So Bosh isn't happy that Mitchell tried to work in some new offences and defences the day before the game. Fair enough. Given this squad struggles to execute the same plan we've had for 82 games it's reasonable to assume it's going to be tough going to pick something else up over night, oh ya, on the eve of being asked to just magically 'turn it around'.
WEIRD SCIENCE But Raptors faithful, let's focus on the real issue. The experiment is over. The ego tailoring has got to end now. Get Jose Calderone back up to 35 minutes a game! Is it that simple? Could it be? Maybe.
Jose is a fine guy, willing to come off the bench and not take it personally. Willing to even say it publically. But I don't care. And nor should Mitchell, you or anybody else. It's clear as day he's the better player, the team plays better with him and he needs more minutes. I think we've show cased Ford enough to trade him, don't you? If Jose is playing 35 he kills the Magic not only with his ability to get other guys going but to get into a rhythm himself. And if he can't find it, oh my god, he wouldn't...could you imagine...he might actually not force it?! Whoa pinch me i'm dreaming.
Getting Ford off the floor might help as much as getting Jose on it. And while in this magical scenario of Mitchell making the obvious move sure I still dream. I dream that it all comes together like we know it can. I dream that TJ comes off the bench and has a few 27 point 'they can't guard him' moments that boosts his stock and allows us to dump him in the off-season for something decent. But remember....i'm a dreamer.
RANDOM EXPERIMENT OF THE YEAR Speaking of experiments, how is the A-Barg starting? How angry am I? Did I warn you this post was actually going to be a rant filled with unaswered questions? And it's not like i expected to actually win game 1 in Orlando, but I never anticipated that kind of decimation or defiance of logic. Bargnani starting, really? How did this come about again?
Loose Explanation from Mitchell "hey he hasn't played well in months I'm right here, i see that. But those are stats man. And where you all are writing that he's got no confidence and seems to show a complete indifference to all of this, I see resilience. Do you remember last year in the playoffs? Man he stepped it up. I like him on defence too. Sometimes you got a gut feel and you go with it!"
Based on that you gotta cut Mitchy some slack. Or do you say 'hey, he hasn't had that mojo in 3 months...or is it a full year now?" Resting our hopes on Bargnani getting hot is insane. Worrying that we're going to lose on Turk-o-Glue's post game, inane. And speaking of Defence Having Kapono and other wing men sloughing into no man's land on defence is inexcusable. Don't double the post guy, but don't cover your guy. Just make sure he can easily pass it back out to an open guy or you can get close enough to reach in. Could we try and make them work for it?
And speaking of working for it, can the former coach of the year dust off his trophy, open his ears and backup into the obvious move here? Please.
The one move that may save his job, my sanity and this series is the Ford Pine Hybrid. You'll never be happier than when it's parked in your garage.
Bumped into Rasho, Primoz, Nutbar and some random at ONE, an overpriced-dejour-cougar outlet in Yorkville. Nice place, but really you are best to go there with a group unless you are
a) Rich and looking for some seriously made up ladies b) A made up lady looking for a rich dude
Rasho and the boys stood out like sore thumbs. Made me realize that you just don't want to be 7 feet tall.
Playoff Raptors Predictions It's no secret that we REALLY need to finish 6th to have any chance of a first round playoff victory. And i'm not even talking about a series.
The Good News: We own the series with Philly 3-1, so all we need to do is tie them. Our final two games are against Miami and Chicago so a 2-0 streak heading into the playoffs is not out of reach. Plus Philly has to play Cleveland so 1-1 could do it.
The Bad News: We totally stink. While we are 'hoping' to play the Magic it's not as if we've dominated them. The Magic haven't played great as of late (wait..that sounds like good news)...but then again we have completely fallen apart.
Actual Prediction: -Raptors finish up 1-1, and end up 6th -Bosh goes nuts in the playoffs and takes the Magic to the final game -Raps can't get it done in final game and it's a first round and out
I'm off to the Heat game on Monday....although i'm not sure why. I think it'll be fun to watch true tanking before the NBA changes the rules for blowing a season by hiring an ABA team to take over. Kind of like seeing Havana before the end of Castro.
The Heat are so bad the coach can skip games to go recruit and not even take any flack. Wow. Riley just started to challenge Isiah for most useless bench boss around.
