The Toronto Raptors Blog with an Arsenal touch

Raps/Nets Game 5: Where would we be without Calderon?

Posted by Arsenalist on May 2, 2007

vince carter wnba mvp t-shirt
Greatest T-Shirt Ever

If this game is two minutes longer, we lose. TJ Ford gets plowed by Vince early on and is forced to leave, and as inhumane as it sounds and I’ll probably go to hell for it, it was the best thing to happen to the Raps. After he threw his first quarter pass in the second row everybody in the arena was like here we go again. His injury plus the unproductive Bosh picking up early fouls meant our theoretical two best players are out of the game. Great! They’ve been stinking it up anyways. Enter Calderon and Bargnani who light up the first quarter from inside and out to put the Raps up 20 by the end of the first. From then on the Nets kept on shaving the lead at a steady mathematical rate with Calderon, Parker and Mo Pete providing just enough buffer to last the 48 minutes. When Nachbar launched that final three to win it, here’s what went through my mind: Oh shit, he’s already missed one game-winner plus he’s been off tonight so the law of averages is about to catch up to us and he’s about to put the final nail in the coffin and I might just have a coronary. Luckily he missed.

vince carter quitter jersey
Quitter Carter

The Let’s Go Raptors, VC Sucks chants work. I have no doubt about it. Every time he’s on the line and the chant is on, he invariably goes 1 for 2. He missed 4 free throws today and we won by 2. How’s that for proof? VC hit some ridiculous shots to bring the Nets back and even though he struggled early, he found his way around Mo Pete and Parker’s inspirational defense. Mo Pete hit 3 massive treys to keep the Nets at bay, all three came at crucial times. Nobody still has any clue why Mo Pete was glued to the deep end of the bench for so long by Mitchell, this guy is a veteran who plays with passion even when he’s playing five minutes a game. Mo Pete came up big for us tonight and without him we would’ve lost. The best part is he kept it simple, nothing was forced and when his shots come naturally, he’s deadly.

The funny part about the VC Sucks chant is that it starts completely randomly when he’s not even involved in a play, or even when there’s a complete stoppage of play, like here:

Here’s a great Let’s Go Raptors, VC Sucks chant from the live broadcast:

Some thoughts about SuperFan. He was sitting next to Milt again and I don’t mind that but he wasn’t cheering at all. It was like he didn’t want to offend Milt Palacio by cheering for the Raps. I don’t care either way but c’mon man, wear some red or even wave the freaking free towel they handed out at the game.

superfan nav bhatia vince carter mother
SuperFan looked pretty cozy sitting next to Vince’s mom

I am shit scared of Boki Nachbar. This guy is the X Factor of all X Factors, it doesn’t matter what Vince does, if we keep Nachbar and his outside shooting and drives in check, we can contain the Nets. Vince is not our primary defensive concern, it’s the combination of Nachbar and Jefferson that kill us. Jefferson is just attracted to the rim anytime he’s playing us, we must keep him on the perimeter to contain him and today we did a decent job of that. The Raptors decided to just switch on perimeter screens rather than fight through them which was great because it didn’t’ allow the Nets to drive as much since the lane was clogged immediately after the screen. Give Smitch some credit for switching the lineup and bringing in Peterson and Bargnani for Nesterovic and Graham, going small equals going mobile and the Raps were much better getting back on defense. The start sparked Bargnani who had his first good game of the series, maybe his legs are coming back but if he plays like this in Game 6, my moneys on the Raptors.

halftime entertainment wtf
What the f**k is up with the halftime entertainment?

Jose Calderon needs to play 40 minutes in Game 6 and Chris Bosh finally needs to have a decent game on the road. The recipe for success is that simple, we can’t rely on Bargnani and Mo Pete to have great games again, although both are capable, anything they give should be considered a bonus of sorts – it’s upto Bosh to make something happen. This was the third game in a row where he did nothing of consequence and if it hadn’t been for him making 3 of 4 FTs in this game, everybody would be ripping him for costing us the game. Butch Carter said Bosh is a “fake all-star”, this is the time where you prove your critics wrong. CB4 needs to do that now!

sam mitchell lawrence frank
Sam Mitchell’s out-of-timeout plays pale in comparison to his counterparts

Out of timeout plays. It’s this simple: Sam Mitchell’s suck while Lawrence Frank’s rule. I was paying attention to this, the Nets always got a good quick shot coming out of a timeout while the Raptors struggled. It was for this reason that I hated the Mitchell timeout during the Nets’ final run. Calderon was stripped off the ball and we were lucky it didn’t kill us. I was hoping to catch video proof of this but Sam actually one-upped me:

I know it’s sick of me but I wanted some free pizza and was starting to think if the Nets actually tied the game and sent it to overtime, maybe it wasn’t all that bad.

worthless ticket
The Raps didn’t score a 100 points so this ticket is worthless

The question is whether to take a flight to New Jersey or not? The answer is I need to sleep over this and see what the financial situation is and whether the Raptors have a legitimate chance of winning. I’m pretty sure of the latter. Here are the final minutes as seen from Section 102, Row 11, Seat 2.

Don’t forget, Chasin – unofficial Raptors MVP – has got the highlights. More discussion of this post here.


16 Responses to “Raps/Nets Game 5: Where would we be without Calderon?”

  1. Anthony said

    LOL…Smitch actually drew something useful up. Great post.

