Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Buzz....Raptors to sign Mickael Pietrus

posted by Romy Aquino
The rumours of Mickael Pietrus potentially joining the Toronto Raptors started back on Wednesday and the buzz seems to be getting stronger today.   The Raptors, who have a disappointing 3-13 record are looking for an answer at the small forward slot.  With injuries to both Landry Fields and Alan Anderson, and Dominic McGuire not cutting it in the Raptors first sixteen games, Bryan Colangelo apparently is looking to sign former Boston Celtic, Mickael Pietrus to fill that void.

According to Sam Amick of USA Today:

The Toronto Raptors have agreed to sign veteran shooting guard Mickael Pietrus, USA TODAY Sports has learned.According to two people with knowledge of the situation, veteran small forward Dominic McGuire is likely to be released by the Raptors in order to make room for Pietrus. The Raptors (3-13) need help, and the addition of Pietrus is expected to be finalized on Friday.

Pietrus was traded to the Toronto Raptors last offseason but the trade was called off at the last minute when the Raptors didn't like what showed up on his physical.  Pietrus played 42 games with the Celtics last year and averaged 6.9 ppg.  He can shoot the three, and once nailed 8 threes against the Raptors back in 2010.

So no official news yet but a deal could be announced as early as Friday.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Minuteman: yessir, a Robert Sacre tribute video

posted by Romy Aquino
My fellow podcaster Sean named him one of our "Wenningtons of the Week" on the last episode of the RAPS TALK podcast and nicknamed him the "Minuteman" for his playing time for the Los Angeles Lakers this season.  Now, the 60th pick of the 2012 NBA draft and our Canadian homie of North Vancouver is being recognized for his off the court antics....well, not really off the court, but his sideline antics.  His sideline celebrations.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Pound the Rock Stars of the Night - San Antonio Spurs 111, Toronto Raptors 106 - The 'Double O.T. Grindhouse' Edition



POUND THE ROCK STARS - On a nightly basis, no matter how good or bad the Raps play, no matter if they blow out a team or if they get blown out and no matter if they win or lose, these are the Raptors with the best 'Pound the Rock' status for the night.

FINAL SCORE:   SPURS 111, RAPTORS    SEASON RECORD: 3W-11L

POUND THE ROCK STAR #1: DEMAR DEROZAN
LINE:  29 pts (11-28), 7-8 FT, 7 reb, 3 ast, 3 stl
With another great game under his belt, DeMar DeRozan’s scoring ability should never again be in question. What did stand out was the sudden switch from lackadaisical defense early in the game to DeMar diving on the floor going for loose balls. The losing streak is having a positive effect turning the hungry Raptors into, well just that, hungry Raptors. Still not getting the benefit of several calls by the referees, DeMar fought through frustration to push the game into a 2nd overtime. DeMar played his heart out and did all he could against one of the best teams of the last few years. Can’t ask for much more than that.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

PODCAST: Hip Hoop Junkies & Hoop Heads North present RAPS TALK Ep. 32 (11.26.2012)

Episode 32 of RAPS TALK (11.26.12) - We're shorthanded ths week with U-E on vacation, but Sean and Romy break down the rough, rough week for the Toronto Raptors. We talk Raptors, when we should hit the Panic button on this team, talk about the Steve Nash-Mike D'Antoni reuniting in LA and we also have our regular segments "Hoop Heads Humour of the Week" and "The Wenningtons of the Week", enjoy the podcast people!

If you're new to the podcast, make sure you subscribe to the RAPS TALK podcast on iTunes.



Click here for the MP3 (right click "Save As...")


Canada Crew Love: Late Night Hoops with Amir Johnson, Justin Bieber and Drake

posted by Romy Aquino
Whoah.  Looks like the Raptors' Amir Johnson was balling with Drake and the Biebs late last night?

