Posts Tagged ‘Toronto Raptors’

Absolutely disgusting..

“Trade KG for Splitter and Jackson”

The Raptors need more guys like this.

Love him or hate him, this is undeniably one of the best basketball mixes you’ll ever see for a single player.

I mean, I was literally on the edge of my seat for the entire duration of this video.

How should the ACC react to Bosh's return?

Taken from my piece on Raptors Watch

It’s a slow day in Raptors media-land. Most journalists are bored – writing columns about the Raptors’ defensive problems, potential draft pics, or simply fabricatingbenighted senselessness (scroll to the part where it says Damon Stoudemire is the only Rookie of the year in Raptors’ history).

The only interesting news happening today is that Leandro Barbosa now has a Twitter account. It’s not verified yet, but it’s him according to Jared Dudley.

So.

I thought we’d have some fun today considering that the return of Chris Bosh is looming. He’ll be back on February 16th, and he’s noted before that he hopes he doesn’t get a hostile reception.

Taken from TSN’s post-game notes following Lebron’s return to Cleveland:

“I hope not. I don’t think it could get any worse than that,” Bosh says. “It was something else. You had to see it.”

James, for one, doesn’t think the reception in Toronto will even come close to rivalling the one he faced in Cleveland.

“It will be nowhere near as bad as it was for me going back home,” James says. “He’s not going back home, he’s going to a team he played for. There’s no comparison. He’ll be fine.”

Bosh says heckling and booing are to be expected, and that he hopes he can use some of that negative energy as fuel – a skill he picked up from his new teammates in Miami.

“When I looked at Dwyane and LeBron, as soon as the game (in Cleveland) started playing, I could kind of read their body language from the get-go and I was like, ‘Wow, they really like this, they like this environment, they like just the tension and the excitement and everything,'”, says Bosh. “So I was like, ‘Man, I gotta step up.'”

The game in Cleveland also seemed to teach Miami’s ‘Big Three’ how to embrace the roles of supervillains, a label put on them by fans of the 29 teams not based in Miami.

“We’ve dealt with a lot of those extreme road circumstances, and these guys absolutely have embraced those opportunities to play in those environments,” says head coach Erik Spoelstra.

Here’s the deal. Through many, many years of experience, we already know as Raptor fans that booing simply does not work. It only fuels the opposing player to go off on his former team. However, I’m reluctant to believe that heckling Bosh will have the same effect. I question his mental stability and ability to stay focused.

He’s not tough – Kevin Durant will tell you that. I think if he gets heckled he’ll crack and be heart-broken; which will lead to a bad performance.

I would rather hear from the fans though, since I’m assuming some of the readers will be attending the game.

It’s time to vote Dino fans. I have attached some clever options of my own, but feel free to add any other ideas you guys have.

Bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce... win

Taken from my latest article on Raptors Watch

“It was bouncing, it was bouncing. I was just praying, praying, praying. Thank you, Jesus. It went in”
– Raymond Felton on his game-winning shot

“I think we did a good job,” Bargnani said. “It was good defense by Calderon and what can you say about that shot? There is nothing to say about that shot.”
– Andrea Bargnani

Another Raptor career night, another entertaining close game – another loss. The Raptors will be shaken after seeing Raymond Felton’s game-winning 3 pointer find its way into the hoop after bouncing around the rim 5 times, but it was a positive performance… For one man anyway.

Andrea Bargnani

Last night, Andrea completely justified my claims. His career night was impressive in so many ways: He drove to the basket, hit 3′s, and knocked down mid-range jumpers. But put those amazing numbers aside for a second and look at his other stats. Andrea’s ability to pass out of the double team was efficient, and led him to grab 6 assists along with his 7 rebounds.

What’s even more impressive – he’s a center. 40+ for a center in a game is not that common these days. In fact, believe it or not, last night’s performance was the highest point total in a game for a center since Shaq in 2007.

We’ve waited 4 years for this performance – the propitious beginning of a golden era. Vote Canada. Vote, vote, vote.

Beyond Bargs

This is one of the few games I’d say the box score reflects the game pretty well. Even though it was a close one, you can’t expect Andrea to carry this team by himself offensively.

Beyond Andrea, the Raptors had good production from Demar Derozan who cashed in with 19 points  – 19 points that were largely achievable because he wasn’t settling for jumpers. By now, we’ve seen what works for Demar and what doesn’t. He struggles on nights where he camps outside the 3-point ark, and is prosperous when he’s active on the floor, moving, getting open, and driving to the lane. Hopefully he realizes this. If he doesn’t, someone on the coaching staff must pinpoint it.

Prior to the game, I talked about the woeful shooting from the Raptor wings – Barbosa, Weems, Kleiza, and Derozan: just 23-of-72 in the 2 games prior. Well, the only player to step up for this game out of that quartet was Derozan, as the former 3 went 8-for-25, on you guessed it – mostly long-range jumpers.

Calamitous 4th quarter

As we all saw last night, there was a series of unfortunate events that favored the Knicks late in the 4th. But before I get into that, Amare Stoudemire needs to collect his accolades. He’s turned this Knicks franchise around. His absurd number aside, his attitude and clutch play in the 4th quarter on a consistent basis is exemplary of an all-star player. He is the justification of why the Knicks are where they are right now. He was, of course, clutch again in the 4th against the Raptors – scoring 18 of his 34 points in the final frame.