  2. David Moro said

    I think you’re being a bit hard on the Smitch. We were able to defend and board against Vince and Kidd minus Jefferson in all ther regular season games–although Bosh did struggle to score both times. Yeah, we knew it was the playoffs–but Jersey didn’t come out exactly blazing early on, either.

    The thing is, Jefferson has come in a man either pissed off or possessed (perhaps both, given his mouth this series) and his ability to drive has caused multiple paths of opportunity for Jersey to swing to open shooters–either Kidd, nachbar, or even Carter on back picks. Frig, we almost won game 1 anyways. Most people expected this biatch to be injured or at 75-80% this series…guess not.

    First game, it was mainly Jefferson on open jumpers and layups, so we adjusted in game two to Kidd’s outlets and kept RGay on the perimeter.

    Knowing this would kill them, Jersey decided to drive Jefferson rather than Carter and weakened an already scrambly perimeter D. Trying to show confidence in his weakened crew, the Smitch decides to try to let them step and “play better” in terms of energy after the game 3 debacle–but he learns it wasn’t about effort–it was about a lack of foot speed. But he doesn’t want to get killed on the O’boards, so he tries Bargs.

    That works better offensively but defensively rasho gets Rashowned by Mikki Moore when he steps up to help. He is too slow to rebound, even J Kidd is outrebounding him. He also slows the O down and lets the nets cheat almost 3 to 1 on Bosh because Ford and Calderon don’t shoot well enough to make them pay. Rasho is not athletic enough to recover on back screen lobs, which the nets execute at will in Game 4.

    Finally, Mitchell says, F this. We need to go small or they are going to run us out of the gym. Yeah, we all mentioned Peterson going in for Joey, but that wasn’t really the main problem (not that it wasn’t “A” problem)–the main difficulty was that the half the starting lineup was too slow, small (Ford) or bad (Joey) for us against the Nets. Hell, Rasho’s numbers weren’t THAT bad.

    Now, when/if we play Chiacgo, he’ll be invaluable. But right now Milkki Moore is owning him because he can’t jump.

    Cut Smitch some slack, not all of the play so far is his fault. To be honest, as you say, it falls in the lap of the new Franchise–Chris Bosh–to be better and stronger period.

  3. Electrik said

    Dave man, I think you’re giving Mitchell a little too much credit here. I think you’re done more analysis on this series than Mitchell in your post.

    I’ll give Smitch credit, he went small because of Rasho. That was a good move. Still, offensively we are shot. The only movement we have is freestyled by Calderon.

  4. Jermaine said

    Dave, no one is gonna read all that shit, nukka.

  5. Pussy said

    Superfan sucks. Superfan is a Vince fan

    He doesn’t deserve that title

  6. VC i will do your mom said

    superfan sucks he no longer is super fan, hes a traitor…this is when the real fans show up and he’s not even cheering on the team he’s sitting with the enemy just trying to get some from vince’s mom…super fan is nasssttyyy. or maybe he wants to do vince’s mom so he can tell vince that he screwed his mom and made her wear a raptors jersey while he did it.
    if he does that then I will give him his title back as super fan.

  7. True superfan said

    Indian seikh guy is a jerk he should probably go watch cricket, he is no superfan

    I am the true superfan! I have only one love and thats the raptors.

  8. Raps Fan said

    I agree with Jermaine, in that David did more analysis than Michell has. lol. that being said, your analysis is valid, BUT, the problem is that Mitchell keeps on getting trumped by Frank. Assessing risk, and laying strategy require an excercise in ‘what if’. mitchell is making his adjustments, but not anticipating franks adjustments in response. he got lucky last night because the nets ran out of time. but had they been able to start that run a bit earlier, the raptors would have lost, and speculation about the next head coach would have begun.

  9. sarah said

    mo pete killed it. i thought that when he fouled out, and if the raps lost the game, how sad it would be for him cause that could have been his last game in a raptor’s uniform.

    he stepped up when we needed him. and he schooled vince!

    if he’s traded, he’ll still be loved when he comes back, right? no way will the fans yell ‘mo pete sucks’

  10. arsenalist said

    What do you mean Mo Pete “killed it”?

    I don’t think anybody will ever boo Mo Pete. He’s in the same category as Alvin Williams when it comes to respect.

  11. Raps Fan said

    am i the only person who isnt a big alvin williams fan? the guy was good, and hit some big shots, but wasnt this demi-god everyone is making him out to be.

    i hope mopete doesnt get bood, that would be effed up!

  12. sarah said

    i mean he did well, when he didn’t play his best the whole season. 17 points is really good, and defending vince the whole way through, to where vince didn’t get much least in the first half he didn’t.

    he can’t stop vince from scoring all the time, but good job still..funniest part: him losing his shoe, and still trying to defend a net player. very funny.

  13. darren said

    theres so many ifs…but i’d say the Nets don’t deserve to lose, they schooled you guys in the second half.

    the part where the let’s go raptors VC sucks chant was going on, i had to mute my tele because it was too deafening.

  14. sarah said

    if the nets really wanted to win, they would have got the 3 pointer to win the game, so they didn’t deserve to win.

    let’s just face it, if vince couldn’t play for some reason, there is no way that the nets could win, however, if Chris Bosh, toronto’s best player couldn’t play, Toronto would still win…look at his numbers during this series..Chris is constantly being outperformed so obviously Toronto has a stronger, deeper team and bench than the nets do.

    hopefully he will step up and fight through those double teams and get 30 points! go chris bosh!

  15. arsenalist said

    Raps Fan, I’m a fan of him as a person and as a competitor, not a starting NBA PG.

  16. anayely said


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