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Toronto Raptors news gathered from around the net.

Raptors Successfully Go Small With Bargnani Out

Dwane Casey started a smaller lineup in Sunday's 94-73 win against the Nets.

DeMar DeRozan was moved up to small forward, while Jerryd Bayless and Jose Calderon were in the backcourt. 

DeRozan and Bayless combined to score 44 points and the Nets were unable to take advantage of Toronto's lack of size defensively.

The Raptors are currently without Andrea Bargnani.

Via Adam Figman/NBA.com

Sources: Raptors Open To Trading Calderon

The Raptors are not shopping Jose Calderon, but would be open to trading him in the right deal, sources say.

In a recent interview with Marca, Calderon didn't deny that he'd "like to have the opportunity to compete for something."

That doesn't mean he's poised to ask for a trade -- "I don't think so, that's not me, that's not my personality," Calderon said -- but the 30-year-old left the undeniable sense that he wouldn't oppose a move away from the rebuilding Raptors if the opportunity materializes.

Via ESPN.com

Bargnani Out Indefinitely With Strained Left Calf

Andrea Bargnani re-injured his strained left calf in the first overtime of Wednesday’s double-overtime victory at Utah. Tests done Thursday in Denver revealed no significant damage to the calf. Bargnani will be treated symptomatically and is expected to be sidelined for an indefinite period of time.

Bargnani originally injured his calf on January 11 against Sacramento. He missed six games from January 13-22.

Via NBA.com

Bargnani Re-Injures Calf, Believes It To Be 'Much Worse'

Andrea Bargnani re-injured his strained left calf in the first overtime period of a 111-106 double-overtime victory over the Jazz on Wednesday.

Bargnani said the injury is "much worse" than his previous one.

"This time it's bad," said Bargnani, who planned to undergo an MRI. "I'm pretty sure I'm going to be out for a while."

Via NBA.com

Casey Seeking More Balance, Considering Lineup Changes

Raptors coach Dwane Casey is considering changing a few pieces in his lineup.

“We still have a couple of positions we’re looking at,” Casey said. “Right now, we’re going to sleep on it again tonight. Everything we’re aiming to do is nothing that’s an indictment of any one player, it’s more of us having balance, finding the right combination to get off to quick starts and a balanced game.

“We’ve got too many ebbs and flows with the game as far as our points production, our defensive focus and the whole nine yards. That’s what we’re trying for more than: ‘Hey, it’s this one guy’ (that’s the reason) we’re not winning.”

Casey remains confident in his core players.

“I think our rotations have been relatively consistent with those guys when health permits,” he said. “We have a good feel for who those guys are, now we have to get a good balance of points and defensive matchups.”

Via Toronto Sun

Raptors Recall Solomon Alabi From D-League

The Toronto Raptors have recalled center Solomon Alabi from the Bakersfield Jam, the team announced today.

Alabi, who was assigned to Bakersfield on January 4, played in nine games (eight as a starter) with the Jam, averaging 9.1 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.9 blocks in 21.2 minutes. He recorded two double-doubles, and had highs of 22 points on January 7 against Idaho and 15 rebounds on January 6 versus the Stampede.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Bargnani Near Return From Calf Injury

Andre Bargnani is listed as a game-time decision for Sunday’s contest against the Clippers. The Raptors have lost seven straight since losing Bargnani to a strained left calf.

Dwane Casey is eager to have Bargnani back in the lineup.

“You definitely have to honor him at the three-point line because of his shooting ability,” Casey said. “So spacing gives you one thing. He gives you an opportunity to post someone, gives you the opportunity to run mid-screen and roll which opens up the middle for Amir and our big guys to roll to the basket.

“A guy like that gives you so much just by his presence on the floor, not just his scoring but the spacing of the defense.”

