Today in Raptorland - 3/15/08
Old 03-15-2008, 10:15 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Post Today in Raptorland - 3/15/08

All-time lows in Mile High city

How bad? Historically bad.

In one of the darkest nights in the team's history last night, the Raptors set records for defensive ineptitude in a capitulation of outrageous proportions that will etch this version of the franchise in the record book for dubious achievements.

They gave up more points in a half and more in a first quarter than any Toronto team ever has and that's quite a list of teams that were mediocre at best in a 137-105 drubbing administered by the Denver Nuggets.

Denver's 79-point first half was the most points ever surrendered in a half, eclipsing the 78 the Los Angeles Clippers got against Toronto on March 13, 1998, near the end of the horrific 16-66 third season.

Denver's 44-point first quarter was the worst start to a game ever by the Raptors, who gave up 42 first-quarter points against Milwaukee in January 2000.

The 137 total points given up were the most this season and the fourth highest total in team history.
Smith's Blog

Just got back from shootaround and, lo and behold, what did we see but Chris Bosh doing a little jump-shooting and low post work.

And he mentioned after that he was going to try to get some running work in before tonight's game in Denver, which can only be good news for the Raptors.

Don't expect to see him in uniform on this trip -- I still think the earliest he'll play is Wednesday at home against Miami -- but if there's no lingering pain after tonight's workout, there's a chance he'll do some more at practice tomorrow in Sacramento.

I know it's baby steps but at least it's steps and figured you'd all want to know. I'm just that kind of guy.

Simply humiliating

It was a record-setting night for the Raptors. All the wrong records.

And it had Raptors head coach Sam Mitchell suggesting changes will be in the offing if they have another collective defensive meltdown like they had last night in a thoroughly humbling 137-105 loss to the Denver Nuggets.

"The last two games we're not guarding anybody," a visibly upset Mitchell said. "(Today) we'll get a chance to practise. We'll watch the whole game. It's like I told the guys, we've now gone from 12th in the league defensively to (something like) 17th. We're not guarding, and if you're not guarding, you're going to have to come out of the game.

"We just have to find guys who are going to be committed to playing defence like we played earlier and made us 12th in the league and those will be the guys who will play."

The records came early. The embarrassment, though, was from start to finish.

The Nuggets scored 44 first-quarter points, the most the Raptors have given up to an opponent in franchise history.

By halftime, the Raptors had set another record, one they didn't want. This time it was the 79 points in a half, the most a Raptors opponent has on them in either the first or second half.

In all, it was one of those nights the Raptors won't be able to forget quick enough.

Allen Iverson, the guy supposedly nursing a fractured right ring finger, led the Nuggets onslaught with a perfect first-half shooting. He was 7-for-7 from the field and 4-for-4 from the free throw line for a team high 18 points. He finally missed a shot two minutes into the third quarter but by that time the lead was 24. He wound up with a game high 28, missing just three shots from the field and going a perfect 10-for-10 from the line.
Mitchell backs his PG

Roast T.J. Ford if you must for his penchant for owning the ball in the fourth quarter, but spread some of that blame around too.

As head coach Sam Mitchell points out, Ford, when he does pass off with the game winding down, more often than not he's getting the ball back. Speaking at yesterday's shootaround, Ford was more than willing to take some of the blame for the Raptors fourth-quarter failures of late, just not all of it.

"It's just our personnel," Ford said. "Sometimes when guys feel they are not in a comfortable situation, they are not going to take chances they are not used to doing. I think that just comes with the personnel and guys who are on the court. Certain guys are good at doing certain things and certain guys know things they are not good at doing, so, why put themselves in those situations."

Rocky road trip

"Last two games, we're not guarding anybody," said Sam Mitchell, whose team has now dropped three straight to start a five-game road trip. "We're not guarding anybody, and if you're not guarding anybody, you're going to come out of the game."
Raptors sue Spanish federation

The Toronto Raptors are suing Spanish basketball for non-payment of insurance on Jorge Garbajosa.

The Raptors filed a statement of claim on Friday against the Spanish Basketball Federation.

"It is unfortunate that we've reached this point," Raptors officials said in a statement. "The matter is now before the courts. Therefore we will respect the court process and not comment further while the matter is ongoing."

The Raptors forward injured his left leg and ankle in a gruesome crash last March that ended his rookie season.

Nuggets have Midas touch in win over Raptors

There stood Marcus Camby, beyond the three-point arc, getting the 17 moving parts on his all-elbows jumpshot aligned. The clock was winding down, and Camby, the former Raptor and current Denver Nugget heaved up a shot just in bounds.

And as the clock ticked down, Camby's shot - just his sixth successful three-pointer of the year - splashed through the net. Of course it did. The way things were going for the Nuggets and the without-inspiration Raptors, you half-expected Carmelo Anthony's half-ending heave from beyond half court to fall, too.

It did not, but Camby's shot was part of a record first half, as the Nuggets throttled the sagging Raptors 137-105 Friday night in Denver. The Raptors have now lost seven of their last nine games.

With all due respect to the 48 minutes that compose a basketball game, this game was decided, for all meaningful purposes, in less than 12 minutes. Denver's 44 points in the first quarter were the most the Raptors have ever allowed in an opening frame. The 79 points Denver scored in the first half were a record for any half against the Raptors, as well.

Broken finger is no problem for Iverson

he Nuggets racked up all kinds of superlatives Friday night. One that might not show up in the record book is most points by a player with one good hand.

Nuggets guard Allen Iverson, playing with a right ring finger teammate Carmelo Anthony emphasized is "broken," scored a game-high 28 points as the Nuggets walloped the Toronto Raptors 137-105 at the Pepsi Center.

The Nuggets sent statisticians turning back pages in the record book after they shot 61.4 percent in the first half and took a 79-57 lead. Doing much of the damage was Iverson, who shot 7-for-7 for 18 points.

"I think (the finger is) going to always bother me as I continue to play," said Iverson, who missed his first shot of the second half and finished 9-for-12. "I think being that it's hurt makes me concentrate on my shot a little bit more instead of just playing."

Iverson has played four games since getting hurt March 7. The injury is called a small non-displaced fracture at the end of his finger, but Anthony begged to differ when a reporter called it a "bad finger."
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Old 03-15-2008, 10:24 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 03-15-2008, 10:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Old 03-15-2008, 10:31 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Old 03-15-2008, 10:36 AM   #5 (permalink)

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