Archive for December, 2009

Calderon Out Again

Sunday, December 20th, 2009

Sunday December 20 2009 – 12:05pm Eastern – Toronto, ON

Jay Triano just confirmed – in his pre-game chat with the media – that Jose Calderon (hip) will miss this afternoon’s tilt against the New Orleans Hornets.

Calderon has been out of the Raptors’ line up since December 11 against the Hawks.

The Raptors guard first injured his hip on December 5 against Chicago.  He was hobbled in the first half but after going to the locker room to get assessed and treated, he was set to come back in the 2nd half.  But with Toronto blowing out the Bulls, the decision was made to rest Calderon for the remainder of the game.

He sat out Toronto’s next 2 games – wins over Minnesota and Milwaukee – before returning against Atlanta. 

However, after playing only 7 minutes, Calderon gave word to the bench that the hip still didn’t feel right and he sat out the rest of that blowout loss to the Hawks.

The Spanish PG has now missed the last 4 games (Houston (W), Miami (L), Orlando (L), and New Jersey (W)).  This will be his 5th straight game out of the line up.

Triano said that there is still no timetable for Calderon’s return.

Jarrett Jack will continue to start for T.O.

E. Smith

Toronto Spanks New Jersey

Friday, December 18th, 2009

Friday December 18 2009 – 10:45pm Eastern – Toronto, ON

Nets at Raptors

118-95, Raptors win (Toronto now 12-17 overall)

Smith and Jones Player of the Game:

AMIR JOHNSON

- 18 points

- 7 rebounds

- 2 steals

- 2 blocks

- 7/10 FG

“Alice Fazoolis” Player of the Game:

DeMAR DeROZAN

- 16 points

- 4 rebounds

- 6/8 FG

- 4/5 FT

Shout-out to the Nets:

CHRIS DOUGLAS-ROBERTS

- 16 points

- 4 assists

- 3 rebounds

- 7/12 FG

Stats That Stood Out:

- TOR put up 39 first quarter points (while shootinh 65 per cent)

- TOR led by as many as 37 points in the 1st half

- NJ had 16 turnovers in the 1st half

- Raptors had 50 points in the paint after only 3 quarters

- For what it’s worth, though they never led in the game and trailed by as many as 40 points at one point, NJ did out-score TOR in the 2nd half (62-48)

Thumbs Up:

- Jumping on NJ early … scoring *70* points in the 1st half

Thumbs Down:

- After coughing up only 2 turnovers in the 1st half, TOR had 13 in the 2nd half

Smith Says:

- “This may have been exactly what the doctor ordered for the Raptors: a big-time blowout win. But they key is now trying to bottle what worked against the Nets, and carry it over to the Hornets, Pistons, Bobcats … and beyond.”

Jones Says:

- “This kind of effort was expected tonight. Would it have been the same result against another team? Doesn’t matter … cause the effort was there.”

Keeping the 3PT Streak Alive (now 889 straight games with a 3-ball):

- Toronto was 6/9 from distance

Next Game:

- Sunday December 20 2009

- New Orleans at Toronto (12:30pm Eastern)

- We’ll be on the air with the pre-game show at 12:00pm and bring you the tip-off (and the “Pizza Pizza” starting line ups) just after 12:30pm 

Missed “The Rap”? You can listen to it here:

[audio:http://qml.quiettouch.com/files/radio/fan590/hotaudio/therap-fan-20091218.mp3]

Talk to ya then folks.

Have a good one.

E. Smith

If This Is It

Friday, December 18th, 2009

Friday December 18 2009 – 10:42am Eastern – Toronto, ON

I took a day off from the blog yesterday but it certainly wasn’t an off-day for me overall …

I got home at 3am from the flight from Orlando … was back on the air with Jack Armstrong on “The Game Plan” at 2pm … went to the SUN TV studios to record “The Grill Room” at 430pm … and then was back at the FAN hosting “Hoops” – alongside Paul Jones – at 7pm.

By the time I walked through my front door again around 930pm, I realized I hadn’t even been home from a full 24 hours yet and I had jammed a ton of stuff into a short time period … but I let the blog slide.  Sorry I didn’t check in yesterday folks!

