It's the 15th year anniversary of the toronto Raptors and I have decided to hang up my raptors jersey for good! Why U ask? I've grown increasingly frustrated with the raptors. Its the same old story……Draft a player, player becomes a star, or superstar and he bails to another team, or even gets traded! Basketball players don't want to come here, unless they are overpaid! Do I Think Chris bosh will stay…..Ahhh That's a Collosal hell no !! The raptors have made many bonehead moves aswell that I just said to myself…..That's It. I wish them nothing but the best! It'll just be without me watching!!!
Unless GM Bryan Colangelo gets completely blown away, or completely loses his mind, the only scenario, on the surface anyway, that would see the Raptors moving their career-leading scorer is if the team collapses in the manner that unfolded in Indy on Monday.
Looking at Toronto's schedule leading up to the deadline, it seems highly doubtful.
Beginning with Friday's road game against the New York Knicks, the Raptors will play 14 times before the trade deadline kicks in.
For a team that has feasted on lesser lights, save for Monday's meltdown in the second half against the Pacers, the Raptors will play only three teams that sport winning records heading into last night's play.
During that stretch, the Raptors have three sets of back-to-backs.
Given their favourable schedule and in light of Miami's daunting slate, it's very likely the Raptors will hold the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference, setting up the potential of an opening-round playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks.
According to website Sportske.net, Spanish basketball team Real Madrid is searching for a centre and currently is negotiating with the Raptors little-used Rasho Nesterovic. If the club fails to sign the Slovenian, Darko Milicic will be coach Ettore Messina's main target.
Interestingly, most Raps said Monday night that fatigue was not necessarily a factor in losing to the Pacers.
“I think this definitely forces us to get back on track on Friday,” Jarrett Jack said. “We have another team that can score as well, and we have to be ready to play them tooth and nail in their building. You just have to know that the game is not over until the final buzzer goes off.”
Like the Pacers were before playing host to Toronto, the Knicks are a game under .500 at home.
Chris Bosh, one Raptor who was not satisfied just with attempting jump shots against the Pacers — his aggressive play got him 20 free throws, just four shy of his career high, and he made 15 — was glad for the three-day break between games.
“We should just forget about it,” Bosh said. “We probably just need to settle down, just re-set, watch a lot of film.
But game-in, game-out, for what he’s asked to do on the team he’s with, Bosh is the best.
Well, his new body, bigger and stronger, hasn’t betrayed him and it’s given him a level of confidence to operate inside that’s higher than it’s ever been.
He still possesses a deadly 15-foot jump shot from the elbow (and when you can make it like he does, no one should have a problem with him taking it) but it’s his power game that’s impressed me the most this season.
Sure, he used to go to the rim a bit but not as often and not as strongly.
There was a concern right off the bat that it would be hard for him to maintain his new-found strength because the normal tendency of players is to lose weight and wear down as the season progresses.
"A lot of us have had different roles prior to coming here. I think we've all had to adjust," said Jack, the point guard, when asked about Turkoglu's comments. "I don't know if you can just say, `This is how it was in Orlando.' Bottom line is, we're not in Orlando. I'm not trying to bash anybody, but I can't be like … `When I was (in college) at Georgia Tech …'"
Jack, understand, acknowledged that it would benefit the Raptors to get Turkoglu more involved, just as Chris Bosh, the resident all-star, suggested a resolution to the Turk's concerns was a conversation away.
"We probably just need to talk about it, see where he can get the ball, spots where he can be aggressive," said Bosh. "Once we talk about it, it'll help him out."
When the Pacers first went “small”, at the 08:09 mark of the 2nd quarter, down by 22 points, what the Raptors needed to do in response was:
- Keep Amir Johnson/PF in the game, matched-up vs Danny Granger
- Replace Marco Belinelli/OG with Hedo Turkoglu/SF; shift Sonny Weems to the OG position; and, replace Rasho Nesterovic/C with Chris Bosh
If Toronto would have made these specific moves it would have created the following individual match-ups:
For many reasons, Toronto won’t do Bosh for Bynum. At least, not now. And not straight-up.
The Lakers should also have reservations about such a proposal. Consider that Bynum is 22 years old, a potential All-Star and, despite ups-and downs, is inked through 2012-13, while Bosh, who will surely test free agency in July, could walk at season’s end as an unrestricted free agent.
