Joey Graham hasn't become the game-in, game-out producer Raptors fans were hoping he would be, but flashes of what he could be have come far more frequently since Jay Triano took over as head coach.
According to Graham, that's no coincidence.
"With Jay we get a little more leeway," Graham said. "(Former coach Sam Mitchell) was one of those guys that if you made a couple of mistakes, especially with me, he would pull you out. Jay is more lenient. He understands there are going to be mistakes made, it's the nature of the game and you have to be allowed to play through your mistakes and that's something he understands. You have to be out there in order to learn from your mistakes."
Graham says Triano's approach just works for him.
"It kind of feels like my college days," he said. "When I was out there I was free as a bird. I could do anything I wanted to. I felt comfortable and very confident out there. It's starting to feel like again."
FINDING THE ANSWER
The last time the Raptors and Detroit Pistons locked horns, the Raps were undefeated. Of course, the season was only three games old, and the Pistons quickly put an end to the Raps' win streak with a 100-93 victory. Allen Iverson, who had just become a member of the Pistons, was unable to play in that game. Tonight's, then, marks the first time this season the Raps will have to come up with an answer for the Answer.
And anyone who has watched the Raptors this season knows one of their biggest problems has been handling a quick point guard who likes to penetrate.
Iverson hasn't had the impact on his new team that Chancy Billups, who he was swapped for, has had in Denver. But he's been far from a bust in Detroit. He is averaging 17.8 points a game, along with 5.5 assists and 1.6 steals this year.