Today in Raptorland - 1/18/08
Old 01-18-2008, 10:12 AM   #1 (permalink)
convinced that Raptors fans are only happy when they're unhappy.

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Post Today in Raptorland - 1/18/08

Bosh embracing the leadership side of his role

The 23-year-old is also in the process of enhancing his connection with the fans through his own web site -- Having seen the success his "Vote Chris Bosh to New Orleans" video had, he has put out another video, this one aimed at a specific target, the basketball crazies over at, a web site for only the most passionate basketball fans.

"Me and my business partner had the idea," Bosh said. "We know that RealGM has a big community and a lot of people look at that stuff so we thought why not direct a personal message at everyone and let them know I am interested in my web site, I'm very hands-on and they can choose to participate in it."
No time for changes

Smack in the middle of one of the busier portions of their schedule -- four games in five nights -- the Raptors' practice yesterday was kept rather light. Head coach Sam Mitchell said the Raptors are able to do this because they keep change to a minimum.

"The good thing about what we do and what we try to do defensively especially, is we know our principals so we don't have to go change everything if we have four games in five days," Mitchell said. "This is how we play, these are the things we are going to do. Now we tweak it but we don't make any major changes."

Hawks no longer a slam dunk victory

There's little to suggest any one of the Raptors will take the opportunity to send Horford sprawling; there really isn't anyone on the Toronto team who has that in their DNA.

They seem to be a group that would most like to avenge Ford's injury by hammering the Hawks on the scoreboard, not hammering them into physical submission.

But that's not going to be easy.

Hawks aren't easy pickings this season

The Raptors catch a break tonight in one sense because the Hawks, for all their talent — in the form of Al Horford, Josh Smith and Marvin Williams, they might have the market cornered on skilled 6-foot-10 players aged 22 and under — are the worst three-point-shooting team in the NBA, connecting on 31 per cent of those attempts, compared with the Raptors, who lead the league at 41 per cent.

To hear Mitchell tell it, he's willing to live with this one statistical glitch as long as his team can hold opponents to a reasonable shooting percentage overall and keep them off the free-throw line.
Bosh warms to leadership role

Chris Bosh may be the undisputed leader of the Toronto Raptors, but the young basketball star admits it's a role he's had to grow into.

It still doesn't fit perfectly.

"I'm just making it up as I go," Bosh said with a laugh Thursday.

"I never really saw that many leaders, to be honest with you, so I don't know how to handle it. People can give you advice and tell you, but you're not going to know how to do it because you have to have your own personality."

Raptors expect Bosh to do more than be the best, but also lead

He does not stand up before a big game or after a bad loss and point fingers, or pump out Knute Rockne-like inspirational speeches. In fact, speaking is the hardest thing about leading for Bosh. And so he speaks softly, preferring to pull up a chair beside a colleague in need of a chat, rather than airing a grievance for all to hear.

"You are not going to see a whole lot of screaming and hollering at guys," teammate Anthony Parker says. "He is a guy that is going to pull somebody aside and say it in a positive way, and I think it goes a lot farther that way."

Parker says the most remarkable thing about Bosh might be his birth certificate. He may be a veteran of five seasons, but Bosh is still an NBA baby at age 23.
Raptors Notebook: Sam Mitchell, the reluctant cynic

“You wonder why I am so cynical,” Mitchell growled. “We win four out of five games … we hold them to, how many points did they score? [the answer is 91].
“And we score 116, and you got an f----- bug up your ass because (Kings point guard) Mike Bibby hit some threes.
“Y’all, Mike Bibby’s going to make some threes, and news flash — Kevin Martin — they didn’t give him US$13-million because they like how he looks.
“They gave him US$13-million because he can play.”
NBA: Mitchell on Billups, Redd and expectations for draft picks

"If we draft a guy high, and if he's not platinum the day we get him, you all start writing that he was a bad pick. He was a bust," Mitchell said. "You all start killing the guy. Then you all start killing the guy who drafted him. Then you all start killing the coach because he hasn't developed him, instead of saying, some guys develop quicker than others. There's no patience with young players."

Mitchell then pointed out how successful second-round picks, such as Michael Redd, have more time to develop because of lesser expectations.

Horford ready for Toronto's mad rapture

Raptors fans, though, haven't gotten past it. Ford hasn't played since that
night. And blogs and message boards have been lit up ever since with biting comments about both Horford and the Hawks in anticipation of Friday's contest.
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