Toronto Sun

The latest arrival is Anthony Carter, a 37-year-old veteran of 12 NBA seasons with five teams and Carter, like Magloire and Butler knows what is expected of him.

“I thought this would be a great fit for me,” he said of Toronto. “I like to play with guys who get out and run, are athletic, who can play defence and I think I can bring that to this team. Some of the other teams that might have been interested in me like to slow the ball down and that’s not really my game. I’m quick paced, push the ball and play great defence. I get my satisfaction on the defensive end.”

Head coach Dwane Casey had Carter with him in Minnesota in his first head coaching experience in the NBA and knew exactly what he was getting when he and Bryan Colangelo sat down to go over players that could help this team.

“He’s like an old pair of socks,” Casey said with as much sincerity as you can have comparing a man to old socks. “Everywhere he has been he has started out as a third guard and by the end of the day he just moves his way up and earns his minutes. He did that with George (Karl) in Denver. I had him in Minny and Mike D’Antoni had him in New York. He’s a great insurance policy, a great mentor.”

And when he speaks it’s like listening to a coach. That too is no accident.

“He wants to get into coaching and the front office,” Casey said. “I told him to come and be a part of the coaches’ meetings. I love him. He’s a solid man. He reminds me a lot of a young Johnny Davis (already on Casey’s staff). I have the utmost respect for him and I think he will add to the style of play we want to have. He’s a great mentor for our young players.”

Chief among those players will be young point guard Jerryd Bayless who Carter has already identified as one of his projects.

“You really can’t say anything to a player until you’ve been around him on the court, but trust me, as the season goes on and training camp goes on, I’ll be in his ear and I’ll keep him right,” Carter said.

Carter can’t recall the last time he played on a roster that had this much youth: “College probably,” he said. But he’s looking forward to the challenge.

“If I can get these guys going on the defensive end I know they will get out and get layups and get dunks,” he said. “These guys can play defence. They just need someone to motivate them and I’m that guy. It starts with the point guard.”

Toronto Sun

Johnson hasn’t been one to stay after practice and work on his shot in the past, so it was a bit of a surprise when the young big man outlasted all his teammates Monday in the Raptors practice gym.

He and shooting coach John Townsend were all that remained after the rest of the staff and roster headed downstairs to take part in the annual media day that normally is a precursor to training camp but got shoved back this year because of the lockout and the roster uncertainty.

Johnson though needed to get a little more work in before handling his media duties.

“I just wanted to stick to the routine I had this summer,” Johnson said, following a shooting workout that no longer requires a chair.

Johnson, like many who watched him in the pick-and-roll last season, is well aware how much more effective this part of his game can become if he can become a consistent shooter.

The key is a quick catch and release, something he did not have a year ago.

“Last year I would take my time and look to see what my man (in coverage) was doing first and I would pull up,” Johnson said. “If I can be like (Andrea Bargnani) and just shoot, that would be good.”

Unless Johnson is under the basket tapping in rebounds or going back up with them for dunks, the vast majority of his offence comes out of the pick and roll game. Fine-tuning that is crucial.

“Any time Jose or Jerryd gets me the ball I want to be able to hit that shot,” he said.

And while he’s already seeing progress, the catch and shoot without a delay remains a work in progress.

“I’m feeling pretty good. I just have to get it off a little quicker.

“As I take my time and slow down, I can pretty much hit the shot from anywhere on the court, but if I get it off quicker it’s going be better for me.”

Toronto Sun

Jerryd Bayless crammed a lot into his off-season.

Like most players, he worked on his game. Like a handful, he went back to school.

Like an even smaller contingent, he represented his team in labour talks at its union representative.

Bayless, about to enter his fourth season and coming off a 60 game – 14-start – stint with the Raptors where he averaged career bests in most categories, enjoyed his endeavours.

“Was I bored? No I wasn’t, I do other things besides basketball,” a smiling Bayless said.

An honour-roll high school student, Bayless attended the University of Arizona for only a single year before entering the NBA draft.

He took a couple of economic classes at a community college in Phoenix this summer and also sat in on union meetings.