My last post was about trouble looming in TJ / Raptor paradise and one month later I have to re-emerge to right the ship. Is drubbing the Heat by 40 righting the ship...not at all. But it's better than losing.
Question: Name 3 Heat who played against us last night? Go ahead, I dare you. I only watched the first Q but that was enough. It was like one of those "Do you think Carleton University could play with a Division 1 top tier team" questions and stick around. game note: Bargnani as Hannibal Lecter was fairly awesome. Anytime you can make Rip Hamilton look good in his mask, it's time to talk to the mask doctor.
Does that look like a reasonable way to try and ice a game, up 3 with 22 seconds to go?
Does that look like I got so upset during this play I had to rewind it, pause it, and take a picture of my television set? (p.s. this turns into a finger role in about .03 seconds...a long, long, finger role).
Maybe you would feel better knowing TJ had missed 3, 2nd half, 1 on 3 layups and was 6-14 at the time?
But that's TJ. He's working his way back in by hoisting up more shots than anyone on the team. He played more minutes than Calderone (who was mostly invisible) and he did what TJ does down the stretch. Hold the ball for TJ time.
I'm officially concerned. Mitchell has got to get TJ working with the system. And when he does it will be a beautiful thing. But the last 3 minutes of the game if TJ and Jose are both in, let me suggest Jose at the 1, and TJ at the 2.
Bosh has clearly established himself, and I mean really finally established himself as the man. Not just on the Raptors but in the NBA he is now one of those guys. And we're going to see it this spring. I can feel it. But keep in mind this all happened in TJ's absence. It was a great growing experience and Jose's style of running our team was one of the key pieces. i.e. hey Bosh, it's your team.
I'm not suggesting TJ's return isn't good. It's great. We don't need him to finish 4th or 5th and have a competitive first round. But if we want to win in the playoffs we need all of the help we can get, and you can't buy his quickness. He runs the pick and roll by driving by dudes and dishing it backwards over his head. You love that guy. You hate that guy. But he's not the floor general that Jose is. Here's hoping Sam can figure out how to make this work.
Note: Great work by Carlos Delfino tonight....attaboy Delfino, knocking down 6-7 from long range.
Calderone Looking on and wondering....really Tee-Jay. A finger role from just inside the foul line has a 22% chance of going in...I think this is a bad plan....but i like you anyways.
Quick Update: Have Toronto Sports writers stopped watching the games? Doug Smith and the guy from Canoe.ca are all "oh TJ is back baby!". Huh? I think they meant 'back to his old tricks'. Doug Smith blames DELFINO for almost 'blowing the game' with his charge down the stretch? Now that's a stretch.
Juan Dixon out. Useless 7 footer in. Listening to Sherm Hamilton and his sidekick talk about having 3 'True 7 Footers' was amazingly comical. 3 True 7 Footers? Bargnani should frame that quote. Although Brezec was a fantasy darling about 3 years ago he has since gotten lost faster than Oceanic Flight 815. So what is Colangelo thinking? Is he thinking Brezec is better than Hump (who already doesn't get enough minutes) or Rasho? Is he thinking T.J. is so healthy that between him and Darrick Martin why bother keeping the only other guy who can sort of play point? In my mind while this trade was mostly useless, Detroit just upgraded Flip Murray (17 minutes a game) and we just downgraded our backup point guard. Can't understand this move in the least. If we play the Pistons in the post season it gets even more annoying.
Image: Primoz (and Raptor nation) taking it
Carlos Delfino: Not a backup point guard
Maybe that explains why they were trying to run Delfino at point guard against the Magic for a bit. Wow, was that ever a disaster! While he didn't do all that much wrong on the stat sheet, if you watched the game, Delfino is not a point guard. He just doesn't have the handle or the ability to handle pressure with a quick, smart decision. Repeat: Carlos Delfino plays the point like I play the fiddle. So in summary our backup point guard situation actually managed to just get worse.
Pau Gasol - Love him not Did you watch the Shaq Daddy's debut the other night? It was your typical Suns game, where they somehow keep hanging in there but lose to a Western Foe. Shaq looked okay, showed some misplaced bursts of energy (diving for loose ball he had no shot at, sprinting down the court after a goaltending call) but what i really discovered after this game is THANK GOD WE DIDN'T LAND GASOL.
