February 18, 2010
A 23 point lead evaporated while the arena was chanting for Reggie Evans to check back into the game; but the Raptors withstood a furious rally from the Sixers to win the last game of the ‘first’ half of the season.
It was a game of runs; Toronto had two to take the lead, and Philly went on one to get back into the game. At the end, it was Bargnani who was involved on every big play down the stretch who brought it home. Anyone else think that if Philly held on to Andre Miller that they would be right there with the Raptors this season? Lou Williams isn’t really a PG, Jrue Holiday is learning and Iverson is Iverson. Miller has always been a thorn in our side…always…but I digress.
Jrue really brought (and finally gave me something this season for one of my fantasy leagues) it to Jack early and hard, dropping 4 dimes in the 1st quarter, all of which resulted in a WIDE open look for a Philly player who knocked it down. These quick point guards still give us a lot of problems, and the only way to deal with it, is to deal with it . It’s easier on nights when you play the Holidays of the league, but when you get the Pauls, Harris’ and Parkers, things get interesting.
February 11, 2010
Bargnani – a hard fought night with Brand and Andrea absolutely cloaked him. It seemed like every time Brand turned to look at the basket Andrea greeted him with outstretched arms and a goofy grin. Offensively it was just an average night for Bargs, but he definitely had a stamp on this game. His 3 was a dagger at the end of the game, finally snuffing out a resilient Philly team.
Bosh – I want to say this was a quiet game for Bosh, but his line still stands out: 23/12. He kept his shot attempts down and the Sixers threw some different looks at him, so maybe it caught him off guard. That one spin move on Thaddeus Young was beautiful, though.
Calderon – if you give a man some leapers, he can throw the alley-oop. Often looked at as a poor facilitator of the alley-oop pass, he turned the world upside down tonight. 4 assists in 2 minutes, a nice drive to end the first quarter, he ended up with 10pts, 6 assists. Still want to see him force the issue a bit more and get himself to the free throw line, an obvious strength.
DeRozan – nice confidence boosting game for the rook leading into what will undoubtedly be a sensory overload weekend. He made a point of attacking on both ends of the floor tonight (his challenge on Brand late fourth was impressive, taking the charge and swinging momentum). One play that stands out offensively was him charging through an open lane for a put back jam that had people in Newmarket holding on to their shaking tables.
Nesterovic – he’s probably just happy that he doesn’t have to look into Reggie’s beard every night to see what Evans had for lunch, just to pass the time on the bench.
February 4, 2010
The first minute of this game was a microcosm of the whole 48. The Raptors sticking to the perimeter and the Pacers going inside. Sure, both teams got off to hot starts but the difference was that the Pacers did it in a way which they could sustain for the rest of the night, and the Raptors did it in a way where they’d be lucky to do the same. That’s the problem with jumpers, if you’re going to rely on them as your main scoring option, you need to be ON for the whole night, not just a stretch here and there.
That’s not even taking into account the defense which was non-existent tonight, and we’re not just talking a part of defense, we’re talking transition, man, perimeter, interior, whatever. It just wasn’t there and we deservedly got hammered by a Pacers team that wanted it more than us.
The raptors lost the game by 15 points but they played alright obviously Chris Bosh played an amazing game. There has been this new news that Bosh’s condo had an electrical problem and he has been living in some Toronto Hotel. As well during the game Calderon sprained his ankle after stepping on Jarrett Jack’s foot (another reason they shouldn’t play together) and since he’s not the fastest healer, it’s going to be very interesting how the Raptors fare if Jose’s out for an extended stretch.
If there is a time to pick up an injury this could be it what with the soft schedule and All-Star break coming up.
January 28, 2010
After helping the Orlando Magic make it to the NBA Finals last season, the Toronto Raptors signed the free-agent Hedo Turkoglu in the off-season in hopes that he could help take their team to the next level. Well, Turkoglu has not looked very comfortable with the Raptors this season and his numbers are all down this year.
After averaging 19.5 points in 2007-’08 and 16.8 points last season with the Magic, Turkoglu is down to 12.5 points this season and is shooting only 40% from the field. He is also averaging 4.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists while shooting 39% from three, so he is not having a horrible season for the Raptors.
Its just that they expected more from Turkoglu this year after signing him to a 5-year $50 million contract. The Raptors have hovered around .500 this season and they will likely not make it out of the first round of the playoffs unless Turkoglu really steps it up and helps out Chris Bosh more with some of the scoring.
January 21, 2010
So, for all those anxious about the use of Jose Calderon and Jarrett Jack at the same time, there must be some solace taken in the last couple of games. Sure hasn’t been used much, has it? I think there were a couple of minutes at the end of the first half against the Mavs but that’s it; and then just a couple of minutes before halftime last night in Cleveland.
Well, I think Jay Triano liked the way Belinelli was going last night, he was hitting shots and getting in the paint and he’s a longer, more active defender than Jarrett. And, as I’ve mentioned a few times before, I think Jose’s a better option at running the offence and, with the Cavs collapsing on Bosh every time he touched the ball when he was posted up, having Calderon on the perimeter to take an open three is much more desirable than having Jack.On one key possession, Calderon did in fact get an open three that he didn’t knock down and I, and I’m sure the coaching staff, would rather he get it than Jack.
That’s not a knock against Jarrett, who does a lot of things well, but Jose’s shooting something like 50 per cent from the field since he’s been back; that’s the shooter I want on the court
January 13, 2010
I’m not even surprised the Raptors blew that lead, not in the least. If you expected them to sustain a 23 point lead for a whole half, you have them confused with a team with a killer instinct.