And trading a secured asset for a player in the final year of his contract may be too great a gamble -even for an ultra-confident glamour club like Los Angeles.
At 7-1 and 285 pounds, Bynum is the rarest of commodities: a big, back-to-the-basket five-man. With his combination of size and skill, the New Jersey native gives the purple-and-gold an edge over most contenders down the middle.
Toronto – The recent surge of Bosh talk is kind of odd considering the Raptors have won eight of their last 11 games to move into sixth place in the Eastern Conference. Toronto has been so much better since Jarrett Jack moved into the starting lineup that it's plausible to see the Raptors emerging as the only legitimate threat to the top four teams in the East. If Toronto could somehow pull off an upset, would that keep Bosh around? And is that chance worth taking rather than exploring a pre-deadline deal with Bosh? We'll know more a month from now.
No matter what your stance is, there are three key factors at work that folks are starting to focus on: First, and most importantly, they are winning. Except when they play Boston or self-destruct like they did in Indiana. Secondly, they are starting to glance at potential play-off matchups and dream (imagine hosting Miami in the first round?). Lastly, the Chris Bosh drama is in play. They are hoping that the franchise's leading scorer stays or they get something bona fide for him.
Either way, no other pro squad in Ontario carries this much intrigue and that is why the Toronto Raptors are my prediction for Toronto's team in 2010. Let the plot play out!
In the five times Turkoglu scored 20 or more points, each time his next game has seen just 9 to 12 points. On 10 separate occasions, Turkoglu’s next game scoring has been off by 7 or more points. He’s only played 37 games so far.
Also Turkoglu doesn’t seem to be improving as he gets used to playing with his new teammates. In November he averaged 14.0 points, in December 13.1 points, and in 5 games in January just 10.6 points.
And the public outburst to the press after the Boston game seems to confirm Turkoglu’s struggles adjusting to his new team.
Check out some of Andrea Bargnani's recent big plays.
Chris Bosh looks back on school lunches with NBA XL.
Jose Calderon looks to be on the mend with a solid 12 points and 6 assists from off the pine. Sonny Weems and Antoine Wright also pitched in with good minutes and even though Andrea Bargnani’s shooting touch is icy having gone 4-14 from the field, he did snatch 17 rebounds… not all bad, no?
The point is things aren’t always as good or as bad as they seem. Everyone’s point of view is subjective and the way a player views either side of the coin will set them up for the next game. Speaking of which, that next game is at MSG on Friday night against the Knicks. Tipoff is an odd 8pm eastern and you can catch all the action on the deuce (TSN2).
All I'm going to say today about the Raptors is that the fatigue excuse is a crock.
For those that missed it, the Raptors fell apart in the second half against the Pacers Monday, blowing a 23-point lead.
The team and coach Jay Triano blamed tired legs for the loss … but the thing is, the Raptors played a 1 p.m. game the day before, not a night game.
The fatigue excuse is a bailout and ridiculous. They had 27 hours to recover. It doesn't fly. They just laid an egg. Period.
Trade 1: Trevor Ariza, Luis Scola, Brian Cook and David Anderson to Toronto for Bosh, Sonny Weems and Patrick O'Bryant. The Raptors turn a guy they were probably going to lose anyway (Bosh) into three solid rotation players in Ariza, Scola and Anderson, which is way better than getting nothing.
I like this, but it doesn't feel right. Then again, none of this comes without a bit of Trader's Remorse. While this deal would likely work for the Rockets, it depends on how much Toronto likes it. In order to get Bosh to Houston, would the Rockets have to give up Landry or Brooks, or insert Chase Budinger to make the Raptors even consider a deal? Possibly, since the L.A. Lakers reportedly offered Andrew Bynum.
They are a really fun team to watch. Bargnani (+8 Points rating) has really improved and Bosh (+5 points rating) is still great. When this duo is on the court with Bellinelli, Turkoglu and Calderon, the Raptors play 34 points better than league average!
Now – can Hedo look at his value in those terms? I really hope so. Since he made his little noise about needing the ball more, Triano went back to the running game – a la Nash. And it worked. For a quarter or so. Then his starters, on their third game in four nights, slumped their way through the rest of the contest, while the Pacers were happy to run the rest of the way. Hedo could not work any magic whatsoever, nor transfer any to his gassed teammates. If they had just stuck with what had worked over the last ten games, then they would have been fine. But Hedo played his hand, and Triano played his, and the team got lost in the shuffle.
