Today in Raptorland - 4/25/08
Old 04-25-2008, 09:04 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Raps right wrongs

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The night would begin in a complete role reversal of the two games played in central Florida.

No more did the Raptors have to deal with double-digit deficits, costly turnovers and shots that would come up short.

Everything the Raptors did wrong in Orlando they did right on a night where they could do no wrong and when the Magic couldn't sustain any extended run.

It all added up to a 108-94 Raptors win, creating an air of anticipation for tomorrow's Game 4 matinee.
The surprise package

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The name of the semi-selfish, semi-popular, little big man, only on this night he didn't seem all that Me-J any more.

The name of the player they wanted benched that afternoon, traded away the day before.

The name of the point guard we love to hate, or hate to love, the basketball player we try to understand and maybe never will.

T.J. Ford paid no attention to the standing ovations, to the chanting of his name, to the attention he craves but said: "I didn't notice." Then he said he appreciated it.
Nelson down, but not out

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The point guard, who played so brilliantly in the first two games of the series had a rough night -- six points on 2-for-8 shooting -- end on a rougher note when he collapsed in the hallway on the way to the Magic locker room.

Nelson explained that his back tightened up during the game when he jumped at Jose Calderon and twisted something. It then locked up when he went to the free-throw line later in the game. It seized on the way back to the dressing room after the game.
Moon produces in starting role

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Moon said starting or not starting does not bother him but he did respond to his new/old role with his best game of the series. Two minutes into the third quarter Moon had a double-double and finished the night with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

"My whole time in the minor leagues I came off the bench most of the time," Moon said. "I can deal with it. Whether it's being inactive or coming off the bench or being a starter, it really doesn't make a difference. If I'm inactive I have to root my team on. If I'm coming off the bench I have to bring energy and if I'm staring the game I have to do what I've been doing all year."
Wizards rip Cavs

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LeBron James went up for the shot and had the ball stripped cleanly by Caron Butler, who went the length of the court for a dunk that gave the Washington Wizards a 29-point lead.

That's right. No contact on the play. Even James couldn't call it "Hack-a-Bron." James was beaten on the play and he knew it, in much the same way his Cleveland Cavaliers were beaten soundly by the Washington Wizards 108-72 last night.

Maybe it was the haircuts. Maybe it was Soulja Boy sitting on Row 1. Or the sight of Colin Powell in a Wizards "White Out" T-shirt. Or just the comfort of being home. Or the inspiration of having Gilbert Arenas in the starting lineup, even though he limped out of the game in the first half and might be done for the series.
Van Gundy backs Mitchell's call

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"I sort of laughed at the coverage, nothing personal guys, but here's what coaching comes down to," Van Gundy began. "When Chris Bosh raises up to shoot that shot at the end of the game (Game 2), and the ball is in the air, stop it right there and write your stories. Did Sam do a good job or did Sam not do a good job. If it goes in, you're writing about their resilience, how Sam kept them in the game, how he made great adjustments. It bounces out and all Sam's adjustments are screwing them up, they're confused.

"That's the game and that's coaching. The ball is in the air and you guys are going to write your stories based on whether it goes in or not."


Moon jump starts Raptors

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"That's their team," said Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy. "That's how they played this year, they're used to that, they're comfortable in that lineup. That's how they played a lot of time.

"I think to have him back on the floor, and to have his athletic ability . . . it's more that they played in a comfort zone more than they had in the first two games, particularly at the start."
Ford finally firing on all cylinders for Raptors

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This was how it was supposed to be in Toronto's best-of-seven playoff series with the Orlando Magic, Ford, the Toronto starting point guard, and his backup Jose Calderon torching their inferior foes in the opposing backcourt. And certainly last night's 108-94 win had more than a little to do with the little engines that run the Toronto offence.

