Get Free Shots from Toronto Raptors Ramblings: July 2006

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

RIP - Alvin 'Mr. 4th" Williams

Alvin Williams was a work horse. Alvin Williams was a gutsy player. And more than anything, for those of you who forget the days of Vince refusing to take big shots....Alvin Williams was Mr. 4th quarter.

With the game coming down to the last 8 minutes and that ball rotating around Williams would take the shot we needed, and more often than not, come up big. Sure we weren't setting the world on fire back then, but we were competitive and Alvin hit shots, made other people better and competed. He competed so hard, that he willed other players to be better.

What's with the Alvin love fest you say? It's true he's been dragging our books down for a while, and he'll likely never play again. But Alvin deserves a little respect on the way out.

The Press Release stated:
“I have the greatest respect for Alvin Williams, both as a basketball player and as a human being,” said Bryan Colangelo, president and general manager of the Raptors. “Parting ways is simply something that needed to be done for this franchise and Alvin to both move forward.”

Of course it's garbage about it helping Alvin, although maybe he means to move fwd in his life beyond hoops. Just the same, it was time to do it and it's one more step in the right direction for the re-tooled, re-Euro'd Rap Show.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Slamma Jamma Jones

Fred Jones is in. $14 million dollars is out. The Salmon is swimming up another river and the Raps have a little room to shimmy. Shimmy into the Euro Playoff MVP? And a little something else next year or later this year.

Clearly I was never big on the Salmon but all the rumour that it was part of something big makes you wonder....made you wonder. Iverson? Garnett? O'Neal? No. Maybe. But let's just be thankful nothing stupid happened.

Now we have a former slam dunk champion....for whatever that is worth. Hopefully just something you hear at the end of Fred's drives. But can he play D? Is he big enough? Can he shoot better? So many questions....but only 11 million reasons to care. I'll take it.

You gotta hand it to BCO though, he's right on it. One deal falls through and the guys got two guys on ready five, ready to launch. His assistant says "It'll be 5 minutes before I can get Jones' agent online". "Bullshit, this thing will be over in 2!"

A quick call. We always wanted you. Sweet.

Advantage: Raptors

Saturday, July 15, 2006

A Calming Time

After a few days to ponder these last moves by Colangelo I am still where I last was, but more hopeful that he knows something I don't. Colange clearly thinks he's finding the next Boris Diaw here (talented guy buried on the bench and given the wrong role). Let's hope he's right.

Let's stretch things for a second and consider Bosh is a stud. T.J. Ford has all-star potential and now you need a third. If you find someone who turns into that third guy you have a great nucleus and now these other athletic pieces start to make more sense.

However, we are out of money to get purchase that other real option. We are tying up all our cash in these mid range contracts, hoping one of them turns out to be that guy. Can Bargnani step in and start jacking the ball consistently right away, if ever? Will Parker find his Euro groove? Does the Salmons swim through the lane like he's headed upstream?

Wait and see is the new way to be. The only moves we'll see from here till day 1 look like the Garbage Man (Porn Star) signing, and potentially Urokacrusher to replace the "POP".

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Anthony Parker....the best recovery EVER!

John Salmons doesn't exist. John Salmons doesn't exist.....inhale...exhale....

Hello Anthony Parker!
The best player outside of the NBA! And I know, right now you might be thinking Nate Huffman....but ladies and gentlemen think again.

Anyone who is this beloved can't be all that bad. Just sit back, watch and enjoy.

What did we ever do before You Tube.

LAUNCH MAGIC HERE (Make sure your volume is on)

Sorry Anthony Parker....I'm Pissed.....JOHN SALMONS!

Bryan Colangelo,

Are you f-ing kidding me? I've loved the fact B-CO rode into town, scouted out our needs and started dropping pieces into place. Loved it. BUT THIS!?

Not making Mike James an offer or even sounding interested in a guy who brings energy, runs, shots 44% from the three, drops 21 a game and 6 assists....seems odd. Maybe that guy wants too much and you are thinking 'future'. Hey....everyone can understand that.

But then taking that same money and signing JOHN SALMONS to a 5 year, 23 million dollar deal, plus a second round draft pick....and cash!! This is a 27 year old who in his 5th year in the league just managed 7.5 points a game over 25 minutes shooting 42%...and he can't shoot threes (29.9%).

Run and gun eh? What is this new style? I'm starting to miss last year's style already, where we routinely jacked up 42 three pointers a game. Ah the good old run, dribble around and jack 29 foot three's....the good old days.

Well if nobody can drop three's what happens when the entire defence collapses??
Prediction: Mo Pete will be averaging 12 three point attempts per game. It's as simple as that. If your fantasy league gives points for three's then get Mo Pete.

John a hoof to the balls.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Head Butts

I don't watch much soccer or ever really write about it....but I do like to write about head butts, and wow did Zizou (France's best soccer player...of all time, who came out of retirement for one last World Cup) ever deliver one!

I love this game that came out about 10 hours later (maneuvre around and head butt the guy with Zidane).

You can't ever really defend a guy who blows it for your country like this and can blame him for losing. When your best (or at least leader) gets ejected for being hot tempered with 10 minutes to go in the biggest game of your life....yes you can blame him. It was his responsibility to lead them and stay in the game, pointe finale.

Had his header gone in just minutes before he might have gone down as one of the legends of all-time and now, well now he'll go down as a legendary head butter who was one of the best of all-time.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

The Sports Guy lambastes TJ / Charlie V trade

You have to love The Sports Guy. Not 'love', but you gotta love what he writes....especially when it comes to hoops. This guy has more useless hoops trivia engraved in his tete than most people could find on the net. And that quite clearly is saying something.