(Via @iamirjohnson)
Late night hoops with  drake

(Photo via @iamamirjohnson)

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Saturday, November 24, 2012

Pound the Rock Stars of the Night - Detroit Pistons 91, Toronto Raptors 90 - The 'You should at least beat the Pistons' Edition

posted by Romy Aquino
POUND THE ROCK STARS - On a nightly basis, no matter how good or bad the Raps play, no matter if they blow out a team or if they get blown out and no matter if they win or lose, these are the Raptors with the best 'Pound the Rock' status for the night.

FINAL SCORE:   PISTONS 91, RAPTORS 90    SEASON RECORD: 3W-10L
POUND THE ROCK STAR #1: ANDREA BARGNANI
LINE:  34 pts (13-20), 5 reb, 4 ast, 1 stl, 1 blk
Going into this, you'd figure this would be redemption night for the Toronto Raptors after losing a heartbreaker to the Charlotte Bobcats. It wasn't the case on Friday night. In what seems to be typical fashion, the Toronto Raptors failed to capitalize against a Detroit Pistons team that to be honest, aren't that great. Andrea Bargnani started off the Raptors on the right note, scoring 17 of his 34 points in the first quarter alone. Il Mago stepped up big time, and took on the offensive load on a night where DeMar failed to show up.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

They admit it... NBA officials admit they missed a call in Charlotte Bobcats win over the Toronto Raptors

posted by Romy Aquino
For all of you Raptors fans that were angry at the no-call at the end of Wednesday night's Charlotte Bobcats 98-97 win over the Toronto Raptors, the NBA has admitted their mistake.  The league has officially announced that they messed up on the NBA Official Twitter account.

(Via the @NBAOfficial Twitter account)
NBA Officials miss foul call at end of Tor-Cha game last night; video and explanation at.

Pound the Rock Stars of the Night - Charlotte Bobcats 98, Toronto Raptors 97 - The 'Upset City' Edition

posted by Mike Masaya
POUND THE ROCK STARS - On a nightly basis, no matter how good or bad the Raps play, no matter if they blow out a team or if they get blown out and no matter if they win or lose, these are the Raptors with the best 'Pound the Rock' status for the night.

FINAL SCORE:   BOBCATS 98, RAPTORS 97    SEASON RECORD: 3W-9L

POUND THE ROCK STAR #1: JONAS VALANCIUNAS
LINE:  16 pts (8-11), 10 reb
Jonas was displaying traits from some of the best big men in the NBA while putting up more than 15 points for the second time in his short NBA career. Last night Jonas was making quick moves to the basket as soon as he received the ball, moved extremely well without the ball on offense and chased down all his own and teammates shots turning them into points or rebounds. Jonas also seemed more energetic and not once looked as if he was running in sand like some rookie big men do when they feel they aren’t getting enough touches and sulk. From aggressively posting up in the paint to setting screens for everyone to running the pick and roll with Lowry regularly, Jonas’ skill set was on full display. When trailing on offense he not only confidently shot but hit the open jumpers the defense offered him without missing a beat. If Lowry and Jonas can find the same type of chemistry that Jose and Amir have found, things are bound to pick up.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pound the Rock Stars of the Night - Philadelphia 76ers 106, Toronto Raptors 98 - The 'Return of Lowry' Edition

posted by Romy Aquino
POUND THE ROCK STARS - On a nightly basis, no matter how good or bad the Raps play, no matter if they blow out a team or if they get blown out and no matter if they win or lose, these are the Raptors with the best 'Pound the Rock' status for the night.

FINAL SCORE:   SIXERS 106, RAPTORS 98    SEASON RECORD: 3W-8L

POUND THE ROCK STAR #1: DEMAR DEROZAN
LINE:  24 pts (8-18), 7-8 FT, 1-1 3 pt, 3 reb, 1 stl
The Raptors with another tough loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday night. Toronto played well, it was just that Jrue Holiday and the Sixers executed better in the fourth quarter. For DeRozan, it was a slow start offensively in the first half, but he was locked in for the third and fourth quarters. DeMar finished with 24 points and got to the line eight times but missed a couple of key jumpers and missed out defensive matchups down the stretch. There's no doubt that his game has elevated to a new level this year, he just has to use that confidence to help the Raptors produce wins.