Ford, putting aside a season in which his inconsistent performances have dogged his team, played with the kind of heads-up explosiveness he's shown in his best moments as a pro. He and Calderon combined for 39 points and 16 assists while Jameer Nelson, the Magic No.1 who had decimated the Toronto defence in Orlando's two series-opening wins, was largely silenced with six points and six assists.
Raptors give Toronto reason to cheer

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The customers turned on Dwight (Superman) Howard, naturally. He's the main difference between finding the second round and finding the golf course. There were some "Superman sucks" chants and while, as Chris Bosh said, "Back-to-back 20 (points) and 20 (rebounds), we know he doesn't suck," there still were moments something seemed to be in his head.

Howard said his foul trouble was bothering him, but he also clanked five of eight free throws and after the early misses, he went on a mumble-walk to halfcourt. He said this is standard procedure, that he'll stroll "and try to clear my mind" even in practice. Maybe so, but he didn't look comfortable.

"It was like us against the world,'' Howard said. "What can I do? They think Superman sucks. I'll just show them that Superman doesn't suck."
Raptors solve Magic for 108-94 win

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Calderon had 18 points and 13 assists and Kapono continued his resurgent play with a couple of key fourth-quarter three-pointers that were part of his 15-point night.

Bosh chipped in 15 points — after scoring just one in the first half while Anthony Parker had 10.

Ford's treatment of third-string Orlando point guard Carlos Arroyo in the final 3:25 of the first half bordered on the criminal. With Magic starter Jameer Nelson on the bench with three fouls and Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy not using backup Keyon Dooling, Ford abused Arroyo.

Ford hit a couple of free throws followed by three straight jump shots and then beat Arroyo down the lane for a conventional three-point play to cap the 11-point barrage that had the audience howling.


Raptors claw one back

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"Their point-guard play was phenomenal and probably the key to the game for them," Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy said. "I just thought they did a terrific job in their pick-and-roll game, their decision-making was great. They made shots, they got the ball to other people and I thought they were great."

"T.J.'s going to be open," Raptors forward Chris Bosh said. "Whether they think he can't shoot or he can't score, we can't worry about that. I told him, like let the ball go. Shoot it.

"You have to shoot it because when he dribbles back into the defence that gives them time to readjust and then they keep doubling me, and I don't like double teams. I just told him, be aggressive. He knows. He's a very, very good player and he played like it today."
Coach's decisions work out, for whatever reason

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Somehow the sophomore Italian held his ground, and poked away the entry pass. Maligned T.J. Ford took the ball and headed off to the races. The layup didn't drop, but nearly forgotten Jamario Moon hustled the lane and squeaked in a put-back to give the Raptors, who pretty much conceded the first quarter in their two road losses, an impressive 24-11 lead.

Go figure. The first-quarter lead held, and the Raptors have a chance to tie the series 2-2 at the Air Canada Centre tomorrow afternoon.

A generous load of credit for the victory goes to one player Mitchell was criticized for inserting into the starting lineup to start the series (Bargnani) and another (Ford) whom Mitchell was criticized for not benching last night.

And then there was Moon. “He didn't say why, he just put me back in the starting lineup,” explained Moon, who started 75 consecutive games in the regular season before being replaced by Bargnani the first and second games of the series. “That's pretty much it. I don't know why.”
McGrady leads Rocket rally

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Tracy McGrady snapped out of his fourth-quarter slump and scored seven of his 27 points in the final period, leading Houston to a 94-92 victory over Utah on Thursday night that gave the Rockets life in a series that could have been headed for a sweep.

Rafer Alston added 20 points and five assists in his first game in nearly two weeks as Houston avoided falling behind 3-0 in the series by beating the team that had the best home record in the NBA during the regular season. Game 4 is Saturday back in Utah, where the Jazz were 37-4 this season.


Raptors come back with a vengeance

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T.J. Ford, the starter, used his tremendous speed to create shots for himself and his teammates. In his relief, Jose Calderon found shots for his teammates and hit timely three-pointers of his own.

The pair combined for 39 points and 16 assists, as the Raptors beat the Orlando Magic 108-94 Thursday night at the Air Canada Centre.

