Friday, March 31

Toronto 125 Phoenix 140

The game was more like the exhibition match Steve Nash presides over every summer in Toronto for the benefit of the Raptors Foundation . The cheering by the capacity crowd for MoPete ( 36 pts.,8 reb.) , Mike James ( 36 pts., 8 assists) and the rest of the Raptors was equally shared for favorite son, Steve Nash (20 pts.,10 assists ).
Interesting to note were the numerous handheld signs urging former Suns ' GM Bryan Colangelo and now Raptors ' head honcho to sign Nash . No chance of course. Steve conducted al clinic on ball passing. ' He will always find the open man' said Jones .

If Steve wins t
he MVP award once more , he'll likely get the nod for the Canadian Best Male Athlete Award for the second consecutive year.
Not bad , eh .

Steve's biggest competition will come from golfer Stephen Ames who just won the PGA's Players Championship which many considered the 5th major. S
tephen is the jerk who angered Tiger Woods before the start of the match play with his comment about Tiger's sometimes errant golf shots. Tiger beat him badly in the first round of the match play tournament.
Ames is a Canadian convert who lives with his wife
and children in Canada , while Steve lives with his family in the States.
Figure that one out , eh.

Vince's Line

The New Jersey Nets got its 11th straight victory defeating the Atlanta Hawks to clinch a playoff spot in the Eastern conference. Vince had 26 pts. , 9 rebounds , and an assist .


A lot of Knicks fans noticed that the New York basketball team began its decline when one of the most religious Knickerbockers , Allan Houston . got injured and eventually retired . You see , Allan will always lead his fellow players in prayers whether in the locker room or after the game at midcourt . Yes , the bickering Knicks still continue the practice but somehow it is not the same. I guess the Knicks is sick . Really sick . Detractors are sure that the losing will continue following the release of a recent study that concludes that prayers does not heal the sick . Scientists who conducted the study , will have a hard time convincing the pious New York fans. They have no prayer of a chance , so to speak.

Thursday, March 30

Retro Look

The recent visit by the Miami Heat team donning the old Miami Floridians uniform of the ABA team brings to mind the Toronto Raptors own team history , uniform wise.

When the Raptors entered the NBA as an expansion team, its uniform had the dinosaur logo on it. This uniform was worned by 'discards' from other NBA teams such as Ed Pickney , Acie Earl , Alvin Robertson etc . up to the days of players identifiable by a single name like Mighty Mouse ,T Mac , Oak , and Air Canada - half man , half amazing .

The team wanted to project a serious , not to mention tough professional basketball outfit so it removed the dino as part of the uniform . It is because the figure it chose to depict the city turned ' too cartoony ' especially after the popularity of Jurassic Park and worse its purple colored cousin . So, unlike, the Grizzlies or the Timberwolves , the Raptors cannot strike fear into the hearts of their opponents . T Mac will be more like T Rex the action figure.

Come to think of it , it would have been safer to stay away from symbols best reserved for college sports teams or the boy's CYO teams. Look at the Miami Heat or the Sacramento Kings . A more appropriate name should have been more contemporary and depicting the city population like perhaps the Toronto Ethnics , or its growing industry , Toronto Call Centers just like Seattle Sonics or should it be Toronto Guns ? I guess the latter is not politically correct following the demise of the Washington Bullets tag. In that case , the name Toronto Liberals should be well received in the city that refuses to change its political affiliation no matter what.

Of course , not eveybody was aware that Toronto had a professional baskeball team as early as 1946 . The team was known as the Toronto Huskies ( I guess the team has a history of using lame moniker ) and it was part a league which was the predecessor of the NBA. This and more can be found in the History Of Basketball In Canada .

NBA Body

In a basketball scout's vocabulary , a player has an NBA body if he is ready to battle it out with full pledge NBA players. Normally , the player has a man's body with fully developed muscles and all. No baby fat , I guess.

