Daily Raptor Dish - 27.02.10
Old 02-27-2010, 12:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Post Daily Raptor Dish - 27.02.10

Raps come oh, so close

On a night when little was expected of the Raptors, they delivered a virtuoso performance.
Unfortunately that performance did not extend into overtime. In fact, it stopped about 13 seconds shy of the end of regulation.
But for 47 minutes and 47 seconds, the Raptors were at their Bosh-less best.
Energetic, knocking down shots, getting production from various spots throughout their roster. This one had all the makings of a major upset.
But needing one last basket to complete the show and with the ball in the hands of Hedo Turkoglu, the upset storyline went south.
Turkoglu took the inbounds pass, dribbled on the spot for what seemed an eternity and then rolled right hoping to find a lane to drive. But the Cavaliers aren’t exactly defensive neophytes and there was no lane to drive, so he looked for the pass. Again the Cavs had that covered and after a quick look at the clock, Turkoglu threw up a three-point prayer that had little chance of being answered.

In the presence of royalty

The Raptors began the night by throwing rookie DeMar DeRozan at basketball’s King.
Sonny Weems was next, followed by Antoine Wright and a moment of anxiety when LeBron James was writhing in pain after bumping knees.
The air inside the Air Canada Centre on Friday night was dripping in royalty, a buzz only King James can create.
James doesn’t have to take a shot or attempt a drive to the hole to have an impact when all that is required is his mere presence.
Outside of Kobe Bryant, no player is capable of producing that feeling of occasion such as James.
While the weather outside was frightful, the mood inside the ACC was magical, more akin to a playoff atmosphere than a regular-season tip.
James and his Cleveland Cavaliers entered the night with the league’s top record and the odds-on favourites to advance to the NBA final.
The way they dismantled the Celtics in Boston a night earlier in one of those statement games, perhaps the only obstacle the Cavs have to overcome is boredom.
The odds of the Cavs winning their first championship are likely to grow if the rumours are true and if Zydrunas Ilgauskas rejoins the team.
Whether Anderson Varejao starts at centre, Shaquille O’Neal or even Big Z, the key is James.
That’s hardly a revelation, but his game is so good that he makes many of the game’s subtleties seem academic.
Twice he was knocked to the floor in the opening half, but he got back up each time and never at any moment looked vulnerable.
Following each fall, James, it seemed, got stronger mentally, which is really scary given his physical prowess.

Cavaliers down Raptors in overtime

The Raptors got a huge early boost from one of the more unlikely sources as Reggie Evans, who had played sparingly as he’s working himself back into game shape after missing the first 53 games of the season, provided 13 points in a season-high 25 minutes.
Included in his night were five free throws made in nine attempts as the veteran create havoc around the basket, grabbing three offensive boards among his five rebounds.
Jarrett Jack, who played as well offensively as he has in a long time, had 24 points for the Raptors as he repeatedly got to the rim for easy finishes. Bargnani also added 24 on 17 field-goal attempts while Turkoglu had 18 before fouling out in OT.
And while the game ultimately turned out as many expected, there will be little consolation for the Raptors despite how hard they battled even without all-star Chris Bosh.
“I’m not into moral victories or anything like that,” said Jack. “I thought we did a pretty good job; Chris wasn’t in and I thought we still hung in there with them, took every blow they had and played them down to the wire.”

Raptors Blog by Doug Smith

This isn’t official as I type this in the pre-dawn hours but the whispers I was hearing around the arena last night that it’s questionable whether or not Chris Bosh travels with the team to Oklahoma City and Houston.
Sitting out those two makes a bit of sense, no?
It gives him another week to get entirely healthy before they face the Knicks and Sixers here next week just before they head out west.
As I said, it’s not official and there could be one of those miracles but if you tune in here later on tonight or tomorrow and see a story that says he’s not going, don’t be surprised.

