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It’s Philly looking for revenge tonight at the ACC but its hard to focus on this game with what happened on Monday. That loss hurt enough to bother me for another couple weeks, just long enough until we play Boston again. So circle Sunday November 23rd on the calendar and move on, because until then we’ve got business to take care of. We got 5 games till then and going 4-1 or 5-0 in this stretch against PHI, MIA, @ORL, @MIA and NJN will help erase that Boston memory. You’d think Miami and the Nets would be routine assignments so the two ‘message’ games are Philly and Orlando. Philly’s a miserable 2-5 and is in the cellar of the Atlantic. Things just haven’t worked out the way they were supposed to but that doesn’t mean they’re not capable of stunning us if we show any sort of complacency or ill-effects from the Boston affair.

I refuse to give the Bargnani trade talk any value. He’s not going anywhere because there is no way Bryan Colangelo trades him after insisting that the kid needs at least 3-5 years to peak. It would also be admitting that he screwed up the #1 pick which I don’t see him doing anytime soon. We’ve heavily invested in Bargnani and have seen him go through a summer regiment that has yielded some success. It doesn’t make sense that Colangelo would give up on Bargnani after one bad year under a coach that has trouble using what he’s got. I’m not saying Bargnani won’t be eventually traded, he might but it won’t be until Colangelo’s damn sure that he’ll amount to nothing and before he makes that decision he’ll have to see Bargnani play for a real coach. The proposed trade is a package involving Bargnani for Al Harrington and Gerald Wallace. We’d have to match Wallace’s 10M salary by throwing in someone like Graham and fillers. What do you think? Personally, I think this entire article by Hoopsworld is just to get some cheap hits out of the billion Raptor fans that are online. Lame c*nts.

Four Raptors were named to the All-Star ballot: Bosh, O’Neal, Calderon and Parker. The complete list is right here. There’s also word that Chris Bosh will once again be shooting little videos to promote himself for the All-Star team but this time he’ll be shooting along with O’Neal, Calderon and Parker. I know, its not what you want to hear coming off the heels of the Boston game where he hardly looked like an All-Star but that’s just his personality. Anybody seen the KG promo ads? No? You haven’t? Oh, that’s right, that’s because they don’t exist!

I was reading Mike Ulmer’s blog (I know, I know) and I came across yet another aggravating quote from Sam Mitchell about the Boston loss:

“It’s still hard to get too upset about our defence. Our defence has been solid. We just didn’t hit some shots that we needed to hit and they hit some good shots. Those things happen…Jason did a pretty good job guarding [Pierce]. Great players make tough shots sometimes.”

Honest to God, I really think this guys’ understanding of basketball is as simple as taking, making or missing shots. Mitchell arrogance continues as he refused to admit that he might’ve done anything wrong in the Boston game-plan:

“Write what you want to write, but I’m not going to get into why I do what I do all the time because I have my reasons for doing it. And I saw what I saw and those are the plays that we ran….If two guys are guarding Chris, he’s done his job. So if he did good enough for two guys to guard him in the first half, and we had a 16-point lead, and the same two guys are committed to guarding him in the second half, and he’s done his job, what’s the difference?”

Don’t you just hate KG?

Hmm. That’s like saying Michael Jordan’s job with the Bulls was done once he drew the initial double team. According to Mitchell at that point all MJ’s remaining responsibility was to pass out of the double and hope Bill Cartwright or John Paxson do the scoring. Such bullshit! I could even settle for him saying that we made some mistakes and will correct them the next time we play them but you can’t even get that out of this guy. Instead it looks like he’ll do the exact same thing over again the next time we play them. I think the first half is clouding his perception of how this game actually went – remember we got blown out by 19 in the second half, 58-39, so nothing went right past the second quarter. I’m all for learning from the positives of a game but he’s acting like Boston’s intensity level was the same in either half and that we played well the entire game and got narrowly beat. That’s the farthest thing from the truth. Feschuk’s basically saying the same thing here.

Jose Calderon’s giving his two cents on what he thinks about Kevin Garnett howling in his ear like the lone wolf and wagging his finger. Jose takes it in stride as he should, he’s not moaning about how Garnett should’ve got a technical, deep down he’s probably dying to play with a guy who plays with that kind of emotion, regardless of the twat of a personality he might be.

Chris Bosh is saying that the Raptors need to bury the opponent when they’re on the ropes:

“When you have a team on the ropes, you have to go ahead and bury them. When you let them hang around they’ll make you pay, especially on the road. We have to take that as a learning experience.”

I don’t think Boston was ever “on the ropes”. Being down big at home against the Raptors in the first half isn’t exactly anything to be scared of. The Raptor teams of the last few years have blown 16-24 point leads fairly consistently so opponents know that the Raptors are capable of going into an offensive funk while letting their defensive guard down. It’s a cliche but no game is over for us until its actually over. The problems with the Raptors is that they get nervous in the big games and quotes like these are confirmation of that. Approach every game the same way – with a killer instinct and a serious attitude that does not accept losing and excuses. There’s no need to voice out what the team needs to do over and over again, just do it. We’re tried of these sort of quotes which hint at the team still finding themselves and figuring out how to play. At this point in your career, knowing when to bury a team shouldn’t be a learning experience, it should be routine.

Well, we’re 1-3 in our last four which can only mean a 9 point drop in The Dirty 30. Our opponent tonight is 6 spots below us and looking like a failed experiment. They’re having serious issues trying to figure out how to use Elton Brand’s post strengths while not marginalizing Andrea Iguodala. This has resulted in their offense being almost as bad as ours (22nd, 23rd), so look for tonight to be much like the first encounter – a battle of attrition that’s won by the team that finds their offensive groove. Of course we can’t afford to be out-rebounded by a 56-33 margin again and have to once again force Philly into those perimeter jumpers they can’t make.

Philly tonight. We’ll do a live blog, I’ll be at the game but we’ll open the chat and I’ll see how fast I can type from an iPhone. There’s also a new poll up. Results for the old poll are here. Let’s go you Raps!!