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News » Raptors learning curve gets steeper

Raptors learning curve gets steeper

Raptors learning curve gets steeper If the Toronto Raptors are indeed on a steep learning curve, they still have some climbing to do.

Newcomers Sonnie Weems and Marco Belinelli scored 12 points apiece, but the new-look Raptors dropped to 0-2 in the NBA pre-season with an 84-79 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday.

Reggie Evans had nine points and a game-high nine rebounds in 21 minutes for the Raptors , who played for the second straight night without captain Chris Bosh and off-season acquisition Hedo Turkoglu.

Rookie DeMar DeRozan added nine points, while Jose Calderon, coming off a season plagued by a hamstring injury, finished with just two points but six assists in 20 minutes.

Thaddeus Young led the Sixers with 11 points, while Elton Brand and Montreal's Samuel Dalembert had 10 points apiece, a night after Philadelphia beat Toronto 107-98 in London, Ont., in the pre-season opener for both teams.

The Raptors have nine new faces on their roster this season, and a new defensive system that head coach Jay Triano is trying to instill, evident in yesterday's mostly sloppy affair.

"We expect to have a quick learning curve," Triano said before the game. "We have to learn, it's a new system for a lot of these guys, for most of them. We have to keep pounding it in, and we're not going to change our system, we're just going to do it better. It's brand new."

Bosh and Turkoglu both sat out last week's training camp in Ottawa with injuries.

Bosh, who was dressed in sweats on the bench because he didn't bring a suit to the arena, is nursing a strained hamstring. Turkoglu has quadriceps tendinitis, plus the Raptors opted to give him a rest coming off a busy off-season playing for Turkey.

There were signs of better things to come yesterday, including a running dunk from the springy DeRozan in the second quarter that was a crowd-pleaser.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: October 8, 2009


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