I'll apologize in advance to Garbo and Jose, but what a freaking whiner that guy is. I can't tell you how much I hate players like that. I had no idea he was this giant baby. On one play he just chucked the ball out of bounds (obviously thinking Fish was going to cut to the ball). Immediately after, he doesn't!!!! give him the 'my bad' signal but the 'where were you, you were supposed to be there!*!!' signal. He whined and moaned on so many plays I grew to hate him over the course of one game. Done. Glad we don't have him. Sure the Lakers might be a favourite now but they certainly aren't stocking up on players I like. GO SUNS!
You rarely hear a sound like the one that kept coming out at the ACC last night. It's a hybrid between a painful "moan-ugh" and an admiring "woah".
That's the sound the ACC made over and over last night as Kobe dismantled us with dunks, crazy fadeaways and moves so smooth they make silk seem like sandpaper.
Unlike the 'ugh-moan-sigh-boo' combo you'll hear against San Antonio, when you get dismantled with such style, there is a certain amount of props that must be given up. A certain amount of awe for what you are witnessing. Raptors fans passion for winning colliding with the amazement that somebody is that good.
So despite 25 cm of snow yesterday 18,500 packed the ACC and the cheapest scalped tickets still sold for $100. As Kobe said "I only get here once a year, so i like to put on a good show". (Game note: last night we looked like the wimpiest team in the league. After 9 Kobe dunks you'd think somebody would foul him hard...but nope. Not a one. Where was Humphries when we need him?).
The February March So we're 0-1 in Feb but still looking at a potential 9-3 month. If the Raps can focus on taking care of business against the bottom feeders we have a shot at moving towards .600 and a 50 win pace. This is the month to do it. With a cake walk schedule, 8 home games and hopefuly a chipped on his shoulder Calderone, it's time for the rise of the Raptors....or another quick exit from the playoffs.
Joe Johnson: PLEASE! This team is in permanent disaray with no shortage of talent. The 'young' factor has run dry. Joey's had some big games but ain't no way he should be on this team. And don't tell me he's "more entertaining". These games work when there are sweet point guards throwing quality oops, and swanky passes.
Tale of the Tape
Jose numbers as a starter - 31 games
WHAT AM I MISSING?! I get that Joe is a shooting guard, but that's irrelevant, coaches could vote for any position. Is it his big time scoring? He's shooting 40% this year, down from 47% last year. Thatalone should disqualify him. A 7% drop in shooting percentage! On a better team!?
And it's not like this is Jason Kidd, where he's getting in on the fans 'traditional' vote or a coaches sympathy vote. Nor are we talking about an out of this world personable guy who you just need to have there (Shaq). And it's certainly not like he has that much flair. It's almost as if they've done this just to see how enraged Raptormaniacs can get.
Sadly we're all too passive and think, oh maybe Jose isn't that good yet. People...Jose Calderone has shown he's a top flight PG in this league...what you might call an all-star (at least in the East). Colangelo is already on record saying 'we're going to keep him' despite having an 8 million dollar guard on the books and Mitchell has already said TJ is the backup when he returns. Plus how about watching the games! Jose is CLUTCH! My point? Make a stink. Get Jose on the snub lists so coaches might actually wake up.
My only theory is this: The coaches thought they had to take a SG because they didn't read the instructions. They thought 'hey let's get a real hucker in this game who shoots 40% from the field and 35% from downtown. The fans will looooove that."
The only solace is with Kidd about to head West you can bet that next year Jose should, one year too late, make the All-Star leap.
Last year the Raptors took off in January en route to a great year and what looked to be a building block for this year. Last year we had a good excuse for sucking early, a brutal Western road schedule, a truck load of new dudes and question marks all over the place. But that was last year. And we pulled it off. So the question is can we do it again with a team that just doesn't look so good?
I say yes. Why can't we turn this thing around? Isn't it possible that we'll be looking back at today's Double OT victory as the season's TSN turning point? I feel like Moon's 4 point foul at the end of regulation could have taken us in one of two directions. Direction 1 - Trainwrecktown, a.k.a. Spearsville, where we get angry, and self implode by blaming everyone, partying away our effort and finally ending up locked in a bathroom with our kids for 3 hours before being wheeled out half naked on a stretcher into an awaiting amublance before getting a visit from Dr. Phil telling us we need help.
