On Pro Bball Report last week: Unstoppable Raptors, Phil Jackson rebuilding, Hawks need Al Horford, James Johnson passes, Jonas Valanciunas happy, Raptors are Number One, The Schedule, pre- and postgame stories and more.
“Once we all get on the same page, I think we’ll be unstoppable,” Johnson said. “Right now we got guys that are lifting other guys and that is definitely helping us out. There are going to be days where our second unit comes in gives us a lift and finishes the game for us.”
“It is a good time to be a player. There are a lot of resources to be made. At the same time from the ownership end, it is a good time to look at things (in) a different light,” said Westchester Knicks assistant coach Craig Hodges. “The Knicks have seen that they are capable of putting (in) the resources to make (players) better and it can honestly be the model for the rest of the league.”
“Conditioning is something that’s hard to get without playing,” head coach Mike Budenholzer said. “Throughout the course of the preseason we (tried) to progress his minutes each night and I think he is in a good place, but I don’t think it would be fair to say he’s coming off of a normal summer and a normal preseason. It is going to take him a little bit of time conditioning-wise.”
“I think the big play for me today was either the throw ahead to Patrick Patterson or when I dropped it to Greivis or when I dropped to Patterson for the three-pointers,” Johnson said. “It changed the momentum of the game.”
“We had a lot of changes in this room. I am happy right now,” Valanciunas said. “I am happy with where we are. Everybody is doing a good job. It is a different locker room, different faces, but I am happy with where we are now and I hope we are going to keep doing the same thing.”
Toronto Raptors fans are awaking this morning to an unfamiliar feeling, their team is number one in the NBA. Not number one in the Titanic Division, the Raptors have the best record in the NBA and have scored more points and outscored their opponents by a bigger margin than anyone else.
The NBA leading Toronto Raptors haven’t looked this good at the beginning of a season in over 20 years – that is to say, ever – and they have been taking advantage of a schedule designed to give them every opportunity to enjoy a fast start.
“That was not us,” 76ers head coach Brett Brown insisted. “We came in here and got manhandled. We got jumped and didn’t have any answers.”
“Where we want to go as a team, we can’t be playing like that,” Head Coach Dwane Casey said. “Orlando outplayed us for three-quarters. I liked the resolve of our team and the second unit came in and did what they were supposed to do and really competed. That’s all we ask our guys to do.”
“It’s the top two teams in the East right now,” said Amir Johnson. “It’s a pretty big game for us. It is a home court game and we definitely want to come out and win this.”
It was the 34-year-old veteran big man Pau Gasol torching the Raptors young center Jonas Valanciunas in a very physical contest at the Air Canada Center in a previously unheard of TNT Thursday night game in Toronto. The Bulls used a 35 point third quarter to build a lead the fourth quarter specialist Raptors couldn’t overcome. “We weren’t ready,” Jonas Valanciunas said.
The Raptors set a new franchise record for the most wins in the first 10 games of the season in Toronto on Saturday night against the Utah Jazz by pouring in 35 fourth quarter points on their way to a 111-93 victory.
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“Since I’ve been in the league I’ve been the type of guy that gets to the free throw line,” DeRozan said. “I take pride in getting to the free throw line and being top 10 in attempts. It’s just my style of play. It makes the game come easier if you get to the free throw line.”
“I knew the situation coming in that minutes were going to be here and there, hit and miss, kind of matchup-wise and seeing a couple of guys go down, I kind of had a feeling that tonight might be the night I had a debut,” Stiemsma said.
“I am definitely not (the same guy),” Johnson said. “Going down to the D-League, developing different skills and developing my confidence and my all-around game really helped me out and knowing that you can’t take this league for granted because you can be out of it at any minute.”
“My first two years at Kentucky I was a five man 6’8. I was a taller version of Chuck (Hayes),” Patterson said. “Calipari comes in and completely opens up my eyes and changes my world. I am what I am because of him.”
“Last year at times I would get caught up and sometimes there is a fine line between being an energy guy and overdoing it,” Hansbrough said. “Coming off the bench and picking up fouls and stuff is something I am trying to control and work at and improve at.”