And if you missed “Hoops” last night … you missed almost 2 hours of Dr. Jones and Dr. Smith talking to their patients on the leather couch in the psychiatrist’s office.  Folks were fired-up – and distraught – about the Raptors last night!  Heck, we canceled two of our guests last night in order to clear more space for more callers ’cause the phone lines were jammed and overflowing.

From trades to firings … signings and hirings … the Raptor Nation was united in their displeasure with Toronto’s disappointing play and somewhat alarming 11-17 record.

But is there “hope” on the horizon?

Before the calendar flips to 2010, here’s how the schedule unfolds:

vs New Jersey
vs New Orleans
at Detroit
vs Detroit
vs Charlotte

With 4 of the 5 games at HOME, the Raptors must take advantage and get themselves back on track.  Plus, while their 11-17 record clearly proves they’re not exactly striking the fear of God in opponents either, Toronto must look at the fact that every single on of these games is against a team that is under .500.  There are no powerhouses to stare down (including New Orleans (who the Raps already beat this year anyway)).

This 5-game stretch could make or break season for the Raptors.

If Jay Triano’s crew goes 3 and 2 over the next 2 weeks, they’ll be 5 below .500 heading into the new year.  That’s ‘manageable’ I guess in the grand scheme of things.

Going 4-1 – or dare I even suggest … 5-0 – would go a long way in getting Toronto back on track and possibly restore the team confidence as well.  At 4-1 (or 5-0) Toronto would enter 2010 only 3 (or 1) games below .500 … with the toughest part of the schedule having already past in the opening 2 months of the season and nearly half (17/41) of the road sked already done.

However, if the Raptors sputter over this 5-game stretch and manage to go just 2-3 … or 1-4 (I’m not even going to mention 0-5) and enter the new calendar year nearly 10 games below .500 … with Boston, San Antonio, and Orlando looming large as the first 3 games of 2010 … I’m afraid the season could be lost.

So this is it.  These 5 games.  Make or break.

E. Smith

Too Much Magic For Toronto

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

Wednesday December 16 2009 – 9:50pm Eastern – Orlando, FL

Raptors @ Magic

Final Score:
118 – 99, Magic (Toronto now 11-17)

“Smith and Jones” Player of the Game:
DWIGHT HOWARD
18 points
14 rebounds
8 blocked shots
6/7 FG
6/8 FT

“Alice Fazoolis” Player of the Game:
MATT BARNES
20 points
6 rebounds
3 assists
7/10 FG
4/4 FT

Shout-out to the Raptors:

CHRIS BOSH
20 points
6 rebounds
3 assists
7/11 FG
6/9 FT

Stats that stood out:
- Fast-break Points:  16-4 Magic
- Magic out-rebound the Raptors 42-31
- Jason Williams goes 5/6 from the floor for 13 points, 7 assists, and no turnovers
- Magic shoot 57.3% for the game
- Orlando out-scores the Raptors in every quarter
- Howard’s 8 blocks were a season high
- Barnes’ 20 points were a season high
- Vince Carter ties a career high with 7 assists
- Orlando has 14 blocks (total) as a team … the Raptors had ZERO

Thumbs Up:
- This is a back-handed ‘thumbs up’ … but Pops Mensah-Bonsu’s meaningless dunk with :6.5 seconds to go kept the Raptors from dropping their 5TH straight loss of 20 or more points.  Instead, they lose by 19.  In Toronto’s 17 losses this year, they’ve had 5 by 20 or more … 2 by 19 … and 1 by 18.  Ouch.

Thumbs Down:
- Andrea Bargnani did not register a rebound until the 4TH quarter (finished with 2 in 30:08 minutes)

Smith Says:
- “Toronto was dismantled by a better team.  The Magic are so deep … so talented.”

Jones Says:
- “There’s nothing left to say.  See ya Friday night against New Jersey.”

