Discussion in 'February 2007' started by max, Feb 8, 2007.
Toronto Feb 10 7:30PM
Raptors are gutting out some tough wins lately. They're 25 and 23. Doesn't look like Knicks and Nets can hang with them.
A serious dose of "you got a long way to go baby".
Both teams come into the game with 5 game winning streaks with their 5th win vs the falling Lakers. The Raptors will be in a back-to-back situation and didn't handle the Lakers with ease as the Pistons did. However this is the first meeting this season for the two team, so we are not sure how teams will matchup other than the Pistons have the veterans and the Raptors have the up and coming international cast. Don't think it will be as easy as some think, but the Pistons who are on a roll & have finally turned it on at the Palace, should get the homecookin and the win.
The zone defense has recieved props for stopping Lebron and Kobe, let`s see how successful it is against Bosh and the young athletic Raptors.
Toronto appears to be putting in some work. i am looking forward to Detroit killing these cats and pooping on their self esteem.
Here is your pre-game primer....
So last night I am channel surfing and Raptors TV (our northern version of NBATV) has their two resident player experts on a court breaking down Rip Hamilton's game. It was about 15 minutes long and super interesting. They showed how much of Rip's running of screens is choreography and how much it is freestyle. How he stops on a dime, lets his man run into him and then takes off in another direction as screen are set. It's all a setup for the defender, and as they put it, "Hamilton scores through execution and exhaustion". We get tons of good programming like that as they try to sell the game up here. Obviously they try to sell the Raptors, but do an excellent job of selling the game of basketball to new fans as well.
Enough gushing about that though. I did manage to catch 10 minutes of the first and 5 minutes of the second half of the Raptors against the Lakers.
Admittedly I have not watched a whole lot of Raptors basketball this year, but enough to provide a little player information.
First off, the Raptors like to run. Last night, TJ Ford returned to the starting lineup after coming off the bench for several games. He was injured and the Raptors played very well with Jose Calderon as the starting PG. Although the Lakers tried to keep the game at a deliberate tempo, they had no answer for the Raptors swarming team attack.
On defense, the Raptors play a zone/man mix similar to the Pistons. They have hustle players who play under control, forcing 3 more turnovers than they give up over their last 10 games. A lot of their defense is predicated on solid offensive execution similar to the philosophy the Pistons employ.
Right now, the Pistons and Raptors are the two hottest teams in the East, both bringing 8-2 records (last 10) into tonight's matchup.
PGs - Ford and Calderon are both small guards with quickness. Neither is much of a threat to score with long jumpers, but both can penetrate and get to the rim. Ford likes to probe and attack, he's so damn quick he can beat almost any defender, and occasionally the second level defender as well for easy layups. Calderon is the setup man, he's a super skilled passer that has developed a lot of patience in his second year. When he looks to score, Jose is deadly, shooting 57+% during those last 10 games, and 90% from the free throw line.
SGs - Anthony Parker is the starting SG, with Morris Peterson backing up SG and SF. Parker is a Euroleague legend, his last stint in the NBA was with Philly I believe. Parker is a scorer and a veteran defender. He doesn't possess a lot of athleticism, but he can get above the rim and make tough shots in traffic. He's also the team's most prolific 3 point shooter, recently hitting 45% of his long ball attempts. He's not a threat to pass, when he makes his move, he's trying to finish. Imagine a smart Flip Murray with range. Mo Pete has been coming off of the Raptors bench, he brings a similar game to Parker, although he is absolutely no threat to share the ball.
SFs - Jorge Garbajosa is the starting SF. He's a 29 year old rookie from Spain. The Raptor's glue guy, not much of a shooter, but a frantic defender and rebounder. Amazingly, he does not pick up many fouls considering he is a rookie and plays quite physically. Look for him to negate Tayshaun through hustle. Mo Pete also backs up this position at times.
