9:06 AM EST, Fri February 12, 2016
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Raptors HQ 18 hours ago

James Johnson Watch Week 16: All-Star parties and unfortunate injuries

It was the rarest of weeks this time out for James Johnson: He got zero playing time. Lost amid the din of All-Star this and All-Star that is a quiet voice in the way back region of your mind saying, or perhaps urging: please, enough. Huge events always operate as such. On one level, massive and loud and entertaining. And on another, totally unruly and dispiriting in their inevitable exclusivity. Only a select few can truly enjoy themselves away from the throng. We, the rest of us, just get to hang out and hang on (in the figurative and literal cold). I've often wondered how the rest of the...
Raptors HQ 21 hours ago

Dinos & Digits: It's a Very Special All-Star Edition

Another instalment of Dinos & Digits, where we look at five interesting Raptors stats. This time, a look through Toronto's All-Star history. Welcome back to Dinos & Digits, a place where we dive into the box scores and find five interesting or strange Raptors statistics and put them on front street for discussion. There will be a mix of both individual player and team statistics to explore, ranging from raw box score numbers to some interesting and funky advanced metrics. With the All-Star game hitting Toronto for the first time this coming weekend, we figured we'd take a look back at...
Raptors HQ Feb 10, 2016

Raptors lose rough one to Timberwolves, 117-112

Toronto fell to the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday and enter All-Star Weekend on a losing note as a result. Like the rest of us, professional athletes can be accused of mailing it in at times in our day jobs. Hell, I'll be on vacation from my full-time job for nearly two weeks starting on Friday and I'd be lying to you if I said I've been the most motivated as the week draws to a close. The Toronto Raptors played like a team that was also looking forward to some time off on Wednesday, as they fell 117-112 to the Minnesota Timberwolves in a dispiriting effort at Target Center. The...
Raptors HQ Feb 10, 2016

Raptors officially open their new practice facility, the BioSteel Centre

Still not calling it the BS Centre, folks. It was an eventful day for the Raptors, and that's without mentioning tonight's game against the Timberwolves or All-Star Weekend. After it was announce in 2013 that the Raps were set on constructing a new state-of-the-art practice facility, we waited for over two years to see it finished. Today, the BioSteel Centre is officially open. With the help of the Toronto Sun's Ryan Wolstat and TSN's Josh Lewenberg, let's take a look inside. The court: Raptors new practice facility, Biosteel Centre pic.twitter.com/sVZ97NK0Hd — Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050)...
Raptors HQ Feb 10, 2016

NBA Trade Rumour: The Raptors are interested in the Nets' Thaddeus Young

ESPN's Brian Windhorst says the Raptors are getting aggressive on the trade market. Here's another name they are pursuing. The Raptors players may be looking forward to tonight's game against Minnesota and the party that is All-Star Weekend, but Raptors management is trying to make moves. As reported by ESPN's Brian Windhorst today on TSN Drive with Dave Naylor and Derek Taylor, the Raptors are apparently getting very aggressive on the trade market. Windhorst mentioned some names that we've heard before -- Markieff Morris (written about here) and Kenneth Faried (see every comment thread on...
Raptors HQ Feb 10, 2016

Raptors visit Andrew Wiggins and the Timberwolves: Preview, TV info and more

In the final game before All Star Weekend, the Raptors head to Minnesota to close out a lengthy road trip. Things are quietly going well in Raptor-land. The Raptors have won 14 of their last 15 games, are 3-1 on the current road-trip, with the final game of their pre-All Star slate going tonight in Minnesota. After opening the 5-game road trip with a blow-out loss to the Denver Nuggets, they've rebounded nicely in beating the Suns, the Blazers and the Pistons. DeMarre Carroll should be close to returning after the team returns from All Star Weekend, so there's reason to be optimistic about...
Raptors HQ Feb 10, 2016

