Today in Raptorland - 4/24/08
Old 04-24-2008, 08:54 AM   #1 (permalink)
convinced that Raptors fans are only happy when they're unhappy.

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Post Today in Raptorland - 4/24/08

Sshh! Raps tinkering

The oddsmakers already have made their adjustment, establishing the Raptors as generous four-point favourites for tonight's must-win Game 3 of their first-round playoff series against the Orlando Magic.

The marketing department is chipping in by handing out 19,800 red T-shirts to fans in a bid to paint the Air Canada Centre in the home team's colours for tonight's contest.
"It's now a five-game series and you've got to do what you've got to do," Mitchell said after yesterday's practice at the Air Canada Centre. "The worst thing that can happen is what, we lose? We lost the first two, so we've got to do something ... As a coach you can't be afraid to try things."
Late miss is history for Bosh

"I wanted Jose (Calderon) or Chris to get the shot," Mitchell said. "We ran the play that we wanted. We got the ball into our best player's hands and you know what, I trust his decision. If he drives to the basket, he drives. If he feels like he's got the shot, he takes the shot."
Ready? They'd better be

So tonight, we give you Game 3. It's the last hope, really, for the Raptors. They have to find a way to be ready when Herbie stops screaming. They have to find a way to not completely implode before the rich guys in the platinums have found their way to their seats. More than anything, they have to be pros, who understand the level of commitment necessary to compete in the playoffs.
Jazz aims to hit high note at home

Now, the Jazz has to live up to its reputation of being one of the most difficult home teams in the NBA. Utah leads Houston 2-0 in the best-of-seven series and could end it without having to take another trip until the next round.

Game 3 is tonight, when the Jazz either can move one step closer to a series sweep or allow Tracy McGrady and the Rockets a chance to pull off the same comeback Utah had a year ago against Houston.
Pistons get even

Rasheed Wallace scored 11 of his 16 points in the first quarter and had plenty of help at both ends of the court in a 105-88 series-evening victory over the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 2 last night.

"They were clicking everywhere," Philadelphia's Andre Iguodala said. "Those are the Detroit Pistons that we expect to see."
Wizards plan to continue rough stuff

Two days after playing host to its final hockey game of the season, the Verizon Center will be the site for tonight's Game 3 between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Washington Wizards.

Given all the rough stuff that went on in Games 1 and 2, maybe the work crews should just leave the ice uncovered and let LeBron James and Co. play in helmets and heavy padding -- with a penalty box on standby for those who are naughty.
Celtics roll over Hawks

Kevin Garnett had 19 points and 10 rebounds, and Rondo added 12 points, eight assists and six rebounds to lead Boston to a 96-77 victory over Atlanta last night and a 2-0 lead in the first-round series.

Danilo Gallinari, the leading scorer in the Italian basketball league, declared for the NBA draft.

The 19-year-old Gallinari is averaging 17.5 points and 5.6 rebounds with Armani Jeans Milano. He's shooting 39.8% from three-point range.

At 6-foot-9, Gallinari is hoping to be a top 15 pick. He plays guard or forward.

Bosh alone can't win series for Raptors

Bosh, after all, did what team leaders are supposed to do this time of year – he elevated his game with a mad-eyed fervour that should have been completely infectious. Except that it wasn't.

While Bosh was stretching his limits, too many of his teammates – say, the other four-fifths of the starting lineup – disappeared.
Raptors thinking too much, Kapono says

"Obviously you want to start out well but we don't want to put pressure on ourselves to try to start well," Kapono said, providing an interesting angle on how to improve Toronto's wretched starts against the Orlando Magic. "I think we just need to go out there and not think as much. I think in the first quarter we're trying to think our way through the game instead of just playing it."
Raps need early spurt to salvage series

"It's been what it's been and it is what it is,'' philosophized Sam Mitchell of the early no-shows. "We've just got to come out and play better.''

Then he thought of one other thing to say about his team's slow starts, albeit a view not unanimously held by everyone who watched both games.

"It hasn't been that we're not playing hard to start the games," he said. "We're just making a lot of mistakes."

Ford's ego holding the Raptors hostage

Ford will start tonight. He will start despite 2-for-17 shooting in the first two games, and despite the fact he turned the ball over four times in Game 2, which directly impacted the early deficit. He will start despite the fact he has been treated as a turnstile by Orlando counterpart Jameer Nelson. He will start despite the fact backup Jose Calderon's superior shooting makes Nelson pay for double-teaming Chris Bosh. And he will start even though the starting lineup will be shuffled. Calderon has been better, but Ford will stay.

"He has been better as a starter, and Jose has proven that he can come off the bench and give us something," head coach Sam Mitchell said after practice yesterday. "To me, at least I know if T.J. struggles, I have Jose, who last game played well. If we [bench Ford] and Jose struggles, where do I go?"
Raptors notebook: Mitchell still hiding Game 3 starters

Then, Mitchell said that the radio program was not a place to go searching for the truth.

