Morning Coffee – Jan 14

Doug Smith’s Toronto Raptors blog Because if they keep Shawn Marion, they likely don’t make the Sonny Weems, Amir Johnson trade; they probably don’t have a chance to get Jarrett Jack, Antoine Wright’s not a possibility. It is not a linear world, pro sports; to think so makes no sense at all. It goes back ... Read more

Doug Smith’s Toronto Raptors blog

Because if they keep Shawn Marion, they likely don’t make the Sonny Weems, Amir Johnson trade; they probably don’t have a chance to get Jarrett Jack, Antoine Wright’s not a possibility.

It is not a linear world, pro sports; to think so makes no sense at all.

It goes back as far as Araujo instead of Iguodala and what that would have meant. Well, maybe it doesn’t mean Bargnani, maybe it doesn’t mean the same Carter trade, maybe it doesn’t mean Joey instead of Danny Granger.

Folks, it’s not worth getting yourself worked up about; it’s a game that can’t be played.

Raptor duo saying all the right things –

It has been common practice that Calderon and Jack have been, and will continue to be, on the floor down the stretch in tight games.

And Triano said Tuesday they will be joined by Hedo Turkoglu in some kind of three-headed point guard monster the coach likes to unleash.

"I like having three ball-handlers and they can all shoot the ball as well," Triano said of his finishing group that also includes Chris Bosh and Andrea Bargnani.

"I don't mind that. I don't think it's something we want to do on a steady basis throughout most of a game, but to finish games I want guys on the floor who can make free throws when we have a lead and who can make plays for each other and who can make shots."

Raptors quick to downplay starter’s angst – National Post

For their part, all of the involved parties say starting is irrelevant.

"It's not important. It's never been for the last five years," Calderon said. "It's [Raptors coach] Jay Triano's call, always."

"I'm used to it. If it happens, it happens," Jack said. "I'm still not going to change the mentality I've had over the last 15 games or so."

"I haven't thought about [tomorrow] yet," Triano said, referring to the Raptors' upcoming game against New York.

He did elaborate on what would make him opt for a change: "Just probably the chemistry not being there. But we played pretty [well] in the first half of the Indiana game. We've been playing pretty good basketball, so I don't think there's any reason to shuffle the deck right now."

Threat Level Purple and Gold: Chris Bosh’s Role In Crushing Cavalier Dreams | WaitingForNextYear

Essentially, what he’s saying is that the BYC status means that not only would the Raptors be trading away their franchise player, but they would have to take on a ton of extra salary on top just to make the deal legal. So while Coon doesn’t think the Raptors would necessarily want Vujacic, he doesn’t say a deal can’t be done.

Looking at ESPN’s Trade Machine, there are several ways to make this work. Assuming that if the Raptors were to trade Bosh they would want to maintain the resulting financial freedom as much as possible, a deal involving Bosh to the Lakers for Andrew Bynum, Adam Morrison, and Jordan Farmar actually works. Because Morrison and Farmar both have qualifying offers not season, the Raptors could simply not offer them and let them become unrestricted free agents and go on their own way. This would allow them to keep Bynum without adding on the extra salary moving forward.

Krieger: Nuggets need one last piece – The Denver Post

Pretty much every team in the association has inquired about Bosh, Toronto's star power forward and free agent-to-be. That, of course, would be a blockbuster deal, but the Raptors have said they won't move him unless he tells them there's no way he's coming back.

Raptors love the cheesesteak more than even AltRaps | Philadelphia Daily News

The Toronto Raptors picked up 45 cheesesteaks from Jim's Steaks (4th & South) for their plane ride out of town.

Court Surfing – We’re talking about practice: Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

On the issue of starting: "My old coach John Lewis used to say, 'Okay everyone, who wants to start?' and everyone that put their hands up,. he started those guys and 10 seconds into the game he took them out the rest of the game. He said, 'Now what was so important about starting?" That's kind of the approach that I take to it. Whatever happens, happens. I know coach does a great job managing the game and he's going to go with who he feels comfortable with playing at that particular part. Whoever is on the floor, if I'm not there, I'm just going to support them however I can."

What point guard controversy? | Toronto Sun

This from Calderon yesterday on the possibility of re-assuming his starting role.

