You could say the good news about Jose Calderon’s injury is that we’re playing the Heat next and if need be he could be rested a bit more. But seeing how they’re 4-4 just like us, I don’t see this being an easy matchup, especially with Marion and Wade around. He had an MRI on his leg yesterday and the results are out. We saw a glimpse of life without Calderon in the fourth quarter against Philly and it wasn’t pretty. It was awful, Will Solomon, Roko Ukic and even Anthony Parker tried to run the offense and sad to say, Parker was the only one who looked somewhat capable. Not a knock on the other two (well, not on Roko at least) since they’re still learning the NBA way and are expected to suck for the next little while. We could trade for Belinelli but I don’t see how that would help us other than selling some tickets.
The next game is on Sunday and for all you Rogers folk should start warming up the old ham radio. It’s highly unlikely that the suits will come to an agreement by Sunday. The Rogers guys are holding out for an extra year of maid service while TSN2 insists that Lupa is already overworked. I’m surprised Rogers hasn’t done this deal yet because of how good of a PR move this would be for them, imagine the headline: Rogers takes bullet for Raptors fans, adds TSN2. Or something. MOSE executive VP and COO Tom Anselmi says its out of his hands and he’s sad that fans will miss the game but he’s not even entertaining the idea of moving the game to a different network. Way to look out for us, Tom.
Chris Bosh is talking about the Philly loss and wondering how the Raptors allowed Philly to get 19 transition points even after they had talked about stopping transition points.
“We just didn’t get back. We didn’t do the things we talked about stopping. We talked about limiting their transition points; they had 19 points in transition. That is one of their strengths and if you let them get out on the open court, they are going to be hard to beat.”
He sounds a little defeated. This team has talked the talk for three years now but hasn’t ever delivered on their words. It’s like pre-game everybody’s saying the right things, doing the right things in practice but as soon as you step out on the court – flop! Everything goes haywire and you come out with comments like these and everybody’s searching for answers as to why the team is performing so poorly seeing how they basically understood everything (or pretended to) prior to the game. Maybe this team’s like one of those girls that nods her head politely when their parents are telling her not to have sex but as soon as she walks out the door, everything’s out the other ear and she starts banging every Tom, Dick and Harry.
On the other hand, is this really a 4-4 team? Sure, we got some talent on the squad but we also have Hassan Adams. We’re third in the Atlantic and that’s exactly where every analyst put us in pre-season. So why the shock? It’s because we’re expecting the ideal outcome from the players and team on every night and when they don’t produce, we feel like its a letdown when in fact its entirely an expected result. Things in life follow the normal distribution curve and both the Raptors 3-0 start and losing 4 out of 5 is something you’d find at the ends of it. For this team to consistently play at a high level we’ll have to get the best and nothing but the best out of the real talent that’s on the team and for that to happen we need to be motivated, prepared, focused and armed with great execution. That’s NEVER going to happen under Sam Mitchell.
Expecting Jamario Moon, Anthony Parker or Jason Kapono to step up their game is setting your expectations too high. Parker is in decline, we’ve seen Kapono’s limits and Moon will never be the slasher and hard-worker we want him to be. He’s content on drifting on the perimeter, playing some occasional defense and being a loose cannon on the floor doing the little things right and the big things wrong, in fairness to him his actual basketball skill is very limited. The only reason he’s getting minutes is because he’s the most athletic guy on the team and for a squad that’s starving for it, he’s in perfect position to get some minutes. It’s like having an inflatable doll on a desert island, definitely not ideal but it’ll get the job done.
Good friends of RR, Hoops Addict, is having a contest where they’re giving more than $500 of Adidas stuff away just by leaving a comment in this post. I don’t buy Adidas, I spit on anything to do with Kevin Garnett.
A 4-4 record in the East is good enough for 16th in Hollinger’s Power Rankings. Speaking of the man, here’s a little tidbit from his Inside piece from yesterday:
The Orlando pre-draft camp is no longer; several reports say it will be replaced by a session in Chicago where teams do testing, heights and weights, but that no actual games will be played. This was a logical offshoot to the inexorable decline in the quality of participants, as players and agents realized playing could only hurt their draft stock if they were a likely first-rounder.
Given the lack of effort the Raptors have put in the drafts under Bryan Colangelo, I hardly think this affects them either way. Overall the camp being eliminated isn’t good for teams because it gave them a chance to tangibly evaluate the player further before making a decision, I suspect individual workouts will likely increase since a hard-working GM would like to see as much talent as possible before making a decision. Again, doesn’t affect us.
The shocking stat so far has been our rebounding – dead last in the NBA! Nobody’s talking about it because it hasn’t been the reason we’re losing games but its still intriguing. We add Jermaine O’Neal and our rebounding goes down? Bosh and O’Neal are grabbing 49% of the team’s rebounds right now which is close to the NBA average for the two bigs which mean our guards have to step up but as I said before, don’t expect them to.
That’s the Friday wrap-up. Check ‘Latest Web Articles’ throughout the day for more.Follow @raptorsrepublic