never too old.
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: richmond hill
Daily Raptor Dish - 31.12.10
Raptors tipoff: Bring on the Rockets
Raptors' coaches deserve credit
With neither team possessing a bona fide marquee player, we’ll go with the battle at shooting guard. Houston offers up Kevin Martin, who has scored 20 or more in the past seven games while DeRozan is averaging 15.4 points over his past eight games. Martin scored 31 against the Raptors in a 106-96 loss in Toronto earlier this year. With Andrea Bargnani out and both point guards, Jerryd Bayless and Jose Calderon doubtful, DeRozan is going to be asked to become even more prominent in the scoring.
The Rockets just had their season-best five-game winning streak snapped by the Miami Heat. The Rockets had just got back to the .500 mark prior to the visit by the Heat. Centre Yao Ming has been out since Nov. 12. On Dec. 16, the team revealed Yao had a stress fracture in his left ankle and will not play again the rest of the year. Guard Aaron Brooks, like Yao, missed the first meeting between these two teams but he’s healthy again and will play Friday. Brooks missed 21 games with a severe left ankle sprain returning on Dec. 17. The current starting five the Rockets send out — Shane Battier, Luis Scola, Chuck Hayes, Martin, and Kyle Lowry — owns a 12-6 record.
DID YOU KNOW
Since the Raptors defeated Houston in Toronto in mid November, the Rockets have gone 12-7 ... None of the Raptors three statistical leaders from the first matchup — Bargnani led in scoring with 26, Reggie Evans led the way rebounding with nine, and Jarrett Jack had eight assists to lead all Raptors — will be in uniform tonight for Toronto ... The Rockets are promoting a New Years Eve deal which offers patrons four tickets to the game, four hot dogs, four sodas and two kids’ basketball shorts for the price of $69 on Friday ... The 18,409 on hand to witness Wednesday’s loss to the Miami Heat was the sixth largest crowd in team history.
Games to circle on the basketball calendar
HOUSTON — OK, we’ve praised the Raptors for their gutty play in Dallas. We built up rookie Ed Davis’ career night to the point he may not get his head through the charter door on the way to Houston.
Now perhaps it’s time to give the Raptors coaching staff a little credit.
Jay Triano and his assistants have taken it on the chin in chat rooms, on websites, in newspapers and on TV at various times this year, but now it’s time to give them some props.
Facing possibly the longest odds this season in Dallas, Triano and company knew they had to do something to give themselves at least a puncher’s chance of knocking off the Dallas Mavericks.
A night earlier against Memphis, the Raptors wasted an energetic first quarter in which they led by as many as 12 when their defensive coverages inside broke down. That allowed the Grizzlies to score at will from the paint and the Raps’ first-quarter success became a memory.
“We didn’t feel like we had much of a chance if we played with the way we had been playing,” Triano said Thursday speaking specifically of the Raptors interior defence.
So with nothing to lose and everything to gain, Triano took a shot and made what he described as a “drastic change” to his defence.
“We just scheme against the different teams and do different things against some of their key players and see if we can limit their touches and limit the amount of points they score,” Triano said not wanting to give the whole strategy away.
In short, the Raptors coaching staff made the decision that limiting Jason Terry would give the Raptors the best chance at stealing a win in Dallas and it worked.
“We figured with Dirk out he was going to try to take over, so we schemed a little differently against him,” Triano said.
The Raptors didn’t hold Terry off the board but he was limited to 18 points on eight of 19 shooting and was good on just two of his eight three-point attempts.
Raptors Blog by Doug Smith
It’s hard to pinpoint big games for a NBA team that’s 11-20 and swimming in the bottom third of the Eastern Conference.
But as the calendar gets ready to turn, here are a few of the Raptors games worth paying close attention to for one reason or another.
And just for good measure, there are the big games around the league that involve the better teams with legitimate title aspirations.
JAN. 28 vs. MILWAUKEE
The Bucks? Big game?
Yes, if for no other reason that it could give the Raptors a measuring stick against one of the teams that’s expected to be in the season-long muddle for the final couple of playoff berths. The game winds up a three-game homestand and could give them some momentum heading out on a three-game road trip.
FEB. 9 VS. SAN ANTONIO
No, not another measuring stick; the Spurs are light years ahead of where the Raptors are and there are no comparisons between the two rosters. But it’s the only Toronto visit by the team that’s currently the best in the NBA and it’ll give the fans at the Air Canada Centre a chance to cheer old favourite Matt Bonner.
FEB. 16 VS. MIAMI
Perhaps you’ve heard about the Heat? They have these three guys …
Oh, and one of them is Chris Bosh, who used to ply his trade around Toronto and left holding almost every significant record in the book. If he can pull himself away from the television in his hotel room, he’ll likely find himself in for a rude reception at the arena. Then he and teammate LeBron James can compare returns.
Highlights, lowlights and New Year's Eve memories
So, do you look back today or forward? Recap or predict? Remember or resolve?
Decisions, decisions, decisions.
Maybe look back today and look forward tomorrow?
Sounds good to me.
And herewith are five rather memorable moments, good and bad, of the calendar year that’s wrapping up.
The last shot
For all the good stuff that Chris Bosh did for his seven years in Toronto – and surely we can all agree he did an awful lot of good – the fact that his final moment at the Air Canada Centre as a Raptor was that missed tip that would have won the Golden State game in such dramatic fashion is a shame.
Seeing him lying on the court in frustration, watching the Warriors celebrate Nellie passing Lenny and the Raptors losing a crucial game was tough, wasn’t it?
Now, we didn’t know he’d break his face in Cleveland a couple of nights later and never wear the uniform again but in hindsight, that was a tough way to go out.
Not really. The whole Hedo Turkoglu saga was one that made 2010 memorable on a few levels.
He had some good nights, lots of bad ones, and the “ball” post-game interview with Jack Armstrong will be the enduring memory of a good signing that went terribly wrong, awfully quickly.