I hardly feel like starting this thing again after the break I just had but duty calls. The Raptors-related action during the past two weeks can be summed up in one sentence: Calderon injures himself but its not too bad at all. That and the Redeem Team winning the Gold over against a depleted Spanish contingent. The Michael Phelps was something else too, watching him win every race by three yards was almost funny. He had taken off his goggles and was giving interviews by the time the Silver medalist showed up – haha indeed.

A little about my trip: I went to Kashmir, a land of unmatched sheer natural beauty. There was a lot of turmoil over there. Basically a big chunk of land was given away to the Hindu pilgrims who visit a picturesque mountanious region each year so that they could setup things like tents, toilets etc. The Kashmiris objected to this and felt that the status-quo was just fine (use the land all you want but you don’t get to own it). Protests happened, police open fired on civilians killing around 40 and soon the issue wasn’t about land but instead freedom from India. The early 90′s revolution was re-ignited making for quite a scene and some very intense nationalism. I visited a bunch of nice places, valleys, gardens, boats, houseboats and of course, family. All was good.

Let’s get to some Raptors talk. As expected there hasn’t even been a whisper from the Raptors organization since they signed Willie Solomon on July 28th. Bryan Colangelo at the time admitted that the signing was the last one of the summer and that the roster for all intents and purposes had been set. After that we debated how the East had improved and analyzed the Raptors only major offseason move – the O’Neal trade – to death until there was nothing left to talk about except wait for training camp to start and set a firing date for Sam Mitchell. That’s where we stand now.

The schedule came out a little while ago and it doesn’t look terrible: We start the season with 5 out of 7 on the road but later in the month we get four straight at home which brings the road/home tally to 8/8. A good chance to get off to a decent start. The first West coast swing is a 6-gamer and comes in December, matchups include San Antonio, Portland and Golden State. If the club is reeling after this one this might be the time Mitchell gets the axe. The great part about our schedule is that there is no lengthy second West coast swing. We always seem to get killed in the second one (remember 0-5 last year) and the schedule-maker has spared us this potential misery. Sure, we have one 3-game trip out west where we play Minny, Memphis and NO but that’s much more manageable than the 5-game crusher that killed our chances of finishing with home-court advantage last year.

We get to see the c***y Celtics twice in November and a sweep here could do wonders for team morale and confidence. Last year we went 0-2 here which hurt the team psychologically as well as in the standings. We play Indiana four times and the TJ Ford return is set for December 10th, almost exactly one year after his injury. We got Philly, Milwaukee and GS (home) to start the season and if this team has any real bite, we should at least go 2-1 if not 3-0.

Jose’s been blogging about the olympics in typical Jose-style. I swear, someone could burn his house, cut off his left arm and he still wouldn’t be too upset. The fact that he mentioned the referees in his latest post does indicate what he actually thinks of them. I’m sure the Olympic loss is hurting him and here’s hoping he channels the motivation that comes from failure into the next NBA season and proves he’s worth the money we’re paying him.

Not much else. There’s the Dance Pak auditions. There’s some good but annoying poontang.

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