November 6, 2009
by Brad Norton… The other night, the Pistons got pist-on (pissed on) by the Raptors. Which gives the Raptors their second win and means they are now 48 wins away from my prediction. Andrea Bargnani and Hedo Turkoglu, together known as the $100 million dollar boys, continued to look solid.
Jarrett Jack and Antoine Wright got things going on the defensive and the offensive end. Jarrett’s behind-the-head pass to Bargnani for the flush was a thing of beauty. As well as Wright hitting some shots from behind the arc.
Only to fall back on defence, as well. Wright and Jack provided the spark that led to two electrifying Bargnani blocks. Belinelli continues to be a fire starter off the bench, as well.
For, an intriguing game recap check out this one from James Bisson. I don’t know, but that one seemed to catch my eye in the Hamilton Spectator this morning. The Raptors with a .500 record find themselves just skimming the surface of a number of good opponents.
In a tough month, that maybe gives them a break when they head to L.A. to face the Clippers. But, that’s still a game that can easily be lost if the right mentality is not kept. The Raptors find themselves in back-to-back games, which start tonight in New Orleans, followed by Saturday in Dallas, and then they are in San Antonio on Monday.
If anyone has trouble sleeping on a plane, well then you aren’t getting sleep at all. I don’t mean to make excuses, but man, they barely get anytime to get some R&R and you know those are three teams that are going to bring it.
We’ll see what the Raptors have left in the tank starting tonight in New Orleans. Be sure to watch the game. It’s on at 8:00 P.M. on TSN.
November 1, 2009
Chris Bosh and Bargnani as well as Turkoglu continue to look solid.
But apparently they can’t get it done on their own as the Raptors drop their second straight. This gives them 30 more games to not win on the season in order for my prediction to come true.
I believe that teams sometimes have to struggle and it’s better in the beginning of the season where it’s not as important as, say, just after the All-Star break. Although, if you expect to do good in the season, you can’t be on a losing streak when you are five or six games in.
The earlier they get out of this slump, the better and easier it’s going to be to start winning some games and get the good vibes going. November is filled with good opponents for the Raptors to show they are for real.
Should they capitalize on some games, they will be a team to keep your eye out for throughout the season. Well ,that’s about it for me, see ya.
October 30, 2009
by Brad Norton… Okay, so, if you haven’t guessed by now. What I am going to start is right now a hope or some may call a “dream”. As, I wrote before about the Raptors winning 50 games , remember that?
While now it’s time to do the once unthinkable and set that goal/”dream” into progression. So, I’m aiming for the Raptors to achieve 50 wins this season and so far they have one and need 49 more.
But, there are obstacles in the way as that means the Raptors can only lose 32 games, if that. If it goes over that while then I will never again…(come up with some things and then I will put them in a poll in my next article and we’ll see which one I’ll never do again if the Raptors lose more than 32 games)capiche(cap-eesh).
Every time the Raptors lose, however. I will put down “one gone, 31 more to afford” or something like that. So, now that that is over with I have already seen about five articles on the game wrap up against Cleveland.
I’m a Raptors fan, but, c’ mon do we need to suck the shit out of the Raptors beating the Cavs? No. Some will call it a fluke (Americans), some will say it’s a taste of what’s to come (Canadians).
But, the smart ones will say “big freakin’ deal it’s one game, we started 3-0 last season and some seasons before that.” It’s not that big of an accomplishment considering The Meltdown (last season) started 3-0.
Although, props to Jay (Triano) for basically saying that same thing and saying “ok, good we got a win now let’s focus on next game.” I hate to discriminate, but, if you ask me I think that is the characteristic of a Canadian coaching a Canadian team.
It might just be what the average coach does, but, what makes him smart is that he doesn’t let it show that he’s happy with the win, even though he is. He shows that he wants more.
Anyways, enough of Jay. It was a well played game on both sides and I’m curious to see how emotionally stable Anthony Parker was before, during, and after that game. I mean, the team that gave you your recognition and for the first time. You are on the other side, tough.
I hate to say it, but I am unimpressed with the performance of Superman 1.0, The Diesel, Shaq his performance in both games although a bit better in Toronto were both looking like he was just being ruthless and not playing the game like it meant something.
