Archive for November, 2006

Likes and Dislikes

Hey Raps fans,

Good to have another season underway, should be interesting to see how all of these pieces fit together. Let’s ignore the pre-season, because let’s be honest, it’s the pre-season. Here are some early likes and dislikes from the first three games of our beloved dinosaurios púrpuras grandes.


1. You have to love how Garbo is contesting shots. He’s not necessarily blocking them, but he is making guys alter their shots, which is just as good (as long as you can rebound…see below). I also like how tough this guy is. I guarantee if Kobe is going off of the Raps this year, Garbo will “Raja” him to the floor.
2. I’m not ready to anoint him the king of the backcourt, but good Lord can TJ Ford move the ball from one end of the court to another in a heartbeat. I love the pass first mentality, but it’s completely ridiculous that I even have to comment on that, because that’s what the position is all about. The only problem is that sometimes he’s so quick down the court, his teammates can’t get there in time (see below).
3. Jose Calderon. I’ve never really believed that international tournaments provide some sort of miraculous maturation process, but if there is ever a guy who is going to convince me (after three games), it’s Calderon. He finally looks like he has some confidence in his abilities and doesn’t look nervous when he has the ball in his hands. His steal on Sunday off a ball that was being saved from going out of bounds showed his great anticipation, which led to an easy bucket. Kudos to him, he even laughed when D-Mart said to him (and no, I’m not joking here) that he looks so good this year, he’s starting to resemble D-Mart. Yikes. I didn’t even know D-Mart was allowed to refer to himself in the 3rd person.


1. Rebounding. Okay, it’s still very early, but this has to be taken care of. There’s no point playing good D and contesting shots if you’re going to forget to rebound.
2. Running the floor. I’m no basketball genius, but if you’re going to play an “up-tempo” game, YOU HAVE TO RUN THE FLOOR. Bosh isn’t running, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt with his heel. Everybody else needs to work on transition and hustling.
3. Garbo’s facial hair. Dude, honestly, you’re reminding me of Vlade Divac…and not in the “I’m going to flop and flop and flop and then drop 20 on you” sort of way. More in the “Jesus is my brother” sort of way.

Let’s hope things can pick up against Philly.

Raptors fall to the Spurs

Sunday’s sobering loss to the San Antonio Spurs proves one thing – the Toronto Raptors still need time to fit the pieces together. Despite the early bravado announcing the new up-tempo offence, it’s clear old habits die hard.

TJ Ford spent much of the game looking for the man that was never open, often forced to make his own plays while his team mates hid behind screens and were unable to run the floor. Ford finished the game with 5 assists while the team finished with a total of 11, a clear indication that the heavily advertised pass-first point guard was unable to connect with his players.

Coming off a rousing win over Milwaukee, the Raptors were hard-pressed to get fired up playing against arguably one of the league’s most boring teams. The loudest the crowd ever got was the standing ovation when Matt Bonner entered the game at the end of the first quarter.

The defence was especially lacklustre as the San Antonio Spurs shot 50% from the field while limiting the Raptors to just 76 field goal attempts, a far cry from the 100 shots Sam Mitchell is pressuring his squad to launch. Brent Barry was allowed to roam the arc and connect on a slew of long balls that kept the game comfortable for the Spurs.

The 3-0 Philadelphia 76’ers roll into town on Wednesday as the Raptors look to even their season at 2-2.

Welcome back to!

Welcome back to Jay and I are excited to carry you through the year with Raptors news, commentary, and discussion. We encourage your comments and invite you to sign up for the message board to share your love for the team!

The Toronto Raptors kicked off the 2006-2007 season with a sloppy 102-92 loss to the New Jersey Nets. Don’t panic yet – we got 81 more games to go. Keeping that in mind, here are some thoughts on the game:

  • Did Chris Bosh play?: With all the talk about saving his heel for the start of the season, it didn’t look like he was comfortable on the court at all. The team was getting him less touches than the Bubble Boy and his shot wasn’t falling when he did shoot. I was hoping that this season Chris would concentrate on running back up the floor after missed shots instead of standing under the basket glaring at the referees. He’s got great speed for a big man – put it to use!
  • Lack of strength in the middle: This is where all you TJ Ford lovers have to agree. We sorely miss Charlie V. rebounding out front. The Raptors rebounding was horrible. What’s the point of taking 100 shots when you’re not going for 100 rebounds as well?
  • Every story needs an arc: But the Raptors seem to have this fear of dribbling into the paint. Watching the team on offense is like watching magnets getting repelled away from the rim. There were some great passes inside that were either dribbled or kicked out unnecessarily. Fear shouldn’t be a factor! We ain’t eating cow testicles.
  • Defense: I don’t even want to talk about this. Refer to last year’s entries for more info.
  • Jorge Garbage-osa: Off night. We could’ve really used some of those missed threes, but you still gotta love the guy.
  • Mike James hogging the ball again!: Rats, my mistake. I’m a creature of habit.
  • Anthony Parker: He should be the guy picking the movie back at the hotel tonight. Good game, Tone.
  • Leo Rautins: I’ve made a pitch for Jalen Rose to come back to Toronto and do colour commentary for Chuck Swirsky. It’s probably not going to happen, so be prepared for another season of Leo Rautin’s Basketball Story. Let’s have a Leo Rautins Bobble Head night at the ACC so we all have something to let our dogs chew on.

It’s great to be talking Raptors basketball again!