Get Free Shots from Toronto Raptors Ramblings: February 2007

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

18 hours to trade TJ

Bosh was still hungover and couldn't hit a 10 foot jumper. Garbo ditto.

TJ Ford...well me just say there is still 18 hours left until the trade deadline. He shot 3-10 and had 4 TOs but that does not tell the tale of 'bad decisions'. Sometimes i feel like TJ has the basketball IQ of a concombre or 'cucumber' for you English readers. Midway through the first quarter i had counted 4 bad decisions. To which the warbird responded 'just 4?'.

None more so than what was set to be our last possession of the game. T.J. dribbled around for most of the clock (shocking) with no intention of passing (shockinger), then drove to the hoop, 1 on 2 styles, leaned his back into the defenders and threw one over his head that missed by 5 feet. The shot clock wasn't out. There were 4 other Raps on the court. That was the kind of garbage we saw all night.

I mean, that is the kind of decision I don't even make in my hack it up Thursday night hoop league. I know the shot well. I take it once in a while. Everytime i miss i think 'ah sorry guys, were just having fun, right?!"

Well TJ just doesn't get it.

Of course Mo Pete had a wide open look to end the game so it could have all been erased. 2 seconds left, gets left wide open from his baseline office on the final play and...clank.

The entire night was a clank-hangover-rustfest. Ditto for yours truly who was sitting in the second last row of the Sprite Zone. My 'sneak down' seats got snatched by two quicker sneak downers seconds before me and for the first time ever i didn't have back up seats. Talk about rusty. That forced me back up to row 17 and with 6 minutes to go the hammered last row dudes who could barely make it up to row 18 (literally) spilled their brew on me.

It was just that kind of night.

Monday, February 19, 2007

An All Star Performance - Charles, is that you?

Apparently the All-Star game being held in Vegas was legendary. Apparently there were copious amounts of high to-do celeb bashes to the point where the Hoff had to hit 5+ parties per night. Apparently nobody slept and it was impossible to get around town.

But riddle me this NBA, what did any of that do for me? Johnny fan.

Zero. Nada. Nothing.

I mean at a bare minimum Vegas guaranteed a huge boost in celeb power, which is always fun (usually accidentally) to see. And then another debacle strikes as TNT is at the reigns and apparently has never heard of 'panning the crowd'. If you don't know the 'if Tony Parker does anything, show Eva" rule, you have no business hosting any type of big time event. It's a no brainer.

What Vegas did bring us was a wickedly ancient but newly Botoxed Wayne Newton. A Roy or Siegfried? who could barely stand through an introduction and a bunch of All-Stars who had been bendering so hard all weekend, (and who can blame them), that the game was actually below expectations. And my bar was set low. Real low.

This one was so much worse because everyone told us it would stink right from the outset. Everyone said people would be dog tired and benders would rule all....everyone was right. So give Vegas a team, just don't give them another all-star game please.

Quick notes: Dunk contest was decent (but either give the big man some props or don't put big men in it), and 3 point contest was at least competent. All in all typical. Until....

One of the greatest moments in All Star weekend history.

"Did he just do that?"
"Did Dick Bavetta and Charles Barkley just kiss?"
Rewind the PVR....slow mo....oh dear sweet mother of ….

In one of the strangest events in any All-Star game history Charles Barkley (a 43 year old stay puff marsh mellow man) had challenged Dicky B (a 67 year old ref not too unlike "Blue") to a race. Great hype leading up to the race, a lot of current and former players riding Charles hard and picking Old Man River to win. It turned out Charles had too much in his tank and the race ended with Barkley running backwards over the line and eventually falling over (mostly due to Dicky B’s late dive for the line). Yes, he dove across the finish line, bloody knee and all. That man's got heart and pride.

And then they hugged. And then they leaned back in, arms embracing each other in a loving caress and they kissed. On the lips. Puckered up. Ready to go. In slow mo you can see, nobody was trying to duck out of the way. And nobody said anything. It just went to commercial (okay there was a quick line about Ricky Bobby). And then silence. It’s like it didn’t happen.

You make fun of Charles for weeks and weeks about a race, but when he and Dick have a man kiss in front of millions nobody says a thing? Are you kidding me? This will go down as a legendary moment in All-Star lore, as one of the biggest of mouthes laid one smack dab on Dicky B. Who kissed who, it's impossible to tell. It's like they knew it was going to happen, like magic just struck them. For those of you who saw it, remember it. And the next time Chuck is riding your team hard and talking total nonsense you can just kick and wonder once more....did that really happen?

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Sweet Jesus

The night I choose to pull out the computer, a couple minutes to go, up 12, not feeling uber-confident but keep going down low and eat up some clock and you are sitting on a win. You really have to try to blow that.

Mitchell brings TJ in to 'close it out'. A couple of lazy passes later, and a whole lot of crap threes and inability to play the thing you know Duhon is inbounding with three seconds to go Bulls down 1, Nani on him, inexplicably not crowding the passer, presumably why he's in there....Ben Gordon misses. Sorry, i'm writing this live.

That was the most painful win i've seen in ages. Just purely painful. Derrick Martin trying to tell TJ why he almost blew it on the way to the locker room.

'we did an incredible job to stay there with our mind, very hard to do, and we did it' - Nani (commenting on the end of the game disaster)

'i was always open so i shoot it' - Nani on his solid night, presumably impersonating Ivan Drago

TJ Ford played up in front defense down the stretch but up 2, fouling Ben Gordon after he's beat you only 3 feet away from the hoop with a chest bump from the side? Wake the f up. Although the Raptors won, i think we've watched this as an example of what not to do.

Ah well, tomorrow it will just seem like a tasty sweet win versus a solid team, who was 15-1 versus the East at home this year. It might also seem like we are 4 games over 500 and three games ahead of Jersey again. And it really might seem like we didn't blow a 12 point lead in 2.5 minutes. Sure....we blew the lead, but we got it back when it counts.

Get us to that All-Star break!