Podcap: Raptors Beat Grizzlies 96-92

Here’s audio from Dwane Casey, Vince Carter, Kyle Lowry and Greivis Vasquez after Toronto’s 96-92 win over Memphis.

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Vince Carter Talks About Being Honoured Tonight At Air Canada Centre

“It was amazing. They asked me earlier how I would feel or how would I react. You can’t prepare for that whether it was a surprise or you knew it was coming. It was just an amazing feeling and to just be in the moment. See it. Kind of relive it. As it was happening you see all of the stuff and all of the people you played with. As each play was happening I could remember it like it was yesterday.”

Vince Carter talks about the video montage the Toronto Raptors created and showed to honour his contributions to the franchise

Catching Up With Mike Conley Jr.

Mike Conley Jr. talked about the strong start to the season by Memphis, how three-point shooting has helped open things up on the offensive end, Vince Carter’s impact and how crazy it is two expansion teams from Canada are at the top of their respective conference standings.

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Catching Up With Dave Joerger

Memphis Grizzlies head coach Dave Joerger talked with the media about the flu bug that has ravaged the team, three-point shooting opening up things for the offense, Courtney Lee’s confidence and how Toronto and Memphis have grown since last season.

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Dwane Casey’s Scouting Report On The Memphis Grizzlies

Dwane Casey explains how strong three-point shooting from Mike Conley, Courtney Lee and Vince Carter has opened up things for Memphis on the offensive end.

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Introducing Pete Strobl

One of my favorite things about running HOOPSADDICT.com is when talented people want to join the mix.

Over the past few years, a handful of contributors have gone onto full-time gigs in journalism and a handful more have landed on prominent places online writing about the NBA.

The newest addition of talented people on the Hoops Addict roster is Pete Strobl. He played in European Basketball leagues for nearly a decade and he founded The Scoring Factory in Pittsburgh in 2009.

Strobl attended Niagara University on a full athletic scholarship where he also earned a Master’s degree.

I first heard about him after reading his book “Backspin” this past winter and I became an instant fan.

This season he will be attending NBA games across North America and providing readers with insight into the game that only a former player can provide.

DeMar DeRozan Gets The Last Laugh

Earlier this weekend I wrote an article documenting DeMar DeRozan’s shooting woes to start the season.

Shortly after I wrote my article, another article popped up on Raptors Republic pointing out DeRozan’s shooting woes over his first nine games.

Going into last night’s game I felt pretty good that I had spotted an area of concern for the Raptors.

Oops.

DeRozan proved me wrong by going 10-17 from the field while scoring a game-high 27 points.

Not only that, but he went 4-5 shooting the ball from the mid-range. He went 1-1 from the left side of the court, 1-1 from the right side and 2-3 from straight on.

It turns our DeRozan’s lack of worry following his poor game against the Chicago Bulls was justified and a sign of his maturation.

“I’m not worried at all,” he had said after scoring a season-low 10 points in the loss to the Chicago Bulls.

“If this was two years ago I’d think it was the end of the world.”

But that game wasn’t the end of the world and his bounce-back game against Utah where he scored a game-high 27 points proved that.

“Like I tell guys all the time, when you win or you play well everybody is hugging you and kissing you and on your shoulders,” Dwane Casey boasted to the media after Toronto’s 111-93 win over the Uta Jazz.

“When you have a bad game everybody wants to panic. I don’t know how many times Babe Ruth struck out but I guarantee he struck out more than he hit home runs. And when you’re a scorer for a team like DeMar (DeRozan) is for us, you’re going to have nights like that. I don’t care how many he misses, he’s going to come back and hit those same shots and he showed it tonight. I don’t care who we played against tonight; I had confidence he was going to come out and have a big night.”

So, the moral of the story is nine games doesn’t make or break a season.

Silly me for jumping to conclusions.

Off The Dribble – November 15, 2014

Jordan Mercier and I talked about what the Toronto Raptors learned from playing in a nationally televised game, Derrick Rose's latest injury setback and Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving learning a tough lesson.

This week on Off The Dribble for Extra Peterborough 90.5, Jordan Mercier and I talked about what the Toronto Raptors learned from playing in a nationally televised game, Derrick Rose’s latest injury setback and Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving learning a tough lesson.

We also did our 24 Seconds, Hot or Not and Games To Watch segments.

Click here to listen to this show online.

DeMar DeRozan’s Early Season Shooting Woes Are A Concern

DeMar DeRozan’s shooting woes to start the season have become a cause for concern.

