YAO MING, YAO MING!! BOOO. YAO MING!!! Huh?Game Preview
Welcoming back to Toronto, the Houston Rockets! Back by popular demand this is one of the strangest games of the year at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. If you have never experienced the Houston / Raptors matchup in Toronto let me break it down for you.
Toronto has a massive Chinese community and Yao Ming is a hero. There will be 11,000 Chinese folks in attendance, most of whom attend only one game a year (yes..this one).
Yao Mind...ladies man.
Toronto has a massive ability to hold a grudge. I'm talking ex-high school girlfriend you bump into at a bar when you're 30 and you're thinking "gee, i can't really remember how that ended, it wasn't great but hey...it's been 13 years...i'm freaking 30'. That followed by an awkward conversation, a 'you gave me an eating disorder' a walkaway, then a return slap beer toss. You know...that old story.
Well after T-Mac turned down our max offer to go play with Orlando let's just say we've had trouble eating our Nachos and cheese. Since T-Mac dumped us he and Vince get the annual Boo treatment. And i'm talking every time they touch the ball. Last year at the game the Raptors gave a shout out to a community leader (Dr. Tac Mac) to which my buddy Tav bellows out ("Tac Mac....that's too much like T-Mac....BOOOOOOOOO".....incidentally the crowd loved that one).
The Grudge: Year 6 (The 2 most hated NBAers in Toronto)
So picture a game where T-Mac is driving (huge booing), followed by Bosh blocking the shot (huge cheers), Yao gets the rebound (11 year old girls shriek YAO MING, YAO MING!!), who passes it back to T-Mac (massive booooooos rain down), back to Yao (YAO MING, YAO MING!!), who misses (Raptors fans cheering). It's very confusing and disjointed and well, we never miss this game.
If this was the only game you ever went to you would have absolutely no concept of what was going on, what were wrong with the fans here, nadda.
Luckily i've broken it down for all 11 of our readers.
Oh yeah, game breakdown. Anthony Parker and Calzone are both on the bubble. Looks like Parker will play (key to defending Tmac) and Calzone will sit (not as key the way TJ is playing, and I love seeing D Martin pat himself on the back when he does anything like hit a shot).
It should be a great battle, we have 17 games to go and could take 11 of them if we keep on trucking like we've been trucking. We'll have a tough time with Yao and a worse time with T-Mac. These are known issues. It's Battier who i'm worried about (shutting down Bosh and draining wide open 3's). Hopefully Parker is playing and can contain T-Mac, Nani can get 8+ boards and everyone hits there open shots). Prediction Raptors 107, Houston 104.
p.s. T-Mac LOVES being booed. He always steps up and can't figure out why we still do it. Vince on the other hand CLAIMS it doesn't bother him and then he usually puts up a stinker. It's really the underlying difference between the two, and if TMac had Vince's back (not 'I have your back man' but litterally they transplanted backs, TMac would have dominated the past 5 years, a la Kobe instead of being so up and down).