One case in point is LeBron James . It is amazing that even as a high schooler going straight to the NBA , his body built then was unlike any other 18 year old. Kevin Garnett , T Mac and Kobe were still underdeveloped bodywise ( not to mention skill ) . Look at their photos when they first entered the NBA. Its like Barry Bonds before steriod.

The Toronto Raptors have one player with an NBA body coming straight from college. He is Joey Graham . Its amazing that Joey's twin brother Stephen ( now playing for the Cavaliers ) , is much smaller . The fact that they are identical twins make their difference in body built obvious . I wonder what Oklahomans fed Joey .

Speaking of body , Scarlett Johansson was chosen as the sexiest star by FHM magazine. She definitely has an NBA body ....the players want.

Wednesday, March 29

Toronto 94 Miami 98

Dwayne Wade scored 16 points in the last quarter to wipe the Raptors halftime lead of the same margin of points. In what started as a surprisingly easy game for the Raps in the first 3 quarters and so , turned into a tight ballgame until the go ahead basket by the Heat . Eric Williams failed to score at the last play by the Raptors . Why Eric coming off a timeout by Sam Mitchell bugs me. One mark of good coaching is the ability to draw up a winning play especially after a timeout in a close game. Miami's veteran coach Pat Riley is a master of that.
It was an otherwise exciting game watched by near capacity crowd even without Shaquille O'Neal. Chris Bosh did not play and was in street clothes.
Highlights include Hoffa Araujo at one stretch of the game , blocking a shot by Payton , and scoring on his patented short hook. Who patented it ? Ask Simon Cowell of the new TV show of American Inventor. For once, the Brazilian Beast lived up to his name . Not Brazilian Yeast or the Brazilian Civilian* for the amount of time he was sitting on the bench on street clothes. I do not know why they call it street clothes when the players are definitely wearing more than that . And for sure these clothes are not what the street people or hobos wear.
Charlie V had a double double ( 13 pts.,13 reb. ) for the game. I wonder if after such a performance , does he go to Tim Hortons and ask for a coffee- double , double. If yes , it's good he is not Le Bron.
*from Raptor Forum

Vince's Line

New Jersey defeated Memphis 86-74 . Vince scored 23 points , collared 6 rebounds and assisted 4 times. It was the surging Nets 10th straight victory.

American Idol And Basketball

The votes this time were least for Lisa Tucker. Her song was lame and uninspiring to many . It is a pity because the 16 year old showed great promise One of the judges , Randy ' Dogg ' Jackson , said a lot of the idols wanna be chose the wrong songs .

In basketball parlance . poor shot selection. This brings me to MoPete 's penchant for heaving the ball from half court or anywhere within that. I know these are desperation shots done at the end of the period. He knows that the likelihood of the ball going in the basket is close to nil. That I will likely win Super 7 lotto , that Mc Guinty will likely fulfill his election promises or that the U.S. will lift the softwood ban , than MoPete making the long distance , last second shot. MoPete is guilty of poor shot selection. His shooting percentage is screwed . The statistician does not distiguish these when the data are collated. So next time Mo , leave the heaving from midcourt to Calderon or Martin . They are the lesser mortals , and won't mind the missed shots. Now, let me check my Super 7 . I might win.

Tuesday, March 28

He's My Daddy

Yannick Noah, the flamboyant tennis star famous for his flying dreadlocks and his deadly forehand, is the only French sportsman to have successfully reinvented himself as a pop star. While many were expecting Noah to fall flat on his face when he launched a music career in the early 90s, the singer has found his own original niche on the French scene, fusing his double passion for music and sports and his love for two homelands, France and Cameroon.
Daddy to Joaquim Noah the 6-10 C/F of Florida , one of the teams in the Final Four.