“I think it’s really interesting to see both sides just kind of learn because obviously there’s life after basketball and for me personally, that’s kind of a side of things I’d like to go into afterwards,” Bayless said of his time spent in boardrooms. “It was definitely interesting and I’m glad I was a part of it.”

Toronto Sun

“(Gray’s) going to give us that physical play in the paint … he gives us screening, rebounding, just taking up space which frees up Andrea, frees up (Davis), frees up our smaller forwards to play their natural positions.”

Casey said Gray is “down” to a team-high 277 pounds from the 290 he carried during a solid playoff series against the Lakers last spring.

“We’ve got to protect the paint. Last year we allowed too many layups without knocking people on their butts and hopefully Aaron and Jamaal will correct that.”

Bargnani will no longer be the last line of defence, a role that never suited him. While a horrendous, often disinterested help defender, Bargnani is capable in most man-to-man situations.

Anything seems possible in the heady days of training camp, but Casey seems convinced that Bargnani will finally show some of the pieces that have been missing from his game over the years.

“(Bargnani’s) impressed me with his defensive approach, his rebounding. Now we have to transfer that into a game situation,” Casey said.

“That has been his criticism and the only way you can do away with that is come out and perform as he has.”

Casey believes Bargnani is also growing into more of a leadership role after years of being a low-key locker room presence.

“He’s speaking up, asking questions. He stepped up in the team meeting the other night, said what was on his mind, what we needed.”

Toronto Star

The veterans on hand just liked the motivational kung-fu of their new boss.

“Dwane Casey is a mastermind,” Jamaal Magloire said, drawing out the key word.

Going forward, all huddles will break with, “One, two, three, pound the rock.” Players have been instructed to touch the rock going in and out of the dressing room. They’ll play 33 home games. So that’s 66 blows per player. As expected, the rock won’t be ready to split until some pointnext season.

It’s not a new idea. The quotation comes from Jacob Riis, a sort of 19th-century Oprah Winfrey. The Miami Heat have pounded Riis’ fictional rock. San Antonio also has its own rock.

“San Antonio’s rock is outside their building. I thought we should bring the rock inside,” Casey said Monday, in a tone suggesting a good idea raised to the level of inspiration.

Who’s going outside to pound the rock during the winter? Nobody. Toronto has the league’s first 365-day-a-year rock.

Initially, Casey hoped to stand the rock up in the middle of the Raptors’ dressing room. It’s only a foot across at its base and about waist high. It weighs 1,300 pounds. Someone pointed out that it might tip over and pulverize a $50 million foot.

So instead they leaned it up against a wall just inside the dressing room door. It still looks a little precarious. Sometime this week, building ops will get around to planting a couple of anchors around it.

National Post

There was some controversy about the timing of Johnson’s surgery. He waited more than a month after the season ended to get the surgery, going in for the procedure in early June. He could not run for a few months afterward.

Had the season started on time, Johnson likely would not have been ready to play immediately. That turned out to be a non-issue, of course. Johnson wanted to take a month off to relax, and so long as he is healthy and in shape for the first pre-season game on Sunday, the timing of the surgery will not have mattered.

National Post

AARON GRAY
Position Centre
Age 27
Ht 7-foot-0
Wt 270pounds
2010-11 3.1 points, 4.2 rebounds, 0.3 blocks per game with New Orleans
Career 3.6 points, 3.5 rebounds, 0.3 blocks per game
Fit Gray is a fairly young centre that was available inexpensively. Casey likes that he was in New Orleans coach Monty Williams’ defensive system, as Casey and Williams share a relationship with Portland coach Nate McMillan. Gray could allow Andrea Bargnani to slide over to power forward.

 

GARY FORBES
Position Guard/Forward
Age 26
Ht 6-foot-7
Wt 220pounds
2010-11 (rookie season) 5.2 points, 1.8 rebounds, 46% field-goal accuracy
Fit Forbes is a poor defensive player but can score, as evidenced by his 39-point performance against Canada in the FIBA Americas. As Forbes is a restricted free agent, Denver has three days to match the Raptors’ three-year offer and retain Forbes.

