Daily Raptors Dish - 8.1.12
Old 01-08-2012, 08:38 AM   #1 (permalink)

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Daily Raptors Dish - 8.1.12

Raptors easy pickings

PHILADELPHIA - Toronto’s offence was rather, well, offensive in Philadelphia on Saturday night.

The result was an easy Sixers win — 97-62 — and a 3-5 record for the slipping Raptors.

Andrea Bargnani’s fine season continued — he scored 21 points and added a season-high 11 rebounds in his best outing of the year, but nobody helped him out much on the attack

Philadelphia used a 32-11 third quarter run to take complete control of a game the Raptors had stayed in, despite failing to shoot or defend particularly well through two.

Only Bargnani and Jose Calderon scored for Toronto in the quarter after an early Amir Johnson bucket.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia got whatever it wanted inside and drew a ton of fouls while the Raptors showed little interest in venturing inside and offered zero resistance.

Philadelphia had five players in double figures, led by Andre Iguodala and Jrue Holiday’s 14 apiece.

The teams came in ranked 1-2 in opponent’s field goal percentage and it showed in an ugly first half. Neither side could find the mark offensively, though Philadelphia took a 41-34 lead into the break largely because of a nine made free throws to three advantage.

Kelly: Raptors coach at loss for words after Philly meltdown

PHILADELPHIA—Every year around this time, Raptors coach Dwane Casey loses his voice.

There’s no medical reason for it that he can figure out. It just softens into a scratchy whisper for a couple of months and reappears at full strength in the spring.

It means he has to find alternatives to vocalization in order to deliver his messages.

Last night, long after his team had been swamped by the 76ers in an ugly 32-11 third quarter run, he did it with substitutions. More precisely, he did it with the lack thereof.

Though Philadelphia was leading by more than 30 points with less than four minutes to go in an unwinnable encounter, and though Toronto is beginning a gruelling stretch of January contests that will sorely test their endurance, four of the five starters were still in the game.

Afterwards, Casey emerged from the locker room power bombing throat lozenges and staring at a stats sheet as if the answer might be written on it.

“I wanted to let our guys know, hey, we’re not giving in to anybody. We’re going to go down swinging,” Casey said.

“I guess you could say that was a message — that we have to keep playing until the buzzer sounds,” said Amir Johnson, sounding as if the non-verbal communiqué had both been received and judged sound reasoning.

The end of the weekend mail - Doug Smith Blog

Q: Haven't written for a while but reading daily ... with thanks to you. Your remarks today about impact of frequent games, etc on predictability of outcomes is exactly what I've been noticing and enjoying. Early season comments focused on Raps being at a disadvantage without full training camp, but isn't it really an opportunity for Raps as other teams "expected" to be better than them haven't jelled yet either? Do you recall the "start of season" results vs expectations from other shortened campaigns?

Barry P, North Bay

A: I can see where it’s absolutely an advantage to them because no one expects them to do anything and they are going to catch a lot of unprepared teams unaware of their style and dedication to defence. It’s new and it’s going to take the league a while to really notice; until then, they might steal a few games here and there.

And the only other shortened campaign in my lifetime was in 1999 and these guys were so bad and such an afterthought there were probably fewer expectations that year than there are this year. They did have that rookie Carter kid and Kevin Willis but no one thought about them at all.

And Butch coached the life out of them – as he always did – and I think they were on the periphery of the playoffs until almost the last couple of weeks of the season.

It was a fun ride.

Sixers pound listless Raptors

Andre Iguodala had 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Jrue Holiday also scored 14 points to lead the Sixers to their fourth straight win, 97-62 over the Toronto Raptors on Saturday night.

Lou Williams scored 13 points, and rookie Nikola Vucevic had nine points and 10 rebounds for the Sixers. A year after starting 3-13, the Sixers are 5-2 and the early leaders in the Atlantic Division.

Andre Bargnani had 21 points and 11 rebounds, and Johnson had 12 points and 14 rebounds for the Raptors (3-5), who lost 97-85 to the Nets on Friday.

Jose Calderon had seven points, seven assists and three rebounds for Toronto.

The Sixers blew the game open in the third quarter, using a 30-8 run to build a 25-point lead.

“The third quarter just did us in,” said Toronto coach Dwane Casey. “Things just snowballed. It was more fatigue than lack of effort, but you can't use that as an excuse.”

76ers beat up Raptors with big second half

The Sixers went 15 for 40 from the floor in the first half. Led by Holiday and a flawless 4 of 4 from Thaddeus Young, the Sixers made 12 of 23 shots in the third (52 percent) and raced to a 25-point lead. Young scored 12 points.

One night after holding Detroit to 0 for 10 shooting from 3-point range, the Raptors were a measly 1 for 12.

Ed Stefanski, the former general manager who put this Sixers team together, watched this blowout as a member of Toronto’s organization. Stefanski was fired after four seasons and quickly landed with the Raptors as executive vice president of basketball operations.

Stefanski hired Collins, who led the Sixers to the playoffs last season, but it was too late to save his job.

More wins like this might have helped him.

“You can’t use the word patience in the city of Philadelphia, which I never used,” Stefanski said before the game. “You can’t use the word rebuilding.”

Sunshine Girl - 08.01.12

SUNshine Girl Shyla, 19, hails from Northern Ontario and has aspirations to be the next Canadian Playmate of the Year. Like all good, wholesome Canadian gals, she likes hockey, camping and fishing. (Jack Boland photo)

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