Tuesday, October 31

TJ Ford Is The 1st Big Mistake Of Bryan Colangelo ?

No matter how impeccable Raptor GM Bryan Colangelo's record at the Suns' orgaization , I am sure he made a couple of boo boos as the GM there . All GMs do . Just don't make them ' huge ' mistakes that's impossible to recover from . Ask former Raptor GM Rob Babcock. A lot of Raptors fans found the TJ Ford - Charlie V trade questionable at the start . Even now . The jury is still out on TJ . Or should I say , the injury is still keeping TJ out . TJ missed majority of the pre-season games due to hamstring injury . That's one knock about TJ . He's injury prone . Raptors fans think it is a big gamble getting him and letting go of a sure double - double guy in Charlie V. ' One needs a quality guy to get a quality guy in return ' said Colangelo of the trade .
' The team needs a pass first point guard ' said one TJ follower . Is he really ? Peter Vecsey said in NBA TV ' TJ's teammates at Milwaukee thought he takes too many shots '. One thing though is sure , the man is fast . Super fast and he sure can play uptempo basketball . ' TJ wanted to play one way while Stotts ( the Bucks coach ) wanted to slow down the game ' said Vecsey of perhaps one reason he was traded. So far , in the few games TJ was in the court, he has shown good judgement . He's exciting and would surely put the Toronto crowd in delirious state . That's if Ford is in the court .
Not in the garage undergoing repair !

Down again .
Get a Toyota next time !

Saturday, October 28

Flopping And Running With The Bulls

Toronto fell to the Chicago Bulls last night, 108-97 , to end their pre-season with a 7-1 record . It was a exciting match witnessed by a sizeable Friday crowd . Bem Gordon was sensational scoring 38 points in what the announcers called giant killer drives . For the Raptors , Mo Pete ( 20 pts. ) played well and so did Anthony Parker ( 13 pts. ) . ' Parker is a shooter ' said Red Kerr of the Raptor F/G who seemed to have found his touch the last 2 games of the pre-season. The Bulls TV announcers were less than enamored with the Raptors defense . ' They flop a lot . They have many Europeans and that may be the reason ' they pointed out .
The Bulls seem to have the Raptors number .It was the team's nth loss since 2 seasons ago . 'That is expected to change this season . ' Toronto has got good young players ' Red Kerr said. ' Their style of play requires a lot of stamina ' he added . Yes .Toronto is not afraid of the Bulls anymore . They are ready and have the stamina to match Chicago. The Raps have the manpower to beat the Bulls . After all , they got Garbajosa and Calderon now . They are used to Running with the Bulls in Pamplona , Spain !

Running Bulls : This is bullshit !

Friday, October 27

Gone In 9 Seconds

It seems that coach Sam Mitchell is hellbent on turning the Raptors into the ' Phoenix Suns Of The East ' . No doubt the hiring of former GM Brian Colangelo started this transformation . ' You don't have time to celebrate after a basket when playing the Suns ' They come back at you quickly ' said Hubie Brown in last year's telecast of one the Western Conference playoff game. Now , Toronto intends to do better than that . Faster than that by shooting 100 shots a game . ' We intend to take a good shot every 9 seconds -' proclaimed Sam D' Man .
In the Raptors' last pre season game against the Boston Celtics , they went below the century mark in the number of attempts at the basket but manages 45 shots by halftime . ' I don't think they ( Raptors ) can do it ' said Tommy Heinsohn , the Celts TV Analyst . However guys like MoPete is made for ' run and gun ' style of basketball . If the opposing team ' cooperates ' , Toronto should be able to do it . Throwing a shot every 9 seconds is like playing playground basketball . One or 2 players must or purposely leave themselves behind for the expected fastbreaks. ' It's going to be fun ' said my friend who is a habitual ACC visitor ' We are guaranteed fastpace basketball ' ...and pizza at the end of the game as the score will surely exceed 100 pts. !

Mo Pete
: I want my share of the
pizza giveaway . Pepperoni !!!

Thursday, October 26

Ooops , The Raptors Did It Again !

