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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Living in a van down by the river
Daily Raptor Dish - 30.03.10
Raps have Hedo dilemma
Jack sees improvement in Raps
The Raptors should have been more demanding of Turkoglu. Whether the club can now turn around Turkoglu is anyone’s guess.
As a veteran NBA observer pointed out Monday night when apprised of Turkoglu’s tumult in Toronto and if the organization can change him: “It’s too late.”
That is why a trade should not be ruled out this off-season, assuming a team wants to absorb his onerous deal, one of many potential moves that can happen and should definitely happen if the Raptors don’t make the playoffs.
Against Charlotte, Turkoglu entered the game with 1:50 left in the opening quarter, looking a little indecisive at first but settling in the more he played and the more touches he got.
“I respect the coach," Turkoglu said of Sunday’s drama. “I’ve put it behind me and it’s a new day. I can’t be angry. I try to stay positive.”
Change was required long before Turkoglu’s incident, one that could have easily involved Andrea Bargnani coming off the bench to give the team a legitimate scorer in the second unit.
The tipping point was Turkoglu’s lack of judgment, being unable to play because he was sick, but not sick enough where he couldn’t enjoy a night out on the town.
A day after saying virtually nothing, Turkoglu did make himself available but he chose his words carefully and didn’t say much of anything.
“My dad always told me: ‘That silence is always a good solution,’ ” he said.
Raptors hold on for key win over Bobcats
They looked more like pushovers in their push for the playoffs, but Jarrett Jack sees improvement.
Jack was reminded in the wake of Monday’s 103-101 win over the host Bobcats put the Raptors one full game up on Chicago for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East.
Jack has never appeared in a post-season game and the chances of Toronto playing in the playoffs grew worse with each painstaking loss.
“As long as we stay together and continue to fight, there’s no reason why we can’t move up in the standings," Jack said. “It’s not really important who we play the rest of the way, but the rhythm in which we’re playing.”
Jack saved his best for last in Charlotte, scoring all 12 of his points in the fourth quarter.
Except for an ill-advised runner that he tried to bank in, Jack stepped up, even as the Raptors showed some deficiencies in their execution on offence and some lapses on defence.
But they made plays and they weren’t hanging their heads in despair like they’ve done in the past.
Jack recalls one huddle in particular late when the game’s momentum was shifting in Charlotte’s favour.
“We huddled as a group and there were no heads dropping," Jack said. “We were together and we played in unison. We were assertive.
“Eventually, we knew we’d turn this around.”
Turkoglu redeemed in Charlotte
Another game hung in the balance in the dying seconds, a comfortable lead had vanished and as the Raptors huddled during a pivotal timeout, they might have been expected to be scared, or worried, or thinking "oh, no, here we go again."
But they were resolute and strong-minded and confident and, finally, they were rewarded.
Surviving another harrowing finish – up seven with three minutes left, clinging to a two-point advantage without the ball and with 10 seconds go – the Raptors got a much-needed win here Monday night, upsetting the Bobcats 103-101 to put the skids to a three-game losing streak.
It was an all-too-rare show of unity from a team that some felt has been fracturing for more than a month
Raptors bounce back, beat Bobcats 103-101
As healing moments go it was short and to the point.
Toronto Raptors head coach Jay Triano and Hedo Turkoglu crossed paths briefly before game time, the message simple. “Be ready to play,” said Triano.
But what the Raptors (36-37) needed more than fuzzy feelings and rapprochement was a win and they got it by grinding out an ugly one against the Charlotte Bobcats 103-101, halting a three-game losing streak and restoring their lead over the idle Chicago Bulls to a full game for the eighth and final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.
Before the game the conversation surrounded Turkoglu’s benching against Miami on Sunday – the first time Turkoglu hadn’t started a game he was dressed to play in four seasons. Triano confirmed that Turkoglu had been benched for disciplinary reasons following his night out in Toronto on Friday while missing games and practices because of a stomach virus.
He also said he was in no rush to return Turkoglu to the starting unit where Antoine Wright and Sonny Weems have held down the spots reserved for Turkoglu and DeMar DeRozen .
Raptors not ready to go away
Their postseason hopes suddenly in jeopardy, and with their $53 million shooter now an unwanted distraction, the Toronto Raptors came to Charlotte angry and on the edge of implosion.
The Bobcats' meek, nervous response showed this playoff race thing is still new to them.
Chris Bosh had 22 points and 11 rebounds, Hedo Turkoglu hit the go-ahead 3-pointer a day after getting benched, and the Raptors beat the Bobcats 103-101 on Monday night in a matchup of two of the five clubs jockeying for the final four playoff spots in the Eastern Conference.
"We needed this game," said Turkoglu, who came off the bench to score 11 points. "Chicago is right on our tail."
Charlotte Bobcats can't close deal against Raptors
Apparently, there is no figuring out these Toronto Raptors.
Losers of 13 of 17 games prior to last night, the Raptors have rightfully been labelled soft. And with the team's well-paid off-season acquisition, Hedo Turkoglu, butting heads with the club over his conduct and work ethic, the Raptors were given another reason to fold.
And yet, they defeated the Charlotte Bobcats 103-101 last night at Time Warner Cable Arena on the second night of a back-to-back set of games. So, yeah: who knows?
"I told you," swingman Antoine Wright bellowed, his ankles in ice water after the game.
It is true, kind of. Before the game, Wright told reporters to not bother talking to him if his team should lose. It was not quite a guarantee, but given how much Wright loves to talk, there was something on the line.
And that was the case for Wright's team, too. Despite the Turkoglu saga becoming a distraction -- he did not play Sunday against the Heat after being spotted out late Friday night in Toronto despite being ruled out of action because of a stomach virus--the Raptors have now played three solid games in a row.
Jackson saw the whole thing as a fluke.
"We didn't lose that game. They didn't beat us,'' Jackson kept saying. "A lot of things went their way to cause them to win. But they didn't beat us.''
Jackson was careful not to directly implicate the officials, but it was obvious he was frustrated after the Raptors took 15 free throws in the fourth quarter to the Bobcats' eight. A five-point Toronto possession, off a dunk by Chris Bosh, a missed free throw, then three free throws by Jarrett Jack (Raymond Felton was charged with a shooting foul outside the 3-point line) seemed to get everyone agitated.
But that doesn't explain away the Bobcats' mistakes, particularly a turnover by Felton with three seconds left in what could have been the tying or winning possession.
"I'll take responsibility,'' said Felton, who finished with 18 points, seven assists and five rebounds.
If that was the final blow, then there was a trail of other screw-ups along the way. The Raptors have been awful of late, blowing a 17-point lead in Miami Sunday night. A team that is hardly stout - one of the worst defenses in the NBA - outrebounded the Bobcats 38-31.
"They made every big shot and made some unbelievable hustle plays,'' Brown said of the Raptors. "We've got to defend better than we defended. We got beat on some baseline drives and dribble-drives.''
Count among those Antoine Wright (15 points), Jack (12 points and rookie DeMar DeRozan (eight).
"Guys made some big jumpers who don't usually beat you,'' Jackson said. "Their role players hit some shots to beat us.''
Sunshine Girl - 30.03.10
RF Girl of the Day – Sara Varone
SUNshine Girl Drazena is 23 years old and loves to relax at home and watch movies, especially her favourite flick, Dirty Dancing. She also enjoys playing with Cockroach, her pet poodle. We can handle girly movies. We can handle little dogs with funny names. But, girly movies AND little dogs? Who are we kidding? Where do we sign up?