Dear Jamario Moon,

You’re a 27 year old rookie in the NBA. After last night, it is crystal clear why. Here’s a bit of free advice: If you want to stay in the NBA, take it to the rack. Let me say it again: TAKE. IT. TO. THE. RACK.

Not once, not twice, but maybe three times a game. Remember, your athleticism is what landed you here in the first place. Because no matter how many jumpers you hit, you are not a shooter. That is not your skill set; more importantly, that is not why you were hired. I’m a fan of yours, really, but games like this make it tough to defend you. Don’t question this. Just do it if you enjoy per diems and TV interviews.

If you won’t listen to Sam, maybe you’ll listen to me. I know it’s a long shot, but to be totally frank, we’ve run out of options. Congrats on your 16 points. I’m so unimpressed.

Signed,

Someone Who Cares

***************

Eeek.

Ever feel like you not only could but SHOULD punch a hole through your wall? Like while it might hurt a bit, it’ll definitely feel good on some level?

Because I’ve got a nasty cold I didn’t drink, but I’ll admit I did break out Bubbles the Wonder Vase. With my throat already feeling like a cat ran its claws over it, it hurt like hell, but I was numb. I had to feel somehow.

Fuck it, I’m not even posting pictures. You don’t wanna see ‘em, trust me.

We let a team that scored twelve points in the first quarter and was all but untying their shoes on the bench come back and beat us. No, scratch that. We let THREE players beat us: Jamal Crawford, Zach Randolph*, and David Lee. They had only 2 players in double figures. Anthony Parker must be allergic to Crawford’s cologne, because there’s no other excuse for the amount of space he gave him behind the arc. When you let Zach Randolph hit a half court three pointer, you deserve to lose. And David Lee out-toughed every body we had.

* This pains me more than I can explain without sounding completely petty and ridiculous.

I don’t even know where to begin I have so many notes. Okay, let’s start by tearing out anything that happened before the second quarter (y’know, the one where they scored 40 points). Do I start with Bargnani’s apparent retreat for his head up his ass? Or the fact that until TJ isn’t scared to take the ball to the rim, maybe he shouldn’t play? Or maybe the confusing Baston sighting and TJ-Jose backcourt, which are so foreign to this team’s comfort zone that there was never a hope of regaining chemistry?

Apparently, if Bosh fails to carry us on his shoulders and Jose has a pedestrian night, we’re sunk. There were so many ways to win this game, and we found none of them. With the tight whistle going all night, why were we not in the penalty minutes earlier?

I’ll tell you one thing, we’ve got 9 out of the next 10 games against teams under .500 – and if tonight was any indication, we’re packing our bags for Boston come April, a miserable prospect on so many levels. Of course, the Raptors will probably bounce back and win four or five of those ten, giving us just enough not to REALLY call them out but not enough to actually provide any postseason intimidation whatsoever.

Intimidation. Where is it, Toronto? As Nate and Randolph storm around the court yelling that they ‘got their shit down’, smacking Bosh in the face, and mugging our bench, where’s the pride? The toughness? Was that what Maceo Baston’s moving screen was supposed to be? That’s laughable.

The team that lost by 40 a few nights ago and were throwing water and towels at one another on the sideline rallied to beat us. The team who’s starting center was benched for the game BEAT US. This reeks of Washington all over again. Are you going to win at home Sunday and hope we forget you let a gimme slip away on the road?

Excuse me if I don’t join Jack and Chuck in line at the Jamal Crawford glory hole. He get going early, as streak shooters do. And that’s when you adjust to get them out of rhythm. Only the Raptors have shown all season they’re incapable of making that adjustment. He made a few tough shots, but the Raptors tentative defence made him look like Kobe Bryant.

We couldn’t grab a loose ball or an offensive rebound. I don’t know what it is about the ball coming off our rim that makes it so elusive for our players. What I DO know is that this was a gutless performance on the heels of an inspired one. Why can’t we string two focused games in a row together? Why do we consistently play down to our competiton? And do we really expect Primoz fucking Brezec to provide the interior toughness and rebounding we sorely lack?

I don’t think I need to answer that. So we beat the Knicks at home on Sunday. Forgive me if I don’t jump for joy.

GAME NOTES:

  • I kept telling myself, “They will…self destruct…” but I was talking about the Knicks.
  • If Balkman had wings, he’d fly with that beak.
  • Tonight was the first time I say Jose miss “his” layup without getting fouled.
  • I really thought Sam might slap Jamario upside the head tonight. I wouldn’t have been at all surprised.
  • The Garden was so SILENT for the first 15 minutes of this game, you could have heard Eddie Curry’s heart stop.
  • The clock was clearly at 2.4 when Nate was fouled. First, they give us 0.6. Then, after much deliberation, they settle on 1.8. And this was the BEST call the refs made all night.
  • Eddie “Butterball” Curry might have the best scowl in the league.
  • Primoz during his halftime interview: “You all already know I can shoot the ball…” Uh oh.
  • I already mentioned this, but it’s worth repeating. Not only can TJ Ford not dribble with that big, intrusive thumb padding, but he’s scared to take it to the rim. At least three times tonight he was running to the rim before he slowed down and kicked it back out. I’m telling you, Atlanta’s in his head – and not that I in any way blame him, but I think he might need to take a seat, for his well-being and for the team’s.

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