Wince Cartner Strikes Again... BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Jan 09, 2010 10:45 AM EST

Magic guard Vince Carter left the team's loss to the Wizards on Friday night with a shoulder injury.

He sprained his left shoulder during a collision in the second quarter and did not return.

"I'll talk to you guys tomorrow," Carter said after the game, declining to comment.

Orlando will host Atlanta on Saturday night.

Carter is averaging 17.4 points and 3.1 assists per game this season.

Via ESPN

 

BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

It should come as no surprise that as his shooting numbers have fallen off the map and he's mired in an embarrassing slump, that his team is faultering and looking like a steaming sack of crap, that WINCE CARTER took a bump and didn't return to the game last night. A return to form by ole Vincent Lamar Carter, wouldn't ya say?

Magic fans... welcome to the ****ing Wince Carter show.

Enjoy being rope-a-doped by our generations biggest disappointment.

 

The Refs Meet the Spread?         [ January 7th 2010 ]

Conspiracy theorist? Potentially.

But why speak about conspiracies when it is no longer a conspiracy. The writing has been on the wall for years--- Donaghy let the cat out of the bag.

Watching the NBA can sometimes be downright painful. You can't for a second tell me that games aren't manipulated by refs. There are countless games that we can all recall where the refs have burried a team and cost them games. This is not from the perspective of a fanboy of their team, this is the perspective of someone who watches alot of games of teams he doesn't give two ****'s about, and see's them get anally raped by biased, agenda driven refs night in and night out. 

The Raps I feel ALWAYS fall victim to this. Every game that we get a sizeable lead we begin to get phantom 3 second defense calls, offensive 3 second in the key calls, carries, offensive fouls, etc. They happen at such a rate that are almost frightening. Sometimes... YES... the team stops playing hard,... but more often than not it is blatent horse****. The flow of the game is lost, the turnovers lead to multiple buckets, and a 15 point lead quickly evaporates in a matter of minutes. This ALWAYS happens to small market teams. ALWAYS. This isn't from a lack of talent and the other team all of a sudden 'stepping it up', so cram that argument up your cramhole if that is what you are thinking.

 Last night was a PERFECT example of this. Toronto was absolutely man-handling Orlando through 3 quarters, then MIRACULOUSLY, the game was a nail biter. Anyone watching the game smelled the bull**** through the tv screen. Bargs had a whopping total of ONE ful going into the fourt. In a span of mere minutes he was up to 5 after hitting back to back three's and had to be removed from the game. The calls were TERRIBLE. Every replay showed that they were phantom calls. His defense on Dwight had been great all game, and with him out, Orlando was able to attack the rim as well as grab crucial offensive rebounds. The amount of fouls called on Toronto in the 4th quarter KILLED us... and nearly cost us the game. Orlando managed to go until the 2 minute mark without a foul called against them. Absolutely unreal.

I'm sorry if I'm coming across as a whiny fan, but the officiating that took place was downright degrading and a slap in the face of any fan with half a brain.

FFFFANBOY SALE

Hey folks, pretty good sale over at Fanboy. You're saving about $10-$15 bones on a shirt. I highly suggest you pick up a shirt now while this deal is on, I know I am.

So Long Green Mile---                [ January 5th 2009 ]

 
 
 
 
Courtesy of Raptors.com
 
Raptors Release Forward Mensah-Bonsu
January 5, 2010

The Toronto Raptors announced Tuesday they have released forward Pops Mensah-Bonsu. Toronto claimed Mensah-Bonsu off waivers November 13 after he was released by the Houston Rockets. He averaged 2.1 points, 1.9 rebounds and 6.7 minutes in 16 games with Toronto.

Mensah-Bonsu appeared in four games with Houston this season averaging 1.3 points and 3.3 minutes.

He appeared in 19 games with the Raptors during the 2008-09 campaign after signing as a free agent on March 6, 2009. He averaged 5.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 13.8 minutes during his first stint with the Raptors.

The four-year NBA veteran has averaged 3.3 points, 3.1 rebounds and 8.8 minutes in 54 games with four teams.

Oooooooooooooooooooh WHAT A RUSHHHHHHH!!!!

If you are not an LoD fan, and if you are sitting there wondering what LoD is... I hate you. Seriously.

Obligatory apologies are in order aren't they? After weeks of devoted updates, this site kind of fell to the wayside for me. From checking my page info I see people were still popping in so thanks for stickin it out. Real life got busy... and by busy I mean I went Jim Lahey style and the liquor took over. After Christmas I shot down to TO for the Raps Vs Bobcats game (good times), then that bled into New Years in which I got lit up with some old friends at a hotel. For the record... when you book a Jaccuzzi suite and you ask the broad at the front desk to confirm that the jaccuzzi is infact a full size normal hot tub... and she says yes... don't believe her! I shelled out the coin and got a two seater BS bubble tub. If not for the free slippers and bath robe that came with the room I would have rioted.

Despite being a complete no-show with the site, I have been following every Raps game (I've only not seen one game thus far this year... which I believe puts my grand total at like 4 games missed in the last 2 and a half years). Now I don't know about you guys but 6/7 wins ain't too shabby, especially from a team we were all ready to write off as the Titanic. YES we put up a stinker in Boston, NO we should not have lost to a team missing 3 of their starters, BUT our ability to come back the next day and knock off a streaking Spurs team was a thing of beauty. How many of you expected us to beat San Antonio? I sure as hell didn't. Big win. 

A quick fist pump to the basketball gods for letting Chris Bosh break Vince Carter's all time scoring record and remove another piece of that jerkoff from Raptors history. One small step for karma, an even bigger one if Carter breaks his neck on a runaway dunk. 

Question: why the blue hell is Antoine Wright stealing minutes from Derozan and Weems?

In a few short days Jose Calderon is set to return... is anyone else NOT excited about this? Don't get me wrong, I love the guy, but this team is gellin, we have started to find a defensive identity, and we have found a high level of consistancy at the point guard spot. I'm literally cringing at the thought of guys breaking Jose down off the dribble for uncontested layups... and I'm even MORE worried about the thought of watching that Jack/Calderon backcourt duo that Triano fell in love with for some god forsaken reason. If we see that backcourt pairing again... I quit. Seriously. 

With Jose on his way back one has to assume Banks is going to fall to the wayside again. I for one have been lovin Banks. The guy plays hard nosed defense... slashes when we need it... and really pushes the tempo of the game. He has been a game changer for us. At times I actually get upset when Triano replaces him with Jack. Because of Jose Banks now becomes expendable. Banks has likely played himself into being a tradeable asset.I'd imagine he's a goner--- unless of course we opt to move Calderon--- which I think I'd prefer at this point.

Well, thats all I got for now; University work to do.

Updates will become regular again.

Cheers.

GAMEDAY: Raps Vs Pistons

Raps Vs Pistons

1:00pm

Live on CBC

Stream to the game located in the forums.

I literally just rolled my ass out of bed and don't have time to put up a worthwhile article. I'm going to grab some breakfast, get the stream posted in the forums, and then enjoy what should be another Raps win :D

I'll have some post game banter up tonight.

Cheers.

Why Are The Blazers So Good?

 

The Blazers Nuggets game just finished and Im sitting here at 1am in absolute awe. For the last two years people have been picked Portland as that Cinderella team that they cheer for as their second team. Whats not to like about Portland? Nate's a great coach, their managmenet is committed to winning, they have a great young core, and they seem to be full of strong character in the locker room.