Although, I wouldn’t be too worried Cleveland fans. I’m sure the cavalry will pick it’s self up soon enough. Hey, I know it’s only the first game, but I was very impressed with Mr. Young Buck DeRozan . The plot for ROY honors thickens, watch out for this guy I’m tellin’ ya.
Well, if you want a recap of the game there is about 50 million of them across the internet and to be honest I couldn’t tell you a good one or above average. But, hey what do you want it’s a game recap.
Anyways, one down, 49 to go see you on Saturday for the next installment. Also, could use a name for this series hit me up from wherever if you got one. Peace
October 28, 2009
by Brad Norton… So, with the raptors having released their inactive list for opening night, two out of three make sense. The list is complete with the names of Reggie Evans, Sonny Weems, and Quincy Douby.
Let’s go over why these guys are on the inactive roster for opening night and possibly beyond. So, we have…
Makes perfect sense why. He’s still recuperating from what was said to be a sprained ankle or some k-rap. He is physically incapable of lacing up which means we are going to have to wait a bit longer to see “the toughest Raptor ever” get his groove on.
This could prove to be a key to the Raptors dropping their home and season opener against Cleveland. Who knows but hopefully he can get all healed up and be bumpin’ and jumpin’ on the court soon enough.
While it’s uncertain whether he had earned a rotation spot for opening day. The easiest answer is he hasn’t,why? Because he’s got some problems with his knee or some other k-rap.
Sonny won’t be dressing for opening night…in uniform that is. No word on when he’ll be returning, but it ain’t on opening night.
The man who put on a show in the Summer League is on the inactive list…wait…what? This just goes to show everything that is nothing in the Summer League. While I don’t get much into the preseason, I know enough to know that this guy’s name was rarely mentioned in anything.
Good, Bad, Non-Basketball-related, nothing. He disappeared with his Summer League crown, all the way to the inactive list. No injury to report, this guy just straight up never showed up, burying himself deep into the pile.
He seems to have gone from upriser to scrub. I don’t know hopefully somebody interviews this guy to see what the hell he is up to, make sure he hasn’t been murdered by the mob(I keed, I keed). But, that’s literally how bad this guy has disappeared off the radar.
Nonetheless, these guys are all replaced. By, Patrick O’ Bryant, Marcus Banks, and I think that’s it. To have the opening rotation
Marco Bellinelli, POB, M. Banks, Chris Bosh, Andrea Bargnani, Amir Johnson, Rasho Nesterovic, Hedo Turkoglu, Antoine Wright, Demar Derozan, Jose Calderon, Jarrett Jack. Those are in no particular order.
To be honest I don’t see anyone besides POB and M. Banks that wouldn’t naturally be in the 12-man rotation. Well, the Raptors may miss the athleticism of Weems and the toughness of Reggie Evans let’s see how they do.
Remember, the Raptors vs. Cavaliers tonight at 7:00 p.m. on The Score.
October 14, 2009
by Brad Norton… So, it’s come down to this. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats are tied with a disaster walking in the Blue Bombers, who I give credit for playing some good games. But, regardless, Hamilton should not be tied with Winnipeg, and everyone knows this.
A few weeks ago, they were shoo-ins for the playoffs, and now they find themselves fighting to secure a playoff birth and are forcing fans to ask, if they do make the playoffs, “Can they do any damage?”
Now, I know the recent dropped catches by Hamilton receivers and the brutal kicking by Nick Setta has not helped the Ti-Cats win games. But it all falls on quarterback Quinton Porter’s shoulders, as he’s been struggling as of late.
The quarterback sets the tone of the game, and, well, if your quarterback fumbles the ball twice (one leading to a touchdown), it sets a bad tone. The Ti-Cats have lost four of their last five games and what it comes down to is that Porter is not getting rid of the ball quick enough.
So, as Arland Bruce said, according to the Hamilton Spectator, “Let’s call a spade a spade: Kevin Glenn is better than Porter. No disrespect to Porter, he’s a great guy, but Glenn is the better quarterback, You need the better quarterback in there if you want to get some type of opportunity in the playoffs. Period.”
