While the Raptors still are finding their legs as a team, Bosh certainly hasn’t been slow out of the blocks. The seven-year Raptor, who spent the off-season working unusually hard to build up his strength and endurance, is in the top three in the NBA in both points (31.3 per game) and rebounds (14.7) — with the idea of keeping it that way throughout the season. “I’m just trying to stay consistent,” he said. “That’s my main thing this year. Last year, I got off to a really good start, and I really, really digressed as the season went on. So I’m trying to keep it steady this year. Not only for the second half of the season, but the second half of games.”
"We have to learn from these games, especially being a young team," Turkoglu told the Raptors' official Web site. Though the Raptors are allowing 110.3 points per game, they're playing well on the offensive end thanks to Bosh, who's averaging 31.0 points per contest. Also pulling down 14.7 boards per game, Bosh is averaging 23.1 points and 10.1 rebounds in his last seven contests versus Detroit.
“We didn’t do the things defensively that we’ve been talking about since the preseason,” veteran forward Chris Bosh said after the loss to Orlando. “Have all contested shots and give them one rebound.” Toronto had only a total of two steals and six blocked shots against the Magic. Head coach Jay Triano will also want to emphasize rebounding, particularly on offence.
In their last game, Toronto was out-worked on the offensive boards by the Magic 14-9. They are currently ranked 21st in the National Basketball Association in recovering the ball.
You don’t scrap what you spent the past six weeks working on because of two frustrating losses. You regroup and tighten things up during practices. You continue to allow Antoine Wright and Hedo Turkoglu some time to get acquainted after missing most of October. You let Jose Calderon snap out of the early season funk he’s found himself trapped in.
For a guy who is tied for third in NBA scoring heading into last night’s play (averaging 31 points in Toronto’s first three games) and is second overall in rebounding (14.7), Bosh is more concerned with the number 12 – the rebounds he has plucked off the offensive glass (an average of four per outing, ranking him fourth in the league). It represents a significant jump for a man who, last year, averaged 2.8 offensive rebounds over the course of the season.
He is not sold on Raptors all-star Chris Bosh – “They’re going to pay him $20 million to shoot jump shots?” – or on starting centre Andrea Bargnani. “You ain’t going nowhere with 7-footers shooting three-pointers.”
But he is, to be clear, not down on all of today’s players. He “loves” Kobe Bryant’s relentlessness and thinks LeBron James is “the strongest player ever to play at his size.”
And if he has long been a critic of coaches – he says he thinks he’d be a good one – he has his favourites.
He said Butch Carter, the former Raptors coach whose off-court eccentricities led to an ugly 2000 firing, is “up there with Pat Riley” as a strategist. (He suggested the Cleveland Cavaliers give Butch a call). And he spoke of that 2000-01 Raptors squad, his third and final season in Toronto, with passion and regret and that old Oakley gift for analogy.
"That's one of the things Jay (Triano) and I talked about over the summer, even if the play was designed a certain way, I was floating around the elbow and the wing a little bit too much," Bosh said. "So that was really a point of emphasis for me, to roll a lot more and get down closer to the basket a lot more, be a more traditional big."
Former Raptor Charles Oakley will be honoured tonight as part of the team’s 15th anniversary. The Raptors play host to the Detroit Pistons, 7 p.m., at the Air Canada Centre. Oakley played 208 games for Toronto over three seasons, averaging 7.9 points and 7.9 rebounds and was part of two playoff teams, including the 2001 squad that defeated the New York Knicks to reach the second round.
“That was one of the major concerns coming into this summer was not only the second half of the season, but the second half of games and just being able to stay strong and keep it going, it’s easier said than done,” he said. “I’m just trying to stay consistent. That’s my main thing this year. I know last year I got off to a really good start and I really, really digressed as the season went on, so I’m trying to keep it steady this year.”
While the Raptors still are finding their legs as a team, Bosh certainly hasn't been slow out of the blocks. The seven-year Raptor, who spent the off-season working unusually hard to build up his strength and endurance, is in the top three in the NBA in both points (31.3 per game) and rebounds (14.7) — with the idea of keeping it that way throughout the season. "I'm just trying to stay consistent," he said. "That's my main thing this year. Last year, I got off to a really good start, and I really, really digressed as the season went on. So I'm trying to keep it steady this year. Not only for the second half of the season, but the second half of games."
Key to a Raptor win:
- Stop Gordon and Charlie V from scoring. Charlie V loves playing against his old team and he will be very motivated. Charlie V is currently having a bad start, he is not getting a lot of playing time and looks like he’s lost on defense.
- Calderon has to play better on both ends. He has to make shots on offense and contain Stuckey on defense.
- Attack, attack and attack. The Pistons are using Ben Wallace as their starting center, if it’s Ben Wallace 5 years ago, it may be relevant, but now he is no longer a defensive force. So the Raptors have to attack with their quickness. Jump on them early, it’s better to play with a lead.
During the off-season, the Detroit Pistons rebuilt the key components of their roster in an attempt to become relevant once again in the post season.
Not everyone is convinced that the Pistons have made all the right moves and Wednesday night’s tilt versus the Raptors is the first head-to-head meeting with one of the half-dozen teams that they will competing with for one of the last four playoff spots.