Despite those points... without the straw that stirs the f'n drink--- Portland is a washout team. Ladies and gents, that straw is none other than Brandon Roy and he is a friggin stud on the court. I watched a number of Blazers games last year, but sadly this is only my third game I've caught this year. Every time I watch them play I'm blown away by Roy. To say this guy is all star calibre is a drastic understatement. The guy has ice in his veins in the clutch, he see's the court like a point guard, and absolutely murders double teams.

When the game was close tonight Roy put Portland on his back and just demoralized the Nuggets. In a short sequence he stroked a 16 footer, a trey, a one handed push shot, and split a double team beautifully for a tough finish in traffic. That double team split was absolutely ridiculous. At the other end of the floor Roy bodied up Carmelo on every key possession down the stretch; crazy considering the size difference. In the end Portland stole a win from Denver, fighting back from a 10 point deficit and B-Roy further cemented his place as a basketball god. Ronnie Artest wasn't kidding when he said B-Roy is arguably the best SG in the game.If I was a diehard Portland fan, Id argue this to the death.

Absolutely amazing game, incredible finish, big ups to Roy.

Merry Christmas to the Red Army    [ December 25th 2009 ]

 

Most of you that check out this site on a regular basis I consider good friends, so if I didn't get a chance to see you or say Merry Christmas in some form--- here it is... Merry Christmas; Cheap, impersonal, lazy, all of the above. That's how I roll.

For the first time in a long time I've had a chance to be home for an extended period of time and get into Christmas. Typically Im at school or out of town in the days leading up to Christmas so I literally walk in the door, wake up, open presents, and Christmas is over. This has been a really nice change of pace as I've had a chance to spend time with family and friends, do a little shopping, and just relax through the holiday.

Why am I writing for my blog on Christmas day? Because honestly... once the gift exchange is over I got nothin but free time; The world is on hold on Xmas day, we don't have our dinner till late, and I've got nothing but time to sit here watching basketball while getting sauced.

We got 5 games on the sked for today... and... I'm gonna throw in my two cents on each one.

 

Knicks Vs Heat: The NBA is playing Santa Claus and apparently thinks we all deserve a lump of coal. The Knicks are as dysfunctional and crappy as ever. Not even the great Mike Dantoni can save this team from failure. The Heat only exist as a team because D-Wade is an f'n beast. Literally... put 4 pilons on the court with Wade and the Heat are still a contending team. Riley REALLY needs to put some talent around this guy. He can win that organization multiple championships if they spend the money on a supporting cast. As a die-hard fan of the sport... I'll be watching this game... and with the odd Wade dunk that draws a fist pump, I'm sure I won't enjoy it.

Prediction: Heat by 6

 

Celtics Vs Magic: Now THIS will be a game to watch. Orlando is nearly at full strength with Jameer returning from injury. On the other hand Boston will be short handed with Pierce out of the lineup due to a knee infection. At this point I can't see Boston being able to beat Orlando. I'm a KG fan but his best days are behind him after that knee injury last year. Dwight Howard creates way too much of a mismatch inside, and the outside shooting of Lewis, Jameer, Redick, etc is too much to handle. Orlando is SCARY deep this year and should win the East pretty easily. Sorry Bron Bron but this game is a prequel to the Eastern Conference final.

Prediction: Magic by 12

 

Lakers Vs Cavs: Thank god Kobe stepped up and said that there is no rivalry between these two teams. ESPN, Nike, and the NBA, have been trying for YEARS to force this one down our throats. The whole Kobe and Lebron dolls campaign last playoffs was beyond ridiculous, and quite disrespectful to the other teams. This forced Kobe Vs Lebron thing is a tired act. How many times do we have to re-live the Kobe-Shaq saga? How many segments of 'Who is Better: Kobe or Lebron?' do I have to watch? Let's be realistic here. For all Lebron is--- he isn't. Congratulations: you stuff stats. When push comes to shove--- you ain't winning championships, you ain't trusted to be that killer at the end of games, you DON'T want to take that ball to the rack in crunch time. Statistically you can argue Lebron does this and that. Does he have some higher averages then Kobe? Sure. Kobe doesn't HAVE to be that player that stuffs stats, and at his age and mileage... you don't want that from him. Kobe defers to his teammates and keeps them involved (something I would have never said 5 years ago). It's crazy that with the guys he has around him he is STILL able to put up the numbers that he is. Until Lebron is winning finals MVP's and a slew of championships this is NOT a rivalry--- he's not even in the same f'n league is Kobe.This is NOT me being a Lebron hater... he's talented beyond belief... but he has yet to put himself on the same level as Bryant... and I'm not sure he ever will

Prediction: Lakers by 5

 

Clippers Vs Suns: As crazy as it sounds, I'm looking forward to a Clippers game. Sans Griffin, the Clips are actually a decent team this year. Baron Davis has bounced back from a HORRENDOUS year and is showing flashes of his old self, The Immortal Hulk Kaman is playing some solid ball, and Eric Gordon is developing into a really good player. If somebody told me at the start of the year the Clips would be 12-16 without Blake Griffin I would have laughed in their face. Currently the Clips are on a skid and won't have it easy with Captain Canada in town. Nash is having another MVP calibre season and Phoenix is looking like its old self after shipping out Shaq and replacing him with Channing Frye. Frye is stroking the 3 ball which opens up the floor for Amare to pound it inside off the pick and roll. Leandro Barbosa is returning from an injury that he sustained the last time the Suns and Raps met. The Suns have went 4-8 with Leandro out of the lineup after posting the leagues best record with him healthy so things REALLY aren't looking good for the Clips. None the less... it should be pretty entertaining.

Prediction: Suns by 8

 

Blazers Vs Nuggets:  I REALLY feel for Blazers fans. This team had the talent to make a ton of noise this year. Can you recall any team that ever sustained this many injuries in a season, especially this early on? How bad is it? The Blazers have now lost BOTH of their centers (Oden & Pryzbilla) for the season to serious knee injuries, Nicholas Batum has been out since October with a shoulder injury thats suppose to keep him sidelined for another two weeks, one of their best 4th quarter players Travis Outlaw cracked his foot in Mid-Novemberand is out another 3-5 months, arguably their best bench player Rudy Fernandez is out with a sciatic nerve problem, rookie Patrick Mills has missed the entire season this far with a foot injury, their coach Nate McMillan is on crutches after rupturing his achilles, and now their best friggin player Brandon Roy is suffering from a sprained shoulder. Through all of this Portland is 18-12. How is this even possible? How can a team with so many injuries compete at this level? 

Prediction: Another Blazer gets injured and Nate is forced to be a Gene Hackman reincarnate and send out 4 players after a timeout only this time it isn't because someone refused to pass the ball.

The Voice Rocks New Kicks...      [December 22nd 2009]

 

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In the last 6 years I've worn just about everything. I've had a pair of Adidas, And 1's, Dada's, New Balance, Nike Uptempo's, Jordan's, etc. The Jordans I rock are are the XIII's and have been ballin in them despite other shoe purcahses for the last 4 years. The Jordans have ALWAYS been my favorite for comfort, durability, and performance. All other shoes I buy last me a few months, I end up hating them, and I revert back to my XIII's. Brand new these bad boys cost me a steep $260. At the time this seemed outlandish, but, like a pimplyfaced  high school kid on prom night, I'd spend just about anything to take that sweet sweet honey home with me for the night. Years later that $260 is one of the best investments I've made as the shoes are still in good condition and I'm rockin them regularly.

