Morning Coffee

Morning Coffee – Nov 17

Winds of change | Toronto Sun

"There are just some little things that are keeping us from making that step to become a better team,'' Turkoglu said. "We could have a better record, but we're 5-5."

The glass, though, is half full.

Reggie Evans remains inactive (foot); Antoine Wright couldn't play on Sunday because of a sore left ankle and Turkoglu gutted it out, despite playing with a sore left hip.

While Turkoglu did find his shooting rhythm, he didn't make a single trip to the line.

Turkoglu needs rest, but if he's able to dress, his mentality won't change.

"Once I'm on the court, my mind-set is to do my best and help my team,'' he said.

Raptors gasping for air in Mile High City –

"They're so physical and we haven't had that," Triano said Monday after the Raptors practised in Phoenix. "It's a game that scares us a little bit because of that.

"We've kind of gone in there and they've tried to intimidate you with physical play and hope that the officials stop blowing the whistle.

"They're aggressive offensively and defensively and they're a well-coached team. It's tough," Triano added.

If there's a confidence boost for Toronto going into Tuesday's game, it's that they come off one of their best performances, albeit in a 101-100 loss in Phoenix on Sunday.

Chris Bosh: Better, stronger, faster – The Globe and Mail

Perhaps the best way to express Bosh’s superior start is by way of his player efficiency rating (PER), a catch-all number that includes all manner of box score statistics and adjusts them for playing time and pace of play.

Since 1973-74 (when the NBA began tracking individual turnovers), the highest full-season PER recorded was 31.89 by Michael Jordan in 1987-88. Just five players in the past 36 years have had a PER of more than 30 for an entire season – Jordan, LeBron James, O’Neal, David Robinson and Tracy McGrady. Jordan and James are the only players to have topped 31 for a season, a feat James managed last season during his NBA most valuable player campaign.

Through 10 games this season, Bosh’s PER was 31.67, second in the NBA only to Chris Paul, the New Orleans Hornets guard who was at 34.05 through 10 games before spraining his ankle.

Toronto Raptors-Denver Nuggets: Game Preview | Bleacher Report

Bosh is one of the most offensively gifted big men in the NBA. His game is finesse. Kenyon Martin is one of the most intimidating and versatile defenders in the NBA. His game is toughness. I see this as a battle of strength vs. strength.

If anybody has the skill set to make life difficult for Chris Bosh, it’s Kenyon Martin. He is quick enough on the perimeter to keep Bosh in front of him. He is strong enough to keep Bosh off of the block. And he is athletic enough to consistently contest Bosh’s shots.

Random Raptors Moment #4 « That’s what I’m saying, guy…

How about some love for the greatest practice player of all-time? Joey Graham is actually now a member of the Nuggets, who the Raps face Tuesday night in Denver. He’s averaging just 3.7 points in seven games, but believe me, he runs Carmelo Anthony ragged every morning at shootaround

Just Energy and Tim Horton Children’s Foundation partner to give kids a chance to HIGH FIVE THE RAPTORS!

Just Energy (JE.UN), one of North America's leading energy retailers, is proud to partner with Tim Horton Children's Foundation to provide local youth with the opportunity to High Five the NBA's Toronto Raptors as players enter the Air Canada Centre court moments before game tip off.

"Just Energy is very pleased to participate in this initiative with the Tim Horton Children's Foundation. This unique and exciting opportunity gives youth in our community a chance to get up close to some of their biggest sports heroes" said Ken Hartwick, President and Chief Executive Officer of Just Energy.

HIP HOOP JUNKIES – A Toronto Raptors/NBA Blog: 4 Q’s of Basketball with Vicious D of RaptorsHQ

One of the cool things that I had noticed at the beginning of this season was the representation of the Raptors' blog nation at events like Raptors Media Day and the Toronto Raptors training camp. One of the blogs that had access to the Toronto Raptors Media Day was I wanted to get an inside scoop of Media Day from a blogger's perspective, so I asked Vicious D from RaptorsHQ a few questions about his first experience at the event.

The Rap Sheet: Where the hell is this guy and 2011 Draft Talk

Would anyone else like to see a little more Sonny Weems? Great stuff off the bench!

