Posts Tagged ‘Toronto Raptors’

NBA Las Vegas Summer League: Day Six Rookie Recap

July 16th, 2010

Game 1

Houston Rockets 82 def. Denver Nuggets 75

Patrick Patterson – HOU: His shooting was inconsistent for the week, but his overall game looks promising. Solid rebounding presence down low, but he can get up and down the court with ease. He can also step outside for a pick and pop, looking comfortable when shooting mid-range jump shots. He had six points and 10 boards in this one.

Ishmael Smith – HOU: Was awesome in this game, putting up 15 points, six assists, and only one turnover in 29 minutes. Most of his buckets are at or near the basket, so his field goal percentages will be good. Really quick in transition and can get in the lane virtually whenever he wants.

Laurence Ekperigin – DEN: Crazy efficient day for Ekperigin, scoring 21 points on 7-of-11 shooting in 17 minutes. He also grabbed six rebounds.


Game 2

Toronto Raptors 102 def. New York Knicks 89

Ed Davis – TOR: Shows the potential to be a really good post scorer. Has good footwork and hands in the paint. Has shot 65 percent in three games so far and could be a little more assertive in getting the ball, but nothing to really complain about. Davis scored 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting yesterday.

Solomon Alabi – TOR: Efficient outing for the center out of Florida State. He notched nine points and eight rebounds in 19 minutes. He’s not going to dominate down low, but it’s always nice to have a competent seven-footer playing for your club. Alabi could easily be that in this league.

Andy Rautins – NY: Known as a shooter, Rautins hasn’t gotten off to a great start with his shot. Many of them are tightly contested, and it looks like he might be forcing it a little. He’s a smart player who will probably work in the flow of a better offense, but hasn't seen any luck yet.

Landry Fields – NY: Didn’t shoot the ball that well today, but Fields has a really versatile offensive game. The wing player out of Stanford can stay out on the perimeter be a shooter, but he can also get into the lane where he ends up going to the line quite often. Now if he could get his free throw percentage above 70 percent, that would be great.


Game 3

San Antonio Spurs 89 def. Atlanta Hawks 84

Jordan Crawford – ATL: The first round pick looks like a legitimate scorer. Might be tough to get minutes this year with a logjam at the guard position, but he looks promising. He's stayed active, facilitating others on the offensive end, and grabbing steals on the defensive end. Crawford recorded 20 points, two assists, and three steals in this one.


Game 4

Chicago Bulls 79 def. Los Angeles Clippers 50

Matt Bouldin - CHI: The tall point guard out of Gonzaga mostly shot kick-out threes today, going 2-of-4 from downtown. Ended up with eight points, three rebounds, and three assists.

Samardo Samuels – CHI: Solid rebounding effort for the former Louisville product, who grabbed nine, but was a little foul happy with eight in 22 minutes. With the loaded Chicago frontcourt, Samuels is likely auditioning for other clubs.

Al-Farouq Aminu – LAC: Really struggled with his shot today, going 3-of-15. This seems like the struggle of someone who is trying to add a mid-range game to his deep shooting game. He has been working on it all summer and it has been looking better, despite this outing. Hit two three-pointers in this game and his shooting motion looks better. Aminu is clearly a work in progress, but if he develops a solid outside game, this kid could be deadly.

Eric Bledsoe – LAC: Struggles continued into the second game for Bledsoe, as his shot isn’t falling. And he keeps giving up the ball. It’s only been two games, but he’s averaged 33 percent form the field and 8.5 turnovers in those two games. Anyone who watched him at Kentucky knows that the talent level is there. Let’s see if he can turn things around in these last few games.

Willie Warren – LAC: Forgettable stat line of five points on 2-6 shooting with two turnovers in 23 minutes. Not to worry though, he just signed with the Clippers a couple days ago.



Las Vegas Summer League: Day Five Rookie Recap

July 15th, 2010

Game 1

Denver Nuggets 99 def. Chicago Bulls 71

Laurence Ekperigin —DEN: Efficient outing for the rookie out of Le Moyne College. 4-4 from the field and wasn't shy in attacking the basket. Going to the basket nine times, Ekperigin scored 14-points in 15-minutes.

Matt Bouldin —CHI: Long-shot to make a roster, but this guy is a scrappy player with a solid basketball IQ. Bouldin has the size to play point guard in the NBA, but will any team give him a look? 8-points and 4 assists shooting 2-4 from downtown.

Samardo Samuels —CHI: Originally a strong prospect coming out of high school, Samuels went undrafted and is now just trying to make a roster.  We'll see if he makes waves in the summer league and gets some of the hype back. Relatively limited minutes in his first action, but was active offensively. Went to the line 10 times en-route to scoring 8-points with 3 rebounds, but committed four slopping turnovers.

Game 2

Cleveland Cavaliers 88 def. D-League Select 82

Marquis Gilstrap –CLE: Playing just two-minutes in this game Gilstraps only recorded statistic for the afternoon, a single turnover. Hopefully we'll get to see a better sample size for this 6'7" athletic wing player.

