You may remember me as the skeptical driver of the Fire Colangelo bandwagon during the pre-season. I suffered injuries to my arms that left me unable to operate a computer for the entire winter. Sadly, that prevented me from dishing out the "told you so's" to all the homers that were talking playoffs this year. My recovery is nearly complete and I look forward to a summer of commiseration with my raptor fan brethren.
For my return post, I wanted to focus on some of the positives from a season that saw us (predictably) miss the postseason for a 5th straigh year, commit over 50% of our cap for the next two seasons to Demar, Landy and Rudy (only to provide heavy wing minutes to Alan Anderson), publicly distance ourselves from our (first overall pick!!) face of the franchise, trade for a dude that couldn't even get into the freakin country, and trade our lottery pick for a perpetual headache. On to the bright side...
This guys is a gamer. Plays at 100%, is coachable, rolls to the hoop like a freight train, provides solid work on the D glass. It's over-the-top to think he's going to become all-nba or something like that, but we've got ourselves a player here. And a salary cap bargain for years to come.
Lowe's Grantland piece on what the team is doing with this technology was BY FAR to most exciting moment of the raptors season. The info Lowe presented about what's going on behind the scenes gave me new hope that A) we may be able to maximize the talent of players like Rudy, Jonas, and Ross; B) maybe MLSE has their shit together more than it appears publicly; C) our front office and coaching staff have a positive working relationship and; D) we're using state of the art techniques to improve on-court production. Encouraging stuff.
TRoss' signature dunk is really something to behold. Gotta love it. Dunk champ, baby!
The emergance of Amir Johnson
Instincts of a great rebounder, superior roller, team-first attitude, size & athleticism, strong work ethic, willingness to learn, developing leadership qualities, quality big-to-big passing game. There was a lot to like about what Amir brought to the team this year.
Baffoonery from the Raps TV crew
Jack doing a game with a voice so hoarse that I called in sick for work the next day out of sympathy (made especially great knowing that he likely lost his voice pounding MGD and hollering at Memphis strippers). Whitest man in basketball Matt Devlin getting into a real hip-hop beef. Leo & Rod Black for some reason doing the intro on site in Miami (Leo must have at least 2 trips to hot weather in his contact), Clara Hughes talking all of us suicidal fans off the ledge. I love this game!
Demar's developing jumper
He's getting better. Quite a bit better. Now, the long 2 is perhaps the most inefficient shot in the game and this is what Demar has added to this toolkit. But he can use it to suck in the D before driving or dishing. And he's only 1 step away from extending his range beyond the arc, and then we should get real value out of his increased shooting prowess.
Kyle Lowry 28-footers with 18 on the shot clock
OK not everything can be great.