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Join Date: Dec 2007
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Daily Raptor Dish - 23.11.09
No fun with figures
Timing all wrong to honour Vince
The stats sheet doesn't always tell the story.
Most nights, the final figures will at least give one a pretty good idea of where the game was won or lost.
Yesterday's 104-96 defeat to the Orlando Magic was the exception and Chris Bosh was stumped by a final score that didn't seem to add up to the individual scoring stats.
The Raptors outshot the Magic 44% to 41% from the field. Sure, they made three fewer threes, but they attempted only 16 to the 32 heaves the Magic threw up.
Points in the paint was a decisive win for the Raptors while second-chance points was pretty much a wash. Even the rebounding was all but even with the Magic pulling down three more boards than the Raps' 43.
But for the second time in three weeks, the Magic left Toronto with a win.
"Just looking at the scoresheet, I really don't know what to say," Bosh said. "We gave up some second chances, but they didn't have that many second-chance points, which is a mystery. I guess if we tighten up the rebounding and knock down a few more shots, it could have been a different game."
Song remains the same for Raptors
Until Vince Carter offers a contrite apology for abandoning the Raptors franchise and its fan base, under no circumstance should he be honoured.
Until he comes clean and airs his laundry, metaphorically speaking, there is no purpose in acknowledging his contributions to the Raps.
It speaks to the team's naivete that the mere notion of honouring Carter in the Raptors' 15th anniversary season was broached.
"Honour me? In Toronto? Are you sure?'' Carter said, his face incredulous while, at the same time, mischievous in the wake of the Orlando Magic's 104-96 win yesterday.
From the moment he showed his face yesterday the ACC, VC was greeted by the predictable boos.
The venom intensified during the pre-game introductions, grew louder when he performed his pre-tip ritual of hanging from the rim and gained more momentum each time the ball found its way into his hands.
"It's become a tradition,'' Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy of the booing for Carter. "I think half of the people don't even why they're booing. It's funny."
One day, Carter's name and number should take its rightful place in the ACC rafters and he'll be accorded the same reception that ushered in the arrival of Vinsanity in Hogtown. But that time will never arrive until he bares his soul. The ball, literally and figuratively, is in Carter's court.
When the Raptors used a stoppage in play yesterday to recognize the work of Brendan Malone, the gesture, while underwhelming and ill-timed, was appropriate.
Malone never wanted to leave Toronto, a place that provided him his first and only opportunity to serve as an NBA head coach.
All Malone wanted to do was win. All Carter wanted to do in his final days here was pout and hold the club hostage
Magic beats Raptors 104-96
It was an old refrain, and a familiar one, Jose Calderon was singing as he stood in front of his locker, trying to explain away another Raptors loss.
It's something of a funeral dirge for the team; something they can trot out after almost every defeat.
"We just have to finish games and play all 48 (minutes)," the point guard said. "I know it sounds like I'm saying the same thing, but this is what it is.
"We play sometimes, one quarter, two quarters, we need 48. It's tough without it to beat these good teams."
Perkins: Deep bench helps swing game Orlando's way
"I thought, defensively, we didn't do too bad of a job," said Triano, whose team held Orlando to 41 per cent shooting from the floor and just 28 per cent from three-point range. "When we went back to our regular coverage, that's when Redick got going. For the most part, we forced their non-scorers to be scorers. I thought their bench did a nice job and Redick (who had a career-high 27 against Toronto earlier this season) came in and hurt us again."
Orlando too deep for Raptors
So how did the Magic, NBA finalists last season, pull this one off, some 40 hours after going into Boston and beating the Celtics? The bench more than made a difference and, with starting point guard Jameer Nelson out after knee surgery, these weren't the household names getting it done. Early in the third quarter, the three all-stars, Howard, Carter and Lewis, were out and that's when the Magic went from two points down to 11 points up.
It was the critical moment, Van Gundy said.
"I thought the way we played with Jason Williams, J.J. (Redick), (Mickael) Pietrus, Ryan Anderson and Marcin Gortat – that's not exactly the lineup everybody writes about when they're writing about the Orlando Magic and that's on the road against a good team – they took the lead to double figures," he said. "You can't ask for more than that. It's a great job by our bench, to have Rashard, Vince and Dwight all on the bench at the same time, and Jameer out, that says a lot about our depth and our character."
