Archive for February, 2008

Raps vs. Timberwolves Preview

Well, like I said before, the Wolves may not be much right now, but I like the way they look for the future. They have some solid youth, some room to spend and a generally healthy attitude. They have shown at various times during the season that they can ramp up their game and play tough, as they did in beating the Jazz Tuesday night. That’s right, the Jazz, who were winners of 20 of their last 24. The Wolves were behind in most important statistical categories, except for rebounds, where they flat out bullied and outhustled the Jazz for the dirty points. Let’s not pretend the Wolves are a rebounding machine, they’re not. They’re just about in the middle of the league when it comes to rebounding, but let’s remember, that’s also without a 7-footer and two of their tallest players being Doleac and Ratliff…yikes. The Wolves get their rebounding from good positioning and hustle, so let’s hope the Raptors are able to match them on that end.

The Raptors showed some guts in a win over the Pacers Monday night, showing the resolve that sometimes eludes the team. TJ Ford did what TJ can do, attacking with relentless speed and causing many of the Pacers to be caught flat-footed. This is what we have been talking about forever, why the Raptors need to keep both Calderon and Ford, for games like the one against the Pacers. A rare bad night by Jose, but then TJ steps it up. If you’re the opposition, you’re thinking, “Damn, we stopped their starter, but there’s another starter coming off the bench torching us now.” If we have only one guy and it’s a bad night, that Pacers game turns into a loss. Carlos Delfino also continued his strong play, showing that sometimes all a guy needs is a change of scenery, something that Primo Brezec must be in complete agreement with. I also think Primo will love the opportunity to knock some heads out there…the guy loves some contact and should be a favourite as soon as fans see him making hard fouls, not backing down and diving around the court for loose balls that he has zero chance of getting to.

Well, here’s to watching the Raptors compete inside and try to bang around with the Wolves. They should be able to outmuscle this team and that’s not something you’re going to hear very often. As promising as the Wolves look, get them down early and it’s over.

Enjoy the game.

Why Sam Makes Me Angry / Raps vs. Knicks Preview

Well, the Raptors pretty much handed a win to the Knicks Friday night, showing a complete lack of enthusiasm and an inability to get a hand in the face of a guy who will shoot any opportunity he gets (Crawford). I mean seriously, the dude jacked up 16 3-point attempts. SIXTEEN! The great thing about some of those attempts is that they hit the board like the balls were filled with cement. That didn’t deter Crawford, dude just came down and said, “This is MY night, yeah you know it!”

The Raptors also inexcusably were outworked inside by second in command of the Fat Boys, Zach Randolph (head Fat Boy being, of course, Eddy Curry, whom Jack Armstrong pointedly summed up with something to the effect of, I don’t care if it’s midseason, he’s just not in shape). He was rebounding without guys even challenging him, getting putbacks, going to the line after Raptor players halfheartedly tried to dislodge the ball after Lt. FatBoy was on his way back up. It was embarrassing to watch. It was essentially a return to high school, where you mercilessly make fun of some fat dude, only to have him walk into a party with a girl you thought you were dating…then he looks at you and says, “Oh yeah, that’s right.”

So let’s get to Sam. Sam’s post game interviews are bad enough for fans to suffer through, so it must be even worse for the media types who have to hear the same garbage he spews game after game. In THE ONLY funny comedic bit they do on the FAN590 (and seriously, it is the ONLY funny bit on there…please tell me everybody else goes to the traffic reports on 680News as soon as any “comedy” bit comes on the FAN…BRUTAL), they have the Sam post games down pat. Sam goes into his laid-back, “Y’know, guys make plays” etc. speech that makes bile dance in the back of my throat, threatening the rest of my mouth, but never following through. Every loss, it’s the same thing. I know you can’t come out and throw the team under the bus (could that be the most overused term now? I won’t do it again), but just admit that hey, we were shit tonight and we lost to a team we have no business losing to. I don’t care if the Knicks use it as motivation for the second game, if they post it on the locker room door, because I don’t think half of the Knicks can read anyway. You don’t have to make it personal, just say something like, “Well, the Knicks have been having a rough season, have had some blowouts lately and if we are going to be a strong team going into the playoffs, we have to capitalize on the ups and downs of our opponents. Tonight we did not capitalize on an opportunity that was presented to us.” IS THAT SO HARD?

