Get Free Shots from Toronto Raptors Ramblings: February 2008

Monday, February 25, 2008

Who's Running This Ship?

Does that look like a reasonable way to try and ice a game, up 3 with 22 seconds to go?

Does that look like I got so upset during this play I had to rewind it, pause it, and take a picture of my television set? (p.s. this turns into a finger role in about .03 seconds...a long, long, finger role).

Maybe you would feel better knowing TJ had missed 3, 2nd half, 1 on 3 layups and was 6-14 at the time?

But that's TJ. He's working his way back in by hoisting up more shots than anyone on the team. He played more minutes than Calderone (who was mostly invisible) and he did what TJ does down the stretch. Hold the ball for TJ time.

I'm officially concerned. Mitchell has got to get TJ working with the system. And when he does it will be a beautiful thing. But the last 3 minutes of the game if TJ and Jose are both in, let me suggest Jose at the 1, and TJ at the 2.

Bosh has clearly established himself, and I mean really finally established himself as the man. Not just on the Raptors but in the NBA he is now one of those guys. And we're going to see it this spring. I can feel it. But keep in mind this all happened in TJ's absence. It was a great growing experience and Jose's style of running our team was one of the key pieces. i.e. hey Bosh, it's your team.

I'm not suggesting TJ's return isn't good. It's great. We don't need him to finish 4th or 5th and have a competitive first round. But if we want to win in the playoffs we need all of the help we can get, and you can't buy his quickness. He runs the pick and roll by driving by dudes and dishing it backwards over his head. You love that guy. You hate that guy. But he's not the floor general that Jose is. Here's hoping Sam can figure out how to make this work.

Note: Great work by Carlos Delfino tonight....attaboy Delfino, knocking down 6-7 from long range.

Calderone Looking on and wondering....really Tee-Jay. A finger role from just inside the foul line has a 22% chance of going in...I think this is a bad plan....but i like you anyways.

Quick Update: Have Toronto Sports writers stopped watching the games? Doug Smith and the guy from are all "oh TJ is back baby!". Huh? I think they meant 'back to his old tricks'. Doug Smith blames DELFINO for almost 'blowing the game' with his charge down the stretch? Now that's a stretch.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Not Exactly a Primo Move

Juan Dixon out. Useless 7 footer in.
Listening to Sherm Hamilton and his sidekick talk about having 3 'True 7 Footers' was amazingly comical. 3 True 7 Footers? Bargnani should frame that quote.
Although Brezec was a fantasy darling about 3 years ago he has since gotten lost faster than Oceanic Flight 815.

So what is Colangelo thinking? Is he thinking Brezec is better than Hump (who already doesn't get enough minutes) or Rasho? Is he thinking T.J. is so healthy that between him and Darrick Martin why bother keeping the only other guy who can sort of play point? In my mind while this trade was mostly useless, Detroit just upgraded Flip Murray (17 minutes a game) and we just downgraded our backup point guard. Can't understand this move in the least. If we play the Pistons in the post season it gets even more annoying.

Image: Primoz (and Raptor nation) taking it

Carlos Delfino: Not a backup point guard

Maybe that explains why they were trying to run Delfino at point guard against the Magic for a bit. Wow, was that ever a disaster! While he didn't do all that much wrong on the stat sheet, if you watched the game, Delfino is not a point guard. He just doesn't have the handle or the ability to handle pressure with a quick, smart decision. Repeat: Carlos Delfino plays the point like I play the fiddle. So in summary our backup point guard situation actually managed to just get worse.

Pau Gasol - Love him not
Did you watch the Shaq Daddy's debut the other night? It was your typical Suns game, where they somehow keep hanging in there but lose to a Western Foe. Shaq looked okay, showed some misplaced bursts of energy (diving for loose ball he had no shot at, sprinting down the court after a goaltending call) but what i really discovered after this game is THANK GOD WE DIDN'T LAND GASOL.

