Today in Raptorland - 2/28/08
Old 02-28-2009, 11:22 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Today in Raptorland - 2/28/08

Suns' Shaq unstoppable in rout of Raptors

"We had no physical answer for him," said Raptors coach Jay Triano.

Truer words have seldom been spoken.

The Raptors were simply incapable of stopping O'Neal from getting prime position in the paint and he made them pay almost every time, hitting 20-of-25 field goals before leaving to a thunderous ovation with less than two minutes to go in the game.

O'Neal had forced Toronto's Andrea Bargnani to foul out trying to guard him, Jake Voskuhl lasted less than eight minutes before picking up six fouls and Chris Bosh only finished with five because he got his fifth early in the fourth quarter and had a few minutes off.

"I think I'm the only player who looks at each and any centre and thinks that's barbecued chicken down there," said O'Neal.

It's time for Bargnani to start playing like a big man

The next step in Andrea Bargnani's evolution as a frontline NBA player is to step up against more formidable foes that roam the paint.

It's one thing to post numbers against undersized centres on teams that like to play small-ball, but for Bargnani it must be about imposing one's will against legitimate bigs.

That step began last night when the Raptors began their three-game road swing, the team's final extended away period of the season, with a 133-133 loss to Shaquille O'Neal at the Phoenix Suns.

Their next stop is tomorrow night in Dallas and a meeting with the Mavericks' Erick Dampier, followed by a Tuesday tussle against Yao Ming and the Houston Rockets.

It is far from a defining moment for Bargnani, but a stretch against three bigs that matches Bargnani's finesse game against physically imposing centres.

Yao is the most perimeter-oriented of the three Bargnani will face, a post presence who can step out and knock down shots.

O'Neal scores around the basket, but is vulnerable in pick and roll sets given Shaq Daddy's lack of foot speed.

But O'Neal, coming off the back end of a back-to-back set, dominated the Raptors last night with 45 points and 11 rebounds.

The ball hardly moves into Dampier's hands, but the big guy is serviceable and is a load when an errant shot has to be retrieved.

While Bargnani's recent numbers are nice, he averaged 27.0 points in back-to-back wins over New York and Minnesota heading into last night's date in the desert, he has yet to assert himself against physically imposing centres and on the road.

Until he is able to establish himself against legitimate shot blockers, the jury will still be out on Bargnani.

Shaq runs over Raptors

Shaquille O'Neal feasted on the Toronto Raptors in a dominating performance that harkened to his best days alongside Kobe in Los Angeles.

A week shy of his 37th birthday, O'Neal scored 45 points Friday night his biggest offensive performance in six years powering the Phoenix Suns to a 133-113 victory.

Shaq, Hill come up big in win

The Suns took on the Raptors without point guard Steve Nash, who was nursing a sprained ankle for the second consecutive game.

Ultimately, having O'Neal and Hill leading the way proved to be enough. That's because the Suns rarely had to shoot from outside, scoring 90 of their points in the paint, compared to 36 by the Raptors.

The first half was a tale of two streaks. The Suns went on a 10-0 run in the second quarter to take a 66-54 lead. Toronto responded with a run of its own, outscoring the Suns 11-0 to take a 69-68 advantage early in the third.

The Suns picked up the pace in the third quarter with the help of Louis Amundson, who came off the bench to finish with a career-high 20 points.

The Suns sealed the victory with a 21-8 run late in the third quarter and early in the fourth.

The victory was the Suns' 10th in a row against Toronto.

Sunshine Girl - 2/28/09

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Old 02-28-2009, 11:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Bargs has been playing well at the 5

As for the SSG, minus the chandlier belly ring
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Old 02-28-2009, 11:53 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Cheers Acie.
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Old 02-28-2009, 12:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Boycott the effin' chandeliers!

That is an excellent push-up bikini top.... perhaps she should tell me where she bought it.

Oh... and Shaq is a freak of nature. I used to call Howard the "Fucking Samsquamtch"... but I think I need to defer it to Mr. S. O'Neal.
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