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News » Toronto Raptors Getting Inside 2008-11-29

Toronto Raptors Getting Inside 2008-11-29

Toronto Raptors Getting Inside 2008-11-29
The Raptors would love to run, both up and down the court, and that they don't is killing them.

Transition defense and the inability to get easy baskets going the other way turns every game into a grind, even the ones they win. And coach Sam Mitchell's a bit miffed about it.

"That's what we have to keep encouraging our guys to do and demanding that they do it," he said. "And get more guys doing it."

One of the reasons Toronto can't run that much may be the health of point guard Jose Calderon. Although he's still second in the NBA in assists, a strained hamstring muscle is limiting his quickness, which wasn't great to start with. But with only unproven rookie Roko Ukic and European journeyman Will Solomon behind him, Calderon has to play. A lot.

"It's tough for him, he plays a lot of minutes so he's got to pick and choose his spots when to run, but he's getting better at it," said Chris Bosh. "He's running a little bit more, if he sees a seam or a gap, he's going to attack it and if he sees one of our wing guys open, he's going to advance the ball because that's always a lot faster than just dribbling."

RAPTORS 93, HAWKS 88: Joey Graham and Jason Kapono, two players hardly thought to be central to any success the Raptors may have this season, came to the team's rescue. Graham finished with 11 points and five rebounds, but it was his willingness to run the floor and get on the boards that was his most significant contribution. And Kapono, an offensive afterthought on too many occasions, erupted for 16 points in 22 minutes, working off screens for quick two-pointers and using his hair-trigger release to get off shots while being guarded. He also iced the game with a couple of free throws with 15 seconds left to put Toronto up five.

And while those two were making somewhat surprising contributions, Chris Bosh was up to his usual excellence, leading the Raptors in scoring and rebounding in another dominant night. While not as effective shooting as he had been on Wednesday, when he missed only five of 20 field goal attempts, he turned a 13-for-26 night from the floor into a 30-point outing.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: November 29, 2008


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