Daily Raptor Dish - 25-02-2010
Old 02-25-2010, 06:58 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Daily Raptor Dish - 25-02-2010

Roy, Trail Blazers beat Raptors

The Raptors had not played since Saturday but were without jump.

"I thought we were playing schemes more than we were with our energy," Triano said. "We didn't make the second-effort plays, the late close outs, or the securing of rebounds.

"They were more physical, shot the ball better, took care of the ball better than we did and they were better defensively. It is tough to win games when you have that."

Jack said it was the turnovers in the first half that cost the Raptors.

"We didn't do a good job of taking care of the ball early," Jack said. "It helped them establish the lead they had a halftime. It's tough to recover when you give the other team an extra possession."

Evans: Love you, man!

When the Raptors play host to the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night, Evans will share a moment with Nate McMillan and thank him for all he has done for him.

Evans, who was never drafted, owes a debt of gratitude to McMillan.

Whether he played in Denver or in Philadelphia, Evans has always made it a point to reach out to McMillan when their paths crossed.

Whether it was as a coach with the Nuggets, 76ers and now the Raptors, Evans isn’t afraid to admit none has impacted his career quite like McMillan.

“He has had a major influence on my career,’’ Evans said following Tuesday’s workout. “No disrespect to the coaches here in Toronto, but Nate has been so instrumental and so important in helping me become the player I am today.

“He was honest and straight-forward. He never sugar-coated anything. He got straight to the point and he never beat around the bush. Those qualities make you respect your coach even more.”

Raps set to sweat

Whether Rasho Nesterovic will continue to be an anchor in the paint won’t be known until he steps on to the court. What the Raptors know for certain is that the upcoming list of opponents is formidable, an important measuring stick that may ultimately define this season. “We know what’s at stake,’’ Marco Belinelli said following Tuesday’s practice. “We’ve been able to win a couple of games without C.B., but we have to keep it up. Everyone has to be ready and be prepared to step it up.” Belinelli has been caught up in a series of matchups that have led to the sharpshooter spending more time riding the bench.

Without Bosh, Raptors fall to Trail Blazers

“When we came out, the second unit today, we didn’t do the job we have been doing lately so I take some responsibility myself,” said Jose Calderon. “We have to play better, they played better than us today and we have a hard one on Friday (at home against Cleveland).”

With the offence misfiring, the Raptors errors defensively only made the situation worse.

Portland guards Andre Miller, 18 points and 10 assists, and Brandon Roy, a team-high 20 points, dominated for long stretches, regardless of what Toronto did.

“Post-ups, isos, whatever,” said Triano. “We tried different guys on them, we tried different looks and we couldn’t stop them.”

Toronto’s defence lacked a lot of the intensity it’s shown in the past few weeks, perhaps the cumulative impact of not having Bosh and the minutes he plays and the strength of the Blazers backcourt.

Save for one spurt late in the second quarter, which got Toronto back into the game at halftime, they didn’t make the hustle plays they needed to.

Turnovers trip up Raptors

The Toronto Raptors added an unofficial promotion to last night’s program, this one courtesy of the players: Giveaway Night.

Thanks to 16 turnovers, the Raptors allowed the Portland Trail Blazers to leave the Air Canada Centre with an easy 101-87 win in front of 16,161 people who, apparently, hate hockey – foregoing the televised Canadian men’s Olympic game against Russia to attend.

The Trail Blazers (34-26) were playing the second of back-to-back road games, but looked fresh in winning their third in a row and ending the Raptors’ franchise-high streak of 20 games of scoring at least 100 points.

The hosts spread their largess around, as nine Raptors players had at least one turnover. Guards Jarrett Jack and Jose Calderon led the way with three each, while Marco Belinelli, who played less than eight minutes, and Amir Johnson were the only Toronto players not to cough up the ball.

“It happens,” Jack said with a shrug. “We were just careless with the ball.”

