Morning Linkage – Nov 1

Awkward meeting tipped off Hedo Turkoglu he was done with Orlando Magic —

The way Hedo Turkoglu tells it, he knocked on the door.

The Orlando Magic didn't answer.

"I was knocking and knocking on the door, waiting for an answer," he said. "I couldn't stand in front of the door forever. It's business. I hated to go."

The Magic didn't tell Turkoglu what he wanted to hear this summer as a free agent, but the Toronto Raptors did.

Today, Turkoglu squares off against "all my friends" as the Magic come to Toronto for a matinee at Air Canada Centre.

He is still adjusting to playing with a rebuilt Raptors team, averaging 13.0 points, 2.0 assists and 4.5 rebounds per game in two outings.

Turkoglu was upset with the Magic after what he called an "awkward" meeting with the front office following the season.

Orlando Magic’s Vince Carter says ankle is OK, will attempt to play against Raptors –

Carter was stretched out on a table, applying a flashing light of a laser device to the area he sprained Friday night while playing the Nets — his old team — in New Jersey.

"This thing is incredible," Carter said of the laser's healing powers.

Carter hopes modern science does the job. He said he's going to attempt to play today against the Toronto Raptors, the team he played with the first six-plus seasons of his NBA career.

"It's OK," he said of the ankle. "We'll see how it feels in the morning. I hate missing games. I hope to be back. It feels good walking on it."

Welcome to Loserville – Toronto Sun

So, maybe, if their home debut is some hint, the Raptors may yet paint a silver lining on this cloud.

"If you are enthusiastic about a situation, you are going to put your best foot forward," Wesch says. "If you have someone leading you who is really excited and has a really good vision, then you will put more energy and focus into things. That translates into success being more possible.

"By seeing other teams do well, there's that role model thing. It's 'we're from this city. We have the same support. We can do as well as they can.' "

The problem is, Toronto wouldn't know much about that. The last time it came close was in those early 1990s.

"When it seems like no matter what you try, you just can't win, people lose focus … they lose enthusiasm," Wesch says. "So even though you're not consciously trying to think about it that way, you're not putting everything you've got into (the game or practice)."

Vince Carter basks in Magic supporting role –

That place in the spotlight belongs to Dwight Howard and Carter's just along for a ride that includes his debut with his new team against the Raptors on Sunday afternoon.

"He's played with other all-stars, but not a guy who's probably going to take a lot more of the attention away from him, where he can be – I wouldn't say a role player – but another co-star," Toronto coach Jay Triano said of Carter.

"A lot of times when we were playing him before, he was the focus of our defence. It's pretty tough to make him the focus of your defence now and when you don't do that, that's when he can explode on you."

At least Raps won’t underestimate Magic – Toronto Sun

From head coach Jay Triano to Chris Bosh, to Jarrett Jack, the consensus was that, for whatever reason, the Raps didn't bring the intensity necessary to beat any NBA team.

"Obviously when you play against guys the calibre of a LeBron and a Shaq, your focus might be a little more intense than say against a team like Memphis that does not have the same type of names that a Cleveland does," Jack said. "But there are a number of talented guys and teams in this league. They might not be Boston or Cleveland or the Lakers but they are still teams that are capable of winning. You have to respect everyone and the ultimate disrespect is to respect everybody the same if you catch my drift. You have to guard — and this is not to knock anyone else — but you have to guard Raja Bell like you're guarding Kobe and that's the ultimate disrespect."

Today’s game: Orlando Magic at Toronto Raptors, 1 p.m. – Magic Daily

Who you're watching: All eyes will be on Carter and the health of his ankle. The Magic's offense stagnated with Carter out – and it's hard to blame them with two starters out – so his presence is undoubtedly important. He was enjoying his best game in a Magic uniform Friday before the injury, hitting 6-of-8 shots for 16 points in 14 minutes.

Why they'll win: Maybe it's because I'm around the team and I have blinders on, but at this point, if the Magic aren't playing Los Angeles, San Antonio, Cleveland or Boston, they can only beat themselves. If the Magic hit a respectable percentage of their shots, play team defense, limit the turnovers and control the defensive boards – yes, enlightening stuff here – they shouldn't have a problem. That said, Toronto always gives the Magic problems.

Three Raptors Thoughts – nbaroundtable

#1 Hedo Turkoglu

If Hedo Turkoglu isn’t allowed to control the basketball and run the offense then he’s only a role player. You’ll get the contribution we saw from him during his time in Sacramento, San Antonio and in Orlando pre-Stan Van Gundy.

