Good news, Chris Bosh is aiming for a Wednesday return against Miami. He’ll avoid the roadtrip and will likely give it a shot against a Miami team that wouldn’t shock anybody if they go winless the rest of the season. Yes, they’re that bad.

Some words of warning: Bosh’s return will naturally be followed by some sub-par performances as has been the case anytime he’s returned from any kind of injury, however small. He takes great care of his body and needs to be in complete agreement with it before he tries anything even moderately complex. So I wouldn’t be surprised that in the first few games he’ll be somewhat passive and rely on the jumper much more than the drive. It’s something we should be used to buy now. The good news is that we have about 20 games remaining which is enough time for him to regain the mid-season form he had been in before he went down.

The Kings got blown out last night in Phoenix (gave up 79 points in a half :) and the game was over at the half. Most of the Kings starters didn’t exert themselves too much so they should be fresh enough to give the Raptors all they can handle at home tonight. This is the only winnable game of the roadtrip and we’d be good to take advantage of it by showing up from the start and not getting down 20 early. The mental and physical energy required to come from behind takes too much toll to actually complete the comeback, even more so on the road. The Kings will be looking to split the back-to-back and will make this a very tough game for the Raptors. Kevin Martin is exactly the type of player that can give our guards fits by creating off the bounce and penetrating, let’s hope we learned a thing or two from the Denver experience. Taking some pride in the defense should be priority number one, over the last nine games we’ve give up close to 50% FG 7 times!

I’m sure Sam and the team are busy preparing for the game since according to Channing Frye there’s nothing to do in Sacramento.

Something has been made of the Raptors suing the Spanish Federation over non-payment of benjamins concerning Jorge Garbajosa. I’m with the Raptors on this one, it’s nothing personal, just business. If you agreed to a contract, you have to honor your end and if the Raptors feel they’re getting jipped, they got all the right in the world to sue. Of course all this wouldn’t have been an issue if Garbajosa wasn’t stupid enough to suit up in a meaningless tournament knowing the precarious situation his leg is in. I’d understand if Olympic qualification was dependent on the FIBA tournament but there was nothing of the sort on the line. Nothing. Zero. He’s created a lot of problems for all parties involved.

I’m a little sad to see our small forward situation, an area where we had a weakness at the end of last season and something that still hasn’t been addressed along with the rebounding. Jamario Moon, Joey Graham and Carlos Delfino are the 3 by committee and let’s face it, none of them is good enough to be a starter. Moon’s defense is so inconsistent that you don’t know what to expect from him on any given possession, Graham is plain bad and Delfino is about as consistent as Morris Peterson. Pickstar brought up a point in yesterday’s comments about benching Moon but the question to ask is, in favor of who? There is no clear cut winner in the battle for the three spot and Sam’s simply picked the guy who plays the best D among the three.

Can this team find within itself to get better defensively? Is it just a matter of effort and application or do we just not have the personnel to be good. We allow teams to shoot 46% against us, that’s 10th worst in the league and the 9 teams behind us are all missing the playoffs. What’s kept us afloat so far is our shooting which is at 46.7 FG%, 6th best in the NBA. Now mind you even that number is skewed because we’ve shot the ball really well in many of our losses where we tried to out-gun the opponent but failed to score in crucial fourth quarter stretches. Imagine if we were a decent defensive team, if our guards were able to keep their man in front of them and our rebounding wasn’t 4th worst in the league. We could actually be favored in a playoff matchup! My belief is that as it is right now, we cannot be a good defensive team for three reasons: 1) Our perimeter defense (especially the PG spot) is weak and we concede too many points because of blow-bys and 2) Lack of pure rebounders, once we get a stop, the possession should be over but it’s not. Aside from Bosh, we don’t have anyone who can consistently grab in-traffic rebounds which is key and 3) Interior defense, our rotations inside the paint are shot. This doesn’t get much ink but if you take notice you’ll see that Chris Bosh is the only player who knows how to rotate on defense, once the offense negotiates him, it’s a layup every time.

There’s a very good Raptors message board, Raptors Forum, that is slowly gaining popularity, sign up and join the discussion and help make it a solid board. RealGM has been disappointing of late, Exhibit A is this clown who’s first 17 posts all involve blindly bashing Jose every chance he gets. Tsk, tsk.

I emailed Chuck Swirsky and told him to stop calling every player taken in the first round as the “#1 Pick” because it’s confusing, see, they’re first round picks, not #1 picks. There’s only one #1 pick in any draft. It went something like this:

Me:

Hey Chuck,

Just want to let you know that you’re totally wrong about calling every first round draft pick a “Number 1 pick”. There’s only one Number 1 pick in the draft and that’s the first guy taken, everybody after that is a 1st rounder and NOT a Number 1 pick.

Chuck:

Its a matter of semantics most basketball fans understand when we call a player their first round pick

Me:

Well, I’ve been fan for a long time and have never heard that semantic. Every fan I speak to (in person or online) refers to them as a first round pick. Same goes for media outlets like ESPN, Sportsline, CNNSI, TNT etc. So you might want to be in line with what the general semantic is and not something that’s niche to a select few.

Chuck:

No reply.

Meh, thought I’d throw it in there. Reading his blog, it turns out that Deshawn Stevenson thinks Lebron James is overrated.

Till after the game.

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