"The way those two guys played," coach Sam Mitchell said, "is a reminder of just how good they can be when they're on their game."
Mitchell's intuition right on the money

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Sam Mitchell will have his praises sung today because his lever-pulling, it will read, produced the difference between success and failure, between the champagne and the ice bucket. He will deserve it, even if he won't take credit for it in public.

But he will be partly right not to do so, because just as much credit should go to the levers in question. Mitchell put his trust -- staked the series, even -- on two players in particular. He trusted Jamario Moon, the most improbable story of the season, with a start in the biggest game of the season. And he left T.J. Ford in at point guard, and prayed the kid could respond.


Raptors' guards wake up at home

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In the first two games of the playoff series with the Magic, Raptors point guard T.J. Ford was the unquestioned goat. He was being abused by Magic point guard Jameer Nelson, second-guessed by Raptors fans and lambasted by the Toronto media. If a popularity poll were held among Canadians, Ford would have finished below American beer and American foreign policy.

"It's a team effort, but if people want to put the blame on me, I'm cool with that," Ford told Toronto reporters after Game 2.

Now fast forward to Thursday night when late in the first half, the sellout crowd at Air Canada Centre was raucously roaring, "T.J! T.J.! T.J!"
Sunshine Girl - 4/25/08

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Old 04-25-2008, 09:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Ummm do I see a bit of nipple???
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Old 04-25-2008, 09:10 AM   #3 (permalink)
convinced that Raptors fans are only happy when they're unhappy.

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Ummm do I see a bit of nipple???
Yup ... go check out her gallery at the Sun. She's smokin'.
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Old 04-25-2008, 09:11 AM   #4 (permalink)
landry fields forever

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Yup.

We've got brown dog showing!

I like her. She's got that hard stripper look.
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Old 04-25-2008, 09:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
is pounding the rock!

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Holy shit

That's damn hot
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Old 04-25-2008, 09:15 AM   #6 (permalink)
landry fields forever

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Sorry, but I had to...

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Old 04-25-2008, 09:16 AM   #7 (permalink)
convinced that Raptors fans are only happy when they're unhappy.

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Old 04-25-2008, 09:16 AM   #8 (permalink)
is pounding the rock!

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"I sort of laughed at the coverage, nothing personal guys, but here's what coaching comes down to," Van Gundy began. "When Chris Bosh raises up to shoot that shot at the end of the game (Game 2), and the ball is in the air, stop it right there and write your stories. Did Sam do a good job or did Sam not do a good job. If it goes in, you're writing about their resilience, how Sam kept them in the game, how he made great adjustments. It bounces out and all Sam's adjustments are screwing them up, they're confused.

"That's the game and that's coaching. The ball is in the air and you guys are going to write your stories based on whether it goes in or not."


thats all I have to say about that.

Al the coach haters on this site need to S t F U!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

yup.

ps. that chick means business
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Old 04-25-2008, 09:17 AM   #9 (permalink)
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ummm
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Old 04-25-2008, 09:17 AM   #10 (permalink)
is pounding the rock!

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Is t just me, of does she have a lo tof really nice, long hair........ coming out of her ass!!!!

Nice

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Old 04-25-2008, 09:20 AM   #11 (permalink)
convinced that Raptors fans are only happy when they're unhappy.

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Sam's fine and is going nowhere even if we lose the next two games and get eliminated. I question some of his decisions from time to time, but considering we've had players that have battled through injuries this year and truely don't have that good of talent, he's done well with what he's been given.

Next season will be the deal breaker for Sam on whether or not get continues as head coach of this team. I'd say he's safe for now.
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Old 04-25-2008, 09:20 AM   #12 (permalink)
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"I sort of laughed at the coverage, nothing personal guys, but here's what coaching comes down to," Van Gundy began. "When Chris Bosh raises up to shoot that shot at the end of the game (Game 2), and the ball is in the air, stop it right there and write your stories. Did Sam do a good job or did Sam not do a good job. If it goes in, you're writing about their resilience, how Sam kept them in the game, how he made great adjustments. It bounces out and all Sam's adjustments are screwing them up, they're confused.

"That's the game and that's coaching. The ball is in the air and you guys are going to write your stories based on whether it goes in or not."


thats all I have to say about that.

