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Join Date: Dec 2007
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Daily Raptor Dish - 27.03.10
Tough game for Wright
Bosh isn't right
Home court advantage? Not if you’re Antoine Wright.
The Raptors swingman wasn’t feeling real good about the Air Canada Centre faithful following Friday’s loss to the Denver Nuggets.
And it had nothing to do with a lack of cheering or over-zealous booing or any of the usual reasons.
In fact, it was only one unidentified spectator he had a problem with.
With 2:06 left in the third quarter and the Raps holding a six-point lead, Wright’s three-point attempt from the corner bounced out. But then, to add injury to insult, Wright stepped back and right on to the foot of one of the patrons along Gucci row and, as he attempted to get back on the floor, turned his ankle.
Down he went, in a ball of pain, and out went one of the Raptors’ top defenders just 81/2 minutes into the game.
When Wright did return, with 51/2 minutes remaining in the game, it was with a taped right ankle and the difference in the score exactly as it was when he left.
“It hurts, not as bad as this loss,” Wright said, “but it hurts. I’ll be all right.”
Wright admitted he probably should not have come back into the game. But having been in plenty of battles with this Denver team before, and with the Raptors needing every win they can get, he talked himself into it, mostly on adrenalin.
Wright said he’ll rest the ankle on Saturday and that there was no way he would miss Sunday’s game in Miami. Ankle sprains, however, have a history of being worse the day after the incident, so Wright may be re-assessing that one.
Feschuk: Nuggets shine in clutch while Bosh wilts
Something is amiss with Chris Bosh, a glitch in his game that isn’t easily explainable or definable.
There was a time when Bosh would get to the line as quickly as opposing defences would send an extra defender, whether Bosh caught the ball or take a dribble.
On nights when Bosh’s silky smooth jumper was off, he’d still get points by getting to the line and converting.
Then came that unfortunate twist of fate in the first game since the all-star break when Bosh sprained his ankle in a heartbreaking loss to Memphis in overtime.
Bosh hasn’t been the same since and neither have the Raptors, who showed a long-overdue and a much-needed sense of urgency and fight against the Denver Nuggets on Friday night.
Bosh’s history always has included a stretch of inactivity caused by some injury.
Bosh’s recent history also includes a quick and MVP-type start to the season followed by a period of average play.
Those who like to bash Bosh point to his contract year and how he took until this past off-season to bulk up, which in turn would put him in a better position to fully capitalize on his free-agent status.
Raptors Blog by Doug Smith
For once Jay Triano said something in a post-game press conference that actually rang true.
"Their stars made plays," Triano said on Friday night, after the Denver Nuggets beat the Raptors at the buzzer, 97-96. This was something of a revelation, since Triano has spent most of the season shovelling media-scrum dung. Finally, a kernel of truth. Yes, the Nuggets beat the Raptors because Carmelo Anthony, the Nuggets' best player, made an 18-footer as time expired, this after the Raptors lost a volleyball-esque tip drill on glass they'd otherwise owned all night.
And yes, the Nuggets put themselves in that position thanks largely to Chauncey Billups, Denver's nervy point guard, who assisted on Anthony's game winner after he drilled a three-pointer to tie it at 95-95 with 33 seconds left, this after the Raptors led by as many as 10 points in the final frame.
The late-game heroics amounted to an example of tough-minded, do-what-it-takes-to-win basketball from a couple of the NBA's most impressive clutch performers. It was also a little lucky. And it took the wind out of an otherwise fine effort by the majority of Raptors who, having lost their past couple of home games by 26 points apiece, played undeniably hard against one of the league's best teams.
Nuggets hand Raptors dispiriting loss
What else could they do?
Sometimes, you just don’t get a break.
On that last possession, the Raptors did pretty much everything they could all over the floor.
Antoine Wright did an excellent job on Carmelo, first by forcing him out about a yard further than he wanted to, and then by getting right up in him and forcing a jumper that was off from the second it left Anthony’s hand.
They got on the glass and boxed people out and it was a footrace to the loose ball over on the far side right by the sideline.
They didn’t win it – mostly because almost all of ‘em were inside their men on the glass – and when a play gets scrambled like that, no one knows what’s going to happen.
Boom, one pass, one shot, one bucket, one buzzer, one loss.
A tough one, no doubt but, as is often the case in pro sports, when things are going bad, a team cannot catch a break.
Denver beats the buzzer to down the Raptors
“The last play was tough,” Jay Triano, a dejected Toronto coach, said afterward. “The rebound was up there, everybody’s rushing in. It gets tipped once, twice and then they chase it down.”
The Raptors (35-36), who are in a life and death struggle to secure the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, had not exactly draped themselves in glory in their previous two home court outings.
For a team that once ruled the roost at home, the Raptors looked surprisingly drab during consecutive 26-point setbacks to the Utah Jazz and Oklahoma Thunder in their previous two outings at the ACC.
That led to much soul searching among the players during practice this week in preparation for last night’s encounter against the Nuggets as the Raptors vowed to take more of a vested interest in a season that was spiraling out of control.
Last night the Raptors played with more passion and desire than it has exhibited in its recent games, digging their way out of a first half-half disadvantage with a solid third quarter to take an 81-72 lead into the fourth quarter.
For the first 47 minutes of Friday night's game, the Toronto Raptors dominated the glass.
Yes, the same team that has been labelled soft (and every one of its synonyms) was destroying the Denver Nuggets, one of the meanest teams in the league.
However, it is that last minute that will kill you.
The Raptors, with the lead and having forced misses, had two separate chances to grab a rebound and effectively end the Nuggets' chances. They failed, though, allowing Carmelo Anthony to hit a jumper as time expired to give Denver a 97-96 victory.
Anthony missed a jumper with seven seconds remaining and the Nuggets trailing by one point, but Denver's Nene chased it down, handing it to Chauncey Billups. He found Anthony, who drilled the 18-footer, releasing the shot milliseconds before the buzzer went off.
Sunshine Girl – 27.03.10
RF Girl of the Day – Alice Goodwin
SUNshine Girl Jessy is 20 years old and hopes to earn her master's degree in national defence ... and we don't think she means hockey. Jessy lists her hobbies as drivin' fast and gettin' wild. Does it get any better than that? We think not. She is an avid skiier and was rooting hard for snowboarder Matty Morison last month in Vancouver.
Last edited by INSIDER; 03-27-2010 at 02:06 PM.