Today in Raptorland - 1/11/08
Old 01-11-2008, 07:34 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Colangelo on prowl for guard

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I've been in communication with a number of teams, doing the normal course of activity in terms of making and receiving phone calls and talking about improving our basketball team," said Colangelo, adding that acquiring a point guard is a priority.
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Some point guards mentioned as possibly being available include former Raptor Damon Stoudamire of the Memphis Grizzles, Jason Williams of the Miami Heat and Luke Ridnour of the Seattle SuperSonics.
Injury scare won't keep T.J. out of top gear

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T.J. knows how he needs to play and wants to play. If he can't be T.J., he don't want to play," said Mitchell. "And so, when he comes back, he has to get his mind right and get confidence to where he can be T.J. Ford, or it's not worth it for him to play.

"You can't half-ass your way through life in anything you do," Mitchell continued. "The people who do it, their life is unfulfilled."
All-star push on for Jose

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"I think it would help his cause if our record (18-17) was better, but I think he definitely deserves consideration," Mitchell said yesterday following the Raptors practice. "Jose is proof that if you work on your game, you can get better, and none of us thought Jose could be this type of player. We all knew he had talent, but a lot of guys have talent that don't get it done."
Game Day

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KEYS TO THE GAME

Starting centre Andrea Bargnani has take some rebounding pressure off of power forward Chris Bosh. Once in a while, Marbury turns in a big game so Jose Calderon has to do a good job containing him. The Toronto bench, which has struggled of late, has to outplay New York's.
Rebounding the key

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"It takes a while," Bosh said of Bargnani's lack of rebounding. "He has to be super aggressive. He just has to want to rebound and sometimes he's still stuck in that mentality that he'll be close, but he just won't take that extra step to go get it."


Utah's all-star hopes go to the dogs

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First there was Chris Bosh, with his home-made "vote-for-me" video on YouTube. Now the Utah Jazz are weighing in as the season for NBA all-star voting nears conclusion, offering free hot dogs to fans in exchange for home-team votes.
Lack of rebounding keeping club down

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"We were 15-20 at this point last year. With our injuries, you've got to be thankful we're above .500 in a conference where we were seventh yesterday, won one game and now we're fifth. And it's going to be like that the rest of the way,'' said Mitchell, who is fine with the record "because it could be a lot worse."

"Everybody wishes things were better, more money in your bank account, little bigger house, nicer car. But when you're riding down the street in your car and you see people by the side of the road and it's below zero, you're kind of thankful for what you've got.''
Calderon ignores all-star talk
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"If something is coming like that, it's going to be unbelieveable. It's a dream. But I don't think about it. Whatever happens from now to February is going to happen, but it's not my priority right now. I'm not thinking of that and I don't know what's going to happen,'' the Raptors' point guard said.

He said the best talk he has heard lately is that No. 1 point guard T.J. Ford is starting to work on his return to the lineup.

"It's the best news we could have. He's one of our best players. We've lost some games because we needed T.J., the way he plays and the way he is in the locker room,'' Calderon said, brushing off suggestions his own playing time would suffer. "I want T.J. back. We're going to get back to the same same situation (with Ford starting). I know my role, I know what I'm doing."
Humble Calderon on pace for efficiency record

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The unassuming 26-year-old has shone since stepping into the starting lineup for injured guard T.J. Ford. He leads the league in assists to turnovers with a 6.15 ratio – 289 assists to 47 turnovers – and is on pace to break Terrell Brandon's record of 6.14 set in 2001-02 with the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Records on this statistic only go back to 1988-'89).
RAPTORS RISING

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The Toronto Raptors are around the .500 mark, but they are gaining on the television front. Ratings are up across the board, with Rogers Sportsnet (159,000 average) showing a 56 per cent increase. The Score (118,000) is up 28 per cent while TSN (156,000) is up 14 per cent. The CBC is averaging 178,000 for its first four games ever, with last Sunday's game against Cleveland pulling in 238,000 viewers.


Bargnani yet to define himself

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Raptors head coach Sam Mitchell is doing more poking and prodding, publicly and privately.

Bargnani's been told in no uncertain terms by management that being able to play hard even in less-than-ideal circumstances — recovering from a strained knee, battling a cold are two of his latest performance hurdles — is an essential ingredient to being what the NBA defines as a star.

But ultimately it will be up to the man they call Il Mago to determine if he's going to be anything more than a glorified role player.
Calderon making his mark

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"None of us thought Jose could be this type of player," Mitchell admitted. "We all knew he had talent, but a lot of guys have talent and don't get it done.

"You have to give credit to Jose, because it didn't come easy. I didn't give Jose anything. The reason I have so much respect for Jose is I was probably as hard on Jose and Chris (Bosh) as any two players that have ever been here."
Bosh third among Eastern forwards for NBA all-star game

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Bosh received 105,356 votes over the past seven days to remain third with 516,669 votes, more than doubling his lead over fourth-place Paul Pierce of the Boston Celtics since the last ballot return.


NBA watchers have high praise for Calderon

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With T.J. Ford cleared to resume working out after his scary neck injury a month ago, Calderon could be in a strange, almost unique spot. He could be one of the few players to be named an all-star and not be a starter for his own team.

The only other player with a chance to say the same is San Antonio's Manu Ginobili.


Thomas Sentenced to a Seat on the Bench

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The N.B.A. has decided not to fine or suspend Knicks Coach Isiah Thomas after he was ejected in the fourth quarter of the Knicks’ loss to the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night.

But a suspension would have almost seemed kind. Then Thomas would not have to listen to chants of “Fire Isiah” when the Knicks play host to the Toronto Raptors on Friday. The chant has become a staple at Madison Square Garden this season.
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