Anyone who questions the decision of Hedo taking the last shot must have missed the previous three minutes before that. Hedo was on fire and isn’t taking the last shot exactly why we got “Mr. Forth Quarter” in the first place? I’m all for the logic of going down-low to CB4 when down by one point, but going to Hedo is right there as far as options.

Thoughts about the Raptors after 10 games « New Leisure Blog

Marco Belinelli

Excellent pickup by Bryan Colangelo. He is very streaky, he didn’t shoot well in the pre-season, but now he is hitting his shots. Make no mistake about it, his role is to score, and he will take many shots doing it. His defense is below average and non existent on the boards.

Matt Devlin interviews Jose Calderon – Video

Check out my one-on-one with Jose Calderon before we head out to Denver…

CBC News – Toronto – Health ministry takes MLSE’s word on flu shots

The Ontario Health Ministry says it is taking Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment at its word that players for the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Toronto Raptors did not jump the queue for the H1N1 vaccine.

The company known as MLSE admitted Nov. 4 that certain players and staff on both teams received shots at a time when many people in so-called priority groups had yet to receive theirs.

The company denied that its staff and players jumped the vaccination line but did not release any information on who received the shots or how.

Jones: Nullifying Nash –

To answer all the e-mails at one time about the final possession, I have no issues with Hedo Turkoglu having the ball and making the decision. I would’ve liked to have seen something going to the hoop but you can never be sure of getting a call on the road against the home side.

As it was, Toronto only went to the line 14 times in the game which is well below their average of 29 attempts per contest which is third best in the NBA. Hedo got a good look at the hoop and it's a shot that he probably makes 50 per cent of the time.

There is no column in the standings for moral victories so it is a loss for Toronto. But, they do have something to build on as they did not get behind early and had the pace of the game right where they wanted it.

Raptors-Nuggets Preview – Nov. 16, 2009 – NBA –

Playing for Orlando, Turkoglu averaged 21.0 points, 5.0 boards and 5.0 assists versus Denver in 2008-09.

Raptors four-time All-Star Chris Bosh looks to extend his double-double streak to six after posting 25 points and 10 rebounds against Phoenix. Bosh, who has scored 20 or more points in 17 straight games dating to last season, had 24 in each of the two losses to Denver last season.

The Raptors and Nuggets are among the league's highest-scoring teams, averaging 106.9 and 106.2, respectively.

Denver is trying to improve to 4-0 at home for the first time since 1989-90.

The Raptors' last win over the Nuggets was a 121-94 victory in Toronto on March 23, 2007.

The Key to the Raptors’ Defence: Offence | Bleacher Report

I was thrilled when I learned that Triano wanted to emphasize constantly moving/sharing the basketball. I believe that such a simple strategy can greatly improve the Raptors overall play, not just on the offensive end of the court.

First, it takes a lot less energy to throw a ball than it does to sprint to the location that the ball was thrown. Constantly passing the ball can tire the opposing players by making them run a lot.

So, even if a particular possession where the ball was effectively moved doesn’t result in points scored, it should still greatly benefit futures plays in the game.

Court Surfing – Back to the Future, Raptors Style: The Week that Was, the Week that Will Be: Week Three

Tues. @ Denver – Some will wonder whether there will be a hangover from the Suns game. Others will wonder if the Raptors will come out with renewed confidence from the Suns game. For the Raptors to get the best result, they need to forget about the Suns game. This is the Denver Nuggets. They are a legit contender with a legit star and a team that can have its way with any other team, especially on their home court. Just ask the Lakers. As last week showed us, nothing can be assumed with this season’s Raptors. You would assume this game will be over before it really begins. I can see Toronto hanging in, but just can’t see them escaping the high altitude of Denver on a high of their own. I look to the deep benches as the key matchup.

The Salami & Cheese: Raptors lose a heartbreaker…

Right from the get-go, the game shifted into the Mike D'Antoni up-tempo offense. Both teams fired away, hitting jumpers and penetrating the paint for points. Hell, with 8:09 left in the 1st quarter, the score was 16-12. I felt like my eyes were shifting rapidly from one side of the TV to the other. The Raptors led most of the way (their biggest lead was 10), but for the most part, only a few possessions separated the opponents.