Terrorto Raptors

The last 15 or so playing days of the regular season saw some players' confontations as the race for the playoff spots intensifies. Spurs' Bruce Bowen was fined for kicking Seattle's Ray Allen . In the Miami-Indiana game , a fight almost broke out between Pacer Jermaine O'Neal and Heat Udonis Haslem after a rebound battle .
Which bring us to the toughness issue of the present Raptor roster. It is comprised mostly of nice guys. Remember what thet say about nice guys.
Yup . they finish last or not at all. Sometimes , Mike James acts as the team' s enforcer by default . Swirsky refers to him as a pit bull partly due to James fondness to this breed of dog. Pitted against the other team's bullies , MJ is more like Tinkerbell , the chiwawa of Paris Hilton.
This summer , Bryan Colangelo will have the opportunity to scan the free agents and one free near convict for additional muscle and meaness to the team.
Here are what I think are some prospective thugs for hire .

  1. Danny Fortson. He is your typical schoolyard bully who refused to grow up. If Michael Jordan is referred to as God disguised as a basketball player by Larry Bird , Fortson is a basketball player disguised as a thug. His braided hair and untucked uniform serve as reminders to all . Bryan's father once worked to ban him in the league after he sent a Phoenix player sprawling on the floor . Chris Bosh 's head has a rough introduction to Fortson's elbow in Chris' rookie year. Sure the NBA docked 2 day's pay from Fortson , but it sure decked Bosh alright. He wants out of Seattle . Salary : $ 6 / year.
  2. Latrell Sprewell . The man with a perpetual scowl on his face . Add the semi Fu Manchu moustache = meaness . If looks could kill , Sprewell will be Jeffrey Dahmer . Ask coach Carlisimo , then duck. Salary : negotiable.
  3. Jayson Williams . Reportably ready to make a comeback. Jayson made shooting anything that resembles a turkey fashionable before the Vice President. J.Williams ' reputation is therefore secured. Salary : negotiable.

The Simpsons

One of my fav , The Simpsons , will go on for another 2 years following the signing of a new contract extending the series to 2008 .
The Raptors today signed 6-10 James Lang to a 10 day contract as a replacement for Chris Bosh who was expected to be sidelined indefinitely due to sprained left thumb .
Homer , there is no such thing as sprain brain , duh

Monday, March 27

Who's Your Daddy ?

Blogger's World

I Hate The Raptors * was cited in 2 of most widely read blogs. Last week , it was in highly credible and cool Tru Hoop by H.A. and today in Chris Young's JABS in the Toronto Star.

Vince's Line

Vince registered 20 pts., 8 rebounds , 5 assists in only 29 minutes of action as New Jersey defeated the Phoenix Suns , 110-72 Monday night. The Nets record improved to 41-28 , 3rd best in the Eastern conference.

Prison Break

The Fox series Prison Break is back on TV. It is a nice series . But a kinda different depiction of prison life is in the movie Hooked . Demetrius ' Hook ' Mitchell is a fine baller . He was supposed to be NBA material but instead ended up making NBA materials ( jersey etc ) in prison due to drug problems . He is a contemporary of Antonio Davis , Jason Kidd and Gary Payton . You know . the Oakland boys . One time , ex NBAer Brian Shaw contacted Hook to show his dunking abilities in an NBA exhibition in Oakland but Hook was so stoned , he left the venue without going thru it.
Prison Break chronicles the exploits of one brother as he tries to free his older brother from the electric chair to the point of having himself imprisoned.
I guess Charlie Villanueva's break out performance scoring 48 pts. , should be welcomed by Chris Bosh. David Robinson led San Antonio Spurs, did not become NBA champion until Tim Duncan joined the team . It was this combination that proved too difficult to handle by opponents..
The Charlie V - CB4 tandem will be as potent a force for the Raptors especially
if they bond as close as the brothers below.

