when called upon.”

Nesterovic scores 16 in 106-89 Raptors' win

This latest loss puts New jersey on pace to tie the NBA mark for fewest wins in a season, set by the Philadelphia 76ers (9-73) in 1972-73.
The Raptors had an easy time without Bosh, who sprained his left ankle Wednesday in Toronto against the Memphis Grizzlies. He didn't make the trip to New jersey and the Raptors didn't need him in building a 56-41 halftime lead.
Down by 20 early in the third quarter, Harris and the Nets played their best basketball of the night and put together a 30-16 spurt, closing to within 77-71 on a driving layup by the point guard with 1:29 left in the quarter.
New jersey had a chance to get closer, but a 3-pointer by Jarvis Hayes went in and out.
After taking a timeout, the Raptors scored the final five points of the quarter with Calderon hitting a 3-pointer at the buzzer for an 82-71 lead.

NJ Nets lose to Chris Bosh-less Toronto Raptors, 106-89

So the same players who have won but five games are the ones the faithful will be looking at the rest of the season. That group went down to defeat again Friday night, for the 50th time this season, dropping a 106-89 decision to the Chris Bosh-less Toronto Raptors at Izod Center.

Bosh sat out with a left ankle injury, but the Raptors banded together with seven players scoring in double figures.

Rasho Nesterovic, who started in place of Bosh, filled in quite nicely, with 16 points on 8-of-11 shooting, plus seven rebounds and four assists. Jarrett Jack led Toronto with 18 points and 10 assists, as all five Toronto starters hit double figures. Jose Calderon and Amir Johnson had 16 and 10 points, respectively, off the bench. Toronto shot 59.7 percent from the floor (43-of-72). The Nets shot 41.8 percent (33-of-79).

“They tried to be more uptempo, obviously, because they have to make up those 24 points a game (that Bosh averages), so they have to go up and down the floor more,” said Nets center Brook Lopez, whose 22 points led all scorers.

“That’s tough to defend with the lineup they play. They’ve really got some bigs who can shoot the ball, stretch the floor. It’s just tough,” said Lopez, who hit 9-of-12 shots and grabbed eight rebounds. Devin Harris had 19 and 11 assists for the Nets and Courtney Lee had 17.

The Nets’ starting forwards, Yi Jianlian and Jarvis Hayes, were brutal. Yi shot 2-for-13 in the game, both his baskets coming on open dunks, and Hayes was 2-for-10. Both finished with five points, as current owner Bruce Ratner watched from the front row.

Yi did show some energy in the second half and finished with seven rebounds and three blocked shots. But the fans’ patience with him has worn thin. They don’t yet boo him when he’s announced, but they do sometimes cheer when he is subbed out of the game.

Al Thornton, Josh Howard lead new-look Wizards to victory

I told our guys at shoot-around, 'We got to play like a bunch of mad dogs.' That's how we played tonight," Coach Flip Saunders said. "We went after loose balls, rebounded. We didn't give up on plays. The crowd gets into it; the guys get juiced up."
Before leaving for Washington on Thursday night, Billups made a comment that might explain the slight advantage the Wizards could have over the next few days.
"I don't even know who's on their team anymore," Billups told reporters in Cleveland. "How are we going to scout that?"
With the win, the Wizards (19-33) matched their win total from last season. Their remarkably quick facelift left nearly everyone confused and unprepared on Friday, as the team welcomed a new player (Thornton) who is actually "happy" to play for them, while another (Zydrunas Ilgauskas) arrived with the hopes of receiving a contract buyout. In his Wizards debut, Thornton scored a team-high 21 points and finished the game by blocking Billups's layup.
Thornton, whom the Wizards acquired from the Los Angeles Clippers in the Antawn Jamison deal, arrived in Washington at 2 a.m., but had enough energy to hustle and muscle Anthony, who had 23 points but missed 13 of his 20 shot attempts. At one point, Anthony shoved Thornton after an attempted steal.

Sunshine Girl - 20.02.10

SUNshine Girl Theresa greeted you on the December page of the 2010 SUNshine Girl calendar. What a great way to end the year. This 5-foot-6 recent graduate in business administration is 22 years old and enjoys running, working and cooking

RF Girl of the Day - Dominique Piek

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Old 02-20-2010, 01:00 PM   #2 (permalink)

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Old 02-20-2010, 01:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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