Sunday, December 10, 2006

Raps - Blazers @ the Half

Well I'm not sure where to start today. That might have been one of the worst halfs of basketball I've seen the Raps play this season. They were going under screens, which led to numerous uncontested threes, and the rotation on defense was horrendous. When you shoot 32% from the floor you need to work har don the defensive end to keep yourself in the game, and the Raptors did not. They look lost out there without Bosh. Maybe it's a psychological thing; being without their best player. But unless they start fighting through those screens and start making some shots on offense they will lose this very winnable game.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

No lead is safe in Raptorland....

I'm back, for at least an abbreviated post. I'm right in the thick of things right now with finals, labs and papers. So needless to say this blog has been put on the (to steal a Quinnism) back-burner for the time being. I'm all done on the 21st, which will allow me to give this blog the attention is needs.

First I want to adjsut Chuck's foot-in-mouth problem tonight. Chuck, your viewer base is Canadian. So when you make a joke regarding the toughness of hockey players, it make you seem like the annoucer going for the cheap laugh. The problem with it was, no one was laughing. Like it or not Canadians and hockey are like the USA and baseball. And I'm sure you would know better than to bash baseball in the States. The reason -- or at least the reason they gave the media -- MLSE decided to make 24 games exclusive to Raptors TV (stupid move btw) was that they wanted to grow the fan-base outside the GTA. I'm sure insulting hockey players is going to help that.

With the Raptors up by 7 with 5 mins left they gave up two open 3's off Lebron dishes with pretty much swung the game in the Cavs favour. I have no problems with the defence collapsing on Lebron. To steal a suPRAlative from Chuck, he's awesome! However when you do collapse you need to be aware of where the three point shooters are on the floor and the Raptors didn't. You can't leave Marshall and Jones open and let them take uncontested jump shots. Why not let Eric Snow or Varejao beat you instead? The Raps just let a game that was very winnable get away from them.

Props to AP on a great game: 34 min 18-5-3-2 .570

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

My absence

Okay, so I've recieved a couple of e-mails asking if I was still alive over the past couple days. I'm happy to report that I am alive, and am finally in good health as well. I was in Waterloo visiting my girlfriend over the weekend and have had the flu the past couple days. I have not given up on my quest to have SM fired. Just because we won a couple games does not mean that he's off the hook.

The Raps are currently down 10 at the half, but have come back from 20 down in the first and held the Dallas to 21 points in the second quarter.

Anyone have any doubt about Bargnani now?

Since the Raptors have hired Dave Hopla as a shooting consultant. (Freddie you should be spending lots of time with the man.) I figured why not have a team motivator. I hear this guy is pretty good.

www.motivateyourself.net

Saturday, November 25, 2006

SM and TJ

Last night the Raps lost to Atlanta. But the loss wasn't what bothered me most about the game. It was the poor team management down the stretch, by both SM and TJ Ford. First and foremost, can Someone out there can tell me why SM thought it would be a good idea to put Garbajosa on Joe Johnson in the end of the 4th quarter? It was sheer lunacy to think that Jorge could keep up with Joe Johnson. It's a wonder why they didn't go to him on each and every play to end the game. I understand that Parker wasn't having a great shooting night. But he gives you so much more than Jorge at that position. The lineup in the second quarter was much more effective defensively than that of the 4th. Bosh and Bargs did a good job jabbing and recovering in the second quarter making the Hawks pick-and-roll in-effective. Which was nice to see. I also wouldn't mind it if we actually ran a play once in a while. It seems to me that when it comes to the point in the game where we NEED a basket it's almost always a one-on-one match up we create. This is fine as long as it's Bosh. But we need to show more efficiency on offence.

I would also like to know why TJ almost refused to go inside to Bosh at the end of the game. I have no problem with the fact that he was on fire during the 4th. What I do have a problem with is TJ not getting anyone else involved in the game. The more I see him play the more I would rather Calderon running the offence. Calderon is much more controlled and takes what the defence gives when it comes to his own offence. Unlike TJ where at times he seems almost out of control out there. So Sam let Jose play.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Chickens with their heads cut off?

An anonymous player was quoted today in Marty York's Metro column.

"I'll be stunned if he's with us another week," the player said naturally requesting anonymity. "WE need a coaching change, man. (General Manager Bryan) Colangelo's brought in good players but the coaching's terrible. He (Sam Mitchell) has us running around like chickens with our heads cut off. He stresses shooting and offence, but then he is always on our ass about defence."

Anyone else think this is Mo?

I know Adam at http://www.andpop.com/ does.

If you like you can read the whole column here on page 19.

BC being diplomatic...but his annoyance is there

Check out BC here.

