• Jose Calderon will not travel with the team to Chicago to face the Bulls Saturday night. After injuring his left hamstring in the fourth quarter of the Raptors loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday, he will take the weekend to rest. While Jay Triano didn’t completely rule him out for Sunday’s game against the Orlando Magic, he did say he wasn’t expecting Calderon to play this weekend, so do with that what you will and adjust your fantasy rosters accordingly.
  • Andrea Bargnani did not practice today and will be a game-time decision tomorrow in Chicago. Can you tell the end of the season is nearing?
  • Today was looking like the second-last practice of the season and it made me kind of sad to think of how quickly it’s flown by. It definitely wasn’t the most enjoyable season of basketball to watch, but I can’t say anything bad about the guys I’ve had to cover. They might not give great quotes every day (and some days, it’s like pulling teeth trying to get something quoteworthy), but they’re good guys who show up, work hard and want to get better. I could think of worse media situations to be in.
  • How many PR guys will make everyone stop what they’re doing to listen to Rebecca Black’s “Friday, Friday” song? I’m going to go with one. Jim LaBumbard, Raps PR wiz, made Doug Smith Youtube the song to hear it for the first time and while we waited to get into practice. I will have the song stuck in my head for the rest of the weekend now. Thanks, Lombo.
  • One thing you’ve got to give James Johnson: He’s confident. Jay Triano said he had a conversation with Johnson about the game tomorrow, saying that the Bulls were likely going to get after their former teammate. Here’s James on that conversation:

“Yeah. You know, good because I’m going after them. I know my team’s got my back and this will be a good win for the organization and a good win for us. Just to let us know that we can still compete against the best. We always happen to play good against the great teams, since I’ve been here. I don’t think it’s going to fail tomorrow.”

Yes, I think he just guaranteed a victory there. I’m sure his former teammates in Chicago will love that one.

  • With Calderon being out of the game tomorrow, if Jerryd Bayless or Leandro Barbosa get into foul trouble, lookd for James Johnson to run some sets for the team. Johnson said he’s feeling much more comfortable with the ball in his hands now that he’s not hanging on the bench all game:

“Yeah, I feel real comfortable with that. Coming out and getting those little minutes that I was getting, maybe dribbling the ball felt unorthodox for me, but now, getting into my rhythm, I feel like I’m going back to my normal self and my normal self knows how to dribble the ball and run sets. I’m confident in myself and I’m glad that Jay’s confident in me as well.”

  • After not getting a big opportunity in Chicago, it’s clear that Johnson appreciates the opportunity Triano and the Raptors have given him:
  • “He’s let me play through my mistakes and it built confidence in me. I’m just going to keep running with that and ride this momentum train.”

  • While I don’t think I’d pencil in Johnson as the starter on an improved Raptors team just yet, it’s nice to know that he’s been able to use the increased opportunity this season has allowed to get comfortable and confident. At this point, it’s the little things, right?
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