Today in Raptorland - 06.11.09
Old 11-06-2009, 09:52 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Starting slowly


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It's obvious that Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo did not sign point guard Jarrett Jack this summer because he's a big fan of alliteration or because Jack is a buddy of Chris Bosh.

Colangelo acquired the former Georgia Tech star (he played with Bosh during the 2002-03 season) because Jack gives the Raptors a second, quite able, ball-handler at the point, something extremely valuable if Jose Calderon is out or having an off day.

That was exactly the situation in Toronto's 110-99 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday.

Calderon struggled, managing nine points and just one assist in almost 32 minutes of play. But Jack, along with others on the bench, including Antoine Wright and Amir Johnson, gave the team a lift en route to the win.

Jack finished with nine points, six assists and three rebounds in 31 minutes and played hard on defence.

"That's one of the reasons we did what we did in the off-season -- get some depth at that position," coach Jay Triano said. "And when guys aren't playing as well and are struggling a little bit, that's when we go to the bench and hope those guys pick it up. And so far they have."

Triano is loathe to suggest that Calderon is off to a slow start, despite the fact that his numbers are down. Last season, the Spanish national team star averaged 12.8 points and 8.9 assists. This season, it's 9.8 points and 5.3 assists. There have been suggestions that Calderon, 28, is rusty after taking the summer off.

English named in tax probe


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Raptors assistant coach Alex English reportedly owes more than $127,000 US in delinquent taxes, according to public records obtained by the Detroit News.

Under the headline Ex-NBA star owes giant nugget, the News reports that the IRS and the state of South Carolina claim English owes various tax monies, including a $88,071 tax lien against English and his wife in Richland County (S.C.).

The Raptors front office declined to comment on the situation and English was not available yesterday for comment, although the NBA Hall of Famer told the News: "It is in dispute so I have no other comment."

English, an eight-time NBA all-star, played for the Denver Nuggets, Milwaukee Bucks, Dallas Mavericks and Indiana Pacers, before retiring in 1991.







Feschuk: Raptors face test in sizzling Paul


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"It's not fun (chasing him)," said Antoine Wright, the Raptors swingman, who has had the pleasure. "Once he gets in the paint, he gets all those other guys going. Now you've got all his shooters spread out, hitting shots. You've got (David) West posting up. You've got everything you'd want. If we can turn him into their primary scorer, I think that helps us."

Said Jarrett Jack, who is expected to take a turn attempting to shadow Paul: "Chris has the ball so much – he has the ball 104 per cent of the time, if you catch my drift. He's scoring the ball, he's making the pass for somebody else to score. Just trying to corral him, which isn't something easy to do, is something we've got to stress."

It's essentially a nightly stress for Triano, indeed.

"That's what this league is, it's about being able to stop point guards," said Triano, and if the coach wasn't shuddering, Raptors fans have the right. "We're going to have to get a little bit better at it than we are right now."

This and that and a bit of schedule change

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I have one question about the other night’s thing with Oak (yes, it’s late but I forgot yesterday).

Why in the world would they do both Oak and Alvin on the same night? It’s not like Alvin’s not going to be here all season, he’s an assistant coach for goodness sakes.

And since this franchise isn’t exactly littered with greats from the past, spreading ‘em out would make more sense to me.

But that’s just me.









Triano likes Wright’s unselfish attitude


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It’s a comment not often heard in the me-first, dog-eat-dog world of the National Basketball Association, where playing time rates right up there with tricked-out new Hummers and acorn-sized diamond earrings.

So when Jay Triano heard forward Antoine Wright tell him during crunch time in the fourth quarter of Wednesday’s game against the Detroit Pistons that the team was better off with him remaining on the bench, the Toronto Raptors coach was surprised – and pleasantly so.

“We had a lot of guys saying a lot of unselfish things,” Triano said after practice yesterday afternoon. “Antoine, I thought about putting him in late in the game for defensive purposes and he said, ‘Coach, these guys are rolling, let them go, they’re doing fine.’ “That’s just a sign of a guy who’s willing to sacrifice minutes for the sake of our team staying on a roll. I think to a man that’s one of the things we have to try to maintain over 82 games.”

Writer, ex-Raptor team up to help boys shape a book


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The Toronto District School Board is enlisting the help of a new slam-dunk writer in residence and a Junkyard Dog to get boys excited about reading.

Eric Walters, a bestselling children's author, has collaborated before with former Toronto Raptor Jerome Williams and his brother Johnnie. For their latest book, Home Team, the three men will launch their largest collaboration ever when thousands of Grade 3 and Grade 6 boys act as their story editors.

The project is the latest evidence that the TDSB's new education director, Chris Spence, understands that to narrow the achievement gap between boys and girls, you need to close the enthusiasm gap first.

