Seriously, the Raptors' point guard said yesterday following practice that he wasn't trying to disrespect the Bulls by putting the ball under his arm and tying a shoe as the final seconds in the third quarter ticked off. And he's shocked by the overwhelming (mostly negative) response.
"I didn't know it was going to be that much of a big deal," Jack said. "Everybody was like calling me and saying I was crazy. But my shoe came untied. And when I was looking up, I saw that they were kind of confused on defence, and I was like: 'Hey, why don't get my shoe together, while they're trying to get their defence together?' "
He also said he’s learning how to coach the personalities his got – some guys need a kick one day, some stroking the next – and he was, while not combative, more forceful than usual.
Maybe it’s the natural progression of a guy with a new group to handle, maybe he’s showing some toughness in public that he shows in private.
It was new and a bit unexpected. But since I think he could be tougher and I think that’s an opinion shared by others closer to the team – I imagine they felt it was quite welcomed, too.
Even coach Jay Triano's chief locker-room critic, veteran swingman Antoine Wright, has been improving his reviews – this as Wright has improved his play in the wake of Friday's team-meeting gut check.
"Coach is coaching us differently now. He's pointing out guys on tape and just holding guys accountable," said Wright. "And you can see other guys getting on guys."
Wright said Hedo Turkoglu, the soft-spoken forward, has even raised his voice.
"(Turkoglu) has been very vocal these last couple of days about what he wants from (Andrea) Bargnani and what he wants from (Marco) Belinelli. That's just been helping us a lot. Turks is talking. … We need him to get those guys on track when we can't connect with 'em," said Wright.
Who's hot? Ryan Gomes has stayed hot despite his team's 3-12 record by averaging 21 points over his past four games. Who's not? Most folks around Minneapolis, with a cold team and a colder climate (-11 Celsius tonight ).
You cannot have a new teammate or workmate at your job — you don't know him from the first day," Calderon said. "You need time to develop that. It is nine new guys on the court, but it's nine new guys off the court, too …
"We spend more time with our teammates than our families, so we got to stay together and do stuff together, and it is going to be easier for us on the court."
Calderon said the meeting was all it took to solve things. The team needed to play better defensively and put up some wins.
"When you win, nobody looks at how many points each guy has got," Calderon said. "When you win, everybody is happy …We just got to win."
16.Raptors: Again, will they try to trade Bosh before they perhaps lose him? The notion is they’ll do better in the summer in a sign and trade, but that’s flawed logic as then you have to take players from the team the player chooses. They’ve played a bit harder of late, but if they return to their defensively pathetic ways, they could be the story of the trading deadline in February.
"I can't wait," Flynn said. "I know there are going to be a lot of people from home there so I can get some of that home-style love. I had to get a lot of tickets and I've been asking everyone on the team for their tickets."
Through his first 20 games in the NBA, Flynn is third on the team in points (13.9) and the leader in assists (3.5), numbers that rank him among the best of a deep rookie crop in the NBA. But it's the triangle offense that he doesn't particularly care for.
Nathan Jawai did not practice Monday after coming down with what the team believes is food poisoning. But Rambis said Jawai would make the trip to Toronto
"The last couple of games we saw everybody helping each other, everybody telling everybody if you make a mistake it doesn't matter," guard Jose Calderon said. "Somebody will help you. It's no problem at all."
The Raptors have been particularly sharp defensively, holding their last two opponents under 40 percent shooting. They had surrendered at least 100 points in 12 straight games, losing nine, before shutting down the Bulls.
"We have a chance to be a good defensive team," Toronto forward Chris Bosh said. "It's just all about effort and work."
This is about as random as it gets: Citytv’s intro to the Raptors’ 1997-98 home opener against the Warriors. Funny to stumble upon, because I actually went to this game and remember Toronto cruising to a win and Tracy McGrady making his SkyDome debut.
The Raps Assistant joined the boys on The Game Plan to give an update from Raptor land.
BUT…. why is Bosh getting so little run compared to these players. Only Shaq in 93-94 and 96-97 was younger than Bosh is now. So why are all these players getting at least two minutes per game more than Bosh?
Granted, I think Bosh is the only one of these players to consistently wear a knee brace, but I digress.
Here's the big point: If this guy is gone for good at the end of the season, then maximize the return on your investment. He should be playing a MINIMUM of 38 minutes per game… no questions asked.
I can’t believe how much attention Jack tying his shoelaces is generating. For those who didn’t know what happened, let me fill you in. The Raptors were up by 30 points or so close to the end of the third quarter. Jack has the ball, and realize his shoelace was undone, so he cradled the basketball and tie his shoelace. The Bulls didn’t do anything at all (no attempt to steal or foul), just waiting for Jack to tie his shoelace.
It’s an unique situation, something I have never seen in a game before, but so what? The game was over by then, fouling Jack or attempting to steal wouldn’t make a difference. If I am a Bulls fans, I would rather be upset about losing 31 points to team with a sub .500 record at home.
According to head coach Jay Triano, Bosh was ordered back to bed because of a head cold while Bargnani has “ankle issues.”
Both are game time decisions for Tuesday.
