Can fans expect to see a different Raptors
team this year - a different approach or philosophy on both ends of the floor - given the acquisition of Jermaine O'Neal?
Let's take nothing away from Rasho. Rasho was very sound defensively and was always in the right spot, but with Jermaine we will have more of a presence inside. Hereís a guy who can block shots and more importantly change shots. He can get out and defend on the screen-roll action, and the one thing that we did not do as well last year was finish off the defensive effort with the rebound. Jermaine can do that. I also think that Chris Bosh
saw what defense can do while playing this summer. His attitude at the defensive end of the floor was outstanding. He was a leader amongst the best in the world. He can do that with us as well. Defense wins championships! If we want to be as good as everyone thinks we can be, it has to be at the defensive end of the floor.
With O'Neal in Toronto ... Elton Brand in Philly ... LeBron ... the Big 3 in Boston ... and so on ... is the East still the "weaker" Conference?
I donít think so. The East is very tough now and I think we are starting to see a swing. I love it when all the good players sign with Western Conference teams because then we only have to find a way to stop them twice a year. The East is definitely better, but can you imagine being a point guard in the West and having four games in five nights and your match up is C. Paul, D. Williams, S. Nash and T. Parker? Good luck.