Friday, May 18

Sam , Latest Member Of The Raptors Mafia ?

The news is that Sam Mitchell will accept a $ 12 million / 3 years guaranteed contact . It's less than what was rumored to be Sam's asking price and guaranteed years as I posted in my blog last Tuesday. This will give BC some wiggle room in case Sam performs like 2006 Coach Of The Year and the Dallas Mavericks coach, Avery Johnson . The only reason why AJ is still at the helm of Mark Cuban's team is because the Mavs' excellent regular season record. Half of the Raptors fans have some sort of consolation with the less number of years guaranteed . That means tightwad MLSE will not hesitate to fire and pay Sam. Sam , despite his accomplishments this season , has many doubters in the Raps' camp too. Some say Assistant Manager Mauricio Gherardini is silently 'pushing' for fellow Italian Ettore Messina , the CSKA (Russia) coach. Messina , a multi titled coach in the European League , was once Gehardini's coach when he was managing the Italian club, Benetton Treviso. The 1st thing Sam Mitchell has to do is Italianized his name to Sam Michellin as I suggested earlier this season . Sam needs that to be a bonafide member of the Raptors Mafia (see above photo).
Sam is known as Mr.Grouchy by members of the Toronto media. Sam is always quick to censure a reporter or to throw the question back to the one asking him the question or just simply brush aside a question he thinks is stupid . However , he credited the TO media in the press con right after the NBA announced him as the COY awardee this season . Good strategy by Sam . TO media needs tough love to put the ascerbic TO press in place. The press will screw you eventually anyway . Better do the screwing first. Yeh , Sam needs to bully the press whenever or whatever. Come to think of it , why not a tougher name for Sam . A better complete name for Sam is Sammy ' The Bull ' Michellin !
Sam : WTF . You named me after Sammy 'The Bull' Gravano. I'm Smitch not a snitch. I prefer Dapper Sam !

Tuesday, May 15

Low ball , Smallball And Boxingball

As expected , Bryan Colangelo offered Sam Mitchell a lower figure than what Sam was reportedly asking . Sam was rumored to be wanting $18 million for 4 years while the Raptors' offer was reportedly for $ 12 million for 3 years only. Whar surprised me was how come the Raptors' low balling of Sam was made public or leaked . It only means that BC is making sure the fans know that if Sam refused the offer , it's Sam's fault. That Sam will viewed as 'greedy' . The same tactic as BC used in Mike James' case. BC have no intention of keeping James but he went thriough the motions just to make sure the fans know that he tried. A proven GM tactic .
If Sam won't sign and Marc Iavaroni is not available or is too 'pricey' , there is always Assistant coach Alex English . The guy has paid his dues so to speak. English served as the assistant coach for 2 other NBA teams aside from the Toronto Raptors. He acted as the head coach in the D league for one season but most of all , the former NBA high scorer knows smallball being a former member of coach Doug Moe's Denver Nuggets. Small ball or Nellieball or run and gun basketball or whatever term in the English language you want to call it , Alex English has played it.
Playoff basketball is intense. ' I love playoff basketball ' said Magic Johnson who was at the Nets-Cavs game last night. The Magicman was a veteran of intense playoff battles. ' It's not the same as the Celts-Lakers playoff games ' . Yup. Those games were brutal. ' It just a love tap ' said TNT's Dick Stockton of the flagrant foul committed by Net Mickey Moore on Cav Pavlovich . Basketball fights or boxing ball were normal in the playoffs then.

Wednesday, May 9

Will The Raps Try SmallBall Again Next Season ?