As bold as that may be, it obviously comes from many frustrated people who were thinking it, fans and players included. It just so happens that Bruce was bold enough to say it.
Now, Quinton, I believe you’re a good quarterback, and soon you will put down any doubt people have in you. But you have to realize that something’s happened, and it’s obvious that change needs to happen for the better of the team.
So it’s time for you to sit back and take notes on the bench and give Glenn a chance to see if he can turn things around. You are in a slump and that happens, but you are costing the team, your team.
But I’m not going to blame this only on you, as your head coach, Marcel Bellefeuille realized things needed to be shaken up to help get his team out of this slump, but he continued to do the same damn thing hoping for some thing to just magically change.
So, Marcel, I must tell you something: QUIT DICKING AROUND AND DO SOMETHING!
Setta is missing field goals like you wouldn’t believe, and Porter is taking too damn long to get rid of the ball.
It’s one or the other or maybe even both. Regardless, you now find yourself tied for possibly the last playoff spot and heading to face the best team in Montreal. You are going to have a tough time getting a win there even if you are on a winning streak despite the offensive slump.
It’s almost guaranteed you not only won’t get a wind, but you will get your asses handed to you on a silver platter. So, for the love of all humanity, put Glenn in. You know it’s the right thing to do and that everything is pointing to him as the answer.
If he plays poorly, well now you know he’s not the answer, but for God’s sake you have to give him a chance; he’s just got a million good vibes glowing off of him. When one of the best players of all time says it’s time, and when he starts dropping passes he usually catches, you know it’s time.
Regardless of what you feel in your heart, you’ve got to use your brain and do what’s right. And I’m pretty sure you know what that right is when you come back from a 31-0 deficit in a quarter and a bit to actually make it look like a decent loss of 38-28.
When the team scores four touchdowns in like 17 minutes, it’s because they were starting to mesh and get out of that slump. It’s because of Kevin Glenn. Everything is going right when Glenn is on the field, and, unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Porter.
Do you want to kill those sparks or let it work itself into a fire? Putting Porter in will kill those sparks, while Glenn has these sparks starting to smolder and everything pointing to this becoming a fire.
October 5, 2009
by Brad Norton… Alright, so as I’m scrimmaging around every article has something about Chris Bosh having a good season being key to the Raptors having a “good” season this year. But, is it truly what it’s all cut out to be?Is it all that important?
I mean looking at Bosh’s numbers, he’s had good numbers his entire career, even in his rookie season he averaged over 10 ppg and 7 rpg. But, how many times have the Raptors had a winning season or make it into the playoffs?
Allow me to show you, they’ve qualified for the post season only two times and have only had a winning record once. Now, don’t get me wrong Bosh is a good player and i’m not out to get him, but, I just wanted to put something else into perspective.
Now, if we want a 50 win season putting it all on Bosh is not going to cut it. but, with the added help that’s been acquired to go with the core of Barney, Bosh, and Caldy. That is the key to the Raptors getting 50+ wins this season.
To put something further into perspective with that added help taking some of the pressures of Bosh to perform better, it is going to make him look all that much better and as much as I want Bosh to have a very good season.
He may not and he may not have to with Calderon possibly better than ever, as well as Bargnani. Along with Hedo taking the big shots. Bosh has more to prove to the Raptors than the Raptors do to him.
A healthy team this year has the ability to go deep into the post-season and achieve a 50+ win season. Remember that a healthy team, not a healthy Bosh. But, with Bosh’s recent “injury” he has to show that he can be at 100% all season.
Calderon has said he is back at 100%, Turkoglu was worn down this summer, but says he’ll be back at 100% by regular season time. The only one who has yet to confirm he is 100% is Christopher Bosh.
Well I do believe that if we have a healthy Bosh, it will make our team all that much better. It doesn’t necessarily mean the Raptors are done if Bosh goes down. I also admit I am excited to see Bosh do better this year, after all it is a contract year.
But, when talking about how well the Raptors will do this year. It does not mainly revolve around Bosh having a career year.
