steph

So apparently basketball is NOT tennis (and tennis? Not foxy boxing). One guy’s supreme talent alone* can’t lift a team to victory, no matter how many times People tells us he’s mad hot (Poor Sam Cassell, snubbed again). 

* Not that he was on last night. It’s tough to play inspired ball when you don’t care about winning and your coach and teammates are already booking tee times for the end of April. 

Since I didn’t watch the game last night, I’m going to spare you my speculative analysis and tell the story, as we do from time to time, in pictures:

 

This has got to be the fifth game in a row now that features a photo of Bosh terrorizing the rim. Show me an Eastern conference player having a better month. Over 13 games:

28 ppg, 8.4 boards

6 games above 60% FG 

only 3 games below 50% FG

84.5% FT 

That’s an absolute tear by ANYBODY’S standard.

 

And look who else is on a roll! Over the last 5 games,  Il Mago’s averaging 18 points and 4 boards on 51% FG and 93% FT (and the 3 point outing in Washington really skews those numbers). Click HERE for a detailed and accurate State of the Bargnani address. 

 

Figures. The one game I miss, Kapono makes history and passes the ball. Unless that’s just a missed jump shot.

Who said Jose can’t play defence? The Spanish Fly looks more like the Spider Monkey. 

It’s hard to feel bad for a guy who’s won a (undeserved) championship so early in his career.  I’d say they’re wasting his talent, but he’s got SO many years left.

 

Get out the turkey and gouda, TJ’s back! 

I’ve been on the record since the injury saying I wasn’t sold that he’d return to action this season, and that’s not because it was my preference. I’m glad he’s back, and I’m proud of TJ for working so hard in Houston with John Lucas.  The “Little Engine That Could” did, and from the sounds of it, it wasn’t easy:

The man the Raptors hired to preside over Ford’s rehab, former NBA coach and point guard John Lucas, a long-time friend whom Ford considers family, wouldn’t allow Ford to short-cut it.Under Lucas’s tutelage, in the spartan digs of a Houston-area recreation centre, Ford endured a basketball boot camp that broke his body down to build it up.“We did old, old, old-school stuff,” said Lucas, who went on to describe the rigours of crabwalks up and down stairwells and court-length wheelbarrow races in which Ford’s hands did the running.The Raptors have been impressed enough with Lucas’s work that they’re contemplating hiring him in a consultant’s role to continue to help Ford’s transition back into the lineup. 

That’s hardcore shit, passion-for-the-game type stuff that can’t be overlooked or underappreciated in this endorsement and bling era of athletics.

Seeing highlights from last night’s game (that dime to Humph was unreal; that dunk totally unexpected) it’s clear he’s ready to play. There will be growing pains for sure, but thankfully we have a firing-on-all-cylinders Jose to help ease him back into game shape. I‘m going to carefully watch how Sam manages both guards as TJ gets better. Can you really bring TJ off the bench when he’s used to starting? Can you drop Jose down there after all he’s done, effectively saving the Raptors season when TJ went down? Forget Moon – this could very well end up being the most interesting sidebar to the season. 

Off ’till friday means more practices for TJ and the gang. Rollin’ on to the Clips, I’ll be there. But we’ll be here during the week, so check us out. They announce the winners of those pesky blog awards in coming days – and if I’m not too goosed up on champagne and cheerleaders, I’ll post about it.