NBA

Triano talks turkey with gentlemen on the press

FOX Sports The Toronto Star
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It's not so much full-court pressure as situational pressure that the Raptors will use to change the tempo of games with their defence.

While his team was lauded for using full-court pressure in its shocking 51-point win over the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday, Toronto coach Jay Triano disputes that name.

"What we did a couple of times is try to hit guys to make them give it up and then not let them get it back," Triano said after the Raptors worked out at the Air Canada Centre on Saturday. "A guy like (Phoenix's Steve) Nash, a guard who controls the game, if you can double-team him and make him give it up ... that's not what they want to do.

"We're not really pressing - we're not playing 94 feet - but we're trying to be strategic about where we are (on the floor) and how we do things."

Triano also knows it can't be a staple of what the Raptors do. It has to be a tactic strategically employed.

"A lot of times you have to do it based on small things like where everybody else is on the floor," he said. "If you run two guys at a guy and they throw it over your head, it's four against three and the NBA's too good (to get away with that).

"We have to be strategic with who we hit off of and who we hit with."

BACK IN ACTION: The Raptors took a full complement of healthy players on a pre-season road trip to Boston and Chicago. Linas Kleiza, who sat out Friday's practice with a sore knee, and Sonny Weems, who rolled an ankle during that workout, went through a full practice on Saturday and are expected to be in uniform when the Raptors play the Celtics Sunday.

SOMETHING TO PROVE: Much has been made of the intensity with which the Raptors are practising throughout training camp. Amir Johnson figures it's just a byproduct of their desire to prove experts wrong.

The Raptors are seen by almost every self-professed expert as one of the bottom-dwellers in the Eastern Conference if not the entire NBA and they've already started playing the "no respect" card.

"I guess everybody has a sense that everybody wants to win and everybody's kind of downgrading us," said Johnson. "We're kind of the underdogs and we're looking at that like, 'We're going to come out and kick some butt.' I guess everybody's hungry to play."

LONG ROAD BACK: Rookie big man Ed Davis, still recovering from knee surgery, did not accompany the team for its road trip to Boston and Chicago. He's begun light workouts on basketball skills - catching entry passes and some ball-handling - but remains weeks away from any serious work.

Tagged: Raptors

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