Jonas Watch: Clowning Around…

Big thanks to @SMazalas who sent along more on the latest unique look for Raptors first-round pick Jonas Valanciunas pictured below, which he wore in support of Red Nose Day on a Lithuanian news broadcast.

“To be honest, I hadn’t heard about the Red Nose Day before, but I really liked the idea. It’s really nice to know that you can help the kids,” Valanciunas told LithuaniaBasketball.com. “It was fun. I’ll be back here in some twenty years.”

 

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Bargnani Returns To Practice With Raptors

After a lengthy absence from game action, Andrea Bargnani is almost back… for the second time.

Bargnani, who has missed the last 20 games after he aggravated a strained left calf injury in the Raptors’ double OT win in Utah on January 25th, confirmed it after Thursday’s practice at ACC. Depending on how he responds to the first practice and another on Friday, the team’s leading scorer should return either Saturday in Detroit or at ACC Sunday against the Bucks.

Bargnani’s second setback came well into a second game in as many ...

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Raptors Show Some Growth In Win Over Rockets

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An astute observation from our #RTZ Tweet of the Night winner @BarryMRubin, which certainly held up as DeRozan turned in a potent performance at both ends of the floor in the Raptors’ 116-98 win over the visiting Rockets at ACC on Wednesday.

DeRozan’s recent resurgence, with six outings of at least 20 points in his last eight games after a very tough start, has been emblematic of this years Raptors, who are proving to be increasingly difficult to pin down and rounding into form.

“I think this is probably the most games ...

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Pre-Game With Kevin McHale

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Raptors Aim For Revenge In Rematch With Rockets

 

Andrea Bargnani is nearing a return to the Raptors.

Head coach Dwane Casey did not offer an exact return date for the team’s leading scorer after Wednesday morning’s shootaround at ACC, but did reveal that Bargnani is expected to be a full participant in Thursday’s practice. How Bargnani’s calf responds to that full contact workout (and likely another practice on Friday), will be key to determining if he can return at some point this weekend with games in Detroit on Saturday or at home Sunday against the Bucks.

In other lineup news, ...

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Close…. Again…

Our winning #RTZ Tweet from Monday courtesy of @TTOTambz is right. To see JJ Redick join a growing rogues gallery of Raptors heartbreakers this season seems like a less than deserving fate for a team that’s been outgunned for much of the season, but rarely outworked for over a month now.

But as head coach Dwane Casey pointed out post-game, the fight should be commended but it’s the slip — not the fall — that’s doing the Raptors in. In Monday’s 92-88 loss to the visiting Magic for example, it came ...

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Pre-Game With Ed Davis

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Second-Half Turnaround Powers Raptors Past Warriors

The Raptors received what’s hopefully a lasting lesson in how solid, energetic defence can keep you afloat with an 83-75 win over the Warriors at ACC.

“We found a a way and we did it with our defence,” said Dwane Casey post-game. “There are going to be nights where you can’t buy a bucket, but that is when you have to dig in and trust your defence and we did.”

It certainly wasn’t consistent, as the Raptors came out flat and hit the break trailing 47-38. But Casey proceeded to challenge his ...

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Sitting Down With Leandro Barbosa

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Raptors Ramp It Up In Fourth To Drop Hornets

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Not exactly a textbook win for the Raptors, but they’ll take it as they split a back-to-back on the road with a 95-84 victory over the Hornets.

The focus was undoubtedly on DeMar DeRozan after a fourth-quarter benching in Houston on Tuesday was followed by a post-game social media faux pas that was quickly deleted. After an internal discussion with head coach Dwane Casey before Wednesday’s game, DeRozan proceeded to deliver a balanced performance with 21 points, six rebounds and four assists.

But after an brutal third-quarter offensive drought saw the Raptors ...

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