Despite the fact DeRozan is leading Toronto in scoring (20.6 points per game) and steals (2.0 per game), there are concerns with his game when you dig deeper into the numbers.

DeRozan has never shot a high field goal percentage over his NBA career (a modest 44% from the field), but he is currently shooting 39.3% from the field which is the lowest of his career while he’s attempting the second highest amount of field goal attempts per game (16.7) of his career.

Never a great shooter from beyond the arc (26.6% on three’s over his NBA career), DeRozan has gone an anemic 2-10 from beyond the arc to start this season. It’s a noticeable dip from the career-high 30% he shot from beyond the arc last season.

When you dig into DeRozan’s advanced numbers on NBA.com his shooting woes become even more worrisome.

DeRozan’s doing a great job hitting shots 10-14 feet from the basket (48%) and within five feet (52.3%), but besides those two areas, he’s struggling mightily.

Nearly half of his 150 field goal attempts this season have been jumpers (64). However, he has only made 18 of those jumpers, good for 28.1%.

Also worth noting is that a large amount of his field goal attempts have come from 15-19 feet (54 of his 150 attempts), yet he’s only making 28.8% of those shots.

The fact that DeRozan’s jumper isn’t falling and he’s electing to shoot from areas of the court where he’s shooting a low percentage make for a troubling tandem.

Still, despite all of this, his head coach, Dwane Casey, was clear last night that DeRozan will continue to have the green light to shoot.

“He missed some shots he normally would make and that he will make as the season goes on,” Casey explained to the media last night after the loss to Chicago. “He’s a smart player and he knows what to take. He took what the game gave him. He had some shots he normally makes and those shots just didn’t fall tonight.”

It will be interesting to see if DeRozan’s early season shooting woes are an anomaly or a glimpse into what could be a tough season for Toronto’s only all-star.

Based on his poor shot selection mixed with his inability to hit jumpers, it could be a long, challenging season for DeRozan.

Observations From Toronto’s Locker Room After Losing 100-93 To Chicago

Here are seven observations, notes and quotes from Toronto’s locker room after they lost 100-93 to Chicago:

  • This was the first time all season Toronto’s locker room had a somber vibe to it. Terrence Ross didn’t want to look at the stat sheet and nobody was laughing or joking around. The team clearly took this loss hard and from talking with players it’s clear they were embarrassed about the loss and how the third quarter in specific played out.
  • Dwane Casey on Pau Gasol’s big game: “One of the things we wanted to do was take the 3-ball out and to a certain extent we were able to do that as they were 4-15. Coming into the game they were one of the top 3-point (shooting) and transition teams in the NBA. We just felt like we were going to make him score and make it as hard on him as we could, but not go into a double team and leave (Mike) Dunleavy and (Jimmy) Butler and all of those guys open on the weak side. We went to more traps there in the fourth quarter, but, again, he’s good at what he does and he made it hard on us.”
  • Jonas Valanciunas compared the loss to a “cold shower” because it will humble the team a little bit.
  • James Johnson on what the team can learn from this loss: “You find out you really aren’t as good (as you think).”
  • Greg Stiemsma has some slick “gator” dress shoes he wore out of the locker room.
  • Speaking of shoes, Greivis Vasquez has a pair of white and another pair of red Maryland kicks. He has taken a Sharpie to the red kicks.
  • Former teammates in Houston, Kyle Lowry and Aaron Brooks, met up in the tunnel after the game to chat for a bit.

Podcap: Sloppy Third Quarter Dooms Raptors Against Bulls

Here’s audio from Dwane Casey, Jonas Valanciunas, James Johnson and DeMar DeRozan after Toronto lost 100-93 to Chicago.

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Tom Thibodeau Raves About The Toronto Raptors, DeMar DeRozan

Tom Thibodeau raved about the Toronto Raptors while doing his pre-game media scrum. In particular, the character of DeMar DeRozan and how this young team has started to gel.

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Tom Thibodeau Defends Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose has faced a media firestorm over the past 48 hours, and his coach, Tom Thibodeau, had heard enough. Tonight Thibodeau stuck up for Derrick Rose while talking with the media pre-game.

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Dwane Casey’s Scouting Report On The Chicago Bulls

Dwane Casey gave the media his insight into what makes the Chicago Bulls so successful while giving an informal scouting report on the team.

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Catching Up with Luke Ridnour

Luke Ridnour talked with me about the basketball camp he ran this summer with his wife, adjusting to life in Orlando and being a mentor to some of Orlando’s younger players.

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