Daily Raptor Dish - 25.11.09
Old 11-25-2009, 09:32 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Jack burns former mates


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Jarrett Jack hung around the Air Canada Centre practice gym on Monday, long after most of his teammates had gone, taking shot after shot after shot.
What do they say about practice making perfect?
Jack was just that from the floor last night, shooting 7-for-7 from the field, to score a season-high 18 points while adding six assists off the bench as the Raptors' vaunted offence continued to roll in a 123-112 victory over the Indiana Pacers at the ACC.
Fellow point guard Jose Calderon also had a big game, scoring 21 with seven assists.
Obviously Jack is becoming increasingly comfortable backing up Calderon. The former Pacer, who signed as a free agent with the Raptors in the off-season, has played three strong games in a row. Against Orlando on Sunday, the first-year Raptor matched his career-high with 11 assists. In Friday's win over the Miami Heat, Jack recorded a then season-high 17 points.
"He's different right now," head coach Jay Triano said. "He's lighter off the floor. He's just playing with a lot of confidence, and I think he's liking basketball, whereas at first, there was a feeling-out process where he wasn't really sure where he fit on this team and what his role was going to be."
Jack said that he was pressing too much early in the season, trying to impress his new employer and the Toronto fans, but has heeded the coaching staff's advice of late to just play within himself. And when he's on his game, he and Calderon give the Raptors a lethal 1-2 combination at the point.
"I felt extra energized, that might have had something to do with me playing against my old team," Jack said.
"But I have every game circled on my calender, and that's just not being politically correct. I get excited for every single game. And I think that's the reason why I've played 82 games in consecutive seasons. I love game day. (Tonight) I can't wait to play Charlotte, I can't want to play Boston (on Friday)."


Calderon could be more selfish


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It's doubtful if Jose Calderon learned anything from T.J. Ford when they gave the Raptors arguably the strongest one-two point guard punch in the NBA.
Calderon isn't as selfish as Ford and neither is he prone to disrupt team chemistry.
The two are as opposite as a team that likes to play in half court and a team that pushes the ball at every opportunity.
But there is one quality Ford possesses that Calderon somehow must incorporate into his game. That is the ability to take over games.
Whether Calderon ever evolves into that player who wants the ball in his hands in crunch time and isn't afraid to take a game-winning shot, regardless of its outcomes, remains to be seen.
Calderon has shown flashes of being aggressive and looking to score before deferring and getting a teammate involved.


Replay


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TALKING TURKEY
It was Turkish Day in honour of Raptors forward Hedo Turkoglu, prompting Raptors assistant coach Eric Hughes to approach the forward during the warmup and ask: "Does this mean I get a free turkey?" (It's American Thanksgiving tomorrow). A group of fans unveiled a huge Turkish flag in the upper level during the game. Another flashed a sign which read: "We're proud of you."





Unselfish play pays dividends for Raptors


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The first half was an absolute clinic in NBA offence as the Raptors swung the ball side-to-side, passed up good shots so teammates could have better ones and amassed a season-high 74 points.
When GM Bryan Colangelo put together this roster, it was with that kind of production in mind, unselfish and interchangeable parts able to mesh into a dominant offence.
"We told our guys, `If we keep moving the basketball side to side and we set screens for each other, we're going to get any shot we want,'" said coach Jay Triano after his squad came within five of the club record for points in a half. "And in the first half, we had a lot of guys who contributed and scored."
The Raptors amassed that total in an entirely unexpected way, too. Chris Bosh had only six points at the break, as did Andrea Bargnani.
But Rasho Nesterovic scored 10 in the opening two quarters, Jose Calderon made five of his first six shots and had 15 while Turkoglu was 4-for-5 and had 11 points


Griffin: Jack has the last laugh on Pacers


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Jack had to have strong emotions in his first time back on the floor against Indiana.
"Coach Alvin Williams always talks to me about staying even-keeled," Jack insisted. "My emotions not getting too up, not getting too down but staying right in the middle and being able to put myself and everyone else in a successful position."
This was a game Jack likely had circled since his first peek at the schedule, although he didn't admit it.
"I have every game circled on my calendar," Jack said. "That's not trying to be politically correct. I get excited for every single game and I think that's why I played 82 games in consecutive seasons. I love game day. I can't wait to play Charlotte."
Triano knew better. He glued Jack to the bench early on, waiting until 2:50 left in the first quarter before subbing him in.
In the first six minutes he played without Ford on the floor, he scored two points, with nothing across the board. By the half, playing much of that time against his arch-rival, Jack had nine points, three assists and a steal.

