Dissecting The Dagger: Pacers

The Raptors deserve some props for staying pretty resilient defensively until their offence could get on track in the fourth quarter in their home opener.

But it was an inability to anticipate, rotate and close out on Indiana’s Danny Granger and David West in pick-and-pop situations that cost them dearly in the game’s final 90 seconds. Here’s the sights and sounds from the sequence that changed the game.

Danny Granger’s Three

James Johnson: “They ran the normal play. We knew it. We watched film on it, I studied it and we were on ...

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Johnson Steps Up After Raptors Fall Short

Funny thing happened in the Raptors dressing room, Wednesday night.

The locals had just dropped a hard-fought 90-85 decision to the Indiana Pacers. It was a wonderfully ramshackle affair. Down 11 points with eight minutes left, the Raptors cut the margin to 83-81 before James Johnson leaned a step too far toward the key. His man, Danny Granger, slid out to the corner with just over a minute to play.

James Johnson is freaky athletic. He scoring line looks like something your keyboard barfed up. Against Indiana he brought down eight rebounds, ...

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Raptors, Pacers Renew Acquaintances…

Somewhat lost in the buzz of the Raptors returning to action to ACC after a long hiatus is the fact that the Raptors and Pacers didn’t get along all that well back in 2010-11.

Things stepped up a notch at the conclusion of the second matchup at Conseco Fieldhouse in the Raptors’ 104-93 defeat to the Pacers way back on Janiary 31st. Indiana had the game well in hand and with time winding down, point guard Darren Collison appeared ready to just dribble the clock out.

But while you can’t see it ...

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Balance Key To Raptors’ Season-Opening Win

Well, that was … unexpected. Some key takeaways from an eye-opening 104-96 Raptors victory over the Cavs to start the season.

- The obvious caveat that everyone’s going to throw out here is the fact that this win came against the Cavaliers, a team that won fewer games than the Raptors’ 22 victories last season. But regardless of opponent, it would be tough to duplicate the balance the Raptors received on both sides of the floor and up and down the lineup. Head coach Dwane Casey wisely said post-game “I don’t ...

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Tailgate Anyone?

If you’re coming down for the Raptors home opener, you’re going to want to arrive a little early to be a part of the Tip-Off Tailgate in Maple Leaf Square, beginning at 3:30 PM.

To answer your most pressing question, yes, there will be heaters. But in the spirit of the season, the Raptors are going to be giving you a whole lot more.

The hot chocolate will be flowing and the food is free thanks to Smoke’s Poutinerie, along with plenty of Raptors Chili and something called Mac & Cheese Hot ...

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Jamaal Magloire’s Long Run Home

MORE FROM MONDAY’S COMMUNITY VISITS

It is suppertime at the St. Felix Centre, a soup kitchen in the heart of Toronto and Jamaal Magloire towers above the tables. He is wearing an apron and a plastic pitcher is enveloped in his giant right hand.

“Who needs milk ?” he says, working the crowd, joshing the clientele, six-foot-11  and bigger than life.

When the 33-year-old Magloire signed a free agent contract with the Raptors last month, he became the first Canadian player in franchise history.

He seems destined to also be the most dedicated to ...

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Raptors, Celtics Wrap Up Preseason Play In Boston

The Raptors wrap up preseason play tonight as they close out their condensed schedule with the road half of a home-and-home with the Celtics in Boston.

Toronto used a 13-2 rally to tie the team’s first contest under Dwane Casey late in the fourth quarter — largely played against Boston’s reserves, but a late offensive putback from Greg Stiemsma put the Celtics ahead 76-75 with 12.6 seconds to play. That held up after both DeMar DeRozan and Andrea Bargnani couldn’t capitalize on one final offensive possession.

Here’s what to look for in ...

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Raptors At Home For The Holidays

The Raptors took part in a series of great events around the city on Monday, giving back to Torontonians and celebrating the upcoming start of the 2011-12 season.

The afternoon started with a Raptors Rally at Yonge-Dundas Square. Fans braved the sub-zero temperatures for a chance to meet and greet DeMar DeRozan and Gary Forbes in the new Mobile Fan Zone and play games like Bump for incredible prizes like tickets to the home opener against the Pacers and autographed jerseys.

Meanwhile, a group of players including Amir Johnson, James Johnson, Ed ...

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Great Night At The Open Practice

Raptors Basketball really didn’t feel like it had genuinely returned to Toronto until Friday night, when the team connected with hundreds of enthusiastic fans at the team’s annual Open Practice.

Bookeneded by speeches from Jamaal Magloire and head coach Dwane Casey, fans were given some behind-the-scenes access to how the Raptors will get loose and ready for the grind of a compressed 66-game schedule this season.

But this event was truly about the interaction between players, coaches and fans. With autograph signings, photo ops, a few interactive drills during the scaled down ...

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Johnny Davis and the art of everlasting cool

Johnny Davis has skated.

“When I was a kid growing up in Detroit, sometimes the firemen would spray water on a spot in a park and the kids would skate on it,” he said.

It’s not hard to imagine the Raptors lead assistant gliding along the ice.

Everything Johnny Davis does, everything he touches it seems, is cool.

Johnny Davis oozes cool. Just how he does it isn’t hard to see. He listens. He smiles. He speaks deliberately with an aim not to be heard but to be understood.

These are superb faculties in human ...

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