Direction 2 - Goodnessville There is hope behind door #2. Bosh seems to have suddenly come back to life being as aggressive as we've ever seen. Parker is asserting himself on O. Moon is turning into a defensive powerhouse. Jose is already everyone's favourite no turnover 'write in' all-star. Even Carlos is settling into a role I can handle. And 3 straight, even vs. only one good team, is still 3 straight.
Now with Detroit and Boston on the docket along with a all of a sudden not super Crappy Hawks team you may still be thinking ".500-ville'. Fair enough but......
But Strangers Things Have Happened. Just this weekend I saw a J-Love Hewitt Bumload of evidence that anything can happen.
For example, would you believe me if I told you Chris Farley has been resurected in the form of a 3 year old girl? Probably not. I haven't seen her fall through a table, do a pile of drugs or show off her fat belly, but this photo speaks for itself. And while waiting to see the new Daniel Day Lewis movie There Will be Blood (7.1 out of 10) I'm almost positive I saw an add that suggests SlyStallone pulled Rambo out of his coffin, retired him to Thailand as a Zen like Snake trainer and he's going to save an entire Village from a very bad man.
I'm equally as certain that Eli, and not Peyton Manning is actually moving on in the NFL Playoffs.
And what about the first full page "blow this whole Leafs team up" article in the Globe? (The surprise of course being it took this long to publish the annual story).
Still not convinced?
Think about it like this. We sneak out a win vs. either Detroit or Boston and beat the duds. We hit February with a little bounce in our stride. Moon wins the Dunk contest, Jose gets a coaches vote-in as does Bosh. We dominte the weekend and February features Miami once and Indiana, Minnesota and New York TWICE EACH!
.620 to Goodnessville It could happen. But for a .620 run we need a few other things to happen. Bargnani will likely have to do something other than suck, and the bench will have to follow his lead. T.J. has to come back and compliment what Jose is doing. And of course Bosh (as if in Response to his 1 rebound game) has to continue to dominate.
But is any of that so far fetched? Why not root for that, instead of anticipating a ho hum year. It's Winter, a.k.a. Raptors time. Like Favre in a snowstorm. So take that Colangelo in the Tunnel look of stone death off your face and let's prepare for a glorious run, cause it's clear to me that anything can happen.
Toronto's All-Stars: A Legend in the Making (not who you think)
I'm going to lay it down right now. Bosh said coming into the year he wanted to average 12 rebounds. Tonight he averaged 1.
That is straight up wrong. So wrong it got me thinking 'how bad is that for a guy who wants to be a dominant power forward and an all-star?' Well a quick scroll through Tim Duncan's game logs should help ease my mind....one rebound game, hmmm...2007/08 (nope)...2006/07 (nope)...2005/06 (nope)... 2004/05 (eureka!). Duncan nabbed 1 rebound in a 110-101 loss to Detroit! Game note: Duncan logged 2 minutes that game.
Here's the point, if it needs to be made, Bosh has to wax and shimmy that glass each and every night. There are no nights off for the Tim Duncan's of the world. None. Wax. Shimmy. Shine. Repeat.
While we won the game, I think we've shown this encounter as an example of what not to do.
Meanwhile in true All-Starville resides our main man Jose Calderone. I've ranted about his Assist to TO ratio but J. Hollinger bested me once more with his damn stat machine and some crazy thing he came up with called the "Pure Point Rating Leader". Which I like.
Two reasons. One the name suggests it's pure and true baby. That it weeds out the stuff you don't see. Secondly Calderone would be the all-time Assist to TO leader if the season ended today....beating out the legendary Mugsy Bogues. On the other hand it's Nash and C Paul who are right behind Jose in the PPR Leader category. (I'm confident Hollinger was about to talk Ass/TO ratio and like me looked up all-time leaders only to find he needed to invent a better stat in case someone said 'who's the all-time best'?).
In his article you'll find a nice little piece about Jose, especially the "Vince Carter is eating his dust" bit. Way to suck up to Canadian readers JH. We'll take it.