Carter scores 24 as Magic beat Raptors 104-96
Chris Bosh was standing in front of his locker in the Toronto Raptors’ dressing room, looking at the statistical story of yesterday afternoon’s game against the Orlando Magic, trying to make sense of it.
While the sheet was full of numbers, including a final score that read 104-96 Orlando, Bosh was drawing a blank.
“Every time we play a game, I like to see where we won or where we lost,” he said. “But it’s [confusing]. … Just looking at the score sheet, I really don’t know what to say.”
That’s because it’s not politic for Bosh to state the obvious: The Magic [11-3] are better than the Raptors and can win NBA games all manner of ways.
The Raptors [6-8] can take solace in any number of statistical truths:
They held the Magic – fortified with the recent return of the Air Canada Centre’s first son, Vince Carter, from injury and Rashard Lewis from suspension – to just 41-per-cent shooting from the field, a tremendous achievement.
They held Carter – still booed every time he touches the ball five years and two teams after leaving Toronto – to just 9-of-24 shooting and they led the Magic in bench scoring 34-31.
They also held the Magic – one of the most prolific three-point shooting teams in the NBA in recent years – to just 9-of-32 from deep, a miserly 28.1 per cent and a significant improvement over the last time the teams met when Orlando ripped the Raptors for 17 triples on 32 tries in the third game of the season.
All good things.
Vince Carter shoos boos as Orlando Magic beat Toronto Raptors for fifth straight win
But with their three leading scorers all sitting, the Magic didn't fold. Redick and Williams hit back-to-back 3-pointers, Redick made a jumper and Ryan Anderson hit two free throws to give Orlando a 90-80 lead with 7:19 left.
"That's not exactly the lineup that everybody writes about when they're writing about the Orlando Magic," Van Gundy said. "That was on the road against a good team and those guys did a great job extending the lead. They took the lead to double figures. You can't ask for more than that."
Redick said the Magic learned not to panic in such situations when they were forced to play without Lewis and Carter earlier this season.
"It wasn't like we looked around and said 'Holy crap, we don't have an All-Star on the floor,'" Redick said. "We just went out and played with a group that has been successful before."
Williams added another 3 before Carter and Howard returned with 6:05 remaining, but Toronto wasn't done. Trailing by 13 after two Howard free throws, Jarrett Jack made a 3 from the corner before Amir Johnson hit a layup, then put back Turkoglu's miss to make it 97-91 with 2:32 left.
Carter made sure the Raptors didn't get any closer, making two free throws and later hitting a jumper to keep Orlando's lead secure
Since forcing a trade from Toronto to New jersey in 2004, he is 6-4 against the Raptors in the regular season. Two game-winning shots came as a member of the visiting Nets.
The Raptors have been celebrating their 15th anniversary as a franchise by honoring former players and coaches with video tributes during timeouts. Given the acrimonious back story of the relationship, the Raptors contacted the Magic to see if Carter might be a willing participant (or target) for the tribute.
George Galante, director of communications for the Magic, said he asked Carter if the Raptors could honor him, but Carter declined.
"Why would I want to do it? You heard it out there," Carter said. "They came to me. It just didn't make sense. Actually, it wasn't as loud as it has been. It used to be deafening."
Raptors General Manager Bryan Colangelo told the Sentinel a couple weeks ago that he was in favor of celebrating Carter because "Vince is part of our history." But any gesture by the Raptors is now moot. It was Orlando's final trip this season to Canada.
Carter missed the Magic's first game in Toronto on Nov. 1 because of a sprained ankle. But he was booed lustily during his introduction and each time he had the ball on Sunday.
"I enjoy playing in that atmosphere and I enjoy coming back here and just being part of this," he said. "It was a misconception of the entire thing (his exit). This is where it all started."
The Magic are now tied for the NBA's best record at 11-3. They were 10-4 after 14 games last season when they finished 59-23.
The Magic haven't lost since being routed by the Cleveland Cavs, thanks to some stingy defense, a player-coach heart-to-heart and Carter's go-to game.
Upgrades on the defensive end helped Orlando sweep the two-game road trip against Toronto and the Boston Celtics on Friday night. The Magic held the Celtics to 35 percent and, after surrendering 28 first-quarter points to the Raptors, buckled down to limit Toronto to 37 percent in the final period.
Sunshine Girl - 23.11.09