October 4, 2009
by Brad Norton… So, now that the roster is set in stone at least until the season begins. I’ve heard and seen throughout this long off-season that most Raptors fans are like “oh, we can win a good 46-47 games this year”.
But, I continue to be unimpressed when the majority of you aren’t expecting 50 wins or more. I’ve been debating to write this article every time I see someone saying “oh, 46-47 wins should be the range, maybe a game or two less.”
So, after hearing that the GM (Bryan Colangelo) has the same expecations as I, allow me to maybe explain why we have those “high” expectations. You see paper or no paper this year’s team is better than the 2006 team.
No offence to those players, but c’ mon. Let’s have a look at this year’s roster and the 2006-07 one.
C:Rasho Nest., Pape Sow, Uros Slokar, Andy Barg.,Kris Hump.
PF: CB4, Jorge Garbo., Andy Barg., Kris Hump., Pape Sow, Uros Slok.
Sf: Joey Graham, P.J. Tucker, Mo Pete., *fred Jones, ^Luke jackson
Sg: A.P., ^Juan Dixon, D. Martin, Fred jones
Pg: Jose Cald., T.j. ford, D. Martin
^imported during season
* exported during season
C: Andy Barg., Rasho Nesterovic, P.O.B.
Pf: CB4, Reggie Evans, amir johnson, Hedo Turk., Andy Barg.
sf: Hedo turk.,antoine Wright, Sonny Weems, Marco Belli., Andy Barg
Sg: demar Derozan, Marco Bell.,Quincy douby, J. Jack, Anto. Wright, Sonny Weems
Pg: Jose Cald., J. Jack, Q. douby, M.B., Sonny Weems, M. banks, Hedo Turk.
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have this years team. why? because simply put they are better. More people can play more positions, they are better in almost every category, younger, better, faster, stronger.
Yet, that team in 2006 won us our first ever divsion title, we finished third in the east(our best placement yet), Coach Sam Mitchell and Gm Bryan Colangelo were appraised for their efforts winning coach and executive of the year awards respectively. Hell, we even tied our franchise w/l record at 47-35.
The only negative thing you could put on that team was that they got kicked out the first round of the playoffs. How they did all that remains a mystery to this day. Some say it was chemistry, some say luck, others say the east was too easy. The true answer is ” I don’t know”.
Regardless, this is a new year and we’ve got a better team. Which means more should be expected you have to take full advantage of your opportunities. That faithful year in 2006 nobody expected anything going in, there was no goal, it was just go play and see the outcome.
This year, we have expectations and we should have a goal set which should be to break every freakin’ franchise record or as many as we can. Cb4 wants to get to superstar status, Derozan wants to blow people out of their seats, hedo wants to become an all star, Bargnani wants to show he is worth every penny of that 50 million dollars.
Every one is ready to turn it up a notch and you’re only expecting or would be happy with them getting 45+ wins. NO, because you know what that means, it means that Bryan and co. alll their hardwork goes to waste. If all they wanted was a 45+ win team then they sould have gone and acquired all the guys from the 2006-07 team.
Now, I agree the east has gotten tougher,but, nonetheless the time is now. You think all the Raptors critics will be put to rest with a 45+ win season? no. You think that this team is only capable of 45 wins? no. So, then why are you only wanting that much? I don’t know.Exactly!
We were dissapointed last year as we underachieved. We underachieve almost every year. Well, the time for change is now. We need to overachieve! I admit, I’m excited for this season and i’m oging to be excited throughout the season. But, 45 wins is not going to cut all the years of heartbreak.
45 wins is like saying sorry when you accidentally chop some one’s arm off with a chainsaw. Okay, maybe a bit extreme example. But, I mean c’ mon. 45 wins or less than 50 means that were no better than all the years before this.
The Raptors are better than this and we all know that. So, it’s time for them to show everyone else. Besides, you can’t brag about 45 wins that’s only 4 games above .500 and although 50 wins may only be 9 games above .500 it looks a hell of a lot better than 41-41 or 47-35 for that matter.
So, once again I ask you are you going to be happy with 45 or 47 wins?
September 27, 2009
But, we must remember that he was playing golf and, unless someone whipped a golf club at his leg, I can’t imagine it’s anything but minor.