Rookie Land / Dunk Content - A true legend....Toronto wise The legend of Moon is about to go full in Toronto and not because he'll be our second straight old timer rookie at the game (oh Garbo where have you gone). And not because he's a top 3 player on our team. But because he's about to become the first Raptor to win the Dunk contest since Vince Carter. Yup. You read it here first. Moon played for the Harlem Globetrotters. You think he might have worked on a dunk or two? Moon has the smile, the creativity and is gaining the confidence. The stuff he's doing is games is nothing. Repeat: nothing.
Moon wins the dunk contest. One more notch in Vince Carter's Raptor post is removed. And a legend is born.
(you tube video working sporadically...but if you haven't seen Moon dunk you likely aren't reading this blog)
Greetings and a happy 2008 to all. My hiatus in Rio and Buenos Aires was as predicted, a rollicking good time, and I came back to an equally predictable Raptors .500 fest. I did get to see the sweet San Antonio spanking and no, I don't care that Barry and Manu were missing. It still counts, especially in S.A.
On to bigger Matters: Cow Tipping At www.chris-bosh.com and now all across our fine Internet you can find a little home made video of Bosh petitioning for All-Star votes, a la Texan salesman. Fantastic. The video itself is surpsingly not painful, and innocently funny enough, especially for CB4, his best acting yet. But in this day and age (i.e. Yao Ming will be on the team till he retires) If the media won't give you the coverage, and your supporting country is too small to vote you in, then take it to the hole strong.
Bosh goes all Boss Hogg on you and you have to admire his gusto. Next year half the guys in the league will be doing this, and then they'll start to get really funny for a year or two, and then the NBA will panick that it ruins the 'integrity of the game' (a great joke in itself) and then they'll ban self promotion so fans will start to make the videos, which will be even better. You can set your watch by this. It's happening. (In fact, we could fast track this entire plan by making some videos next year....).
I mean, just how random is voting anyways.....
My East All-Stars
Bosh: He's an all-star and a Raptor Nani: He's a Raptor and a future all-star Parker: He's a Raptor and a shoe in in Tel-Aviv (where are the write in votes?) Ford: He's a Raptor, was playing all-staresque till injury and looks like Tiger Woods, who is definitely an all-star Howard: He's insane
My West All-Stars
Marion: He's on my fantasy team and needed a confidence boost Duncan: I don't like the guys lack of personality or how they refer to him as an "International" player. He's the least international, International guy in the league. I mean the U.S. took over the damn Island in 1917, they all have U.S. citizenship and it's called the U.S. Virgin Islands. Then again, I'm not sure Parker and Manu are really THAT great. Bryant: Wearing spandex under the short shorts almost cost him my vote...but damnit, that's Kobe Bryant. Nash:A Candian All-Star Camby: A former Raptor we would have loved the past 5 years.
So there it is, voting is no science. It's not the best players, it's the most popular players, the home team players, the rando players and the Vince Carters who somehow hang onto what should be long lost fame. For God's sake, let's write in Jose! (I'm voting again tomorrow).
So Vote now. Vote often (or once a day). As Bosh has told me, It's easier than cow tipping.
I wanna glide down over mulholland i wanna write her name in the sky. I'm gonna free fall out into nothin', gonna leave this world for a while. Raptors Ramblings recent hiatus can't be explained but my next two weeks are South America bound. After watching the Raps / Celtics game last night I feel the timing is about right. They are heading into an awful stretch of games without Bosh and bargNani and I'd likely just get extremely angry over the upcoming .500 fest...and that's if we are lucky.
Last night's game is not even worth analyzing. But I have been meaning to write a quick diddy about some stats you should know.
The Raptors Can Shoot Shocking, no? Does it matter that you are 2nd in the league in FT% (by a wide margin) when you are last in getting to the line? Nope, but it tells you something. You don't need to be McGyver or even McClovin to figure out that FT's are a cheap (read: very wise) way to stay in games when your shots aren't falling.
Speaking of shot's not falling,how come we don't shoot more 3's? You probably just shat yourself. But look at our gunners. It's Gunner Nation in Toronto. I'm dead serious. If you can't rebound anyways (Delfino and Moon have really started to change this), then let's do two things. Let's get to the line by driving...and I don't count driving sideways through the lane and launching up rainbow floaters (Joey Delfino) and let's get more open Three's (note: driving to the hoop may actually result in more open three's).
Even Calderone is shooting 43% (not enough attempts to qualify). We are shooting 44% as a freaking team, leading the NBA by a mile!
