January 27, 2009
Anyway, here we are, once again at 10 below .500 but the mood has changed slightly. Instead of dropping to 10 games below they are actually improving to 10 below. Another thing that has changed is the return of Jose Calderon. He has made a big difference for his squad that 2-0 since his return. He is playing so well that in these past two games his assist-to-turnover ratio is 18-0.
Another difference for the Raptors is A.P as the back-up point guard. He has posted a 14.8 PPG, 6.8 APG & 5.8 RPG as a point guard this season. The major difference is the lack of trade talk about J.O and Marion. I am actually pleasantly surprised that Colangelo has shown patience with O'Neal. It's unfortunate that he didn't have any patience with Sam Mitchell early.
Even though the Raps have won a couple in a row they still don't have much momentum. If they can beat the Nets and Bucks they might have enough to split their next four games agianst Orlando, Cleveland, L.A Lakers and New Orleans.
I would like to hear your opinion about the Raptors. Do you think they can salvage the season and make the playoffs? Is moving O'Neal a good idea? What should the Raps do about the lack of depth? I personally believe that a) The Raptors will steal the 8th seed. b) I think the Raps should deal O'Neal to Miami for Marion but closer to the trade deadline. c) I think that they should sign some well-rounded players during the offseason with their new found cap room.
One man can be a crucial ingredient on a team, but one man cannot make a team.- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
January 25, 2009
The Raptors broke their 7 game losing streak to the Bulls on Friday with Jose leading the way with 23 points and 10 dimes. The key player for Chicago was Kirk Hinrich with 17 PTS 5 REB 7 AST. Another Raptor who had a strong night was Joey graham with 16 PTS 4 REB and 2 STL. Joakim Noah was held scoreless with 3 rebounds.
The real key to this game was the second half. Toronto outscored the Bulls 60-40 during the half. That was the first time in 5 games that the Raps passed the 50 point mark in a second half. Another big factor in the game was Chicago's 23 turnovers to TO's 11. Most of the turnovers were a result of Toronto's defense not the Bulls offense as the Raptors had 13 steals.
On to tonight's game. Here are my predictions.
Bargnani 20 PTS 7 REB 2 BLK
Salmons 15 PTS 4 REB 5 AST
OFF THE BENCH
Kapono 20 MINS 10 PTS 2 REB 2/3 3PT
Garcia 23 MINS 15 PTS 2 REB 1 AST
The Raptors look to win 2 games in a row tonight and by the looks of it, they will. But remember, nothing is for sure in Raptorland.
The secret is to have eight great players and four others who will cheer like crazy. ~Jerry Tarkanian
January 23, 2009
Kris Humphries has fractured his right fibula so he is inactive for this game. This is bad news for the Raptors. The last thing they need right now is another injury. Chris Bosh, Jermaine O'Neal, Andrea Bargnani and Jake Voskhul will be the main forwards for Toronto tonight. If this game is a blow out we might see some Jawai as well.
More bad news for the Raptors, they are playing Derrick Rose tonight. Rose can take control of a game and if Calderon doesn't bring his a game Rose may drop a double double on the Dinos. Here are my projections for the game.
Calderon 17 PTS 12 AST 4 REB
Rose 15 PTS 7 AST 3 REB
OFF THE BENCH
Graham 21 MINS 9 PTS 4 REB 2 AST
Thomas 24 MINS 14 PTS 4 REB 3 BLK
The reason why I picked Joey Graham off the bench is because he's had two bad games in a row. Somethings gotta give! If not, don't expect to see him in the OFF THE BENCH portion of my projections for a while.
I won't be posting a blog about the game until tomorrow because I have to play in a basketball tournament.
Fans never fall asleep at our games, because they're afraid they might get hit by a pass. ~George Raveling
January 22, 2009
One thing that bothers me is that the Raps have only scored 33 second half points in both of their previous two games. I don't understand how that can happen to a team that has (or had) one bright spot with their offense. We've all heard about the problems on the defensive end but what's up with the offense now?
I don't have any other amazing stats or news to tell you so I'll finish up with a little commentary.
It looks like the Raptors need a complete overhaul at this point but lets listen to Tayshaun and have a little patience, I mean, he did drop 25 points on us, didn't he?
Sometimes a player's greatest challenge is coming to grips with his role on the team.-- Scottie Pippen
January 21, 2009
"Our expectations are to play good basketball," Pistons veteran Tayshaun Prince said. "We haven't been able to do that. We've been up and down. We're so inconsistent." .... "For one, they got rid of a great coach," Prince said of the Raptors' struggles. "And Jermaine O'Neal, this is his first season coming back for while, so you have to let that progress, especially coming to a new team. … It takes time when you have a new addition, like you've seen with us and Allen [Iverson]. They're going through the same thing."
I can see where Mr. Prince is coming from. Sam Mitchell did a good job coaching the Raps. He led them to a 8-9 record before being fired. Sam's record looks pretty nice compared to where we are now, eh? Don't get me wrong, I like Jay Triano and I think he is a great coach but I think Bryan Colangelo was a little quick in firing Sam. Prince also has a point with O'Neal. O'Neal hasn't been to bad this season. He has posted 6 double doubles in 28 starts including a monster 11 point 18 rebound effort against Miami. I know many Raptors fans may be getting excited at the prospect of Shawn Marion coming to TO (I'll admit it I am too) but dinoblogger (http://dinonationblog.blogspot.com/) explained to me it would only be until the end of the season and then Marion is a free agent. I'll agree with Tayshaun to some extent and say that we (the fans) and the Raptors (Bryan Colangelo) should be a little more patient.
Now, on to tonight's game. The Raptors need a win and they need to be aggressive. I see a tight game but the Raptors pulling out a close one.
Bargnani 25 PTS 6 REB 2 BLK
Iverson 18 PTS 2 STL 3 AST
OFF THE BENCH
O'Neal 20 MINS 12 PTS 6 REB 1 BLK
Hamilton 30 MINS 17 PTS 5 AST 3 REB
Jermaine O'Neal will be playing tonight and Rip Hamilton will be coming off the bench. The Raptors have been having trouble finding the right player in crunch time. Tonight, the Raps will find their man, Andrea Bargnani will score the winning bucket.
There are really only two plays: Romeo and Juliet, and put the darn ball in the basket.-- Abe Lemons