"Just looking at the scoresheet, I really don't know what to say," Bosh said. "We gave up some second chances, but they didn't have that many second-chance points, which is a mystery. I guess if we tighten up the rebounding and knock down a few more shots, it could have been a different game."
Bosh uttered those last words with about as much conviction as a shopping mall Santa on Dec. 24.
"Every time we play a game, I like to see where we won or lost the game and it is kind of stifling to look at that and not know where we lost the game," Bosh said.
The venom intensified during the pre-game introductions, grew louder when he performed his pre-tip ritual of hanging from the rim and gained more momentum each time the ball found its way into his hands.
"It's become a tradition,'' Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy of the booing for Carter. "I think half of the people don't even why they're booing. It's funny."
One day, Carter's name and number should take its rightful place in the ACC rafters and he'll be accorded the same reception that ushered in the arrival of Vinsanity in Hogtown. But that time will never arrive until he bares his soul. The ball, literally and figuratively, is in Carter's court.
"I thought the way we played with Jason Williams, J.J. (Redick), (Mickael) Pietrus, Ryan Anderson and Marcin Gortat – that's not exactly the lineup everybody writes about when they're writing about the Orlando Magic and that's on the road against a good team – they took the lead to double figures," he said. "You can't ask for more than that. It's a great job by our bench, to have Rashard, Vince and Dwight all on the bench at the same time, and Jameer out, that says a lot about our depth and our character."
The addition of Carter should be obvious as it applies to any team's depth. Its character, though? Can Carter, remembered here for too many nights off, be a defence-first team guy? Van Gundy says yes, that he'll figure it out.
"You get a guy like Vince, who's been around a long time, he's got the best talent he's ever had around him and the best opportunity he's ever had to win. It's very motivating to want to step up another notch."
It was an old refrain, and a familiar one, Jose Calderon was singing as he stood in front of his locker, trying to explain away another Raptors loss.
It's something of a funeral dirge for the team; something they can trot out after almost every defeat.
"We just have to finish games and play all 48 (minutes)," the point guard said. "I know it sounds like I'm saying the same thing, but this is what it is.
"We play sometimes, one quarter, two quarters, we need 48. It's tough without it to beat these good teams."
And the Raptors can take comfort in the knowledge they have a chance to be a decent team, with considerable offensive punch and just enough defence to not let their scoring go to waste.
But it’s clear that the Magic’s trip to the NBA final last season was no fluke.
“Are they the best team in the league? They’re playing good,” said Raptors point guard Jose Calderon, who had 16 points and four assists. “They have a lot of good players, a deep bench. Maybe right now they are the best for sure. They’re deep. They have a lot of guys who can really play.”
After the cameras disappeared from a postgame scrum surrounding Toronto Raptors reserve forward Amir Johnson, he turned to a few remaining reporters to posit a question.
"Why did we lose that game?"
Following the Orlando Magic's 104-96 win at the Air Canada Centre yesterday afternoon, he was not alone in his bewilderment.
"Me and Chris [Bosh] were in here just looking at the box score," guard Jarrett Jack said. "And if you look at the box score, it looks like we should have easily won this game."
Here’s Toronto Raptors head coach Jay Triano taking out some frustration on the team overhead. In the old days, coaches used to slap the players, but now the players are too expensive. Clipboards are like, what, five bucks a pop at the most? And those are the new fancy clipboards. They don’t break into pieces quite as well, but the pieces are so jagged that you’d be in great shape if a knife fight ever broke out near the bench. It could happen
Orlando held Raptors’ All-Star Chris Bosh to “only” 22 points and 5 rebounds. Sure, that’s not a terrible day, but that’s great for the Magic considering they usually are torched by Chris Bosh, including a 35-point, 16-rebound performance in his last game against the Magic. Bosh came into the game averaging 26.8 points per game and 12.2 rebounds per game. This was one of the major reasons the Magic were able to come away with the victory.
Orlando’s offense was shooting in the low 30’s for the majority of the first half but wound up shooting 41% for the game (34-of-83). Orlando attempted 32 three-pointers and made just nine. The tandem of Rashard Lewis (0-of-6) and Vince Carter (0-of-5) were awful from downtown. Luckily J.J. Redick (4-of-7), Ryan Anderson (2-of-6) and Jason Williams (2-of-3) picked up the slack.
Chris Bosh led the Raptors with 22 points
-Former Magic forward Hedo Turkoglu scored 12 points and grabbed 6 rebounds, but shot just 3 of 11
-Three other Raptors scored in double figures, including Amir Johns0n's 14 points off the bench
-Jarret Jack led the Raptors with 11 assists off the bench
-For the second straight game, Brandon Bass was the only active Magic player to not play, while Matt Barnes played just 3 minutes
-Lewis and Carter combined to shoot 0 for 11 on three pointers for the Magic
-The Magic are now tied with Atlanta for the SE division lead, and the best record in the East, at 11-3
Really, the story of the day was the Magic's secondary players filling in well for the stars. Rashard Lewis was set to have a big game, but could not stay out of foul trouble. In his place, Ryan Anderson scored 8 points on 2-of-6 shooting, all from beyond the arc. Lewis missed all of his three-point attempts, but made up for it by driving to the basket or pulling up from mid-range if his defender bought his head-fakes.
Williams, too, made an impact. He played Jose Calderon, who is at his very best a borderline All-Star, to a draw: Williams scored 16, grabbed 5 rebounds, and tallied 3 assists with no turnovers; Calderon also scored 16, with 2 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 turnovers. Williams' 34-year-old legs didn't betray him, sinking two three-pointers in the fourth quarter despite playing 39 minutes, his highest total since logging 42 minutes against Charlotte in March 2008. His to more-or-less matching Calderon
Even after going 1-3, there are some positives from this week. First off, the team came away with a convincing win against Miami, who have been one of the East's top teams. Chris Bosh hasn't stopped the double-doubles and overall has been unreal, especially on rebounds. And finally, believe it or not, the Raptors defense is actually getting better!