I’m so sick of Sam not coming out and admitting the Raptors’ deficiencies. It’s the elephant in the room. Everybody just watched the game, but Sam seems to think that nobody noticed the 16 turnovers; the inability to guard Jamal Crawford…JAMAL CRAWFORD (Sam’s answer to that - “We just couldn’t guard him”…like Jamal Crawford had suddenly turned into the best player in the league); the 17 second chance points; the list goes on. Sam’s answer for the laundry list of crap? “You’re never supposed to win”. Actually Sam, yes, yes you are. When you’re playing the New York Knicks, who are in your division, who just got PASTED by the Sixers, who have some of the fattest dudes in the league, who SOMEHOW still have Nate Robinson in the NBA instead of the circus he belongs in…yes, you are supposed to win.

The thing that kills me about Sam’s post game interviews is that I can’t help but think that his attitude carries over to the team. I might be way off on this, he may act all laid-back in front of the cameras, but then go and tear the team a new one when he’s in the room, but I just don’t get that feeling. I’m not saying that you have to go all Bobby Knight on the guys, because realistitcally, these are grown men who aren’t going to react in a positive fashion to that kind of stuff. All I’m saying is that as a coach, you have to instill some pride in your team. You have to make them feel that when games like that are lost, it shows that they are not ready to be an elite team. I’m not talking about one loss, because this has happened more than once. This isn’t the Raptors beating Michael’s Bulls back in the day…and then watching as the Bulls roll to 72 wins, I’m talking about the Raptors repeatedly letting teams off the hook. When the New York Knicks score a season high 40 points in a quarter against your team, I’m sorry, you’re not ready to play. You just aren’t.

So that leads me to today’s game. The Raptors are on home court and should be ready for this one, but I am not banking on Sam to be the one to have them raring to go. I am banking on the Raptors having some pride and knowing that they played a stinker the other night and that they have to make a statement tonight. They have to come out right off the bat and say, “Hey, you guys shouldn’t even be in the same league as us.” If this goes into halftime anywhere close, I will be highly disappointed, because that will show me that the Raptors just don’t have the balls to compete in the NBA. A good chunk of sports is about attitude and pride. If you don’t carry yourself like a winner, if your coach doesn’t get on you when you don’t play and compete like winners, then what’s the point?

Enjoy today’s game.

Raps vs. FatBoys Preview

There’s nothing like sitting back on a Friday night, downing a few pops and watching the Fat Boys self destruct against the Raptors. We’ve seen it before, we’ll probably see it again. Watching the Knicks isn’t like watching a car wreck, that tired cliche where it’s so bad that you have to look. No, watching the Fat Boys is like, well, watching and listening to the Fat Boys back in the 80s. Listening, because we had to hear them on the mic, watching, because surely you remember “Disorderlies”, right?

But here’s the strange thing about the Knicks. As bad as they are, they will go up against the Celtics and play a relatively decent game, but then follow it up a few days later by serving their asses up to the Sixers, losing 84-124. You know you’re going to get a bad team most nights, but every once in a while, they show up for a game. Let’s just hope that game isn’t either of the two against the Raptors.

Although there is some meat in the paint on the Knicks, the Raptors can still beat them inside with their athleticism, because while the Knicks have some big boys, those guys are seriously slow. If Bosh gets the inside-outside game going again, it could be a long night in NY.

Well, short preview tonight, enjoy the game.

Middle of Winter…and it’s Hot Outside

Well, when the Manchild is making his presence known on the inside and you have a team that can occasionally shoot the lights out, it sounds like a simple plan, doesn’t it? We talked earlier about the Raptors using ball movement to create some good looks from the outside, but what was great to see tonight was that the Raptors were trying to go inside first and when that wasn’t working so well, they kicked out and let it fly. This was a exemplified by Chris Bosh, who when running into the imposing figure of Howard, simply just stepped out and shot over him (including another 3…which is just a big kick in the balls in my opinion…I would hate to see that if I were playing against the Raptors).

But let’s not think that the Raptors shied away from working inside all night. Bosh still made it to the line frequently, going 11-11 (can we ever say it enough times…attacking inside is vital to the success of any team…and so is making your free throws) and establishing himself inside, which created some additional looks for his teammates.

Jose Calderon had another nearly flawless night, moving the ball and looking to score when the opportunity presented itself. One thing you have to appreciate about Jose over the past couple of years is that he has really improved his ability to use his left hand, beating players off the dribble and going straight to the rack before any help gets over. It sounds pretty simple, but there are a lot of guards in the league who have weaknesses dribbling (and finishing) with their non-dominant hand. You may not notice it off the start, but you’ll see that some guards will not look to go left unless the sea parts in front of them.

