rudygay

Snowy and cold and a dangerous game is lurking – Doug Smith

The Raptors have tended to cower from the Celtics in the past, to back down from the yapping and the physical defence. It was seldom pretty to watch and everyone connected with the team knew it.

So the thing to watch for tonight is whether they stand up and fight – not literally, of course – or regress. It doesn’t mean running their mouths like the Celtics do, it doesn’t mean knocking everyone on their butts every time down the court.

Weary Celtics could be prime pickings for Raps (without Turkoglu) – thestar.com

Hedo Turkoglu (knee) and Jose Calderon (hip) won't be available against the Celtics, forcing coach Jay Triano to alter his rotations.

Toronto has been getting by with Jarrett Jack and Marcus Banks handling point guard duties, but Antoine Wright, who lost his minutes to the more athletic Sonny Weems when Toronto began its recent hot streak, will get an emergency start in place of Turkoglu.

DeMar eyeing dunk contest? – Toronto Sun

The high-flying Raptors rookie, while making it clear he would love to have the opportunity to take part in the highlight event of the all-star weekend festivities in Dallas this year, has been given no indication he will even be considered for such a spot when the league finally gets around to putting the field together.

But some old friends at Ballislife.com in conjunction with Team Flight All-Stars (TFA), have started an Internet campaign to get DeRozan one of those spots.

You can take part by going to http://www.letdemardunk.com.

Time to get Jacked up – Toronto Sun

Clearly the image of Pierce doing a celebration over Bosh after the Raptors captain had taken a knee in a sensitive area still rankles with Jack. Not a single Raptors player rose from the bench to protest Pierce's actions while the entire Celtics bench was at midcourt when Jay Triano and Alex English led a two-man Raptors charge.

Jack believes the Raps could learn to be a little more like the Celtics.

"I think they are very talkative and very celebratory after they get stops which is good," Jack said. "I think if our team was more like that we would be a lot better off. I think the best way, as my dad used to say is: 'If you don't want them celebrating, don't give them anything to celebrate.'"

Celtics a giant Raptors need to finally slay

"They've been a team we haven't been competitive with at all," guard Jarrett Jack said before the team took off yesterday. "And I'm talking about going back to pre-season. It's a team that's been very mouthy, saying we don't have post players. All that stuff, man. Those guys are the beasts of the east. We've got to step up and make them respect us in the same breath."

Indeed, while the Celtics might not think much of the Raptors, the Celtics are Toronto's Goliath, a giant that needs slaying. It is part physical, but certainly partly mental.

Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo Out For Saturday’s Game – Boston Celtics – NESN.com

According to Doc Rivers, not only will Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce be sitting out Saturday against the Raptors, but guard Rajon Rondo will also not be playing in the division matchup, WEEI.com is reporting.

Injuries force Celtics to make lineup changes – The Boston Globe

“We went over every single set, with all kinds of crazy, different lineups,’’ Rivers said, “because we may have to have those [tonight] and we are going to need some semblance of offense.’’

Rondo appears to have a good chance of returning either in a limited role tonight or when the Celtics visit Miami Wednesday. Pierce will likely be back during the three-game road trip (Miami, then Atlanta Friday and Toronto Jan. 10). Garnett is out indefinitely, “but it’s not a long indefinite,’’ according to Rivers. The Celtics are also missing Marquis Daniels (left wrist surgery) until February.

Raptors ready to stand up to ‘beasts of the east’ – National Post

"They've been a team we haven't been competitive with at all," guard Jarrett Jack said before the team took off Friday. "And I'm talking about going back to pre-season. It's a team that's been very mouthy, saying we don't have post players. All that stuff, man. Those guys are the beasts of the east. We've got to step up and make them respect us in the same breath."

Indeed, while the Celtics might not think much of the Raptors, the Celtics are Toronto's Goliath, a giant that needs slaying. It is part physical, but certainly partly mental.

Matt Devlin and Jack Armstrong on a bus (video)

Raptors-Celtics Preview – Jan. 1, 2010 – NBA – CBSSports.com

After what turned out to be an awful four-game road trip, the Celtics hope playing at the TD Garden will help them get back on track. Boston has won five of six at home, including a 116-103 victory over Toronto (16-17) on Nov. 27 in the teams' first meeting.

The Celtics have won five straight and nine of 10 against the Raptors.

