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Join Date: Dec 2007
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Daily Raptor Dish - 29.11.09
Wallace rips Turkoglu
Nice guys finish last?
Rasheed Wallace and Don Cherry ought to get together.
The Celtics centre was critical of Raptors forward Hedo Turkoglu for "flopping" and panned Europeans in general for the practice, after Friday's 116-103 Celtics win. Wallace had picked up his NBA-leading fifth technical foul for complaining to the officials that the Turkish-born Turkoglu is a diver.
"Everyone knows (officials) try to keep games close and that they keep scouting reports on guys," Wallace told the Boston Herald. "Let the Golden Child (LeBron James of the Cavaliers) or the NBA Without Borders Guys (Europeans and other foreign-born players) do it, and it's fine and dandy."
"This game is watered down," Wallace said. "It's watered down with all of that flopping (expletive). I just said that (Turkoglu) is a flopper. I didn't use profanity, and (official Derrick Stafford) gave me a technical. Everyone knows that he's a damn flopper. That's all that Turkoglu does."
Turkoglu wasn't too upset at the always outspoken Wallace's comments, putting his faith in the officials.
"If it's (called a foul) that means it's a foul. It's not me that's getting called. They can't say it's Americans or Europeans. We all play basketball. Americans get easy calls too, sometimes. What will (Wallace) say on that one? You can't make the point that Europeans flop all the time," Turkoglu said.
Toronto coach Jay Triano said the Celtics stretch the rules on screens and are just paying for their chicanery.
"We wouldn't flop if they set (legal) screens," Triano said. "We told our guys watching (pre-game) tape, they move on every screen. And they (officials) don't call it if you don't hit it. You can move all you want, but if I don't make contact, it's not illegal. So we told them, if they move on the screen, hit it and fall and then they have to call it."
Raptors' inconsistency, lack of true grit cause for concern this season
When word filtered from the gym yesterday that the Raptors would be practising an extra 45 minutes, many thought coach Jay Triano was using the extra time to screen some old war movies or buddy flicks.
Anything to inspire his team to stick up for each other after the latest in a series of meek responses occurred Friday night in Boston.
Bosh was momentarily injured after being hit "below the decks" during a mid-air collision when Paul Pierce dunked over him.
With Bosh down in pain, Pierce stood over Toronto's MVP in triumph while no one responded, except enraged coach Jay Triano and his staff.
Antoine Wright sounded off in the press on his teammates after the 116-103 loss.
"You have to look yourself in the mirror and take that challenge because it's a basketball game," Wright said. "Nobody's fighting anybody. We've got guys standing over our best player, flexing, it's not something we can stand for. I was pretty frustrated sitting on the bench and watching their whole team run out there and we only have our coaches up shouting and screaming at their players.
"I don't like that. (It's) something that's kind of been accepted around here."
Triano preferred the message not be delivered in scatter-gun style, but he couldn't argue with his forward's conviction.
"I think if I were Chris, I'd confront my teammates," Triano said as they readied for another dominant club, the 13-3 Phoenix Suns, this afternoon at the ACC.
"It's like any time one of your guys goes down. You don't have to go out and start a fight, just help your teammate and we didn't do that. He laid there on the floor without anybody going over to see how he was doing or anything. That was the thing (angering the coach) looking at it today.
Wright added that if the Raptors didn't make a stand soon, word would get around the NBA that they can be pushed around every time .
"I'm not surprised (Wright spoke out)," Triano said. "He has said some of the things (before). They read the paper. Is it warranted in some cases? Yes. Should he go through the media? No. But he speaks from the heart and I appreciate it. He just has to be careful how he delivers the message."
There is no sense of panic or frustration or anger to the Raptors, just the same old lip service being paid to the need for consistency and effort and improvement.
While the talk is grand, the results have not been, even if the NBA season is less than a quarter gone.
"Not frustration," Hedo Turkoglu said Saturday after the team went through a longer-than-usual practice at the Air Canada Centre. "We just have to be more consistent, that's the point. We can't be too high or too down on ourselves, even with good games and good days.
"We have to do one thing every night, bring energy and be consistent at both ends of the floor."
Game Preview: Suns vs. Raptors
Raptors vs. Suns
Fact: Due to my ignorance of tip-off times in the NBA, and specifically Canada, I didn't realize the game time was 11A in Phoenix and 10A here in Los Angeles. I apologize for the tardiness on a game preview.
Fact: Due to said ignorance, I had already committed to receiving several free drinks from a friend as compensation for some services rendered this holiday weekend.
Fact: This preview has been written under the influence of said drinks, so take whatever follows with a grain of salt (and a shot of tequila and the subsequent sucking of a lime).
The last time the Phoenix Suns played the Toronto Raptors, it was but for the grace of an off-target Hedo Turkoglu jumper that the Suns walked away with a victory. I would not be surprised if the Suns were similarly tested against their Canadian foes this time around. Toronto has one of the most potent offenses in the NBA and is coming off a particularly humiliating loss to the Boston Celtics. I expect they'll come out feeling like they have something to prove to their fans. Unless the Suns bring a suddenly improved defense to the table, this will largely be contest of finely tuned offensive machines.
Nash, who sat out a 133-113 win over the Raptors on Feb. 27 with a sprained right ankle, is averaging 15.4 points and 12.9 assists in the 10 games against Toronto since the win streak began. He hasn't lost to the Raptors since Nov. 2, 2001, while playing for Dallas, a span of 15 games.
The Suns aren't the only team that has been giving Toronto fits lately.
After losing to Charlotte 116-81 on Wednesday, the most lopsided defeat in franchise history, the Raptors fell 116-103 to Boston on Friday.
Chris Bosh had 20 points and 13 rebounds for his 11th double-double in 12 games, but Toronto lost for the sixth time in its last eight.
"There's a lot of frustration in this locker room, and we have to say 'enough is enough,'" reserve Antoine Wright said. "If we continue to go forward like this, it's going to continue to happen to us. We can't blame the refs; we can't blame the game plan. It's about making hard cuts and getting the ball where it's supposed to be."
Defensive struggles have been a big reason for the team's recent woes.
Toronto allowed the Celtics to shoot 62.3 percent from the floor and is yielding an average of 112.0 points in its last eight games.
Fixing these defensive problems won't be easy against the high-powered Suns.
Phoenix is averaging a league-best 111.9 points and is the NBA's only team to hit triple digits in every game this season.
Sunshine Girl - 29.11.09