What disturbs me about his latest rant off about the TJ / Charlie trade is that he's very often right. Not normally a writer to sit on the fence and in this case he went so hard on the pillaging that happened in Toronto, he made me feel like Isiah for a moment. Why would I keep defending this trade? Why do I defend Nasho and his huge contract. Well i've addressed both. I have nothing new to add other than that I hope he is wrong. He's been wrong before.

I still say Charlie V isn't that good. I have to. We have to. And let him prove us wrong. Hopefully TJ is reading all of these bashings and will be out to prove everyone wrong, we can inflate his value and keep trading up. Charlie V is a red paperclip and we are trying to use that starting point to trade ourselves up to a championship....slowly.

p.s. if I have to link you to the Sports Guy then you probably should just go away., don't, you're the only person reading this.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Nani drops 20 and what about Mike James?

A nice little start for our numero 1 draft pick, the Nanny. Driving to the hoop, hitting NBA three's, getting to the line, not crashing the boards and playing spotty D.

But hey....he's 20 and it's summer league. But a nice start nonetheless. Not to mention he can dribble.

On another note, people are offering Mike James 3 year contracts in the 5 million range....are you kidding me? If he is seriously thinking of taking offers like that and Colangelo isn't even making a pitch I'm wildly confused. Why we have totally and completely abandoned the thought of keeping James baffles me. He shoots in crunch time, he's a great 3 point shooter and he's got energy. Does this not fit into our new 'running' and 'up tempo' style of game? Does he not work hard enough and bring leadership to the locker room?

The only reason I abandoned hope is i thought he'd be getting a 5-6 year contract in the 6.5 to 7 million dollar range. A three year deal in the 5 million range is an absolute steal for Mike James. Brutal if we don't even make an offer, and utterly and totally baffling.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Would you rather....

A good question I read in the free newspaper today (I mean really, who pays for newspapers anymore?), would you rather have

Bargnani, Charlie V & Brevin Knight


Bargnani & TJ Ford

A legitimate question indeed. Although the top scenario does look much better, Brevin doesn't play our new 'style' of ball, which is presumably fast paced. Then again, how are we playing fast paced? I'm biased cause I love TJ but when I look at that it makes me wonder...

ESPN Hollinger Blasts TJ Ford deal....

In his latest losers article ESPN's John Hollinger blasts the Raptors for swapping Charlie V for TJ Ford. Blasts them.

"Ford's inability to shoot makes it easy to defend him in pick-and-roll situations and encourages opponents to play zones -- especially since the Raptors don't have a Michael Redd to keep opponents honest. And on defense, his 5-10 frame (or 6-0, if you believe the official listing) makes him ripe for abuse by all but the smallest opposing point guards"

The article further rips Ford's potential, his new high salary demands and talks up Charlie's V's potential.

There ain't doubt that Charlie V has potential, but there certainly is doubt about his future All Start calibre, his ability to ever defend other small forwards, pushing him to the 4 spot and his general committment. Maybe Charlie V has some magic, maybe his chip can carry him until that big plush contract. And I love how he talks about the 48 point game.

One thing you have to know about Raptor land is that everyone's stats are inflated, minus the big fella's. Mike James has carte blanche and so did Chucky V when he hoisted 29 shots up against the Bucks en route to 48 points. And talking about Ford to 'replace' Mike James? Mike James is a small 2 guard, stuck at the one, much too often. Ford and James could play side by side (of course they won't) but Ford is certainly no replacement. A fast paced pass first point guard vs. a dribble 22 seconds off the clock, hoist up a 27 footer and do it again man in Mike James. Hey....god bless Mike James and his heart, but TJ and him are as comparable as Leo and Chuck.

T.J. will be an all-star in this league, and that is why Colangelo pulled the trigger. Charlie V will progress more slowly now that he's 'established' himself and in the end Toronto will come out on top.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Marquis Daniels....rejected.

When you look at the guard situation in Raptor land, the glee from the recent onslaught of signings is slightly diminished. As the OC says, in Colangelo we Trust, and yet one has to wonder why we would not sign and trade Mike James for a dozen new balls? Daniels, while not an out of this world talent would clearly assume a large role in the Raps backcourt and with only 2 years left on his contract (5 mil a year) it's not a massive cap hit. Of course we have 13 mil and need to be ready for next year's market. But still.

Only thoughts are these

a) Colangelo has somebody else (hopefully somebodies) lined up at a better deal.

b) Daniels is a dick and nobody likes him. This one is completely made up, he may be the nicest guy in the world, but if the Mavs are looking to swap 2 guards there has got to be something going on there, not just that Mike James is way better.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

T.J. Ford is in....Charlie V is out.

So long Charlie, thanks for the 48 point show. thanks for the 18 rebound show. thanks to Stephen A. Smith who pissed you off, enlarged that chip on your shoulder and pushed you into your best season ever. That just landed us an all-star point guard of the future.

T.J. Ford can break down the defense and make a play. He can either pass the ball to the open man or he can hit the mid range jumper. He's a solid defender who gets his steals and he's only 23. He's got to get better at shooting the three and bring up his FG% but what the hell he's 23 and he's a streak shooter. Bottom line is this kid is a true point guard and he could be an all-star for years to come.

Colangelo is really shaking things up and bravo so far on these moves. Can't wait to see what he does with Mike James.....