Sunday, March 26

Toronto 116 Milwaukee 125
There is only one story line in the game today. Charlie Villanueva's superb performance.
Charlie Villanueva scored a career high 48 pts. on a 20 of 32 shooting ( 6/10 in 3 pt. range ) . The Raptors though , lost their 8th overtime game this season at the hands of the Milwaukee Bucks , 125-116. This is the most scored by a Toronto rookie. By an NBA rookie this season. Unbelievable !
Its the equivalent of Kobe knocking in 80 points . Or Nate Robinson winning the slam dunk . Or Napoleon Dynamite shagging Lindsay Lohan. Incredible !
I know many Raptors' fans disagreed with me when I wrote sometime ago that Charlie V. can be better than Chris Bosh. He's a natural at ball handling and he has the 3 pt.range which Chris still developing.
When asked by Norma Witch after the game when he knew that he has the knack of making those 3 pt.shots , he said he always possesed this ability but that he has no chance to shoot 3 pointers in college because coach Calhoun ( of University of Connecticut ) discouraged him. He was instructed to develop his inside game. No wonder , ex UConn's , now pros , Ray Allen , Donyell Marshall and now even Richard Hamilton had all become proficient 3 pt. shooters after college. Screw Coach Calhoun !
Actually Charlie was rumored to be turning pro in the same year when Lebron James did. They were both Mc Donalds H.S. All Stars then. I don't know what made him change his mind. I think , just like Bosh , he should have stayed a year only in college . To some players , college style of play , can be stifling.
BTW , Charlie V. also has 9 rebounds and 2 assists .
Unwritten Rule In The NBA

The topic of some players of making last second shot even when the game is already in the bag was discussed by Mark Jackson and Scottie Pippen in NBA Nation today. Like the Gerald Green's last second dunk in a game vs Toronto last Mar 24 which made Chuck Swirsky very mad. Both said its a big NO NO . Sort of an unwritten rule in the NBA , Scottie and Mark emphasized .
What do you know , it happened again. This time in the Lakers vs Hornets game later Sunday night. LA 's Sasha Vulcajic drove to the basket with only 5.4 sec left in the game and LA way ahead . He was given a hard foul by Speedy Claxton . Afterwards , the refs had to separate the two . Claxton was given a ' T ' and thrown out of the game. The L.A. TV Announcers were not exactly thrilled with Vulcajic last second shot.

Vince 's Line

New Jersey beat Detroit , 79-74 on Sunday night. He scored 22 pts. and had 7 rebounds and 6 assists. NJ remains entrenched at 3rd place in the Eastern conference.

Oscar Weekend

I watched The Constant Gardener starring Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Wiesz .
I think Rachel was terrific in this movie. No wonder she won the Best Supporting Actress award. The fim is set in Kenya , Africa.
Reminds me of part of Chris Tucker's comedy skit in the last NBA All Star Weekend nights. Chris said he went with Dikembe Mutombo and other NBA players on a mission to Africa. Chris said in Africa , he has never seen so many brothers who don't know how to play basketball. Of course, said in Chris' wacky way, the crowd had a big laugh.

Dikembe in

Saturday, March 25

Top Ten ( with apologies to David Letterman )
Top 10 Reasons Why Antonio Davis Asked A Waiver From Raptors Management
1. He is told by Kendra that his teenage twins are becoming conjoined.
2. Kendra warned him that if he doesn't come home, he will divorce him and marry Michael Axelrod Jr.
4. A.D. worries that he is not only being immersed in Canadian system now but Latino as well.
5. He is pissed off that Jose Calderon addresses him as Senor Antonio when calling a play for him..
6. His daughter hates Dora The Explorer . Bonita es estupida.
7. There is no more G. Grunwald to negotiate with regarding his new contract. G is for generous
8. He wants to go back to his dysfunctional family. No, not with Kendra , but with the Knicks.
9. He enjoys exchanging places with Jalen Rose for the 3rd time .
10. He wants to negotiate with I. Thomas regarding his new contract. I is for Indiscriminate Spender.
Oscar Weekend
I watched this movie Crash which snared the Best Movie award over heavily favored Brokeback Mountain . A come from behind really. I enjoyed the movie. It tackles racial issues.
The Raptors other ' bigs ' ( Araujo , Sow , Woods ) continued failure to 'crash' the board puts the team short in the rebounding department
Mark Cuban company's film Enron- The Smartest Guys In The Room failed to win in the Best Documentary category. I know that M.C. was in the awards night , but I was surprised to see Coach Nelson sitting behind George Clooney . No wonder he lost. Should have brought Avery.

