Dead Season is in full swing. Our beloved Raptors are in Vegas where they’ll play the Nuggets tonight at 6PM. Nathan Jawai is expected to get some play in tonight’s game; he’s still recuperating from an injury he suffered while reaching for some popcorn that fell through a movie theater chair earlier in the year. He did manage to retrieve the popcorn but injured his groin in the process. Says Nathan:
In hindsight it was probably a bad idea to twist my body and stick my arm between folding chairs for two bits of popcorn and I probably should’ve let it go, especially since I weigh 395 pounds. I’ll continue to work hard at not spilling popcorn and I’m confident that I’ll overcome this affliction.
In reality the giant injured himself in pre-draft workouts.
A non-Raptor to keep your eye on during the game is Denver’s second round pick Sonny Weems who likens himself to a future DPOY. There’s something about the hunger of an out-of-contract rookie desperately trying to get into the NBA that’s very intriguing and Joey Graham’s about to find that out. Graham’s great game against Sacramento was a nice enough event but to think that its increasing his trade value to anything meaningful would be foolish. You can put up big numbers in the summer and it won’t mean a thing if you didn’t come to training camp without an area of your game being improved. If Joey wants to seriously contend for Moon’s spot he needs to sure up his mid-range game, increase his lateral quickness and up his basketball IQ to the level where he doesn’t look confused when the ball’s in his hands. It’s a tall order for Graham but if he can nail 2 out of 3, you never know.
As for tonight’s game I’m expecting to see something better from John Lucas and Daniel Ewing, they were both awful against Sacramento and will be looking to rebound. If Jaycee Carroll continues to hit running floaters and knock down jumpers for the second game in a row, I’ll be switching to him as my outside pick to make the team.
Interesting blog from Indiana GM David Morway who takes us inside the war room of the Indiana Pacers and tells us how the deals with Portland and Toronto went down. They were targeting Brandon Rush from the outset and had made the Roy Hibbert agreement with the Raptors well in advance. He also says that they aggressively tried to acquire another pick in the first round but nobody was giving it up. Firstly, I wish Bryan Colangelo would write a blog like this and give us fans an idea of what was going through his mind. Secondly, if the Pacers valued first round picks to a degree that they wanted three of them, why didn’t the Raptors care to have even one?
Everybody in Charlotte’s on the trade block including Gerald Wallace. If he had been our major off-season acquisition I would’ve had a real problem with it. He’s been putting up big numbers on a very bad team and hasn’t helped that team achieve anything. In the process he’s gotten rewarded with a big but relatively reasonable contract (~9M). He’s also had issues with injury as you can see by his game tally. Having said all that, I would welcome him on this team given the talent already present in the front court. Salary-wise, this trade would be almost impossible for us unless we managed to shed someone like Kapono, Bargnani or Parker in the process, something I feel the Raptors are very reluctant to do.
I wrote an email to Matt Devlin yesterday:
Welcome to Toronto.
Day 1 Raptors fan here. Looking forward to hearing you call the games. Raptors fans are one of the most passionate fans in all of sports, for many people its very hard to believe that given the incorrect “hockey crazed” label of this town. Most of us understand the game very well and can “see through” the commentary and media coverage around the Raptors. I guarantee that you’ll be a fan
favorite (even more so than Swirsky) as long as you simply call things the way you see them.
I really look forward to hearing you and Jack together.