To put this in perspective, what do you think when i say "Pam Anderson"? Boobs. Right? Of course. And when i say "Booo", of course you think Vince. So what do you think when i say Ray Allen? Shooter. Right? (maybe this year you think 'stupid freaking Celtics taking over our damn division' but work with me here) traditionally you think shooter. Well he shoots a career 40% from long range. Enough said. We can shoot.
Obviously Jacking 3's isn't going to solve all our problems, and is eerily reminiscent of those good old huckfest losing days, but we've never had a team that could hit them so well.
Recent memory's best team was '04 - 05's Mo 38% Marshall 41% Alston 36% Vince 32% Bonner 42%
Team 37% (with 20+ attempts per game)
So while you are saying 'buckle down on rebounds' and 'tighten up the D'...sure yeah. That's all key. But let's take advantage of what we've got working, and right now that's downtown Judy Brown baby.
One more stat for fun Have you seen our passing numbers? Calderone and Ford are 9th and 13th in assist per game (formerly 8th but TJ injury hurt) and Calderone's assist to to ratio is one of the sickest numbers not talked about in the NBA. 5.7! Are you kidding me? 5.7? When John Stockton led the league in assists (most ever in a season) he was at 3.9, which was sick. If you are over 4, you are insane (this only counts if you get lots of assists incidentally). I just thought you should know this. Everytime you see Ford whip a pass off a cutting Rasho's chest for a turnover two feet to early it's magnified by the fact you rarely see Calzone do this.
Garbo Update --> Surgery Next Week? Apparently.
Dumbest Comment of the week by someone who knows hit shit --> Doug Smith explaining we won't be playing TJ as an underzied two-guard like Barbosa, Terry etc. because we like our two headed monster. That's fine and all but ah...Doug...how about the fact that TJ can't hit three's? You can't be an undersized two who can't shoot 3's unless you are Allen Iverson.
A Preview? As you know I’m not a ‘preview’ type of writer, especially for an upcoming game vs. Memphis. But when a guy named Chip Crain emails you from Memphis HQ to pass along his assessment of the game and tell you why he is famous…you are almost forced to reply.
Chip Crain. What a name. I was so sure this must be stolen from a movie I Googled him…but it’s just him. Famous old Chip Crain. (note: don't be confused with Charles Kane, Beverly Hills Gun Club...that name pales in comparison).
So, Chip Crain, here is that link to your preview for our Raps faithful as well as a few nuggets of protest and observation.
Raps Overview We won’t take offence to Chip Crain not knowing we are 7-7, much like he won’t mind seeing a ‘c’ in the word offence.
Grizzlies: Really, you still go by the name Grizzlies? I mean I won’t lie, I enjoy the images of Big Country that the name conjures up, but how did that happen? It wasn’t exactly the Lakers who were moving here, we’re talking about a perennial loser. Does Chip Crain have the answer….time will tell.
(note: Check out the home made "BC 50" arm band!)
Point Guard: Former Raptor vs. Three Fingers Mighty Mouse! You sure bring back some good memories little buddy. But the sun is setting on the Little Cheese and Calderone (our backup PG) is on the rise. And not in a Kyle Lowry kind of way, but in a 9 assists, low turnover, hit big shots, floor general kind of way. Too bad he may be playing somewhere else next year. Power Forward: How does Chip Crain not know that our starting Power Forward is Chris Bosh? I feel like that must be in there just as a tester for us. It’s possible he was simply confused because Bargnani is redefining the location of the centre position, foregoing the traditional ‘rebounding’ role and taking up shop 29 feet from the rim. Fair enough, we’ll give you a pass on this one (FYI - Nani, Nesterovic and even Baston fill in at centre).
Benches: Chip claims we don’t have toughness off the bench. But compared to what? We just don’t have much toughness period, not really our game. But the bench is not our problem. The fact that we still don’t have a starting lineup…well that’s a problem. Our lineup du jour features Moon as a starter but you should recognize this is Mitchell’s annual starters try-out camp which runs until early December. So stay tuned….the real Raptors lineup will be sorted out soon and you will see a very deep team on the rise.