Despite my eternal love for the Jordan XIII's, the time has come to don another new shoe. Those XIII's won't hold forever and I've gotta give another shoe a chance. As luck would have it I fell into a sweet deal that made my decision very simple. I didn't think I'd be looking to spend the type of dough I did in the past... BUUUUUUT... when a friend offers you 50% off a fresh pair of kicks from the shoe joint he works at--- you bypass the 'meh' section, and enter the domain of '****ing ballin'.

I checked out a couple of new pairs of Jordan's that were pretty sick... but... I didn't get that prom night feeling. My boy tried to talk me into Garnett's new signature shoe from Adidas... wasn't for me. I checked out the Derrick Rose signature shoe and for a guard shoe I found it extremely heavy and bulky. I typically like a bigger bulky shoe which wasn't too much of an issue, but the weight of the shoe threw me off abit. The Nash's looked pretty dirty, but, not for me. Vlad over at www.slamdumb.com just picked them up; I'll be looking for updates from him on how they perform. 

Then... it was as if that cheerleader hottie I had always fantasized about  came strutting her stuff in a low cut dress on over to the punch bowl, bypassed the pleasantries, and proceeded to grab my crotch gratuitously; I feasted my eyes on the Nike Zoom Flight Club TP's. Jackpot.

The shoes have an inner form fitting booty lacing system that is then covered with a leather zipping overlay. For further protection there is then a  velcro strap at the ankle. The shoe's rock Nike's zoom air technology in the heel. Aesthetically the shoe's adorn the colorway of the San Antonio Spurs, which is fitting given that this is Tony Parker's signature shoe. These bad boys will go BEAUTIFULLY with my Tim Duncan jersey. Yes. I am a HUGE fan of the big fundamental. Eat me.

I've only used them once thus far, but from that first experience I can tell you I am extremely happy with the shoes. I played for about an hour and finished with no blisters. There was absolutely no foot slippage within the shoe front to back nor side to side; I'd attribute this to the form fitting booty. There are multiple different treads on the bottom of the shoe and from what I can tell they do their job beautifully. I had great traction, which is surprising since my University court is usually crappy for traction. The ankle support seemed very solid. I had no rolls or close calls with rolls. I've had ankle problems in the past so this is something I keep a close eye on.

Whether or not this shoe continues to perform the same remains to be seen. One session is a very small sample size to base my overall opinion on, so there will be a further update down the road on these shoes. Much akin to the hot cheerleader in high school--- it's not until weeks or even months later that you find out behind that sleak and sexy front... that you've actually contracted herpes.

 

The Anatomy of a Raps Fan...              [December 21st 2009]

 

While considering what to write about, I must note that I was in the midst of doing my daily perusing of the Raps board over at RealGM. In one of the topics someone posed the question of "Why are you a Raps fan?".  This question lends itself to some deeper thinking.

On a purely cosmetic level there are a multitude of answers: the players, the logo, the promotions, the hype, geographic location, etc. What has it been about the players that have passed through this franchise that has caused such an affinity for this organization? Was it the rookie season of Damon ‘Mighty Mouse’ Stoudemire as he surprised everyone with his unexpected run to the ROY? Was it Vince Carter and the electrifying aerial assault he committed on rims league wide that put TO on the map? Or perhaps it was the improbable creation of BC in which he put together a roster of Half-Euros, Half-Americans, to capture an Atlantic division crown? Toronto has always been home to memorable characters... guys like  JYD, Oak, and Parker. Or, how about coaches and announcers: the Swirsk, Jack Armstrong, and Smitch. The personalities win people over as goofy, wild, or extreme as they might be. So yes... the players and personalities most definitely play a role in making us fans.

The promotions? I can say in all seriousness that The Raps organization puts on one of the best shows all around for a very fair price. I’ve been to CFL games, NHL games, MLB games, etc. Some of these games have been state-side in nicer venues such as Yankee stadium. What I can say in all honesty, is I have never felt more into a game than I have at Air Canada center. In the lobbyies there are always contests running, free give-aways, on-court entertainment during breaks, good video displays, opportunities to meet people connected to the team be it older players, analysts, and cheerleaders. I remember that for one of my first games I spent a whopping $12.50 on a sprite zone ticket and only $8 on food and drink. That night I walked away with a hologram cup, Raptors blanket, a mini basketball, and a program. That doesn’t even take into account I got to meet Chuck Swirsky and the Raps kicked the crap out of the Miami Heat in what was a very entertaining game. If you think that seeing a Raps game is expensive, think about the last time you went to the movies or dropped by the pub with some buddies. You’re getting some serious bang for your buck when you go to the Raps game. This has definitely helped make me a bigger fan.

How about geographic location? Do you feel a responsibility to cheer for the Raptors because they are Canada’s team? I’d be a fool if I said that this isn’t a contributing factor for myself and others. Of course we are going to feel a connection to the only team that represents our country. What I think reinforces this connection most is the way we see our team talked about in the media. It’s hard to ignore the clash of American/Canadian mindset. To the American ball fan we are just a doormat team, a doormat organization, and a doormat country. When The Raps are discussed by American analysts we are treated like a black sheep. What bothers me the most is how much crap Toronto takes as a city because of ignorant fans and analysts; topics include climate and culture. This type of treatment has galvanized us as a fanbase. Because of the way we are treated outside of Canada, it’s no longer just about the basketball team, but who we are as a country.

Not one of these three categories can stand alone in creating a Raptors fan. It takes a combination of all three to create a die-hard fan base that is now known league wide for flooding inboxes with passionate responses to rankings, ratings, articles, etc (one very small example of how we do). We may not have the history or the widespread success of other teams to date, but as a franchise, the Toronto Raptors have been doing everything right in creating a team that fans can stand behind.  

PUNJABI!!!

 

 

The Return of Fanboy!

 

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For those of you who are well versed in the lore of Fanboy Gear... today is an EXTREMELY exciting day. After what seems like an eternity of watching and waiting, Fanboy has emerged from the ashes to reclaim its supremacy on the Raps apparell market.

I can recall my first experience with Fanboy. It was during the inaugural Euro-Raps season. I somehow stumbled upon Fanboy through a RealGM poster under the guise of Willis_Reborn. After looking over the threads I made my first purchase--- a badass red shirt donning the word 'GARBO' across the front in honour of the spaniard and a Calderon shirt with a graphic of Caldy's three ball hand signals. The shirts were dirt cheap, shipping was cheap and fast, and the quality was high. What REALLY impressed me was the added perks. It doesn't seem like a HUGE deal, but included in my box were oldschool Basketball trading cards of The Raps (I got Doug Christie, Corliss Williamson, and Oliver Miller's cards), AS WELL as a ticket with a promotional code for I believe 25% off my next purchase. To randomly receive these tokens on my very first purchase was a sign that these guys weren't your run of the mill, rob you blind, kind of guys.

Anytime I have EVER made a purcahse through Fanboy I have been extremely happy with what I have received. The service is fast, and if there are ANY issues, the guys are in constant touch with you via email to talk you through any delays. What becomes quickly apparent when you buy from Fanboy is thatyou aren't buying from a bunch of corporate jerkoffs... you're buying from dedicated fans that love the team, love the city, and love what they do. 

Break Out The Salami and Cheese Momma!

Cause this ball game is OVER! Damn I miss Chuck'isms.

I was VERY apprehensive leading up to today's game against the Hornets but the Raps pushed all these feelings aside early. With the exception of a few momentary lapses, this team really came to play today. 

