Raptors’ Weems coming on strong, impresses coach | Toronto Sun

"One thing I have been telling Sonny is to keep his head up," Jack said. "I know he was anxious.

"I'm a vocal person and I will try to help guys out when I see something. It's my personality, more than anything."

Miami, 6-7 at home, is the lone NBA club that sits in a playoff spot with a sub-.500 record on home court.

After a 118-90 loss at the AmericanAirlines Arena to the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday night, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra and his players held a closed-door meeting.

No matter how much the Heat is losing, Dwyane Wade will be dangerous.

Jack making his point | Toronto Sun

This is not to say there is no longer a role in Toronto for Calderon. Quite the contrary, actually. Though he, like Jack, has posted better numbers as a starter, Calderon also has had success as a backup and likely would thrive even more now playing against second units. And just as good defensive teams cover for middling defenders such as Jameer Nelson, Mike Bibby and Tony Parker, Calderon would look much improved on defence playing alongside Amir Johnson, Sonny Weems and eventually, Reggie Evans.

The last thing Raptors president/general manager Bryan Colangelo likely wanted when he went hard after Jack this summer was a repeat of the Ford-Calderon controversy that ended with Ford being dealt away.

Doug Smith’s Toronto Raptors blog

But say this about Marcus: He’s kept himself in tremendous shape and when he got a chance to fill-in when Jose got hurt, he didn’t let anyone down. With just a couple of blips – bad shots and bad offensive decisions – he’s done what a backup is supposed to do: Maintain things while he’s on the court.

He didn’t sulk, he didn’t try to do too much, he didn’t go all crazy freelance when he got some minutes.

He played and gave them what he could, and what they needed.

For that, he should be lauded because we all know how easy it would have been to go the other way.

Feschuk: Raptors’ `bad guys’ show value of effort – thestar.com

What does it say about the Raptors that Banks, the benchwarmer of benchwarmers, feels confident enough to deliver that kind of implied diss of the starting five? Certainly it says he has a higher opinion of himself than the one held by most of the rest of us, an occupational necessity in pro sports. It also says that Banks has been paying attention, and that it hasn't escaped him that the Raptors often struggle because they refuse to engage in the struggle.

Not that this is a start-'em-now endorsement of the Banks-led five. As Weems pointed out on Monday: "We're just an energy group. Whenever we do things hard with that group we're always going to be a little bit successful, but not too (successful) because there's great players in this league and great coaches."

Raptors Game Day

Who's hot? It's hard to pick someone who is going well after a 28-point home loss to Memphis, but Dorrell Wright had 16 points off the bench on Sunday.

Who's not? Point guard Mario Chalmers is shooting just 5-for-20 (25%) from the field over his last three games.

Anti-Raptor Raptors add a dash of nasty – National Post

"That's it. We just hustle. We're all good players," Weems said. "It's not like we're players that don't know how to play. We all know how to play."

"We can call it the defensive group or whatever else you guys want to call it," Banks said. "But I think it works because we're not shy to dive on the ground.

"We'll be the bad guys outside of the starters."

An effective stint in one game does not make a consistently reliable second unit — especially considering Banks is playing only because Jose Calderon, who is not in Florida with the team, is out with a hip injury — but a little bit of grime is something the Raptors could use.

Amir Johnson, still putting up great per-minute stats, still unable to consistently stay on the floor | Full-Court Press

Chris Bosh is tied for the league lead in offensive rebounds with 94. Johnson has 53. Bosh, whose 94 is impressive, has played nearly twice as many minutes as Amir. Imagine — and I know this is a question Pistons fans have asked themselves a lot over the last three years — if Johnson could actually stay out of foul trouble?

As it is, his 4.9 points/4.8 rebounds per game have been a big help for Toronto, as starting frontcourt player Andrea Bargnani is allergic to rebounding.

The Good Point – Truth behind Chris Bosh’s rebounding numbers

Right now, two things appear to be true. One is that unless Dr. House remembers something right this very instant (or at least within the hour), somebody will die. The other is that Chris Bosh is a terrific rebounder, the best in the league.

Why is that? Basketball-Reference is showing that so far this season, Bosh has 293 boards, both the highest on the Raptors and the NBA.

TUESDAY: RAPTORS AT HEAT – Miami Heat – MiamiHerald.com

The series: Heat leads 31-20.

The game: The Raptors won the season's first meeting 120-113 on Nov. 20 in Toronto on a combined 63 points and 22 rebounds from Chris Bosh and Andrea Bargnani. . . . Heat forward Quentin Richardson (hamstring) is questionable; Raptors point guard Jose Calderon (hip) is out.

