Morning Coffee

Morning Coffee – Jan 27

Right kind of coffee, Chris Bosh’s best season is dispelling critics. – SLAM

The haters out there believe Bosh is not a leader. They think he lacks the fire to really throw his team on his back, and therefore should only be a complementary player. Now that Andrea Bargnani has grown into the shoes of his number one pick, Bosh gets to compete like the leader people expect him to be. Point being, all leaders need support to succeed in the League and the support Bosh is receiving appears to be a key reason why he’s excelling. Whether you consider CB as a leader or not, he’s leading by example. Few teams will find a Gasol to their Kobe, but the pieces are forming to maximize Bosh’s potential.

What general manager has the worst contracts in the NBA? |

4. Bryan Colangelo

The Jose Calderon ($9 million plus per year) and Andrea Bargnani (rising to $12 million in 2013) were not very good signings. Hedo Turkoglu ($9 million this year, rising to $12 million by the end) was really not good. It's hard to see another team desiring any of those contracts and it's even harder to see a team built with those three as key players getting out of the first round of the playoffs.

King see Bosh as good fit | Sacramento Bee

On the Kings' side, the idea of giving up any of their core players for one with an expiring contract and the inherent uncertainty thereafter is equally unappealing. The same outlook applies to Toronto forward Chris Bosh, who Kings officials are believed to see as a good fit but who also comes with too much inherent risk because of his expiring contract.

Negotiations to add NBA to Pro-Line tickets in Ontario –

Gamblers in Ontario will soon be able to wager on NBA games.

The Raptors, NBA and provincial government are on the verge of allowing professional basketball to be part of the daily Pro-Line offerings, a senior Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment official said Tuesday.

"It's not done yet, but it will probably be done for next year, maybe this year's playoffs," Tom Anselmi, the executive vice-president and chief operating officer of MLSE said.

The NBA originally ordered the province to drop NBA games from its daily offering on Pro-Line as a term of the franchise expansion agreement for the Raptors.

"We have been in discussions with the Raptors and the (Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation) about the inclusion of our games on the Pro-Line ticket, but don't have anything to announce at this time," an NBA spokesman said.

Stifling the Heat big deal –

With a 23-22 record, they trail the Heat by just half a game in the race for fifth place in the conference, and win Wednesday vaults them past Miami.

And in the broader picture, a win gives Toronto no worse than a season split of the four-game series with the Heat, and head-to-head results are the first tiebreaker should the teams finish with identical records.

"It's got a little bit more value than maybe even the Laker game," said Raptors coach Jay Triano.

Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment teams up to aid Haitian earthquake victims | Voice of Toronto

“The events in Haiti have been devastating and have had a tremendous impact on the entire world. We know that many of our fans have been personally affected by this tragedy,” said Richard Peddie, president and CEO of MLSE. “One of our core values as an organization is to be a leader in the community and we would be remiss if we did not mobilize our resources to help alleviate the suffering in Haiti. “We are lucky to have the support of the best fans in the world. If they get behind this cause with the same passion that they support our four teams with, then we should be able to do some amazing things together.”

Video Blog with Payal Doshi – Raptors Central

Raptors vs Heat: Preview, The Battle For Fifth Place! – Brothersteve’s Green & Red Raptor Blog

The Miami Heat got out to good start this season at 16-12. While the Bobcats and the Raptors shared beastly 11-17 marks.

But unlike the rapidly cooling Heat, the Bobcats posted at 10-2 run and the Raptors went 10-3 to make this a close 3-way race.

And the games played between these teams suggest they are closely matched. Miami and Toronto have split, each winning a game at home so far. As have Charlotte and Toronto. But Charlotte has beaten Miami at home and on the road to lead that series.

Triano teaches Raptors a lesson in defence – National Post

"It's a different level of retention for everybody. I would say coaching in the NBA is like being a teacher in a classroom. The range of everyone in the classroom is from kindergarten to Grade 12. Some people get it. Some people don't."

This presents a problem particularly on defence, and especially this week. On Sunday, Triano had to get his team prepared to play Kobe Bryant. The Lakers swingman and LeBron James are Nos. 1 and 1a on the list of players who require special attention. Miami's Dwyane Wade is a close third.

And as Triano alludes to, he cannot just give each of the team's guards who might get the Wade assignment at different times tonight — rookie DeMar DeRozan (questionable because of an ankle injury), Sonny Weems, Antoine Wright, Marco Belinelli and Jarrett Jack — the same exact scouting report. Compare and contrast, for example, the views of Wright and Jack on how much information on their opponents is too much.

Raptors look to contain Heat – The Globe and Mail

The athletic high-flier twisted his left ankle during last Sunday’s inspirational 106-105 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers and had to sit out Monday’s workout as a result.

“I told him, ‘DeMar, the best thing is, you’ve got to look at things positive,’.” Triano said. “If you’re going to have two ankle sprains, you might as well have them at the same time, get them out of the way.”

Just past the midway point of the regular season, tonight’s encounter with the Heat can be legitimately classified as a crucial outing for the Raptors.

Toronto is 23-22 on the season and enters the game in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, only half a game behind the Heat, who are 23-21.

The incredible story of the Raptors offense « New Leisure Blog

The answer is something no one is talking about. The Raptors attack the paint and get to the free throw line. Right now, they are the 2nd best team in the league of getting to the charity stripe. Yes, this is the same Raptor team that had the 2nd worst free throw attempts per game a couple of years ago.