PFs - Chris Bosh. Not much left to say about this guy. He has range, he's a savvy scorer and has learned how to use his wiry frame to his advantage. He's done a great job racking up free throw attempts on his defenders, to the tune of 11 per game during the recent stretch. Bosh is shooting 57% from the field, and will step out for a 3 pointer now and again. He's fast, he's a tremendous finisher and he's almost impossible to rattle. At 40 MPG, he's a 30 point scorer. Beating the Raptors means beating Bosh. Andreas Bargnani also plays in the front court rotation. He was the #1 pick in the last draft, a Dirk Nowitski type player without the veteran savvy. Bargnani likes to shoot and frequently finds himself open on the baseline for jumpers. Andreas is strictly a perimeter player, unlikely to crash the boards or go strong to the hoop. If you leave him open, he will heave up shots at a poor percentage (but he can get hot).
Cs - Rasho Nesterovic is the only true center on this team. He's a slower, robotic player with the ability to clean up easy boards and block some shots. Right now, the Raptors are only playing Rasho 24 minutes per game, and rarely late in close matches.
The Raptors are a bonafide scoring machine. They have almost 6 rotation players shooting 50% or better and 5 players shooting 3s at 40+%. They get beat on the boards but take care of the ball, producing only 11 turnovers vs. 14 by their opponents. They also pass well (24 assists per game , last 10) and shoot early in the shot clock.
The Pistons will have to control tempo and go directly at Bosh on offense. Racking up fouls on Nesterovic is pointless, as it will encourage the Raptors to go to their running game that much faster, with small ball lineups consisting of;
Ford - Calderon - Parker - Peterson - Bargnani - Bosh - Garbajosa
A big test for Chris Webber as he's prone to fouls and doesn't have the range to defend Bargnani or Bosh in the high post.
Should be a great game. Detroit toughness against Toronto speed.
Sheed wil have his hand full again, back to back left handers. Did a great job on Odom on Thursday, hopefully he can match it with Bosh this time.
I'd also like to add that Billups can post up both Calderon and Ford. He will have to do something to negate their speed attack and getting them into foul trouble may be it.
Of course, these guys are going to run Billups ragged, the Pistons will have to be crisp with their rotations. The Raptors are fairly complete in their attack, so the zone may work against the Pistons unless the Raps go cold from the outside.
We will have to keep up on offense and play smart.
I thought we should have got calderon and to a lesser extent sergio rodriguez. I think at the time we had arroyo who is in a similar mode as calderon but probably more experienced. Calderon is maturing nicely though. And instead of either, we have lindsey hunter still.
Both teams have 5 game winning streaks. Whose winning streak will be snapped? Hopefully the Raptors. They arent doing that well on the road 9-16 if i remember correctly. Detroit needs to pick up their playing at home and beat the Raptors. I think the Pistons will win this one in a tight game though.
ALL I KNOW IS:
1. Chris Bosh was the number 4 pick in the draft. 1)Lebron 3) Anthony and 5)Wade and who did the Pistons take number 2 again? How's that Darko guy working out for us? And who did we get back in trade? This will go down as the worst draft in our Michigan sports history.
2) Anthony parker's sister is Candace, the dunking wunderkind at Tennessee. A healthy Cheryl and Reggie Miller would still crush them though.
3)Is Sergio Mendes the official organ player at Raptor home cames. I bet he could play a funky "O Canada".
....thats all i know.
chauncey will post up, we'll control the tempo, and show these raptors who's the real beast in the east.
If Toronto had Darko on their team, they would have some interior defense and a good chance to beat us. As it is, they have no interior D and this game will be a cakewalk for the Pistons.
We are only talking about 10 games from a team that just learning to play right, as oppose to one thats been playing right for years. People love to jump on the "run-and-gun" band wagon.
The primer is not about Raptor-love. It's about knowing our opponent tonight for folks who may be unfamiliar with them. Toronto is coming in playing quality basketball right now, and now is what matters. What teams did last year, or in November will have no impact on tonight's match.
Thanks for the info Ros.
This could turn out to be one of those statement games.
so ur saying Darko is better than Bosh, my brutha???????
Its looks like 10 out of the Raps last 12 games have been in Toronto. Thats a pretty big homestand, no wonder why they have been winning.
Part of being a good team is taking them out of a familiar environment and seeing if they can win on the road. They are 18-7 at home and 9-16 on the road.
"Admittedly I have not watched a whole lot of Raptors basketball this year, but enough to provide a little player information."
Something tells me you've been sneaking many furtive peeks at this Raptors squad.
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