What did I say pregame about a lineup consisting of Derozan, Weems, and Amir together? I believe it was along the lines of--- fan-****ing-tastic. Apparently Triano heard these pleas cause I got EXACTLY what I wanted; the lads delivered. While those three ran the court together the Raps went on a good little run, the defense picked it up BIG time, and there was a highlight reel alley-oop to boot. The athleticism and speed at which they play completely throws teams off. It's like our offense just flips a switch and we pressure, pressure, pressure with that fast break. 

How good has Weems been as the 6th man off of the bench? He may not shoot the ball as well as a guy like Marco, but his defense, slashing, and offensive rebounding are three traits that more than make up for it. I love how he just flies down the court on the fast break, and crashes the rim off of missed shots. For a guy that started the year as our 15th man--- I'd say the Roko, Delfino trade has become an absolute f'n steal for us... and I havent even scratched the surface about what Amir Johnson (the 2nd player in that deal) has done for us.

I don't have alot of time to write right now, but I want to send out props before I quit to Bargs and Bosh and how they delivered at the end of that game. How big was it for Bargs to come up with TWO big blocks in the dying minutes of that game... both in help situations. Two absolutely huge plays from Bargs that made a world of difference. Then we have Bosh who was an animal down the stretch. I admit right here... right now... that I always believed Bosh shrinks in the clutch or when we desperately need a tough bucket. This afternoon he just had that killer mentality and you could see it in the way he moved. That offensive rebound into a finish was the type of play that not only wins ball games, but a play that seperates the upper echelon all-stars to the regular level stars. What many fans have always questioned is his lack of grit and ability to produce in the clutch. This play covered both tangibles. I've gotta tip my hat to CB4; That bucket was HUGE.

In saying that I don't trust Bosh's ability in the clutch... it is also important to note that I don't believe in giving a PF the ball in the clutch. That ball has to be in the hands of a slasher. PF's are just in a poor position to make a play.

GAMEDAY: Raps Vs Hornets

Game Time: 12:30

Watch It Live on CBC (Links to stream in Forums)

Probable Starters:

PG Jarrett Jack
SG DeMar DeRozan
SF Hedo Turkoglu
PF Chris Bosh
C Andrea Bargnani 

CP3-Ho and his rag tag band of misfits are in TO today for a Sunday matinee. Regardless of the player's opinion, I for one LOVE Sunday games. After a night of casual brown pops, it is nice to wake up to a Raps game at noon and just veg for a few hours. Getting the game out of the way early free's up everything else. MIND YOU... I'm prone to becoming rather emotional when my sports teams lose. Having lived with my brosef J-Curls for a number of years, it almost became habitual that during a loss something was broken, all communication with the outside world was cut, and the rest of the day was spent pissed off shooting zombies in CoD. Luckily this year with my man-crush recipient Anthony Parker departed, I've been able to disconnect from this team slightly and not take losses quite as badly. There is still some stinging--- but I've yet to smash any plates, glasses, remotes, walls, etc.

Getting back in touch with the game... I fear this will be a blowout. Chris Paul is coming off an absolutely DISGUSTING performance against Denver in which he posted 30-19-9, and if you couple that with our inability to put together winning streaks... I fear we will be similar to Friday night's New Jersey Nets. However, New Orleans DOES have Emeka Okafor now who ALWAYS seems to bring out the best in CB4. Okafor is without a doubt Bosh's favourite whipping boy which really bodes well for our chances this afternoon. Expect a monster performance from CB4.

For quite awhile now I've made it known I want to see a combination of Sonny and Derozan. The chemistry they share off the court is clearly obvious. If you have Derozan on camera, Weems is always nearby ready to pop in and play joke-ster. The two are clearly becoming good friends which can often translate into a strong on court relationship. Their athleticism and penchant for taking it to the rack, running the court, and going up top for alley-oops, adds a dynamic from the 2-3 positions that hasn't really been seen here in a long time. When you throw Amir into that mix with them on the court... you have a relentless, rim rocking, group. The three minute stretch they were on together in that Net's game was an absolutely amazing sequence. Three of the nights top 10 plays league wide came from that 3 minute stretch. I'm PRAYING we see that lineup against this New Orleans team that REALLY lacks speed and athleticism from the shooting guard and small forward positions. The potential is there for another showtime special. 

Question: How much more time do you give Bellineli to find his stroke?

He's had time to figure his game out. He was givin a TON of burn against the Nets, alot of shot opportunities, his game just wasn't there. How do you justify playing this guy as your 6th man if he isn't producing? Is it time to turn to Antoine Wright again?

The most telling sign for me with Bellineli is that despite his struggles, his teammates are 100% behind him and still feeding him the rock. If Marco was dogging it in practice, and looked like a sack of crap during practice, I don't think you'd be seeing this type of support from his teammates. The guy has talent and I'm assuming work ethic as well. The ball ain't dropping; sometimes that's just the nature of the beast. Keep playing him, but pull his minutes back abit more until his production turns around, is my solution.

 This is off-topic for Raps--- but did anyone catch that finish between Milwaukee and Sac-Town? Two rookies battling it out right to the final possession--- Tyreke delivered with the final blow hitting a reverse layup with 0.9s to go. Did anyone expect Evans to be THIS good? He is ALL-STAR good right now. Unreal. Props to the rook.

Anyways folks... lets hope for a good game and that our guys come out playing hard. Youll hear from me after the game. Cheers.

Ladies and Gentlemen... Your 2009/2010 Toronto Crap-tors

 

Simply put... it is what it is.

They are who they are.

When your team gets blownout the night before, you'd hope and potentially ASSUME that they would come back the following night and play with an edge. **** Craptors... show us you CARE. Show us you WANT to win. I don't mind losing... I really don't... but losing in THIS fashion is just downright degrading. If we played with an OUNCE of effort, I could swallow these losses. But when we play heartless, effortless basketball... it's hard to bite my tongue.

As always... it's defense. Defense is EVERYTHING about effort.

How much EFFORT was shown in giving up 118 points on 57.3%  shooting from the field, and  46.7% from downtown. Simple answer: none.

How telling is this statement from Bosh after last night's game:    

 

"We're taking two steps forward and three steps back,'' Bosh said. "We're there some nights, but not there others. We've got to look ourselves in the mirror, and do what we're supposed to do. It's always talk, talk, talk -- but it's about action.''  - CB4

You're right. It IS talk.

We're over a third of the way through this season and this roster looks more than happy to spend the months of May and June sitting at home.

We've got the pieces to make it work---

We've just got no heart.

GAMEDAY: Raps Vs Heat...          [December 15th 2009]

 

 

Gameday is once again upon us; what can we expect from this year's incarnation of the Toronto Raptors?

If our first two months have been any indication--- I'd say expect the unexpected. The only thing this team has been consistant at is inconsistancy... well that and poor defense. Truthfully I'm PRAYING we have turned the corner. After our three game winning streak I was getting all jacked up and optimistic only to have Milwaukee and Atlanta apply a well placed kick to the groin of any fans that shared these same sentiments. 

The HEAT have fallen from grace after a 7-2 start in which they looked like top team in the east. Now sitting at 11-11 with a 4 game losing streak attached to their backs, Miami is desperate for a win. I know we've had it pretty bad... but Miami just took a 28 point drubbing on the chin courtesy of Memphis [yes I am completely disregarding the fact Memphis already beat us this year, bite me]. I anticipate they will come out of the gates fired up and that means we better be ready for a war. An early run by Miami can be expected. Our team has a tendency to lose focus when momentum is not in our favour. Let's pray the flood gates don't open right up in the first quarter. 