Friday, March 24

Toronto 97 Minnesota 77

Every Raptors vs Timberwolves game has the usual Garnett vs Bosh comparison. Everyone does it. The papers , TV pips and the fans . Actually , Doug Collins , the ABC Analyst was right when he said Bosh is more like retired Spur, David Robinson . So here's KG VS. CB4 .
Chris Bosh line : 17 points , 15 rebounds , 0 assist and 2 block shots in 43 minutes of play.
Kevin Garnett line : 15 points , 13 rebounds , 2 assists and no block shot in 39 minutes of play .
Their performances are just about even,except that one noticed that whereas Bosh played with enthusiasm, Garnett seemed listless.No blocked shot in 39 mins. of play ! The likes of Bonner , Sow and Graham had a heyday scoring inside. I think KG will definitely be traded after this season.Latest rumor is him going to NJ for Nenad Krstic and Richard Jefferson. Back to the game . It was T.O. all the way from the jumpball to finish.The score reflects it. End of story. It's Chris Bosh birthday . So after the game , the Raptors are off to his birthday bosh... I mean bash.
The coaches' actions are more interesting . Both Dwayne Casey and Sam Mitchell are supposedly in precarious position. Although lately , Sam seemed to have gotten ' good feedback from Bryan Colangelo. No wonder . Sam was very much into the game . Standing up , barking instructions and talking with the refs while Casey looked sad and resigned to his and his team's fate. Unlike in the photo. If the Raptors releases Sam , he might wind up in Minny. That's how the cookie crumbles ...or maybe, thats how the ball bounces is more appropriate. Its just right , Sam is a former Timberwolve.

Oscar Movie Night (1)
The other night , Lebron James had an Oscar (Robertson) night. Triple double. Tonite its my turn . I watched the movie Walk The Line after the game and found it OK . I am wondering however how Reese Weatherspoon won the Best Actress for her role as Johnny Cash's wife. Her acting was ordinary .
I heard one TV guy said that Joaquin Phoenix , playing Johnny Cash , looks like Mark Cuban. Uuummm. I don't see the resemblance . One thing though, they both look like sh__ to me !
I repeat , Reese's acting is not extraordinary. Like in the game today , the Raptors' game was average , it's just that Minnesota sucks. There is still a lot of work ahead.

NO MORErison And Redick.

My 2 favorite NCAA players suffered similar fate in the Sweet 16 phase of March Madness . LSU got rid of Duke and JJ Redick , 62-54 while UCLA showed more composure than Adam Morrison's Gonzaga edging the Bulldogs , 73-72 .Redick was limited to 11 pts on a 3 of 18 shooting by the Tigers' defense. Coach Brady's bunch of young 'uns Davis and Tyrus Thomas were fantastic especially in the last 1'30 "of the game .Thomas made foul shots , a layup and his 5th block of the game.'Big Baby' Davis rebounded his missed free throw to seal the game for the Tigers.Morrison's team led by as much as 17 points. He scored an easy 24 points but missed his last 2 attempts towards the end of the game.The Bruins patiently chipped at the lead until they stole the ball with about 20 sec. for the go ahead basket . Zags ' Batista missed a desperation shot with 1.2 sec left.
So thats the end of the NCAA pool for me . Although , I must admit the tandem of Thomas and ' Big Baby ' Davis are very interesting .Thomas is very athletic in the mold of Gerald Wallace while 310 lbs. Davis is very nimble despite his weight. He either is the second coming of Sir Charles or Robert 'Tractor' Traylor . Take your pick.

Big Baby (L) and the original , Sir Charles (R)

Redick may be drafted late in the first round . He will likely be no. 15 to 20 pick , same as Sacramento's Fernando Garcia in last year's draft. Better , is to change his name to Redickovsky to pass himself as a European for more interest from NBA teams.

