Good to be back in Toronto. Word of advice to vacation goers: Sandals is overrated, avoid it like the swine flu. There’s not much going on in RapsWorld other than speculation over who we might draft or whether Giorgos Printezis is finally ready to see the light of day in the NBA. The void left by the Raptors has been nicely filled by the NBA playoffs which have, I’m sure, made Colangelo feel even better about the Raptors. For example, isn’t it great that the Raptors handily beat the Bulls in Chicago twice? The same Bulls that stretched the defending world champs to seven games. Leaving aside the Garnett factor I’m looking at things a little differently. We couldn’t beat the Celtics in four tries and here you have the Bulls pulling the feat in three out of seven games. I’m not sure if that’s an indication of the gulf between the Raptors and the Bulls or how important Garnett is to that team.

DraftExpress.com sourced a ‘source’ and ‘reported’ that Triano was a ‘lock’ to get rehired. The claim made is pretty obvious that it hardly deserves its own line in the Latest Web Articles but hey, it’s the summer. The Triano move is the safest and most pressure-free move Colangelo can make. If the team struggles Triano will serve as a ready-made scapegoat, just like Mitchell did last year. I’m just wondering out loud if the team hadn’t had success in the waning month of the season whether he’d return and whether his rehiring will be based mostly on meaningless games. I think the players’ fondness of Triano and his general likability will have had as much to do with it as his X’s and O’s, which were mediocre at best.

Technically Canadian Sam Dalembert and his 24M over 2 years apparently want out of Philly. A year ago he would’ve looked to be a cheaper and viable option as a defensive minded big but with Bargnani’s resurgence we’re forced to sacrifice some interior defense in order to keep the Italian on the floor. It’s a sacrifice that I’m gladly willing to make provided Bargnani puts up the offensive numbers. Not to mention how stupid it would be to repeat the mistake of acquiring another center. The only reason to make a move for him is to watch Leo writhe away in pain as he’s forced to glorify a player he so hates on a nightly basis.

There’s a post here which speculates on the Orlando Magic trying to make a play for Bosh. It works great if you’re building a fantasy team on Yahoo Sports but as the O’Neal experiment has taught us, having more than one big man that demands the ball doesn’t always work out. Since it’s the summer let’s go with it for a second, who would you pick from the Magic in a trade? Let’s start with Lee, Pietrus, a couple draft picks and work our way up to Gortat.

Many here like Trevor Ariza as our starting SF next year and with the Lakers currently having $74M committed towards next year’s cap (Bynum’s contract kicks in) without Odom and Ariza accounted for, they’ll have some decisions to make. I don’t like Ariza, not as a starting SF. He reminds me of a poor man’s James Posey. People say how important Posey was to the Celtics run and that may as well be true, but such players can only function when they’re a properly fitted cog in a far more intricate machine. Look at the impact Posey had with the Hornets – minimal. If we end up getting Ariza as our starting SF we’ll have done nothing more than added another player that can’t create his own shot. If he’s brought in to replace Marion in our up-tempo offense you have to ask which player has proven to play the style better. I’m no Ariza-hater, I’m just saying he’s playing with Kobe, Odom, Bynum and Gasol.

One of our prime need is a wing shot-creator and I’d much rather target someone like Leandro Barbosa or Kevin Martin. If we’re looking into the future and anticipating Memphis’ ability (or lack thereof) to re-sign Rudy Gay, he becomes a possibility. Throwing garbage bags of money at Joe Johnson is also an option. The defense could be helped by the return of Carlos Delfino and if we want to do better, there’s Mickael Pietrus. He isn’t as important to the Magic as he once was what with Courtney Lee turning out to be a player and all.

This is from a day or so ago but did anybody catch George Karl call Bargnani a “poor man’s Nowitzki” when discussing Kleiza? I’m looking at that quote as a compliment more than an insult and a sign that Bargnani’s actually on the radar of NBA coaches as a poor man’s something.

You know how sometimes you want to cry because you feel embarrassed for a person even though you don’t particularly care for that person. Yeah, that’s me cringing at Mike Ulmer dancing. I also find the search for the best Raptors moment this season hilarious. For me it came in Game 1 when we defeated Philly, after that it was downhill.

NBA Playoffs

Watching the C**tics beat the Bulls was quite painful. I thought the Bulls blew the series when they dropped a very winnable Game 5, at that point the script was written for the final two games. I can’t explain it but I would feel great pleasure if somebody, say Dwight Howard, grabbed Rondo by the neck and threw him in the stands. The little runt is a pretty good player but he’s cocky to the point of being reckless. If Brad Miller doesn’t get stitches he probably hits those two FTs and suddenly we’re looking at a different series.

I got ESPN and ESPN Europe in my hotel room and I tell you what, we are missing out here in Canada by being stuck with The Score, Sportsnet and TSN. It’s a shame because ESPN’s coverage of the NBA playoffs is nothing short of awesome and I’m not saying that just because we’re affiliated with them. Best part? Hockey is saved for last. Anyway, I was watching it and suddenly a shocking and horrific scoreline passed on the ticker. Something about a 58 point home loss by the Hornets, I then thought to myself if guys by the names of Chris Paul, David West, James Posey and Tyson Chandler all played for them and it turned out they did. I sat there confused wondering how a professional unit can have their asses handed to them like that on their home floor. Surely they’d respond I thought, but I was wrong, they followed it up with 21 point defeat. Then for some reason I felt a little better about the 39 point hammering we got in Denver. That damn altitude sure does screw things up.

Another Game 7 on Sunday has the Heat playing the Hawks. Either Wade will have 45 points to lead his team to a road win or he’ll have 9 turnovers in a 25 point loss, that’s how he rolls. The Hawks are favored by five and I’m inclined to take them, I get a feeling JO will hoist 20 shots which can never be good. Another betting note: The Nuggets are paying 6/1 for the Western Conference championship. They lost the season series to the Lakers (paying 1/7) 3-1.

We’ll start talking some draft soon including a couple good interviews or so. AltRaps is vacationing this week, we wish him the best of luck at Bikini Boot Camp. We’ll try to keep the posts rolling on a daily basis here, do check the tweeter.