If the Raptors could find a way to get it through Jamario’s head that he needs to attack more, he could be a lot better player. He went 4-4 from the line tonight and 6-12 from the field. He also inexplicably launched two more three point attempts, nailing one. The thing with Moon is that he doesn’t really force a lot of his three attempts, he basically gets good looks from the floor, but he shoots under 30% from behind the arch. That’s pretty much an indicator that shooting 3-pointers should not be part of your arsenal.

Carlos Delfino is playing some great basketball lately. He is being aggressive, fighting for loose balls, getting rebounds, taking charges, knocking down shots, dishes out assists…he’s doing everything the Raptors need him to do and more. He has essentially made Jason Kapono look completely one-dimensional and is doing a lot of the things I bet the coaching staff wished Jamario would do. Should we be seeing Carlos and Jamario going hard to the basket at around the same rate? No, you would think that Carlos would settle for his shot a little more than Jamario, but next time you watch a game, look at how they view the court in front of them. Two completely different approaches with guys using their weaker skill set to score points.

A good outing for the Raptors, who now have two coming up against the Knicks. It would be nice to take both of those, but we have seen stranger things happen. Can’t wait to see the Fat Boys again.

Oh yeah, back to the Magic for a second. It’s nice to see Dwight Howard turning into this pseudo NBA cult hero, but come on, can we all admit that the Superman “dunk” was not a dunk? Still impressive, but people calling that one of the best dunks ever? What? Come on. Keep it in perspective people.

Bring on the Fat Boys!

Raps vs. Magic Preview

There were so many easy lines I could have used to start this post. I could have made some joke about the Raptors being Kryptonite or that the Raptors are going to have to drive the Lois Lane to win the game tomorrow, but that would be too easy…and while I can deal with being a man-whore, I simply cannot deal with being called easy. Oh yeah, we’re talking about basketball here, right?

As I am typing this, the Magic have just finished putting a hurt on the Pistons, which I am going to simply sum up as a little bit of emotional carry over for the Magic and a bit too much of a layoff for the Pistons. I am still not convinced that the Magic are the team that a lot of people think they are. True, tonight, with Howard only scoring 8 points, they still managed to find a way to light up the Pistons for 103 points, but again, see my rationale above.

If there’s one area of Howard’s game that he will need to improve on, it is passing, which isn’t anything abnormal for a big man to have to work on. People underestimate the importance of a big man being able to pass. If you want to see how much more dangerous a big man can become when he is able to pass, take a look at the career of Vlade Divac. When you look at Shaq, his ability to draw attention and then find men cutting to the basket has allowed him to diversify his game and force teams to respect his abilities at the same time. But here’s the thing, you can’t just throw a bunch of double teams at Howard, because he is strong enough to fight through them and if he is able to push the ball back out to its initial entry point, the Magic can get the ball around the perimeter and then you’d better pray they don’t find Hedo Turkoglu…because we all know what happens when that guy gets in a groove. Let’s just hope he doesn’t pull off another November Miracle with another 15 rebounds…sorry, a CAREER HIGH 15 rebounds.

It’s pretty much a given that the Raptors are going to be outrebounded, but if they are going to get anything accomplished tomorrow night, they are going to have to have a lot of crisp passing around the perimeter in order to find a lot of good looks for Andrea, Kapono and Delfino…well, Delfino will let it go anyway, but either way, the Raptors are going to need the outside shot to be clicking. I just don’t see the Raptors having the inside toughness to attack the Manchild, although I think it would be a good idea since before the All-Star break, the Lakers showed how they were able to get him in foul trouble by consistently going right at him. Howard didn’t miss a shot in that game, going 8-8 with 19 points and 11 rebounds, but the Lakers were able to keep his production limited down the stretch, allowing them to pull away for the victory. The Raptors would be wise to learn a lesson from that game.

So with it looking like TJ’s injury woes are going to continue, Calderon is going to have to carry some serious minutes. With Juan Dixon and possibly Darrick Martin on the block, how much do you really want those guys in the game? Okay, that’s a tricky question. First, how much do you want them in ANY game (gotta feel for Dixon here though, he’s playing out of position…still think he’s a talented player) and second, how much do you want those guys to go out and make crucial errors, lowering their value (if that’s possible). Who knows if those guys will even be moved (I’m telling ya, D-Mart has some serious dirt on somebody in the organization), but either way, both of them have shown that when called upon to run the point, it just isn’t happening.

