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Game Notes: New Jersey vs. Toronto

* Before the game Jay Triano was asked the rational for signing Jake Voskuhl and he told the media scrum, “Jake’s another big body for us. We went three or four games there when Kris Humphries was out with only three big guys. We just felt like we couldn’t put ourselves in that position. We need to have a guy to go in and bang. It remains to be seen what he can give us in games, but at least now we can practice. We haven’t been able to big against big in practice… well, we haven’t even been able to practice for awhile. We haven’t been able to go big guy against big guy for quite some time now.”

* Voskuhl picked an unusual basketball number (#77) and when asked why he told the reporter, “I thought about 7, but then Andrea (Bargnani’s) got that. Nobody had 77 so it was just a process of elimination. There’s no deep meaning.”

* Sean Williams may be inactive because he’s lodged in Lawrence Frank’s doghouse, but the second-year player is doing whatever he can to get back into the Nets rotation. He was the first player on the court today and was working diligently with the Nets coaching staff on his game.

* Within the first few minutes of the game the crowd started a “V-C Sucks” chant. As Vince Carter ran down the court alongside Jamario Moon the two players enjoyed a good laugh at the crowds foolishness and needless resentment. Seriously, why are the fans here in Toronto holding a grudge so long? It’s time to let it go.

* Once again, the jeering of Carter didn’t even work as he scored the Nets first seven points and finished the game with a double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds.

* Today I was up in the gondola to watch the game and something that really impressed me was the Raptors ball movement in the first half. They would swing the ball until the found an open man and more often than not they would find someone wide open. It resulted in the team getting out to a 16-2 lead to open the game while Toronto shot a sizzling 5-6  from the field.  New Jersey on the other hand was ice cold as they went 1-5 while committing two turnovers.

* In the first quarter the only Nets starter to score was Vince Carter (9 points). The other four starters were a combined 0-3 from the field and it took until the 9:56 mark of the second quarter for a Nets starter other than Carter to score.

* Roko Ukic had a sweet steal on Devin Harris early in the second quarter and I’m pretty sure Harris was having Stuart Tanner flashbacks.

* Chris Bosh scored his first field goal of the game at the 9:38 mark of the third quarter. While he finished with a respectable 17 points he also went 4-15 from the field.

* Devin Harris went on a 9-0 run early in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 72. Adding to the frustration for Raptors fans was  Toronto didn’t record a field goal until the 2:35 mark of the fourth quarter. Ouch!

* After the game Bosh was asked to explain the 25-2 run the Nets went on in the fourth quarter and he told the reporter, “We’re not getting rebounds right now. That’s our main achilles heal right now. We’re giving them multiple shots but for the game they shot 38%. And (normally) if I told you we held a team to 38% you would ask me how many we won by. We have to do a better job of only giving them one shot. We’re shooting ourselves in the foot right now and I think if we get better on the boards we’ll win a lot more games.”

* Triano echoed these sentiments when he vented to the media, “We hold a team to 38% shooting, when you consider what the percentage was on the second chance ones it was probably in the 70’s. So we do a pretty decent job guarding, but you can’t let a team take 14 more shots than you. They get 14 more shots because we don’t box out and we don’t rebound the ball.”

* A reporter followed up by asking if it was effort or concentration, and Bosh replied honestly , “I think it’s just concentration because all it (requires) is getting between your man and the basket, getting your body on him and going to get the ball. Positions one through five, it has to be a team effort. Everybody has to do it. I think if we do a better job of that there’s no telling what could happen.”

* Triano was asked if he was worried about his teams inability to finish games and he quickly interjected, “I’m not concerned about finishing games, I’m concerned about finishing possessions. I have talked about process before, the process of playing good defense and executing each time. You don’t have to worry about finishing games if you box out and you rebound long before the game gets into the final five minutes.”

* Ryan Anderson scored a career high 21 points off the bench for New Jersey tonight. For some insight into Anderson, click here to check out the interview I had with him the last time he was in Toronto.

* I had a great chat with Mike Ulmer tonight after the game. After busting his chops about the video of his dance practice with the Raptors Dance Pack we had a great chat about online media.

Photo Credit: Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos

Ryan McNeill
Ryan McNeill has appeared on ESPN Radio, MTV Canada, SiriusXM, The Fan 590 and other radio programs and TV shows. He has covered the NBA with media credentials since the 2007-08 season.
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