landry fields forever
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Living in a van down by the river
Daily Raptor Dish - 21.11.09
Raps all Jacked up
In a game that appeared to be well in hand after 24 minutes, the Raptors managed to squander almost all of a 20-point halftime lead before Jarrett Jack came out of his funk with a pair of huge three-point buckets in the final two minutes to help seal a 120-113 win over the Miami Heat.
Jack admitted the doubts were starting to creep in as he struggled to find his game with his new teammates this year. But the fifth-year NBAer, with support from his family, teammates and head coach battled through a difficult period and emerged last night with his best game as a Raptor.
Jack finished the night with a personal season-high 17 points. And while the two threes in the dying minutes will carry the highlight shows this morning, the blanket he put over Dwyane Wade during the final 3:41, after the Heat had climbed to within a point of erasing the Raptors lead, was equally as big.
Every time Wade got the ball, Jack forced him to give it up. The Heat guard managed to get off one shot in the final 31/2 minutes, a missed three-pointer with 1:48 to go. Jack allowed him nothing else.
"I've been in the league five years and I've played against him a number of times," Jack said. "When it gets to those waning minutes in the fourth, you pretty much know everything will go through those superstar calibre guys and you have to stay attached as much as possible and be able to make his looks and catches difficult."
As for the clutch threes, Jack gave the credit to his teammates for keeping the faith in him.
"I've just got great teammates," Jack said. "Those are the same shots I've had all season. They've all been preaching to me: 'Keep shooting, keep shooting. Why aren't you shooting?' They've been a positive influence on me since I've been here and I'm just thankful they still find me when I'm open."
The fact that Jack was in the gym late Thursday night on a day off for the team, jacking up 250 shots from various spots on the floor, might have helped, too.
"I shot a really good percentage (Thursday) night and I was able to translate it over to today," he said.
Raptors get lift from Jarrett Jack
WORST IS OVER?
No team in the East has played as many road games over the first dozen as the Raptors. And while finally getting a stretch of home games has to be a relief, it's also a bit of a concern to coach Jay Triano. "Yes we've put some of that behind us but if you relax at all and think just because we're home, something good is going to happen you're setting yourself up for defeat," Triano said. "We just can't take any games for granted."
STILL NO ANTOINE
Antoine Wright was a no-go last night but Hedo Turkoglu and his wonky hip were able to answer the call. Wright is dealing with a sore left ankle and, with Dwyane Wade to deal with, the absence of his defence was a tough pill to swallow.
Perkins: Raptors follow blueprint to semi-perfection
To the people who matter the most – his coaches and teammates – Jarrett Jack was always going to be an integral part of whatever success the Raptors enjoyed and throughout a slow start, was never doubted.
Jack paid off that support in a huge way Friday night and may have shot himself out of whatever little slump he'd been in for most of the season.
Jack's two corner three-pointers, both while he was wide open and the recipient of the extra pass that's such a huge part of Toronto's offence, lifted the Raptors to a 120-113 win over the Miami Heat in front of a sellout Air Canada Centre crowd of 19,800.
After Toronto had seen a 23-point lead slip away, and with visions of a collapse dancing in everyone's mind, Jack made his biggest shots of the season.
Fans may have been surprised, but no one in the locker room was.
"He played good to make those shots and he needed to make those, too," said Jose Calderon. "He's a great player. He played really good in Indiana (last season) and we missed that sometimes in the other games. He was great. He gave us those threes in the corner and put them away."
Raptors Blog by Doug Smith
Except for that stretch when they were blowing 22 of their 23-point lead, this was pretty much the way Bryan Colangelo's lab experiment was supposed to perform this season.
The Raptors, who could do no wrong for much of a first half against Miami, got themselves stretched to the limit before rebounding – literally, in some cases – to beat the Heat late, 120-113.