With Miami coming to town I for one am big time excited to see Jermaine O'Neal in action. Our team under performed last year with JO on this squad, and JO missed alot of action due to injury, but I for one loved him on the Raps. He brought lane intimidation and defensive awareness that far exceeds anything we've come to know in these last few years. Not to mention that cocky swagger was a major plus. I would love to see him on this current team. He's had a few big games for Miami this year, and I feel he is still capable of putting up decent numbers. Of course... the size of his contract is not swallowable and that negates his worth. None the less, classy guy, hard nosed player, loved what he gave this team in his short tenure in Toronto.

Calderon is out, Jack starts again. Jack has been great since taking over the starter's role. There is definitely a point guard contraversy brewing for when Calderon returns if Jarrett keeps this up. Based on both players strengths and weaknesses Jack definitely meets the needs of this starting unit more than Calderon. It will be interesting to see how Triano handles this situation. Can you bring an $8million PG off of the bench?

Sonnnnnnny! Can't wait to see what he put's up tonight. With his last 3 performances I would anticipate Triano will give him a ton of burn tonight. The effect his hustle and athleticism has on games can not be overlooked. I want to see him and Derozan sporting the 2-3 combo with Jack, Bosh, and Bargs. Watching that lineup run up and down the floor for short intervals in games could lead to some NASTY leak out dunks and alleys.

Anyways, I'm a little under the weather and am going to go hammer some chicken noodle soup (don't judge me). Peace and chicken grease homeskillets. Check the forums later for a link to a live stream of the game. Please continue to spread the word about the site. The community is slowly growing, I'd like to see it continue. Cheers.

-Voice

 

News To Get Ya Started...           [ December 15th 2009 ]

Jack Making His Point

Raptors point guard a better fit as a starter than teammate Calderon

Jack is not the dead-eye shooter Calderon is, nor is he a pass-first "true" point guard like the Spaniard, but it is becoming increasingly apparent that his skill-set meshes better with the rest of the starting lineup than Calderon's.

Since he isn't nearly as accurate an outside shooter, Jack mixes up his game far more. He attacks the hoop more frequently and aggressively and doesn't dominate the ball as much, which allows other players, particularly Hedo Turkoglu, to handle it more often. Turkoglu excels when he is more involved. Playing with Jack, he gets the chance to be the initiator of the offence and it has led to an improvement in his game (season bests in points and assists in his previous two games)."

Click to read the full story

 

Raptors' Weems coming on strong, impresses coach

TERRY KOSHAN, TORONTO SUN

"MIAMI -- Watching his Raptors teammates has been a mentally draining experience for Sonny Weems.

But that's not because the Raps have lost more games than they've won in 2009-10.

Weems tied his season-high of 29 minutes during a victory against the Houston Rockets on Sunday and had 11 points off the bench as coach Jay Triano chose to use him instead of Antoine Wright."

Click to read the full story

 

Tale of a Tall Man's Tattoo

Michael Grange Globe and Mail Update

"Chris Bosh has given Toronto Raptors fans an early Christmas present on the court, so far putting together the best individual season of his six-year NBA career.

Now, he's offering them something they can put under their tree: A DVD, released today, that includes a slick 30-minute documentary called First Ink , about his decision to get his first tattoo, as well as a collection of the comedy sketches – new and old – that have become a YouTube.com staple."

 

Click to read the full story

 

Raptors' Triano to carry Olympic Torch

"The Toronto Raptors head coach and former Canadian men's basketball team player and coach will run a leg of the Olympic torch relay Thursday in Toronto."

Click to read the full story

 

Feschuk: Raptors' `Bad Guys' Show Value of Effort

Dave Feschuck - Toronto Star

MIAMI

"In the opening few minutes of the second quarter of the Raptors' win over the Rockets on Sunday, Toronto's lineup wasn't exactly marquee.

It was, however, key.

At point guard was Marcus Banks, the $4.6 million-a-season third-stringer. At shooting guard was Marco Belinelli, who is surely considered a star in European municipalities of a certain size. And the rest of the combination – Sonny Weems, Amir Johnson and Pops Mensah-Bonsu – won't win any skills competitions, unless the skill is the basketball equivalent of toilet cleaning.

Still, they played together, with nary a starter in their presence, for a few minutes of an actual NBA game. And they played, above all, hard. Disaster did not befall them."

Click to read the full story

*yawn* Boring Day...

You know what sucks? Mondays. Waking up in the morning I feel like I'd rather have someone punch out my ovaries (if I had some), than get out of bed. What made this day most unbearable was the sheer amount of snow that seemed to want to rain on my f'n parade. I used my car three times... and THREE times I had to clear the red rocket off. Clearing off a car in the winter is the bane of my existance. Seriously.

Now enough of my personal whining, lets have a look at some news around the NBA World concerning the Raps---

Courtesy of ESPN Power Rankings:

20 (17) Raptors 11-15 The Raps can only wish it were as easy as this stat makes it sound: Toronto is 8-0 when its much-maligned defence (Canadian spelling) finds a way to hold the opposition below 100 points ? and 3-15 otherwise.

I wonder if they spell "Punch you in the face" the same as us. ESPN writer's are about as original as Carlos Mencia... and sadly... now me... for using Carlos as a punchline. Nearly EVERY time ESPN writes about ANYTHING remotely Canadian they pull some stupid joke or point out some suttle difference between our two cultures be it spelling, climate, etc in an attempt to appear witty or comical. You can always count on ESPN to lack originality or any type of self awareness in how they come across as anything short of douche bags. Oh to be a self-inflating yankee (and no this is not an attack on all Americans).

Courtesy of NBA.com Power Rankings:

20 Toronto (20) 11-15 Pace: 95.5 (13), Off: 108.6 (4), Def: 112.4 (30)
After a three-game winning streak where their defense looked Celtics-esque, the Raptors returned to form in losses to the Bucks and Hawks. They rebounded on Sunday against the Rockets and will head to Florida for a back-to-back without Jose Calderon.

 *sigh* It's true... we lack defensive consistancy. A ranking of twenty by both sites seems just about right. Until this team shows an ability to lock teams down consistantly and not surrender 110+ points a game, we shouldn't be ranked any higher than 20. 

 

HOUSTON (AP) -- Houston Rockets forward Trevor Ariza says he's earned a one-game suspension after he was ejected from Sunday's game in Toronto for throwing a forearm at Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan.

In case you missed it, here is a video of what took place:

 

Looks good on him. If the league botched this situation and didn't issue anything I'd be pretty pissed off. I'm all for physical contact in basketball and agree that once in awhile perhaps you get heated and push a guy, or give a really hard foul... but this was just stupid. Ariza acted like an egotistical little chump. The rookie stripped him and in frustration he tried to throw an elbow at the back of Derozan's head. Stupid. Just stupid. One game should get the message across.

 

Sunday Funday...               [December 13th 2009]

 

As much as I savour a win over a VERY scrappy Houston team, I would have liked to have seen the Raps keep their foot on the pedal and really bury them. At one point we were up by 20+, there's no reason we should have let them come within ten of us. With that said... everytime Houston knocked, we answered. Turk and Jack made clutch baskets that just broke Houston's will amidst mini runs. 

Even though Leo and Matt beat this point like a dead horse-- having Turkoglu involved in the game changes the entire complexion of this team. When he is used as more than be a spot up shooter the guy can provide us outstanding offensive abilities. How many guys pushing 7 foot can put the ball on the floor, have the court vision of a pg, and stroke it from just about anywhere? Not too many. Not to mention Hedo has a tendency to become a complete non-factor on the defensive side of the ball if he isn’t involved offensively. These are the types of games he needs to continue to have if we are going to be a playoff bound basketball team.