If Amir Johnson is going to keep playing like this, he’s going to turn Joe Dumars into an alcoholic. By the way Joey D, it’s time to sidle up to the bar and have one of everything. Amir Johnson is the big man off the bench that the Raps have been lacking for the better part of this decade. He hustles. He defends. He scores. He rebounds. Hell, he even makes a very nice fruit tart with wild berries and exotically grown kiwis. He had 14 points and eight rebounds off the bench in 29 minutes of play but it felt like he played much better than what he gave. I chalk it up to his activeness on the boards and in the trenches. Here’s what I like about Amir: he’s not good enough to think he can realize all of the potential when he was drafted but he IS good enough to think it would completely embarrassing to trade him away in order to get your hands on cap space to blow on Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva.
The New Orleans Hornets already have fired coach Byron Scott.The San Antonio Spurs were supposed to challenge for the Western Conference title. So far, they're under .500 for the first time after 10 games since Tim Duncan was drafted.
The Toronto Raptors made a lot of off-season moves, including signing Hedo Turkoglu to a big free-agent contract, but they're two games under .500.
The Washington Wizards were supposed to return to the playoffs this season. So far, they're 3-9.
So, what is the NBA's most disappointing team so far this season? Vote below:
Toronto Raptors General Manager Bryan Colangelo is so concerned about SF Hedo Turkoglu’s physical condition this offseason that he said he will challenge how the former Magic star is used by his Turkish national team in this summer’s world championships.
“I’m going to be emphatic about it if I have to be,” Colangelo said.
Turkoglu has said he will play, considering that his native Turkey is hosting the tournament.
Colangelo hopes he can work with FIBA – the International Basketball Association – and the NBA to help monitor the playing and practice time for players whose 82-game seasons often include postseason play.
The Raptors have been celebrating their 15th anniversary as a franchise by honoring former players and coaches with video tributes during timeouts. Given the acrimonious back story of the relationship, the Raptors contacted the Magic to see if Carter might be a willing participant (or target) for the tribute.
George Galante, director of communications for the Magic, said he asked Carter if the Raptors could honor him, but Carter declined.
"Why would I want to do it? You heard it out there," Carter said. "They came to me. It just didn't make sense. Actually, it wasn't as loud as it has been. It used to be deafening."
Raptors General Manager Bryan Colangelo told the Sentinel a couple weeks ago that he was in favor of celebrating Carter because "Vince is part of our history." But any gesture by the Raptors is now moot. It was Orlando's final trip this season to Canada.
THE FAN presents highlights (courtesy Paul Jones) and the game recap (courtesy Eric Smith) of Orlando's 104-96 victory over the Toronto Raptors.
The Raptors' assistant coach joins Jonesy to break down today's opponent, the Orlando Magic, and assess the Raptors' season thus far.
Marco Belinelli should never play at the small forward position.
That rebounding hole, combined with the sub-par defense, makes it damn near impossible for him to have a consistent positive effect while playing at that position. He should be kept to either guard spot.
Why some feel the need to tell people how they should feel is beyond me. If you want to boo Vince Carter who am I to tell you not to do that. Who is anyone to tell you that. I have be accused of being a Vince Carter hater. I am not and personally I never would boo him myself. I don't hate Vince the fact is I pity him in many ways. You may say why on earth would you pity someone that has millions and is a star in the NBA. The reason is pretty simple actually. Vince Carter should be in the conversation with Kobe and Lebron as the greatest players in the game. But he is not and why? The answer is Vince has never taken his massive talent base and used it to it's full potential. He could have been one of the greatest to play this game. Instead of pushing to be that, Vince was more concerned about winning a slam dunk title and playing in All Star Games.
Heir Canada got schooled today plain and simple. The teacher dominanted the pupil. Derozan didn’t really show up today and ended the game with only 1 point. If he plans on keeping his starting job he is going to have to pull up his socks and start living up to his self annointed nickname. He looked more like Air Canada circa 2004 when he started phoning it in.
I attended the game and let me tell you it was a great experience being part of the raucous crowd who gave it to Vince Carter every time he touched the ball. Although I do appreciate what he did as a Raptor, he is now the enemy. Games versus Carter are a huge part of the whole Raptors experience!
Vince Carter returned to the ACC in yet another uniform, but with the same warm welcome. To a chorus of boos, we saw VC versus the crowned “second coming” battle it up against each other. I don’t particularly like that tag put on DeMar by some analysts. We need this kid to grow into whatever he will become. He needs to become his own player for this team and not try to grow into the shoes of a ghost that haunts the ACC from time to time. I like what I saw with DeMar not backing down from Vince early. I wish he would have thrown down that alley oop with some fierceness straight outta hell, but what can you do. He battled, and helped hold VC to 2-11 shooting in the first. Success. After a quarter, TOR 28 – ORL 22. Do I see a basketball team finally?
The play of Amir Johnson. Number 15 put up a season-high 14 points to go along with eight rebounds, and his hustle and hard work kept the Raptors in this game long after they were out of it. He’s like Jerome “Junkyard Dog” Williams high on athleticism and drunk on second effort.
Over these last seven games, the Raptors have held their opponents to an average of 104.3 points per game. A very nice 7.1 points per game improvement over the first seven games. But the Raptors were still letting teams shoot at about 47 percent over this period.
Unfortunately, the Raptors own “inevitable” ability to score had subsided as they only managed to score 103.1 points per game over this period. A substantial 6.3 point per game dip from their hot start.