Arsenalist

The Toronto Raptors Blog with an Arsenal touch

Raptors start 4 in 5 stretch + Podcast #2 + Thoughts on Ukic

Posted by Arsenalist on January 14, 2008

First of all, congratulation to Chris Bosh for winning the Player of the Week. Well deserved award indeed but now it’s back to work.

It’s four games in five nights time again starting on Tuesday in Detroit. The Pistons just got their ass kicked by the Knicks and will be looking to kill the next thing they see. Unfortunately, it’s the Raptors. Realistically speaking a win here is about as likely as a Bargnani triple double, hell even a double double. I suppose stranger things have happened but let’s just hope the Raptors stay close and give themselves an opportunity to win at the end. In order for us to have any chance the bench production has to exceed five points which is what we could muster up last time we met in Toronto. The good news is that Bargnani had a great game against them last time around, hopefully it wasn’t just a fluke and he can take advantage of his quickness against Wallace/Maxiell/McDyess.

After that we have Sacramento sans Mike Bibby and Ron Artest but don’t let that fool you, Reggie Theus has these guys playing well and smelling upset pretty often. They’ve already beaten Detroit, San Antonio, Houston, Utah, NJ, Orlando and Memphis so the Raptors don’t exactly scare them. After that we get a day’s break before we play Atlanta at home which isn’t an easy task but a doable task, the Hawks and Raptors have historically played very close games and there’s no reason that this will be different. After that it’s Philly in Philly which should be a routine assignment by now and the Raps will be looking for a season sweep. Optimistically speaking, we should come out 3-1 out of this stretch and if I put my pessimistic hat on, I’ll say we’ll drop one of Sacramento or Atlanta and come out 2-2 which will prompt some fans to jump off the bandwagon, good riddance.

Time for Podcast #2 with the The Man from RaptorsTalk.com where we learn that he’s really a Knick fan. Go over to his blog and bombard him. We’re getting a little better but sound like two guys who’ve never done a podcast probably because we’re two guys who’ve never done a podcast. Other topics touched on include Ukic, Bargnani and the upcoming week. We both know that we’re brutal but I guarantee the quality and content will pick up by Podcast #7.

“Hoping for a 3-1 Week”Download it! (Size: 36.2MB, 25:46)

The Raptors need for a second scorer and/or rebounder is apparent and so glaring that it’s natural for trade speculation. If you’ve been following this space you know that I’m a big fan of Reggie Evans despite his nut-hugging ways. He’s got a reasonable salary and might be expendable in Philly where the word of the day is rebuilding.

Back to our 4 in 5 stretch, given the lack of a consistent second scorer, it only follows that Bosh needs to have big scoring game in order for us to have a winning record. ESPN’s short but accurate analysis in the power rankings sums it up:

Depth is supposed to be one of Toronto’s calling cards. But with Bargnani amiss and T.J. Ford into his second month on the shelf, Bosh might have to keep putting up huge numbers to keep the Raps where they are.

One can read a couple things into the buyout reached by the Raptors to free up Roko Ukic next year. With TJ Ford hampered by injuries and Bryan Colangelo indicating that he will match any offer on the open market for Jose Calderon, it looks likely that Ukic is being brought in as an insurance against a TJ Ford injury. I’ll be surprised if Ukic is being brought in to ride the pine ala Juan Dixon and Darrick Murray Martin and would think he expects to play at least 15-20 minutes a game. Now unless he’s going to be filling in at the off guard spot, we have a PG situation in Toronto where one of Jose or TJ will be getting squeezed, I’m guessing the latter. Even we if we sign Calderon to a reasonable contract, we’ll still be shelling out approximately 18-20 million at the point guard spot, a bit much I would think.

Here’s hoping for a 3-1 week.

Grab the feed. Till tomorrow.

15 Responses to “Raptors start 4 in 5 stretch + Podcast #2 + Thoughts on Ukic”

  1. fouledout said

    even with tj ford sidelined the raptors are doing a great job putting things together. jose calderon is playing a career basketball averaging almost double-double in points and assists.