Jarett Jack, beastin’ it. This was probably his best game to date as a Toronto Raptor. Jack limited penetration, got into the lane, made the big plays, and was just all around steady as a floor general this afternoon. His calmness is what this team needs.Cool Hand Luke? Pffft... Cool Hand Jack.

Sonny... love it. Even though Weems faded in the second half offensively, his effort was always there. Probably the most telling series of plays was one where Bosh threw it away in a cross court pass and Weems raced back and stole it from a Houston player... the second play involved Houston getting a leakout dunk on a turnover. Regardless of the dunk Weems hustled ass and made a challenge that by all accounts he should have been nowhere int he vicinity of. He ended up in third row... Houston with a bucket... but that type of hustle is contagious and something the Raps sorely lack.

The defense... responded. After looking like an NBDL team against the Hawks on Friday, the Raps actually showed up to play today. Guys were rotating, doubling down, providing help side pressure, and it amounted to Houston shooting a putrid percentage. Not until the fourth quarter do I think Houston got consecutive open looks. If it wasn’t for Carl Landry being an absolute monster the Raps could have held Houston to under 80.

Trevor Ariza... stupid... stupid... stupid. I don’t know what the hell was going on in his head when he threw an elbow at Derozan. Demar made a very clean play on the ball and came up with that. Regardless of frustration you can’t react like that. I almost wish Ariza made contact with Demar because I’m positive Jack would have beat the ever loving hell out of him. None the less thats a very embarrassing moment for Ariza, and one that should earn him at the very least a game or two suspension.

All in all... great effort from the Raps... now to see if they can build off of a win like this and string a few together.

Old Meets New...

Watching Derozan come racing down the court I thought for SURE we were about to see an absolute monster jam. Carlos Delfino however had other plans. Derozan was going for the crown, Delfino adjusted and got his hand all over the ball. This is the second block of the season by Delfino that is completely jaw dropping... 

Here is the other one--- enjoy.

 

 

 

 

Sonny With a Chance of Rain...          [ December 9th 2009 ]

Ugly ugly ugly game.

Make no mistake, I am NOT by any stretch of the imagination a 'great' basketball player. In fact I am an average 6'1 Canadian boy that never made it past high school basketball. However... after watching tonight's game I am fully confident that I could one man wrecking crew the Raps. Proof? Luke Ridnour just put an absolute beat down on us. LUKE F'N RIDNOUR damnit! 

To say we laid an egg would be a drastic understatement. The Raps could not stop ANY dribble penetration. The Bucks drew the help side defense and just kept swinging and swinging until they found an open look. Great offense by the Bucks... terrible effort by the Raps. Offensively the Raps fell into giant lull's where they just couldn't can a jump shot and then resorted back to the 'two-man game' in which everything was forced inside to Bosh. The guy was getting doubled and tripled and just couldn't get many easy buckets. This is the second game in a row our shooters are ice cold.

Seeing our shooters fail highlighted the need for slashers to get to the rim. Derozan provided that early but noone followed suit until the fourth when Weems began attacking the rim which earned him some extended burn. It just FLOORS me to watch this teasm go ice cold in back to back games and see the lack of willingness of our guards to get to the rim. If your shots not falling... EVERYTHING has to go to the rim. More importantly if we attack the rim we gain MUCH better rebounding positions than if we are jacking continuous shots from the ouside. 

Would Bargnani and Calderon really made that much of a difference in this game?

 It really depends on which Bargnani and Calderon showed up.

If Calderon is attacking the rim like he has in a few games this year, then hell yea. 

If Bargs is going to float the three point line like he has the last two games.... then no. If he's the aggressive Bargs that crashes the boards offensively and flashes through the lane looking for post ups, then hell yea. 

Being without two starters hurt the most because we had just been starting to have our rotations gel. Guys were finally starting to play together and finding consistant minutes and roles. Losing two starters made us dig deeper into our depth chart and force players into roles they arent as comfortable with. Of course, this does not excuse the complete lack of effort displayed on the court.

Props to our boy Ukic for stepping up his game and putting his fingerprints all over this game. I think he hit more 3-pointers tonight than he did all of last year.

Some news on the site... I'm leaning towards just buying my own domain. We've had some good site activity, averaging around 50-60 hits a day without any real advertising. I know this doesn't sound like much, but I feel like it's a good start considering we are 5 days in.  The URL Rapsfan doesn't seem overly attractive. Some other news, Im going to be holding some recruitment contests. Basically I'm going to pick up some Raps gear (Hats, shirts, etc). I will ask for YOU guys to recruit some new people to the site. If you can get them to register to the forums and then report you as a referal via the contact us link, I will tally who recruits the most people and send some Raps gear your way. There will be more news on this to follow. Basically the more page hits you guys can help me produce (get some links up on forums, spread the word to other bball fans and friends), the more contests I'll hold, and gear I will give out. This could eventually lead to ticket giveaways etc.

Anyways folks, Ill shout at ya tomorrow.

Cheers.

 

Of Huskies And Cock... Babcock That Is!                [December 8th 2009]

 Tonight the Raps suit up to take on the Timberwolves--- a team we should be able to knock off relatively easily to push our winstreak to 3 games. Of course, in saying that, I've probably pissed off the Basketball gods and our team will mail it in. All hate mail following impending loss may be sent via the 'Contact Us' link at the top. Hmmm... 'contact us'... remind me to change that since this blog is poorly funded and can only support the musings of one ego inflated individual.

For this 15 year celebration the Raptors are honoring past members of the organization and I believe tonight, with the Wolves in town, this trend will continue. If I'm wrong... refer back to that hate mail link. If I am right... well... who do you think it could be?

IF we are selecting someone from the organizations that come to play us... who from Minnesota could we expect?

Nate Jawai? As much as I love Jaws his impact on this organization outside of givingus a great reference point to a classic film... is null and void.

So who could it be?

Yea you know who.

EEEEEEEEEEEEEVERYONE's favorite whipping boy--- Rob Babcock.

To say his tenure in Toronto wasn't tumultuous would be like saying Vince Carter isn't a sack of crap. However, looking back, was it really that bad? Negatives: he traded Wince for two pilons and a center we bought out, he signed Skip-To-My-Lou to a five year contract, he drafted the ORIGINAL Tough Juice Hoffa Araujo, and he constructed a team that lost 15 of its first 16 games to start a season. With ALLLLLLLLLLLLLL of that in mind, lets consider the following.

VC was leaving. He publically demanded trades, refused to dunk, tipped the other teams about what plays we were running, and was for all accounts a cancer to this organization at the end. No team was going to give us ANYTHING for him. He RUINED his trade value.

Coming out of college Hoffa was actually a decent power forward at BYU. His size*cough*roids*cough* was something that they thought would compliment Bosh. Worse picks have been made throughout history. The juice monkey flopped.

SKip seemed... not half bad. A head case yes... but a head case that had true point guard ability. Sadly he clashed so much with Mitchell he HAD to be moved. And speaking of Mitchell, Babcock brought this guy in and he became a freakin Coach of the Year when he had talent at his disposal. Say what you want about his coaching ability, but Sam was actually a good young coach that connected with his players. He will find a new team in the future and be successful.

So yes... we hate Babcock... but does he deserve so much heat?

