Morning Coffee – Thu, Mar 17

MC is back!

Stackhouse proving a quick study as Raptors assistant coach |

“One thing I’ve learned that’s great with our coaching staff is there is more than one way to do things,” Stackhouse said. “Just because you’ve done it that way for a long time and have had success and it’s kind of part of your DNA and what you believe is part of a winning team, somebody can come and offer someone else and make you say, ‘OK, that works.’

“I may not do it that way if I were the top decision maker. But that’s not to say that it doesn’t work. That’s the rapport that we have as a coaching staff. Case gives us a little latitude to be able to speak on things and give our opinions. It’s his final decision. But in any given game, he can take your suggestion and roll with it or go in a different direction.”

It has been electrifying for Stackhouse, for example, when Casey turns to him to seek out some advice near the end of a game he did the majority of the prep work for. (Assistant coaches split the prep for the 82 games, with Stackhouse and player development coach Jama Mahlalela, both in their first year on the job, taking a slightly lighter load with 14 games apiece.) Still, he is not sure where his post-playing career will lead him.

Norm. #WeTheNorth

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Raptors’ Powell: I’m ready for larger role, playoff run |

DB: Do you think you have enough time to prove you should be in the playoff rotation?

NP: Yeah, definitely. That’s what I’m doing it for. I’m playing for that big scene. I’m ready for it. Hopefully the coaches see my continual effort on the court getting in extra work and putting up shots with [assistant coaches] Jama [Mahlalela] and [Jerry Stackhouse]. If they need to get Kyle or DeMar or T-Ross some rest they aren’t going to lose anything while I’m out there on the court.

Get up bird #groundbrothers #highfive

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Raptors will lean on their bench down the stretch | Toronto Sun

Next up are the Indiana Pacers, followed by a home date against the Boston Celtics, another back to back that will allow someone to likely rest, much like DeMar DeRozan was able to do in Milwaukee.

The vagaries of the NBA’s schedule puts a premium on rest, forcing teams to balance the well-being of a player while not compromising the team.

Barring some unexplained turn of events, the Raptors seem destined to finish second in the East, perhaps emerge as the top seed if the conference-leading Cavaliers happen to falter.

When players such as Biyombo is protecting the rim and providing offence and Powell is playing well, it makes resting DeRozan easier. When Patrick Patterson is playing well at both ends, when mental toughness is palpable, all is right with this team, even when too much went wrong Monday night against Toronto’s Achilles heel, better known as the Chicago Bulls.


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Jason Kidd on Raptors: ‘You can see their growth’ from Nets series |

Jason Kidd: I think as you get older you get wiser. They’ve been together. You can’t discount some of the playoff battles they’ve gone through, two years ago with Brooklyn, being able to be in difficult situations – and how do you handle them and how do you learn from them. And you can see, being one of the best teams – not just in the East, but in the NBA – they have some very talented pieces and they’re well coached. So you can see their growth.

Now the next step is making that next step in the playoffs.

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More Raptors assists without DeRozan isn’t a huge deal | Toronto Sun

Best night of the year for Norman Powell. He had the tough job for a lot of the game of guarding Antetokounmpo, but did a better job than most. At the other end, he was excellent. Powell did a little bit of everything. He hit his shots (including three three-pointers, handed out a couple of assists, stole the ball, blocked a couple of shots and kept showing what we’ve been saying here since the draft – He’s going to be an NBA contributor and a shrewd pick by the Raptors.

Da Bulls Beat The Raptors Again, What Else Is New? | Pro Bball Report

Raptors head coach Dwane Casey was prophetic earlier in the day when he talked about how the Bulls had won eight in a row prior to Monday’s game.

“We’ve got to figure it out because you don’t want to go 0-for against a team and not find out exactly what it is (that isn’t working). Every time we’ve played them somebody’s come in and had an out-of-body experience, whether it’s (Jimmy) Butler, last game it was (Doug) McDermott (scoring a career high 30), the time before that I think it was (Derrick) Rose or (Tony) Snell or somebody rises up out of the woodwork and has a big night. They have a very talented team, very talented roster and it seems like against us they figure it out and we’ve got to make sure we find out what it is tonight.”

Raptors-Indiana Pacers: Thursday game preview | Toronto Star

Key matchup:James Johnson vs. Paul George.

George is a top-10 scorer, averages more than 23 points a game and is in the top-10 in free throw attempts made. His versatility will tax Johnson and the Raptors because the Pacers move him around to multiple positions.

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