Manny Harris –CLE: The talented wing player out of Michigan did not see any playing time in this game, but might be featured in later games.

Game 3

Toronto Raptors 100 def. Houston Rockets 91

Ed Davis –TOR: Playing alongside Weems and DeRozan, Davis wasn't looking to dominate the ball— one thing is certain, if this 6'9" power forward expects to make a roster, he will need to be more  assertive and active in the post, calling for the ball. After 26 minutes of play Davis had a forgettable stat line of 4 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 turnovers. 

Solomon Alabi –TOR: Had five offensive rebounds in this game, Alabi used his length to keep some offensive possessions alive. Otherwise a relatively unimpressive stat line for the 7-footer.

Patrick Patterson –HOU: After struggling for a couple games, Patterson put it back together and had a solid performance. Patterson is one of the few quality big men this year who can play both inside and out—the former Kentucky Wildcat had 14 points and 9 rebounds in this one. Unable to match the play of an outstanding first game, this guy still looks like he's gonna be a solid rotation player for the Rockets this year.

Ishmael Smith –HOU: The speedy point guard put together a solid effort with 9 assists with only one turnover in 22-minutes. However, the lack of a consistent jumper hurts him, but he can get into the lane and make things happen and could be a nice change of pace backup point guard for a team.

Game 4

Memphis Grizzlies 67 def. Milwaukee Bucks 64

Greivis Vasquez –MEM: This ACC player of the year didn't shoot the ball well. He's a taller point guard which helps him in some areas, but I don't think he has the athleticism to stay in front of some faster point guards. Again, tough to see where minutes will come from especially with OJ Mayo looking to take over some PG duties this year.

Xavier Henry –MEM: Not with team.

Larry Sanders –MIL: Much better game for the rookie out of VCU. Shot the ball well and even acquiring a couple from behind the arch. Sanders looks comfortable from both the outside as well as in paint. High motor with a solid all around game with 22 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 blocks. Came up clutch, tying the game on a 3-pointer in the last couple seconds.

Tiny Gallon –MIL: The big guy really cleaned the glass in 21-minutes on the court, grabbing 11 boards. Efficient scorer as he can really bang down low, but he has some turnover issues. Gallon finished with 8-points on 4-6 shooting with a total of 6 turnovers.


*Please visit to see Games 5 through 7.


2010 NBA Summer League: Should Toronto Raptors Keep Joey Dorsey?

July 14th, 2010

The Toronto Raptors' front office has been very busy these days with yet another Bryan Colangelo-type complex trade deals while NBA Summer League is taking its course.

It was inevitable that fans directed their attention onto the possible new Raptors such as Boris Diaw, Leandro Barbosa, and Tyson Chandler. However, in terms of developing of our own, this glorified street ball event deserves to steal some focus.

After watching the game one against Phoenix Suns, I came to the conclusion that only one player stood out against the very weak the Suns team.

That player wasn't the athletic freak, the D-League veteran being treated as a rookie, lefty big men with tons of potential or the long big men with no fundamentals.

Of course the players mentioned above played well enough, they just didn't shatter my mind and they played pretty much like I expected them to do.

However, Joey Dorsey was a monster out there! The first thing I thought was how similar his game is to Dwight Howard's.

He grabbed 11 rebounds in just under 20 minutes and scored six points with 66 percent shooting from the field. He looked tough and competitive, moreover, he was like a vacuum on the offensive boards.

It is hard to believe this kid is listed at 6' 8" (with almost 7' 2" wingspan though), because he plays longer than his size suggests.

Right now, Dorsey looks like a rich man's Reggie Evans with slightly better offensive game, which simply means he kind of has one.

He is younger and appears to have stronger motor. He is far more athletic than Evans and he doesn't have a $5 million price tag.

Unlike Evans, Dorsey knows his place during the offense and he doesn't have the sudden urge to look weird on the court while trying to make a hook shot.

Sounds like a no-brainer to keep this hardworking kid fighting his way to NBA for half a million dollars, right? It might not be the case...

Depending on roster moves and player acquisitions, Dorsey might be the odd man out. His contract is not guaranteed and he might be cut loose if the team goes over the luxury tax limit.

With reports coming from inside sources that Michael Jordan might be backing out on the recent trade, the 2010-2011 roster continues to be an enigma.

Even though we still haven't seen the end of it, I just hope that Dorsey finally gets his break as a Raptor. His value shouldn't be overlooked in this free agency climate.

Suns Wave Goodbye to Amar’e Stoudemire, Say Hello to Hedo Turkoglu

July 13th, 2010

Since Amar'e Stoudemire left the desert earlier this month, the Phoenix Suns have been on shaky ground as they watched teams like the Heat and Lakers add pieces to their rosters.

Until this morning.

Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic broke the news that the Suns were close to finishing a trade with the Toronto Raptors that would send six foot ten inch forward Hedo Turkoglu to Phoenix in exchange for seven-year veteran guard Leandro Barbosa and another contract.

It was also reported that former Atlanta Hawk Josh Childress was heading to Phoenix in a sign-and-trade in exchange for a second round draft pick in 2012.

A collective sigh of relief fell over the city of Phoenix.

Many fans, myself included, began the usual process of determining how these brand new acquisitions would fit in with their latest team.

No disrespect to Josh Childress, we know he will bring an athletic floor running game to the Suns, but the "sexier" name is Hedo Turkoglu.

For many NBA fans, it was the first time they had heard the words "Hedo Turkoglu" since the Magic fell to the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2009 NBA Finals and Turkoglu's name was mentioned in several 2009 offseason free agent rumors.

His past season with Toronto was forgettable.

Many would like to remember him for his creativity and late-game shots throughout the 2009 playoffs rather than his struggles with the Raptors (11.3 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 4.1 apg, 41 percent fg, and 37 percent 3pt).

How Turkoglu fits in with the 2010 Western Conference Finalist Suns will be a mystery until the 2010-11 NBA season tips off in late October.

Even so, there are tons of questions to be answered.

Will he play the four? Can he create with Nash running the offense? Can he help the Suns rebounding problems?

No one truly knows. Those answers will have to wait.

For once, Suns fans everywhere can hold their heads up high. Their team is making offseason moves to improve rather than clear cap space.


GM Turned Miracle Worker? How Bryan Colangelo Saved the Raptors Future

July 13th, 2010

The revolving door that is the Toronto Raptors' off-season keeps on spinning.

We all knew Chris Bosh was on his way out of town. Who knew that both Hedo Turkoglu and Jose Calderon would be following him? It is a new beginning for many Raptors fans who have accepted that next season should be a sombre one. With the trading of these two, Raptors management has put themselves in a position to spend in upcoming free agency classes (Chris Paul/Deron Williams, anyone?).

The Raptors opened with trading Hedo Turkoglu, last year’s prize acquisition turned disappointment extraordinaire, for a serviceable backup in Leandro Barbosa, along with a trade chip in Dwayne Jones.

This will allow Barbosa to either become a starter for the first time in his career, or give the Raptors a former 6th man of the year who provides explosive scoring and savvy perimeter defence.

This alone would be a fantastic trade for Raptor fans. Toronto would ultimately be shedding away two years off Hedo’s contract. Both players make roughly the same amount per year. On top of that, Barbosa is one of the quickest players in the league, and able to defend multiple positions.

While I won’t disagree with Turkoglu being the better player of the two, having Barbosa on the team will allow the Raptors to run a very up-tempo system. They already have one of the most athletic back-courts in the league with the likes of Demar DeRozan and Sonny Weems in the fold.

The pairing of Jarrett Jack and Barbosa would also be one of the best defensive back-courts the Raptors have put together in quite some time.

What the Raptors lose is one of the premier point-forwards in the league. Turkoglu has the ability to stretch the floor, create mismatches, and make plays better than anyone standing at 6’10. The only problem is that he didn’t fit in with the Raptors, and was not worth the money they paid.

Now for the second aspect of this trade: Sending Jose Calderon and Reggie Evans, along with the newly acquired Dwayne Jones, to the Charlotte Bobcats for Boris Diaw and Tyson Chandler.

This trade may have ensured Brian Colangelo’s extension with the team.

By turning Calderon’s three-year, $30 million deal into Chandler’s one year, $12.8 million and Diaw’s two year, $18 million contracts, the Raptors are now in position to make a big splash in free agency as soon as next year.

Worst case scenario: Both players are unable to play to their potential, and become bargaining chips in possible trades for teams looking for expiring contracts. Best case, both play to their potential, and give the Raptors fans some hope this upcoming season.

If Chandler can have the same chemistry with Jarrett Jack as he did with Chris Paul, he could very well turn back into a legitimate double-double threat. Especially with the lack of rebounding from the Raptors front-court to begin with. A better, and more realistic hope is for him to simply be healthy, play defence, and rebound. If he can do that, he will fit in nicely with the Raptors.

As for Diaw, he could be the wild card in the deal. With a potential logjam of power forwards on the Raptors roster, it is definitely a possibility he gets flipped to some other team. Rumors have the Raps looking for one more trade this off-season. With as many as six power forwards on the roster, look for one of them to be moved.

Considering how bleak (and expensive) the Raptors future looked last week, these two trades are no doubt a success. These were not made in hopes of building a championship contender (even playoffs still seem a lofty goal), but simply to shed salary in order to prepare for life without Bosh. We in Raptorland have grown used to Colangelo’s flipping of players, and until he commits to rebuilding, we will still remain pessimistic towards our future.

For today, though, I must congratulate Raptors management. You made the right decision. And these Toronto Raptors will be fun to watch.

Just hope they don’t pull a New Jersey.  

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