He doesn't seem very happy with SM over the amount of PT Bargs is getting.

Live Blog...Cavs @ Raps

My friend Adam who runs a small but informative site :) suggested I should Live Blog this game....so I did

1st Quarter

7:09 - Why do they Announce Kramer as a F/C? Is that supposed to make him seem larger than he really is?

7:10 - Goodbye to the Ironman streak...did anyone really care about this?

7:12 - Tip off...first possession...Freddie took it to the rim! And one!

7:14 - Is there any question by the time Lebron is done he'll be the greatest player ever?

7:16 - Offensive rebound 2 given up

7:17 - Raps on fire so far....

7:18 - Bosh for three!!! 625 games...the most worthless streak in basketball

7:20 - Okay am I the only person who thinks that MGD commercial is garbage?

7:23 - And out comes the Zone....and here's come the turnovers

7:25 - Here comes Bargs! Over/under on time played tonight? I'm thinking 18 minutes

7:28 - That's how you beat the zone...dribble penetration...way to go Freddie

&:32 - Fusion Create a Reaction, SM

7:33 - Saw lots of good stuff there! Bargs driving...CB4 getting the tips...all started with the D

7:35 - Good first quarter so far. I saw some good adjustments. I get that Chuck and Leo are employed by MLSE and they are trying to show their support...but come on.

2nd quarter

7:39 - I've been pretty impressed by Andrea the past few games...much more aggression.

7:42 - Z is huge! Offensive foul...but he's still a handful

7:44 - The Cavs seem soft inside tonight.

7:47 - I like Joey...I wouldn't mind him seeing more court...Did Bargs just get a dime?

7:50 - 8-0 run...time for a timeout SM...and right on queue

7:53 - Okay the spam thing..just not funny

7:53 - And we settle for jump shots again...why does this happen every game?

7:55 - Good to see them go inside to Bosh when they are struggling

7:57 - Why does Tj always try to thread the needle to a big man inside when he in-between 3 players? Does he see something that ever one else doesn't see?

7:57 - And there goes the lead....

8:01 - Finally called that clear out on Z

8:03 - Nice to give credit to the guys in the truck...But did anyone actually think they look up these stats on their own?

8:05 - That will get the crowd going! KaBosh!

8:05 - Did Freddie read my blog...or was someone on the Raps coaching staff doing their jobs by getting him to go to the rim? Oh, and incidentally...I don't by the excuse teams sag off him...yeah they do...but that just means he need to start moving without the ball to put himself in situations where they can't do that.

8:07 - Good D to end the half.

Adam and I were talking and he mentioned that Landsberg wasn't on OTR today...Does anyone else thing the absence of Herbie and Michael Landsberg is conspicuous?

3rd Quarter

8:25 - Those empty platinum seats at the beginning of the half really bother me. Who pays that much money for those seats and misses part of the game?

8:27 - I wonder if Leo will continue his love-affair with Anderson Varejao this half....

8:31 - That dunk was vicious...why do you foul Lebron in that situation?

8:34 - Bosh has turned himself into a great rebounder...almost no one can keep him of the glass anymore

8:35 - Varejao is back in the game...I think Leo just blushed

8:40 - Oh Leo...just ask him out already!

8:40 - Why does TJ leave his feet to pass? Great shot by Bargs...but why does he do that?!? IT' drives me crazy!

4th quarter

8:53 - The Raps remind of the Kentucky teams form the mid-late 90's and more recently the Blue Devils the past couple years....living and dying by the three

8:55 - Joey Graham where did you come from? Oh that's right the bench...SM sometimes you gotta let your guys play.

8:57 - Nice to hear the Raptors fans booing LBJ after that acting job (even thought it was a nice acting job)...we have definitely come a long way since the days of Zan Tabak and Alvin " I didn't do it" Robertson.

9:03 - If this isn't a case for more minutes from Jose I don't know what is.

9:05 - It just occur ed to me that I think I remember a cereal called Golden Grahams...does anyone know if cereal is still being sold...and if so let me know where I can get it so I can send a box to Joey.

9:06 - Bad decision by Freddie to take the jumper...but then the Raps go back inside on the next possession...good to see

9:10 - Raps up by 8 with 4;30 left...let's see if they learned anything from the first 10 games

9:12 - Good by Varejao on Bosh...Leo I understand now

9:13 - I think the Raps should promote Darrick Martin Assistant Coach/Player. He already acts like one, why not give him the title?

9:15 - Freddie please don't confound my thoughts on you...stop the quick threes

9:18 - The Raps are lucky the Cavs have really made poor decisions to end the game

9:21 - SO many offensive rebounds!!!