JP’s Sports Central

Toronto Raptors – Well, there isn’t much to say about the Raptors. Their 22-60 record should speak for itself and how sorry of a team we are talking about here. Andrea Bargnani led the team in scoring (21.4 ppg), but he is a soft player. What I am trying to say is this team has no identity. They selected Jonas Valanciunas with the 5th pick in the 2011 draft. The problem with that is that he probably won’t come to Canada for about two more years. Jose Calderon is a nice point guard but who is he going to pass the ball to? Ed Davis? So he can miss another layup? Come on Bryan Colangelo, I expected more from you.

Player(s) to Watch – Jerryd Bayless: I don’t know why you would want to watch anyone of this team, but if you had to watch someone, it would have to be the 4th year guard out of Arizona. Bayless scored as will in college but has yet to be given a chance to show what he can do in the NBA. Since coming to Toronto in a trade last season, he averaged a career high in minutes per game (22.4) and points (10).

Why they will finish 5th in the Atlantic Division – As I explained earlier, this roster is awful. They are a few sensible draft picks and three years away from competing in the Atlantic Division.

The Fan

Toronto Raptors President and GM joins Tim and Sid to discuss the initial Chris Paul trade, MLSE’s new owners and his teams new philosophy.

andrea glasses

  • kaine

    Bargnani gave an interview to an italian newspaper. Nothing new, he said that the raptors are working 80% of the time on the defensive side, where everyone must contribute with an extra effort to help his teammates.
    He  also likes a lot his new role on offense: Casey wants to put him in a position to maximize his shot, but is also very demanding in wanting more use of andrea’s big frame in the paint

    • Nilanka15

      He also said that there will be times where he goes back to playing center.

  • Mediumcore

    Amir recognizing that he needs to improve on the speed of his shot release is good to know. It’s nice to see a guy still working hard after getting his big contract. Gonna suck if he is the one that gets traded.

  • AB7.38pt.on.cb4

    Dwayne Casey on Bargnani ” One of the best shooters in the world”

    • what the

      now how can you ever trade one of the best shooters in the world

    • cb.nevatook.17shots.2get21pts

      What are you expecting him to say? “He’s one of the best volume shooters in the world”.

    • Akash_singh

      for his size yes Andrea is a great shooter, but he is hesitant to take it to the basket when players do respect his shot, this is where the comparisons to dirk end (He is also horrible at getting to the line, dirk is much better). Maybe with the weightloss/experience he can be more explosive and use post moves more effectively, like dirk…………………Andrea IS a bench player until he learns how to effectively punish the other team when they put a smaller man on him who can guard Andrea’s shot. 

      And lets not even get started on his much larger defensive flaws……IMO ed davis who has come back significantly bulkier, and who is a much better defender will prove he is much more qualified to play the PF position, of course if Andrea doesn’t show any progress, he will probably start, so we can shop him off this trade deadline.

      • cesco

        Andrea went to the rim on average 3.6 times per game in 2010-2011 , Dirk went to the rim on average 2.4 times per game . So who went to the rim more often ?? . Also Andrea went to the free throw line on average 5.3 times per game ( 350 times in 66 games ) , Dirk went to the free throw line 6.0 times per game (443 times in 73 games) . Are you telling me that the difference between 5.3 and 6.0 times to the free throw line is HORRIBLE ?? . Also Andrea attempts 3.4 3 pts shoots per game , Dirk only attempts 2.3 3 pts shoots per game . In total Andrea has more shoots from the rim ,3-9 feet and the 3 pointers , Dirk has more shoots from 10 feet up to the 3 points line . Before you bother to print some horse manure , check your stats first .

        • sleepz

          Why is anyone comparing Andrea Bargnani to Dirk Nowitzki to begin with?

          We need to stop makiing these casual associations.

          It’s like comparing Kobe Bryant to Jason Richardson.

          • cesco

            Well he attempted to compare Dirk with Andrea by spouting out erroneous stats . I hope he learned his lesson . BTW , last year Dirk was asked his opinion ( by media people after the game in NY when Dallas defeated NY with him scoring the winning basket with 6 seconds to go ) on whether Andrea  deserve to go to the all-star game and he answered by the affirmative .