Like Britney . The Raptors won their 7th game straight game beating Boston at its homecourt , 106-102. They did not shot 100 times like coach Mitchell wanted but played good defense especially in the 2nd half . Actually , the Raptors 3 pt. shots bailed them out . They have 10/22 shots vs their opponents' 6/10 . In the end , it was Jose Calderon flawless free throw shooting (11/11 ) that saved the game for them. ' That's the wrong guy to foul ' said Tommy Heinhson when the Celts made a desperation foul with seconds left . That's the wrong guy to let drive to the basket too. Celts big man , Olawakandi , found that out as Calderon repeteadly made incurrsions to the lane .

Now , it is only the Chicago Bulls which are on the way to a sweep of the pre season games . The 1st time the Raptors will accomplish that feat . One worrying thought ' tho . Heinsohn , the former Celtics great , said last night that it the same ailment that Chris Bosh presently suffers from that ended his carrer at age 31 . I'm sure today's medicine has a better cure for that . We sure don't want Bosh to be as useless as Kevin Federline !

KFed : What me useless ?
What about the 2 'lil Federlines I made !

Wednesday, October 25

Why Is Anthony Parker Struggling ?

In 6 games so far this pre season , the Raptors' Anthony Paker is averaging 6.5 pts. , 1.6 assists and 3.7 rebounds per game . That's hardly the numbers most of the fans expect from the ' best baller not playing in the NBA ' then . GM Colangelo said ' At his skill level , Parker belongs in this league '. He is suppose to score , play good defense and do all the other little things ' . As a member of the Raptors ' starting 5 , Parker has been doing nothing but the last one - little things. This 31 yr.old 'rookie again' is struggling no matter how some people put it . Canada's National Post has a feature on Parker's struggles at this point of his NBA career . It cited the faster pace of basketball and the different style of play in the NBA . ' European teams tend to pass more before shooting ' Parker said. Don't pass to much Parker or you're in danger of being passed on by coach Mitchell when picking the starting 5 especially if the Raptors struggle at the start of the season
It's good that Parker is aware of the reality in the face of superior competition unlike a baller for Maccabi Tel Aviv who said when the Israeli team was about to face the Cleveland Cavaliers ' We are not afraid of Lebron James . We've played with and against Parker ' . The new Raptor smiled at his former teammate's statement . Good . For that night , when Toronto met Cleveland , King James showed he was of different class leaving Parker eating his dust on the way to the baskets . But it's a case of too much humility is what's wrong with Parker . One can see how he often hesitates even when he has the open shots . Maybe he thinks he is still a 76er rookie playing behind Iverson , Aaron McKie and more established ballers . Wake up , Parker or else you will be relegated to a Barker on the bench of the new Raptors !
Junkyard Dog : I'll call Parker the Junkyard Puppy !

Monday, October 23

And The Winning Streak Is Still On .... .

The Toronto Raptors remained unbeaten after 6 games edging the LBJ led Cleveland Cavaliers last night , 91-90. The win was a come from behind victory by the Raps who were without starters Bosh , TJ Ford and rookie Andrea Bargnani . ' Sure they are a different team ' said Lebron James after the game. ' It's a good experience for them ( Cavaliers ) to play a tight game against a good unit ' echoed coach Brown of Cleveland .
' Who are those guys ' my wife naggingly asked me . She can't recognized anyone of the new Raptors as the camera focused on them as each one trooped to the free throw line . ' That's Kris Humpries . He replaced Hoffa ' I answered . Next was Fred Jones . ' He came from Indiana ' I told her as the former Pacer readied his foul shot . ' That big man is Slokar ' I responded the 3rd time. Then I realized that's what is going to face most Raptors followers seeing the team for the 1st time . It's freshman introduction day . By the way , all 3 played beautifully . Humpries was a tower in rebound ( 16 pts. , 9 reb. ) , Jones ( 22 pts., 3 reb. ) was a scoring machine and had 3 block shots and Slokar ( 6 pts.,7 reb. ) was a sweet surprise playing like a veteran . Cool and effective .
I saw coach Mitchell smiling a lot last night . No more 14 game losing streak at the start of the season .No more slow start . Only Slokar !
Slokar: At least I own a car .
Unlike Bonehead Bonner !

Friday, October 20

The Raptors' 2nd Unit or Whatever Chuck Calls It.

