Time to get Jacked up

Jarrett Jack believes the Raptors could learn to be a little more like the Celtics. (QMI...

Jarrett Jack believes the Raptors could learn to be a little more like the Celtics. (QMI Agency/Dave Abel)

MIKE GANTER, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 12:19 AM ET

The Boston Celtics might have only one of their big three healthy, but that means nothing to Jarrett Jack.

Regardless of who suits up for the host Celtics Saturday, the Raptors point guard feels it's high time he and his teammates made a statement of their own in a game where the Celtics provide the opposition.

And if Jack is feeling that way just three months into his Raptors tenure, imagine how Chris Bosh and a handful of others who have been Raptors for the past few years must be feeling.

Toronto has exactly one win in the past nine regular-season contests dating back to the 2007-2008 season. That win came in Boston on Jan, 23, 2008 when Jose Calderon, in overtime, drove the lane and after faking a pass to Bosh finished with a driving layup to put Toronto ahead for good.

Throw in pre-season games, and the Raps are 1-for-12 over the past three seasons, including two losses prior to the start of the current campaign.

Worse still, the Celtics, at least in Jack's opinion, appear to enjoy rubbing the Raptors' faces in it and that, Jack says, isn't going to stop until the Raptors make it stop.

"They have been a team that we haven't been competitive with at all and I'm talking about going back to pre-season," Jack said. "And they're a team that have been very mouthy saying we don't have post players and stuff like that. Those guys are the beasts of the East. We have to step up and make them respect us."

The fact that both Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett aren't expected to play in Saturday's game doesn't change the fact that the Raps have shown far too little fight for the better part of three years every time they have come up against this team.

"I'm not saying we have to go out there and say they're nothing, but we do have to go out there and step up to the challenge," Jack said. "The last few times we played them we haven't done that. We backed down and allowed them to hit us in the mouth first and we've backed down after that. Going into this, I don't care who's playing. I don't care if (Celtics GM) Danny Ainge is playing. We got to go out there and play and meet them with the same physical mentality that they bring."

Clearly the image of Pierce doing a celebration over Bosh after the Raptors captain had taken a knee in a sensitive area still rankles with Jack. Not a single Raptors player rose from the bench to protest Pierce's actions while the entire Celtics bench was at midcourt when Jay Triano and Alex English led a two-man Raptors charge.

Jack believes the Raps could learn to be a little more like the Celtics.

"I think they are very talkative and very celebratory after they get stops which is good," Jack said. "I think if our team was more like that we would be a lot better off. I think the best way, as my dad used to say is: 'If you don't want them celebrating, don't give them anything to celebrate.'"

The Raptors will be down two starters of their own in all likelihood. Joining Jose Calderon, who will miss his ninth consecutive game, likely will be Hedo Turkoglu who bruised his right knee during the Charlotte Hornets earlier this week.

Turkoglu did fly to Boston with the team but did not do any contact drills at practice yesterday. Triano lists him as doubtful.

mike.ganter@sunmedia.ca


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