The Goods: The Toronto Raptors Upcoming Schedule (week of November 19th)

posted by Romy Aquino
We talked about this on the last podcast....if there's a three game road trip that you want to go on, this is as probably as good as it gets.

Toronto Raptors @ Philadelphia 76ers 
Tuesday, November 20th - 7pm EST 
The last time they met.....the Toronto Raptors scored seven points in the second quarter at the ACC and lost 93-83.  The Raptors will get a chance to redeem themselves against one of the top defensive teams in the NBA on Tuesday night in Philadelphia.  The Sixers are 6-4 on the season, holding that #5 spot in the East which is pretty impressive considering their superstar centre Andrew Bynum has yet to suit up for them...and who knows when that will be.

Matchup to watch: California homies, DeMar DeRozan vs. Jrue Holiday

Monday, November 19, 2012

PODCAST: Hip Hoop Junkies & Hoop Heads North present RAPS TALK Ep. 31 (11.19.2012)

Episode 31 of RAPS TALK (11.19.12) - We're back!  This week we discuss the past week of the Toronto Raptors season, talk about Andrea Bargnani's performance so far and discuss the injury updates to Lowry, Fields and Anderson.  We also have our regular segments "Hoop Heads Humour of the Week" and "The Wenningtons of the Week", enjoy the podcast people!

If you're new to the podcast, make sure you subscribe to the RAPS TALK podcast on iTunes.



Click here for the MP3 (right click "Save As...")


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Pound the Rock Stars of the Night - Toronto Raptors 97, Orlando Magic 86 - The 'Revenge of Calderon' Edition

posted by Mike Masaya
POUND THE ROCK STARS - On a nightly basis, no matter how good or bad the Raps play, no matter if they blow out a team or if they get blown out and no matter if they win or lose, these are the Raptors with the best 'Pound the Rock' status for the night.

FINAL SCORE:   RAPTORS 97, MAGIC 86    SEASON RECORD: 3W-7L


POUND THE ROCK STAR #1: JOSE CALDERON
LINE:  9 pts (3-8), 18 ast
Being on the receiving end of Celtics Rajon Rondo’s 20 assists in a Raptors loss clearly influenced Jose’s performance in the Raptors win against Orlando a day later. As impressive as the 18 assists from Jose Calderon are the mere 2 turnovers he gave up make it all the more amazing. Many including myself have viewed Calderon as the point guard to slow things down when coming off the bench behind Kyle Lowry. Truth be told that was only part of the equation yesterday afternoon. Calderon did in fact take his time getting to half court when running the offence on most possessions, but sped things up dramatically with a game of hot potato which ended with him getting his teammates great 3 point opportunities, layups and alley-oops. Another undeniable truth is the Raptors have two starting point guards. With Kyle Lowry out, the silver lining is that Jose Calderon will get more playing time and build his confidence. This also great because when Lowry returns Jose will have had time to once again find his comfort zone.

Pound the Rock Stars of the Night - Boston Celtics 107, Toronto Raptors 89 - The 'Twenty Dimes' Edition

posted by Romy Aquino
POUND THE ROCK STARS - On a nightly basis, no matter how good or bad the Raps play, no matter if they blow out a team or if they get blown out and no matter if they win or lose, these are the Raptors with the best 'Pound the Rock' status for the night.

FINAL SCORE:   CELTICS 107, RAPTORS 89    SEASON RECORD: 2W-7L
POUND THE ROCK STAR #1: JOHN LUCAS III
LINE:  15 pts (5-11), 3-7 3 pt, 3 ast, 1 stl
So preseason John Lucas finally showed up. JL3 put up a season high 15 points against the C's, a huge improvement from his season average 2.1 ppg. Lucas and the second unit helped the Raptors close in on the Celtics lead after trailing 30-17 after the first quarter. This is what he was brought in for, to be instant offence off of the bench and he finally showed that on Saturday afternoon, hitting some big baskets....it's just the Raptors slow start was just too much of a hole to get out of.  