It's another win by the Raptors last night as they walloped the team that beat them last year , Maccabi Tel Aviv . After a tight 1st half punctuated by double digit turnovers by the local team , the Raps put their 2nd unit to work for a 118-84 victory. ' We should give a name this 2nd unit ' suggested Jack Armstrong , the other half of the TV team . ' Good idea, Jack . I'll think about it in the coming days ' answered Chuck Swirsky , the face of Raptors TV . I bet today Chuck will start getting some names from listeners of his radio show and viewers of The Chuck Swirsky Show . I think it's lame . The 2nd unit composed of Jones , rookies Bargnani and Garbajosa , PG Jose Calderon and Joey Graham has not proven they can do the job consistenly. It's not the regular season guys and we're not even sure of coach Sam Mitchell's final rotation !
Last season , Chuck gave rookie Joey Graham the non de guerre Golden Graham . It turns out his performance last season was far from golden . Chuck is better off giving Graham his ' name ' now . The dude is playing great lately . ' It's his 2nd year now . He learned a lot during his rookie year ' said Armstrong. Graham has some spectacular dunks last night scoring in double figures. Memo to Chuck : Joey is a pilot who is fond of a flying plane like the departed Yankee Liddle . Couple that with his high flying acts in the court , you cannot go wrong with a nom de guerre for Graham if you base it on these facts .
The Chuck calls Kris Humpries and TJ Tucker Hammer and Nail respectively . Weird . But please stop calling Jorge Garbajosa the Great Garbo as you did last night. The guy is anything but elegant .He is a hardnose type of a player . Mr. Swirsky , if you want to make this a play on his name , do it . Call him the Garbage Man or some other names but that . Or else I will call you Suck , Chuck !

Garbo : Chuck , If you continue using
the Great Garbo name , I will pull your hair. !

Wednesday, October 18

Tall Tales

The past week , I came across 2 special athletes on cable TV . The are both exteremely tall . One chose to play basketball ( naturally ) while the other picked the profession of boxing . Sun Ming Ming is a very tall dude at 7'9'' . He looks more agile than the Rockets' Yao Ming even demonstrating behind the back, under the legs dribbles in Best Damn Sports Show .When John Salley stood back to back with Sun , he clearly is taller by a foot ! Salley is listed as 6'11 (?). Sun's shooting form is great . It's better than Shaq as he demostrated when the hosts of the show asked him to shoot from a makeshift court . Will he make it to the NBA ? Of course . Mike Breen in last night televised Knicks - Celtics game said that today's teams will gamble on ' suspect centers ' and pronounced them as ' projects ' . One thing about Sun , he is not dry like Yao , personality wise. Although Shaq said that that Yao is a funny man behind the camera . Sun seems like a funny guy whether on and off the camera . Let's hope though he plays serious ball !
Now let's talk about the heavyweight champion of the world -Nikolai Valuev. A former baller who switched to boxing ( thank God ) , Valuev is not a gentle giant by any means . Valuev is built like a Russian tank . ' He reminds me of Andre The Giant ' opined Larry Merchant , the HBO boxing expert. He reminds me of the giant in Jack and the Beanstalk . Scary . Valuev disposed of his ooponent by TKO. His trainer thinks he's probably 7'3'' ( 378 lbs.) but listed Valuev only as a 7 footer ' so as not to scare the people '. His head is enormous . Like that of former Trailblazer now retired Sabonis . 'When Sabonis rests his head on you , you're gone . It's huge . said one NBA player. Sabonis' face is agreeable but Valuev .... let's agree that it's for extreme makeover !

Valuev : Mike Tyson ,
I will eat you & your children !

Monday, October 16

Will the New Raptors Save Mitchell's Job ?

Exciting basketball ! Should I say , exciting pre season basketball . The new Raptors registered its 3rd straight victory beating the New Jersey Nets , 119- 110. I know its only pre season but in the past , the team fared badly at this stage of the game . Everybody seems to be contributing to each victory . Yesterday's game , it was TJ Tucker and Kris Humphries . TJ shot 6 of 7 shots while Humphries had a double double .

You can feel the crowd was very much into the game . Why not ? They sensed they have a winner this season . All are forgotten when you win . Athletes know that .The latest to utter these words was Dallas Cowboy's Drew Brees after his team's victory over the Texans . Very true in the case of coach Mitchell. Now nobody talks about replacing coach Sam Mitchell , voted the worst coach in the NBA last season . If the Raptors continue their winning ways in this coming regular season , Sam may win the coach of the year award . I knew there is some Pat Riley in coach Sam . Aside from the fancy suits !

