Today in Raptorland - 12/27/08
Old 12-27-2008, 10:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Today in Raptorland - 12/27/08

Outstanding O'Neal delivers vintage performance for Raptors

It was a night of vintage Jermaine O'Neal, an evening replete with a dizzying array of drives and short jumpers, an unstoppable offensive game reminiscent of years gone by.

And just what the Raptors needed for one night.

O'Neal scored a season-high 36 points, operating against only token resistance most of the night, as the Raptors won their second straight road game, upending the Sacramento Kings 107-101 last night to begin their three-game post-Christmas trip.

Beating the likes of veteran Brad Miller and rookie Spencer Hawes and forcing the Kings to double-team him every time he caught the ball down the stretch, O'Neal did pretty much want he wanted.

O'Neal dominates Kings

Jermaine O'Neal scored 36 points in his highest-scoring game in two seasons and the Toronto Raptors ended a 10-game losing streak in Sacramento with a 107-101 victory over the Kings on Friday night.

The Raptors have won back-to-back games on a six-game road trip that was broken up by a three-day holiday break that allowed many of the Toronto players to go home for Christmas before returning to the team Thursday night. They responded to the time off by winning for just the second time in 13 trips to Arco Arena and the first since March 13, 1997.

The Kings lost their fifth straight game since winning their first game under interim coach Kenny Natt, falling to 5-10 on the season at home.

O'Neal had gotten off to a slow start in his Toronto career, following an off-season trade from Indiana. He missed 40 games last season because of lingering pain from a torn ligament in his left knee that was surgically repaired the previous summer.

Jinx junked
O'Neal helps Raps end drought in Sacramento

The Raptors have been waiting for Jermaine O'Neal to have a break-out game by returning to his dominant days.

It arrived last night at Arco Arena, where he abused former Indiana Pacers teammate Brad Miller.

In one of those displays that showcased O'Neal's offensive arsenal, he lifted the Raptors on to his shoulders by scoring a season-high 36 points in Toronto's 107-101 victory over the Sacramento Kings.

This is the same building where O'Neal scored a career-high 55 points.

It also is the same arena where the Raptors have always left empty-handed, having not won a game here in 10 years.

O'Neal sealed the deal with a great defensive stop.

Neither the Raptors nor the Kings are remotely good, but there are nights when two bad teams meet to produce some rather entertaining basketball.
Raps' Calderon must get greedy

The NBA landscape is dotted with shoot-first point guards and floor generals who prefer to distribute the basketball.

The elite guard is capable of doing both, especially in the fourth quarter when creating opportunities for oneself is as important as protecting the basketball and getting a teammate touches.

It's a fine line between being selfish, which is, at times, required, and maintaining a team-first mentality.

Jose Calderon is neither an elite point guard nor an average point guard. He finds himself somewhere in the middle at a time when the Raptors are trying to find their game. They entered last night's late tip against the host Kings six games under .500 at 11-17.

Calderon's numbers speak to his greatest skill: His ability to find teammates and to take care of the basketball. But if the Raptors are to make a serious push, it is up to Calderon to be more selfish.
More action for Will

Raptors coach Jay Triano went with his instinct and now has decided to go with Will Solomon on a more regular basis when Jose Calderon needs a breather.

Solomon is the ultimate backcourt tweener, not big enough to defend shooting guards, but neither does he possess the proper ball handling skills to run an offence as a point guard.

But when the Raptors emerged to begin the fourth quarter on Monday against the host L.A. Clippers, it was Solomon and not rookie Roko Ukic who was on the floor.

Parker's sister faces competing family loyalties

The Sacramento Kings (7-22) try to shake a four-game losing streak heading into Friday night's 10 p.m. tip-off against the Toronto Raptors (11-17).

The Boxing Day tussle may cause a little division of loyalties within the Parker family.

WNBA star Candace Parker's brother, swingman Anthony Parker, plays for the Raptors, while her husband, Shelden Williams is a member of the Sacramento Kings.

Anthony and Candace Parker became the first brother-sister duo to represent the NBA and WNBA after the Los Angeles Sparks drafted Candace in April.

"It will be like a family reunion," said Williams, who joined Kings teammates and Monarchs players in handing out turkey dinners Tuesday to 200 needy families, the Sacramento Bee reported.
Sunshine Girl - 12/27/08
*actually the girl from Xmas Eve ... today's looks 14*

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Old 12-27-2008, 10:39 AM   #2 (permalink)

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Correction: She's 22 trying to look 14....yuck.
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Old 12-27-2008, 10:44 AM   #3 (permalink)

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I was listening to a US sports news program last night. It's always interesting when the Raps highlights come up. I usually catch them every night.

1) They all just LOVE Calderon. No biggie, but they are goofy over the top on him.

2) They cant mention Bosh without the US Olympic team

3) Last night after JO's big game they say "And thats what the Raptors hoped he bring every night" .... 39 -9 every night? Who did we sign? Wilt Chamberlain?

Anyways. Nice to see some real coaching down the stretch.
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Old 12-27-2008, 10:49 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Raptorman as you said nice coaching, I agree. I thought the Raptors wouldn't be able to get that inbound play right. *cough* Sam Mitchell *cough*
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Old 12-27-2008, 11:27 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Old 12-27-2008, 11:51 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Can I just ask what Jay Triano sees in Soloman to give him minutes over Ukic?

P.S. Both ladies are terrible. I'm sorry. It's the truth. I can't say one good thing about the second one - at least the first one has nicely shaped eyebrows.
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Old 12-27-2008, 11:54 AM   #7 (permalink)

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Old 12-27-2008, 12:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Old 12-28-2008, 07:59 AM   #9 (permalink)
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The '06-'07 playoffs. Him and Collins owned our frontcourt, suppose there would be some trash talk or so, dunno.
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