The move to Calderon over Jack did staunch the third-quarter wounds that have been inflicted the past two games against Sacramento and Golden State.
"I thought Jose was playing pretty darn well," said Triano. "I thought we had a good rhythm with that group so I just rolled with it. When he was on the floor, I thought we were playing pretty darn good."
However, the coach stopped short of confirming a permanent shift for Wednesday's game at home against Atlanta.
"I might change it up a little bit, watch the tape again and see what we think is our best lineup," he said.
But even though the Raptors carved an 11-point halftime deficit to seven after three, it wasn't enough to overcome a litany of other persistent problems.
Portland held the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, five games in front of Memphis, and just a half-game back of seventh-place San Antonio and a game back of Phoenix.
The Raptors were also in the eighth place in the Eastern Conference, struggling while just a game up on Chicago.
“There no science to it. It's not rocket science or brain surgery. You just have to win,” Bosh said. “If you make it complicated, it will be complicated. We just have to win games. That's all.”
They haven’t forgotten Hedo Turkoglu’s snub here in Portland.
A story in yesterday’s Oregonian rehashed the whole courting and subsequent spurning by Turkoglu.
According to the article, Turkoglu twice made a verbal commitment to sign with Portland — once in a dinner with coach Nate McMillan in Orlando and again to general manager Kevin Pritchard during a visit to Portland.
McMillan, though, isn’t interested in rehashing the events.
Back in Toronto when the Trail Blazers visited in February, McMillan suggested Turkoglu “could have handled it in a different way” but didn’t sound too broken up with the way it went down.
“He made his decision and we’ve moved on,” he said.
With the loss, the Raptors fell a game below .500 for the first time since Jan. 20. The Raptors continue to defend like their allergic to the activity, but it had to feel nice for a change to at least be in a game. The Raps remain a game up on Chicago for eighth place in the East but wins by both Charlotte and Miami on Sunday night mean they are now two full games out of sixth and seventh spots.
Bosh, after he aired his teammates out for a lack of passion following the Golden State game, wisely stepped up his own game hitting for 27 points and seven rounds to lad the charge.
The Raptors downfall, though, was in two of the same three areas that they were so woefully exposed the night before in Oakland.
For most of the season, Chris Bosh's future seemed like a coin flip. You could make an argument that he might stay a Toronto Raptor; you could make an argument that he was destined to leave the Toronto Raptors behind. Nobody could – or can – say for sure.
But despite various predictions that Bosh had already made up his mind to flee, there was not a shred of tangible evidence that was the case. Three weeks ago he was downplaying the much-ballyhooed free-agent madness of 2010, suggesting it was more and more likely that the biggest names of this free-agent class – LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, in that order – might stay exactly where they were.
"I think it's a very strong possibility," he told nba.com. "When it comes down to it, that's where you're comfortable, that's where … you started your career. It's always a very important thing."
“Mrs. Turkoglu,” the homemade sign read, “Thanks for Andre.” And indeed, we are thankful.
Thankful for a whip-smart ball handler. Thankful for a cagey veteran. Thankful for a guy who’s finally pushing the tempo (at least a bit). Thankful for one of the best rebounding guards in the league. And last, but not least, thankful not to have a big, dopey, bad-shot taking, constantly complaining, junk-food scarfing small forward clogging up his arteries, the Portland payroll and the Blazers starting lineup.
So yes, thank you Mrs. Turkoglu—for from saving us from ourselves (or at least the whim of Paul Allen). Because of you, the correct and natural order of things were maintained.
LaMarcus Aldridge appeared extra-motivated to begin the game. He sent a physical message by banging into his defenders chest-to-chest and he backed it up by putting up more than half of his shot attempts (11 of 21) and scoring more than half of his points (12 of 22) in the opening period. As the Raptors began to devote extra attention to Aldridge inside, things quickly opened up for Portland's perimeter players. Andre Miller alternately drove into the paint and operated from the post, dishing off smartly for layups and dunks and finishing his own attempts at the rim. Brandon Roy struggled with his shot some (6 of 16 from the field after back-to-back hot shooting nights in California) but he commanded extra attention from Toronto's defense and made consistently solid reads, finding perimeter shooters who couldn't miss.
Tonight, Turkoglu went through the motions like so many slightly above average players on slightly below average teams. His shot was falling (4 of 5 from deep), he was careless with the basketball (4 turnovers) and he did not impact the game on the boards or on the defensive end. Don’t look now but it could be a really, really, really long 5 years.
If you were to look at the stat sheet without knowing who won the game, you would have assumed the Raptors walked away with the win. Shooting 56 percent for the night compared to 46 for the Blazers. Comparable stats in assists, turnovers and rebounds. It certainly doesn’t have the appearance of a 10 point loss. I guess sometimes, the stats don’t tell the tale.
Wow that was an incredibly painful road trip. Hopefully the Raptors can surprise us all with a couple of motivational wins against the Hawks and Thunder, before the schedule finally eases off for two -with stops in New Jersey and Minnesota. Stay patient Raptors fans.
It was starting to look like the Raptors rookie DeMar DeRozan had finally hit the rookie wall and something would have to be done.
DeRozan has started in every game he has played for the Raptors this season and is averaging 8.2 points, 3.0 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 0.6 steals, and 0.3 blocks in 21 minutes per game.
But the pre-All-Star bump in DeRozan’s game vanished quickly after the break, and the rookie was looking like, well a rookie.
In DeRozan’s last 10 games, he has maintained his season averages. But the zero points he put up against Houston and the two points against Portland and Washington stand out.
The Raptors had a little more to address this past offseason than toughness, athleticism, defence, and rebounding. How about a 2-3 “skilled” wing player that can cause havoc on opposing defenses, just as they do to the Raptors on a nightly basis, ala Tyreke Evans, Steph Curry, Monte Ellis, and Kobe on this current road trip alone. Hedo Turkaglu was never going to be, and has not been, the answer. The Raptors simply do not have an elite-wing player.
To begin, an elite-wing player would generally defend opposing wing players as well as they possibly could be defended because of their quickness and athleticism. The Raptors look in disarray on defence on many possessions involving penetrations from opposing wing players. The rotations aren’t crisp and decisive enough to make up for the inability of their perimeter defenders to play man-to-man.
Toronto's Hedo Turkoglu was close to signing with the Blazers last summer as a free agent. The 6-foot-10 forward even came to Portland and met with general manager Kevin Pritchard.
But the deal abruptly fell through and Turkoglu, who helped Orlando to the NBA finals last season, agreed the next week to join the Raptors.
Turkoglu was booed loudly during pregame introductions. Conversely, former Blazers guard Jarrett Jack received a warm round of applause.
Turkoglu then made a 3-pointer 19 seconds into the game.