Get Free Shots from Toronto Raptors Ramblings: January 2008

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Tommy Likey: Anything can Happen

Last year the Raptors took off in January en route to a great year and what looked to be a building block for this year. Last year we had a good excuse for sucking early, a brutal Western road schedule, a truck load of new dudes and question marks all over the place. But that was last year. And we pulled it off. So the question is can we do it again with a team that just doesn't look so good?

I say yes. Why can't we turn this thing around? Isn't it possible that we'll be looking back at today's Double OT victory as the season's TSN turning point? I feel like Moon's 4 point foul at the end of regulation could have taken us in one of two directions.

Direction 1 - Trainwrecktown, a.k.a. Spearsville
, where we get angry, and self implode by blaming everyone, partying away our effort and finally ending up locked in a bathroom with our kids for 3 hours before being wheeled out half naked on a stretcher into an awaiting amublance before getting a visit from Dr. Phil telling us we need help.

Direction 2 - Goodnessville
There is hope behind door #2. Bosh seems to have suddenly come back to life being as aggressive as we've ever seen. Parker is asserting himself on O. Moon is turning into a defensive powerhouse. Jose is already everyone's favourite no turnover 'write in' all-star. Even Carlos is settling into a role I can handle. And 3 straight, even vs. only one good team, is still 3 straight.

Now with Detroit and Boston on the docket along with a all of a sudden not super Crappy Hawks team you may still be thinking ".500-ville'. Fair enough but......

But Strangers Things Have Happened. Just this weekend I saw a J-Love Hewitt Bumload of evidence that anything can happen.

For example, would you believe me if I told you Chris Farley has been resurected in the form of a 3 year old girl? Probably not. I haven't seen her fall through a table, do a pile of drugs or show off her fat belly, but this photo speaks for itself.

And while waiting to see the new Daniel Day Lewis movie There Will be Blood (7.1 out of 10) I'm almost positive I saw an add that suggests SlyStallone pulled Rambo out of his coffin, retired him to Thailand as a Zen like Snake trainer and he's going to save an entire Village from a very bad man.

I'm equally as certain that Eli, and not Peyton Manning is actually moving on in the NFL Playoffs.

And what about the first full page "blow this whole Leafs team up" article in the Globe? (The surprise of course being it took this long to publish the annual story).

Still not convinced?

Think about it like this. We sneak out a win vs. either Detroit or Boston and beat the duds. We hit February with a little bounce in our stride. Moon wins the Dunk contest, Jose gets a coaches vote-in as does Bosh. We dominte the weekend and February features Miami once and Indiana, Minnesota and New York TWICE EACH!

.620 to Goodnessville
It could happen. But for a .620 run we need a few other things to happen. Bargnani will likely have to do something other than suck, and the bench will have to follow his lead. T.J. has to come back and compliment what Jose is doing. And of course Bosh (as if in Response to his 1 rebound game) has to continue to dominate.

But is any of that so far fetched? Why not root for that, instead of anticipating a ho hum year. It's Winter, a.k.a. Raptors time. Like Favre in a snowstorm. So take that Colangelo in the Tunnel look of stone death off your face and let's prepare for a glorious run, cause it's clear to me that anything can happen.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Toronto's All-Stars: A Legend in the Making (not who you think)

I'm going to lay it down right now. Bosh said coming into the year he wanted to average 12 rebounds. Tonight he averaged 1.

That is straight up wrong. So wrong it got me thinking 'how bad is that for a guy who wants to be a dominant power forward and an all-star?' Well a quick scroll through Tim Duncan's game logs should help ease my rebound game, hmmm...2007/08 (nope)...2006/07 (nope)...2005/06 (nope)... 2004/05 (eureka!). Duncan nabbed 1 rebound in a 110-101 loss to Detroit!
Game note: Duncan logged 2 minutes that game.

Here's the point, if it needs to be made, Bosh has to wax and shimmy that glass each and every night. There are no nights off for the Tim Duncan's of the world. None.
Wax. Shimmy. Shine. Repeat.

While we won the game, I think we've shown this encounter as an example of what not to do.