“Jay Triano’s call, always,” Calderon said. “He’s the coach. It’s not about minutes or starting. We just have to win. If he decides to put me in, then I’ll be happy to help the team at the beginning, but it doesn’t matter. Whatever he decides is good with me.”

That was Calderon’s position when the same question was raised with T.J. Ford two years ago and as far as he’s concerned nothing has changed. Calderon has always been team first, individual second.

Moments later, Jack was asked how he would react if tomorrow night in New York Jay Triano suddenly decided to run Calderon out with the starting unit and have Jack come on in relief.

“I’m used to it,” Jack said. “If it happens, it happens. It’s sure not going to change the mentality I have had over the past 15 years or so. I’m still going to be aggressive. I’m still going to come in and be the energy guy.”

Raptors approach fork in the road – The Globe and Mail

What it really comes down to is philosophy.

As in: What kind of organization does Raptors owner Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd. want to be?

The type that dreams big and inspires their fans to do the same? Or true to type for an ownership group dominated by a pension plan and buttressed by a bank: Eager to do the right thing, but not if the risks are too great; the ROI too difficult to calculate.

After a shaky start, it’s fairly evident Toronto will be a playoff team this season, thanks to Bosh and a career year in the making. If Hedo Turkoglu can wake up from his snooze and provide value for his five-year, $53-million (U.S.) contract, the Raptors might even make the first round interesting.

Bosh Rumors, Next 3 games and other NBA stuff « New Leisure Blog

If Bosh demands a trade (now if Bosh demands a trade, then getting Bynum isn’t a bad move. I like Bynum quite a bit, he is still very young and I think he is a 20/10/3/2. That’s 20 points, 10 boards, 3 assists and 2 block shots. He has great hands, excellent back to the basket game, who isn’t useless when he is 10 feet away from the basket. He is a wonderful passer for a big, and has a high basketball IQ. The only thing holding him back is injuries, which is a big concern. Some said that Bynum is good because of playing with Kobe and Gasol. Actually, that’s the wrong assumption. In reality, playing for the Lakers hurts his production. Name me a great center playing in a Triangle Offense).

NBA First Half Player Awards – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly — BetUS Locker Room

Player Most Likely to be Traded: Chris Bosh, Toronto Raptors… The Raptors know that they are probably going to be a playoff team this year, but they also know that they aren't going to do anything once they get there. Bosh is surely to walk from Toronto at the end of this season, and rumors are already swirling that he is going to be dealt at the trade deadline. The rumors of a Bosh-for-Bynum swap with the Lakers have been circulating, and knowing that LA has had a history of pulling off deals like this right at the deadline (we're looking at you, Pau Gasol), nothing would be surprising.

Jones on NBA: Stern regulations –

All in all, it was a bad loss for Toronto as they made only seven field goals in the second half and shot a meager 20.6% from the floor. OK so who's to blame? Well let say there is lots to go around. A team that plays on the perimeter like Toronto has to be true to its personality but also has to recognize when jumpers aren't falling they have to get the ball to the basket. Chris Bosh understood that as he had 20 free throw attempts with 16 of them coming in the second half. The others, I'm not so sure. But to answer the question in a way that some fans don't want to hear, yes, the Raptors just missed some shots.

On an individual level, Toronto needs to get better and more consistent play from Hedo Turkoglu. He is a skilled offensive player that has been good at times this season but in other instances he just does not seem to play with a sense of urgency. They need more from him consistently.

Chris Bosh – Jan. 13, 2010

Chris Bosh speaks with the media following Wednesday's practice.

Andrea Bargnani – Jan. 13, 2010

Andrea Bargnani speaks with the media following Wednesday's practice.

Jose Calderon- Jan. 12, 2010

Jose Calderon speaks with the media after practice.

Jarrett Jack- Jan. 12, 2010

Jarrett Jack speaks with the media after practice.

Jay Triano – Jan. 13, 2010

Jay Triano speaks with the media following Wednesday's practice.

The Most Popular NBA Teams by Twitter and Facebook Fans | The Hoop Doctors

3. The Toronto Raptors at #14 is not bad. Sort of middle of the pack. But given what i’ve seen as an NBA blogger for a few years, the Raps fans seem to be everywhere. Or maybe its just that they are more vocal and rabid. Hell maybe its just because they are too busy on Raptors Republic to bother checking facebook or twitter. Either way I was surprised I didn’t see Toronto in the Top 5.