On to the next one.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Three keys to beating the C's - Raptors-Celtics Preview

posted by Mike Masaya

Between coming off a nail biter against the Pacers and news of Lowry, Fields and Anderson being out with injury for the next little while, the Raptors have a lot to think about before facing the Celtics on Saturday. Not including Boston, the Raptors have four very winnable games coming up against Orlando, 76ers, Bobcats and Pistons.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Amir Johnson teaches you how to pronounce "Jonas Valanciunas"

posted by Romy Aquino
NBA fans have no idea, broadcasters butcher it,  Bill Simmons doesn't know and NBA 2K13 even gets it wrong... the name "Jonas Valanciunas", not the easiest name to pronounce.  It's the Toronto Raptors rookie's first year in the league and it's time to set people straight.  His teammate, Amir Johnson, is letting people know.....this is how to say 'Jonas Valanciunas'.


(Rookie hazing photo via JL3's Twitter @Luke1luk)

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Pound the Rock Stars of the Night - Toronto Raptors 74, Indiana Pacers 72 - 'It was ugly, but it was a win' Edition

posted by Romy Aquino
POUND THE ROCK STARS - On a nightly basis, no matter how good or bad the Raps play, no matter if they blow out a team or if they get blown out and no matter if they win or lose, these are the Raptors with the best 'Pound the Rock' status for the night.

FINAL SCORE:   RAPTORS 74, PACERS 72    SEASON RECORD: 2W-6L
POUND THE ROCK STAR #1: JOSE CALDERON
LINE:  13 pts (5-10), 2-2 3 pt, 10 ast, 10 reb
It wasn't pretty, but a win's a win. Toronto scored just five points in the final quarter but they managed to grind out an ugly win on the road against the Pacers. Jose Calderon helped lead the Raptors to the win, playing 40 minutes and finishing with the triple double (13 pts/10 ast/10 reb). With tired legs after a triple overtime thriller against the Jazz on Monday night, the Raptors pulled out the much needed win.

Pound the Rock Stars of the Night - Utah Jazz 140 Toronto Raptors 133 - Triple Overtime Edition


POUND THE ROCK STARS - On a nightly basis, no matter how good or bad the Raps play, no matter if they blow out a team or if they get blown out and no matter if they win or lose, these are the Raptors with the best 'Pound the Rock' status for the night.

FINAL SCORE:   RAPTORS 133, JAZZ 140    SEASON RECORD: 1W-6L




POUND THE ROCK STAR #1: DEMAR DEROZAN
LINE:  37 pts (16-33), 4-7 FT, 6 ast, 8 reb, 2 stl
With last night’s box scores DeMar DeRozan showcased to the entire NBA that he is now fully capable of leading the Raptors and has matured as an all around player. Tying his career high in scoring with the majority of his points coming from inside the paint and from the free throw line, there is no way the Raptors would have made it to a 3rd OT without him. Whether breaking down defenders 1 on 1 or making the right pass, DeRozan was a one man show. He no doubt has to keep this killer mentality and let loose all the frustration from last night's loss onto the Raptors next opponent, the Indiana Pacers.

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Goods: The Toronto Raptors Upcoming Schedule (week of November 12th)

posted by Romy Aquino
The Toronto Raptors are hurtin'.  A 1-5 start and a few players on the shelf with injuries (Kyle Lowry (ankle), Landry Fields (wrist), Alan Anderson(foot))...not the best way to start.  Here's a look at the upcoming schedule for the Raptors:

Toronto Raptors vs. Utah Jazz 
Monday, November 12th - 7pm EST 
The Utah Jazz are on a four-game East Coast road trip and it all starts in Toronto on Monday night.  This will be Utah's first crack at the Eastern Conference and hopefully Toronto can take advantage.  It's going to be tough though, Utah has a lot of talented bigs with Millsap, Jefferson and Favors clogging up the middle.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Pound the Rock Stars of the Night - Philadelphia 76ers 93, Toronto Raptors 83 - Second Quarter Collapse Edition

posted by Romy Aquino
POUND THE ROCK STARS - On a nightly basis, no matter how good or bad the Raps play, no matter if they blow out a team or if they get blown out and no matter if they win or lose, these are the Raptors with the best 'Pound the Rock' status for the night.