Via Toronto Sun

Warriors, Bobcats, Raptors Most Frequently Use Zone Defense

The Warriors play zone 10.3% of the time, followed by the Bobcats (9.3%) and Raptors (7.5%), according to Synergy Sports, which tracks every NBA play and provides in-depth statistical analysis.

The Hawks face zone defenses the most, on 9.2% of their possessions, followed by the Heat (8.8%), Bobcats (8.3%) and Thunder (7.5%).

It's no coincidence the Heat and Thunder face zones.

"Those might be the two most athletic teams," TNT analyst Steve Kerr said.

Via Jeff Zillgitt/USA TODAY

Aaron Gray Cleared To Play, Activated For Boston Game

Aaron Gray, who missed Toronto's first 14 games with a heart ailment, has been cleared to return to the court and will be active on Wednesday night against the Celtics in Boston.

“Aaron’s gonna go,” Dwane Casey said roughly an hour before the game. “He got clearance today from the doctors and his heart has been steady, there have been no more episodes, which is great. That’s the most important thing, more so than basketball, and I truly mean that. His health is far more important than him being available.”

Gray worked out on the court before the game and seemed to be easing into heavier workouts. He dribbled the basketball on his own while sitting on the bench for several minutes before taking some light jumpers. Minutes later, he was alternating with Amir Johnson in a drill that saw each player take an entry pass and try to score on a defender.

He underwent a procedure, known as ablation, on Jan. 9 to correct a rapid heart rate. Gray appeared in both of Toronto’s preseason games before the condition became an issue. The team announced on Dec. 30 that the free agent signee would be out indefinitely.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Casey: DeRozan Must Work Harder To Receive Ball In Scoring Position

Raptors coach Dwane Casey preached that DeMar DeRozan has to do a lot of work earlier in a possession to get it in better spots and with more time on the shot clock.

“It’s work,” Casey said. “You have to play on the offensive end with force as well as on the defensive end.
“Do it with force, you have to get down, get low, be strong, be aggressive and not let the guy get into your body, maintain leverage. There’s a lot of different things that come into play that he’s learning to do and, at the end, be ready to take a shot and make it.”

DeRozan is shooting 40.3 percent over his last five games.

“Being a young kid he may be pressing,” said Casey. “His teammates have to help him get open, set solid screens, it’s a 50-50 proposition. He has to wait for the screen, they have to set the screen.”

Via Toronto Star

Toronto Raptors Archives

Casey: DeRozan Struggling Against Double Teams

Dwane Casey said DeMar Derozan needs to learn to play against a “man-and-a-half.”

Bargnani Suffers Strained Calf, Set For MRI

Andrea Bargnani suffered a strained calf in a 98-91 loss to the Kings on Wednesday.

Aaron Gray Underwent Corrective Heart Procedure

Aaron Gray underwent an ablation procedure to correct a rapid heart rate.

Ed Davis Responds To Meeting With Casey By Delivering Best Play Of Season

Ed Davis had his best performance of the season on Wednesday against Cleveland, posting eight points and seven boards just hours after having a one-on-one meeting with Dwane Casey.

Casey: Bargnani Playing With More 'Confidence', At All-Star Level

Dwane Casey is "totally impressed with (Andrea Bargnani's) approach offensively and defensively."

Casey: DeRozan's Three-Point Shooting Opening Up Raptors Offense

DeMar DeRozan has made a significant improvement from long-range.

Raptors Assign Solomon Alabi To Bakersfield Jam

Solomon Alabi returns to the NBA D-League having played 22 games on assignment with the Erie BayHawks during the 2010-11 season.

Team-By-Team All-Star Ballot List

The 120 players on the ballot were selected by a panel of media who regularly cover the NBA.

Basketball Continuing To Grow In Canada As Thompson Returns For First NBA Game In Toronto

The presence of the Raptors and the willingness for Canadians to attend high schools in the United States have contributed to the surge.

Casey: Bargnani Exerting Effort On Both Ends Of Floor

The Raptors have asked Andrea Bargnani to be a two-way player.
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