Le Basketbawl Presents: First Quarter Report Card For NBA Teams » Le Basketbawl

Toronto: Grade- C: Take a good look at the Toronto Raptors roster and you will see a whole lot of talented players. However it is a not a roster that really has any direction to it. It is like buying a house with 12 rooms and buying one piece of furniture for each room; instead of taking care of one room and then when you complete that move on to the next room. The sum of the whole is less than the sum of the individual parts which is always a recipe for disaster.

Game #23: Toronto Raptors (11-15) vs. Miami Heat (11-11) – Peninsula is Mightier

Looking at tonight's opponent, the Raptors are coming off of one of their better defensive efforts of the season, holding the Houston Rockets to just 88 points on 37% shooting in a 13-point victory. Keep an eye on Chris Bosh, Heat fans. We all know how much Pat Riley loves this guy, and more then likely is going to go after him more then any other free agent.

That being the case, just imagine what it will be like having this amazingly talented and athletic big guy dominating the post area and moving guys around in the paint, creating all kinds of space and lanes for Dwyane Wade to maneuver and score. Yea, I know that its way to early to assume anything…but if Bosh has any kind of inkling about playing in Miami with his boy D-Wade, you better believe that Pat Riley will make it happen.

Rockets Go Up to Toronto, Leave Shooting Ability in Houston… « The Houston Sports Scene

As I watched Chris Bosh score 16 in the 1st half I was thinking, “Wouldn’t it be nice to have a 6′10″ defender to send in to contest this guy’s jump shots?” Well, Houston used to have that guy and Rick Adelman refused to give him a chance to show what he can do. Instead he decided to give plenty of minutes to Sideshow Dave who is not scoring and is not even close to capable of playing defense in the NBA. If you’re going to have a guy out there who can’t score, he might as well be a shot blocker and rebounder and Pops could have been that. But back to the game.

The Dwindling Toronto Sports Scene – Another Childhood Memory Shattered « Whatever’s On My Mind

The Raptors: Could this be the last year we see Christ Bosh in a Raptors jersey? Maybe. He is key to the success of the Raptors both present and future, but he wants to see results. The Raps are 11-15 and sitting in eighth currently. They’ve looked great one night, and like a high school team the next. Consistency is key.

Raps Wrap, where Toronto played a full forty-eight « Milton Ontario Sports & Recreation

I think the best we can hope for is that Jose comes back healthy and is inspired to show us just a little more on both ends now that Jarrett’s picked up his play. I like Jose and unlike other Raptor bloggers, don’t think the team should look to trade him. Myself, I would seriously look at reversing the point guards’ roles though — they’ll both get their minutes — both are good players — but it’s all about trying to maximize the matchups and I think Calderon could really dominate off the bench. But then maybe Jose wouldn’t do as well without the A-1 offensive lineup out there…. Who knows, but when your record is 11-15, I don’t think anyone should be immune to revising their role.

NBA.com: A complete list of Christmas gifts for every NBA team

Toronto Raptors: Détente and, as a stocking stuff, an MP3 download of Peter, Paul and Mary's rendition of Kumbaya to be played during player introductions.

The Associated Press: Ariza suspended for swinging at Raptors player

The Rockets were joking about Ariza's ejection on Monday.

"We were calling him Manny Pacquiao and 'Golden Boy' De La Hoya," forward Shane Battier said. "You do something like that, you're open for ridicule by the other guys on your team."

Jones on NBA: South Beach Press – sportsnet.ca

The Raptors didn't even ask Tracy McGrady about being "recognized" yesterday in the 15th anniversary celebrations that are taking place this season. They just figured with all the booing that Vince Carter wanted to avoid, they wouldn't even ask T-Mac.

McGrady continues to say he's ready to play and the ball is now in the Rockets court as to when he gets back on the floor. He sure was chatty with people at the ACC yesterday. I know he still has "peeps" in Toronto so what do you think? It's just a question, I admit, to stir the pot a bit, but would you take him next season maybe on some kind of veterans minimum? Like all former Raptors, he still loves the city.

Tale of a tall man’s tattoo – The Globe and Mail

Bosh says he and the mother of his daughter, Trinity, have since worked out support and custody arrangements. The base of his tattoo, he says, is a small triangle that represents his daughter.

And while those scouring the DVD for insight about Bosh's state of mind during a tumultuous period will come up short, Trinity does make an appearance: in a photograph being held by Bosh in his apartment.

