Talking Valanciunas With Dzikic

It is past midnight in Lithuania but Alex Dzikic is still up.

The coach of Lietuvos Rytas in Vilnius (metropolitan population 850,000) is happy to accommodate a reporter’s call from North America.

“Anytime,” he says. “Call anytime.”

Dzikic is a 40-year-old Serb and a key figure in the aspirations of the Toronto Raptors. He is not on the Raps’ payroll. That doesn’t mean his work won’t benefit the NBA team.

Dzikic is nursing 19-year-old Jonas Valanciunas through the  season that includes play in the Lithuanian league, the VTB United League as well as Eurocup ...

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Raptors Likely Without Bargnani Against Pacers

Following some Raptors news on the injury front, here’s what to watch as they prepare for a second meeting with the Pacers at ACC tonight (7PM, TSN2,  FAN590, GET TICKETS).

Projected Starters
TOR – Jose Calderon (G), DeMar DeRozan (G), Rasual Butler (F),  *Andrea Bargnani (F), Amir Johnson (C).
IND – Darren Collison (G), Paul George (G), Danny Granger (F), David West (F), Roy Hibbert (C).

Key Injuries
TOR – *Andrea Bargnani (strained left calf) – day-to-day, Jerryd Bayless (sprained left ankle) – day-to-day, Aaron Gray (ablation procedure) – OUT
IND – George Hill (sore ...

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Kleiza Returns & Your Reaction

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Wednesday saw the return of Raptors forward Linas Kleiza to the lineup after nearly a year away from game action following microfracture knee surgery and the versatile forward provided a big boost off the bench with 10 points and three rebounds in 15 minutes.

“I feel good, it’s fun to be back,” said Kleiza post-game. “Of course the game didn’t end the way anybody wanted but for me personally, after a year off, it feels good to be back.

“I’ve got a lot of people to thank and this is just the ...

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Raptors Ready For A Date With Royalty

A little later than usual, but here’s the “wrapping up a back-to-back-to-back edition” of what we’re watching during tonight’s Raptors-Kings matchup at ACC (7 PM, Sportsnet, FAN590, GET TICKETS).

Projected Starters
TOR – Jose Calderon (G), DeMar DeRozan (G), Rasual Butler (F),  Andrea Bargnani (F), Amir Johnson (C).
SAC – Tyreke Evans (G), Jimmer Fredette (G), John Salmons (G-F), JJ Hickson (F), DeMarcus Cousins (C).

Key Injuries
TOR – Jerryd Bayless (sprained left ankle) – day-to-day,  Linas Kleiza (right knee surgery) – day-to-day, Aaron Gray (ablation procedure) – OUT
SAC – Marcus Thornton (left thigh contusion) ...

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Post Game Reaction: Raptors Disappear In DC

An unquestionably frustrating 93-78 loss for the Raptors in Washington on Tuesday, as turnovers and points allowed in the paint had them out of it by the third quarter.  But there was no let down from our fans in game two of a back-to-back. Here’s what you had to say about the blowout loss…

Top 10 #RTZ tweets – Raptors @ Wizards

@Seahawks1Fan We really get to see the Raptors conditioning tonight.

@ConnerHarris25 Love seeing the young players grow every year! One day that youth will be the future stars of the NBA!

@FrancoHan DeRozan ...

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Raptors Aim To Even Record In Washington

What we’re looking for as the Raptors move on to the middle game of a back-to-back-to-back on the road against the Wizards (7 PM, TSN, FAN 590).

Projected Starters
TOR – Jose Calderon (G), DeMar DeRozan (G), Rasual Butler (F),  Andrea Bargnani (F), Amir Johnson (C).
WAS – John Wall (G), Nick Young (G), Chris Singleton (F), Andray Blatche (F), JaVale McGee (C)

Key Injuries
TOR – Jerryd Bayless (Sprained Left Ankle) – day-to-day,  Linas Kleiza (Right Knee Surgery) – day-to-day, Aaron Gray (ablation procedure) – OUT
WAS – Ronny Turiaf (Fractured Left Hand)- OUT ...

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Post Game Reaction: Raptors Hold Off Wolves

Very solid bounce back effort from the Raptors at home on Monday, as they used monster nights from Andrea Bargnani (31 points, nine rebounds) and Amir Johnson (19 points, 11 rebounds, three assists) to earn a 97-87 win over the visiting Timberwolves. Here’s some of your reaction from our #RTZ in-game chat.

Top 10 #RTZ tweets – Raptors vs. Timberwolves

@jmeelo Battle of the best point guards from Spain. Jose vs Rubio.

@AlexandreEDM The @raptors playing like a team that WANTS to win! If you want it, you can get it!

@loveofthegame10 All of ...

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Raptors Open Killer Week With Wolves

Here’s what we’ll be looking for from the Raptors as they begin an unrelenting week with five games in six nights, beginning tonight at ACC against the Timberwolves (7 PM, TSN2, FAN590, GET TICKETS).

Let’s Play Three: Tonight kicks off the only stretch of three games in as many night for the Raptors and based on recent events, you have to wonder how they’re going to respond. The Raptors struggled in both games of a back-to-back over the weekend, culminating in a terrible second half in Philadelphia that saw them outscored ...

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Post Game Reaction: Raptors Smoked By Sixers

Outside of the double-doubles for Andrea Bargnani and Amir Johnson, not really much to celebrate tonight in an ugly 97-62 road loss to the 76ers. Your Top 10 #RTZ tweets of the night.

Top 10 #RTZ tweets – Raptors @ 76’ers

@RapsfanMike – Bargnani’s ability to find the open man while double teamed has improved this year.

@c_RAKKAR – amir johnson is putting in WORK

@EZpEazY – @DeMar_DeRozan needs to stop hesitating when he drives to the basket! Be aggressive!

@VarandK – Andrea Bargnani is missing open shots that he’d drop blindfolded.

@Ronny006 – 11 first half turnover…maybe it’s time to close that bakery

@Marshell – Definitely need Linas ...

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Raptors Hope To Regain Hunger In Philly

What to watch as the Raptors aim to bounce back in Philly after a rough loss at home (8PM, TSN2, FAN590).

Anybody Hungry? Forget the numbers, the biggest factor for the Raptors has to be regaining that “desperation” Dwane Casey mentioned frequently after Friday’s loss to the Nets. For the first time this season, the Raptors didn’t seems to have that hunger that either made them winners or kept them competitive in their first six matchups of the campaign.

Casey certainly wasn’t irate by any stretch after Friday’s loss, but he didn’t ...

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