Sunday, November 29, 2009

Time To Respond

Raptors need to respond today and I believe they will. If they don't, then god held us all. It's tipoff time, time to "BANG ON!"

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Utterly Humiliated: Defining Play of This Raptors Season

I know its infuriating, but let's take a look again at how Paul Pierce shat on the Raptors:

As much as you may hate Pierce, this isn't about him. Pierce is a bastard, but that's far besides the point. The reaction, or lack thereof, after Pierce throws down a thunderous dunk on Bosh all the while Pierce's knee strikes Bosh's stomach, is pathetic. Pitiful. And to add insult to injury, Pierce stood over Bosh and stared at him = taunting him. I don't need to go through all the details again, just want to put in my two cents about this predicament.

This was THE DEFINING play of this fresh season for your Toronto Raptors. I think Arsenalist of Raptors Republic summed it up best:

"So far, so pussy."

Of all the defensive struggles and the inabilities to give 48 minutes worth of effort on the court, the one thing that irks me - and YOU - is how soft the Raptors are. Mashed potatoes soft. Campbell's soup - ready in a minute - soft. And the Celtics brought out the worst in us, with Paul Pierce nailing the hammer. How the FUCK does nobody other than the Toronto coaches react after such an insult? The dunk itself was fine, a heckuva basketball play, but a player standing over your FRANCHISE PLAYER and taunting him while he's clutching himself in pain?



We've seen this too many times, hell even with this same opponent. From the infamous KG-Jose confrontation, where Mr.Nice Guy himself, Calderon started talking back to the douche-bag that is KG because nobody, including Chris Bosh himself would stand up for Jose.

So let's fast forward to this event now. Triano and his minions were the only ones to get upset and do anything about it.

The players all get a big F+ for Fail, especially Jarrett Jack because he is supposed be one of our 'tough' guys. And he's Bosh's boy - for God's sake - they room together don't they? Jack claims he didn't think the play was dirty. The dunk itself wasn't dirty - okay, it was 'dirty', but just in the slang sense, as in it was amazing whether you like to admit it or not. But, it wasn't dirty, as in, it didn't look like Pierce intentionally threw out his knee to hurt Bosh - it was just bad luck. The only aspect that was truly dirty was Pierce taunting Bosh after the dunk while Bosh is there lying on the floor in pain. Jack saw that, hell the whole world's seen it by now, and that should've compelled Jack to at least do SOMETHING - ANYTHING, other than just to continue playing like NOTHING happened, like your boy/franchise player didn't just get his ass handed to him!!!

A lot of stupid commenters are saying things like "Bosh shouldn't have jumped, Pierce was already in the air, it was a surefire score" and other insidious comments like "next time, don't jump" . Wow. Yeah, that silly Chris Bosh - it's his fault for TRYING TO PLAY DEFENSE!!??

I know the game was pretty much already decided, but you have to appreciate that the man at least still tried to contest the play, he just ended up on the wrong end of it - reminds me a lot of Garbajosa's epic injury when he chased down Al Jefferson on the breakaway in a similar game - took place in Boston, and the game was already pretty much over.

But what Bosh COULD'VE controlled is his reaction after he got up. He claims he didn't even see Pierce towering over him and taunting him because he was in so much pain he was "pretty much looking at the ground." Fine, even if that's truth, didn't he realize what had happened from the reactions of the coaching staff? Didn't he find out once he went to the bench?

And laughing on the bench with Marcus Banks? I think that's Bosh trying to show he wasn't affected much by the play; as in like he's trying to show I'm past it, look, I'm not intimidated or anything, it doesn't even mean anything. Which, course, made it ten times worse. I think Bosh was so embarrassed and humiliated, he tried to play it off as if NOTHING happened.

I can't help but imagine how much we needed Reggie Evans on the floor last night, if only for that one play. Speaking of Evans, Rachel thinks he's done for the year and the Raps are just trying to cover it up. I that's extreme and far fetched, or at least I hope so. But that's another topic for another day.

I told my friend Rubin before this game that Bosh has been putting up monster numbers this season, but that how he plays against Boston will be the ultimate test since he always gets his panties tied in a knot whenever he faces KG and Rasheed Wallace. Well, he put up 20/13, which is more than respectable, but his lack of reaction after he got kneed and taunted is an EPIC FAIL. It's much worse than him having a bad game statistically against his tormentors. The fact that he didn't even have the balls (no pun intended) to go after Pierce - in the very LEAST - confront him speaks volumes about him, and ultimately this team as NOBODY did.

Even with that, YOU'RE the FRANCHISE PLAYER. If anyone stand up for you and lead by example, it's GOTTA BE YOU. I'm not deflecting any blame off the other players by any means - it was a shameful exhibition of lack of pride and toughness around the whole circle - but the main guy on the team's gotta take charge, even if he couldn't right away as he was trying to gather himself on the floor.