            • Nilanka15

              Not sure if that means much…

              “Dirk, do you think Bargnani’s good enough to be an all-star?”

              What exactly is he supposed to say?

            • sleepz

              Dirk is not going to say anything negative in that situation. He’s a classy guy.

        • Akash_singh

          you can throw all the stats you want at me buddy, but first watch a game. Andrea only has success when a big lumbering centre is guarding him. They are slow to close out on him, and he shoots, when they cheat he can sometimes blow by them, hence your first stat is useless.Teams then smarten up and put a more athletic shorter player on him and he’s toast, he doesn’t have the athletic advantage anymore, and a lack of a consistent post game means he can’t be successful, like dirk.There is no stat that accounts for that.  

          Also, dirks foul calls are more likely than andrea to come off aggressive moves, come playoff time you tell me which player the referee is going to respect? The one that takes it aggressively to the hole, or the one that makes a spastic pump fake.

          • cesco

            I have watched nearly every game shown on TV . This past year , more often than not , he received double coverage and therefore those stats are quite legit . If DD , Davis and Amir improve their shooting away from the basket and stretch the floor even more , Andrea will have an easier time to score and his shooting percentage should improve .

            • I’mfrom80

              now we are blaming three other players for barg’s shooting percentage see what i mean it never ends

              • RapthoseLeafs

                .

                Actually .. 4 returning players all dropped their averages – or became less efficient:

                Amir – down 55 points (injury relative)
                Jose – 42 pts
                Demar – 31 pts
                Andrea – 22 pts

                So who (or what) is at fault?

                The perimeter shot would be one choice and big enough reason. 
                .
                Raptors dropped 2.1 less 3-pt shots, over the last two seasons. Most of that drop can be attributed to an overall drop in shots.

                Question is – who’s responsible for that shortage, and ultimately contributed to Andrea’s drop. And the 3 others.
                .

                Andrea would be part of his own destiny on this one, as was Calderon.  But while Bargs and Jose had some effect, it was others who contributed too.

                Amir gets excused partially, as his attempt totals climbed – but not in a significant way. Demar consumed 7.5 more shots – even while the team took less. With no perimeter skill, that changed the dynamics. Not just statistically…. but in how our team was defended. Opponents felt more confident when collapsing their defense.
                .
                Despite the cause and effect of these 4 prominent players, their increased shots only reflected the loss of Bosh’s shots. And as such, no real effect on perimeter shooting.
                .
                in the end, Bargnani’s efficiency numbers can best be described as caused by mostly those not named Amir, Demar, Jose and Andrea himself. 
                .
                So yes …. I agree “what the” …..lol
                .

    • Noodle

      One of 450 in the world = one of the best shooters in the world

      • Nilanka15

        Lol, by that logic, every single NBA player is one of the best shooters in the world

  • AB7.38pt.on.cb4

    More dwayne Casey on AB7 “I know a lot of people don’t like that (Nowitzki) comparison, but I know how those sets turn out and how they work. We’ll have a lot of sets for him. Inside-outside, because he has that great skill-set.”

    • what the

      I think Casey talks too much lets just wait until the games begin

      • Gman

        He has a mic shoved in his face every single day.  What’s he supposed to do go mute?  Start criticizing the players in the media before any real basketball is played?  

        Perhaps we just listen too much.

        • what the

          we had another guy like that years ago his name was Kevin O’Neal and he did’nt last too long ,i mean you can talk about players with out blowing them up before you’ve coach them in a nba game is he trying to sell this playa or what ,we’ve seen this playa for 4 years now two different coaching style (tough love/soft love) trust me this guy will be breaking more than a clipboard.

          • Gman

            You’re right.  Even though we know virtually nothing about Casey, he’s the living embodiment of Kevin O’Neal.  Assume much?  

            They’re both defensively minded, so apparently they must have been birthed from the same womb.  

