Morning Coffee

Morning Coffee – Dec 27

Tayshaun Prince back in practice, likely to play today – Detroit Free Press

And if there aren't any setbacks, he will likely be in the starting lineup today when the Pistons travel to Toronto and try to halt a six-game losing streak that has seen them plummet in the Eastern Conference standings.

"It's sore as usual, bumps and bruises trying to get back in the first practice," said Prince, whose return seemed to energize a team which has lacked passion its past few games. "But it felt good.

"Sometimes you think it's a lot of pain, but it's more soreness after I started working out."

When the Pistons announced on Nov. 3 that Prince's consecutive games streak would end at 496 because of the back injury, it wasn't known how long he would be out of the lineup.

Short break needed by Raptors –

Christmas Eve and Christmas were days of entire sloth.

"I have learned to relax as time has gone on," Bosh said. "Different things work for different guys. I like to take a total break. Some guys like to watch basketball, watch tape, watch film, work out. I just chill, man. I don't do anything.

"At first, you feel like you have to do something. You know what? There's nothing wrong with just taking a break. In the long season we have, I've learned to appreciate our breaks."

Feschuk: Air Carter highly rarefied –

Sometimes it's easy to forget how amazing he was. Everybody, after all, knows what Vince Carter is now. He is, age 33 next month, still a force of sorts – a spotty, moody, do-it-when-he-feels-like-it force. Once a slam-dunking, world-endearing machine known as Vinsanity, he has reinvented himself as Vinefficiency, a jacker of jump shots to the tune of a 40 per cent field-goal rate. Let's see how that works for his long-term relationship with Dwight Howard, Carter's Orlando Magic teammate, who shoots much less and at 62 per cent.

No Christmas miracle – Toronto Sun

"They're going to be embarrassed by the fact that we beat them by 30 in their building," Triano said. "We caught them on a back-to-back. We're not saying we're better than them, we just caught them at a tough time in the schedule, the same way we've been caught earlier in the season."

Triano was grateful for the time off for his players, as his team had played more games than any NBA team, heading into the break. However, the one down side to the break was that it might sap some momentum away from the Raptors, who are going for a season-high fourth consecutive victory today.

SLAM ONLINE | » Decade’s Worst: Jerseys

Like other teams in the era, the Rockets convinced themselves that slapping their primary logo on the front of their jerseys as big as they would be a good idea. The Raptors and Hawks made similar moves with similarly disastrous results. Making room for the garish logo meant moving the number on the front of the jersey up and off center to the chest. This break with convention should have been the first indication for the Rockets that they weren’t on the right track. But no, they pushed forward to new depths of ugliness by butchering the very notion of pinstripes.

Put the cold drumstick down and read this – Doug Smith

Q: Hey Doug. Beer question: in your travels around the NBA, which region would you say has the best micro-breweries? I was in Boulder Colorado in October and was very impressed by the local beers. Follow up question: is there an NBAer who comes to mind as a real beer connoisseur?

Will The Houston Rockets Land On National Television? | Bleacher Report

When the NBA released its national TV schedule this fall, the Houston Rockets joined four other teams deemed not worthy of an appearance on ESPN, ABC, or TNT.

The Toronto Raptors and Oklahoma City were each slated for one national TV appearance.

The omission was understandable at the time. The NBA and its partnering networks still sell stars, and with Yao Ming out for the season and Tracy McGrady's return uncertain, the Rockets presumably employed none.

Raptors give Pistons a lump of coal for Christmas « The Zan Tabak Herald

Will the Real Bargnani Please Stand Up

Andrea has been nothing but inconsistent in his time as an NBA player but every once in a while he makes you jump out of your seat. This is why Raptors fans hold on to the assertion that he will one day play like a Dirk Nowitzski. His turn around dunk was one of those stand up moments. He also shot the ball like a Hall of Famer last Night and looked very confident. The battle for him over his career has been making it happen in consecutive games. Here’s hoping he can put it together.

Jones on NBA: Fast break –

Somehow I think it will be a very different Detroit Piston squad facing the Toronto Raptors on Sunday than the one that was trotted out two days before Christmas. Ben Gordon was in uniform that night but did not play, while Tayshaun Prince and Richard Hamilton were getting work in before the game but did not suit up as they were decked out in "civvies" on the bench.

Chris Bosh: Canada’s Most Viral Athlete – AOL News Canada

Toronto Raptors forward Chris Bosh was named the most viral athlete in the world by ESPN Magazine for his heavy involvement with the Internet, and some of his YouTube videos have now been packaged on a DVD with a documentary titled 'First Ink.'

"I wanted to do something creative and different that hadn't been done before by another athlete," Bosh says of 'First Ink,' which focuses on his decision to get a large tattoo on his back.

Pistons-Raptors Preview | Times-News Online

Toronto (14-17) has been terrible defensively, giving up an Eastern Conference-worst 106.2 points per game. The Raptors had allowed less than 88 points only once all season entering a matchup with the Pistons (11-18) on Wednesday night, but held them to 27.9 percent shooting in a 94-64 victory.

It was the second-fewest points allowed by the Raptors, who surrendered 54 in a win over Miami on March 19, 2008. Toronto, which snapped an 11-game skid at Detroit, improved to 11-0 this season when holding teams under 100 points.

Pistons Tayshaun Prince, Richard Hamilton, Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva all game-time decisions for tomorrow | | Detroit Free Press

Pistons forward Tayshaun Prince has been upgraded to a game-time decision for tomorrow's contest against the Raptors in Toronto.

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