Morrison should do better. Maybe at top 8 . That is , if he chose to join the draft. He is only a junior now . I heard an interesting story about Adam on the radio. Actually , it's an interview of his father , who was his coach earlier in his basketball life. Adam was diagnosed to have Type II diabetes as early as when he was 8 yrs. old . He's learned to inject himself insulin and take as much as 3-4 shots during a game . He follows a strict diet and always eat the same food 2 hours before the game . I am sure when he moves to the NBA , he will have his own staff to take care of things .A Cook, a Nutritionist etc. Some of today's players have them now.
Antonio's Hideaway
The Raptors waived Antonio Davis today after a short return stint the team . His family , Kendra and the twins , is based in Chicago, Ill.
Davis came from the New York in a trade for Jalen Rose . He hurt his back in a game against the Miami Heat last Feb. He was a reluctant Raptor and seems to be playing only to fulfill a contractual obligation. Davis is likely to play next season for Chicago for a minimum salary .Good riddance, Antonio .
Vince Line
Vince Carter has 21 pts, , 7 reb., 7 assists in a game vs the Timberwolves Thursday night .

Wednesday, March 22

Boston 110 Toronto 96

The Raptors absorbed another defeat at the hands of the Celtics 96-110 . Toronto failed to narrow the gap between its Atlantic division rival .The team from Beantown outgunned the Raptors in 2 categories :
  1. Top guns Pierce , Szcerbiak and West outshot James, Bosh and Peterson ( 72-65 points )
  2. Young guns Pierkins and Green outdueled Villanueva and Graham ( 19-10 points )

However , in the battle of red haired hoopters , Matt Bonner edged Brian Scalabrine.Good for the New Hampshire born Raptor .He always plays respectable ball in front of friends and families. The Red Rocket , as he is popularly known , can perhaps buy himself a car now. He still commutes ( see photo ) to ACC every game day.

The Raps lost the battle of the boards 32-36 , the 3 pt. shot shooting 23%-42% and were completely outplayed in the 4th quarter after battling a slim 27 - 30 halftime deficit.

Toronto's winning streak was halted to 2.

Green's Antics Angers Chuck

American Idol booted out its youngest male hopeful - Kevin Covais .A lot of people were saddened when it was announced that Kevin otherwise known as Chicken Little got the least number of votes .

One other teenager got a lot of votes at least from the hometown crowd. In the game last night between the Raptors and Celtics , Gerald Green , the youngster playing for Boston , got a last second alley hoop pass from Tony Allen for a dunk. It was an excellent display of athleticism , except to Raptors' broadcasting team and members of the visiting team . With the outcome a foregone conclusion and only a few seconds left in the game , players from the Boston are expected to waste away the time without attempting a basket until the buzzer ending the game sounds. Chuck Swirsky was furious when Green did his thing . ' Wait 'til Boston is in Toronto ' , Chuck said. it ( antics ) will not be forgotten ' he added.

Dennis Rodman, Alex English et. al To Play In Asia

A team of former NBA ballers led by Dennis Rodman will play a 2 game exhibition in the Philippines. Rodman who's estrange father, Philander , lives in a city north of Manila .It will his first visit to the country. His father has numerous children here , one of whom is a half brother named Bigfoot who once tried out for a local hoop team. Rodman's father is an ex US serviceman who used to work in the now closed US Clark Air Base.
With Rodmam in the team is Darryl Dawkins a frequent visitor to the country. His USBL team ( Valley Dawgs ) has Filipino basketball players in its line up. Other ex NBA pros comprising the Dennis Rodman's team are Kevin Willis , Otis Birdsong , Calvin Murphy , Alex English - assistant coach of the Toronto Raptors . Coach of the team is Sidney Moncrief.
Vince Performance Tracking
A lot of Raptors fans want to know how Air Canada is doing . So to those fans who are not interested in how Vince Carter is doing , ignore this .Otherwise, read on.Vince's line vs. Washington last night : 28 points / 6 rebounds / 5 assists .The Nets won 112 - 110 and is 1st place in the Atlantic and 3rd in Eastern Conference.