Toronto, though, has won a season-high five in a row and had a franchise-record nine victories in December, beating Charlotte 107-103 on Wednesday night.

Chris Bosh had 33 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Raptors. His 9,381 points are 39 shy of tying Vince Carter's franchise record.

Bosh would likely have an easier time maneuvering in the paint if Garnett sits out. The Raptors, though, might be without one of their own top big men, with Hedo Turkoglu nursing a bruised right knee.

RaptorTalk: The Raptors Best and Worst In The Decade With No Name

The decade with no name (the 00’s maybe) is now in the history books. I thought it would be a good idea to look back at the best and the worst that the Toronto Raptors had to offer over the last ten years.

Raptors Blog » A Clean Slate for the New Year

The game against Charlotte provided a good example of some resilience and good team play. They fought back from a deficit, and then with five minutes left, Bosh blocked a shot, then laid out Felton with a solid pick before rolling to the post area to receive a pass from Jack that lead to a dunk. Unfortunately the refs called a mysterious foul on the floor that preceded the dunk. A solid eight point advantage stalled at six, and with Charlotte scoring on their next possession the game tightened up again. Fine. No panic seen from where I sat. It wasn’t going to be so easy as to just let Bosh do it alone. But then they started missing shots, and I was really just wishing that we had a guy that could plain stick an open jumper. Enter Bargnani, and there was a real sense of the team coming together to make a W happen. And Bargnani’s resulting display of emotion, maybe said a little too much about how he knows he has to be one of those guys that stops missing the open shots.

Boston Celtics’ Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce to be out Saturday – ESPN Boston

The Celtics did get some good news Saturday. Glen Davis, who missed Wednesday's game with a mild ankle sprain, said barring a setback he would suit up Saturday.

Rondo, KG, Pierce out for Toronto – Celtics Blog – Boston.com

Celtics coach Doc Rivers said following Friday's practice that Rajon Rondo (hamstring), Kevin Garnett (right knee soreness) and Paul Pierce (knee infection) will not play Saturday against Toronto, leaving the Celtics without three starters.

J.R. Giddens is expected to get his first NBA start, according to center Kendrick Perkins, and it is uncertain who will relieve Rondo at point guard. Rivers would not reveal his lineup.

Rondo did not participate in some practice sessions but Rivers said he did not like how his point guard moved during the 116-98 loss to Phoenix after re-watching the game on film and decided to give him a rest. Garnett did not practice at all while Pierce worked on a stationary bike but neither spoke to reporters.

My top 10 sports memories of the decade» Corpus Christi Caller-Times

the Rockets made the insanely unpopular move and traded Hakeem to Toronto, where Olajuwon then signed a ridiculous three-year contract extension with the Raptors. He played one season, averaged a career-worst 7.1 PPG and quietly retired with his incredible, improbable, never-to-be-duplicated career a little tainted. I still consider Hakeem to be the most fundamentally sound center to ever play the game of basketball and he was and will always be my favorite player, but that last season was an unnecessary disaster. If both the Rockets and Hakeem could receive a mulligan on that final year, I’m pretty sure they’d take it, no questions asked.

Dallas Mavericks can finish No. 1 in the West … and here’s how | Dallas Mavericks News

Like everybody else, I think Chris Bosh is terrific. But the Raptors aren't just going to give him away, which is what getting Dampier and Carroll would be. That's not a fair return for a perennial All-Star.

The Mavericks would love to get a player like Bosh, but it won't be easy. As always, my recommendation for amateur GMs is to put yourself in the other team's shoes and ask yourself honestly if you'd do the deal you're proposing.

Toronto Showing Growth On The Defensive End | Hoops Addict

Now Toronto has found a way to guard the paint while getting out to jam opponents at the perimeter.

“It’s harder to pass with pressure on you,” Chris Bosh told Hoops Addict. “When you don’t put pressure on guys they can just pick you apart because they can see the whole court. But when you take half of their vision away it’s easier to help and it makes it tougher for them to make the moves they want to make.”

Not only does it take away on opponents vision, but it also takes away from their options.

“I know it probably sounds funny, but the closer you guard someone the easier it is for you to guard them,” Jarrett Jack explained to Hoops Addict. “If you give someone room you allow them to go two directions but if you get up on him you limit them to going one way so you kind of control, or limit, the amount of directions they have.”