Steve Nash is tougher than Chris Bosh - remember the way Nash went after Robert Horry after he got body checked into the stands. So you can't say Bosh was hurt, lying on the floor. Yes, he was, but he should've chased down Pierce after the way Nash confronted Horry.

Antoine Wright is talking a lot of the right stuff, but it's all talk anyway - and even Chris Bosh admitted that. Let's see if anything changes, but we as Raptors fans know better than to hold our breath. Next time we face Boston, Bosh has got to play mean and try to rip the rim off. The mindset has got to be "There Will Be Blood" with Bosh playing the leading role.

I'm almost glad this happened, as weird as that may sound - hopefully this pushes the whole team over the edge, lights a collective fire underneath their asses.

Friday, November 27, 2009


Here is a random Celtics blog. Let them know how you feel.

Bosh Ponders..

Take a peek into Chris Bosh's thoughts..

Fascism in Dinoland

Raptor fans, I urge you to follow me in a revolution to advocate Amir Johnson, aka Andre 3000 as starter. I’m back at it again to talk shit about everybody’s favourite Raptor, Andrea Bargnani.

Well, fuck Bargnani! And “Fuck Bargnani!” should be a slogan. Are you listening, B.C.? You fascist son-of-a-bitch! Are we really supposed to believe we can win anything with Andrea Bargnani; a lazy, air-greedy giant that can’t even make a lay-up. We’re paying six and a half million calzones and counting on a guy, who’s only consistency, is to advertise his favourite Italian pasta.

I’ve been fortunate to watch every single Raptors game so far this season. I love the intensity CB4 brings night in and night out. But contrast CB4’s desire to play to Bargnani and Bosh looks like a hungry dinosaur; an angry motherfucker, whose dinosaur babies has just been eaten by another dinosaur versus Bargnani, who always plays like that triceratops they find in Jurassic Park that’s sluggish and constipated. Someone check this man’s shit!

Why Amir Johnson over Bargnani? First of all, the Raptors shouldn’t even waste any more time with Bargnani. If Bosh leaves, do you think the franchise is any safer by having Bargnani around? FUCK, NO! I like Amir’s game. I’ve seen Triano use the combination of Bargnani and Amir plenty of times this season. And what I noticed a few times is that when the opponent shoots the ball, Bargnani is usually not boxing out, but instead already running the other direction. Meanwhile, poor Amir is left alone, battling for rebounds and getting eaten by all three: Rashard Lewis, Gortat (the Polish beast) and Mickael Pietrus. Tell me... why the fuck is the tallest guy on the floor not even attempting to get a rebound?

If it came down to choosing between Amir Johnson and Bargnani as my new franchise player – again, this is only if it came down to it (in other words, it won’t) – I would choose Johnson without hesitation. I’ll always choose a player with fire, desire over someone who doesn’t show any bit of it.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ask Bryan Colangelo A Stupid Question in Rogers Ultimate Access

How bad are those Rogers Ultimate access questions that get asked to "Bryan Colangelo" during the games? First of all, who knows if it's actually Colangelo himself answering in the first place. Second, who knows if it's even real fans asking these questions? People complain Leo Rautins commentates as if the audience is completely aloof to the game of basketball, which may be true, but then the questions that get sent in by fans during these games make Rautins' analysis look complex and sophisticated.

The questions that supposedly come in from fans directed towards Colangelo look like it's coming from a fourth grader - today's question went something like this during the Raps-Pacers game:

"Do you think Amir Johnson's hustle has made the Raptors staff give him more minutes?"

...what do YOU think?

What other foolish questions are "fans" going to ask?

"Do you think Chris Bosh gaining 15 pounds of muscle has helped his inside game!!??" - Patel from Peterborough

And the week after that, you can expect:

"Hi Bryan. Do you think Hedo Turkoglu's performance in the playoffs last year and in the finals particularly helped raise his stock to get a big contract in the summer?" - Lauren from Edmonton

Friday, November 13, 2009

Jose Calderon Is Mad

Jose Calderon is pissed off. He's pissed off that he hasn't started the season with a bang since he got banged last year, he's pissed off his shot hasn't been falling, and he's really pissed off that it's only increased the doubters to the point of suggesting that Jarrett Jack should replace him as starter. That changed in New Orleans, when he stood over Chris Paul and stared him down and said who knows what; whatever it was, it wasn't pretty unlike his razor-sharp sideburns.

Since then, while it would be too much to say he's been on a tear, he has regained his shot back, and has started to somewhat consistently attack the rim - with success. Let's not kid our selves, he's been getting rocked defending opposing point guards on the point of attack, but what made it really bad was that he wasn't putting up much on the offensive end either.

