The Toronto Raptors Blog with an Arsenal touch

Chris Kaman on suicide watch as Raptors win in LA

Posted by Arsenalist on December 19, 2007

Toronto Raptors 80, LA Clippers 77

I love these West coast games, no better way to spend a late night watching the Raptors, drinking tea and eating almonds until blisters start popping on the roof of your mouth. Who cares if it’s 1:30AM and that you have a FT job to go to, I might even have to kill off another uncle and sleep this one out. But enough about that, we have a real problem on our hands: Chris Kaman is on suicide watch after being annoyed to extreme levels by the defensive wall that is Rasho Nesterovic. Yes, Rasho the much-maligned soft-Euro that begs to be judged by the “little things he does on the floor” frustrated the petulant Chris Kaman into a total of two second half points as the Raptors started off their 7-game West coast swing off with a must-win win against a depleted Clippers side that put up a fight that most of us didn’t see coming.

The story of the game was the Raptors second half defense which looked similar to the one deployed in Indiana – crowd the paint and scramble back to the perimeter players if the pass out of the double-team is made (a weak zone almost). It wasn’t until the second half that the Raptors realized that save Richie Frahm the Clippers don’t have a single player that can be counted on to knock down an open jumper. Once you get Corey Maggette and Al Thornton taking perimeter shots (contested or not), the game is half won. Now you might look at the scoreboard and say, “Hey Arsenalist, we only won by 3 points so stop ripping on the Clips” and I’d say that even though this was a three point game, this game was ours to be had midway through the third when said defensive adjustments were made. If it weren’t for our reeking offense and Anthony Parker trying to do everything wrong and succeeding we’d end up winning this game by 15-20 points. The luxury of PVR is that you can rewind and investigate just exactly how that shooter was left so wide open. Turns out Anthony Parker’s often late getting back to his man and gets caught up in screens way too easily (Aaah! Ray Allen flashback!).

Aside to Chris Bosh: You can blow by Kaman anytime you want. You can post-up and lean into Tim Thomas at will. There is no reason for you to be taking jumpers let alone fadeaways and bailing the Clippers out. Thank the lucky star Procyon that Bosh drove to the rim just enough times to get himself 16 FT attempts of which he converted 12 and thus bailed out the 37.5% shooting Raptors. Against a better team we lose this game because they’d convert more offensive opportunities, the paper clips scored 28 points in the entire second half and all the credit can’t go to our defense, they are decimated by injuries.

No Raptor fan wants Andrea Bargnani to succeed more than me so I almost choked on an almond when he hit his first three, I took it as a sign of him coming out of the pitiable slump that he’s in. But the only highlights that followed after that was a nice pass to a cutting Humphries and a block on the 48-year old Tim Thomas. Sandwiched in there were about 5 ill-advised shots and a rejection at the hands of CK35 (fragrance for white men with thinning hair). At least he hit a shot and wasn’t a complete embarrassment, it’s a step up and I’ll gladly take it. Hopefully tomorrow he can make say three shots and not get rejected. Fingers crossed. Aside to Bargnani: The pump fake doesn’t work if the man is already in your face, he’s not going to bite because he wants you to take that contested shot from 22ft. You pump fake when you want the defender to come closer to you or you want him to jump in the air so you can drive by him. In your case the defender is challenging you to drive thus your pump fake redundant.

chuck swirsky cheerleader chimney la clippers raptors
I can’t blame Chuck Swirsky

What do you guys think of this? I agree with Chuck Swirsky and his wish of something like that popping down my chimney. But Leo Rautins couldn’t just let a joke be a joke and kept harping on it for the rest of the broadcast. Leo, we know you’d tap that ass in a heartbeat so stop giving the Swirsk a hard time about a harmless comment you abrasive prick. But don’t say this blog is all about bile because Leo did call it early that if Bosh went to the line 15 times we’d win this game, he was right. Not a tough call to make by any means but at least he made it.

Jamario Moon won his matchup with Corey Maggette and got a block for the Xth game in a row (the only thing more impressive than this stat is DiMaggio’s hitting streak). After playing Maggette tight early and realizing that it wouldn’t work since Maggette is more attracted to the rim that I am to almonds, Moon backed off later on in the game and went under the screens thus conceding the jumper resulting in success. Scouting report stuff really, nothing more. Jose Calderon’s quiet 12/6/9 were punctuated with the game-icing drive on Dan Dickau who I was shocked to see on defense with the game on the line.

There’s a fine line between being a chucker and having confidence and Carlos Delfino crosses over that one about 3 times a game. CD should realize that making a jump shot does not give you a green light to shoot a 24 footer on the next possession. But one can’t criticize him too much because he’s the second hardest working Raptor (Hump43 wins that award – another solid game BTW with an in-traffic rebound that would put Moses Malone to shame) and deserves some leeway when it comes to shot selection. He is the heart of the bench. Surprisingly enough he’s been playing PG and has been very good of late, he can easily spell Calderon about 5-7 minutes.


