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Old 11-03-2008, 07:14 AM   #1 (permalink)
TORaptor4Ever
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Default Craving human contact.

Yeah, so talking to myself is getting a little dry over at EBS so I thought I'd poke my head in here to say "what up!" and share some thoughts....

I like what I'm seeing with the Raps so far this year.

Yes, we need a backup PG.

Yes, we need a backup swing.

Yes, we need to make sure that Bargs brings it every night so Bosh and JO don't have to play 40 min/gm.

But thus far this is the LEAST stressed that I've been in quite a few seasons.... we've finally quashed our PG controversy and I think that EVERYONE can finally agree that Jose was the right choice for the job (TJ who?). We've also FINALLY got some legit help down low for Chris which makes me very, very happy because I was really starting to worry that we were going to burn this kid out, expecting him to do EVERYTHING.

I have to say that Chris continues to impress with his stellar play and decision-making.... it seems like every year he's taking a step forward and you can really tell that the Team USA experience helped his confidence and his game. The one area that I WOULD like to see him get better at now is his individual man-to-man defense. For us to take the next step as a team and him to take the next step as a leader he has to be able to hold his own against opposing bigs in late-game situations. I thought that it was pretty embarassing that the Bucks chose to go straight at him on 3 or 4 possessions the other night (and scored). With JO on the team now and Jose taking a larger role, Chris shouldn't be as gassed in late-game situations and so I expect his performance at those times to improve this season. All that being said I still take him over Howard and perhaps even Amare. Sue me and call me a homer. I'm fine with that. lol.

As perhaps the biggest Bargnani-hater in raptor nation let me be the first to say that I was impressed with what he gave the team in the MIL game. Many will point to his game against GS but against the Bucks he FINALLY showed that he could impact the game WITHOUT scoring.... and that's what I've been waiting to see from him for ages. He still rebounds like an 8-yr girl (no offense to 8-yr old girls) but at least his positioning on D is getting much better and he's looking at the taking the ball to the rack and not just spotting up from 3. In an utterly surreal moment during the 4th Q of the Bucks game I was actually PISSED that Sam went with Moon for a while rather than Bargs... lol.... will wonders never cease? Good for the kid.... I hope that he keeps it up.

I've been pretty happy with our wing play for the most part, although I think that we're still relying WAY too much on AP (and how can you not when he plays like this). Moon is still struggling a bit with his consistency but he's showing signs.... his jumper is coming along and he's still a pest on D when his head's in the game. I'd still like him to use that crazy athleticism and take it to the rack a bit more.... Kapono has been pure sex from the perimeter. Has to be the best stroke in basketball right now. The release and the accuracy is Dell Curry-esque.

I have to say this though... I'm PISSED that PHX got Matt Barnes for the friggin' MINIMUM.... I remember saying that this guy should have been on our radar after the year that he had with GS... relatively young... tough... great spot-up shooter... good defender... he'd have fit in PERFECTLY. Oh well...

All-in-all I have to say that I'm pretty pumped that we're 3-0 at this point.... the Raptor teams of old could (and would) have easily imploded and lost the last 2 close games... but they didn't. More than anything else this encourages me... because if these boys can finally win the game that they're supposed to and gut out some "ugly wins" (on the road no less) when things aren't clicking perfectly.. well that's the mark of a great team.

Last edited by TORaptor4Ever; 11-03-2008 at 08:05 AM.
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