Morning Coffee

Morning Coffee – Dec 12

Calderon’s hip worse than thought | Toronto Sun

Calderon came in for Jarrett Jack with three minutes left in the first quarter and then left with 71/2 minutes remaining in the second quarter. He did not play any more and to hear head coach Jay Triano tell it, it might be a while before he plays again.

Triano was asked if he thought it would be a long-term injury. " I don't know because I haven't talked to anyone yet, but I would speculate yes," Triano said.

In the previous two games when Calderon was inactive because of the sore hip, the Raptors went with Jack starting and Marcus Banks as his backup. But Banks was inactive last night, which forced Triano to go with Marco Belinelli.

If Calderon's absence is long term, Triano will have to decide between Belinelli and Banks to back up Jack at the point.

Replay | Basketball | Toronto Sun

Toronto the city was getting some love from Atlanta centre Zaza Pachulia yesterday on his Twitter account. "Can we say that Toronto is mix of Euro countries? I see all kind of people here. Actually it feels good. Toronto has a STYLE. Love it."

Pachulia is from the Eastern European nation of Georgia.

Triano still has faith in Turkoglu | Toronto Sun

Head coach Jay Triano believes he has a pretty good feel for his nine-year veteran and what makes him tick but like everyone else still is waiting to see the complete package.

“He’s a guy who wants the basketball in the pressure situations,” Triano said. “He wants to contribute. But yeah, he’s probably a guy who has to be challenged. Hopefully, we are starting to do that more and putting him in the situations where we’re relying on him at critical points in the game.”

To date, Triano feels the team has got the ball in his hands when they needed to, but admits there is room for improvement.

“I’d probably like to see him have it a little bit more, but again, did he have it at the end of the game in Phoenix? Yes,” Triano said. “Did he have it at the end of regulation in Washington?

Yes. In overtime (in the same game)? Yes.”

Weak effort leads to another loss for Raps | Toronto Sun

Starting centre Andrea Bargnani also was back in the lineup after missing one game because of a sore right ankle. The Raptors clearly missed Calderon’s ball distribution. The Hawks finished with 25 assists to only 17 for Toronto.

None of Toronto’s starting five were outstanding, though Bargnani had 17 points (with three rebounds) and small forward Hedo Turkoglu had 12 points with seven rebounds and eight assists.

As for Bosh, it’s all relative. He recorded his NBA-leading 21st double-double with 14 points and 10 boards. He had averaged 25.8 points and 14 rebounds in his past four games.

Starting small forward DeMar DeRozan seems to be hitting the wall. After picking up only eight points on Wednesday in Milwaukee, the rookie managed just two Friday night, shooting 0-for-5 from the floor in 23 minutes.

Timid Raptors lack any fight –

"You look at the things that happened," said Chris Bosh, when the trend was mentioned to him. "They got on a fast run, there's no energy in the building, there's no energy from us. I think they get some wide-open shots, easy looks – they can just do what they want without being challenged.

"We just have to get up into guys and challenge them, especially when they start knocking down shots. It's like, `Okay, they're knocking down shots tonight, let's get up into them and make them do something they don't want to do' because that's what teams do to us."

Hawks make the most of Raptors’ flaws – National Post

"Our effort was there at the beginning but it slowly [began] to lack as the game went on," swingman DeMar DeRozan said.

He is correct. The Raptors kept touch with Atlanta in the first quarter, but the Hawks outscored the Raptors 28-14 in the first eight minutes of the second quarter to break the game open.

That stretch included two Atlanta offensive rebounds, four Toronto turnovers and a pair of Hawks three-pointers.

"I think we get a little deflated," Raptors coach Jay Triano said. "They hit a couple threes and we start to hang our heads a little bit and we don't have that same energy. We have to match [their] energy. At that point of the game, it's quite a few of the guys off of the bench coming in. Whether it's starters coming back at that point or guys that are coming into the game, we've got to fight and scrap for every loose ball and rebound."

