The reinforcements have arrived! Wake up, Raptors fans, Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks have come from the Sunshine State to revitalize the franchise and help us on our playoff push! Thank you, Commander Colangelo! Our divine march into March begins tonight against the Cavs.
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to see it (unless you have Bell, but c’mon, who has Bell?) Yep, us basketball-starved fans will have to sidle up to our computers and radios (Eric and Paul the horror) thanks to yet another important game on TSN2. It’s starting to get old, for serious. This is horrendous customer service on every level, and even our affiliation with the WorldWide Leader (and TSN’s owners) won’t stop the continual (yet ultimately futile) abuse until either this thing gets straightened out, or there’s a blood revolt on the streets of Toronto. (and yes, I’m parentheses happy today. It’s my of celebrating “hump day”. Deal.)
The Cavs are without Delonte West, Sasha Pavlovic, and potentially Ben Wallace for tonight’s game, but a rested James, Williams, and Big Z should be more than enough to give us fits on the defensive end. I’d be remiss not to mention our two game winning streak prior to the break (which I didn’t get to see thanks to TSN2), but we’ll be hard pressed to continue that tonight against a Cavaliers team that’s no doubt starting to lock down for their post season run.
On paper, Marion definitely brings improvement on D, but I can’t see him seamlessly fitting into whatever scheme we have going in his first game. Still, Colangelo is optimistic, though that’s no surprise.
It’s a chance for Shawn to be a little bit more useful to his team,” said Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo, who drafted Marion in 1999 as Phoenix GM. “I don’t think they were fully maximizing his potential down in Miami. That was maybe a system thing more than anything else. I think the system here will work in his favor.”
What that “system” we’re running here is, I’m not entirely sure.
Quick tangent – Part of me can’t help but worry Marion’s going to come out and play the last 27 games with his shoes untied. He knows he might be here for only a couple months, he wildly underachieved in Miami, he’s prone to taking plays off, he’s not the most motivated dude, and it’s clear that it was the Nash-D’Antoni combo that made him a fantasy juggernaut for a few seasons. And I’m pretty sure consistent exposure to that jump shot will blind a brother.
Bosh is listed as doubtful and Jose as probable, but frankly I’d like to see Offense-Only Ocho sit out so we can see Banks play some minutes. He’s one of those guys that looks like they have all the tools, but something in their wiring is off. I remember watching him play in Phoenix and he’d have flashes of physical, heady defense but couldn’t create a bucket off a 4-on-1. If he ends up being the Anti-Calderon, I’m fine with that, but if he ends up being Mini-Joey (circa 2006), he’s going to have RapsFan and AltRaps working overtime to coin a condescending nickname.
I’ve got to run to a meeting so I only have time for one of the Starting Matchups or the Opposing Cheerleader…and I don’t need a poll to tell me which you’d prefer.
Meet Kelly. When she’s not busy building awkwardly freakish neck muscles and looking like someone’s Mom, she enjoys ice cream, Christian Rock, and Chapstick. But really, who doesn’t?
STREAK: 2-8 in our last 10 matchups.
Gotta run. Any anger for this lame post, please direct it here.Follow @raptorsrepublic