Not taking anything away from the stellar Amare, but there was some questionable match-up problems late in the 4th. While Amir Johnson was on the bench – most notably due to foul trouble – Jose Calderon was stuck guarding Amare as a result of not being able to fight through screens. Andrea was stuck guarding Chandler out on the perimeter, and Linas Kleiza was playing the 4 spot. As you can imagine, Jose just got abused down low, while Kleiza’s help defense on Amare was deplorable. Not that anyone expecst Kleiza to be capable of containing Amare, let alone guarding two players at the same time, but the puzzle in all this is how Jay Triano didn’t opt to put a more capable body on him such as Ed Davis or Joey Dorsey. Even Amir Johnson, playing with 5 fouls would seemingly have been more efficacious.

The frantic finish to the game started with 57 seconds remaining. With the Raps down 110-107, Kleiza gets called for a 5 second violation – which at the time, seemed like the quickest 5 seconds in NBA history. If you’re like me, you’ve already watched the clip a few times, counting each second by the Mississippi. It was close. I won’t say whether or not it was the right call, but I will ask you this – Would that call have been made against Lebron James with the game on the line? We’ll leave it at that.

Andrea did eventually tie the game with a 3 pointer, only to see Felton’s game-winner cancel his effort out. I thought the last play call for Andrea could have been better coming out of the time-out, and perhaps Andrea could have just gone straight up and shot it over the much smaller Felton instead of trying to dribbling around him. But the reality is that Andrea gave it his all in this game.

Now, the Raptors will have to regroup and produce a collective effort from everyone as they look to avoid losing to the Nuggets on Friday and giving George Karl his 1000th win.

 

D12: 3 more to go.

Dwight Howard does. And apparently he used some last night before the game. That’s funny. Hakeem Olajuwon never inspired Nate Huffman to have a great game like that when he was with the Raptors.

Demar Derozan is probably the most athletic player in this year’s NBA draft. Luckily for the Raptors, he also plays the same position that they desperately need to fill. The Raptors have always lacked a star shooting guard since Vince (*cringe*) left. Turkoglu’s addition was great news for the Raps, and so was the signing of 19 year old Demar Derozan.

Highlights from Derozan’s last summer league game against the Bucks:

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benz

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First of all, I would like to introduce the new ‘chat widget’ on the right hand side of my blog. I will be on-line from time to time, so if you catch me at the right times, please drop me a line! I have already met a couple of very nice people!

Now enough small talk, let’s cut to the chase. What has changed since my round 1 post? Absolutely nothing.

The Matrix playing like a man possessed in the Raptors win streak.
The Matrix playing like a man possessed in the Raptors win streak.

 I came home late from class tonight, logged into nba.comas usual, and was pretty surprised to see that the Raptors had beaten the Magic 99-95 IN Orlando. That’s 5 in a row now. Clearly, Jay Triano did not read my blog post about how the Raptors should tank the season to get a good draft pick. 

Now whats even more important than this game, is what happened at half-time (from The Associated Press):

In an April Fool’s joke that left everyone but the contestant laughing, the Magic made a fan think he was shooting a half-court shot for $100,000 at halftime. The fan was blindfolded, and the crowd was told beforehand to cheer as if he made the shot. The young contestant, named Dan, missed badly but believed he won and danced around the court in a frenzy. Before being told it was a joke and showed the replay he said, “I just got laid off at work.” He was given a 100 Grand Bar of candy instead but was not laughing. …

Wow. Life is cruel isn’t it? Moving on..

Turkey 1-2 Spain

Riera FTW!
Riera FTW!

 I was watching this game on my laptop in the back of my class today. Yes, how straight are my priorities? It was 1-1 till the very last minute, when Danny Guiza creates an opportunity out of nothing and passes to Riera who slots it home. I’ve never heard Turkish fans so quiet in my life. You could have heard a pin drop in that stadium. Especially considering they are some of the biggest fanatics in the World. The most ironic thing about this whole situation was that Guiza, the man who has been horrible for Fenerbache all year, was the man who finished Turkey off.

In all honesty, I felt bad for the Turks. It was a heart breaker for them and even the most hardcore of Spanish supporters could feel for them. They played well, and now they have it all to do sitting third place in the group.

The Hunter is a machine
The Hunter is a machine
  • Huntelaar still scoring! Klaas scored a beautiful goal today against Macedonia.
  • Bolivia 6-1 Argentina. Yes, that scoreline is 100% real. I guess the Argies are not too fond of playing in high altitudes.
  • South Korea 1-0 Korea DPR/Saudi 3-2 UAE. It’s not looking good for Iran.
  • France 1-0 Lithuania. I’ve been really unimpressed with France lately. For the players they have: Lassana, Ribery, Benzema, Evra, Toulalan and co.; they should be making alot more noise than they are.
  • Brazil 3-0 Peru. A double from Luis Fabiano. But this Brazil team is nothing compared to their past sides.

I can’t wait for the World Cup.