Well, enjoy the game.

Out-Manu-vered

Okay, sorry, horrible title for this post and you’ll have to excuse the spelling, but can somebody explain to me how nobody gets up close on Manu until the 4th quarter? Given, he did hit some amazing shots, but at the same time, you can also say that on his other releases, there was a lot of breathing room. Leo was right on the ball when he said that at some point you have to say, “Okay, he’s hot, I’m going to take my chances with him beating me on the dribble and then rely on getting some help.” You can’t keep doing the same thing and expecting different results.

Outside of Manu’s amazing shooting night, if you ever wanted an example of how bad the Raptors’ rebounding situation is, all you have to do is try to understand how Manu managed to pick up 15 rebounds tonight. 15!!! This is a guy who averages about 5 a game (and I’m willing to guess that most of those are from him following his own shot). You have to be careful how much of a body you put on him, because you know he is going to flop, but there is no way Manu Ginobili should be picking up 15 rebounds on any night. Leo showed a good eye for explaining how the Raptors let the game slip away after Delfino leaked out, trying to get downcourt in the final seconds instead of staying with his man yo ensure the Raptors picked up the rebound. Delfino took off and nobody was on Manu. Rebound 15. Good night.

Is there a big man in the league who hates contact as much as Tim Duncan? I’m not saying that he shies away from it, because he doesn’t. He’ll knock you over if he has to, but I mean more on the defensive end. He hates when guys come right at him and attack the basket. He always thinks that every strong move is an offensive foul and gets away with more complaining to the ref than maybe any other player in the league (well, when Joey Crawford isn’t the ref). He’s also not the quickest guy around, so you can get around him for some lay-ins. Delfino showed this down the stretch.

Speaking of Delfino, he had a rough night shooting the rock (but then, most of the Raptors did), but what I liked was that he said to himself, “Well, this isn’t working, I might as well try to see what’s going on inside the paint.” Delfino started showing some holes in the Spurs’ D and that is how they started to bring the game back into contention. You have to like a guy who keeps himself in the game by trying to find something that works.

Boy, when Andrea’s shot is not on, it’s a laser show out there. Maybe it just seems more magnified when he misses shots, but there isn’t a lot of arch under those things. Don’t look for any gold at the end of those things, you’re more likely to get scalped than secure your finances. No legs into it, just a quick flick of the wrist and a liner Pete Rose would be proud of.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I like the Jose-Tj-on-the-floor-at-the-same-time combo. I like the speed it puts out there and the options it creates for the Raptors. I’m not sure if I would have TJ running the point and Jose shooting as Mike Evans did tonight, but you can’t really lose either way. The only drawback is that you are going to tire both of them out and then you have to rely more on your bench out of that position, which isn’t something the Raptors can really do. Anybody who saw that “what the…” pass that Juan Dixon threw in the middle of a Raptor comeback in the 4th had to have shuddered at the thought of him as a backup PG. It’s hard on the guy, because he’s not a PG, but damn, if the guy doesn’t prove it every time he’s out there…

Jose had another great night and you have to feel for the guy on him not being selected to the All-Star game. This is why I think fan voting needs to be banished. Here’s the thing: fans are just that. They are fans. They’re voting for the names and the jerseys they buy. They’re not doing actual assessments of players. Most fans don’t even see most of the games their teams play in, so why in God’s name would you leave the voting to the fans? The coaches have some spots for bringing guys on, but they are always put in a tough position, as there are only a couple of spots left for a lot of good players, some of whom could make legitimate claims to be there ahead of some of the guys who were voted in by fans (Hedo Turkoglu anyone?).

Anyway, a game that the Raptors could have won, but they were lucky to even get out of the first quarter with it as close as it was. They started dreadfully and really should have been put away. They should be able to build off the crowd excitement that will fill the ACC on Wednesday against the Nets. Well, let’s hope so.

Raps vs. Spurs Preview

The Spurs aren’t going to be happy. They just lost to the Celtics, who were playing without KG, but had Paul Pierce step up and drop 35 points against them. The argument can also be made that the Spurs were playing without Tony Parker, which is a good argument, but if you have to weight things out, I think KG is more vital to the success of the Celtics than Parker is the Spurs. Point for discussion, but just not right now.