Raptors head coach Jay Triano echoed that sentiment.

“We were sloppy with the ball. It was different guys, you couldn’t blame one guy,” he said. “It wasn’t a lack of effort. But that second burst of energy we usually get wasn’t there.”

Raptors' sloppy play leads to a loss

The Raptors, at least, had an excuse.

Playing without Chris Bosh was bound to catch up to the Raptors at some point. Toronto won two games on the weekend without Bosh, who is nursing a sprained ankle. However, playing Portland, a likely playoff team in the deep Western Conference. And if Bosh cannot make it back for any of the next three games - a home game against Cleveland and road games in Oklahoma City and Houston await - the Raptors could be looking at some modest adversity for the first time in 2010.

Inevitably, playing without your best player will catch up with you. The Raptors did not help their cause, turning the ball over 16 times, including 10 times in the first half. The Raptors average just more than 13 turnovers per game. Portland, on the other hand, turned the ball over just eight times.

"We can't go through those long droughts where we don't score, or turn the ball over, or not play well on defence," Jack said of playing without Bosh. "All of those things help trigger our offence. If we're not doing any of those things we're going to have a rough night."

Portland 101, Toronto 87: Brandon Roy and Andre Miller lead Blazers to 2nd win in a row on the road

Looks like the Trail Blazers signed the right free agent this summer after all.

Nearly eight months after Hedo Turkoglu went back on his word and spurned the Trail Blazers' free agent offer in order to sign a similar deal with Toronto, the Blazers exacted a measure of revenge on Wednesday.

And the player who led the Blazers to a 101-87 victory over Toronto was none other than Andre Miller, the player who was not Plan B, but Plan C on the Blazers' free agent wish list.

Miller had 18 points, 10 assists, seven rebounds, three steals and no turnovers to trump Turkoglu's near-perfect night when he scored 24 points on 8-of-9 shooting.

"Even though Andre may not have been the first choice, it has come down to him being the right choice," Blazers star Brandon Roy said. "The way he has been playing for us, he has been our most important guy because of how consistent he has been."

Said Miller: "I guess it has worked out for everybody."

In truth, there was more pregame attention paid to who wasn't in the game than the summer's free agent competition. Toronto played without All-Star forward Chris Bosh, the team's leading scorer and rebounder, while the Blazers played without newly acquired center Marcus Camby. Both players have sprained ankles.

And really, the sting of Turkoglu's last-minute about-face in July has long left the Blazers, in part because the season has been so hectic and traumatic, and in part because it has taken until the end of February for the Blazers to meet the Raptors for the first time.

But also, part of the proverbial burying of the hatchet has come because Miller has turned out to be what the Blazers needed: a steady, calming veteran who every five games or so can alleviate the offensive pressure on Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge.

Along the way, Miller has adapted to fit the Blazers' almost obsessive fixation with avoiding turnovers. Always a daring point guard who once led the league in assists while not being afraid to make a mistake, Miller has tailored his game to the possession conscious Blazers.
Sunshine Girl - 25.02.2010

SUNshine Girl Leeza is only 18 but she already knows that she wants to be a fashion designer specializing in lingerie. Singing and skiing are her other passions. Hey, maybe she could design furry teddies for the slopes!

RF Girl of the Day- Ludmila Privivkova

Last edited by LX; 02-25-2010 at 07:06 AM.
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Old 02-25-2010, 06:59 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Get well soon Acie!
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Old 02-25-2010, 08:28 AM   #3 (permalink)

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nice RF girl LX. I hadn't noticed her yet.

Oh the curlers just keep on broadening their fanbase.. We should start a women of curling thread.
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Old 02-25-2010, 08:42 AM   #4 (permalink)
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hurry! hard!!!!
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Old 02-25-2010, 12:19 PM   #5 (permalink)

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Beli should have got more playing time. It's not like Jose, Wright or Weems were doing much better that night
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