On Pro Bball Report recently: NBA Coach’s Challenge, DeMarre Carroll talks injury, Knicks Jose Calderon takes the heat, Heat dump Mario Chalmers, Raptors 905 roster, Bruno Caboclo and Lucas Nogueira sent down, Nick Wiggins signed, Anthony Bennett is shy, Terrence Ross injured, Jonas Valanciunas evolves and more.
NBA Needs To Bring In A Coach’s Challenge
By Frank McLean
It seems that a couple of times every season mistakes by the referees comeback to bite the Raptors and take the possibility of a win away from the team. Granted this is not just a Raptors thing, talk to coaches, players and general managers of the other 29 teams in the NBA and they will tell you the same thing happens to their teams every year as well.
“I always want to be on the court. If it was up to me, I would have still been playing, but I think coaches and training staff, my agent they basically made the decision for me. They told me I need to think about the long term, but I’m the type of guy that doesn’t want to sit down with any type of injury,” DeMarre Carroll.
Jose Calderon Willingly Takes The Heat In New York
By Frank McLean
“I prefer you guys talking about me than my teammates,’’ Calderon said after Sunday’s game. “It’s ok, keep talking about it. I’m ok with that. Whatever happens will happen. I want to win. I want to help this team, and (it) doesn’t matter if I’m starting or coming off the bench. It’s all right. (If) you guys (are) talking about me, then you are not talking about the Knicks and us losing.’’
The Grizzlies have gotten off to a disappointing start to the season and Chalmers just might be able to help. It’s worth the gamble. Miami hasn’t been the same team since the “King” left town and no amount of media hype is going to turn them into a contender this season. Cutting the luxury tax bill makes a lot of sense.
Eleven players have made the team out of camp, including three Canadians: centre Sim Bhullar (Brampton, Ont.), forward-centre Keanau Post (Victoria, B.C.) and guard Ashton Smith (Scarborough, Ont.).
Caboclo and Nogueira have combined for just 6 minutes of playing time with the Raptors so far this season and the Raptors 905 provides an opportunity to work on their craft under the direction of head coach Jesse Mermuys who coached them in Summer League over the past two seasons and has been a Raptors assistant coach under the direction of Raptors head coach Dwane Casey.
Mississauga’s Raptors 905 has added local player Nick Wiggins to their roster just in time for the NBA D-League regular season. Nick is the older brother of NBA star Andrew Wiggins and was signed by the Minnesota Timberwolves training camp roster earlier this fall.
Toronto Raptors forward Bruno Caboclo played 32.7 minutes and put up a 16 point 13 rebound double-double in the Raptors 905 inaugural season opener in Fort Wayne on Saturday night. It was a poor shooting night for both teams as neither squad cracked 40 percent from the field and Caboclo shot just 6-16 from the field and 2-9 from three-point range, however, the young rangy forward did lead all players on the glass and managed to swipe 3 steals as well.
“I’m pretty shy, a lot of people don’t really know that,” Bennett admitted.
Bennett has played in each of the past four games, averaging 9 minutes without a made field goal, but what is perhaps more concerning is he has only attempted 1.8 shots per game and come up with just 1.5 rebounds. It isn’t easy being an injury reserve, however, Bennett can’t know when this opportunity will come again. This is no time to be shy.
Raptors forward-guard Terrence Ross sustained a ligament injury to his left thumb during a Monday workout session. There is no timetable for his return to basketball activity. His status will be updated as appropriate.
Each year that he as been in the league, all of his numbers have increased and most importantly, so has his confidence. On the court, Jonas has the look of a experienced 10 year veteran, but he’s only 23 years old and that is key going forward. He is playing now like he wants the ball and feels comfortable with it.
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“The plan is to help Lucas (Nogueira), Bruno (Caboclo), Delon (Wright), guys that might come down here and be assigned give them experience so that they are not just sitting around watching up there (on the Raptors) all the time and then get guys that we have a liking to to get them under our umbrella. Guys like Ronald Roberts, guys like Sim (Bhullar), guys that we like, let’s develop them as well and who knows, maybe they’ll end up getting on the actual Raptors team some day in the future.”
Signing Ross is the NBA equivalent of a preemptive strike ahead of a rapidly rising salary cap and pending restricted free agency next summer. While no one would/should argue the price paid for Ross’ signature is high based on his production and the salary cap during the recent past, just about every NBA general manager has some very real fears about what could happen next summer with the cap set to rise by about $20 million. Ross’ deal could look cheap after what is sure to be a very tense free agency period in each of the next two summers.
“Three-point shooting has been my forte for the past two years,” Carroll told Pro Bball Report. “That’s something I really took upon myself to try and get better at and become one of the top three-point shooters. You know I had a teacher in Kyle Korver, so that’s not too bad of a teacher. So, I just have to continue to keep shooting the ball, keep doing my mechanics and let the rest take care of itself.”
“Bismack (Biyombo) brings a lot. Jonas (Valanciunas) is doing a heck of a job on the boards. (Luis) Scola quietly is doing a heck of a job on the boards, he’s tough as nails in the paint and also DeMarre Carroll, he gets in there and bangs it up,” Casey explained. “We have added some good rebounders on our team.”
Bucks Greivis Vasquez Found It Hard To Leave The Raptors
By Frank McLean
Vasquez admitted that it was hard to leave Toronto. “It was hard extremely hard,” Vasquez explained. “I was so engaged with the city and the fans and with the team. It’s part of the business. You’ve got to move on real fast.”
Road Trip Reality Bites The Toronto Raptors
By Frank McLean
“We have to execute offensively,” Casey said. “We have established ourselves defensively, but they made some tough three’s. (Hassan) Whiteside had a big game with 20 points, which is out of the norm for him. But we will bounce back. We’re going to go back home and we will get back to work and bounce out of this.”