Raptors can't hold off the Cavs

Two of the star attractions – Chris Bosh and Shaquille O’Neal – may have been missing, but the Toronto Raptors and Cleveland Cavaliers still put on an intense night of entertainment.
The Raptors rode their two big men, Andrea Bargnani and Hedo Turkoglu, plus guard Jarrett Jack, as far as they could but faded in overtime as LeBron James and the Cavaliers (46-14) poured in three-pointers to take a 126-118 win.
The closest the Raptors (31-26) came to knocking off the NBA’s best team was as time ran out in the fourth quarter, when Turkoglu lobbed up an air ball from three-point range rather than move a step or two closer.
In overtime, the Cavaliers quickly took control with three consecutive three-pointers, the first two from Mo Williams, who finished with 22 points. James, who received a physical going-over, was the game’s top scorer with 36 points, while teammate Antawn Jamison had 22.
“We pay attention to LeBron and try to show him bodies and then they swing it and find threes,” Raptors head coach Jay Triano said of the overtime. “That is kind of their game right now.
“If [James] is not taking it all the way to the basket and you don’t put a guy in there, he is going to lay it up. If you do, then he is going to swing it and find guys for open looks. They did it three times in a row to start the overtime period, and that put us in a hole.”

James, Williams help Cavs top Raptors in OT


Mo Williams made the clutch 3-pointers again as the Cleveland Cavaliers followed up a big win in Boston with an overtime triumph in Toronto.
Williams made back-to-back 3-pointers to begin the extra period and finished with 22 points, LeBron James scored 36, and the Cavaliers beat the Raptors 126-118 on Friday night.
"Road wins continue to establish momentum going down the stretch," James said. "We've played two really good games the last two nights."
Cleveland, which made 10 3-pointers in Thursday's 108-88 victory over the Celtics, got 11 more against Toronto, including six from Williams. The point guard made four 3s in the Cavs' big fourth quarter in Boston.
"It's a deadly weapon for our team," James said. "Last night and also tonight, we shot the ball extremely well from the perimeter."

Cleveland Cavaliers dig deep to defeat the Raptors in overtime at Toronto

In overtime James scored just two points, instead looking for that depth to help the Cavs figure out a way to win as their defense had problems with Toronto's size.
James had three assists in overtime, two going for 3-pointers. Both were by guard Mo Williams, who drilled 3-pointers on the first two plays of overtime to give the Cavs a cushion. Not unlike his heroics in Boston on Thursday, Williams' shooting made the difference in a close game. He finished with 22 points and six assists.
LeBron James had to deal with a bruised thigh on Friday night but still scored 36 points. The Cavs also got 22 points from Jamison, his most as a Cav. He also had 11 rebounds, battling inside against the bigger Andrea Bargnani down the stretch.
"They had Bargnani at the center and coach liked the matchup we had," Jamison said. "Center, power forward, small forward, I'll go out there and try to get it done."
Helped by Jamison and guard Anthony Parker, who handled Hedo Turkoglu late in regulation and in overtime defensively, the Cavs held the Raptors to 1-of-8 shooting in the extra session. Parker also scored five of his 10 points in overtime.
Combined with 15 points from guard Delonte West off the bench, the Cavs had one of the best offensive efforts of the season and shot 51 percent. They also were solid at the foul line, making 31 of 36 when they had to have the points.
The Raptors' size and speed gave the Cavs problems as Bargnani and point guard Jarrett Jack each had 24 points. Turkoglu had 18 but fouled out. Toronto shot 51 percent in regulation and put up 111 points, neither of which Cavs coach Mike Brown wants to see.
But shorthanded, battered and tired, he was happy his team found a way to get it done.
"We just found a way to win," Brown said. "Sometimes you have got to do that in the NBA."

Sunshine Girl – 27.02.10

SUNshine Girl Madelynne's life ambition is to become a history teacher. When she's not hitting the books, this 18-year-old single gal likes to take photographs as a hobby
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Old 02-27-2010, 02:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 02-27-2010, 03:16 PM   #3 (permalink)

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