The guy got us Calderon... this was one of HIS moves. He drafted Joey G... a guy that maintained a spot in our rotation... he drafted Charlie V... a gutsy move at the time that has paid off long term for us if you think of what his value has acquired us through various trades... and above all else... even from the VC trade from which we bought out Alonzo---he created cap flexibility that he never got the opportunity to work with. For all his terrible moves, there has also been many solid ones. I often wonder what he would have done with all that cap space that was free'd up that Bryan Colangelo was given to play with. Babcock takes all the heat for the moves he made... and Colangelo got all the reward because he received the fruits of those labours. 

Should we honor this guy?

Beats the hell out of me... I'm just playing devils advocate more than anything.

Which side are you on? [Make it known in the forums if you wish]

Enjoy the game folks--- I know I will.

Off Topic... But... Had to Post It. LOVE Cuban.

 
Daily article is still coming. Enjoy the vid in the meantime. If only all owners were this cool.
 

Who Is Your Favourite Raptor of All Time?           [December 7th 2009]  

Before I begin this article I want to make one thing clear--- I am a heterosexual male.

With that precursor established allow me now to tell you that I would birth Anthony Parker's children. Science may deem it impossible; So long as AP hits his fallaway jumper... to me it remains plausible.

Monday holds no games for the Raps, and a 1am writing session offers little new news to work off so I thought I'd just go straight from the heart. In doing so, I DO want some feedback from the people reading these articles. I want to hear about your all time favorite Raptor and why. Make it known in the forums, there will be a thread created for the discussion.

So why exactly is AP my heterosexual life partner?

It all began one fateful night a few years back when I caught wind the Raps were looking to sign some no namer Anthony Parker. Of course, like any avid Raps fan, I quickly stormed Youtube and began familiarizing myself with this new cat. A few Euro-vids in and I was hooked. The guy could ball.

APs first game in a Raps uniform he went out and looked like a beast; Cormer threes, backdoor reverse finishes, that LEGENDARY curl to the top of the key for a fallaway jumper--- I was in awe.

As the season progressed AP showed all the qualities of players I admire. I've always appreciated the glue guys more so than the stars... which would also explain why I was also a major Garbo fan. AP faught hard through screens, played tough nosed defense, passed the ball unselfishly, never forced his offense, provided a calm leadership, and always was a class act off the court. Parker never pointed the finger outward when the team played like crap. He never hung his head when things weren't going our way. AP was always willing to shoulder the blame for his teams poor efforts. 

That first season with the Raps... AP was amazing. His following two years tapered off but I question how much of that was due to roster overhauls and the inadequacy of his teammates to not guard their own positions effectively.

I would have loved to see AP back on this team as a backup PG. He was a character guy, something the NBA could use alot more of. Watching him play for the Cavs is a punch to the nuts (Anyone that knows me knows that I despise those ****-bags). 

So who's your favourite Raptor? Vote here and say a little something in the forums.

Who's Your Fave Rap of All-Time?
Andrea Bargnani
Chris Bosh
Damon Stoudemire
Tracey McGrady
Charles Oakley
Mark Jackson
Vince Carter
Anthony Parker
Alvin Williams
TJ Ford
Jose Calderon
Matt Bonner
Muggsy Bogues
Antonio Davis
Jerome Williams
Doug Christie
Other
  
pollcode.com free polls

 

If At Any Point You Thought THIS Year was Bad---

We certainly can't get worse than that :D

Raptors Win... Raptors Win... Raptors Win...             [ December 6th 2009 ]

It's only fitting that in the wake of stomping the Bulls that this title pay homage to the legendary Chuck Swirsky. Game in and game out I miss his boisterous enthusiasm. Say what you want about him... the guy was a personality... one that I don't think is replaceable. I loved the fact that he ALWAYS gave back to the fans. I used to email the guy borderline daily and he was gracious enough to meet some friends of mine and I before a Raps game for pics. This may or may not have helped spawn a man crush in which a couple of university students began refering to Chuck as if he were of the Norris variety.

 With the Chuck love out of the way lets move onto the game.

In terms of  analysis what can really be said? Everything was firing. All five starters looked good, Bosh was absolutely dominant, and AGAIN the ball moved with a purpose. With the rock being swung around the perimeter it created opportunities for the rook to cram a few home early that really broke the Bulls spirit. I know the Bulls really crapped the bed in this one... they were COMPLETELY out of sync and lacked any and all emotion... but I've still gotta put a shout out to the Raps defense. The helpside rotations were always there, the double downs were trapping perfectly, and very few jumpers were uncontested. Jose and Jack kept penetration virtually non-existant and EVERYONE was on the glass.

I'm curious as to whats going on with the Bulls. I know Rose hasn't been quite the player we all anticipated him to be this year... but that team just doesn't seem to have it. After acquiring Salmons and Miller Chicago really turned the corner last year--- now it just seems like a giant step backwards. I understand Tyrus is injured and Kirk's been battling injuries but they HAVE to be better than this. Do you think they regret letting Ben Gordon walk? Honestly... I want your guys opinion on that one. Tell me your two cents in the forums.

With back to back wins I think there is renewed optimism. 

Normally I'd not support such quick thinking... but it's the way in which they have won these two games that has my spirits turned around. The Raps are finally playing like a basketball team, our substitution patterns are starting to make a hell of a lot more sense, and the rotation is tightening up. We knew from the start that this team has the talent to do great things... lets hope that this winning trend can continue and this team lives up to its potential.

 

[ Just a quick note: Damn is it ever depressing to see what has happened to Greg Oden. The guy just can't catch a break. Wishing him the best of luck. ]

JJ Pulls A Move That Not Even MJ Could Pull Off---

I'll have an article about tonights game up tomorrow. In the meantime enjoy this gem courtesy of Jarrett Jack. Props to DHB for the hook up.

Incase You Missed It...

Do. Not. Anger. The. Turk.

Gutting it Out...          [ December 5th 2009 ]

Before I get back into writing this commentary I must note that I had the article finished and accidently closed the page... losing a half hours worth of writing. Needless to say Im pissed off and want to headbutt the intarnetz.

 Back to the article:

Given the Raps track record... I went into the game with the understanding I'd need to be relatively drunk to watch it. Luckily the beer fridge was fully stocked and my boy Lex brought over a bottle of Schnapps. With our recent futility from the 3 point line Lex suggested that we take a shot for every 3 pointer made. Low and behold the Raps banged home 9 treys and we became relatively cranked. 

Whatever Triano and Colangelo had to say to these guys apparently stuck. A 10-0 run to start the game followed by a stifling defensive effort was the story of the game. Although the Raps offense stagnated in the second half, their effort didn't waiver.

When I watched the same starting five take the court I threw up a little in my mouth. I didn't believe that it was the right choice... and I desperately wanted to cockpunch JT for it. However, with the talks Im sure they had it made sense to put those starters out there. You have to give players a chance to succeed after a talk like that. IF they blew it coming out of the gates THEN you change that starting line up for the next game.

What impressed me the most was seeing our offense LOOK and ACT like an offense again. Typically we play a 2 man game and three guys get frozen out. Last night the ball moved with a purpose... EVERYONE on the floor was involved. I don't advocate that everyone puts up shots... not a chance... but I DO believe to be successful EVERYONE has to touch the ball on offense. Rhythm is found, defenses have to stay honest, and players put forth more effort when they are involved.  If you cut threw the lane and never saw a pass, would you continue to cut? And people have the audacity to ask why Derozan sat in the corner for 15 games...

The ball moved. It showed in the boxscore and it showed in the defensive effort put forth. All starters scored in double figures... Bosh still got his... and we held an opposing team to under a 100 in regulation. Crazy huh?