Maybe in the general manager's wildest dreams – or those of coach Jay Triano – the starting front line of Chris Bosh, Hedo Turkoglu and Andrea Bargnani would have this kind of statistical representation. The three added up to 72 points, 27 rebounds, six blocks and some decisive crunch-time presence, each man hitting a critical shot when the Heat turned up the, er, heat. This was the way it was supposed to work, but seldom has so far this season. Yes, the Raps still gave up too many second-chance points, but there was effective ball movement and signs of chemistry, particularly up front. Then add in Amir Johnson's almost always useful minutes as first big off the bench, which this night was nine points and four rebounds. This was what the brain trust had in mind.
"Chris has always been able to score on the low blocks and Andrea is excellent at spreading the defence," Triano assessed. "Hedo can score, he can rebound and he can make plays for everybody. We saw that in Orlando, that he can make plays, and we have a similar situation here, where Chris is like Dwight Howard and Andrea is like Rashard Lewis. He keeps the floor wide open and gives us the ability to create. He can get inside, he can kick balls out if they help. He's big enough to see over top of defences and pick you apart. This is where the majority of our offence is going to come from."
Raptors hold on for win
A heckuva play
End of the first half, 3.2 seconds left, Heat shooting free throws.
Second one’s missed, Bosh grabs the rebound, outlets to Jose close to the hash mark on the far side, Hedo’s streaking up the middle of the court, Jose makes a fine pass through traffic, Turkoglu dribbles about twice, pulls up and hits a three as the place, and the bench, go nuts.
Jay told us after the game they work on that kind of situation in practice for the handful of times it’ll happen over the course of a season.
Maybe not that precise turn of events, if it’s an inbounds play they want someone else to take the ball out and Bosh sets a screen on Turk’s guy, but the improvisation just made it more impressive.
Little things. Big baskets.
Raptors lead early, withstand Heat
But Wade made no apologies for trying to woo his former Olympic teammates to Miami, a tropical city that "sells itself."
"I'm always recruiting," Wade said. "We all recruit to make our team better. We're all Olympic teammates, so we talk about the what-ifs. Everybody wants their team to be the best."
But how about turning the tables: Would Wade consider heading north to join Bosh in Toronto?
"Um, no comment on that one," Wade said. "Toronto's a beautiful city, though."
Spoelstra livid after comeback proves too little against Raptors
In the seemingly never-ending march toward July 1, 2010, free agents-to-be Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade have taken different approaches.
Wade, the Miami Heat star guard, happily answers the 2010 queries. Bosh, the Raptors forward, is more reserved. It is not as if Wade is wearing a sign with blinking lights saying, "Ask Me About My Future!" Nor is Bosh rude to reporters who bring up the topic.
But there is a difference, certainly. Perhaps it comes down to their current homes.
"I have to sell the team. The city sells itself. It's self-explanatory," Wade said before the Raptors' 120-113 win over Miami last night at the Air Canada Centre. "I just have to make sure I sell the team and make sure the team and teammates around me are good and we are getting the most out of individuals that we can. And that will make others want to come and be a part of it."
Compare and contrast that to Bosh.
"It's just a fascination right now and everything. I get it a lot on the road," Bosh said. "I see you guys everyday. I don't see those guys everyday. So it's, 'Chris, what's going to happen? What's going to happen?' Read the paper. [My answer] will stay the same."
Left for dead after trailing by 20 at halftime and allowing Toronto to shoot a staggering 79.2 percent in the second quarter, the Heat climbed within 100-99 on a jumper by fill-in starter James Jones with 3:44 to play, before its comeback was short-circuited by late 3-pointers by center Andrea Bargnani and guard Jarrett Jack.
"We have to prove that our identity actually means something deep to us," Spoelstra said. "One way or another, we're going to get back to that identity."
While the Heat has now lost four of its last five, this was nothing like the beat downs this week by the more athletic Thunder and Hawks. This was the Heat finding its game and finding defense against a polished opponent, but finding both a bit too late.
After struggling in the previous three games, Wade came around with 30 points.
He was supported by the best efforts of the season by the Heat's second-year players, with Beasley sparking a 22-8 third-quarter rally and closing with 21 points and 12 rebounds, and with Chalmers adding a career-high 30 points.
Sunshine Girl - 21.11.09