Keep the 3-ball Streak Alive (888 games and counting):
- The Raptors were 5 of 12 from 3PT range

Next game:
- Nets @ Raptors – Friday December 18 2009 – 7:00pm Eastern
- Tune in at 7:00pm for the “Pizza Pizza” starting line ups

* Missed the post-game show?  You can catch it right here:

[audio:http://qml.quiettouch.com/files/radio/fan590/hotaudio/TheRap-es-20091216.mp3]

VLOG 16.0 – ORLANDO, FL

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

Wednesday December 16 2009 – 12:49pm Eastern – Orlando, FL

Alright … the 85+ degree temperatures in Miami are gone!  It’s cool and cloudy here in Orlando; similar to the way the Raptors must be (or SHOULD be) feeling today following last night’s blowout loss to the Heat.

ANOTHER back-to-back for the Raptors … as they face the Magic tonight.

Key stat to watch for:  Orlando is 11-2 when scoring 100 points or more.  The Raptors are 8-0 when holding opponents under 100.

Enjoy the VLOG!

Jonesy and I are on the air at 7pm tonight.  And on the halftime show this evening:  Our exclusive chat with Hedo Turkoglu RE: his return to Orlando.

Have a good one

E. Smith

Heat Ice the Raptors

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

Tuesday December 15 2009 – 10:17pm Eastern – Miami, FL

Raptors @ Heat

Final Score:
115 – 95, Heat (Toronto now 11-16)

“Smith and Jones” Player of the Game:
DWYANE WADE
19 points
7 assists
8/19 FG

“Alice Fazoolis” Player of the Game:
* Unfortunately, we weren’t joined by a member of the Heat, but this is who we would have wanted:
MICHAEL BEASLEY
28 points
11 rebounds
11/19 FG
6/6 FT

Shout-out to the Raptors:

CHRIS BOSH
28 points
2 rebounds
4 assists
9/13 FG
10/11 FT

Stats that stood out:
- Wade had two fouls in the 1st QRT and was on the bench to start the 2nd, but the Raps could not take advantage as they coughed up 36 points to the Heat in that frame, and trailed 60-50 at the half
- Bosh did not have a single rebound in the first half
- Toronto’s starting PG, Jarrett Jack:  1/3 FG, 6 points, 1 assist, 5 turnovers
- Beasley’s 28 points tied a career-high
- Points in the Paint:  52-30 Heat
- 2nd Chance Points:  14-6 Heat
- Fast-break Points:  19-8 Heat
- Heat out-rebound the Raptors 45-32
- Marco Belinelli off the Raptors bench:  0 for 7 FG.  Finished with 6 points (6/6 FT)

Thumbs Up:
- Bosh carried the load, AGAIN.  Give him full credit for his ability to score but his team must start to step up around him.

Thumbs Down:
-This was Toronto’s FIFTH loss of the season of 20 or more points.  Including in the mix as well … an 18-point loss and a 19-point as well.

Smith Says:
- “This team is an enigma.”

Jones Says:
- “Another puzzling display by the Raptors as, again, they lacked energy after the 1st quarter.”

Keep the 3-ball Steak Alive (887 games and counting):
- The Raptors were 2 of 11 from 3PT range

Next game:
- Raptors @ Magic – Wednesday December 16 2009 – 7:00pm Eastern
- Tune in at 7:00pm for the “Pizza Pizza” starting line ups

* Missed the post-game show?  You can catch it right here:

[audio:http://qml.quiettouch.com/files/radio/fan590/hotaudio/TheRap-es-20091215.mp3]

VLOG 15.1 – MIAMI, FL

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

Tuesday December 15 2009 – 2:30pm Eastern – Miami, FL

The sun is shining and I don’t want to leave!

But it’s game-day here in Miami and this is an important game for the Raptors.  As you’ll hear/see in the VLOG, I agree with Jack Armstrong RE: his column on TSN.ca ( http://www.tsn.ca/nba/story/?id=302340 ), there’s no reason why Toronto shouldn’t be staring at the Heat and saying “We can beat you and catch you for #5 in the East … at the very least”.

Enjoy the VLOG folks

It’ll be the same usual suspects for the Raptors tonight.  Other than Jose Calderon (back in Toronto (hip)) there are no injuries to report so the starting 5 will remain the same (Jack, Bosh, Turkoglu, DeRozan, Bargnani).