Meanwhile in true All-Starville resides our main man Jose Calderone. I've ranted about his Assist to TO ratio but J. Hollinger bested me once more with his damn stat machine and some crazy thing he came up with called the "Pure Point Rating Leader". Which I like.

Two reasons. One the name suggests it's pure and true baby. That it weeds out the stuff you don't see. Secondly Calderone would be the all-time Assist to TO leader if the season ended today....beating out the legendary Mugsy Bogues. On the other hand it's Nash and C Paul who are right behind Jose in the PPR Leader category.
(I'm confident Hollinger was about to talk Ass/TO ratio and like me looked up all-time leaders only to find he needed to invent a better stat in case someone said 'who's the all-time best'?).

In his article you'll find a nice little piece about Jose, especially the "Vince Carter is eating his dust" bit. Way to suck up to Canadian readers JH. We'll take it.

Rookie Land / Dunk Content - A true legend....Toronto wise
The legend of Moon is about to go full in Toronto and not because he'll be our second straight old timer rookie at the game (oh Garbo where have you gone). And not because he's a top 3 player on our team. But because he's about to become the first Raptor to win the Dunk contest since Vince Carter. Yup. You read it here first. Moon played for the Harlem Globetrotters. You think he might have worked on a dunk or two? Moon has the smile, the creativity and is gaining the confidence. The stuff he's doing is games is nothing. Repeat: nothing.

Moon wins the dunk contest. One more notch in Vince Carter's Raptor post is removed. And a legend is born.

(you tube video working sporadically...but if you haven't seen Moon dunk you likely aren't reading this blog)

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

All Star Voting: Easier than Cow Tipping

Greetings and a happy 2008 to all. My hiatus in Rio and Buenos Aires was as predicted, a rollicking good time, and I came back to an equally predictable Raptors .500 fest. I did get to see the sweet San Antonio spanking and no, I don't care that Barry and Manu were missing. It still counts, especially in S.A.

On to bigger Matters: Cow Tipping
At and now all across our fine Internet you can find a little home made video of Bosh petitioning for All-Star votes, a la Texan salesman. Fantastic. The video itself is surpsingly not painful, and innocently funny enough, especially for CB4, his best acting yet. But in this day and age (i.e. Yao Ming will be on the team till he retires) If the media won't give you the coverage, and your supporting country is too small to vote you in, then take it to the hole strong.

Vote here, and vote often:

Bosh goes all Boss Hogg on you and you have to admire his gusto. Next year half the guys in the league will be doing this, and then they'll start to get really funny for a year or two, and then the NBA will panick that it ruins the 'integrity of the game' (a great joke in itself) and then they'll ban self promotion so fans will start to make the videos, which will be even better. You can set your watch by this. It's happening. (In fact, we could fast track this entire plan by making some videos next year....).

I mean, just how random is voting anyways.....

My East All-Stars

osh: He's an all-star and a Raptor
Nani: He's a Raptor and a future all-star
Parker: He's a Raptor and a shoe in in Tel-Aviv (where are the write in votes?)
Ford: He's a Raptor, was playing all-staresque till injury and looks like Tiger Woods, who is definitely an all-star
Howard: He's insane

My West All-Stars

: He's on my fantasy team and needed a confidence boost
Duncan: I don't like the guys lack of personality or how they refer to him as an "International" player. He's the least international, International guy in the league. I mean the U.S. took over the damn Island in 1917, they all have U.S. citizenship and it's called the U.S. Virgin Islands. Then again, I'm not sure Parker and Manu are really THAT great.
Bryant: Wearing spandex under the short shorts almost cost him my vote...but damnit, that's Kobe Bryant.
Nash: A Candian All-Star
: A former Raptor we would have loved the past 5 years.

So there it is, voting is no science. It's not the best players, it's the most popular players, the home team players, the rando players and the Vince Carters who somehow hang onto what should be long lost fame. For God's sake, let's write in Jose! (I'm voting again tomorrow).

So Vote now. Vote often (or once a day). As Bosh has told me, It's easier than cow tipping.