"First of all, I would not listen to that radio show in the morning if you actually want some decent basketball analysis," Mitchell said. "That's what it's meant to be, amusing. It's not to be factual. I would take it with a bag of salt, not a grain."

Our guess? Mitchell was telling the truth on the airwaves. And we expect him to start Jason Kapono, who has scored 38 points in the first two games of the series, at small forward.
Kapono's hot play may earn him starting spot

"Someone told me [Game 1] was the first time I played 30 minutes since January 1st," Kapono said.

Not exactly true. He played at least 30 minutes in a regular-season game twice in 2008. The role reduction was mostly on merit, as Kapono often looked as if he was being too picky about his shots.

Still, he said the limited role hurt his confidence.

"At the end of the year it was tough for me just because I was playing five or six minutes. I wasn't playing in the second half," Kapono said. "As a shooter, it's kind of hard if you only get one or two shots, and if you miss the one or two, you're not going to play the rest of the game. It's tough to play that way."

Ford isn't living up to his own hype

Despite a two-game line featuring 1-for-18 shooting and four turnovers, including back-to-back bobbles that led to momentum-building first-quarter fast-break dunks, Ford wasn't about to take ownership of for the Raptors' early-game struggles, even though he was on the court with the ball in his hands for most of them.

Instead, he was happy to spread the blame and own the self-pity.

"It's a team effort," he said of the Raptors, who have lost the first quarters by a combined total of 78-41. "If people want to put that blame on me, I'm cool with that. It's nothing different that hasn't been done before.

"[But] we just need to get off to a better start and not give up easy baskets in the first quarter, that's what's killing us"
Shaky Raps

The audiences for the Toronto Raptors-Orlando Magic first two playoff games illustrate just how fragile the appeal of the Raptors is in Canada.

Last year, after winning their division, the Raptors, in their first two playoff games, produced audiences of 330,000 on TSN and 247,000 on The Score. It helped that the Raptors were playing the New jersey Nets and much loathed Vince Carter.

This year, coming off a mediocre season, the audiences are substantially lower. On Tuesday, for the second game of the series, The Score drew 168,000, down 32 per cent from 2007. Last Sunday, TSN had 218,000 for the first game, down 34 per cent from the comparable audience a year ago.

It's a game of move and counter-move as the Sam Mitchell and Stan Van Gundy duel in the Raptors-Magic series.

So the chess match will continue in Game 3 and if Mitchell making changes to his starting lineup is successful, you can expect a counter from Van Gundy.

Don’t be surprised to see Mitchell go back to a previous starting group of T.J. Ford, Parker, Moon, Andrea Bargnani and Bosh. This lineup has a bit more length and defence to guard against Orlando’s post-ups but will have tough time dealing with Howard as the chess match continues.

I didn't say it, but Raptors won't win this playoff series

If you're a Magic fan, you are probably feeling as if your underwear is too tight. But let's be honest, the playoff series against the Raptors is starting to feel like a pair of mink boxer shorts.

Sure, Toronto could still take the series from Orlando. Canada could also invade the United States and install British Columbia native Pamela Anderson as prime minister.

Some things just aren't going to happen. And after two games I can guarantee the Raptors aren't going to . . .
Sunshine Girl - 4/24/08

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Old 04-24-2008, 09:01 AM   #2 (permalink)
landry fields forever

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"He has been better as a starter, and Jose has proven that he can come off the bench and give us something," head coach Sam Mitchell said after practice yesterday. "To me, at least I know if T.J. struggles, I have Jose, who last game played well. If we [bench Ford] and Jose struggles, where do I go?"
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Old 04-24-2008, 09:09 AM   #3 (permalink)
saying too many dudes are Tyson Chandler, trying to lead their teams and went nowhere

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I told my cousins in Orlando that I never want to talk to them again...and that they were adopted.
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Old 04-24-2008, 09:20 AM   #4 (permalink)

giant steps
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jeebus that ssg is frighteningly skinny...

somebody keep that orlando sentinel article. if we win this series, i'm gonna send it to that asshole with a big red ribbon around it.
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Old 04-24-2008, 09:23 AM   #5 (permalink)
saying too many dudes are Tyson Chandler, trying to lead their teams and went nowhere

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Well, I guess the Sentinel has to sell papers, so I understand the article. Doesn't mean much since only 50 people out of 200,000 can read.
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Old 04-24-2008, 09:26 AM   #6 (permalink)

never too old.
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why cant we just winnnnn????
i fucking hate reading that arrogant orlando crap!
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Old 04-24-2008, 04:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
is pounding the rock!

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He's just having fun, I have been emailing with that dude for a couple days, he's funny.

No worries, I just ripped him a bit.
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Old 04-24-2008, 11:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
is pounding the rock!

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Nice SSG, needs to gain some weight though, but other than that, DAMN
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