Now this begs the question: “Why cant he do this every night??”
The answer is heart, will and determination. If Bargnani can combine the three on a nightly basis it appears that he will indeed be able to turn the corner in his career and start posting some big man rebound numbers. Any team with a starting center that logs over 30 minutes a game and averages less than 7 rebounds, probably is not going very far. Bargnani has proved he has the potential, but it is up to Triano and staff to cultivate that potential. Bargnani might very well be our best big next year, and if that is the case, that he has a turnaround as far as his career rebound totals, becomes a necessity.
Sorry, my caps lock key is acting up today. Anyway, it's only one game but it's encouraging to see signs that Bargnani can contribute in useful ways when his shot is off, like last night. Nobody expects 17 rebounds per game from the guy, but most of us would be ecstatic if he could average half that. 20 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game for around $10 million a season? Yes, please!
Raptor’s management seem to stand firmly behind Jose as Toronto’s guy. This was evident this past summer when they handed him a multi-year contract extension worth reportedly 8 to 10.5 million dollars a season over the next 4 years. Comparatively to other point guards, these numbers are fairly reasonable for a player with Jose’s skill set. This makes Jose a potentially very valuable trading commodity as a solid point guard is a very valuable and arguably rare asset in the NBA. Considering that the Raptors have adequate PG power in his absence and would shed his defensive liabilities in a trade, the prospect of trading him feels like a win-win situation. Perhaps combining a role player along with Jose in a trade could be most beneficial. There are definitely teams out there who need to improve at the PG but the questions are: Can the Raptors get a good enough deal to justify trading Jose? Would the Raptors even consider trading him? Does it make sense to look into trading Calderon?
Radford center Artsiom Parakhouski has one goal: to become the first Belarusian to play in the NBA.
It's a lofty goal, no doubt. But when one reviews the road Parakhouski has traveled so far, there is little reason to believe he can't make it. You may not have heard of him yet, but the NBA sure has.
The Toronto Raptors had a scout at Radford's practice on Monday, in fact, as the 6-foot-11, 260-pound senior continues to play his way onto the radar of a draft lacking center prospects. Parakhouski leads the nation in rebounding at 12.9 per game, is second in field goal percentage at 63.2 percent and third in scoring with 24.1 points per game. He had double-doubles at Duke (23 points, 14 rebounds) and Kansas (21, 13) and has scored in double-figures in every game. NBADraft.net projects the senior to go early in the second round, while DraftExpress.com has Parakhouski as the last pick of the first round — a spot that would make history in his home country.
But it won’t be easy for Toronto to keep Bosh for a lot of reasons. Even ones you don’t think of much. With the again increased airline security, it’s becoming even more difficult to get in and out of Canada and even charters like the teams use have to pass through customs. Players around the league are grousing more than ever about it. There’s been another interesting dynamic you hear about on occasion. Sometimes players have not been so cooperative as they’ve become accustomed to being left alone at airports. As a result, some customs officers haven’t made it so easy on teams. Recruiting to Toronto may become more difficult now than ever, some executives believe. It makes it for the Raptors as tough a decision as any team has faced.
More often than not this year Hedo Turkoglu has been more Pizza Pizza commercial than NBA Finals material. He’s looked lazy, lethargic, and unmotivated. The signs were glaringly apparent when he came into camp and requested the first two weeks off to rest up. He’s an talented individual who lacks the personal desire to work extremely hard.
But last night something looked different. He worked harder on cuts. He was more involved in plays. He tried harder. In one of the most exciting moments of the game he was handed the reigns to the Raptors offense when Jack and Calderon got into first half foul trouble. And how exciting he looked. No, it didn’t work out well in the stat sheet. But he made three fantastic passes for uncontested looks. They didn’t drop. But sometimes they don’t
Suddenly, the club is back under .500, on a two-game losing streak heading into Madison Square Garden Friday night. The Knicks have been as hot as the Raptors of late, so this one is far from a slam dunk. Combine the return of the bad Raptor D with the way New York can put up points, and this one could get ugly if the Raps continue to misfire on offense.
Toronto needs a win Friday more than we’d like to admit — not only to maintain their confidence, but also so that recent wins over teams like the Spurs, Rockets and Magic aren’t rendered moot.