I won't say our defense was great... watching Earl Boykins carve us up and Gilbert basically walk in a few layups was extremely disheartening... BUT the percentages don't lie. Washington shot 36.8% from the field   and 34.5% from downtown. For a team that doesn't have defenders they left it all out on the floor last night.

Normally when we get off to a big lead and a team starts fighting back... I have the instinct to turn the TV off because I know this team folds (I rarely turn it off, but I want to). It's happened far too often. Last night I was EXTREMELY surprised by the fact this team didn't quit. When momentum shifted our game plan didn't. Heads weren't drooping and guys didn't opt to **** the proverbial dog.

At the end of the game... I have to be honest... me and a few buddies shared similar sentiments. Call us faithless... but up two and Washington having the final shot we were screaming for the Raps to foul and send Washington to the line. I have more faith in us trying to win a tied game with the final shot then I do in us defending the three point line to close out a game. Low and behold they decided to stand their ground and came out on top.

What started out as a potential blowout game turned into a nail biter... and I think the Raps are better for it. This was a character win that demanded everyone give and take.

 

The Bosh Problem...          [ December 4th 2009 ]

The resounding question is... can we win with Chris Bosh as the face of this franchise?

Lets consider the following... we have went through THREE significant roster changes in the last 3 seasons--- yet we haven't been able to get over the hump. The complaint has been that there wasn't enough talent surrounding our budding big man... can that complaint still be made? I'm not sure.

I'm a conflicted fan. On one hand we have a guy who can go out and give you 20 and 10 on any given night. The amount of skill he has can not be questioned. He's a stand up guy. However on the other hand how much of his numbers are inflated? Would he be as dominant on another team where every other trip down the floor didn't see him receiving a lob pass from Jose into the low post, or a snap pass to the high post? Would he grab the same amount of rebounds with a traditional hard nosed center beside him?

To me he is a ball stopper.

If he has it, don't expect anything short of X amount of pump fakes until he gets a shot off. He has shown very little awareness for cutters in the lane and just doesn't pass out of double teams. When he is off the floor the ball seems to move with a purpose... more guys get involved... the offense doesn't stagnate.

If he doesn't walk at year's end, can we honestly give the guy a max deal and cripple our team financially? He's going to be a max money player... no ifs ands or buts.

Consider this... if we let him walk we already have his replacement... Andrea Bargnani. Am I saying Andrea offers as much as Chris does? No not really. We give up some rebounding and a slight bit of defensive prowess. However seeing Bargs playing a position that his skillset is more adaptable too could give the guy a push. Furthermore the sheer economics of it make a hell of a lot more sense. If you sign Bosh for max money... your roster is stuck. We will still have the same defensive problems. We will still see the same terrible lineup in which two players can not meet the demands of the center position... and we will be exploited for it. If we let Bosh walk, Bargnani is his replacement at HALF the cost. With the shrinking salary cap this is a big deal. Sliding Bargnani over to the four saves us a ton of cash, costs us NOTHING in offensive efficiency, and takes one less scorer out of the starting lineup... something we desperately need to do. What alot of people don't realize is that for all of Andrea's ups and downs, his TS% is through the roof and comparable to any legit scorer in the league. Ive said for a long time now that Andrea could be scoring 30 points a night if the team didn't freeze him out of the offense for long stretches of games. How many other players can come out of a first quarter scoring 8-12 points and then not see the ball once offensively in the next quarter? Our boy has fallen victim to it MULTIPLE times.

Now, if Bargs takes over the four spot we still have $7-10mil (depending on cap drop) to spend on a legitimate center that provides what this team needs... shotblocking and rebounding. A starting lineup with one less scorer in exchange for someone that provides these tangibles creates a better balance in which not every guys needs to 'get his' on the scoresheet. We ride the hot hand and the rest of the guys play their role... something ALL great basketball teams do. 

Thats my take on the situation... you may not agree... thats fine.

 Tell me your thoughts on the forums.

Where It All Went Wrong...                [ December 3rd 2009 ]

The summer offered such glimmers of hope. BC overhauled the roster, bringing in nine new faces that appeared more talented and more athletic than what last year offered. Our new found depth, reminiscent of the '06 campaign, was supposed to be our strength.

 Instead what we have found is that despite this new found athleticism, we lack instinct and desire. BC constructed a roster of offensively gifted talents... none of which have shown a propensity to play anything remotely similar to defense. 

For the past two years leading up to this season the complain was always "We have noone that can guard the wings". Raps fans were quick to point the finger at an aging Anthony Parker as the weakest link. Others preferred Jamario Moon as a scapegoat, constantly noting his reliance on his hops and his complete lack of defensive positioning or discipline.

With this newly constructed roster that boasted improved wing defence we were supposed to be at the bare minimum playoff contender. Instead we find our beloved Raptors sporting what is without question not only the WORST Defense in team history, but one of the worst defensive squads in league history. Where did we go wrong?

First and foremost we created a starting lineup consisting of four pure scorers, but thats an entirely different discussion in itself. What I would rather focus on are the two most important defensive positions in basketball; the point guard and center. Before I go any further let me make it clear that I am NOT a Calderon or Bargnani hater. I am actually one of the more vocal Bargnani supporters. With that cleared lets jump into the analysis. The majority of teams in the NBA run the pick and roll and it involves the point guard and the center. Defensively your point guard HAS to be able to stop or at least LIMIT penetration from the opposing guard. If he can't, the defensive switches create terrible mismatches, or the defense has to collapse and the other team gets what can only be described as layups from the three point line (as witnessed against Atlanta and Orlando). Thus far Calderon has proven no better than a pilon on defense... and I say that as nicely as possible. 

 The second most important position defensively is your center. Your center has to be able to read the cuts off of the weaksides and position himself defensively to provide intimidation within the lane. As an on the ball - one on one post defender - Andrea has been more than adequate. He typically forces his man away from the rim, stays on his feet, and challenges every shot. Off the ball however has been a nightmare. He doesn't read cutters popping through the lane, he doesn't hedge the pick and roll effectively, and he has an issue with giving ticky tack fouls to opposing point guards that are headed for the rim.

If you can't stop penetration... which we cant... you need to have a big man that clogs the lane... which we don't. 

If Bargnani played as a power forward on this team with a bruising center that focused on rebounding and shot blocking... I don't think we'd ever have to many complaints about Bargnani. Coaches and management need to understand that he isn't an NBA center. Period. Does this mean we bring him to the bench in favour of Amir? Nope. Amir is too small to be an effective center. Do we bring in Rasho? Maybe.

So how do we deal with the point position? To be honest, Im not sure. Jack has been ridiculously up and down all season... but when he's on... he's been extremely aggressive attacking the rim, gets EVERYONE involved in the offense, and plays steadier defense than Calderon. However if Bargnani is on the court as our center... I don't think it matters who is playing point. The ONE player... and I say this while gritting my teeth knowing I'll take some flack and cause a few rolled eyes... The ONE player who WAS key in almost all of our early wins was Antoine Wright.

 

*gasp*

 

I know... I know... he's been atrocious as of late. HOWEVER, when we WERE playing him late in games to guard opposing point guards he did a MUCH better job disrupting passing lanes and limiting penetration. Granted if he WERE a solution... it would come with the expectation that he not turn into a Kris Humphries on offense. 

 Our problem was, is, and will continue to be our defense at the one and five positions. We've seen that changing our wings has actually had an ADVERSE affect (somewhere AP and Moon are laughing at you). Triano NEEDS to rethink how he constructs his 5 man lineup EVERYTIME he sends someone out on the floor. A major trade is NOT possible at this time... but juggling talents and reordering the depth chart is most certainly a must.