West Coast Rising: Durant and Oden won't be in our way
It's nice to know that Lebron, Wade, the emerging Bulls and the aging Pistons will continue to be the primary obstacles for Raptors supremecy. While it's slightly annoying that the West Coast continues to get better really who cares? If Oden and Durant turn out to be the next two big things i'm more than happy to pick them up for my fantasy team and enjoy their play on late night west coast NBA t.v.
Did the Celtics ever get screwed though! Beautiful news for us. The Celtics will be picking 5th and the Hawks almost slipped into that #2 seat which also would have been a tragedy. The hawks have loads of young talent, but adding a Durant to their squad would have enabled them to make some trades for more stable pieces and be an immediate threat. Instead they'll be adding a Corey Brewer type. Phewf.
Phoenix gets screwed too! It's easy to hope for Phoenix with their high octane game and Steve Nash leadership but did they really need a top 5 pick? They had the Hawks pick only if it didn't fall in the top 3....and it was #3. So Nash and co. who thought they might get a huge asset in the early first round are left with two later picks. Things are really starting to go wrong for Phoenix this month. Ouch.
No More Posts? Posts will be fewer and farther between. I now have to post for FAT CAMP. I joined up to get a free personal trainer and motivate myself to get into shape. So I also have to post on my progress. There's not much hoops talk but certainly some rambling.
Enjoy...the end of Whopper Warren may be near.....
You may call him Big Shot Bob or maybe Big Shot Rob. But there is no doubt Robert Horry's check of Steve Nash was one of the biggest shots he's ever hit.
No Stoudemire and Diaw for game 5 because they didn't get into a fight? The NBA is losing its mind. Refs blow the whistle 3 seconds after a play depending on did the ball go in or not, who was involved etc. And now i'm hearing that this is by the letter of the rule? The fact that the NBA has the balls to say something like this enrages me to no end. It is ludicrous.
Raptors I have yet to post my final Raptors thoughts for a great 2007 campaign. But hats off to B-Co for the excutive of the year. There was no other option and I have utmost confidence that he'll bring back an even better team next year. Can't wait to see what he's got up his sleeves. Enjoy the playoffs.
How about for a little karma? How about the power of positive vibes?
I mean, what kind of a person doesn't want to believe? The Mavs just got absolutely slaughtered by the Warriors. And who ever thought Hurley on Lost could pull the cute blond? Did you ever imagine what's her name could win the Apprentice? And who would have thought Martin Brodeur in a Vezina campaign year even knew what a Sieve was let alone could magically transform into one like some kind of Barba Poppa? (note: i just learned how to spell Sieve and had a nice reminiscent "Clickity Click....Barba Trick moment...see this blog is useful).
Carry some hope tonight Raps fans. Here's 5 more reasons that should give you hope:
1. What is up, must come down. What is up with Chris Bosh? He is MIA, a bit down that people are trashing his game and generally not able to focus his energy to properly dominate. How long till he figures out how to do it? It could be 3, 4, 7 more playoff games....BUT...it could be tonight. One thing is for sure. At some point, he will figure it out.
2. Jose is playing World Championship styles and he's learning how to slow down J-Kidd. Plus...he's doing this one for Garbo!
3. My horoscope on iGoogle said "Give yourself permission to sink into your irrational dreams and you just might return with valuable wisdom that you can put to use". I'm not 100% sure the relevance here...but it just feels good.
4. After 7 years and some absolutely amazing decisions George W is still the president of the US. If that can happen, anything can happen, right?
5. Vince "Boo Wince Crumple Cry Momma's Boy" Carter is on the OTHER team. He doesn't have the heart of a champion and he'll never win the big one. He could easily blow this series with two straight stinkers and lots of "you take the winning shot Nutbar passes".
Everyone likes talking about the possibility of 36 year old half coach / half player Darrick Martin suiting up and leading the Raps into battle. While 'fun' to joke about and day dream about in a 'how crazy would that be' scenario Jose will wrap as much tape as humanly possible around that ankle and lead us into battle.
So when Sam Mitchell was asked repeatedly about this he finally dropped one of his sarcastic thanks for the stupid question bombs on Toronto's finest beat crew.
"We dress him up, give him a spot on the team and pay him the money we pay him because he's a nice guy. See that's all ya'lls problem is you ain't that nice. If you were....YOU could have his spot". - Sam Mitchell
Bottom line is D-Mart can adequately distribute the ball and won't make many stupid plays. Reality is he's a bit of a hucker and can't take over the way Jose and T.J. will have to if we have any chance of getting out of the dirty swamp alive.
p.s. Bosh I know you read this. Stop it. Keep looking for your game. If you can remember where you left your nutsack it's probably in the same spot. Now go dominate for God's sake enough screwing around.