            The point I was making is, what is he supposed to say.  He’s got this ravenous sports market that has been piqued because it’s been Basketball-less for the last three months. He has to throw them a freaking bone.  And yeah, it’s part of his job to sell the team…if you don’t understand that then you’re pretty naive.

            And if you think that there’s tough coaches and soft coaches and that’s the only thing that differentiates them…

            This guy was the defensive brain child behind the team that wasn’t expected to go past the second round last year after they lost Butler.  Let’s give this guy a little space before we start pounding our little feet up and down.

            • what the

              it didn’t sound to me like he was selling the team it’s sounds more like he was selling bargnani ,you just wait until he puts that mouth peice in and step on the court against other nba players we’ll see what kind of leader he is

          • BramptonBoy

            Is Kevin O’Neal the love child of Kevin Garnett and Shaquille O’Neal?  If so I wish we had a guy like that!

            Signed, family and friends of Kevin O’Neill who are offended that you didn’t spell his damn name correctly.

  • Flabichola5

    Loved that bit about Carter wanting to be in management and Casey said he could sit in coaching meetings. Carter said he would teach Bayless how to be a PG. That’s probably why he signed with the Raptors, his career is ending and he wants into coaching

    • Nilanka15

      He’s the reincarnation of Derrick Martin…

  • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

    First off- why is Jose ‘The Spanish X Ray’ Calderon still on the Rap’s roster? Amnesty his ass ASAP before he pulls a hammy!

    Now back to business……..

    After last season’s end of the year presser BC really has bamboozled fans once again as he rolls out a projected 2011-12 Raptors starting five of:

    C AJohnson
    PF ABargnani
    SF JJohnson (LKleiza would most likely be starting at SF if not injured)
    SG DDeRozan
    PG JCalderon

    with JBayless, LBarbosa, RButler, EDavis & AGray/JMagloire as the current primary back ups.

    After last season’s lackluster Raptors basketball performance now BC is trying to ‘slick us (fans) with his trickery and trick us with his slickery’ especially with his ‘AB is a PF not a center’  & this is a ‘build’ not a ‘rebuild’ rhetoric as we will see the same style of play from AB once again this season- he will float on both ends of the court while being a virtual non presence in the paint & from the Rap’s- very little defense. s-m-d-h

    Will Andrea, who confessed in an interview that he will play some center this season, get more than 2 double doubles this season as BC’s ‘Golden Child’?

    Just like the Rap’s coaching change- nothing but slight of hand, as only Casey & JDavis are new to the staff while the other assistant coaches are retreads from Jay’s (who got promoted into the front office to be 1 of BC’s yes men) staff.

    As well, I read where Casey is still currently trying to compare Bargnani to Dirk in certain aspects- really now don’t be silly now, give it a rest Casey!!

    I had hope for Casey initially until he started sounding like a BC cult member.

    Btw- what is Casey’s ‘Flow’ offense????

    Don’t answer ‘playoff offense’ because how can the Rap’s run a playoff offense when they can’t make the playoffs?

    We’ll see how much real authority Casey has as the Rap’s head coach once AB starts messing up on his defensive rotations while playing half ass defense as a PF or Jose consistently keeps getting burned at the pg spot.

    ‘Pound The Rock’ is more wacker than a black cracker actor how about ‘Let’s Win Some Games’ ‘Let’s Compete’?

    After hearing Jay cry about being young all last season and Casey starting off in the same fashion in describing the Raps roster won’t BC just be making the Raps younger in 2012-12 with 2 lottery picks coming onto the roster?

    When will BC’s bullchit promises of the future cease when he can’t even deliver in the present?

    Whatever our record is at the end of the year I bet the Rap’s pick lower in the lottery draft just like this year when we had the 3rd worst record but picked 4th and bypassed Kemba Walker in favor of Val who won’t be able to beat out either Ed nor Amir for playing time when he comes over next season.

    • Nilanka15

      Kemba will likely be backing up DJ Augustine.

      As for the rest of your post, the 2nd gunman/grassy knoll stuff is getting very stale…

    • I’mfrom80

      …and whats with this rock in the locker room this CASEY guy looks like he’s into the voodoo $hit

    • Bendit

      That pixel usage in the id gets longer every season’

      Minor correction on the draft: 3rd to 5th

      • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

        Thank you, the Rap’s dropped from 3rd to 5th in the Lottery.