I'll apologize in advance to Garbo and Jose, but what a freaking whiner that guy is. I can't tell you how much I hate players like that. I had no idea he was this giant baby. On one play he just chucked the ball out of bounds (obviously thinking Fish was going to cut to the ball). Immediately after, he doesn't!!!! give him the 'my bad' signal but the 'where were you, you were supposed to be there!*!!' signal. He whined and moaned on so many plays I grew to hate him over the course of one game. Done. Glad we don't have him. Sure the Lakers might be a favourite now but they certainly aren't stocking up on players I like. GO SUNS!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

February 2008 : Go Time

You rarely hear a sound like the one that kept coming out at the ACC last night. It's a hybrid between a painful "moan-ugh" and an admiring "woah".

That's the sound the ACC made over and over last night as Kobe dismantled us with dunks, crazy fadeaways and moves so smooth they make silk seem like sandpaper.

Unlike the 'ugh-moan-sigh-boo' combo you'll hear against San Antonio, when you get dismantled with such style, there is a certain amount of props that must be given up. A certain amount of awe for what you are witnessing. Raptors fans passion for winning colliding with the amazement that somebody is that good.

So despite 25 cm of snow yesterday 18,500 packed the ACC and the cheapest scalped tickets still sold for $100. As Kobe said "I only get here once a year, so i like to put on a good show".

(Game note: last night we looked like the wimpiest team in the league. After 9 Kobe dunks you'd think somebody would foul him hard...but nope. Not a one. Where was Humphries when we need him?).

The February March
So we're 0-1 in Feb but still looking at a potential 9-3 month. If the Raps can focus on taking care of business against the bottom feeders we have a shot at moving towards .600 and a 50 win pace. This is the month to do it. With a cake walk schedule, 8 home games and hopefuly a chipped on his shoulder Calderone, it's time for the rise of the Raptors....or another quick exit from the playoffs.

Friday, February 01, 2008



The East (*fan vote)
  • Jason Kidd*
  • Dwyane Wade*
  • LeBron James*
  • Kevin Garnett*
  • Dwight Howard*
  • Chauncey Billups
  • Chris Bosh
  • Caron Butler
  • Richard Hamilton
  • Antawn Jamison
  • Joe Johnson!
  • Paul Pierce
Joe Johnson: PLEASE! This team is in permanent disaray with no shortage of talent. The 'young' factor has run dry. Joey's had some big games but ain't no way he should be on this team. And don't tell me he's "more entertaining". These games work when there are sweet point guards throwing quality oops, and swanky passes.

Tale of the Tape
Jose numbers as a starter - 31 games

I get that Joe is a shooting guard, but that's irrelevant, coaches could vote for any position. Is it his big time scoring? He's shooting 40% this year, down from 47% last year.
That alone should disqualify him. A 7% drop in shooting percentage! On a better team!?

And it's not like this is Jason Kidd, where he's getting in on the fans 'traditional' vote or a coaches sympathy vote. Nor are we talking about an out of this world personable guy who you just need to have there (Shaq). And it's certainly not like he has that much flair. It's almost as if they've done this just to see how enraged Raptormaniacs can get.

Sadly we're all too passive and think, oh maybe Jose isn't that good yet. People...Jose Calderone has shown he's a top flight PG in this league...what you might call an all-star (at least in the East). Colangelo is already on record saying 'we're going to keep him' despite having an 8 million dollar guard on the books and Mitchell has already said TJ is the backup when he returns. Plus how about watching the games! Jose is CLUTCH! My point? Make a stink. Get Jose on the snub lists so coaches might actually wake up.

My only theory is this: The coaches thought they had to take a SG because they didn't read the instructions. They thought 'hey let's get a real hucker in this game who shoots 40% from the field and 35% from downtown. The fans will looooove that."

The only solace is with Kidd about to head West you can bet that next year Jose should, one year too late, make the All-Star leap.