The Toronto Raptors have gotten off to a disappointing start to the season. From the high of beating Cleveland in their home opener. Then the low of losing two straight high scoring contests they could have won.
The 30-year-old veteran of nine NBA seasons said he is still figuring out his new team and city, both on and off the court.
“It’s been an adjustment since I’ve been here, I still have to figure out the nice places, the nice areas, the people that are really good people that I can be friends with,” he said. “My teammates, they are going to be my good friends because we’re going to spend most of the year together. Everyday I learn more about either my team or about the city, that makes me feel more comfortable”
A Toronto Raptors affiliate hosted a free agent tryout Saturday and Sunday at the upper gym in Kerr Hall.
The Erie Bay Hawks, Toronto and Cleveland’s developmental league affiliate, held the third of three tryouts looking for names to submit to the DLeague’s Nov. 5 draft.
The camps attract a wide range of talent, all looking for an opportunity to further a professional basketball career.
And why is this important looking at Sunday? Well Sunday was one of the rare times, and it happens about once a month (say 6-7 times a season) where Toronto holds an opponent under the magic number — no pun intended — and loses the game. The difference was Orlando’s three-point shooting which was great. But that is to be expected from a team that was 7th in the NBA last season in three-point shooting percentage and hoisted over a third of their field goal attempts last season from behind the arc. Orlando’s 17 three-point field goals was a record for the most treys made by a Raptor opponent in a single game. Heck, Toronto shot 54 per cent and put up 116 points and still lost. On Sunday afternoon, Orlando shot 43.9 per cent. So what happened and should the Raptors have modified their defensive game plan and coverage?
The team just announced that small forward Tayshaun Prince will miss tonight's game against the Orlando Magic because of a lower back strain, ending his consecutive-start streak at 439 games.
Prince will not make the two-game trip to Toronto (Wednesday) and Orlando (Friday), either.
When Chris Bosh grabbed Dwight Howard to ignite a skirmish of forbidden words in Sunday’s loss to the Magic, it wasn’t because Bosh was sending out a message.
November 3rd – Practice Videos
If and when Chris Bosh becomes a free agent, I wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up back home in Dallas. Not because he necessarily wants to play for the Mavericks, but because Mark Cuban could probably give him his own television station. On December 1st, CB4 has a DVD dropping called First Ink, and I’m already trying to get my hands on it.
First Ink features a documentary film which follows Bosh as he navigates one of the most important offseasons of his career, as well as a number of original comic films, exclusive interviews and never-before-seen high school footage.
Relatively huge was the audience Rogers Sportsnet attracted for Sunday's World Series game: 840,000. That doesn't include all those who watched on Fox, which I'm guessing was at least another 800,000. That's not hockey huge, but it's huge.
Not so huge were the Toronto Raptors. They got off to a great start last week, drawing a record audience of 420,000 on The Score. But that fell to 240,000 Friday and only 190,000 on Sunday.
Here are the top English-Canadian sports ratings for the weekend, as supplied by BBM overnight calculations:
Although Dave Feschuk usually does a solid job of pointing out which things are working well in Raptorville, at any given point in time, and which things are in need of improvement, on occasion, even he can “swing and miss”, when it comes to solving the riddle that has now become,
“What is really at the heart of the Raptors defensive woes, when it comes to relentlessly conceding dribble penetration to opponent ball-handlers using a Pick from a Big?”
Is it important to get a win before heading out on a road trip? "We talked about the importance of the game but nothing to do with the fact that we're getting ready to get on the road. It's one game and we're going to focus on that game. We have an opportunity to watch them tonight, we run through some of their sets today in practice and hopefully make some adjustments based on what we see tonight when they play against Orlando."
It's amazing how quickly the sky starts to fall sometimes. The Toronto Raptors started the 2009-10 season with a bang, defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers, but are 0-2 since then after losses to Orlando and Memphis. An early scapegoat seems to be rookie shooting guard DeMar DeRozan, who has been starting and is averaging just 7.3 points per game. Some wonder if the Raptors would be better off starting Antoine Wright, just back from an ankle injury, who was a regular starter for the Dallas Mavericks last season. Raptors head coach Jay Triano isn't ready to consider a lineup change.
Monday, NBA teams gave their verdict. It was the deadline for contract extensions for the 2006 class, and well, let's just hope a bunch of those players got their degrees. They may need them soon. With a recession and a declining salary cap causing teams to turn thrifty, a majority of third-year players will wonder where their next paychecks will come from. Among the few who were extended were Roy, Aldridge, Rajon Rondo, Thabo Sefalosha and Andrea Bargnani. Most of the rest are destined to work year-to-year, especially with an upcoming labor negotiation adding even more employment uncertainty.
3. Andrea Bargnani, Toronto: As No. 1 picks go, he isn't exactly Olowokandi. But not a franchise player, either. He can shoot with range and he just turned 24, so the Raptors rolled the financial dice anyway.
A week ago it began looking like just three first-rounders from the 2006 NBA Draft were going to get contract extensions from their teams.
Brandon Roy got a max deal. LaMarcus Aldridge landed a sweet $65 million extension. And Andrea Bargnani signed a deal worth $50 million.
However, over the course of the past few days there has been a flurry of negotiations and a few other players scored extensions.