The Toronto Raptors Blog with an Arsenal touch

Mo Pete showcase: Raps beat Kings

Posted by Arsenalist on January 18, 2007

I remember when Shareef Abdur-Rahim was the cornerstone of the Grizzlies franchise. The Naismith Cup battles tore the country apart and Shareef was at the center of it all. But he never got good, he remained a slightly above average player who had the tools but not the dedication or the work ethic to take it to the next level. You would think that a man of his offensive talents just needs some decent coaching to get him over the top but that hasn’t been the case. Despite having a pretty pathetic defensive game, his offensive skill-set more than made up for it – he’s a good jump shooter, has a nice post-up game and good finishing skills. But all that didn’t amount to anything and the four teams that gave him a shot have all been disappointed with his overall performance as a go-to guy and a fourth quarter performer. Anytime the Raptors played the Hawks and the fourth quarter rolled around, Leo Rautins would pull out the old, “Remember, Abdur-Rahim has difficulty playing in the fourth quarter”, which always killed me because Shareef hadn’t even taken a shot yet.

Shareef and the Kings came in to Toronto losers of six straight and extended that streak by one. A spirited affair for three quarters where no team got a big enough lead to feel comfortable, but the fourth quarter was all Raptors as the wheels came off the Kings and they outscored them 33-16 to take it 101-85. The Raptors opened the fourth quarter with a 21-8 run which put this one to bed. Mo Pete worked his way back into Sam Mitchell’s good graces by going 8-11 FG’s for 22 points and capping off that fourth quarter run with a big three. Mo Pete’s Detroit trade rumour just won’t go away and where there’s so much smoke, there’s fire. I hope the Raptors don’t trade him and keep him on for two reasons:

  1. We actually need him on the team given the current form of Fred Jones and the erratic second year man Joey Graham. He provides a great outside threat and moves well off the ball, keeping defenses guessing. He’s also a solid defensive player which can help a team making a push for the playoffs. Him and Calderon constitute our bench and are the core reason the Raptors have depth. There’s a good reason Detroit wants him. I wouldn’t do a McDyess or Nazr for Peterson deal because we would be giving up too much.
  2. I’d like to see him retire as a Raptor.

It’s good to see Jose Calderon get no respect from opposing coaches and PG’s who simply don’t recognize his ability to use a pick and drive to the rim. Calderon (11, 9) outplayed the Mike Bibby the entire game and continued to attack the rim after using high screens while the Kings simply watched. I wonder if it’s the name that fools them, I mean Calderon sure doesn’t sound like a great NBA name and maybe teams fast forward his portion of the game tapes. Whatever it is, it’s working for Jose and hopefully teams never catch up to him or give him credit for his talent. It only stands to work in the Raptors’ favor.

With the win the Raptors are 19-21 and 0.001 percentage points ahead of New Jersey (18-20) for the division lead. Up next are Jerry Sloan and Utah Jazz who are always a pleasure to watch.

Here’s the highlights from YouTube courtesy of Chasin from RealGM:

Game in a Flash

4th Quarter

Chris Bosh

Morris Peterson

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