Turkoglu is only a high end player when he’s given large amounts of time on the ball + a huge amount of freedom to do as he pleases + is a key playmaker (creator) for your team.

So far, Toronto isn’t giving him those opportunities. If the Raptors continue down this path then (1) The team is going to be significantly worse than it should be (2) his $50 million contract is going to become an albatross (3) The team won’t be able to trade him until the final two years of his contract and will stuck with his overpaid under-productive self.

The Raptors (coach + point guards) have done a very poor job of getting Hedo Turkoglu enough opportunities in the first two games.

Rafael "Baby" Araujo isn’t get paid and is upset about it – People’s Daily Online

"What Flamengo is missing is professionalism and respect for its players. The titles we won last year were as a team of professionals, however, the club did not act in the same manner," said Araujo, who played with the Toronto Raptors and the Utah Jazz while briefly in the NBA.

"The late payments of salary remain a problem at Flamengo. They still owe me, but my agent handling that. I left at the right time. Here at Paulistano, they know how to treat their players with respect.

"There is nothing like a professional player getting treated with respect."

Carter expects to play on Sunday –

"I heal like a young guy so I'll be good (Saturday)," Carter told the Associated Press. "Hopefully, I'll be back Sunday. We're going to be smart about it. It's a long season. I'm feeling better now that I am walking on it."

Can The Toronto Raptors’ Jarrett Jack Play Shooting Guard? | Bleacher Report

In a game that could only be described as an ugly early season display of poor play and bad defense by the Toronto Raptors and the Memphis Grizzlies, everything came down to the last five minutes of the game and Toronto’s substitutions were found lacking.

Magic-Raptors Preview – Oct. 31, 2009 – NBA –

Turkoglu's five-season stint in central Florida ended with a trip to the NBA Finals last season, but after the Magic traded for Carter in June, Turkoglu opted out of the final year of his contract and was soon sent to Toronto in a sign-and-trade.

Toronto Raptors Getting Inside 2009-10-31 News Toronto raptors

The Raptors have, for them, an abundance of backcourt riches this year, giving coach Jay Triano a chance to keep up with the rest of the NBA. With a legitimate backup in Jarrett Jack — Toronto had an unproven rookie Roko Ukic and overmatched journeyman Will Solomon as backup point guards a year ago — the Raptors are using Jack and starter Jose Calderon together at times this season.

Toronto Raptors Gameplan Lacks Structure, Creativity, and Discipline | Bleacher Report

Forget their win against Cleveland, where the hot-shooting Raptors caught a sleeping Cavaliers team and still managed to nearly lose a twenty-one point lead. On Friday night, Toronto headed into Memphis to face a depleted Memphis ball club which was missing Allen Iverson due to an injury. They lost.

Can The Toronto Raptors’ Jarrett Jack Play Shooting Guard? « Brothersteve’s Green & Red Raptor Blog

In a game that could only be described as an ugly early season display of poor play and bad defense by the Toronto Raptors and the Memphis Grizzlies, everything came down to the last five minutes of the game and Toronto’s substitutions were found lacking.

A question for Jose Calderon – That’s what I’m saying, guy

My question for Jose Calderon: What exactly did you spend your off-season doing? Calderon had a horrible preseason, an uninspiring opener and one of the worst games I’ve ever seen him start tonight. Calderon finished with 15 points and three assists tonight, hitting one shot outside of 15 feet — an inconsequential three in the final two minutes. Jose added five fouls and three turnovers, the last of which led directly to a Memphis fast break hoop in the midst of the fourth quarter swing.

Orlando Magic @ Raptors – Howard the Dunk Preview

After tonight, Vince Carter will have hit three stops on what the Orlando Sentinel is calling the “Vinsanity Reunion Tour,” but it is unknown if Carter will play after suffering an ankle injury in the second quarter of Friday night’s win over the Nets.

The other major storyline of the night is that the Magic will face their former teammate, Raptors Forward Hedo Turkgolu. Turkoglu spent five seasons with the Magic before signing with the Raptors as a free agent in July.

The Orlando Magic (2-0) travel to the Air Canada Centre to take on the Toronto Raptors (1-1). The game will be televised locally on Fox Sports Florida. As always, if you can’t see the game, you can hear it locally on WDBO 580 AM and in Spanish on WONQ AM 1030. The game is set to tip off at 1:00 PM EST.

Substitution Charts can tell you a great deal about the game – khandor’s sports blog

There are many different ways to track the performance of an individual player, or specific combinations of players, in a NBA game.

When you do this work, what you find, somteimes, can be most revealing.

This is what the “Substitution Chart” looks like for Wednesday’s game between Toronto and Cleveland.

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