Bryan Colangelo is a believer in smallball for sure. I think BC will reinstitute the syatem again once the new season starts. The Raptors abandoned smallball after a disastrous start this season . Why is it important for the Raps to play the run and gun style of basketball ? It's the only hope for success for a team without a dominating big man like Toronto. Phoenix is able to thrive up to now even though their biggest dude is 6'9'' Amare Stoudamaire. This season , the Suns are expected to capture the Western Conference title ( the Suns are currently tied with the Spurs , 1-1 ) and then the NBA crown . Now, there is the Golden State Warriors playing it's own version of smallball called Nellieball . Warrior coach Nelson calls it 'organized chaos' but it's so entertaining it's like watching a Charlie Chaplin movie.You know that in the end, things will end up alright. Ask Baron Davis and also the Dallas Mavericks. I watched game 1 of the Warriors-Mavs 1st round series and since then I'm hooked to Nellieball. It's a lot cheaper than powerball lotto too !
Unless the Raptors get 7'0'" Greg Oden or even just the 7'2" Roy Hilbert soon , they cannot compete for the NBA crown . Without a 1st round draft choice next season , their only hope is to acquire a European version of Shaq. Don't even think about the Greek baby Shaq. He's more like Shaq when the Big Aristotle was 14 years old. Too short. European big men are either too thin (Polands's Cezare Tzabanski) , too slow (Slovak's Rasho Nesteravich) , likes to play outside (Andrea Bargnani) or likes to play possum when Vince Carter dunks like in the Sydney Olympics (France's 7'2" Frederick Weiss). That's why I think there a chance that Sam Mitchell will go to make room for Suns' Assistant coach Marc Iavaroni. BC will low ball Sam in the hope that he will refuse the Raptors' offer and accept a higher one from another team. BC , then will get his 1st choice , Marc Iavaroni. MI knows how to implement smallball. BC hopes MI knows how to accept smallsalary too !

Marc : Wow ! The Raptors top guys will be all Italians - Colangelo, Gheradini , Iavaroni. Arrevadechi , Raptornini !

Monday, May 7

5 Reasons Why The Raps Lost Game 6 And The Series.

No.5 Net Richard
Jefferson suddenly
discovered he got a
left hand . Now , RJ
talks to his left hand
all the time !

No. 4 The Raptors found
out too late that they are
not battling the Golden
State Warriors in Oracle
Arena but in not sold out
Continental Airlines
Arena with all the noise
coming from Nets part
owner Jay-Z's mix tape !

No. 3 Jersey's Tony
Soprano was in CCA
that night and he gave
the Raptors an offer
they cannot refuse !

N0 .2 The Producers
of the movie ' Dreamgirls '
ordered TJ Ford ,Chris
Bosh and coach Sam
Mitchell to report asap
on the set and start the
shooting of the sequel
of the movie to be titled
' Dreamboys '!

No. 1 The Raptors don't
want to go home and play
game 7 'cuz they are tired
of hearing 20,000 fans
shout ' Vince Sucks'
again and again .

Thursday, May 3

Expect The Raps To Play Physical . Order From The Top.

Yes sir. Finally the series will turn ugly. OK . Not really ugly but Betty ugly as the NBA is strict nowadays. It is going to be 1/2 of how Eastside Story was in the old days. You know . The days of the Knicks and Heat complete with Jeff Van Gundy hugging Zo's leg (photo on the right). The days of No Harm, No Foul , the Jordan Rules , Rileyball and Detroit Bad Boys. Say what you like about the past 6 games , but these were more like beauty pageant .Yes, the 1st 2 games were low scoring but not because of scrapping and grappling. There were none of that . Today , the East play the finesse game. If you like physical basketball , one can find it in the Warriors-Mavs series. The players of both teams don't like each other according to Matt Barmes of Golden State. Like in game 5 , Jason Terry of the Mavs grappled with Warrior guard par excellence Baron Davis causing the latter's head to hit the floor.Every game in that series is like watching 2 pitt bulls fighting. In the Nets-Raps series , it's like 2 pitt bulls battling . Two stuffed toy pitt bulls. Soft .
Game 6 will be different if you are to believe Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo's statement to the press . First , BC said he had the whole team listen to Papa Bear Wayne Embry. The old time ex NBAer spoke to the Raps of his times as a former member of the Cincinati Royals and how they repelled the Barbarians at the gate during the medieval age. Kidding. Actually , Mr. Embry told the young Raps that there are many teams who came from behind in the past and won. Like the Celts during the time of Hondo Havlicek , he told the Raps. Then , Bryan said the team must play physical if they hope to win . You hear that Sam . The team should match their fans hatred for VC , RJ and to some degree J Kidd with some physical plays. Go to the Swamp and whack 'em Jersey boys . After all , Tony Soprano won't be there. The taping of the series finale was long time finito !

Wednesday, May 2

It's Just Right That There's Another Game !

So the Raptors are still alive. It's only fair , right ? The Raptors' last 2 games prior to yesteday's left a bad taste in the mouths of many Torontonians. These also put coach Sam Mitchell's Coach Of The Year award in question. Like Dirk Nowitzki's forthcoming MVP award ! . So , game 6 in New Jersey will give the Raps , Chris Bosh and Sam Mitchell a chance to redeem themselves. That the Toronto dribblers can beat the Nets in the Swamp . That Chris Bosh can beat the duo of Mickey Moore and Jason Collins . (I bet Bosh thinks that Moore is Jason's twin brother) . That Sam can beat the rap that he is not a good playoff coach. These are the things that needs another game to straighten out. Vince Carter with his 30 point game last night has erased the TO jink laid against him . Despite the louder than before ' Vince sucks' chants by thousands of Raptors fans yesterday, VC found his game. Should there be a game 7 , a lot of ACC fans will go home deaf and hoarse for a few days.
Friday will be huge. All other 1st round playoff series in the Eastern Conference is over . Shut out all. Bulls over Heat , 4-0. Cavs over Wiz , 4-0 . Pistons over Magic , 4-0. Only the Nets-Raptors playoff series at 3-2 is left for settlement. The Western Conference playoffs however are a different story. No series over there is done yet. So , that's another reason why the Nets and the Raps should play again. To salvage in Eastern pride. So , Sam wants it. Bosh wants it. The Raps want it. The NBA wants it. Oooops , I forgot one other important reason for playing game 6. I want it . I want to see and hear a drunk Bruce Willis say Yippie-ki-yay motherfucker again !

Willis : Next time , I'll clean up my language. Instead of saying yippie-ki-yay motherfucker , I'll just say motherfucker !

Tuesday, May 1

What Can Fans Do To Discombulate The Nets Tonight ?

1. Pre cut the net so that when VC does his pre game ritual ( photo ) , he will fall and break his leg !

2. Invite Vince's ex wife and place her behind the Raptors bench wearing a red shirt with the print 'I Love Andrea ' .

3. Have Duke rowdy fans , jeering , I mean , cheering squad and band to make noise .

4. Ask Joama Kidd to come in the game tonite in her 2 pc. suit she wore in that SI photo with Jason.

5. All 20,000 fans should come in police uniforms carrying signs with with a mug shot of Kidd .

6. Throw bat ears in the court when Richard Jefferson is introduced. At halftime , ask Dino , the Mascot to bite the ear of the Nets' mascot !

What Will VC Do ?

WWVCD ? Is Vince Carter going to destroy the Raptors in front of an angry ACC crowd ? Will VC stick it to the bewildered fans like he did when he sank that last second 3 point shot resulting in a Nets' win in the regular season ? Maybe Vince will be gentle to the Raptors . Maybe. ' Vince will find another gear ' said his partner in crime , Jason Kidd. Despite Nets' coach Lawrence Frank it the game is not all about Vince , as far as some folks in TO are concern , it's Vince. Yes , Jason Kidd or Richard Jefferson or both can beat their beloved team , but not Vinsanity or they will go insane ! The Nets deadly duo will have none of that though. ' We're just trying to make plays for ourselves , but also each other '. Carter said . ' We feed off each other. We play well off each other '. Typical of Vince . Not like TMac who brashly said to ESPN's Stephen Smith that he is the Man in Houston. Not big man Yao or not the 2 of them . Just he alone. That if the Rockets don't make it to the 2nd round ( they lead the Jazz, 3-2 ) , blame TMac !. TMac Did not say he'll return part of his enormous salary if the team fail !
The Raptors are not giving up without a fight. ' It can be done ' said 'ol man Wayne Embry , the team's VP. Mo Pete said they will prove their critics wrong . Let's see. The Phoenix Suns did it against the Lakers last season . They is only one thing that the Suns have that the Raptors don't have . The Suns have Raja Bell. The Raptors don't have anyone gutsy enough the clothesline VC like Bell did to Kobe in game 5 of the series won by the former team of now Raptors GM , Bryan Colangelo. So WWVCD ? Hang his suit so it will look good for the post game conference that's what !