Arsenalist

The Toronto Raptors Blog with an Arsenal touch

Sunday *boilk* – Bosh return imminent + What’s a #1 pick?

Posted by Arsenalist on March 16, 2008

Good news, Chris Bosh is aiming for a Wednesday return against Miami. He’ll avoid the roadtrip and will likely give it a shot against a Miami team that wouldn’t shock anybody if they go winless the rest of the season. Yes, they’re that bad.

Some words of warning: Bosh’s return will naturally be followed by some sub-par performances as has been the case anytime he’s returned from any kind of injury, however small. He takes great care of his body and needs to be in complete agreement with it before he tries anything even moderately complex. So I wouldn’t be surprised that in the first few games he’ll be somewhat passive and rely on the jumper much more than the drive. It’s something we should be used to buy now. The good news is that we have about 20 games remaining which is enough time for him to regain the mid-season form he had been in before he went down.

The Kings got blown out last night in Phoenix (gave up 79 points in a half :) and the game was over at the half. Most of the Kings starters didn’t exert themselves too much so they should be fresh enough to give the Raptors all they can handle at home tonight. This is the only winnable game of the roadtrip and we’d be good to take advantage of it by showing up from the start and not getting down 20 early. The mental and physical energy required to come from behind takes too much toll to actually complete the comeback, even more so on the road. The Kings will be looking to split the back-to-back and will make this a very tough game for the Raptors. Kevin Martin is exactly the type of player that can give our guards fits by creating off the bounce and penetrating, let’s hope we learned a thing or two from the Denver experience. Taking some pride in the defense should be priority number one, over the last nine games we’ve give up close to 50% FG 7 times!

I’m sure Sam and the team are busy preparing for the game since according to Channing Frye there’s nothing to do in Sacramento.

Something has been made of the Raptors suing the Spanish Federation over non-payment of benjamins concerning Jorge Garbajosa. I’m with the Raptors on this one, it’s nothing personal, just business. If you agreed to a contract, you have to honor your end and if the Raptors feel they’re getting jipped, they got all the right in the world to sue. Of course all this wouldn’t have been an issue if Garbajosa wasn’t stupid enough to suit up in a meaningless tournament knowing the precarious situation his leg is in. I’d understand if Olympic qualification was dependent on the FIBA tournament but there was nothing of the sort on the line. Nothing. Zero. He’s created a lot of problems for all parties involved.

I’m a little sad to see our small forward situation, an area where we had a weakness at the end of last season and something that still hasn’t been addressed along with the rebounding. Jamario Moon, Joey Graham and Carlos Delfino are the 3 by committee and let’s face it, none of them is good enough to be a starter. Moon’s defense is so inconsistent that you don’t know what to expect from him on any given possession, Graham is plain bad and Delfino is about as consistent as Morris Peterson. Pickstar brought up a point in yesterday’s comments about benching Moon but the question to ask is, in favor of who? There is no clear cut winner in the battle for the three spot and Sam’s simply picked the guy who plays the best D among the three.

Can this team find within itself to get better defensively? Is it just a matter of effort and application or do we just not have the personnel to be good. We allow teams to shoot 46% against us, that’s 10th worst in the league and the 9 teams behind us are all missing the playoffs. What’s kept us afloat so far is our shooting which is at 46.7 FG%, 6th best in the NBA. Now mind you even that number is skewed because we’ve shot the ball really well in many of our losses where we tried to out-gun the opponent but failed to score in crucial fourth quarter stretches. Imagine if we were a decent defensive team, if our guards were able to keep their man in front of them and our rebounding wasn’t 4th worst in the league. We could actually be favored in a playoff matchup! My belief is that as it is right now, we cannot be a good defensive team for three reasons: 1) Our perimeter defense (especially the PG spot) is weak and we concede too many points because of blow-bys and 2) Lack of pure rebounders, once we get a stop, the possession should be over but it’s not. Aside from Bosh, we don’t have anyone who can consistently grab in-traffic rebounds which is key and 3) Interior defense, our rotations inside the paint are shot. This doesn’t get much ink but if you take notice you’ll see that Chris Bosh is the only player who knows how to rotate on defense, once the offense negotiates him, it’s a layup every time.

There’s a very good Raptors message board, Raptors Forum, that is slowly gaining popularity, sign up and join the discussion and help make it a solid board. RealGM has been disappointing of late, Exhibit A is this clown who’s first 17 posts all involve blindly bashing Jose every chance he gets. Tsk, tsk.

I emailed Chuck Swirsky and told him to stop calling every player taken in the first round as the “#1 Pick” because it’s confusing, see, they’re first round picks, not #1 picks. There’s only one #1 pick in any draft. It went something like this:

Me:

Hey Chuck,

Just want to let you know that you’re totally wrong about calling every first round draft pick a “Number 1 pick”. There’s only one Number 1 pick in the draft and that’s the first guy taken, everybody after that is a 1st rounder and NOT a Number 1 pick.

Chuck:

Its a matter of semantics most basketball fans understand when we call a player their first round pick

Me:

Well, I’ve been fan for a long time and have never heard that semantic. