Daily Raptor Dish - 21 Dec
Old 12-21-2009, 06:34 AM   #1 (permalink)
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DYNAMIC DUO TO THE RESCUE


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Weems and DeRozan (three years younger) were naturally drawn to each other because of their ages, the fact that both were new to the Raptors and the fact that they both play a similar style.

"Him and Jarrett Jack are probably my two closest friends on the team," DeRozan said.

"Sonny is probably my best friend on the team. We've got that vibe going on with each other and love being out there on the floor together."

But while DeRozan starts, Weems, of late, has been one of the first subs coming off the bench, so normally soon after he enters the game, DeRozan is subbing out. Yesterday, with the Hornets going with a small lineup, the two were on the court together for the final five minutes of the third quarter and made the most of it.

"It's an up-tempo game with me and DeMar and Jack running up and down the court," Weems said.

Throw in Amir Johnson, which coach Jay Triano did with about 31/2 minutes to go in the third quarter, and it's a veritable Raptors track meet on the court.

"I love playing with those guys because it makes it easier on all the rest of us with them flying around out there," Johnson said.


BANKS MAKES MOST OF CHANCE


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"The one thing Marcus can do is defend," Triano said. "When he is in the game we try to let Turk (Hedo Turkoglu)run a lot of the offence from the point-forward position. Marcus can guard point guards and even tonight Chris Paul tried to post him up a couple of times in the third and Marcus was very strong and did a good job holding his ground.





BACKUPS STAR FOR THE RAPTORS


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"Of course, I don't want anything to happen like that (the hip injury that's sidelined Calderon for the better part of seven games now) because he's a great guy, but from a professional standpoint, you have to be ready at all times," said Banks.

"First off, we're a team. As long as we're winning, everything's great. I'm not a negative guy so if it's not broken, don't try to fix it. Of course I want to play but at the end of the day, this is Jose's team. Right now, I'm being a teammate, we've got a guy down and I'm helping to hold up the ship."

Banks, Weems and Amir Johnson supplied some much-needed oomph to the Raptors on Sunday in a game they won with a solid second half.

They used their athleticism to hit the boards and quicken the tempo and defend, precisely what their jobs are.

OPTIMISM IN SHORT SUPPLY FOR RAPTORS


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This team isn't going to win 50 games, as Colangelo hypothesized they might in one of his pre-season daydream sessions. And finishing in the bottom four of the East's playoff teams is, of course, no recipe for ecstasy. The chances of Toronto winning a post-season series as a first-round underdog are positively slim.

But the Raptors are celebrating their 15th season as the active NBA franchise with the fourth-worst winning percentage in league history, ahead of only the Clippers, Bobcats and Grizzlies.

The bar is low. On Sunday Morris Peterson was showered with a standing ovation and feted as "one of the greatest Raptors in history." At age 32, one of the greatest Raptors in history is nailed to the New Orleans bench, a forgotten man.







RAPTORS FIND UNLIKELY HEROES


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The Raptors’ win turned on their ability to contain Chris Paul, the electric point guard for the Hornets (12-14). Before the game, Raptors assistant coach Marc Iavaroni talked about the need to “manage” Paul, who shredded the Denver Nuggets for 30 points and 19 assists last Friday and came into the game yesterday averaging 15.8 assists a game in his seven starts since returning from an ankle sprain.

The Raptors (13-17) did just that, mixing up their defences and holding Paul to 10 points, seven assists and eight rebounds on 3-of-13 shooting in 40 minutes. Paul committed five turnovers.






RAPTORS USE LATE RUN TO PUT AWAY HORNETS


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The Raptors' so-called energy guys did not provide solely smiles and cheers, though. With the ball in his hands and the game conceded, Johnson could have gotten the Raptors to 100 points in the waning seconds, getting the fans a free slice of pizza. Surely thoughts of a windmill dunk danced in his head.

"I was close to doing it," Johnson said.

"All I heard was, ‘Pizzzzzzzza!' I was going to take a three, throw up those Calderons [the point guard's hand gesture after a three pointer]."

Alas, he dribbled out the clock.
Sunshine Girl - 21.12.09

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Old 12-21-2009, 06:53 AM   #2 (permalink)
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way to deliver the morning papers LX.

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Old 12-21-2009, 08:58 AM   #3 (permalink)
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thanks again LX!
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Old 12-21-2009, 09:59 AM   #4 (permalink)
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PUNJABI!
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Old 12-21-2009, 02:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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