It all starts with Chris Bosh who makes his living at the free throw line. He averages 9 FT attempts per game, but unlike previous years, other Raptors help out. DeMar DeRozan isn’t shy of getting hit, and Jarrett Jack’s strength helps him get to the paint and draw fouls. The most surprising of all is Marco Belinelli, who most people think is a jump shooter, but he is so much more aggressive than I expected. The Laker game is a great example, the Raptors attempted 26 free throws, and Bosh didn’t have an attempt.

Week that Was & Week that Will Be: Week 13 –

I thought the Raptors would come out of the week 2-2, but like many others, I assumed they would do it in different fashion. What looked like it could have been disaster (a 0-4 week) halfway through Friday night’s game against Milwaukee quickly turned into a solid week (to say the least) by Sunday night’s end.

As big as the Raptors’ victory over the Lakers was, we have seen them knock off some top-tier teams this season, only to fall back down to earth with a disappointing loss later. It’s time to put another run together as the schedule turns in their favour, and they can start by going 2-1 or possibly even 3-0 in the week that will be. Anything less than 2-1 has to be seen as a letdown.

Spurs have always been interested in Bosh – NBA – Yahoo! Sports

The Spurs have always maintained an interest in Toronto Raptors forward Chris Bosh(notes), a Texas native, but Raptors’ general manager Bryan Colangelo has yet to show a strong inclination to trade his star before his impending free agency this summer.

NBA on ProLine by the playoffs? – The Rap

The details are a bit sketchy right now but this seems to be as close to a “done deal” as it’s going to get … until it’s actually truly DONE. And when the formal announcement is made, Anselmi said that Pro Line (i.e. – The Ontario Lottery Corporation) will ensure that some of the of the profits from wagers on NBA games will be put directly back into the basketball community via development and programs, etc.

If – or should I say WHEN – the deal is finalized it will be the first time in the Raptors’ existence that people in Ontario will have a chance to wager on NBA games. The league banned the province to drop their games from Pro Line when the Raps came into the league.

Bowling beats Raptors v Lakers in TV ratings on Sunday night –

On the latter, huh? How did bowling draw a bigger audience on a Sunday afternoon than the Raptors did on Friday and Sunday nights? The only possible explanation is that people were channel surfing and came across the sight of a woman, Kelly Kulick, making history by beating the guys.

Pistons aren’t making it to the post-season, but former Pistons are –

Toronto Raptors: Amir Johnson is playing almost 17 minutes a night and averaging 3.2 fouls/game. Same old Amir.

Raptors’ DeRozan suffers ankle injury – Posted Sports

"He's got two. I told him, ‘Hey, Demar, you've got to look at things positively: if you're going to have two ankle sprains you might as well have them at the same time. Get them out of the way."

Triano said he had not decided who would start in DeRozan's place if he cannot play Wednesday against Miami, but he did not shoot down the idea of starting Antoine Wright. He also brought up the possibility of Sonny Weems starting on his own.

Pro-Line brings back wagering on all NBA games –

An issue that came close to costing Toronto its NBA franchise over a decade ago has resurfaced as Pro-Line will once again make professional basketball available for wager.

The decision comes 15 years after Pro-Line was forced to remove NBA games to allow the Raptors membership in the association. Prior to the expansion team's arrival in 1995, basketball was available for wager on slips, alongside other pro sports like hockey, soccer and baseball. The league was not about to waver in its longstanding opposition to gambling on NBA games, even if it meant pulling the expansion franchise.

A little news on an injured Raptor (DeRozan) – Doug Smith

A little news on an injured Raptor

Heat-Raptors Preview – Jan. 26, 2010 – NBA –

The Raptors and Heat have each won a game at home in this season's series, which may very well become a tiebreaker for playoff position. They'll meet one more time in the regular season, at Miami on March 28.

Toronto enters this contest with nine wins in its last 10 home games, including a 106-105 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday night. Hedo Turkoglu made two free throws with 1.2 seconds left to give the Raptors their fourth win in six games overall.

"I hope it builds momentum," coach Jay Triano said. "I'd hate to single it out as a great, great win, and us hanging our hats on that. There's a lot of basketball that we still have to play, and we want to use the momentum from this win and keep moving forward."

Miami couldn't pull through at the end against Cleveland on Monday night, losing 92-91. Dwyane Wade missed a jumper at the buzzer after the Heat had won two straight and five of seven.

DeRozan injures ankle at practice | Toronto Sun

Don’t count on DeMar DeRozan for Wednesday’s game against the Miami Heat.

The Raptors rookie and would-be slam-dunk entrant had to be helped from the Raptors practice facility on the third floor of the Air Canada Centre and into an elevator down to the locker room after an apparent injury to his right ankle during practice Tuesday.

Details of the injury are not known at this time, but DeRozan was keeping all weight off his right leg.

Hoopshype – Raptors have played too well to trade Bosh

The Raptors have played too well to trade Bosh. It would take a major power play by Chris to force an exodus and that doesn't seem to match his personality.

Equally Memphis is rolling, the future isn't clear for Rudy Gay but a trade seems counter-productive for a team flirting with a playoff seed.

Chicago needs to make a deal to get further under the cap. The Brown deal is likely a precursor for what's to come – even if nothing is imminent. If the Bulls don't get a better deal, the Lakers may have a package for Hinrich that would provide Chicago the space they covet.

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