FINAL SCORE:   SIXERS 93, RAPTORS 83    SEASON RECORD: 1W-5L
POUND THE ROCK STAR #1: ANDREA BARGNANI
LINE:  23 pts (9-19), 3-6 3 pt, 3 ast, 5 reb, 3 stl
Fourth loss in a row. That's tough.


So the Raps aren't off to the best start and it didn't help that Kyle Lowry and Landry Fields were both out with injuries on Saturday night. Toronto had a brutal second quarter against the Sixers last night, scoring just 7.....yes seven points in the second quarter. The Raps attempted to make a run in the second half but the damage was already done, falling 93-83 to one of their Atlantic Division rivals.

Despite the Raptors terrible second quarter showing, Andre Bargnani had a respectable game. He put up 23 points (his second 20+ point game of the season) and pulled down 5 boards. Bargs helped the Raps close in on the Sixers lead in the third quarter, where he scored eight of his 23 points.

Friday, November 9, 2012

VIDEO: Andrew Wiggins Doin' Damage


posted by Romy Aquino
Thornhill, Ontario's Andrew Wiggins put on a clinic on Wednesday when his Huntington Prep team scrimmaged against Alice Lloyd College.  Wiggins put up 34 points and grabbed nine boards as the dudes at Huntington Prep did damage on the JV team, 102-57.  The Canadian kid is a top high school prospect and is projected to be a top pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.  Wiggins put on a showcase on Wednesday, and here are just some of the highlights (via highschoolhoop.com):


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Thursday, November 8, 2012

VIDEO: The Cavaliers' Boobie Gibson alley oop to Tristan Thompson

posted by Romy Aquino
Our Canadian homie, Tristan Thompson, has something to prove in his sophomore season.  He's on a young Cleveland Cavaliers squad that will be in the mix come playoff time and he's looking to build off his rookie season.  Thompson finished with the double double (11pts, 10 rebounds) last night against the Warriors and had one of the top plays from around the league: a Boobie Gibson behind the backboard alley oop to Thompson.  Enjoy.

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Goods: The Toronto Raptors Upcoming Schedule


posted by Romy Aquino
The Raps got their first victory against the Wolves on Sunday, now it's on to the next one, with a two-game West Coast road trip coming up this week.  Has the "Kyle Lowry Era" begun?  Who knows, but it'll be interesting to see if he continues his hot streak this week.  Here's how the week looks for the Toronto Raptors:

Monday, November 5, 2012

Pound the Rock Stars of the Night - Toronto Raptors 105 Minnesota Timberwolves 86

POUND THE ROCK STARS - On a nightly basis, no matter how good or bad the Raps play, no matter if they blow out a team or if they get blown out and no matter if they win or lose, these are the Raptors with the best 'Pound the Rock' status for the night.


FINAL SCORE:   RAPTORS 105, WOLVES 86    SEASON RECORD: 1W-2L



POUND THE ROCK STAR #1: KYLE LOWRY
LINE:  22 pts (8-10), 4-4 FT, 5 ast, 7 reb, 3 stl
Get used to seeing Kyle Lowry as the # 1 Pound The Rock Player for the Raptors this season. There is no denying that Lowry is determined to not only lead this team to victory but encourage the entire roster to match his effort by performing at a high level every night. Lowry either rewarded himself by scoring off of his steals or following up offensive rebounds with assists. Another great pound the rock performance on both ends of the court. Stay tuned, more of them on the way.

