The Bobcats are an interesting team, and by interesting I mean shit. Years have passed and I’m still surprised that someone like Michael Jordan sits atop a franchise that is mired in said shit. A man synonymous with winning is the figurehead of a franchise that has seven wins. Seven. Two of those wins are against the Raptors, and if it weren’t for the Raps obliging, they’d actually be flirting with the .110 winning percentage of the 1973 Sixers who went 9-73.
It’s a home game for the Raptors who start a back-to-back and last played on Sunday; the Bobcats are rested (not that rest does them any good) as they last entertained the masses on Saturday in Detroit (they lost, obviously). The Raptors are on a bit of a hot streak having one 2 of 3 (heh), but rest assured that on any respectable sports show, the highlights of this game will be shown last, or perhaps not at all.
On the injury front, Bayless is out for the season and for shame too. The guy was finally playing like the Jarrett Jack of his generation, and his oblique gets all rippy on him. So, given what you’ve seen of him, what you say of the $4M qualifying offer? I say nay.
They tell me Andrea Bargnani’s been struggling since his return from injury. I hadn’t noticed because he looks like what Andrea Bargnani has always looked like: the most talented player on the roster, but unable to show it consistently. I was driving between now legalized brothels and happened to catch the Fan 590’s call-in show where some poor sap called in to question Colangelo and the “assets” he’s accumulated thus far in his long, long, long, Toronto career. Eric Smith and Paul Jones would have none of it, especially when the poor bastard brought up how Colangelo should’ve traded Bosh when he had the chance. The only way those two say anything negative about Colangelo is if he’s not here anymore, and the day he’s gone they’ll suck on the new GM’s tit and lament Colangelo for putting the franchise back a decade.
Operating on a two-year deal, he’s going to end this season with less than a .350 winning percentage, and a roster whose best asset is the coach he hired last summer. I’m not even sure what MLSE’s criteria for measuring his basketball-related performance is, but man, if any of us were held to similar standards in our 9-5 job, we would’ve been canned years back.
Back to the positives, though, and is Dwane Casey a coach of the year candidate? Of course not, but think about what he’s managed to achieve of this roster: he’s got them to play defense worthy of 16th in the league. We ran a poll before the season and the majority of the people expected an improvement in the 25-28 or 20-25 range, and yet here we are sitting 16th, with much of the same roster as last year. And the pace isn’t even insufferable at 22nd. I’m telling you, pound for pound, Casey has accomplished a helluva lot in one single season.
We get to see Kemba Walker again, and he along with Brandon Knight have had very expected seasons. Both had issues with their shooting coming into the draft, and Knight’s around the 40% mark, with Kemba at 37%. Maybe they’ll turn into starters one day and become cornerstones of their franchises, or maybe they won’t. Either way, as a fan of the Raptors, I can’t help but look at our dire point guard situation and see little in the way of hope. Who do the Raptors make a play for? Deron Williams is out, so who? Goran Dragic?
All I know that this team will never truly even enter rebuild mode until they sort out the point guard position. It’s what teams do. Golden State with Curry, OKC with Westbrook, Sacramento with Evans, Milwaukee with Jennings, Minnesota with Rubio…it sounds to me the natural position to address if you want to change the style, tempo, and direction of a team. No offense to Jose, but what is he still doing here?
Only thirteen games left till the Raptors go away for six long months, a summer where there’s as much work to be done as the one when Colangelo arrived and basically inherited this roster. I think we’re better off today, right?
Enjoy the game tonight.