The Raptors walked into San Antonio and gave the Spurs a pretty decent beat-down back in December and I don’t think they are the type to forget things like that. I know Popovich definitely won’t forget that night and his performance (one of my all-time favourite basketball moments). So what was the success last time around? Well, let’s not forget that a player who seems to have been forgotten on the Raptors roster lately, Jason Kapono, went off for 10 points in the 4th quarter, knocking down shots like a frosh chick with a lineup of melon balls. Another forgotten player, Kris Humphries, had a big night, with 14 points, but more importantly, 11 rebounds.

It will be extremely important for the Raptors to have a strong 3rd quarter in this game. They can’t expect to come out and blow the third quarter again (they shot 5-20 in the third last time around) and escape with a win. If they come out of the half and tank the third quarter, the Spurs will be ready to pounce this time. They aren’t a spectacular shooting club, don’t score a ton of points, but when they smell a victory, the Spurs clamp down and get the job done.

Let’s hope Bargnani keeps his good play of late going. He could be the key, working inside and then establishing the outside threat.

Enjoy the game.

Timberrrrr!!!

Well, I don’t think I can say that I remember the last time the Raptors were winning a game and I was honestly bored. How bored? Bored enough to watch a few minutes of American Gladiators, which provided a laugh when both women couldn’t make it up the moving carpet at the end of the Eliminator. Hilarious.

Anyway, back to this game. Before anybody starts talking about how good the Raptors looked and the play of both of our PGs, let’s remember that while the Wolves have been getting better and are a young team with some promise, they still aren’t very good and this is typically the kind of result the Raptors should expect against teams in this situation. The good thing is that if any teams from around the league saw the combined work of Jose and TJ, they’re going to take notice. We’ve said it a million times, but every coach in the league would die to have the combo we have at PG.

This might sound strange, but I think the injury to Ford actually did him some good. I think he was able to sit back and evaluate the game, his life and how they fit together. I also think that he thought about his game and how while he still needs to attack and work at high speed for his game to be effective, he also needs to find some more control. When you team that with being able to sit back and watch Jose run the offence, Ford was provided with a good vision of how he can use his skills to be a more effective player. He has played limited minutes since he has been back, but he hasn’t been forcing any plays nor turning the ball over. Maybe the time off was just some good learning time for TJ. When you have a 22 point-22 assist night from your PGs, that should strike a bit of fear in the rest of the league. Now please, can we not talk about who is the starter? Seriously, who cares? Go with Jose or TJ, as long as that production stays the same.

Okay, when the game looks like it is sewn up as early as it was tonight, why couldn’t Sam get Gatorade Graham and some of the other guys on the bench some more PT? You have to really be in the dog house when your team is up by 20 points against one of the worst teams in the league, it’s the 4th quarter and your ass is still stuck to the bench. You would also think that if anything is going to be done regarding any trades, games like this might be a good time to get some of these guys some exposure.

On another note, hopefully you saw the clip of Chuck, Coach and Eric curling. Hilarious! Chuck’s face looked like a squirrel when it is startled.

Alright, not much more to say on this game, it was what it should have been.

Raps vs. Wolves Preview

If you’re looking for a team that could pretty good in a few years, you might be looking at the Timberwovles. Al Jefferson is a solid player at both ends of the court and is a strong rebounder (needs to work on his FT% in order to reach the next level), McCants is starting to figure out his game, nobody knows who the hell Ryan Gomes is, but he’s putting together some pretty good numbers and Corey Brewer looks like a promising rookie. There are some other young players on the Wolves who are starting to round into form too, so I think they just need a bit of time and maybe a player or two here and there and you could be looking at something special.

If you look at the Wolves lately, they haven’t been playing all that bad basketball. They lost a heartbreaker to the Celtics the other night (memo to anybody listening, with a few seconds left in the game, if you are going to save a ball going out of bounds, make sure you throw it to your own team or don’t throw it at all) and have been pretty much around .500 in their last 10 games or so. The Raptors had better be prepared to play, because if they think they can just show up for this one, they could receive a rude awakening.

I’m a little nervous about the Bargnani - Jefferson matchup, just because Jefferson is strong and isn’t afraid to attack, which means that we might see Andrea run into some early foul trouble. Andrea seems to have some of his stroke back, so it will be important to keep him on the floor for as long as possible without any foul trouble. If Jefferson is hot early, he could make it a long game for Bargs.

This should be an entertaining game, but considering the fashion in which the Raptors just lost to the Clipppers (whom the Wolves beat a few games ago), I would hope that we would see a little more urgency tomorrow.

Enjoy the game.

