SUNS 113, RAPS 94
I can't believe a 35-year old Canadian and Grant Hill are running this league.
The Toronto Raptors don't exactly make me proud to be a Canadian, but damn, Steve Nash does. Nash proved today that even at 35 he can run the best team in the league. Sure, you have your Kobes, your Lebrons, your Melos in the rest of the league but Canadians have Steve Nash. And he put on a show yesterday. Nash finished with 20 pts, 3 rebounds and 16 dimes as the Suns downed the Raptors 113-94.
One the latest episode of Raptorspace, check out the Q and A at Centre Sports with Hedo Turkloglu and DeMar DeRozan from last weekend. Also, at the 6:30 mark of the video, check out the latest vlog from Hip Hoop Junkies and Hoop Heads North discussing some of our favourite Raptors of all-time.
Another third quarter collapse. The Raptors have to recognize, this is where they lose games, as they were outscored 33-17 in the third. The Celtics went on a 13-0 run during this quarter and the Raptors weren't able to stop anything.
We got a heavy hitter in for a Q and A here at Hip Hoop Junkies. Matt Devlin, the Raptors official play-by-play announcer, was kind enough to take the time to answer some of our Raptors questions. Matt, who is in his second season with the Raptors, has a nice broadcast background behind him and has covered everything from the Memphis Grizzlies to the Charlotte Bobcats all the way down to Olympic wrestling. Co-blogger Sean and I asked Mr. Devlin a few questions about the Toronto Raptors, his prior knowledge of Canada and what music he listened to in high school.
Raptor fans: I saw this shirt when I was at the ACC for the Raptors-Heat game over the weekend, and immediately my buddy had to inquire on how we could our hands on one of these shirts. It's a very cool tee with the Raptors starting five on the front, I just got mine in the mail today.
Anyhow, if you want one of the shirts (seen above) check out Mark @ Circle T's to get your own.
BOBCATS 116, RAPS 81
Yep, welcome to the roller coaster we know as the 09-10 Toronto Raptors. After dropping 74 points in the first half against the Indiana Pacers, that same Raptors squad scored 74 pts midway through the fourth quarter tonight as they shot a dismal 34%. And did they "protect the house"? The Bobcats embarassed the Raptors tonight with 74 points in the paint to the Raptors' 44 points. That pretty much summed it up, the Charlotte Bobcats who are the worst offensive team outside of the New Jersey Nets, put up 116 on the Raptors. I repeat, the WORST offensive team outside of the New Jersey Nets!
To put it in perspective, the Charlotte Bobcats average 85 points per game. The Toronto Raptors let them score 116 points tonight and the 35-point win was the largest win in Bobcats history. Defense anyone?
RAPS 123, PACERS 112
Point guards, Jose Calderon and Jarret Jack, put on their best performance of the season, combining for 39 points and 13 assists as the Raptors had their offense going in their 123-112 win over the Indiana Pacers. Jose Calderon got it going early, playing aggressive, attacking the basket and it worked.
Look above. The Magic knew who they had to defend yesterday. In what was supposed to be a VC tribute night that Carter in turn, "politely declined". VC decided to make his own tribute night finishing with 24 points and 8 rebounds, handing the Raptors another "haha, in your face, this was almost five years ago, stop booing, I got the last laugh" loss.
Hip Hoop Junkies and Hoop Heads North collaborated for another video blog for this week's episode of RaptorSpace on Raptors TV. This week we talked about our most memorable Raptors moments, some of our favourite Raptors of all time and the Raptors upcoming home stand.
If you're into NBA podcasts, you probably already know about The NBA Breakdown with Dave and Audley. And if you haven't checked these guys out, start now. The podcast is into its second season and these guys have interviewed an all-star calibre list of guests. From Maurizio Gherardini to Tom Chambers to Montell Jordan, they've had guests from all aspects of hoops on their show. I caught up with Audley from The NBA Breakdown and asked him about this year's Toronto Raptors, Steve Nash's Suns and the greatest NBA player/rapper.
My blogging homie from Australia, NBA Mate asked me to participate in the nominations of an award named The Doubting Thomas award. NBA Mate calls this award "An award to recognise the achievements of those who have achieved so little. An award to celebrate those players who have frustrated us beyond belief, yet leave us with a tinge of hope that maybe, just maybe, they’ll turn it around soon. Because let’s face it, no matter how many chances you’ve blown, there’s always the chance you won’t f*ck up the next one."
The rumours were swirling and then the rumours just became a truth tonight. Pops Mensah-Bonsu was claimed off of waivers by the Toronto Raptors. Pops was signed as a free agent last season with the Raps and brought energy back to Toronto during the tail end of last year's dismal season. Time will tell on how he'll fit in the rotation with Reggie Evans, Amir Johnson and Rasho Nesterovic coming off of the bench but he's definitely a great addition to the squad.