But just like any classic Raptors game, the Suns found a way to take the lead late in the game. With 7:41 left in the game, Steve Nash hit a dagger 3 pointer to go up 87-84.

Reviewing The Raptors 10 Games In: Better Than Expected « Brothersteve’s Green & Red Raptor Blog

And the teams the Raptors have defeated were good teams: Cleveland, Detroit, New Orleans, Chicago, and LA Clippers.

But in the five Raptors losses, the Raptors have scored 109.6 points while their opponents have poured in 120.2. While Raptors scoring in losses might be impressive, no one wins very often when giving up 120 points in this league!

However the Raptors losses were hardly unexpected. Orlando, Dallas, San Antonio, and Phoenix are all very good clubs. Plus the Raptors are 2-6 all-time in Memphis for some inexplicable reason.

In all a 3-1 home record plus 2-4 against western conference teams on the road has to be considered a successful start to the season.

The Toronto Raptors Ten Games In: A Look At Some Numbers | Jurassic Hoops

21 – The lowest single-game point total from Chris Bosh thus far in 2009-10. Bosh has given the faithful little-to-no reason to be unsatisfied with his performance so far, his average of 27.7 points per game is five better than his career high from 2008-09. Bosh’s incredible performance at the free-throw line has been nothing to sneeze at, nor has his .857 percentage from beyond the arc (he’s made six 3’s). A decrease in both of those areas is no doubt due, but it’s been fun to watch.

NBA Hit List power ranking, 11.16 | Dime Magazine

14. Toronto Raptors (5-5) — Chris Bosh has led the Raps in scoring in nine of their 10 games, and in rebounding in right games. As if you didn’t need a reminder that T-Dot really needs to re-sign him.

FAN590 – Blogs – The Rap » VLOG 6.1 – PHOENIX, AZ

We’ll be heading to the airport shortly … to fly from Phoenix to Denver. From Sun … to SNOW! Ouch. Denver got DUMPED on the other day.

We look back at last night’s heartbreaker … and looking ahead to Joey Graham and the Nuggets on Tuesday.

Enjoy the VLOG!

khandor’s sports blog » Where and how exactly Toronto lost last night at San Antonio

as this season progresses, slowly but surely, important questions will need to be asked instead of the architect[s] responsible for [re-]constructing this year’s Raptors team hoping thinking that the current roster was going to be capable of Defending and Rebounding like a high end team in the NBA.

Deron Williams returns to Utah Jazz, plans to play vs. Toronto Raptors – ESPN

Utah point guard Deron Williams says he will play Wednesday when the Jazz host the Toronto Raptors.

Williams returned to practice Monday after missing two games to be with his daughter while she went through medical tests for an undisclosed condition.

Raptors-Scheduling a Rough Road for Raps | Bleacher Report

I’d like to think with the defensive effort the Raptors came up with last night (limiting the highest scoring team in the NBA to 101 points) that their hard work at that end of the court is beginning to pay some dividends. Thus proving not only to the fans and other teams that they can play defence, but reassuring themselves that they can.

Confidence is a massive part of any athlete’s production and this team seems to be gaining some swagger.

I am hopeful that they can split the next two games or perhaps even win both, though that may be quite a tall task against two tough teams as previously mentioned, though I believe that this team is capable of greatness and seemingly has the right mix to win any night against anyone.

Raps’ Post-Game: Game of Inches, Literally

While there will be his detractors, Turk (20 pts, 6 rbs, 3 ast) showed us why Colangelo overpaid to bring him here. His big shots were what kept us in it down the stretch. He hustled like a dog to get his hands on a loose ball leading to a jump, won the jump and then canned a three to tie it with 1:30 on the clock. The next trip down the floor he was given the ball with 5 seconds left on the shot clock and again he drained it, albeit with his foot on the line, again tying it. If his left foot had been 5 inches further back, this one probably would have gone to overtime. He missed his last two but they were open and they almost dropped. He’s a crunch time player and it’s great to see him start showing us that.

NOW Magazine // Daily // Raptors and Leafs, a tale of two cities

The energy at Raptors games is in your face from the moment you step into the building. The music’s loud. The vibe is urban.

The crowd may be largely white, but the enthusiasm’s cross cultural, infecting even the high rollers in the $300 a pop courtside seats.

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