If worse were to come to worst, and a month from now it’s the Raptors season opener and Bosh still can’t play, this is where the team’s versatility comes into play. I can’t say i’m that worried about the extent of Bosh’s injury, but we must remember that there is always a plan B.
I expect Bosh suffered the injury because he has been vigorously training all summer and is not yet comfortable and used to his new body and weight. If you’ve worked out before (which I assume you all have), you know it wears you down and you become sore until you find your comfort level.
Chris, if you’re reading this, which I doubt you are (but anything’s possible), I expect that you’ve already had a million people asking you on Twitter about this. You might already be used to this, but just know there is at least one Raptor fan who’s not rushing to conclusions and worrying.
Update: Alright, some sources are saying it was not during a golf game. But, rather he injured it while practising some drills with the Raptors and had previously injured it doing workouts in Dallas.
I don’t know which one it is, but, regardless he’s injured it and I don’t think it’s anything that severe.
September 24, 2009
Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing as the sixth man, or who gets the most minutes off the bench. It’s who provides the Raptors with that little bit of extra pop or momentum off the bench.
Let’s take a look at possible candidates.
Reggie Evans, who started a few games last year for the Philadelphia 76ers and started the majority of games two seasons ago, is a player that the Raptors have needed for some time. He won’t be under-utilized.
He elevated the 76ers from one of the worst rebounding teams in the league to the top 15. He gave them some serious hustle on defense. This is exactly what is expected of him in Toronto.
Should he be able to continue his ways, the Raptors, being a poor rebounding and defensive team, will make Reggie look that much better and he may be the prime X factor.
Antoine Wright is a tough defensive player and decent offensive weapon who started for the Mavericks last season. At the age of 25, he can only improve and could definitely have an explosive year.
As the main backup to Turkoglu, and maybe seeing some time behind DeRozan, he will have some definite minutes to show what he’s got.
Could this be the year?
Marco Belinelli is said to be backing up DeMar DeRozan to start the season, but might take over the starting position. He is a proven starter, a good shooter and a decent defender.
Marco may be the secret weapon the Raptors were looking for…
We all know about Rasho Nesterovic and his capabilities, but I don’t think he’ll be the main X factor. He always contributes and sticks to what he needs to do to help. This will help the Raptors quite a bit this year.
Keep up the good work Rasho cause you know, we love ya!
Jarrett Jack, who some say could already take over the reins from Jose Calderon, is a good defender and a good offensive player. If he already has the ability to play starting PG, I’m intrigued to see how much better he’ll be off the bench.
He provides the Raptors with some definite depth at point guard, something that was missed last season. He is very eligible to be the main x-factor, but will he be?
Quincy Douby is happy to be a Raptor and says he’s ready to help the team to his full ability. He may just have a breakout season.
Quincy could shock us all and be Toronto’s primal X factor this season.
Right here we have the unknowns: Patrick O’Bryant, Amir Johnson, Marcus Banks, and Sonny Weems. They all have the ability, but have yet to figure out how to properly utilize it.
If someone were to become inactive in the 12-man rotation, one of them, or maybe more, will get their time. How they will use it nobody knows, but hopefully they prove all their critics wrong.
September 22, 2009
But, sometimes you acquire guys who are on the downside of their good or amazing career.
They would have been amazing playing for the Raptors had they been acquired in their prime. But unfortunately, they were not and most did not significantly help the Raptors.
…Unless, that is, you count rubbing off on other players.
Remember that this it is not completely based on numbers. Some of it is based on age and money and why we ever acquired them at that age.
1. Shawn Marion
Well, Shawn Marion had a significant impact on the Raptors and still has a lot of game.
He was acquired at the age of 30 (three months before his 31st birthday), which is usually the start of the downside of a player’s career. Marion took a lot of the pressure of rebounding off Bargnani and Bosh; he stole many rebounds that the opposing team could have gotten otherwise.
He went up to Bryan Colangelo one time and said:
“If you had of had me all season, we would be in the playoffs.”
As bold as that is, it was true.
