Get Free Shots from Toronto Raptors Ramblings: January 2007

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Vegas Baby Vegas

Couldn't post while in Vegas, too busy gambling, partying, walking around. But the Raps are sitting at .500 having spanked the Wiz once more.

Managed to hit up the Washington game tonight. Box seats with the parents courtesy of my sister's vendors. Beautiful. Although when you buy $12.50 sprite zoners and sneak down you get the best seats and you really feel the value.

An amazing game, Jose Calzone had my parents in love and my sister saying "TJ who?!".
No need to talk crazy talk but he was super Calzone tonight. Bosh was a monster, ending the night with a baseline spinorama jamma down the throats of the wizards. A lot of emphasis on that one.

We relied heavy on the three to keep pulling away but the Raps could do no wrong tonight (okay, way too many fouls) but at least we were aggressive, double teaming Gilbert and holding him to a quiet sub 30 performance.

And how about Bosh scoring 5 points in the last 2.6 seconds of the 3rd? That had to hurt the Wiz, Bosh spin hook with 2.6, then intercepts the bomb pass and goes 3/4 shot swoosh. Refs rules no shot but Big Sam knew it was in and the crowd went wild.

Let's just say when you score the free pizza with 11:30 to go in the 4th it's a good night.

Good night. Be back fresh soon.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Run Raptors Run. Just stay away from Webber.

I love how everyone is talking about our 'separation run' right now. Sure, we could roll 4 out of the next 5, but even if we do is that creating separation? Hey, i'm a dreamer. I like, scratch winning streaks when they involve the raptors. I stare at our percentage and am confident that our .462 vs. .459 winning percentage makes us dominant over Jersey. But let's get a grip Raptors writers. If we go on a 'run' and get some 'separation' of 2 games that's kind of like your girlfriend being 'out for a couple of hours'. You aren't exactly running a strip poker night or a KY wrestling match.

You're my boy blue....You're my boy.

It sure is fun to watch us almost beat two dream teams (Suns / Dallas) and then come out and beat the living crap out of a team like the Sixers. The Old Raps like to keep everyone in a game, you know to keep it fun for the fans. These Raps though have a little edge. A little f-you, you can't play with us. That's just plain lovable. As an added bonus you get to see the Hump come in for some garbage time minutes. Or you can just shut the t.v. down early to avoid hearing about the S&C for the 200th time (I can't stress how much this bothers me. Stop with the S&C. If it's Chuck's 'thing' then let him say it once per game. That i can live with. But hearing Leo and Jack ad nausea is pukatating).

But back off topic. Chris Webber. How can their be a scramble to land this joker? Sure he doesn't cost anything so in that respect it's low risk. But to win a championship? Is Webber going to just start playing defense again? Is he somehow going to start running again? Reading some of the 'top writers' in sports you'd think this was 2000. I feel it's more likely people will start bringing up 'the timeout' again and Webber will go all nutso dark on us (actually that could be a side bonus).

When Mourning screwed Toronto over he still had gas left in his tank. And still does. But Webber's knee is about as reliable as my pop-up blocker. Sacramento couldn't believe they unloaded him and now Philly full fledged dumped him and is paying him $40 million dollars. Is this not a warning sign to anyone?

I was reading John Hollinger and he was going on about his stupid PER trying to make us think that guys 40 minute averages somehow translate into anything and in his ramble (too focussed on that ridiculous PER) he actually pointed out something I hadn't considered, which is not that it's a low cost gamble, but it's just that for a team that relies on jump shooting and limited D. And that's why Dallas or any other real contender is lucky he was passed by. Detroit's not a real contender, since their plan is ole defense and jump shots and Flip is their coach. All of a sudden Webber seems like the perfect fit.

Some days it's just nice to wake up a Raptors fan.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Who hates Vince Carter?

Just kidding, I meant who doesn't hate Vince Carter. And no, that's not a question.

Did you happen to catch Vince take a pinky in the cheek late in the 4th with the game put away? Priceless. Or maybe when they panned to Jason Kidd on the bench giving other players props staring blankly out not even acknowledging Vince? How about Frank, deciding "I guess i've got to go out there".

Man that was awesome. We lost, but it was a pleasure to watch that one shining moment.

On a serious note, the Nets came out with a 15-0 spanking of us, and even though we rebounded it set the tone that they were ready for this, hungry to take back first place and thought little of us. All the 'we've got confidence' talk turned out to be just talk and no action. Too bad.

Random Note: Do yourself a favour and rent bon cop bad cop. I just purchased the first television set of my life so I'll be ratcheting up my movie reviews. At university i rolled with my gramma's old roller faux wood t.v. remember those beauty's? The remote control only had 4 buttons. Think about that for a second. Volume up turned the t.v. on, volume down all the way turned it off. Channel up. Channel down. And if you held it you could get through 150 channels in 5 seconds. Of course there weren't 150 back then so the speed was just to impress the ladies. I've since had an assortment of hand me down tv's and left behinds from roomates. Today 40 pure inches of lcd goodness was purchased. Beautiful. Next (just don't tell the warbird).

Friday, January 05, 2007

Die stupid salami and cheese die

Tonight’s staring lineup included Rasho, Bosh and Nani. That’s nearly 21 feet right there.