And there's no better player than to turn it around against than Chris Paul, pound for pound, the NBA's best point guard. While the Hornets are sucking hard, Chris Paul himself isn't. He was scoring pretty much at will, as he would against anybody because, well, he's Chris Paul, but Calderon ended with 16 points, 8 assists, 4 rebounds, and no turnovers, which is one of Calderon's strengths as he is low-risk, conservative guard. I noticed a little jolt in his step when he hit that deep three, and it became abundantly clear to me when he was jawing with Chris Paul after he caused the turnover...Jose Calderon is pissed. And its great to see.

He may be the nicest guy in the NBA off the floor, but on the court he's a competitor. I honestly think outside of Chris Bosh, he's the toughest player the Raptors have had in the past couple of seasons (until Reggie Evans arrived this year). Now, by tough I don't mean physically, that he doesn't get injured, or some kind of an iron-man type, but tough, as in, he stands up for himself when need be. Think about this for a second: the last two guys he confronted were Kevin Garnett and Chris Paul. That's the NBA's biggest dick/intimidator, and the NBA's best point guard right there.

With Kevin Garnett, Calderon came back with some getting-in-your-face of his own, even with a timeout being called when Chris Bosh, the franchise player and leader couldn't even stand up for his teammate. Bosh, as anytime he faces KG, plays like shit and lets KG's scare tactics get to him. So with Bosh not doing anything, the referees not calling any of the over-the-top antics KG was pulling like crawling on the ground like a dog barking at Jose, Jose stood up for himself, and with some anger too. Enough is enough.

With Chris Paul, while CP3 wasn't overtly taunting JC in any way, you could feel the tone of superiority he was painting all over Jose. Calderon going into that game knew full well what the critics were saying about his inability to perform as of late, and took it to Chris Paul in his own right, but to me, that little confrontation after both of them fell was the ultimate statement. Chris Paul looked at him and then to the referee like "this piece of shit can't get that call against me, you crazy ref?" and Calderon's reaction was something like "That's right, get your ass up and gimme the ball. You're not above me" Even though CP3 IS the best point guard, Calderon was demanding respect.

And looking at last night's game vs the Bulls, he was LOOKING for his shot in that fourth quarter and took those jumpers off the Bosh screen right above the key and nailed'em with confidence. That's the Jose I know, and it's great to see. But what I didn't realize until now is that no matter how much he may struggle in guarding the dribble penetration, he won't accept anything less than respect from opposing players, from KG to CP3.

Calderon is averaging 12.4 points and 6.4 assists going into L.A to face the Clippers tonight, and I expect his assists to go up as the season progresses.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Raptors pull away after some terri-bull defense

There was so much unnecessary tension this game it was remarkable. It wasn't until crunch time fourth quarter that we started pulling away behind some aggressive plays from Bosh and Calderon. The Bulls played their asses off, while we looked sluggish, but in the end the fatigue caught up to Chi-town.

  • I think its really embarrassing that Jay Triano had to ask the Raptors at half time in the locker room which team played last night (Chicago), and why they're the ones full of energy and hustle.
  • The Raptors defense is so bad its mind-numbing. I'm slowing coming to a point where I've just accepted that on defense, we're going to blow harder than the big bad wolf did to the Three Little Pigs' home.
  • Chris Bosh continues to be a beast. He just wants it. His drive (no pun intended) and determination to get to the rim was relentless - and he didn't keep complaining on every play to the refs, just got up and came back harder the next trip.
  • The refs sucked tonight. So many bad calls, late calls, and missed calls, especially on CB4. When Leo Rautins has to point out about 5 times that Bosh should be given the respect by the referees and get those calls, you know it's BAD.
  • Another night, another unknown has a great career game against the Raptors. Presenting Taj Gibson: 18 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks and zero turnovers. You wanna know how much of an unknown this guy is? Look at this picture from ESPN's recap:
- Even Matt Devlin said he looked like a veteran out there...and dude is a ROOKIE!
  • I'm going to say Jose Calderon, apart from Bosh, was the game changer in that fourth. He set up some plays nicely, but the key was he looked for his shot, took'em, and hit'em. Some clutch 2-point bombs off the classic Calderon-Bosh PNR.
  • Amir Johnson is coming along nicely. Relentless hustle, he had six rebounds, but was responsible for many more just by tapping and keeping the ball alive on several possessions.
  • Reggie Evans is an unbelievable teammate. Who would've guess this would be the guy to jump up and down on every play, get up from his seat and encourage/talk to his teammates at every opportunity.
  • That fast break drive Belinelli had was crazy - off balance, lean-in jumper with two guys on him, he should've gotten a foul call too. This guy is a body contortionist.
  • Bargnani's shot wasn't falling, but he still ends up with a decent 16 points and a respectable 6 rebounds. He had some key defensive plays down the stretch where he altered or bothered his man .
  • It's transparent Hedo Turkoglu is getting more and more comfortable with the Raptors. I loved him handling the ball in the fourth - he just makes great decisions (other than that turnover where he threw the ball from half court) and has slick passes.
  • DeMar DeRozan had an awesome game, and deserved more time. 9 points, 9 rebounds - both a career high, along with 2 blocks and a steal. The three turnovers are understandable - rookie mistakes, and that fast break dunk was VICIOUS off the pass from Calderon!! I appreciated that he tried to dunk it again on his next trip down even though he got blocked pretty badly. He even showed a jumper, which is good to see.
  • I laughed when Brad Miller got stuffed by Bargnani in the fourth - Miller fell down so slow.
  • Antoine Wright continues to look for his offense a bit too much. He's a very capable offensive threat; he's got effective cross overs, can drive decently too, but still should ease up a bit on taking all those shots. That block falling down on the fast break was ridiculous though.
  • Jarrett Jack continues to toss bricks, and his shots are looking more and more off. He does credit for continuing to be aggressive though and driving to the rim.
  • Luol Deng needs to shave that mustache-goatee. Just looks ugly on him.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What DON'T They Get!!??