Hawks Put Raptors Into Extinction, 111-89 – ESPN Video – ESPN

Hawks score 49 off the bench to power past the Raptors

Bing Video: Hawks topple Toronto

Zaza Pachulia talks about Atlanta's 111-89 win over Toronto. Pachulia scored 14 points off the bench in the victory.

Hawks blast Raptors again |

"We can circle dates on our calendar all we want to, but until we become a better team and, individually, take the challenge a little bit better, we're going to stay where we are," Bosh said.

Evans said the Hawks were prepared for Toronto's early energy.

"We knew that they would come out trying to reconcile what happened in Atlanta," Evans said. "We knew they really wanted to avenge that loss, they were going to play hard and they're a tough home team. We came out with that focus and I think it paid off for us." – Raptors/Hawks

While the Raptors had Andrea Bargnani back into their starting lineup and Jose Calderon off the bench after both missed the team's previous contest against the Milwaukee Bucks, Calderon played just seven minutes before leaving the game. Aggravating his hip injury, he did not return and Toronto struggled taking care of the ball, finishing with as many turnovers (17) as they had assists.

Trailing by double-digits throughout the second half, the game felt like another 31-point blowout with the Toronto crowd unleashing boos fast and furious on each failed Raptors possession.

Bosh was held to just 14 points and 10 rebounds, well below his season average of 24.3 points per game. Bargnani scored 17 and Jarrett Jack added 13, but the Raptors biggest issues were once again on the defensive end as they fell to 0-8 on the season when allowing opponents to shoot better than 50 percent. – Chris Bosh ‘comfortable’ in Canada

In a skit he wrote, Bosh portrays a comically demanding children's basketball coach and, in one of the disc's highlights, he travels around Toronto, confronting his Internet haters (played by actors).

He smacks a footlong sub sandwich out of one fan's hand, steals a critic's bicycle and takes to a street basketball court to dunk emphatically over a child who made disparaging comments about him on the web.

Bosh said that sketch was inspired by the very-real vitriol he absorbs online.

"I have YouTube channels, I have Twitter, I have a Facebook fan page, and every so often you look on it and somebody put something stupid up there or something very negative," said Bosh, slouched in an armchair and munching on chicken fingers and fries.

"It's like, why would you do that? You don't even have your face up there. What's your purpose in doing that? It's dumb. But, people, I guess, find they get a kick out of it."

Raptors Game Recap – The FAN 590 Toronto

THE FAN presents all of the highlights (1) and David Alter's game recap (2) from Friday night's 111-89 Hawks win, in which the Raptors struggled against the same team that embarrassed them last week in Atlanta.

FAN590 – Blogs – The Rap » Calderon Out Long-Term?

Jose Calderon’s ‘future’ with the Raptors may be in jeopardy.

Short term? Long term? Well, nobody is sure right now.

But the Spanish guard was taken to a Toronto area hospital earlier tonight to have testing done and images taken on his injured hip.

The Raptors training staff won’t know the results of those test/images until tomorrow and at that point the team will determine how long Calderon may be out of the Raps’ line up. However, Jay Triano has already speculated that Calderon’s absence may be lengthy.

FAN590 – Blogs – The Rap » Raps Hammered By Hawks (Again)

Smith Says:
“The positive vibes of the ‘closed-door meeting’ and the 3-game win streak are gone. Toronto has struggled, again, in back to back losses to Milwaukee and now Atlanta.”

Jones Says:
“Atlanta is a strong and athletic team that has grown together. Give them full credit for their win.”

RaptorTalk: Your Toronto Raptors: Talent with No Effort, No Heart and No Pride

When is Bryan Colangelo going to take steps to fix this mess? Colangelo himself said he would know by the end of November after 18 games as to what he had in this team. Even the most ardent homers were saying you should have a good idea by 25 games. Well, we are at the 25 game mark (10 wins – 15 losses) and there is no consistency and it looks like nothing is changing.

What is troubling is that the Raptors are getting worse and not better. The Raptors show no sense of urgency, no heart, no effort and no pride.

On the Raptors broadcast it was said that Toronto is only 3-8 against teams with a winning record.

Guess what? It's actually worse than that.

Game in Six Minutes – December 11, 2009

Watch the game between the Raptors and Atlanta Hawks all in just six minutes.