One Last FanDuel Tournament with Your Raptors Before All-Star Weekend

Play along with the Raptors and the other 11 games on tonight's NBA's slate by joining our one-day fantasy basketball tournament presented by FanDuel, SB Nation, and Raptors HQ! Your Toronto Raptors, winners of 14 of their last 15 contests, look to finish the season's "first half" on a high note with a win tonight against Andrew Wiggins and the Minnesota Timberwolves in Minneapolis. And that's just one of the 12 games on tonight's fully-loaded NBA slate, the last big night before the All-Star break. We're here to give you the opportunity to get in on the action by joining one of the many...
Raptors HQ Feb 9, 2016

Minute Adjustments: Looking at opportunities to lighten Lowry and DeRozan's load

It's become a fact of life: DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry are playing heavy minutes for the Raptors. Let's look at how in-game adjustments could relieve this for the stretch run. With just one game remaining before the All-Star break, there's little to gripe with in Toronto Raptors-land. The team has won 14 of its last 15 games despite long-term injuries to DeMarre Carroll and missed time for James Johnson, his small forward replacement. Continued success for the Raptors has come in the form of a reliable rotation, with DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry able to carry the starters before a bench...
Raptors HQ Feb 9, 2016

Toronto Memories: This montage of Vince Carter highlights is great

Did you know All-Star Weekend is coming to Toronto? Let's remember the good Toronto times. The NBA world is about to descend on Toronto in a big way. In advance of that, I've been keeping my eye out for Toronto-centric basketball stuff to get us pumped up as a city. (As if we need the help.) In any case, the following tweet caught my eye just now because of its mention of history, its shout out to Toronto, and because, you know what, sometimes we forget how awesome Vince Carter was in a Raptors uniform. Enjoy. As NBA All-Star weekend heads North to Toronto, we present VINCE CARTER's INSANE...
Raptors HQ Feb 9, 2016

Quick Stat Hits: A Tale of Three Lineups

Let's look at three lineups that have been successful (or not so much) for the team during their very impressive 15 game stretch. A tale of three Raptors lineups. Let's start with the bad. And it is the same bad as usual. The Starters Specifically, any lineup with Jonas Valanciunas, Luis Scola, DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry all playing together. The wing doesn't really matter, as we've seen with the various iterations this year. In any case, over the past 15 games, those four have combined for 234 minutes played, most on the team of any foursome. They also have a -5.8 net rating, which is...
Raptors HQ Feb 8, 2016

Lowry and Raptors bench steamroll the Pistons, 103-89

The winning formula for the Raptors has been simple: get to the bench as quickly as possible. When you follow a team closely over an entire season, there's a tendency to find gripes within success. If you've been following the Toronto Raptors, that gripe is surely with the minutes played by Kyle Lowry. I'm standing contrary to my own position here, sure, but at some point you have to give in to a winning formula. It may be taxing on the team's best player, but the combination of Lowry and the bench unit of Cory Joseph, Terrence Ross, Patrick Patterson and Bismack Biyombo have been...
Raptors HQ Feb 8, 2016

Raptors Power Ranking Poll Week 15: Winter is coming

Welcome to the Raptors Power Ranking Poll, a column where we ask: Are the Raptors being ranked fairly? Not to be the fly in the ointment, as it were, but the All-Star news this week has not be all good. Yes, the Raptors will have Kyle Lowry there as a starter, and DeMar DeRozan in a reserve role. There were no spectacularly egregious selections, though Kobe being voted in is whack. The celebrity game is going to feature Drake, Jose Bautista and Steve Nash, which is awesome -- even though Kevin Hart is going to do what he can to bogart all the attention. Yao Ming will be in the city. But...
Raptors HQ Feb 8, 2016

Make Your Picks with the Weekly Rap: February 8th to All-Star Weekend!