The ESPN NBA page headline for this game reads:

"Duncan, Parker injured | Spurs top Raptors"

What more did the Spurs need to do in order to give us an even better chance of taking this game? Ginobili catches Rabies? We knew Parker wasn't going to play, which was a blessing. Then Duncan was announced to be out as well - that's a Godsend. Seriously, its like the heavens went out of their way to give us a dream scenario - win in San Antonio and be 2-1 in this road trip, and the real plus is that team morale would be up after getting blown worse than a porn star in Dallas. But of course, the Raptors, in their classic style, had a meltdown in the fourth quarter.

I stayed behind in school instead of hopping on the long TTC ride home because I wanted to watch this game live - this road trip includes stops in two of my favourite players' (Ginobili, other being Nowitzki) town - so I plugged in my laptop and sat on a hard bench that made my ass sore, probably what the Raptors are feeling right now, at least they should be.

So, my two favourite players - Manu and Dirk, and this is how the Raptors handled them on this trip:

Dirk Nowitzki: 29 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, 1 block.


Manu Ginobili: 36 points, 4 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 steal, 4 blocks.



Dirk got his points so easily it wasn't even funny, and lets not forget he sat out most of the fourth because the game was long done. So lets fast forward to tonight's game. Fourth quarter, close game, who should the Raptors guard!??? Well...Duncan is out, Tony Parker is of course its Ginobili!! Now its much easier said than done I know, and Manu is one of the game's best closers, but you'd think they'd be able to at least bother him somewhat or not give him easy shots - the Spurs announcer, after Manu hit that last dagger three that pretty much wrapped it up, said "Manu Ginobili is torturing your team...and what do you? Leave him WIDE OPEN!!!??"

While Ginobili was being aggressive; driving, slashing, kicking it out to teammates, the Raptors go into the fetal position and start taking horrible jump shots. Belinelli was on fire, but everyone saw that bad jumper coming - he shouldn't have taken that shot at that instance in the game, unless he was wide open. The only guy I'll give credit to down the fourth is Bosh - he tried to be aggressive and drove hard - it worked once, he got the call, the other time he tried to draw the call but didn't get it and ended up shooting a bad off balance jumper. I mean, the guy had 32 and 10, you can't ask for more. Bargnani stats wise was good too - 17 points on 7 of 13 shooting, but the four boards is ugly. And he should've attacked more - nobody out there can guard him.

  • Is it just me or did Hedo look...kinda old in that fourth quarter? A couple of plays it seemed like if the ball is two feet from him he can't get it without collapsing to the ground.
  • Matt Bonner drove and dunked on us - how's that for a sum-up of the game?
  • The Raptors scored 124 points...and gave up 131..131!!! We've finally completed our transformation into Phoenix North or Phoenix East, whatever you like.
  • No seriously, we really Phoenix now - the Spurs announcer said during the game "the HIGH-FLYING Raptors!"
  • As much as it pained me to watch the Raps suffer another excruciating loss, watching my man Ginobili explode on them was amazing (and painful). This guy doesn't get enough credit for how great he really is.
  • Antoine Wright has been (in a Barkley voice) TURRI-BUL on offense. I get against Dallas he wanted to show his old team what they gave up (which he really didn't), but this cannot continue.
  • Jarrett Jack needs to practice now. Especially if he's still vying for the starter's job, when Calderon has found his stroke. Even though no matter what Calderon will always be the starter, and deserves to. Even if Calderon struggles now and then, Jack hasn't done enough to warrant it.
  • Belinelli was doing his best Ginobili impersonation out there...until the fourth quarter of course, when we really needed, when Ginobili was being himself.
  • Fuck this loss sucked.