Today in Raptorland - 12/18/07
Old 12-18-2007, 09:13 AM   #1 (permalink)
convinced that Raptors fans are only happy when they're unhappy.

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Post Today in Raptorland - 12/18/07

Raptors set to take show on road

The first portion of the trip -- a four-games-in-five-nights mini marathon -- begins in Los Angeles, where the Raptors practised yesterday in preparation for a tilt with the L.A. Clippers tonight, moved on to Portland the following night, a day off in Seattle and then back-to-back games in Seattle and Phoenix.
In the past two seasons, the Raps have made a total of four trips west of four games or more and have a 3-15 record.
Ex-Rap played drunk

In a hearing in which his 21/2-year prison sentence was tossed out by an Illinois judge who feels he deserves a new hearing, Clark, now 32, told the judge, "I never played a game sober, unfortunately." He claimed he began drinking in high school and never stopped. Once he reached the NBA he would drink during halftime.
Lost in the Raptors' disappointing performance Sunday against the Boston Celtics was the continuation of Jamario Moon's run of at least one block in the past 17 games. Moon is now four games shy of the team record for consecutive games with at least one block. Marcus Camby reached 21 consecutive games in the 1998 season ... Chris Bosh needs just two rebounds tonight to become the leading rebounder in team history.
Suspects caught in Williams case

Two suspects were arrested and will be charged with carjacking Atlanta Hawks forward Shelden Williams at gunpoint.

Getting in their face

The interaction between NBA coaches, players and fans is sometimes comical, sometimes cruel, a situation unique to the sport but fraught with the possibility of peril.
A fan was all over Mitchell for going on the court to see how Ford was, while having words with officials and Hawk rookie Al Horford.

Mitchell, who knows that he can't win by responding, did, with a quick shot that included a rather descriptive phrase suggesting what the fan do to himself.

"That pissed me off because if you're going to say something when I'm walking out to protect one of my guys. ... Normally, I ignore them, they're not worth it."
Proof that athletes live in another world

The absurdity of pro sports was idling in front of a hotel in Memphis a few weeks back, when the Raptors were in town to face the Grizzlies at the FedEx Forum. In the hours before the game, the road-tripping team's cadre of support workers loaded equipment on to a luxury coach with a diesel growl.

And you mightn't have thought a thing of the scene if not for its setting. The team, after all, was staying directly across the street from the arena.
Coach hopes Raptors change luck on west swing

He was going to get his pound of flesh on the practice court here yesterday.

And he did.

Given the only practice day he'll get before Christmas, and the only real gym time he'd have before a grind of four games in five nights starts here this evening, Mitchell put the Raptors through a rigorous two-hour practice, trying to work out the kinks of a long trip west that could prove to be a huge mental boost before the Christmas break.

Toronto has busy week

"There are no off-nights in the NBA," Bryan Colangelo, the Raptors' president and general manager, said yesterday. "Every game we play is meaningful, and with the schedule the way it is and our team playing somewhat inconsistently of late, there's not anyone who can be taken lightly. We know we've got a tough road ahead of us."
This month, Bargnani is averaging 2.8 points a game on 5-for-26 shooting as he tries to find his form while returning from a hyperextended knee.

"It's very, very important that we get him going again," Colangelo said. "You look at what we're missing right now, with the injuries we've had, and he's been a big deficit for us. Now he's getting confidence again in his knee and that will help, but he's got to get the other things going, it's about being into the game mentally and emotionally as well."
The power of confidence

It’s human nature – two strong-willed people, each wanting the same thing, there’s bound to be conflict, right? But there really doesn’t seem to be much, if any, between T.J. Ford and Jose Calderon, in part because they’re both decent people and actually care about their team. It was worth noting that when Calderon came over to the bench during a time out and the Raptors were struggling Ford was the first guy up to greet him and talk a little point guard strategy. And it’s worth noting Calderon was all ears. If there was a problem it would be easy for Ford to stay on the bench and let Calderon suffer, but instead he did his best Darrick Martin.

Raptors start out road trip on wrong foot

This year, the club's three new players in the rotation have already found their spot with the team.

"That hurts you if you don't really know what your roles are - as a team and as individuals - coming into a West Coast road trip, because they are hard," Bosh said. "And it's pretty tough because you don't get practice time. But I think we're ready for it."

Trading Season Brings New Opportunity

TORONTO Raptors (13–10) (12): Raptors are solid regardless, but won't make the next step unless Andrea Bargnani snaps out of his season-long funk. Dude has looked totally lost and has been demoted to the No. 4 big man in the rotation.
Sunshine Girl - 12/18/07

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