Raptors Blog by Doug Smith


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The little things count
All right, we all dog Andrea Bargnani for the perception that heís a bad rebounder, right?
(I believe the standard phrase is, ďBargnani, who has to get better on the boards ÖĒ)
Well, you know what? He doesnít suck. At least not lately. Heís had 43 rebounds in his last five games (thatís more than eight a game, the old abacus tells me) and last night he did something I donít remember him doing for quite some time.
Fourth quarter, gameís closer than anyone wanted Ė although not once was there the feeling the Pacers were going to come all the way back and win Ė and he gets two offensive rebounds to provide second chance opportunities that Toronto capitalized on and once he kept alive another miss with a tip that ended up in someone elseís hands.
Thatís just effort and itís not something he was known for.
Now, I have no idea if he can keep this up but a whole lot of people need to cut him some momentary slack about his rebounding skill and effort.
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The little things count, 2.0
Itís early in the second quarter and Amir Johnson showed something his coaches and teammates will love and I imagine some fans might have missed.
Right in front of where we were sitting, Turkís got the ball on the right side and he wants to go left.
Johnson comes up from the other side and sets one of the best screens Iíve seen a Raptor big set in a while.
He gets in perfect position, holds the screen a split second longer than many do and it allows Turk to get some separation, he hits Belinelli with an easy pass, Belinelli drills a three-pointer and it all happened because Johnson did one of those little things that donít show up in the boxscore.
Setting screens, and holding them without rolling early or moving and getting called for an offensive foul, is a skill that will earn a kid lots more playing time.








Free-wheeling Raptors cruise to win


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They were animated as schoolkids. Walking off the floor just before halftime, Jarrett Jack and Jose Calderon were side by side, comparing notes, giving each other suggestions, giving every indication that the two men charged with directing the Raptorsí offence are very much in sync.
They proved that last night during the Raptorsí 123-112 win over the Indiana Pacers at the Air Canada Centre. The game was mainly decided by halftime as the Raptors scored a season-high 74 points for the half with Calderon and Jack doing most of the damage.
Combined, they were nine-of-10 from the floor for 25 points with eight assists and just one turnover through two quarters. They finished with 39 points and 13 assists and just three turnovers for the game. Backcourt play doesnít get much more efficient, and the timing was perfect as Chris Bosh struggled to a rare off night, scoring just 16 points on 5-of-19 shooting.
Calderon started, Jack came off the bench, but some of the Raptorsí best moments came when they were on the floor together at the end of the first half. They helped push a 15-point lead to a 21-point bulge as Jack hit Calderon for a triple and Calderon fed Jack for a layup not long after. Each helped facilitate the offence as seven Raptors hit for double figures.






Raptors' Jack steps it up against former team



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Well, if flashy passes and uninhibited drives into the paint are a sign of confidence, then Jack's is now flowing just fine. Perhaps he just needed see some old friends.
With Jack's teammates from last year in town, he hit a peak for this year, as his new team beat the Indiana Pacers 123-112 on Tuesday night at the Air Canada Centre.
"He's different right now. He's lighter off of the floor," Raptors coach Jay Triano said. "He's just playing with a lot of confidence. I think he's liking basketball; whereas at first I think it was a feeling-out process where he wasn't really sure where he fit on this team and what his role was going to be."
Playing the team he was with a year ago, Jack looked like a man who knew his place perfectly. Essentially, he played a perfect game against the Pacers




title


Quote:
It appears the Indiana Pacers were teasing people with their early-season defensive success.
In recent games, they appear to be trying to outscore opponents instead of making stops.
The Toronto Raptors put the Pacers' defensive flaws in the spotlight again in handing Indiana a 123-112 defeat at the Air Canada Centre on Tuesday night.
"We played with no force. We did nothing with any deal of defensive intensity, so they had their way," Pacers coach Jim O'Brien said. "We came out and played with defensive intensity in the third quarter, but you can't bring it 25 percent of the game."
The Pacers have shown in their past two games -- both losses -- that they have a lot of work to do defensively. Charlotte and Toronto combined to shoot 53 percent against the Pacers.
They have allowed at least 104 points in each game of their current four-game losing skid. Toronto's 123 are the most Indiana has allowed this season.




Sunshine Girl - 25.11.09

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Old 11-25-2009, 09:34 AM   #2 (permalink)
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