Al the coach haters on this site need to S t F U!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

yup.

ps. that chick means business
A coach defending another coach,...SHOCKER.

What is SVG supposed to say..."I have no idea why anyone in there right mind would call a play that stupid at the end of a game".

Seriously SJ...you tell us all the time to not pay attention to what Sam says in the media...why should I pay attention to SVG??
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Old 04-25-2008, 09:21 AM   #13 (permalink)
convinced that Raptors fans are only happy when they're unhappy.

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Is t just me, of does she have a lo tof really nice, long hair........ coming out of her ass!!!!

Nice

Your right .... but that's still hot.
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Old 04-25-2008, 09:21 AM   #14 (permalink)
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"I sort of laughed at the coverage, nothing personal guys, but here's what coaching comes down to," Van Gundy began. "When Chris Bosh raises up to shoot that shot at the end of the game (Game 2), and the ball is in the air, stop it right there and write your stories. Did Sam do a good job or did Sam not do a good job. If it goes in, you're writing about their resilience, how Sam kept them in the game, how he made great adjustments. It bounces out and all Sam's adjustments are screwing them up, they're confused.

"That's the game and that's coaching. The ball is in the air and you guys are going to write your stories based on whether it goes in or not."


thats all I have to say about that.

Al the coach haters on this site need to S t F U!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

yup.

ps. that chick means business
Yup.

You beat me to it. I was going to post it to.
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Old 04-25-2008, 09:22 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Yup.

You beat me to it. I was going to post it to.
A coach defending another coach,...SHOCKER.

What is SVG supposed to say..."I have no idea why anyone in there right mind would call a play that stupid at the end of a game".

Seriously ACIE...you tell us all the time to not pay attention to what Sam says in the media...why should I pay attention to SVG??
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Old 04-25-2008, 09:23 AM   #16 (permalink)
saying too many dudes are Tyson Chandler, trying to lead their teams and went nowhere

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Is t just me, of does she have a lo tof really nice, long hair........ coming out of her ass!!!!
Nice


Joker! It's true, but she's got ass. I would definitely love to take a bite out of it.

I'm friggan hoarse from yelling last night. Amazing game, Magic look a bit rattled. The crowd has to come through again tomorrow. See how rattled Howard was at the FT line? Outstanding. That's all I have to say.
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Old 04-25-2008, 09:24 AM   #17 (permalink)
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A coach defending another coach,...SHOCKER.

What is SVG supposed to say..."I have no idea why anyone in there right mind would call a play that stupid at the end of a game".

Seriously ACIE...you tell us all the time to not pay attention to what Sam says in the media...why should I pay attention to SVG??

Because there are moments of candor where they will actually give a little real insite into the game. He's also not talking about the game about itself, but how things get played out in the media.
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Old 04-25-2008, 09:27 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Because there are moments of candor where they will actually give a little real insite into the game. He's also not talking about the game about itself, but how things get played out in the media.
Ohhh....So we take the things we agree with and qualify them as "momments of candor" got it......

Thats dumb....he was asked about Sam...what the fuck is he supposed to say.
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Old 04-25-2008, 09:34 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Ohhh....So we take the things we agree with and qualify them as "momments of candor" got it......

Thats dumb....he was asked about Sam...what the fuck is he supposed to say.
Again he was talking about the media's perception not the game itself.
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Old 04-25-2008, 09:46 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Because Benzo.

It's the fucking truth.

He's basically saying, you dumb cunts dont' knwo shit.

And I agree with him.

It's painful to read the posts from you armchair experts after the fact, all 20/20 hindsight armed, like redundant marines in a war that ended the day before.

20 guys ripped Sam on that play, same fucking play, that Bosh literally torched that team with a month earlier, same spot on the floor same everyting. He hits that, you super pro coah wanna be's are all circle jerk and saying great game, he misses it, and well, you all knew better.

I wonder, for the 35 years of Sam mitchells life when he was knee deep and obsessed with Basketball, where were you guys, what were you doing????
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