9:21 - Salami and Onions....is there a worse line in all of pro-sports? Just saw 'NBA Legend' Jerome Williams on the TV

9:23 - Can someone buy Lebron a set of nail clippers?

9:24 - 97 - 85 Final....Chuck feels good about saying Raptors Win, Raptors Win, Raptors Win.

Wow...who would have thought

Okay, so the past few days have been a little surreal. First I get linked by raptorblog.com. This of course gets me something like 1500 hits, which needless to say increased my site traffic a tad. This then led to a mention and thread on EBS Sports. Lastly in an this article in today's Globe and Mail written by Michael Grange the site was mentioned. All of this is pretty cool. I'm going to level with everyone who reads this. I didn't think anyone would ever visit this site. Well maybe my friends and family, but certainly not at the level of the past few days. I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who visits. As long as you keep visiting I'll keep writing.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Somone needs to have a chat with Freddie...

I'm going to start by stating that I'm a big fan of Fred Jones. He's a an good role player who should continue to help the Raptors win some games down the road. But SM needs to go over some numbers with him:

1) 72% of his shots are jump shots of which he makes almost 39%
2) 22% of his shots are close range shots (ie. layups) of which he makes 72%
3) 28% of his shots are inside shots (or shots in the paint if you will) of which he makes 74%

Conclusion? Take the ball to the hole! If SM is going to continue to leave Jones in the starting lineup -- and I think he shouldn't -- at least get him to be more effective. That is what coaches do. When he is coming down the floor on the fast break and he pulls up for the three -- this is one of the many points in the game when I cringe -- sit his down. I'm really only confortable with one player on the Raptors pulling up for a three in transition, Mo-Pete. So Freddie...please take it to the rim...would you please?

-----------------------------------

I pulled the stats of 82games.com

Last night's game

Okay I'm not really going to rag on Sam for last night's loss. We weren't supposed to win that game. The Jazz have a much bigger and much more talented front court then the Raptors and it showed last night with us being out-rebounded again. I should state that I do understand that the Raptors are probably going to lose the battle of the the boards each and every night they play. It's just frustrating that instead of having one or tow players leaking out to push the ball we sometimes have three or four looking to push. I'm happy that they are buying into the run and gun philosophy, but SM needs to press upon them that they can't run if they don't play hard defence and take care of the defensive glass. Maybe SM should try just having only the shooter's defender release for a couple games and see if it makes a difference. Just a thought.

Thanks

Thank you to Scott over at raptorblog.com for the link. It has increased my traffic to a little. :)

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Give credit where credit is due...

A friend of mine said to me this morning -- albeit after a rough night out --, "Way to make a blog that hurts some one's feelings and get people visiting it". This was after I told him that I had 27 new visitors to this site yesterday. To be honest the jury is of course still out on this. I could become bored of it pretty quickly and just shut it down. But for now I will continue to critique SM's decisions.

Now onto last night's game.

I was happy to see that Jorge "Kramer" Garbajosa -- thank you Chuck -- was in the starting lineup to start last nights game against the Nuggets. He definitely adds more offence and mobility to the starting lineup and he of course works very hard on defence. I would also like to mention that SM made a good decision to switch to the 3-2 zone during the game. It confused the Nuggets offence for a while. But here's the thing with the zone, when you are defending against a good perimeter shooting lineup you can't stick with it. You need to give them many looks of defence, especially when the Nuggets were shooting like they were last night.

I would like to question the decision not to play Calderon much last night. Fred "Every one of my shots feels like it's going in" Jones was on fire in the first half, but went stone cold in the second. Instead of maybe going small with a back-court of Ford and Calderon -- which would have matched up fine against a Boykins-Miller back-court -- He stayed with the cold shooting Jones. I do recognize that Mo-Pete had a sore elbow last night and he therefore couldn't pull Jones for Mo, but come on, he could have at least tried something else. Calderon only played 9 minutes last night. He has been stellar this season and deserves much more playing time that that. It's hard to get into the flow of the game when you only get to play 9 combined minutes during the game.

Rebounding again was a huge issue last night. You don't win games in any league getting out-rebounded by 21. I just don't understand, we were supposed to be a better rebounding team this year. I have no idea what the issue is, it's basic basketball, box-out your man ie. get between your man and the basket and seal him when someone shoots. They have talent that I believe can rebound they just choose not to. Aside from Bosh and Kramer no one took their rebounding assignments seriously last night. It's ridiculous when your big men off the bench give you 3 rebounds in 22 minutes. Maybe SM can talk to Dennis Rodman or Shawn Kemp about coming in to give the team a hand. I hear they're looking for work.

On a bright note - Congrats to T.J. Ford on his Carear High 18 dimes last night.