Chip Crain vs. Me: The Big Interviews Well Chip Crain is famous for his interview with Grizz GM Chris Wallace. I couldn't actually track it down, but could it be as good as my interview with Joey Graham (scroll way down)? I mean the guy refered to himself in the third person while the VIP made him completely ride it!? Then Uros Slokar basically said...well i stll can't say it. But needless to say those interviews did nothing for my fame. So the fame edge goes to Chip Crain but I'll take me and the Raptors 1 on 1 at a party anyday.
ON A SERIOUS RAPTORS NOTE: GARBO UDPATE Chip, if you haven't read about the Garbo behind the scenes information check out a few posts ago. We shared the Spanish NBA connection after all. But 'news' that the Raptors doctors think Garbo needs surgery isn't exactly 'news'. It's a nice reminder that his Spanish insurance policy comes up soon and they are back to their pre-worlds stance that he have surgery...but this joke is getting worse by the minute. What a total waste of our glue stick for the past 6 months. Hurry up and make him have the damn surgery and stop pretending it's anything other than what it has been for 6 months, which is a colosal mis-managed situation!
Chip, thanks for the preview. I wish Memphis all the luck over there in West hell, you'll need it. As for us, we'll be picking up steam soon as we battle to our 50 win goal and a shot at round 2 or 3 of the playoffs this year. And yes, we will be giving you a spanking tomorrow night to end that 2 game win streak.
Mailbag – Answering your Question and Making up my own
Dallas at the Half
Here's what I wrote at the half. With any luck the Raps can hold onto this half time lead, crush the Mavsin the final two minutes (cause the game will be close) and get back towards a 50 win pace. bargNANI is raining 3's, Bosh is aggressive and making real moves, people are almost even fighting for defensive rebounds…almost. But it's the Mavs at home and we love giving up wide open three's and long rebounds, so a 14 point head start is not much to write home about.
Moon Scouting Report
Someone said to me "once they get the scouting report on Moon he's toast". Really? He hustles, gets in your face, goes up to block a shot, and even on a fake can likely get back up before you get your real shot off. How do you scout against that? On offence he's taking what they give him, he can shoot triples and he can fly like Nelly Furtado. (Fantasy note: he could be worth a spot on a deep bench. Editor's note: I already scooped him up and renamed my team Moonshine Glenn).
Readers Request – New Feature
Sven asks: "Write a post about all our shooters! Also write something about Hector!". Sure. Hector (nickname) was scouted out of Korea by Vigor and came dangerously close to making it to our training camp this year. As for our shooters, do we have lots of em? Yup. Are we getting them 'their shot'…no. So far tonight we are, but so far this year it's been spotty. Nani shoots from the top of the key. Anywhere else is too close. Bosh shoots from the elbow and the baseline. Parker shoots from Mo Pete's office as does Kapono (if he can ever get an open shot). Garbo likes it at 45 degrees and Delfino hasn't yet met an angle he doesn't like (ditto for Humphries). Ford is money this year 5 feet inside the long ball and Calderone is a golden god in limited minutes, minus the acid.
Pet Peeve of the Week
This won't be a weekly feature, I like to bitch much too much to contain it to once a week. But come with me down this journey folks. Picture me..standing in a courtroom…you are primarily a racist white jury and i'm ridiculously good looking….now close your eyes and picture the Raptors holding for last shot. You see T.J. Ford waiting…and waiting…and waiting. You see the clock. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Picture yourself thinking 'for the love of god man, make your move'…but it doesn't happen. Not until 5 precious ticks are left on that clock.
Now close your eyes and picture that he's Michael Jordan. Cause I'm pretty sure that's what Ford does.
The reason this plan works for a 6 foot 6 pure scorer is that he knows he can get a decent shot off. He's like Paris at the nightclub. It doesn't really matter if she waits till closing time, she's going to score, at will, if she wants. The problem with Ford's late night move if he drives and can't get a clean shot he is left with two options. Option 1 is his the huck-up a prayer maneuver. Option 2 is kick it out to someone else who has about 0.8 seconds to get off a shot. Ouch.
Now close your eyes again and picture a day when he drives with 7 seconds to go. Sweet sweet heaven.
Don't think it's an impossibility, remember not long ago T.J. was the king of the 1 on 4 drive, throw it sideways over his head towards the basket move. Hopefully it's only 5 or so more tick tocks before he adjusts his arsenal once more.