Having lost twice to the Hawks you had to figure the Raps would key in on Joe Johnson, and they did. With JJ held in check, Meat playing like good Joey, Nani doing all those things that will get him ROY votes (scoring and no look passes) and Bosh spinning, up and downing and dunking like mad, this was a great all around Raps performance. Shooting 60% also helps.

Chuck was intent on telling us tonight that Nani is not like Dirk but more like dirty Pau. Although Meat was the player of the game (maybe his brother should attend every game) Nani was dropping finger rolls, reverses, dunks, threes and also delivered on the….

It wasn’t his touch passes or his first or his second no look pass but his third. Hard to describe but here you go. Running ‘like a gazel’ (according to Chuck) down the right side on a fast break he cuts through the lane at the baseline, takes the pass and leaves a reverse bounce pass for Bosh to try and finish with a dunk. Sadly Bosh got fouled and couldn’t finish, or it would have been on every Raptor highlight real for the rest of the year / decade. It was still hotter than Brazilian super model sex on the beach.

Calzone also played well and continued driving to the hoop and finishing on the ground out of bounds. That’s his move. Against the Suns he either got the crap packed out of him by Amare or no foul call and it really took him out of the play. Tonight, with no Josh Smith, it worked like a charm.

Michael Jordan a.k.a. Anthony Parker wasn’t any good but have you ever noticed Parker loves to try his ‘Jordan moves’. His fadeaways, his layups, generally moves that he can’t pull off. It’s your buddy in the playground who can almost pull off those moves so he looks pretty cool even when it doesn’t go in. Somehow he’s getting away with this junk in the NBA cause it looks like it might go in. No wonder he was so popular in Tel Aviv. They thought he was MJ. The best tidbit of the game though was to find out Sheldon Williams is dating Anthony Parker’s sister. Advantage Williams. Imagine the trash you could lay down in close? I’m talking Slap Shot type “your wife a dyke…I know…she told me” kind of stuff. Poor MJ.

Bosh of course rules as always. So some of my idiot friends like to take the stance that because the Raps were 6-6 without Bosh we are ‘better without him’ because we play like a team. Ha ha. It’s nice to have a Ewing theory and all, but sweet Jesus. I had an argument a few months back with another friend (slightly more knowledgeable) who argued the Raps were the worst team in the league without Bosh, which is obviously not true. Maybe on paper, but only because nobody knows our team. But Bosh is the cornerstone. You need to have a go to guy. So without him we played hard, smart and got some wins by sneaking up on teams and hustling. Insert an unselfish superstar and we could win the Atlantic. Remember, 30 games for this team to start to gel. We’re almost there. Also Bosh is getting great at getting hit, holding himself in the air and muscling in a shot…now if he could only get up to 80% FT shooting.

Lastly there is Jack. People who tell me they like “Jack” and he’s a great commentator, well riddle me this…why can he not think of anything better to talk about than Salami and Cheese with Chuck. I’m so f-ing sick of hearing about Salami and Cheese I’m thinking about bringing a giant salami stick to the next game and tossing it at their table. Kind of like when the Red Wings throw Octupi on the ice…but different. And now I hear we are having a Salami and Cheese night at the ACC and giving away shirts…I’m going to be sick. Whoever came up with that needs to be fired. Fired I say.

God Bless the Raptors. Death to Salami and Cheese.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Darrick Martin

D-Mart. How about the happiest guy in Toronto for about 20 minutes last night. I'm not sure what you saw on t.v. but Mr. Martin was so jacked about hitting threes it was almost comical to watch. Check was pure comedy to watch.

You know those old school Fred Astaire types who pull the jump and click your heels move? Well Martin had them on the ropes. His first few threes were met with some arm waving like a bird action-i'm awesome type of move. But his biggest three was met with a pure Fred Astaire. He even tried to hug a fellow Raptor who was trying to get down court to play D.

And that was really the story at the ACC (and in Raptorland) last night. Everyone was just happy to be there. Nobody seemed to care that we mismanaged our timeouts, Mitchell was let off with a 'hey, he kept us in it' nod. Nobody seemed to care that was rode Martin for 23 minutes, including every crunch minute. Nobody seemed to care (too much) that Bosh fouled Steve Nash for the go-ahead 3, even though he's a 91% free throw shooter but a 40-something% three point shooter. Okay, i admit he woud have hit that three. Nash had it down the stretch.

But that's where we are at. Hanging around the central cause we have moments and games of top quality play. And yet well under .500 still because Calzone can have games like that, and without Ford those are killers. Certainly his worst decision making game of the year. And yet we were still in it to the end.

A nice try for the Raps, and effort like that will keep us around in a lot of games. But just being happy to be there will keep us on the outside looking in.

Other notes....Garbo and Ford were missed....when Nani gets hot just feed him the freaking ball, enough dicking around already. This guy loves his streaks, and he's not afraid to shoot.....Mitchell actually did a great job keeping us in the game and benching Calzone and boldly riding Darrick Martin, but ending the game with no time outs and then letting D-Mart dribble head down up the court without even thinking pass...well that wasn't genius. Still top marks......The Inflatable Raptor is by far the most popular version of the Raptor, kids / girlfriends would rather watch that Raptor than the game, and really who cares.....It's hard to post to a blog on a consitent basis and I'll be looking at 2 posts a week for the next while, while propertyfind gets finished.

Happy New Years. Let's see if we can't make a run at the Atlantic in 2007.