Jay Triano – December 11, 2009

Head Coach Jay Triano addresses the media following the Raptors loss on Friday night at the ACC.

khandor’s sports blog » Center is Bargnani’s best position in the NBA

Those who would like to see the Raptors use Bargnani at a different position, other than Center, simply do not understand the role that adequate Defense plays in the NBA, the specific skill-sets required within this particular phase of the game, by position, and the general order in which these skills are prioritized for the high end teams.

Chris Bosh – December 11, 2009

Chris Bosh talks to the media following the Raptors loss to Atlanta on Friday night.

Amir Johnson – December 11, 2009

Amir Johnson talks to the media following the Raptors vs. Atlanta game on Friday night.

Raptors lay another egg – The Globe and Mail

“They’re a tough team for us to guard because we have a hard time keeping them in front of us,” said Raptors head coach Jay Triano. “They’re very good one-on-one players.”

Toronto didn’t give up 146 points as they did in Atlanta just over a week ago, but after jumping out to a peppy 18-10 lead through the first eight minutes they were outscored by 30 points the remaining 40 minutes of the game.

The versatile Hawks lineup shot a cozy 22-of-37 from the floor during the second and third quarters, including 5-of-8 from the three-point line, with a good share of their offence involving Joe Johnson or one of his teammates dribbling into the middle of the defences and either scoring in the paint of pitching out for an open three-pointer. When they missed, they regular chased down the rebound and were rewarded by scoring 20 second-chance points to eight by the Raptors. The closest Toronto got in the fourth quarter was 16 points.

Mediocre Forever – A Toronto Raptors Blog: Atlanta Thrashers – not the NHL team, just what the Hawks are against the Raptors

* I know the Raptors showed no effort, but is it just that? Is it also we just simply don't match up well with them at all? They're all agile and athletic, which is the opposite of us. If we make the playoffs, and I'm sure we will as a low seed, I'd rather face the Celtics, I kid you not.

* Why do people call for the booing to stop? They're paying top dollar to come and watch a live game, with their team showing no effort and is getting blown out..what do you want them to do exactly..cheer? This is Toronto. The city demands effort. Anything less is absolutely unacceptable.

The Associated Press: Johnson leads way as Hawks beat Raptors

Toronto had as many turnovers (17) as assists.

Raptors guard Jose Calderon was scratched from the starting lineup minutes before the game and replaced by Jack. Calderon, who had missed the past two games with a sore left hip, came off the bench late in the first but lasted just seven minutes before aggravating the injury.

The Raptors led 18-10 with 3:59 left in the first but the Hawks used a 14-5 run to reclaim the lead. Toronto's Antoine Wright made a buzzer-beating jumper but Atlanta led 29-27 after one.

Evans scored 10 points as Atlanta shot 14 for 21 from the floor in the second and took a 61-48 lead at the half.

CBC News – Toronto – Hawks pound Raptors again

The Atlanta Hawks went on a 24-10 run in the second quarter on Friday night to break open a close game and score their second lopsided victory over the Toronto Raptors in 10 days.

Josh Johnson had 20 points in the 111-89 victory at Air Canada Centre. Atlanta scored 42 points in the second quarter on Dec. 2 en route to a 146-111 win, the most points in 15 years by a Hawks team.

Raptors shut down by Hawks again – National Post

Having lost 146-115 in Atlanta nine days earlier should have had the Raptors on alert. Instead, the Raptors' flaws – poor help defence, a startling lack of athleticism among several of their key players and, all of the sudden, poor three-point shooting – revealed themselves in front of 17,032 fans, many of whom indulged in some jeering at one point or another.

The last point is perhaps the most startling. With Turkoglu, Bargnani, Jose Calderon and Marco Belinelli, the Raptors should rarely struggle from long distance. Yet, Toronto had shot just 30% in the last seven games heading into Friday night. Still, coach Jay Triano encouraged the team to shoot more often from long distance before the game.

The outcome: For the second straight home game, the Raptors did not make a three-pointer in the first half, winding up just two for 10 from long distance.

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