NBA Power Rankings: Raps 18 — NBA FanHouse

18. Raptors (19-20) | Prev.: 15
Toronto has surged into solid ground in the Eastern playoff picture, just in time for the homestretch of the premature Chris Bosh Sweepstakes. (A sweepstakes Toronto seems to not be a participant in, I might add.) Hedo Turkoglu has not only stunk, but now he's grousing for the ball more. He might have a point, and you wonder if the Raptors knew exactly what they were bidding for. But still, bro. Bad form. The team is finally putting up some wins.

Raptors not simply forgetting about Indiana debacle – Posted Sports

The Raptors blew a 23-point lead on Monday, losing to the Indiana Pacers, and Triano hammered home the error of their ways in the team's first practice since the meltdown.

"Coach showed us about four clips when we took shots with about 18 seconds on the shot clock," Chris Bosh said.

"We were up big and we stopped doing the things that got us the lead. I think we need to concentrate and focus more on the things that got us the lead instead of coming down and taking quick shots just because we're up 22. Against a high-octane offence like Indiana, they don't defend well, but they score a lot of points or are at home. You have to assume they're going to make a run."

Kings’ Martin could return Friday – Sacramento Bee

League sources indicate Houston, Toronto, Cleveland, Phoenix and Dallas are among those keeping watch.

The Kings, who are believed to be looking for a significant frontcourt addition, have given no indication they intend to move Martin.

Petrie said he has no reason to believe the Evans-Martin combination won't work.

NBA At 2: Winning For Bosh? – Hoops World

As everyone knows, there is more at stake this season than simply a playoff berth. It's believed the only thing that can keep All-Star forward Chris Bosh in town beyond this season is a significant improvement in the win column and a deep playoff run.

"It's important for all of us – Chris included – to keep this thing move forward," says Triano. "We all care and want to do well, to be playing in the postseason. Obviously Chris is a huge competitor and the leader of this team, so winning is especially important for him, as well."

The Raptors have lost two in a row going into Friday's visit to the New York Knicks, but overall they've been playing much better basketball of late. Will it be enough to keep Bosh from bolting in free agency? That much most definitely remains to be seen.

The Bosh trade buzz – The Globe and Mail

Ignoring whether Chris Bosh will re-sign with the Raptors, should they re-sign him? If they want to compete for a championship the answer is plain as day: Yes you sign him; but you don’t stop there. You keep adding pieces around him. You spend the full mid-level this summer and the summer after, if you have to. Not recklessly, mind you, but you make it obvious that this is a franchise willing to continuously add to their talent base and build around Bosh.

If that’s the signal that’s sent then would Bosh sign here? He just might. I think his ego is big enough (and I don’t think that as a bad thing) to believe with the right help he can lead a team that can make it to the NBA Finals. And with the right help he probably could.

But winning in any serious way takes talent and talent costs money; more than you can get without venturing into luxury tax territory.

Jay Triano – The FAN 590 Toronto

Toronto Raptors Bench Boss joins The Morning Show to talk about the team's rotations, fatigue that has hit certain players, recent losses, and the upcoming game this week against the New York Knicks.

GamePoint: Raps Waiting On Turk? Or Turk Waiting On Raps?

In the NBA, there is a particular advanced stat called "usage rate". This stat informs us how many possessions a player uses per game while on the court, and can be a good indicator of how involved of a role a player has in the team's offensive scheme. Here are the usage rates for Turk in his last year in Orlando, and his first year as a Rap:

Orlando: 23.00
Toronto: 18.75

As you can see, Turk is averaging over 4 less possessions here in Toronto. For those possessions, exactly what is he doing instead of handling the ball? Based purely on observations, it seems as though Hedo has been regulated as a spot up shooter – a very expensive spot up shooter. Though he has knocked down his fair share of shots, Turk is settling into a role here in Toronto that he's not familiar with. In game 7 between the Magic and the Celtics, Turk found himself initiating the offense, being proactive instead of reactive to whatever the defense threw at him

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