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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Living in a van down by the river
Daily Raptor Dish - 13.03.10
Injuries plague struggling Raptors this season
Mona Halem runs the party line to the NBA
They mess with minds as much as muscles; bother both ligaments and lineups; and are an unfortunate by-product of a long and arduous NBA season.
They are a pain, quite literally and figuratively.
As the Raptors lurch and stumble along these days, losers of seven of eight heading into their Saturday night game against the Golden State Warriors in Oakland, one of the primary reasons for their struggle has been because they have had a hard time dealing with the most unavoidable aspect of professional sports: injuries.
"It's a pain in the (butt)," Raptors coach Jay Triano says.
And a pain in the knee. And the ankle. And the hip. And the psyche.
"It's boring," says Chris Bosh, who is still trying to get back up to speed after missing seven games with a sprained ankle and then a flu bug.
"I love basketball, I love to play the game, I like practising, I like working on my game and when that's taken away from me and all I can do is ride the bike or work on the elliptical or lift weights, it takes a lot away."
Raptors Game Day
“She's notorious, she's the king, the king,” says Raptors forward-guard Antoine Wright. He says even when he played with the New jersey Nets and the Dallas Mavericks, the word would be to “get up with Mona when we get to Toronto.”
“She got us about 15 wins this year,” says Wright. “Throwing those Saturday night parties works great. She needs a raise.” In a Wall Street Journal article earlier this week, the New York Knicks’ Toney Douglas and Tracy McGrady also bigged up Halem’s bashes.
Halem, 31, grew up in Aurora. She was “always pretty much a planner of events,” although her high school birthday parties were curtailed by her strict Egyptian immigrant parents.
Studying math and science at York, Halem put together barbecues and house parties. Near graduation, she decided to hook up with DJ friends to throw a party for about 60 people.
Things grew from there, and by the time Halem graduated, her plans to pursue a programming career were put on hold. She’s been running Lady Luck full time since 2001.
“I guess all this attention is because there’s athletes at my party and they’re always on the radar,” says Halem.
She says she met Bosh, Steve Nash and the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Antwan Jamison “just like any friendship would happen.” Whether she’s being coy or just doesn’t have the words, she doesn’t credit her success to any Hollywood in.
“I just select the right venues,” says Halem of the buzz around her 21-and-over events, held at places like King St.’s Atelier and Muzik at the Ex. “Great ambiance, great music, friendly faces. No hassles and safe. It’s not just anybody.”
They've got tendencies
TORONTO AT GOLDEN STATE
10:30 p.m., Oracle Arena
TV: TSN | Radio: Fan 590
Who's hot Having lost seven of their last eight, it's a stretch. But Bosh had 30 points and 14 rebounds the last time Toronto played in Oakland in 2008.
Who's not The Raptors have not won in Oakland since 2004.
Who's hot Golden State's high-octane offence must be salivating at the thought of seeing Toronto's dismal defence.
Who's not The Warriors are actually worse than the Raptors at stopping the other team. At 17-47, their offensive output is cold when they allow opponents more than 111 points per game.
My broadcast colleague Matt Devlin is a funny guy and when the sports discussions amongst the broadcast throng -- Jack Armstrong, Eric Smith and I -- get passionate, Devlin will point at the loudest dissenter or advocate with a laugh and say, "Hey man, you got tendencies!"
The worst tendency right now is one of, as Triano deemed it, "selfishness" -- where the old adage applies that a strength can turn into a weakness if you can't control it. Toronto has terrific offensive firepower but it's letting them down right now in a few ways.
First off, each guy on the floor knows he can score and sometimes takes it upon himself to try and do it for the entire team. That leads to quick shots without any offensive flow or balance allowing the other team to run out in transition.
Secondly, when they don't score, there is a letdown at the other end of the floor and teams are beating them badly on the defensive end. In seven of the last eight games, Toronto has allowed the opposition to shoot better than 45 per cent and above 50 per cent in six of the eight.
To quote my man Devs, "The Raptors got tendencies." And right now the tendencies are reverting back to the ones that were present at the start of the season putting head coach Jay Triano is in a bit of a quandary. It's that time of the season when the line-up should be solidified for the stretch run to try and make the playoffs, but you have to wonder if he is contemplating line-up changes.
"We haven't made any decisions right now," Triano said. "I don't think anybody played themselves into a spot or out of a spot (the other night in Sacramento)."
"Maybe too many guys played themselves out of spots, and not enough guys played themselves into spots," laughed Triano. "Now that would be a change if we played with three guys."
Sunshine Girl – 13.03.10
RF Girl of the Day – Erin Nass
SUNshine Girl Alana says her perfect guy has to look good in a cowboy hat and needs to know how to work on a car. First of all, nobody looks good in a cowboy hat ... and we tried working on our car, but the computer kept sliding off the hood.