They had Indiana at their mercy in the first half and inexplicably took the foot of the gas; this coincided with the fatigue kicking in and all that was left to see was Indiana running rampant on the break finishing with And1’s on every other play. When it came to execute down with the game on the line, the offense failed as Hedo Turkoglu (2-9 FG and a game-worst -18) took it upon himself to ruin possessions and Triano once again went with the two-guard lineup of Jack and Calderon only to see it flounder.
I wouldn’t call this a heartbreaker, this is more like a gut-wrenching, vomit-inducing, migraine-causing slap across the face. Indiana’s offense was laughable in the first half, they were getting no guard play from Earl Watson or A.J Price and were taking the first available jumper on every possession. If Triano had only read the pre-game post I had done earlier in the day, he would’ve known that Murphy is a Raptor-killer and not to be left open from deep. Other than his four threes in the first half, Indiana was missing everything, and the Raptors were making them pay at the other end. Jarrett Jack was getting into the paint and picking out options all over the court and Chris Bosh couldn’t be stopped on the glass. Roy Hibbert was having issues handling him and Solomon Jones didn’t fare much better. The starters had given us a nice 24-18 lead when Jose Calderon and the second-unit made their way late in the first quarter.
All in all Raptors played great and then fell apart in the last quarter and gave up the lead. Well hopefully they play better in their next game.
January 7, 2010
2-0 for the short week and four straight overall. The opponents weren’t exactly Goliaths but job well done by the Raptors, they got the two things that they could possibly get out of this stretch momentum and confidence. In a game as psychological as basketball, those are prerequisites and will come in handy when we face stiffer, truer tests against Charlotte, Orlando, San Antonio and Philadelphia. As great as the last week was, things will quickly turn to the regular gloom and doom variety if the Raptors have a poor showing against competition which serves as a better barometer. In a conference where a four game win streak takes you from being out of the playoff picture to the fifth seed, anything can happen.
The Raptors defence in the second game was very disciplined, sometimes the Raptors held the other team to a low shooting percentage only because they missed wide open looks, not so this time. Belinelli’s defence on Hamilton/Gordon got some flak elsewhere but in my eyes he defended him as well as he can, dodging screens by staying on his toes and contesting as well as one can. If Wright’s assist-filled cameo was showcasing for a trade, it worked out well, and his appearance doesn’t necessarily mean DeRozan’s being penalized for his play.
December 31, 2009
Well, I wish I could say that I was swamped this week with parties to plan, but unfortunately, I have had to pass all my clients onto another planner in the office as I ended up in hospital on boxing day.
Now, please dont worry, it is nothing major. Apparently, my tonsils were so infected I had to have them removed asap. I guess the surgery was supposed to be a little more complicated when you are my age and unfortunately I got an infection, so I have been in hospital for a few extra days recouperating and on antibiotics. Thankfully, I have my laptop with me and am able to get some work done while in bed.
January is looking like a busy month for me as I have 3 conferences, a 50th birthday party and 2 weddings. Hopefully, I will be able to get through this ordeal and start the new year off right and not in a hospital gown.
The only reason I am not freaking out right now is that the girls in the office have taken over all my new years eve events and are doing a fantastic job at it. I am very lucky to have such great co-workers.
Well, they just brought in something that is supposed to be lunch, so I will be running along now. One thing I can tell you is that as soon as I get out of here I am heading straight to the nearest drive through cuz the food here is urgghhh!!!
December 31, 2009
So in honor of the new year approaching, I thought I would skip my usual Raptors commentary and give you my list of new years resolutions. Like most peeple, I usually make one every year, but fail to follow it and by the end of January, its all gone downhill. Well here it is.
1. I will stop talking back to the television when watching the games (bad habit and when i am outside in the summer with the portable tv the neighbours do look at me funny)
2. Stop drinking so much pop. Everytime I watch the games I go through a 2L bottle of Coke. My waist line is definately expanding – from now on, only juice at game time.
3. Continue to love Bosh – even if he does scoot after this season or does screw up, I will continue to be a loyal fan.
Well, thats about it…I know what you are all thinking..thats not a resolution. Would it make you feel better if I said, lose weight, quit drinking, quit smoking, quit eating junk food, save money….hey thats what everyone says..thats boring!!!
Go raptors go.
December 24, 2009
I did not recognize that basketball team playing tough defence and making clutch stops at the Air Canada Centre Sunday afternoon? That sure didn’t look like the Toronto Raptors I’m used to watching this season.
The Raptors held Chris Paul to just 10 points (on 3-for-13 shooting), seven assists and five turnovers yesterday and Andrea Bargnani made a couple of key blocks late in the fourth quarter on help defence, no less, as they won 98-92.
It was just the 10th time this season the Raptors have held their opponents under 100 points and they’ve won all 10 of those games. Jarrett Jack, Marcus Banks and their teammates did an excellent job of keeping Paul out of the lane yesterday, forcing him to take jumpshots that just weren’t falling. You have to love the backhanded compliment coach Jay Triano gave Banks after the game: “The one thing Marcus can do is defend.” Funny, since that’s the one thing Jose Calderon can’t do.
Seriously, I really hope the Raptors figure out a way to trade him once he’s healthy again. The emergence of Banks and Sonny Weems as significant contributors is worth noting. If Weems hasn’t officially moved ahead of Marco Belinelli in the rotation, he should be with the way he’s played the past two weeks. Weems brings athleticism and hustle that has been lacking in this lineup although Amir Johnson has been providing that consistently this season and he was phenomenal in the wins over the Nets and Hornets.