Boys fare poorly in reading and writing in part because they don't like reading and writing. When the province released standardized test results this year, a little-noticed accompanying survey found that 53 per cent of Grade 3 boys said they liked to read, compared to 69 per cent of girls. The chasm widened by Grade 6, when only 42 per cent of boys reported they liked reading, compared to 64 per cent of girls.

Raps win in front of Oak



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Seems Oak wasn’t very happy about coming to Canada. The Raptors were the NBA’s version of Siberia and coming off that epic 16-66 season, he was probably right. As the exiled toast of New York, Oak was sincerely grumpy when he pulled up to the border crossing on his way to training camp, driving up from his home in Cleveland. He’s rolling in a black BMW with tinted windows, stuffed to the gills with whatever belongings he might need to make the Royal York Hotel feel like home away from home.

The border guards are curious maybe even suspicious and Oak gets questioned. He tells them he’s on his way to play for the Raptors, but that doesn’t quite cut it. They want to see his work papers and documentation etc., but Oak doesn’t have it. They search the BMW. Tens of thousands of dollars of suits only Oak and the Ohio Players could wear are being rifled through, and who knows what else.

He’s mad. He calls his agent. “This is bull***, call (then Raptors GM) Glen Grunwald, F*** this! I’m not coming up there, I’m turning around right now.”




Ontario to investigate athletes' swine flu shots


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Ontario health minister Deb Matthews vowed Thursday to investigate whether Toronto's NBA and NHL players jumped the line for the swine flu shot while other groups are being forced to wait as the province's supply dwindles.

Matthews said she shares the outrage sparked by reports that Maple Leafs and Raptors players got the shot even though the province doesn't have enough yet to vaccinate school-age children.

"I don't care who you are, how rich you are, how famous you are," she said. "If you're not in the priority group, get out of the line and let the people who are in the priority groups get their vaccination."

Bosh averaging an impressive 16 free-throw attempts per game



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Much has been made about Chris Bosh's off-season work that resulted in 25 extra pounds for the power forward. Well, the weight is already showing its worth.

Undoubtedly emboldened by his extra muscle mass, Bosh has gone to the free-throw line 65 times in the season's first four games — including a 20-trip night on Wednesday against the Pistons. According to the impressive skills of a barely-got-through-grade-11-math reporter, that equals an average of 16.25 free throws per night.

"I want more. I want to get to the line more," Bosh said on Thursday. "I'm pretty satisfied with the way I've been attacking the basket. I think I can do a better job of sustaining that energy throughout the game."

Getting to the line more than 15 times per night probably is not sustainable — Dwight Howard led the league in attempts last year with 10.8 per game, and with him, opponents are often trying to put him on the line — but it is something Bosh's coach likes.




Coach Scott contemplating lineup changes as New Orleans Hornets brace for Toronto Raptors


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Whenever New Orleans Hornets Coach Byron Scott sees his team sputtering, he goes into his bag of motivational tactics to try to break the slide.

Michael DeMocker / The Times-PicayuneHornets small forward Julian Wright, left, as struggled as the season has unfolded and may lose his spot in the starting lineup.Unlike some NBA coaches, instead of extending the length of practices or overhauling his playbook, Scott gets his point across with harsh criticism that can either make a player feel shattered or motivated.

"What you see is what you get with me," Scott said. "I am honest with my guys, and if I don’t like something, I’m going to let them know about it. I kind of go by the seat of my paints with my feelings, and the last thing I want to do is hold it in."




Sunshine Girl - 06.11.09

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Old 11-06-2009, 10:05 AM   #2 (permalink)
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"There have been suggestions that Calderon, 28, is rusty after taking the summer off."

Or is it because he feels threatened by the presence of both Turkoglu (and Jack), and knows that he will defer to Turkoglu at the end of the game...
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Old 11-06-2009, 10:07 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Funny the link for the Oak article seems to not work. I'd like to see the full article because it sounds hilarious.

BTW the SSG has a Girl Next Door look to her.
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Old 11-06-2009, 10:13 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Sorry, my fault.

Try it again.
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Old 11-06-2009, 11:26 AM   #5 (permalink)
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best SSG in a looong time.

I love that Oakley story.
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Old 11-06-2009, 04:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by fancylad View Post
best SSG in a looong time.

I love that Oakley story.
She looks like she could make an appearance in Quadrophenia - so I think I see where the attraction lies.
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Old 11-06-2009, 04:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by •LX• View Post
She looks like she could make an appearance in Quadrophenia - so I think I see where the attraction lies.
I have a suggestion. Lets change the SSG to Page 3
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Old 11-06-2009, 05:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I like the part on Antoine Wright. .. I love reading stuff like that. Good for him.
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Old 11-06-2009, 06:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Oooh.
Sunshine girl.
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