The Raps will finish out there road trip with two games in the midwest, followed by ALL STAR WEEKEND IN TDOT. Following a gutsy win at the "Moda Center" (it will always be the Rose Garden) in Portland on Thursday night, the Raptors return east for a date with the Pistons tonight. The team will then head to Minnesota for a game against Sam Mitchell and the Wolves before the NBA converges on Toronto for All-Star weekend. The Raps held down their spot at second in the east this past week, just two games back of Cleveland for the top spot and currently holding a 4.5 game lead over the charging...
Raptors HQ Feb 8, 2016

Raptors take on Drummond and the Pistons again: Preview, TV Info, and more

The Toronto Raptors and Detroit Pistons are back at it for the second time in a little more than a week. The Toronto Raptors and Detroit Pistons renew their rivalry Monday night at the Palace of Auburn Hills. Toronto came out victorious when these two teams met on Jan. 30. The Raptors built up a substantial lead but they weren't able to fully put their opponent away. As a result all-star point guard Kyle Lowry logged 40 minutes of action. Detroit will be without Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in this one as the shooting guard is out of commission due to a core muscle strain. That's excellent news...
Raptors HQ Feb 5, 2016

This Week In Social: Let's talk fashion

Some swag outfits highlight your weekly look inside the lives of the Toronto Raptors. Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. As I sit here in a hoodie on yet another casual Friday, I'm reminded of how much this applies to me and how little it applies to professional basketball players. Why dress for the job you want when you've reached the summit? The Toronto Raptors, like most players in the NBA, make no small matter out of clothing and showing it off on social media. For what it's worth, we've got a few highlights as part of this week's rundown in social media. Here's viral...
Raptors HQ Feb 5, 2016

Terrence Ross is improving defensively, in both flashy and subtle ways

Ross' defense is getting better and more reliable, here's why. The Raptors' bench has been laying waste to opponents over the course of the last month or so. After using the first part of the season to coalesce and find its form, the four-man bench rotation of Terrence Ross, Patrick Patterson, Cory Joseph and Bismack Biyombo has established itself as a cohesive unit, every member of which brings a skill set that complements his floor mates beautifully. Cory Joseph is a tremendous driver, who when not getting to the rim for crafty lay-ups is dishing to Patterson and Ross for spot-up looks;...
Raptors HQ Feb 5, 2016

FanDuel Links and Info for Friday's NBA Action

The Raptors have the weekend off, but you can still play along with the NBA's 10-game slate by joining our one-day fantasy basketball tournament presented by FanDuel, SB Nation, and Raptors HQ! Your Toronto Raptors are off until Monday, when they head to Detroit to take on the Pistons. Just because the Raps are getting the weekend off, though, doesn't mean you can't still play along with some of the other action going on around the NBA during tonight's 10-game slate. We're here to give you the opportunity to win some cash by joining one of the many one-day fantasy basketball tournaments...
Raptors HQ Feb 5, 2016

Raptors hold off Blazers 110-103

The Raptors almost led wire-to-wire, but held off a tough Blazers team that stayed in the game all night. When you think of wire to wire victories, you don't usually think of them as tough contests that the winning team have to fight tooth and nail to win. The Portland Blazers led once all game - when the score was 1-0. From that point forward, to say the Raptors took the lead and never looked back would be doing a disservice to the effort the Blazers put forward. With two early fouls to each Bismack Biyombo and Jonas Valanciunas, the Raptors rode Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan for their...
Raptors HQ Feb 4, 2016

All-Star Weekend 2016 Update: Kyle Lowry will compete in the 3-point shootout

Facts only: Lowry will be in it to win it. The NBA has announced the entrants to the 2016 NBA All-star 3-point shootout, which has become arguably the most popular event for the entire weekend. As should be no surprise, the Raptors' Kyle Lowry is one of the eight players selected to compete. #Raptors guard Kyle Lowry will participate in the Footlocker Three-Point Shootout on All-Star Saturday Night. — RaptorsMR (@RaptorsMR) February 5, 2016 Lowry actually leads the Eastern Conference in three pointers made with 135, good for a 38.8 percent clip. He's now the third player in franchise...
Raptors HQ Feb 4, 2016

James Johnson Watch Week 15: Thank you for being a friend

An injury to Johnson puts his week in jeopardy, but he's still a rock in the locker room. It hurts a little bit to consider these trade proposals and see James Johnson tossed in there as cap fodder. His contract is only $3 million and it comes off a team's books at the end of the year, which makes for some perfect trade ballast. He's not even the most talented player being discussed, so who cares, right? Sure, maybe if we viewed all NBA players as just entries on a spreadsheet. The Raptors locker room, to my mind, is divided in a couple of interesting ways. Maybe divided is not the best...

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