    • KaioKev

      “You’re crazy! I like you! But you’re crazy!” – Frank the Tank (Old School)
      Just kidding. I do appreciate your posts because it makes me think. To be honest though it seem like your advocating for overnight success. If your looking for overnight success you should be a Boston Celtics or Miami Heat fan. The Raptors have tried to have overnight success, failed it and so can’t. Most people on this forum know or believe that this season will be rough for the Raptors but are willing to wait for JVal and let guys like DeRozan, Bayless, Davis and the Johnsons grow and develop. Some teams can go the route of overnight success.  This season there will be a few more stops defensively and a few less blowouts.

      • I’mfrom80

        I think what he wants is simple a true culture change if Sam was your coach then you GOTS TO GO clean house kind of thing. When Sam was here he said that the Raptors needed a culture change and he got rid MO PETE, Alvin you know the story . to change the culture you need to change the product on th floor eg. BLAZERS,INDIANA,NEW YORK are some of the teams that change their culture

      • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

        The D League is for development, is it not, as there is no guarantee that DD, Ed, Val Bayless, JJ will develop into anything special especially with BC’s Golden Child hogging up the front court as he decides whether his 7’1 250 pound ass is a Center of PF- Sybil complex.

        BC gave AB a 5 year window- that was 6 years ago….how long are you willing to wait on BC’s Raptor’s pipe dream vision that still has Jose & Bargnani starting in the present?

        BC is stealing the Toronto fans hard earned money with his bullchit pr media spins ie not ‘rebuilding’ but ‘building’- don’t believe the hype as the Rap’s won’t win 20 games this shorten season while getting even younger in the process for 2012-13.

        BC’s new plan is a scam as The World Turns!!!

        • KaioKev

          The D-League is for Solomon Alabi lol.

          I’ve been waiting for a long time for the franchise to get to where it is now – smart progress and development of young, recently drafted and acquired players. Also, I’m Still waiting on Calderon and Bargnani to be moved.

          I love the media. They tell me how to live my life and which Republican candidate I should support HAHA! Seriously though, I rarely go to the games. But I do watch on TV and sometimes I stream it. Hey I’m a Leafs fan too I gotta find alternatives while saving up paychecks!

          Enjoy the process dude! See the evolution of the Raptors franchise from the ground up! :)

        • p00ka

          Apparently you’re the only one that buys into the “development” part of the league name, but you know it all. Please enlighten us as to how much it’s been used as such, and produced desired results. Have you actually seen any games, and did you come away thinking it even comes close to resembling an NBA game?

          “The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”
          — Bertrand Russell

          All I hope is that the certainty you have about nothing being good about the Raptors means you may look for some joy in “cheering” for a team that does things as you know they should be done. No team needs clowns like you, but some deserve it.

    • Bigbalboski79

      i always get a laugh at the way people get allwopund up in here…  if Amir is our starting centre? its only to get him some burn, raise his value and trade him…  the raps demonstrated last year, you need a true centre to patrol the paint.  Gray and Magloire will get the bulk of the mins at Centre. Ed davis is our future at PF.  I see Bargani also as a potential trade, later down the line.  The Raps are still trying to see what they got in Bayless.

      We are gonna hang in some games due to our youth, guys competing for minutes and the vets we got…  i may be in the minority, but i am excited for this season.  if i were the raps, i would consider packaging next years pick with a player or two for the right guy. 

      Calderon will be amnestied next off-season.  fo sho. 

      • Creebrave

        Please explain to us idiots why you would amnesty and expiring contract next year…

        • what the

          when someone calls themself an idiots i like to take them at their word who am i to disagree with them…but again it looks like the idiot has got a point it’s way better to ship BARGNANI out pronto!

          • Creebrave

            Lolz shipping either of them out at this time is pointless. Replace them with what?

  • AB7.38pt.on.cb4

    Latest News:Denver don’t match Toronto Raptors offer for Forbes.