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Dr. J. Naismith 02-11-2008 09:06 AM

Today in Raptorland - 2/11/08

Raptors hit the Target


There would be no blown opportunity, a la the loss on Friday to the Los Angeles Clippers; in this one, nine minutes in, Toronto had scored 24 points in the quarter, Wolves forward Al Jefferson had eight and the rest of Minnesota's crew managed only two.
Sam puts onus on players


"All coaches get that question (about keeping their players focused), but what are we supposed to do?" Mitchell said, prior to last night's at Minnesota. "Come in the locker room with a chair and bang it against the wall? Threaten people? At the end of the day, guys, it comes down to who you are as a player ... and being professional and coming out and doing your job. No coach ever made me play hard. I hear that, 'Well, he's going to play for this coach, because if he doesn't ...' What is the coach going to do to you? There's only one thing he can do: Not play you. Period."

Raptors tear T-Wolves apart


The Spalding moved creatively. Open shots were swished. And by the end of the night, the Raptors had scored 41 field goals, 31 of which came with assists. Toronto's best offensive weapon, duelling playmakers Jose Calderon and T.J. Ford, combined for 23 of those helpers against just three combined turnovers. And so despite some early nonchalance and a 12-point first-half lead that was whittled to a four-point advantage at intermission the Raptors, coming off a home loss to an L.A. Clippers squad they probably should have defeated, turned what should have been a blowout into a certifiable walkover, 105-82.
NBA referee knows all about fouls


"Is this it?" Delaney asks himself.

"Am I about to get clipped in St. Patrick's Cathedral?"

The fear of retribution from the men he brought down looms to this day.

"Bennett Salvatore, one of my fellow referees, says it best: `If you notice, nobody stands next to Bobby during timeouts,'" said Delaney yesterday in a telephone interview. "But we're not flip about it. The reality is there is a level of concern."

Raptors not about to let another easy one get away


"We talked about that the last couple of days," Mitchell said. "We started off by building a [12-point] lead and then we let them back in the game with four minutes to go [in the half]. We can't continue to do that. We started to settle for jump shots and stopped being aggressive with the basketball. Our defence got lax. We came back out in the third quarter and kind of got it going."

Ford and Calderon dish out victory


In his third game back from a neck injury that kept him out almost two months, T.J. Ford combined with fellow point guard Jose Calderon to create 23 assists, as the Raptors blew out the Minnesota Timberwolves 105-82.

The win improved the Raptors' record to 27-22 but, with many expecting them to chase 50 wins this year, the season has been mildly disappointing. But watching Calderon and Ford operate last night was a memory jolt for anybody who forgot what Toronto's biggest strength is.


When Ford and Calderon are both going well, the Raptors have the best one-two point guard combination in the league, regardless of who the starter is.

The guards' first-half exploits showcased their differences. Nine minutes into the game, Calderon already had eight assists, though it was hard to remember any of them.

Ford, meanwhile, displayed his usual flash. He came into the game earlier than his two other games this week, entering before the quarter was out. Ford hooked up with Rasho Nesterovic on a pair of nice looks, and in all, had a half-dozen assists in seven minutes.

Wolves regress in an ugly loss


Whatever you want to call it, the Timberwolves' performance against the Toronto Raptors on Sunday fell far short of the level of basketball the Wolves had played in recent weeks.

Toronto brought out the worst in the Wolves, who lost 105-82 at Target Center two days after a loss at the buzzer to the Kevin Garnett-less Boston Celtics.

Raptors are who they are: best 3-point team around


Trailing by 12 points with four minutes gone in the second quarter and still down by 10 with 5 1/2 minutes left in it, the Wolves pulled even with a 14-4 run until Calderon answered a pair of shots that provided the springboard for the Raptors' runaway second half. The second one came with half a second left before the intermission.

"That took a little out of us," Wolves coach Randy Wittman said of Calderon's two threes. "That's who they are: the No. 1 three-point-shooting team in the league."

The only game I'll be betting on is the Spurs vs. Raptors


For the first time in a while the Raptors are clicking on all cylinders. Andrea Bargnani has found his shot, TJ ford is back from his injury, and Chris Bosh is playing out of his mind. The thing about the Raptors is that they tend to play up or down to the level of their opponent, as long as the Raptors keep the game close they have the tools to make the game interesting and quite possibly pull out with the W.

The Raps are 2-0 on Mondays
The Raps are 24-17 on night games
The Raps are 14-10 at home
The Raps are 6-6 on back-to-back games
The Raps are 10-10 against Western Conference teams this year
The Raps are 6-2 against Southwest division opponents (Southwest- 6-2 (Dallas-1-1, Houston-1-1, San Antonio-1-0, New Orleans-1-0, Memphis-2-0)
The Raps are 1-0 against the Spurs this season

Acie 02-11-2008 09:22 AM

She looks like she may be possessed.

Belsius 02-11-2008 09:36 AM

I would hit that possesed girl:satan:

rapsfan087 02-11-2008 09:48 AM

She is a criature who came from the light and the shadows ...


MangoKidHoops 02-11-2008 11:39 AM

I :heart: pale skinned women...

BballWatcher 02-12-2008 12:40 AM

She looks very long. Her wingspan looks fantastic! I bet she has a great motor, and tremendous upside!

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