  2. cuzoogle said

    Found the blog today, really enjoy the write ups. I think Reggie Evans would look pretty sweet in a Raptors uni.

    Added you to my blogroll

  3. Raptors2009 said

    That shit about Bargnani’s job description is funny. “JUST BOX OUT!!”

  4. Raps Fan said

    i’m a knicks fan, what do you want from me? ewing, starks and larry johnson are some of my favourite players of all time!

  5. Raps Fan said

    dude, the first one we did went much smoother. man, i can’t listen to myself, i sound like a…err..i sound bad…crap

  6. arsenalist said

    Well, I think we need more practice. I say by Podcast #7, it’ll be all good.

  7. Crank said

    Interesting point on the Ukic buyout. I think BC will wait and see how Ukic performs before taking any action so I wouldn’t expect any moves until late in the off-season or midway through next year. Tying up that kind of money for one position isn’t feasible but then again Forderon provide us with a punch that only Phoenix can match so it might not be that bad of an investment.

  8. Raps Fan said

    another option is to bring ukic in as the 3rd pg option, 2nd sg option, show case, and hope he plays well enough to garner some interest for trades.

  9. PapiJulio said

    I heard Ukic didn’t want to be 3rd string and sit. Wasn’t going to come if Ford was ok. We probably won’t know Ford’s status until he has a month or so playing time.

    Wow, Ford & Calderon could cost about 18-20 million next year. Good point. If BC is looking at Ukic now I bet he’s looking at many of the possibilies trade packages involving……. hmmmm… I think Ford is awesome…. but it’s business…. Calderon I think is more durable, but isnt’ as FAST as Ford on Fast-Break, the style the Raps are aiming for. Calderon is a better Half Court player setting stuff up for the team. But Ford works better with Bosh…. Ford shines better & Calderon Flys under the radar….I’m glad I’m not a GM.

    I think they’ll put the decision on the back burner until they can evaluate Ford.

  10. Red Rebounder said

    Gotta love that NBA on NBC theme. ABC/ESPN should be banned from broadcasting basketball.

  11. SAMisCOY said

    Podcast wasn’t shabby. Like Red rebounder, I remember the NBA on NBC theme, and wish they hadn’t left!

    Btw, any thoughts on Roko’s game? Is he a team 1st PG? A me 1st PG? How is his D? Does he play D?

  12. arsenalist said

    Tim Shea (International scouting for the Charlotte Bobcats) says this about Ukic:

    Perhaps he’s learned all he can learn from European style basketball and it’s time to see if he can adapt to the American brand of ball.

    NBADraft.net also calls him a “shocking talent”:

    http://www.nbadraft.net/profiles/roko-leniukic.asp

    Some recent stats:

    http://www.euroleague.net/competition/players/showplayer?clubcode=bar&pcode=CJA

    When I saw him play against us in the pre-season I thought he was a PG which fundamentally sound and although he lacked the spectacular, he could run a team given talent around him. Remind you of anyone? He showed a willingness to drive the ball which was nice and he has a reliable mid-range game and is known to take quality shots thus his FG%age is usually pretty good.

  13. PsychicSpy said

    The “shocking talent” quote is probably several years old. Euro coaches want D first from a guard… and Roko is all offense. So the Party Line is that he is “suited for the NBA”. But only for a “Phoenix East” type team.

    Players that have never dominated on any level worry me.

    One of TJ, Jose, and Roko will be gone by the end of 2008. But you got a Catch 22. If TJ comes back and plays well… why trade him? If TJ cannot regain past form… the big contract makes him untradeable.

  14. Raps Fan said

    not necessarily spy, tj will be in the last year of his contract, which is about 8mill. lots of cap space there. players don’t need to be productive to be valuable under the cba.

  15. horizontal personalities. with whatever to actually forts we just often were told

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