Tuesday, March 21

Toronto 114 New York 109

Mike James scored 17 points in the 3rd quarter to lead the Raptors past the pathetic Knicks , 114-109. From a tight halftime lead , Toronto increased its lead to 10 at the end of the pivotal quarter and coasted to victory. James had a total of 37 pts, 8 rebounds and 6 assists while Chris Bosh added 31 pts., 7 reb.,3 ass. .Channing Frye ,who left the game early due to knee injury. led the Knicks with 19 pts..The game was fast and exciting but dragged on to a foul shooting contest in the last minute .
It was nice to watch Frye and Charlie Villanueva ( 15 pts. ) play. The 2 were taken no.6 and no.7 by TO and NY in the last draft .
Toronto improved its record to 26-42 for 4th in the Atlantic , while New York dropped to 19-48 , second worst record in the NBA .
Mike James playing before his family and friends , is no doubt extra motivated.
He is from Long Island. I think his extra motivation comes from the fact that the Knicks might be in the interested in his services next season. He has played for Larry Brown before and is a fan of his coaching style. James is a free agent after this season. The Raptors must insure that James stay with the team.
Tomorrow's game againts the Celtics ( 25-42 ) is a match between no.3 and no.4 in the Atlantic . With Paul Pierce possibly not playing due to injury , it should be easy picking for the Raptors . Boston just like Toronto is bannered by young players -Al Jefferson , Ryan Gomes , Delonte West .
Quitting Time
Isaac Hayes , the voice of the Cook in South Park, quits because he cannot stand anymore the treatment
of religion by the series' Creators.
Stephon Marbury seemed to have quit Larry Brown ' Knicks . His performance continues to dip in every game.
Jalen, How Are You Jellin' ?

Jalen Rose , former Raptor , face New York Knicks . One of the most liked Raptor , he is expected to go mano a mano with good friend Morris Petersen .When he returned to Air Canada Center , he did not get the usual boos from the crowd reserved for returning ex Raptors . Based on decibel readings , the loudest boos were registered for 1) Vince Carter 2) Tracy Mc Grady 3) Damon Stoudamire 4) Antonio Davis .
When Jalen was here , he was a team player in and out of the locker room . He was totally professional even when Sam Mitchell pulled him out of the starting line up on 2 separate occasions. When rumors of his impending trade circulated , Jalen' s play did not suffer. One wonders why he maded it to Sports Illustrated 's list of all time headcases. in the NBA .
Jalen's performance since the trade is good .Raptors fans hope the averages won't hold true today .
PPG : 10.0
RPG : 3.0
APG : 2.6
EFF. : +10.8
Tonight's game vs the Knicks will be interesting. It seems everytime the
Raptors face NY , they are up against a different team. The first time ,the Knicks was with a new coach, so it was still finding its identity. Toronto won on Jan.13 game ( 123-103 ). The 2nd time , Larry Brown's team was on a roll , and riding on a 6 game winning streak which TO halted ( 104-90 ). The 3rd time it was NY turn to win on a squeker ( 98-96 ) .Today, NY is in a roller coaster-winning 2 and losing 1 - and in complete shambles ( 19-46 record ).

Monday, March 20

Ali G ' s Crazy NBA Interviews

I watched the Ali G Show late last night on cable . It was really hilarious . The poor farmer he was interviewing did not know what hit him ! Those who watch NBA games regularly know exactly what I am talking about . My personal
favorites are the interviews with Phoenix Suns ' Steve Nash ( 2 ) , LA's Kobe Bryant and Richard Jefferson of the New Jersey Nets . Watch all NBA interviews plus all other funny stuff in
Funny Videos .