Game 5 "3...Carter drives....2.....kicked out to a wide open Nutbar....1....it's up for the win!.....CLANK. The buzzer sounds and a collective sigh, a deep breath and the pandemonium erupts happily, at least for one more night. 'We want 7', and for now we've got six. It was a game of 'stepping up' and out of the gates it was the Nani, hitting from everywhere. Nani-esque play of the game was a long up 3-fake on RJ who soared past the fake and opened the door to a silky smooth triplet. And then came MJ...er, AP, who made sure he was ready and he would come through, as the stick of Uhu he is. That and Calzone took our offense into the second half on a dominating swing.
(Our Best Five?: Nani, AP, Calzone, Joey, MoPete) Act 2 The second half was of course treacherous, you can't keep a 15 point lead all night but Jose sure tried. With T.J. Ford down and out to some form of injury the crowd decided the "oh le, oh le oh le oh eh" chant would turn into "Josee, jose, jose jose....jose..oh joseeee"....and he responded. Moral of the story, don't go under the screen. When he wasn't scoring you might find Jose dishing out to Mo Pete who was having the best game he's had in 40. What this meant was that Bosh, who again was in huge foul trouble (which incidentally was ridiculous and would not stand up in court, two of those fouls were total jokes) had to only keep us alive in the fourth. To a very small degree he did, if you count hitting 3 of 4 clutch free throws (but not the last one) and playing some solid d at the end, but by in large Bosh is still MIA. We won this game despite Bosh playing like '07 playoff Bosh. And that might be our light at the end of the tunnel. If Bosh shows up for game 6....well who knows.
Joey is Nutbar Nutbar was 0-7 from long range tonight. That won't happen again so we can just say thank you. Joey Graham played great D and pulled back 10 boards. When he fouled he crushed people. Stand up and take note, this kid might not be in the NBA next year but at least he knows what a hard foul means. Hats off to Joey for picking up this relatively straight forward concept, which seemingly obvious is missed by most. Side note: During halftime, KG (that's Kev Groh) mentioned that bad Joey should go by reverse name: Yeoj. Consider that done. Can I get a ruling, is that pronounced "Yee-Ohge"? I guess it's just me, so the ruling stands.
Let's Chant While the "Jose" chant to the soccer anthem was fantastic, it wasn't even number 1. A natural merger between fan chants of "Let's Go Raptors...Let's Go" and "VC Sucks" turned into one half "Let's go Raptors" while the other half of the crowd finished off with "VC Sucks".
"Let's go Raptors...VC SUCKS!, Let's go Raptors...VC SUCKS!"
Below: unfortunately not the chant, but watching Vince ride it always makes me happy.
X-Factor: Fans of the ACC. Pretty much everybody (minus the fans in 308, row 2,3,4 who were dead beat losers). Great effort. Some great cheering, overpowering the brutal ACC commercial music with chanting and sticking with it....that's how you do it. That's how you be home fans.
Y-Factor: The Nets shooting. The Raps will have to play better and Chris Bosh amazing to get us back to Game 7. But let's face it: We Want Se-ven.
Z-Factor (Notes): Ford is down with an injury (neck...yikes)....Calzone got taken to the hospital after rolling his ankle (does that mean what i think it does), leaving us with....yes, D-Martin and Juan Dixon to play the point....Jose had a career high 25 and was pestering Kidd all night long from half court on....Rasho barely played a minute as part of our new quicker and more offense strategy....we relied on the Nets missing shots to win that one....
Let's take it as a given (and it may not be) that "Boo" Vince will show up tonight and put up a mediocre performance at best. That opens the door for the Raptors to show at least some resemblance of the team we have grown to love over the past 6 months.
If we lose tonight, Mitchell's job is on the line, Bosh's leadership is questioned and of course the inevitable 'is this the right make up for a playoff team' talk will begin. Nobody has mentioned that the Raptors won 47 games this year by giving it their all. We were in 5th gear all year, so when New Jersey shifted out of 4th gear and into 5th, we simply had nowhere left to go. Is that true, it's hard to say, i hope we have that other gear. We just don't know how to drive in that gear, let alone play defense.
Then again, if the Raps win tonight and lose Game 6 it's more likely to be chalked up to playoff inexperience and a 'building block' for next year.
The point here is that winning tonight is huge. Winning tonight is about our future, even if we can only win this one more game. This will be a building block for next year and it will calm the questions about leadership, coaching etc.
Coaching: I can't coach to save my life so who am I to make observations? Well screw that theory, just because you aren't a coach doesn't mean you can't ask questions. I mean none of us are GM's and many of us can certainly out think half the GM's in the league who are too close to the action. So here's the million dollar question. If you can't stop Vince and the entire Nets team is hitting open 3's...what do you do?
Answer: Turn Jason Kidd into a scorer. Leave him in one on one coverage. Don't slough down and give up wide open shots. Just don't do it. If J-Kidd is held to 6 assists and 32 points, can New Jersey win? I doubt it. Maybe we throw Mo Pete on J-Kidd and TJ Ford on Antoine Wright. Let him beat us.
and that's why i'm not a coach. But the bottom line is do something, anything. please.