Jonesy and I will be on the air at 7pm with the pre-game show.  We’re jammed tonight with 1 on 1′s with Sonny Weems, Marcus Banks, Chris Bosh, and Jack Armstrong.  We’ll have the tip just after 730pm

Have a good one

E. Smith

VLOG 15.0 – Miami, FL

Monday, December 14th, 2009

Monday December 14 2009 – 3:00pm Eastern – Miami, FL

We’re keeping in short but sweet in today’s VLOG.

I hate to rub it in … but it’s 85 degrees in Miami today … so it’s more time in the sun and less time on the VLOG!

Enjoy.

We’ll try to tape the VLOG outside tomorrow – on game-day.  It was too windy to do so today.

Have a good one folks.  Stay warm.

E. Smith

Raptors Blast Rockets

Monday, December 14th, 2009

Monday December 14 2009 – 10:50am Eastern – Miami, FL

Rockets @ Raptors (Sun. Dec. 13 2009)

Final Score:
101 – 88, Raptors (Toronto now 11-15)

“Smith and Jones” Player of the Game:
JARRETT JACK
17 points
8 assists
8 rebounds
6/10 FG

“Alice Fazoolis” Player of the Game:
CHRIS BOSH
27 points
6 rebounds
3 assists
11/19 FG

Listen to Bosh’s post-game interview:
[audio:http://qml.quiettouch.com/files/radio/fan590/hotaudio/chrisbosh-fan590-20091213.mp3]

Shout-out to the Rockets:

CARL LANDRY
25 points
7 rebounds
10/13 FG
2/2 FT

Stats that stood out:
- Toronto was up 15 after 1 QRT … built the lead up to as many as 22 … and 9 would be the closest Houston would get the rest of the day
- Trevor Ariza:  0 for 9 FG, 1 point, 4 turnovers … and ejected from the ball game as well (for a bush-league punch and elbow swung in the direction of rookie DeMar DeRozan)
- Hedo Turkoglu:  23 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists
- Toronto had NINE blocked shots
- Houston shot just 36.8% for the game (including Aaron Brooks:  6 for 20 (and Ariza’s 0 for 9))

Thumbs Up:
- Sonny Weems, Amir Johnson, and Pops Mensah-Bonsu, and Marcus Banks for their outstanding hustle and energy in Toronto’s second unit.  They got the crowd fired-up as well and made some key plays – especially when they stepped onto the floor in the 2nd QRT.

Thumbs Down:
- Jose Calderon’s hip.  He’ll miss the next 3 (including yesterday) at the very least.  But with no word on any ‘structural damage’, could this be another injury that lingers and plagues the team (and Calderon himself obviously) on and off throughout the season?

Smith Says:
- “That may have been the most complete game we’ve seen from the Raptors this season.  Other than opening night against the Cavs, I haven’t seen the attention to detail and the energy like this in a long, long time.”

Jones Says:
- n/a

Keep the 3-ball Steak Alive (886 games and counting):
- The Raptors were 5 of 12 from 3PT range

Next game:
- Raptors @ Heat – Tuesday December 15 2009 – 7:30pm Eastern
- Tune in at 7:00pm for the pre-game show and just after 7:30pm for the “Pizza Pizza” starting line ups

Calderon To Miss 3

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

Sunday December 13 2009 – 11:53am Eastern – Toronto, ON

Jose Calderon will not play on Sunday afternoon against the Houston Rockets.

In fact, the Spanish guard will miss the next THREE games for the Raptors … as he won’t travel to Miami or Orlando either.

There’s still no word on the severity of Calderon’s hip injury or how long he’ll be out but there are rumblings that he could be sidelined for at least a week if not longer.   Following today’s game against the Rockets and the back-to-back in Florida, Toronto hosts New Jersey on Friday and New Orleans next Sunday.

Without Calderon, Jarrett Jack will start for the Raptors … and Marcus Banks will see the bulk of the minutes as Jack’s back-up, but you can expect to see Hedo Turkoglu and possibly Marco Belinelli handling the ball a bit more for the Raps as well.

E. Smith

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