Sunday, March 19

Vince Likes Walmart ; JYD Makes Round Of Talk Shows

Two former Raptors occupied the boob tube this weekend touching on some interesting topics. First to make appearance was Jerome Williams better known as the Junkyard Dog who now does community work involving children for the Raptors organization in the Grill Room on Sun TV. This show unlike other sports talk show in Canada , provides balance treatment of all sports aside from hockey and recently featured other Raptors like MoPete and Mike James . When asked about seemingly ' ' chummy ' practice of basketball players of embracing ' each other before the start of each game , JYD said something like , ' it is a culture thing , but once the game starts , its all business '.
The following day , JYD was on Jones and Eric Smith's call in show simulcast on both radio and TV . The 2 who do the play by play of Raptor games , asked JYD who he thinks was the best coach he has ever played for . Surprise ! Surprise ! his reply - Lenny Wilkens . You see , the winningest coach in the NBA is not a favorite among those who covered the team here as their view is that, his ways are outmoded .
Needless to say , the two were left dundfounded and can only mutter that everyone is entitled to his own opinion .
Vince Carter was on the taped interview with Ahmad Rashad shown at halftime of Nets vs.Mavericks game ( which the New Jersey won , 100-89 ).When asked what he wants to do with a wife and new baby , he said he loves shopping at Walmart and also to bowl ! How's that ? A high flyer for a bowler !
Sweet 16 ( Almost )

For me , the Sweet 16 phase of March Madness is all but complete .There is Sunday , March 19 playing date yet to complete the cast of teams for the next round , but as far I am concerned with Duke Blue Devils and Gonzaga Bulldogs both in , its done. The Blue Devils beat George Washington , 74-61 while the Bulldogs went past Indiana 90-80 .They both have an easier time today than on their first day of competition although their stars , Blue Devil's J J Ridick and the 'Zags Morrison , had sub par performances - 20 pts. and 14 pts. respectively . Ridick ( ave. 28.1 ppg ) and Morrison ( ave. 28.8 ppg ) are vying for College Player Of The Year honors.
Their battle for NCAA's scoring title this year is reminiscent of baseball's Sosa vs McGuire homerun battle several years ago . Less the steroids . It was reported on CBS that they call each other on their cell phones to keep abreast of the developments . Speaking of their developments , it is good that local TV and cable kept us informed of this by featuring the 2 teams in their coverage of tournaments prior to the NCAA as much as possible. I hope one of them makes it all the way to the Final Four and then the Championship. Then , it's the NBA for Adam and JJ .
Who knows , maybe Toronto will get the chance to draft one of them. Morrison , some say is the second coming of Larry Bird. Stephen A. Smith of ESPN disagrees noting that he averages 10 rebounds less than Larry . Some suspect his defense . I guess we will find out in Gonzaga's next game against tough UCLA . Ridick , I 'd say , is more like Trajan Langdon , the former Duke star who played for the Cavaliers but is now 'duking ' it out somewhere in Europe. Who is more suited for the NBA game ? We will know before draft day .For now, on to the next round .

Friday, March 17

Toronto 97 Milwaukee 96

The Raptors stole one from Milwaukee .With 35 seconds remaining , Mike James hit a 3 pointer and Chris Bosh ( 27 pts./10 reb ) knocked down a couple of free throws after a Bucks miss . The Milwaukee 'bigs ' manhandled their Toronto counterparts but Charlie Villanueva (14 pts./9 reb.) , towards the end of the 4th quarter , suddenly comes alive with 2 baskets cutting the lead from 16 points. Earlier in the game , TJ Ford the dimunative point guard of the Bucks, was toying with Toronto . In the end , we had the last laugh . T.O. outscored their opponents 31-14 in the 4th quarter .
It is the first game I can recall that Bosh delivered the clutch baskets .Good .
Jamal Magloire as usual played a dominating game although he missed a lot of foul shots. ( 7 out of 14 ). Both Rafael Araujo and Pape Sow cannot contain Jamal . Its like a tryout for Raptors management . He is a free agent next season and has expressed his desire to play for Toronto. I think he is too slow for the Raptors style of play not to mention that he will likely ask for a lot of money .
I am glad I hang on to finish the game even when the Raptors were behind by 15 points . I watched the movie Jarhead after the game . Sucky really. Any basketball lesson applicable to the Raptors ? None . Zero . Nada . Oh yes . there is one . Plenty of preparation is needed when going into war . Same as in basketball . Hear that Sam . So that Skip To My Lou will compare you favorably with Jeff Van Gundy .