He averaged 14.3 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 2.3 apg as a Raptor, which was better than pretty much everyone on Toronto’s roster at the time.
However, had he be acquired five years earlier at the age of 25, he would have given the Raptors 19 ppg, 9.3 rpg, and 2.7 apg.
2. Hakeem Olajuwon
He leads the all-time blocks list with 3,830. Unfortunately, only 90 of those came from his time with the Raptors.
I’m sure you all know how good he was in his prime; and even for his final season in the NBA, 90 blocks overall ain’t bad.
However, he was acquired by Toronto in 2001 at the age of 39 for a second and first round pick.
He was probably worth two second round picks, but the Raptors were a title contender and didn’t really need their draft picks the following season.
But really: why would you sign an almost 40 year old to a three year deal worth $17.4 million?
That is almost a MILLION MORE than what it cost the Raptors to get a proven starting PG in Jarrett Jack, and he was a RESTRICTED free agent!
Olajuwon turned down a $13 million offer to end his career with the Rockets, but $4.3 million is still over paying.
But, I don’t think that was their first offer. Toronto’s idiot GM Glen Grunwald’s first offer to a 39 year old was $5.8 million a year!
He averaged career lows in his lone season with the Raptors: 7.1 ppg, 1.5 bpg, 6 rpg, and 1.1 apg.
Guess who his agent was? Dan “the greedy bastard” Fegan, who said about the trade that “Hakeem felt he was done as a top player for the Rockets. But, not as an NBA player.”
How does that even make sense?
Olajuwon was waived Oct. 27, 2003. Nobody picked up the 41 year old (who would, after just seeing him have his worst season ever?) so his guaranteed salary still counted against the Raptors which was just under 5.8 million, I believe.
The good news was that the Raptors fired Glen Grunwald in 2004, after he messed up the team and their chances at a championship. The bad news is they hired Rob Babcock.
3. Muggsy Bogues
This is where it got difficult to choose, but I think Muggsy earned himself the No. 3 spot.
He was acquired by Toronto in 1999 at the age of 34. Now, of course five years earlier, 1994, the Raptors didn’t exist.
So, we’ll make an exception and say four years earlier in 1995.
His best three seasons were 1993-1995. During his two seasons with the Raptors (’99-’00 and ‘00-’01), he averaged career lows—and possibly NBA player lows.
99-00: 5.1 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 3.7 apg
00-01: 0 ppg, 1 rpg, 1.7 apg
There is no typos in these paragraphs.
This was another act of stupidity that led to the firing of Glen Grunwald.
4. Dell Curry
He ’s on here for basically all the same reasons Muggsy is; Curry was acquired in 1999 at the age of 35, and he had career low numbers with the raptors.
In Curry’s three years with Toronto, his numbers were as follows.
99-00: 7.6 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 1.3 apg
00-01: 6 ppg, 1.2 rpg, 1.3 apg
01-02: 6.4 ppg, 1.4 rpg, 1.1 apg
Those aren’t terrible numbers, but just the fact that those were probably his worst numbers since his rookie season (and him being 35) are No-No’s.
Three strikes and you’re out, Grunwald. While that is usually how it works, he wasn’t fired just yet. Why? I have no idea.
5. Lamond Murray
Ok, back to the non-exception normal stuff.
Lamond Murray was acquired via free agency in 2003 at the age of 30. Now, this compared to Muggsy and Dell sounds good. But, it is actually not.
I can see why he was acquired, as he had arguably his best season stat—wise last the time he played in the NBA, in 01-02.
What a difference for the worse two years make. Let’s look at his numbers in 2001-02, and then 2003-04 and 2004-05.
01-02: 16.6 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 2.2 apg.
03-04: 6 ppg, 2.7 rpg, .8 apg.
04-05: 6 ppg, 2.6 rpg, .8 apg.
He was then acquired by New Jersey at the age of 32 in 05-06, where he averaged even lower numbers.
This was probably the last screw—up that Glen Grunwald made as a GM.
Well, this is part one and i’m only doing five. So, I’ll get the other five done soon. Plus, some of you guys are probably going to rip on this one. So, then i can make improvements to part two based on my thoughts and your feedback.