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News » Raps can't turn talk into action on court

Raps can't turn talk into action on court

Raps can't turn talk into action on courtThe words spoken by Chris Bosh were not offered as an indictment of a system but as a criticism of its execution.

But if the execution doesn't start improving, the indictments of the Raptors will come fast and furious and eventually from within.

Knowing what they wanted to do - strategies that make sense in theory - the Raptors couldn't carry them out in reality in a 125-116 loss to the Orlando Magic at the Air Canada Centre Sunday.

As he stood in front of his locker trying to explain how things went awry, Bosh repeated an old refrain.

"I think we came out flat defensively," he said. "We didn't do the things defensively that we've been talking about since the pre-season, which is have all contested shots and give them one rebound."

Facing an Orlando team missing three key pieces - an injured Vince Carter, a flu-stricken Mickeal Pietrus and a suspended Rashard Lewis - the Raptors figured they'd take a chance on stopping Dwight Howard and getting out to contest the shooters that surround him.

The first part of it worked like a charm - Howard was just 2-of-7 from the field in the first half.

Trouble was, the Raptors didn't do nearly as well contesting the shots they were willing to give up as Orlando drilled 10 first-half three-pointers and led by as many as 22.

"They had a lot of wide-open threes and that's what killed us," said Bosh. "They made a few with our hands in their face, they were contested, and if they make them, that's fine. I think we can do a better job of just staying solid with our principles."

Seeing his team scorched from the outside in the first half, coach Jay Triano rolled the dice and got his players to stay closer to shooters, willing to take his chances fouling Howard repeatedly and making the notoriously bad free-throw shooter beat them from the line,

Good theory, bad reality again.

Orlando cooled considerably from the field in the second half but Howard, shooting 41 per cent from the line coming into the game, ended up making 14 of 16 free throws.

"Sometimes you have to give something," said Toronto's Jose Calderon. "You don't want Dwight to get too many points but they were hitting shots. We changed a bit in the second (half) and we came back in the game."

But the deficit was just too big and the Magic were rolling. The Raptors closed to within four with four minutes to go but they went turnover-missed shot-missed shot-missed shot on their next four possessions and the game was over.

In reality, though, it was over when J.J. Redick had 18 of his career-high 27 points in the first two quarters.

"I think just doing things with more energy and more aggression," Bosh said when asked how they could better start games. "We let them hit us first, they hit a couple of threes and then the next thing you know they were feeding into Dwight and we're hugging our guys and they're getting layups."

Jameer Nelson had 30 points to lead Orlando and Bosh had 35 to go along with 16 rebounds for Toronto. Andrea Bargnani chipped in 26 and Hedo Turkoglu added 19.

"It's difficult when you lose and you shoot 54 per cent and you out-rebound them (38-37)," said Triano. "But they made three-point shots ... It's not like we didn't, we shot 59 per cent from the three-point line (10-17) but they just took more of them."

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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 2, 2009


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