The Raptors Today

As a follow up to Lang’s post on ball in Toronto before the Raps came along, I figured I would post a ticket from today, just to contrast where we’ve come from and where we are today.

If you want to have a quick look at the game as it was compared to today, just look at the difference in body language. The old school ticket has the player with the ball above his head, looking about as non-threatening as a man could possibly look in sports. On the new ticket, Duncan has the ball low and there is aggression all over the photo. The game has completely changed and one of the big changes over the years has been the sheer power behind it.

While I wouldn’t consider Duncan a “power” player (he has far too much grace), he is still a force and can throw down over you if he has to. We are seeing players like KG and Shaq change the face of the game and I fear we aren’t realizing it as much because they’re not flying through the air like MJ used to. The big men are deceptively quick, sort of like defensive linemen in football. Hand speed and that elusive “first step” we always hear about is becoming more and more important for big men.

What is the game lacking? Well, other than the obvious (players with good fundamentals…who aren’t European), where have the big time rebounders gone? Sorry to bring him up in another post, but where are the guys like Rodman who lived just to rebound? Michael Cooper was as skinny a dude as you’d ever see in sports, but he knew how to position himself and come down with the ball, starting the break with a quick outlet to you know who.

A quick note on tonight’s loss to the Memphis…er…Pros? Hey, if you’re going to go old-school, it has to be cool. Memphis Pros with those bad unis? Not cool. That was almost Charlotte Bobcats bad. Anyway, if Chris Bosh wants to become a perennial All-Star and a real superstar in this league, he is going to have to give up that curl and finger roll move and turn it into a curl and slam-it-in-your-non-All-Star-face move. Down the stretch, Chris is going to have to take over games not only by scoring, but by setting the atmosphere. Hurt somebody Chris. Remember when Starks dunked over Jordan? Remember that? Starks saw his opportunity, his eyes lit up and years later I’m still talking about it.

Another note on tonight’s game: Mine James misses a layup down the stretch. Pass the ball Mike. This dude needs a hypnotist. Pass first…pass first…