Lots of talk about DeRozan becoming the starter without facing competition because of the the injury to Antoine Wright. This mornings news and QOTD revolve around that.
Antoine Wright’s injury is making life easy for Raptors rookie DeMar DeRozan. And that ticks off coach Jay Triano. Wright, the forward who has yet to play a pre-season game because of a swollen knee, should be making life miserable for DeRozan, who is being ceded a starting role almost by default. The coach is unimpressed by that because he wants competition for jobs. “I would love to not start DeMar; the position isn’t given to him, and right now, just due to injuries, it’s his by default and I want him to earn that spot,” Triano said Saturday, while admitting he still has DeRozan in his head as the team’s fifth starter.
First came Damon Stoudamire, then Marcus Camby, Tracy McGrady, and most notably Vince Carter. All seemingly fell in love with Canada, embraced the newness of the NBA to the city, and became fan favorites. But, eventually, they all wanted out of Ontario, and the Raptors received little in return for them. Chris Bosh is the latest Raptor with a franchise-altering decision on the horizon. The multitalented power forward, who dropped 21 points on the Celtics in 27 minutes last Wednesday, can opt out of his contract next summer and become an unrestricted free agent.
Antoine Wright was looking for that elusive shot in the arm to raise his spirits and by extension raise the possibility of his return to the lineup. Turns out the elixir may prove to be a cortisone shot Wright was administered recently that has enabled the swingman to better push off his troublesome right knee. “It has been frustrating just watching and not being able to play, but I’m close,” Wright said yesterday following the team’s scheduled morning practice that ran well into the early afternoon.
Wright bumped knees with Andrea Bargnani in the early stages of training camp when the team convened in Ottawa. He has yet to play in a pre-season game and Wright won’t be uniform when the Boston Celtics pay a visit today (3 p.m., Raptors TV/Fan 590). Wright planned a return trip to the Raptors’ practice facility last night to get more shots off.
The known piece that was Reggie Evans has morphed into the great unknown. Evans, who is well known for his post defence and toughness, doesn’t know when he’ll be able to rejoin his Raptors in the wake of a foot injury. Evans doesn’t know how he got hurt during last week’s loss to Boston in Hartford and has yet to watch game video to determine the exact cause of the mishap. All Evans knows is that he won’t be playing in today’s pre-season home finale against the same Celtics and neither will he be in uniform when the Raptors close out exhibition play on Friday in Sioux Falls, S.D., against the host Timberwolves.
Evans doesn’t know if he’ll be available for team’s regular-season opener on Oct. 28. “All I know is that I can’t put any weight on my foot and until the swelling goes down, we can’t do any tests to find out what’s really going on,” Evans said yesterday.
Toronto rookie forward DeMar DeRozan on Friday pledged to give away tickets to fans in every city the Raptors play in if he reaches 20,000 followers by opening night.
Raptors first-round pick DeMar DeRozan will likely start at shooting guard. But he’s far from being a finished product. He has crazy athleticism, a jump shot that’s all arms and no legs and no real clue how to defend. But they love the former USC product.
And change will be the operative word for fans following the Raptors this season. But for those who remember Bryan Colangelo’s first season with the Raptors, it’ll be nothing but deja vu. The changes Bryan Colangelo made this offseason are eerily similar to the changes he made three years ago in 2006. And based on how the team has played during the previous season, a significant house cleaning was well justified in each case!
12. Andrea Bargnani
Ray Allen remembers practices when Rivers would point out the difference between Rondo playing up on his man and back.
“When he does it, he makes it tough for the guards, we end up getting steals, and it puts their offense into disarray,’’ Allen said. “So I think he’s at the point now where he’s ready to do it full-time. “He looks strong on the ball. He provides a lot of intensity on the ball defensively and he’s very harassing of a defender. One thing he learned over the last year or two is taking possessions off defensively. He has the talent and the quickness to put pressure on his man every single time down the floor.’’
And now the Question of the Day:
From what you’ve seen of Sonny Weems, DeMar DeRozan and Marco Belinelli, does it really matter that Antoine Wright is injured?