“[Being a father] makes you mature in a lot of different senses, because you see this little person that came from you and they look at you and don't know anything, but you're like, ‘Man, I have to protect you, I have to teach you.' That's a weird feeling, a very strange feeling,” Bosh said in an interview at a Toronto hotel last week, prior to the Raptors' Florida road swing, which kicks off tonight in Miami against the Heat.

“[Becoming a father] helped out with the whole thing and where I'm coming from [and] why I got a tattoo. It's about my life.”

CBCSports.ca – Blogs – Jarrett Should Start

Jose Calderon is a great teammate and a terrific person, but the Raptors are a better team with Jarrett Jack running the show. He brings an edge that a starting five featuring Hedo Turkoglu and Andrea Bargnani desperately needs. It's tough to have two guys on the floor who don't defend well; three is basketball suicide.

The less Calderon plays, the more the offence flows through Turkoglu. He needs that to be more effective. (And, after talking to him about it yesterday, I think he told Jay Triano exactly that.)

Wish I had a photo of the watch Jack wore post-game. It's worth more than my house.

Raptors’ benchwarmers are all hustle – Canada.com

Early in the season, the likes of Marcus Banks, Sonny Weems and Pops Mensah-Bonsu (after he came to the team in mid-November) were the usual suspects who got large doses of a distinct lack of fun.

“The challenge is this,” Raptors head coach Jay Triano said. “You stay ready, running up and down and doing sprints in an empty gym because you’re one of three guys who didn’t play 25 minutes. (But it) is not the same as having a guy pick you up full court. We try to play four-on-four some days and keep them ready. But again, four-on-four in an empty gym and trying to stay ready is not the same as 18,000 people watching and the pressure on, having to do it.”

Let the Controversy Begin – In Bad Taste

Before I finish, I wanted to point out the 180 degree turn Jack has made since the start of the season. I was unsure of how he was going to fit when I saw him really struggle out of the gate. Today, and the last few games, have proved to me that he can be a legitimate starter for this team. He, more so than anyone out there, had fire in his eyes, showing that he is getting pissed off with the relaxed approach this team has taken so far. He was being physical on the defensive end against anyone he was matched up against, and really inspired his team to fend off the Houston run. I’m going to come out and say it – as much as I love Jose, I would not be disappointed one bit if Triano decided to keep Jack as the starter. I, personally, think he brings a certain spark to the game on both ends of the court that Jose just can’t seem to do.

Miami Heat: Team looking to regain focus after blowout loss to Memphis Grizzlies — South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com

The lineup again figures to be in flux for Tuesday's game against the visiting Toronto Raptors, with Richardson likely to miss a second consecutive game due to a strained right hamstring.

At 11-11, including 6-7 at home, the Heat faces the possibility of falling below .500 for the first time this season.

"That's who we've been right now," Spoelstra said. "We've got to find more consistency."

Guard Dwyane Wade said the team's destiny is unclear.

"I know how this team can be when we're all playing together," he said. "I know how good we can be. But I also know how bad we can do when we don't."

Raptors coach Jay Triano to run with Olympic torch – Vancouver 2010 Olympics – thestar.com

Jay Triano has joined the long list of Canadian Olympians to carry the Vancouver 2010 torch.

The Toronto Raptors head coach and former Canadian men's basketball team player and coach will run a leg of the Olympic torch relay Thursday in Toronto.

Raptors Blog » On Bringing It

Bargnani has always been at his best when he gets his offense from the flow of the game. We see the pump fakes that lead to good passes or the ability to get contact or gain the space needed to find that spot just above the freethrow line. Or the ability to use his quickness to go right to the basket. All of those options open up much more when he is not compelled to be a game changer. He’s a guy that provides the exclamation marks when he’s one of five. Or he’s the guy that provides the question mark on wasted possessions, when he’s not in sync with the other four guys out there, and taking on more responsibilities than actually suit him.

Ariza Suspended Maybe | MyFoxHouston.com

Houston Rockets forward Trevor Ariza said he has been suspended for one game by the NBA for throwing a forearm Sunday at Toronto Raptors forward DeMar DeRozan.

Ariza said he will not play against the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday at Toyota Center.

However, the NBA told FOX 26 Sports Monday that no punishment has been handed down yet.

"No decision has been reached, "said Tim Frank, NBA vice president of basketball communications.

"It is still being reviewed."

Regardless, Ariza is taking the blame for what happened.

"It was a heat of the moment thing," Ariza told the media on Monday after practice. "I lost my cool for a second. I got my penalty.

"It is something I wish I didn't do. Have to live with the consequences. I'm not that type of player or person."

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