"I think everybody could have put out more effort," said guard Jarrett Jack. "It was our first back-to-back ball game (and) that could have been part of it. But everybody in the league goes through it, you can't use that as an excuse.
"You've just got to bring it."
Trouble would seem to be lurking here Monday night if the Raptors don't find a way to stay consistently in the game.
Toronto: 3-3 SU, 3-3 ATS
San Antonio: 2-3 SU, 2-3 ATS
Toronto most recently:
When playing on Monday are 9-1
Before playing Chicago are 6-4
After playing Dallas are 5-5
After a loss are 4-6
San Antonio most recently:
When playing on Monday are 6-4
Before playing Dallas are 6-4
After playing Portland are 7-3
After a loss are 6-4
Hedo Turkoglu, one of the wise old vets on a relatively young Raptors squad, knew even in the heady aftermath of that lopsided win in New Orleans that there was still plenty of fine-tuning yet to come.
"It's really nothing yet," he said. "We can be really good. I really believe that. Still we have to execute. We're still building. It's going to take time. We felt better especially in that third quarter (in New Orleans). If felt like we had been together a long time. That's how it starts. Feeling more and more comfortable on the court, making shots and making passes and playing unselfishly to put ourselves in a better situation."
That feeling was completely foreign in Dallas, where the freewheeling Mavericks got the Raptors out of that selfless moving and sharing the ball mode and into a bit of a panicked shoot-early phase that only served to put the ball back in the Mavericks' hands.
Toronto at San Antonio 8:30 p.m., AT&T Center TV Raptors TV Radio Fan 590
Who's hot? In addition to being near the league lead in most offensive categories, Chris Bosh has hit each of his five three-point attempts this year.
Who's not? After averaging near five assists per game over the last two years, Hedo Turkoglu is averaging just 3.5 assists so far this season.
Nov. 4 – 110-99 W vs. Detroit – After a 1-2 opening week that ended with a couple of duds, Toronto Raptors fans were nervous coming into this one. Toronto had just been man-handled by an under-manned Magic team at home, and now faced a short-handed Pistons team that had defeated the Magic the night before. The Raptors came out slow, relied on their bench to create a spark, then rode that spark to a 17-point third quarter lead. Cue the expected meltdown, as the Pistons climbed all the way back, taking a one-point lead midway through the fourth. The Raptors defence stepped up, specifically Jarrett Jack on Ben Gordon, and they were able to come away with an important win before heading out West.
Positives: The Raptors came up with two big wins—made even bigger as they come before a huge road trip coming up.
The win against the Pistons was a pretty dominant win at home, with the exception of a fourth quarter breakdown. Their offense was great, and making threes hasn't been a problem.
The win against the Hornets was very impressive. In the contest the Raptors showed both team grit and an ability to play on the road.
Chris Bosh has been stellar, and Jose Calderon is improving. Hedo Turkoglu is starting to get better, and Bargnani is getting more consistent. This team is starting to come together.
“I came into this season saying I’m going to give it a shot,” Bosh said at the time. “I think I can get it and we need more wins, of course, but when I think of MVPs in the past, I think of consistency and . . . every they night they put it out there on the floor and, when need be, they put their teams on their backs.”
Even less time has elapsed from this season compared with when Bosh spoke out last year, and you can be sure there will be no MVP talk from the forward, who has said he will not be discussing individual goals this season. But based on his first six games, he looks very much like a player hell-bent on carrying his team.
San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker is not expected to play Monday against Toronto because of a sore left ankle.
The Spurs said Sunday that Parker's injury was a mild sprain that could sideline him for a week. Parker rolled his ankle Friday night in the second quarter of a loss at Portland. He did not return to the game.
Parker is averaging a team-high 14.8 points and four assists. He hurt the same ankle at the start of last season and missed three weeks.
The Spurs look to avoid their first three-game losing streak since the beginning of last season Monday night when they open a stretch of 10 of 12 at home against the Toronto Raptors.
San Antonio (2-3) lost three in a row to open the 2008-09 season – two at home – but their current struggles have come on the road. The Spurs, who were 26-15 on the road last season, have won their two home games by an average of 18.0 points, but are 0-3 away from home.
They were in trouble from the outset in consecutive losses at Utah and Portland last week, falling behind by 10 after one quarter in a 113-99 loss to the Jazz on Thursday, then trailing by 15 after 12 minutes in a 96-84 defeat to the Trail Blazers one night later.
What’s good fans? Here’s Part 1 of a behind the scenes documentary of my rookie season I’m doing for Raptors TV called “One Rookie”. Check it out and tell me what you think.
The big game in the U.S. these days: Trying to determine where LeBron James will sign next season. Chris Bosh is all but a bit player in all that high-pitched speculation.
- Gameday: Raptors vs Spurs – Nov 9/09
- Week in Review/Preview: Podcast