* We need a better performance against Portland, 37.5% will get us blown out of the Rose Garden.

* I don’t make many predictions but here’s one: Bargnani will have 15+ points tomorrow. He is simply due.

* Without Chris Bosh we are doomed, despite his springers the man is providing key scoring during important stretches in the game.

* Can we do a Quinton Ross for Juan Dixon trade?

* Props to the “Let’s go Clippers, let’s go!” fan.

* I know exactly when D-Mart is about to launch a 20 footer, it’s almost like a sixth sense. He had a nice block and a score on Dickau but as I said I’d rather have Delfino playing the point than him.

* Didn’t see a single celebrity.


Till tomorrow. Get the feed.


18 Responses to “Chris Kaman on suicide watch as Raptors win in LA”

  1. john said

    Great win against the Clippers.

    By the way congrats on beating Chelsea over the weekend.

  2. Max said

    For sure we can’t play like this tomorrow. The Raps defense picked up but if the Clips had better shooters or even if Cassell was playing this easily could’ve been an L. Leo was being an ass towards Chuck but I do respect him calling out CB4 about the jumpers.

  3. Urethra Franklin said

    I noticed Brian Glazer sitting behind the Swirsk & crew and also Brandy (I think) sitting behind the Raps 2nd half defensive basket.

    That one sequence where Bosh scored on a nice drive and hook on TT then hustled back to block Maggette, then Moon reblocks (climbing AP’s back to get the block lol) then the fastbreak with Moon getting the jam was awesome basketball.

  4. Dinosty said

    Leo’s welcome is starting to wear thin…

  5. Crank said

    Didn’t see anybody either but Yahoo photos has this James Cromwell sitting there, this is about as big as a celebrity you’ll see for this one:

  6. nolagunner said

    The hilarious thing is that Rautins is famous in Ontario basketball circles for being a complete dog. He’d bang her, then the one beside her, then the lady in the tracksuit watching.

  7. Raps Fan said

    i actually hate leo more than swirsky. at least swirsky is a nice guy. leo is a strip club troll.

  8. arsenalist said

    nolagunner?? I thought you were an Arsenal fan coming here to check out the highlights, didn’t know you were into the Raps. Cool.

  9. PsychicSpy said

    I see a clear conspiracy. Leo and DMart are working together. They know where the bodies are buried… and are Invincible.

  10. Lopez said

    Leo’s a jerk put Antonio Davis next to the Swirsk!! This game was really hard to watch, but luckily we came out with a win. Carlos Delfino really needs to get better shot selection but other than that his game is solid and after anthony parker’s 0-6(Plus, Back to Back turnovers late in the 4th)performance last night I think he’s earned himself a starting spot! As for Andrea, I really thought after that first 3 that he would get it going but then he back to the same Andrea thats averaging 2.5 points his last 4 games!

  11. damjan said

    I cannot beleive we will let Jose Calderon go this summer for nothing. Maybe a trade? If not I gotta hope we plan on keeping him.

  12. Crank said

    I will be surprised if Calderon is not traded. Can a team afford to tie up 18 million at one position? He’ll demand somewhere between 7-9 million and some team will be willing to pay him that, I don’t see BC matching that offer. As much as it hurts it’s best to trade him in January because I don’t think we can afford to have two expensive PGs.

  13. PsychicSpy said

    Who will be our Nash? A guy who has BIG trade value… but may be one flagrant away from retirement and bricks 3s at a career pace of 0.310. Or a very controlled, zero turnover point that is shooting 3s at 0.444 this year.
    If Nash shot 3s at 0.310 at crunch time… would not Phoenix be toast? One of them has to go. It’s still an open question.

  14. Crank said

    ^^ I don’t want this to turn into a TJ vs. Jose debate. The reason I picked TJ is because he’s already under contract whereas there will be a bidding war for Calderon. Either one is a fine choice to lead this team for the next 4-5 years but I think you’re being harsh on TJ by judging him based on his 3FG stats, I could go on about his quickness and ability to create for others etc and counter those arguments.

  15. Johnn19 said

    Calderon is not going anywhere. He is a RFA and BC will match any offer. Only one or two teams are under the cap and can offer more than the MLE 5.5mil. With TJ’s potential for injury Toronto would be stupid to trade there insurance starter, who is happy being the back-up for the Raptors, and being in Toronto.

  16. coach said

    the clips are back to their old ways —–LOSERS !

  17. damjan said

    i’d feel awfully insecure without him ‘backing up’ tj. mostly for games tj misses (and especially possibility of him missing extended periods), but also for games where ford doesnt play that well.

  18. clippersfanboy said

    The Clippers are not losers. They fought a depleted Clippers team. Everyone with a decent shot is doing therapy – ponder on that awhile.

    Los Angeles Clippers Fan

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