Coach Sam
: I need a raise .
These suits cost too much !

Friday, October 13

Jorge Is One Tough Hombre .

Of all the new Raptors , one stands out from them all . Jorge Garbajosa is showing why he was personally picked by Assistant GM Maurico Gherardini to add toughness to the Raptors line up . ' Jorge is not afraid to fight anybody of his size ' said Gherardini who was GM of Benetton Treviso when JG played for the Euro team in 2001-04. In the 1st two pre season games , Garbajosa was unspectacular but very effective . His 2 successive 3 points shots in the waning minutes of the game vs. the Celtics last Wednesday were impressive . The man has ice in his veins . Garbajosa has solidified his hold on one of the starting spots . He was in the starting line up and was there to finish the game .
The 28 year old rookie from Spain , who was named in the all tournament team of the recently concluded FIBA World Basketball Championships , reminds Raptors fans of former Raptor - Charles Oakley . Less the wayward behind the back passes , of course . Just like Oak , he has a strong presence under the board . Oak was not a high jumper even in his early days as the rebound king of the NBA. ' Charles uses positional advantage to corral the rebounds stated one scouting report. Garbajosa works the same way . Another Oak - Jorge similarity is the role as the team's enforcer . ' He'll protect the younger guys on the team' said Gherardini of Garbajosa . Garbajosa even have Oak's scruggly look . Chris Bosh , Bargnani , Calderon , MoPete all sport facial hairs .
The Raptors have been transformed from a soft team to a tough one . At least in looks !

: Tough my ass ! They look
like contestants in ' Survivors '

Wednesday, October 11

76ers Blast CSKA

The Philadelphia 76ers beat CSKA , 85-71 to wind up on top of the 4 team mini tournament . Yesterday , the Allan Iverson led team nosed out the Phoenix Suns . Maccabi Tel Aviv was the 4th team . The victory salvaged some pride for the NBAers after the losses suffered by the LA Clippers to CSKA in an exhibition match last week and of course , Philadelphia's surprise defeat to FC Barcelona in another exhibition match. The Sixers limited their opponents to a low shooting percentage . Dalembert has 5 blocks aside from registering a double double in points and rebounds as he totally dominated the middle.
So talk about the NBA coaches ' lack of techniques ' as said by one European coach is rubbish. It is acknowledged that European teams or the rest of the world's basketball knowhow has improved . But to say that US basketball is declining is erroneous . One has to note the Euro teams carry American players . In fact , CKSA has 3 starters who are American - Holden , Langdon and Vanderpool. ' Top CSKA player , Papalokaus earns 5 million a year ' said ESPN Analyst Bill Walton of the CKSA forward/guard . ' That's about 1/5 of what Sixer Chris Webber earns ' he added . That's a big difference . No wonder most Euro players aspire to be in the NBA even if they end up as back ups . Like Sarunas Jasikevicius of Indiana Pacers.

Thursday, October 5

Thank God For NBA TV

At last NBA fans have their 1st glimpse of NBA basketball this season . As of this writing , the game between the 76ers and FC Barcelona is going on . The score is tied at halftime , 51 all. It's an interesting game and surely fans in Spain are enjoying the game . I noticed that a lot of Spanish players shoot the ball from the outside like Garbajosa . Hmmmm. Must be standard for them. There's one NBA player in the FC Barcelona line up . Remember Magic's Mario Kasun . Kasun is stll a stiff although over in Spain they call him 'El Stppo' I guess .There's also Magic draftee Fran Vasquez . He looks OK but he's right to 'season' himself for a few more years before jumping to the NBA. I like the Sixers new uniform . Looks cool . Maybe the team will do better this season . Their 'bigs' look sharp . Sam Dalembert and Hunter appear ready to play this season . Let's see . Later today , NBA TV will show the game between San Antonio Spurs and another European team as part of NBA Europe Live. I'm glad there is NBA TV ! Muchos gracias .

**update** The Sixers lost to FCB becoming the 1st NBA tean to lose in Europe

Kasun : El Stippo ?