PODCAST: Hip Hoop Junkies & Hoop Heads North present RAPS TALK Ep. 30 (11.05.2012) Toronto Raptors Opening Week Edition

Episode 30 of RAPS TALK (11.05.12) - It's the NBA regular season, peeps!  This week we discuss the opening week of the Toronto Raptors season, talk about DeMar's contract extension, and review NBATV's 'Open Gym'.  We also have our regular segments "Hoop Heads Humour of the Week" and "The Wenningtons of the Week", enjoy!

If you're new to the podcast, make sure you subscribe to the RAPS TALK podcast on iTunes.



Click here for the MP3 (right click "Save As...")

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Sunday, November 4, 2012

VIDEO: The Raptors' Amir Johnson's Zombie Walk from start to finish on AmirTV

posted by Romy Aquino
So everyone has already seen the Amir Johnson photos taken from Toronto's 2012 Zombie Walk but recently he posted on his own YouTube channel, AmirTV, with video footage from start to finish.  Definitely shoutouts to that professional makeup artist and her amazing job on Zombie Amir.




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Pound the Rock Stars of the Night - Brooklyn Nets 107, Toronto Raptors 100

posted by Romy Aquino
POUND THE ROCK STARS - On a nightly basis, no matter how good or bad the Raps play, no matter if they blow out a team or if they get blown out and no matter if they win or lose, these are the Raptors with the best 'Pound the Rock' status for the night.

FINAL SCORE:   NETS 107, RAPTORS 100    SEASON RECORD: 0W-2L
POUND THE ROCK STAR #1: KYLE LOWRY
LINE:  28 pts (9-19), 6-7 FT, 8 ast, 8 reb, 3 stl, 1 blk
It's still early in the season but Kyle Lowry has already taken over the reigns of this team. Against the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday, Lowry put up a monster line: 28 pts/8 reb/8 ast in the seven point loss. Lowry was driving force for this Raptors squad on Saturday night and he showed no hesitation to shoot the ball when it came down to crunch time in the closing minutes.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Tristan Thompson and Jonas Valanciunas - a couple of 2011 draftees to watch for this NBA season

posted by Romy Aquino
The buzz in the Canadian basketball world right now is all about the Toronto Raptors rookie, Jonas Valanciunas.  The seven-foot Lithuanian was drafted fifth overall in the 2011 NBA draft by the Toronto Raptors, the same draft that the Cleveland Cavaliers selected Brampton, Ontario native Tristan Thompson with the #4 pick.  Both the Cavs and Raptors were heavily criticized in the media for selecting two very questionable picks at the time. Now that we're fresh int a new NBA season, it will be interesting to see how the fourth and fifth overall picks of the 2011 NBA draft pan out.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

POUND THE ROCK STARS OF THE NIGHT - INDIANA PACERS 90, TORONTO RAPTORS 88

posted by Mike Masaya
POUND THE ROCK STARS - On a nightly basis, no matter how good or bad the Raps play, no matter if they blow out a team or if they get blown out and no matter if they win or lose, these are the Raptors with the best 'Pound the Rock' status for the night.

FINAL SCORE:   PACERS 90, RAPTORS 88    SEASON RECORD: 0W-1L


POUND THE ROCK STAR #3: KYLE LOWRY
LINE:  21 pts (6-11), 2-3 3pt, 7-7 FT, 8 ast, 7 reb, 5 stl
What more can you ask for from your newly acquired starting point guard on opening night? Lowry did not let up once during the game and pushed the pace from beginning to end. Aside from his 21 pts, he was able to force Indiana shot clock violations, stole inbound passes turning them into points and was fantastic on help defense. Even with the loss, no need for concern here.

About This Blog

Welcome to Hip Hoop Junkies, your blogging portal to the NBA world from a Canadian perspective. We'll tell you about the Toronto Raptors, we'll tell you about Jay Triano, we'll keep you up to date on Steve Nash, hell, we'll even talk about Todd MacCulloch's pinball career. This is where the Canadian flavour of the NBA is highlighted.

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