A Little Help From My Friends

Have you ever been in a situation where you were with your friends and you really needed some help, but nobody came to your aid? For instance, back in the college days, my teammates and I were out in Columbus for a night on the town. Long story short, one of our rookies is getting his ass kicked by a couple of guys, but luckily, our veteran catcher comes to help him out, throws a guy down the stairs (which impresses a few girls) and they all get thrown out of the bar. The winning element? Our rookie escaped with his life and our catcher had a couple of girls at the stadium the next day. How is this at all relevant to the Raptors tonight? Well, Chris Bosh was getting EXPOSED tonight on D. I’m not sure if Al Thornton is really just that athletic, whether Bosh simply had a poor defensive game or whether he just needed a little help from his friends. Here’s the thing about Thornton on Bosh near the end of the game: he was beating him off the dribble not all that close to the basket, providing enough time for somebody to slide into the lane. Given, he is a quick player and it would have been tough for somebody to get over in time, but I can’t remember seeing somebody even try to help Bosh out at all.

As teammates, you have to be able to recognize situations where you are going to have to cheat a little bit in order to help stop the bleeding. As a coach, you have to realize that something has to be done to give one of your players some help when he clearly needs it. There is no point getting on Bosh tonight, he has been playing extremely well on both ends of the floor lately and it is very rare that you see him continually beaten like he was tonight, but you also have to wonder where the help was. No team defense there. Hey, if Corey Maggette or Chris Kaman beat you, well, that’s what they are supposed to do. With all due respect to Al Thornton, while he is having a great season, he shouldn’t be the guy breaking down the Raptors.

Lang mentioned in one of the threads that Sam’s plays out of breaks have been getting better and to some extent, I agree with that. It still puts him way behind just about every coach in the league in that category, but at least we are seeing some points out of dead ball situations. But let’s talk about what is going on down the stretch. Shot selection killed the Raptors tonight (along with a variety of other things). Down 6 points with about 4 minutes left, the Raptors were coming down the court jacking up quick 3 point attempts when there was absolutely no need to. It wasn’t even like somebody had the hot hand and therefore was letting it go because it was feeling good. You have Jamario letting a 3 go and missing, Bargnani letting a couple go and missing (and one of them had less arch than Daffy Duck’s feet…I mean, it was an angry missle), Bosh letting a jumper go…and missing. All of this is compounded when the Raptors knew (well, let’s at least hope they knew) that Chris Kaman was out there with 5 fouls. You get that guy to foul out and all of a sudden, some second chance opportunities are going to come along should you care to work the ball inside at all. This is where Sam needed to provide some direction to his players. You can’t let your team come down the court that many times in a row and execute poor decision making. I have to admit, it isn’t like they were forced shots, there were some good looks there, but as I said, nobody was really lighting it up, you don’t want Jamario settling for 3 point attempts, you had a lot of time on the clock (so there was no need for 3s), you have Kaman playing with 5 fouls…that’s coaching folks. It’s not like you could try to work down low to a guy who has 29 points, 11 rebounds and is 13-13 from the line on the night. Nope, you don’t want to use that guy down the stretch. Jack the ball up! It’s not even a “Live by it, die by it” situation anymore. It’s just die by it.

Ah yes…the 3rd quarter. Outscored 28-19 and provided a nice 18-0 transition into the fourth quarter. Now THAT’S coming out and making a statement after the break. Given, it was the completely wrong statment to make, but a statement nonetheless. Can we please, please, please get some halftime coverage in the Raptors locker room at halftime to see just what the hell goes on in there at the break? Did you ever see Eddie Murphy’s “Mr. White” SNL skit? (if not, click here) Remember how when the last black guy gets off the bus, the party starts? I’m starting to think that’s how the Raptors locker room works. When the cameras show everyone walking into the room at the break, it’s all business. But as soon as we go to commercial and the cameras are off, it’s all drinks, giggles and local call girls until the 3rd quarter is ready to start. That has to be the explanation. It’s the only one that makes sense. There is no other reason I can think of to explain why the Raptors are so consistently bad in the 3rd quarter (other than a few recent games).

Now, before all of the Maggette FA talk starts. Let’s not be stupid. Guy never met a shot attempt he didn’t like. Sure, he can get hot and own a team like he did the Raptors tonight, but he can also be cold and not give a damn, thereby punishing his own team. I can’t see him fitting in with the Raptors and he is going to demand major cash, so let’s just drop that thought before it even has a chance to settle into your heads.

Next up, the Wolves…and hey, talk about teams of the future…

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