One of the cool things that I had noticed at the beginning of this season was the representation of the Raptors' blog nation at events like Raptors Media Day and the Toronto Raptors training camp. One of the blogs that had access to the Toronto Raptors Media Day was RaptorsHQ.com I wanted to get an inside scoop of Media Day from a blogger's perspective, so I asked Vicious D from RaptorsHQ a few questions about his first experience at the event.
(seen above: Toronto Raptors Amir Johnson is brutally attacked by a Chirs Kaman)
The Chris Kaman of species losangelescenteris is native of the Los Angeles area but is also known to travel to other areas of Norh America. The Chris Kaman is an unpredictable species of NBA player and is known to attack.
After a poor first quarter, the Raps came out and adjusted their defense for the last three quarters to beat the LA Clippers 104-89. If you checked out the boxscore, the Raptors gave up 34 points in the first quarter to the Clips but then improved their D, and held them to 20 pts in the second, 20 pts in the third quarter and then stepped it up holding the Clips to 15 in the fourth.
My blogging homies U-E Sampang, Sean Francois and myself put together a mini vlog for Raptors fan site, Raptorspace.com We discussed the Raptors upcoming road trip, Vince Carter and Matt Bonner's nasty slam on the Raps.
It was our first attempt at putting something together like this and thanks to the handy video editing by U-E, this is our finished product:
Outside The Boxscore is a new feature to Hip Hoop Junkies, featuring basketball Q and A's with people outside of the hoops industry.
If you don't know who Skratch Bastid is, you will now. He's not a new face in my hometown of Halifax as he's been doing his thing even before he was out of high school. Taken straight out of his bio at skratchbastid.com:
After the lackluster defensive effort from the Toronto in their last two games on the road, the Raptors were looking to rebound (literally!) from those defeats and get a win at home against the visiting Chicago Bulls before they went back out on the road for 4 more games.
In case you missed it (but you probably didn't), Captain Canada did it again as he dropped his second 20 assist game of the season against the Sixers on Monday. This time he added 21 points to his 20 dimes in the win. Nash is averaging 18 points per game and a whopping 13 assists per game.
DeMar DeRozan has been holding his own with the Raptors, and so far, the rookie hasn't lost his starting job. He's been averaging about 19 min/game, 5.2 ppg, 3.2 reb and 1.2 assists and while his numbers haven't been noteworthy, Triano has been ensuring that the rookie is getting his exposure to NBA play.
The Mavs came out running, and the Raptors came out limping as the Mavs blew out the Raps 129 to 101. In the second game of Raptors' back to back, the Mavs just straight out scorched the Raps and shot 62.4% from the field. Dirk led the Mavericks with 29 points and 9 rebounds but the Mavericks also had big games from Josh Howard (16 pts in his season debut) and former Raptor, Shawn Marion (18 pts, 8 rebounds) The Raptors couldn't keep up with the running game and the Mavericks pulled away after a 15-4 run to start the third. That 15-4 run coupled with a 44 point Dallas Mavericks fourth quarter put the icing on the cake early as the Raptors stunk it out.
Ok, NBA broadcasters, commentators, analysts, podcasters, radio dudes who reads the regular sports updates, Mr. Marasmitch and myself are sick of you guys mispronouncing our Toronto Raptors' last names. So in order to save you embarassment on your next broadcast, we've produced a handy visual guide for those 'hard-to-prounounce' Raptor last names.
I know they always talk about the Raptors and their nine new faces, but wow, these Pistons look a lot different this year. With new faces like Charlie V, Ben Gordon, Chirs Wilcox, Jonas Jerebko? I had a hard time getting used to who was who.
Screw Vince Carter. They should honour Eric Smith at the ACC this season. All kidding aside, Eric Smith may be one of the hardest working media members for the Toronto Raptors. You can find his blog at Raptors.com, he has another blog 'The Rap' at the FAN 590, he co-hosts the daily radio show 'The Game Plan' with Jack Armstrong, he's a radio analyst for the Raptors' coverage on the same radio station, he's also on Twitter (@Eric__Smith), he responds to pretty much every email/tweet he gets, he's growing out the 'stache for Movember (raising funds for prostate cancer) AND....let me take a breath....the guy has a family on top of that (there's probably more that I'm missing).
MAGIC 125, RAPTORS 116 Man, it was a horrible day for Raptors fans. First of all, Vince Carter didn't even play, so the fans didn't even get the chance to "boo" the crap out of Carter every time he touched the ball. And second of all, the Raptors got killed with the three ball at the hands of who? JJ Redick and Ryan Anderson. The Magic had three key players out: Vince Carter (ankle...boo hoo), Pietrus (flu-like symptoms) and Rashard Lewis (suspension). I don't know if the Raptors were hungover from the Jay-Z concert from the previous night, but the Raptors were asleep on perimeter defense yesterday afternoon.