Triano is clearly hoping that his club’s starting power forward and centre are well enough to dress Tuesday because the once-foundering Raptors have won two games in a row and the coach is adamant that will continue against the Timberwolves, who are actually riding a one-game win streak.
“Every guy on that team gets a paycheque and everybody is going to come to play (Tuesday) and they’re going to be motivated to play and we better be the exactly the same,” said Triano. “That’s why you get upsets in the NBA — teams look past games, and we can’t afford to do that. Definitely not with our record.”
No one is confusing the Raptors with the 1970s Knicks, who rode their good feeling for one another to championships in 1970 and 1973. But riding a two-game winning streak in the wake of their team meeting on Friday, where grievances were bared and solutions suggested, the hope is that they’re at least on the road to reaching their potential.
“If there’s a formula [to team building], I guess we’re at step one,” said Jarrett Jack, the reserve point guard who spoke out in the wake of the Raptors’ blowout loss to Atlanta last Wednesday, the catalyst for the meeting. “Hopefully we keep building.”
But when DeRozan came to Canada as the Toronto Raptors’ first-round draft pick, the Compton Swag did not make the trip. At least not in the beginning, though the 20-year-old rookie has shown signs of his old swagger and explosiveness lately.
“It means going back to my roots,” DeRozan said Monday of the Compton Swag. “What I was always known for doing — getting to the basket, being aggressive and just doing that — and not trying to be Hedo Turkoglu but trying to be me.”
Turkoglu is a gifted passer and a marksman from the perimeter. He is everything DeRozan, a natural dunker, is not. But DeRozan tried to imitate the Turkish star in the beginning.
“I got too caught up with being a jump-shooter,” he said. “I had to get back to what I did best.”
The Raptors have won the last two games and those were games they needed to begin their trip back to respectability.
But Toronto has put together successive wins twice before this season and failed to win the important third in a row to begin a true winning streak.
This time it’s reasonable to hope that things are different. And winning streaks are possible because the Raptors next opponents (with current record) are:
Chris Bosh left practice midway through, battling a head cold. Andrea Bargnani also left early and he is day to day with a sore right ankle.
- The unveiling of the Raptors Hardwood Classics Huskies uniforms went down after practice with Hedo Turkoglu and DeMar DeRozan modeling the uniforms for photo ops. You'll be cracking up tomorrow, when you see the promo DeRozan filmed, doing the twist. Yes, it's funny. He was shaking his head saying he'd be hearing it from his teammates.
- While he is a USC boy through and through, the blue and white uniforms drew comparisons to Duke's uniforms.
It's not as if Chris Bosh's body of work this season is any secret, but Tom Liston at Raptors Republic closely examines just how insanely good Christopher Wesson Bosh has been over the first six weeks of the season.
“Even if we had lost,” point guard Jose Calderon said, “everything was a little bit different [after the meeting]. Everybody was together. Everybody was helping one another. We needed to talk about some of the mistakes we were making.”
Derrick Rose admitted at practice on Monday that he had never seen a person try to tie his shoes during the middle of a play before.
"Never," Rose said. "That was my first time ever."
The entire episode was frustrating to watch for Rose, who was on the bench at the time, and head coach Vinny Del Negro.
"That was embarrassing," Rose said. "I probably would have tried to foul him or something. Or at least try to attempt to steal the ball. But, it was in the flow of the game, so .."
He tried. He really did. And my heart broke the entire time we attempted to make the conversation work because I could tell he really wanted to help me out. It being my first game, I really wanted him to want to help me out. But it just didn't work. Eventually Bargnani just said, "I'm sorry, I can't speak English well" and grew extremely frustrated. I tried telling him it was okay, but I'd have been lying if I said I wasn't a little disappointed.
But four years later we tried it again, and Bargnani is now much more confident and fluent. That didn't stop him from talking about all the adjustments he's had to make the last few years, however.
Raptors rookie DeMar DeRozan said the meeting provided players with a chance to confront their teammates in private, rather than through the media.
"That's basically what it was," said DeRozan, who has scored in double figures in three straight games. "We just have to be more vocal, come together as a team, and that's what we've been doing."
Rookie DeMar DeRozan, who helped model the new uniforms, said it was nice for the Raptors to honour the Huskies.
"We're going back to our roots," said DeRozan. "That was a while ago, way before I was born. It's great to represent what (the city) had so long ago."
Forward Hedo Turkoglu said he was satisfied by the uniforms, and was especially happy that the shorts were a little longer than when the Huskies played.
"Yeah, I'm great with these ones," he laughed. "I don't want to go back that far. That wouldn't look good on us, six games with those shorts. I'll take these."
Center Joakim Noah was fined $15,000 Monday by the NBA office for throwing the ball into the stands and striking a photographer during the Bulls' 110-78 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Saturday.
The incident came with 7:19 left in the third quarter. Noah had the ball under the basket near the Bulls' bench and slapped at it out of frustration, hitting the photographer.
That's an automatic technical foul and Noah was ejected because it was his second of the game.
"He has to control his emotions," coach Vinny Del Negro said before the fine was announced.
- Gameday: Raptors vs Timberwolves – Dec. 8/09
- Raptors Roll Call Dec 8 vs Timberwolves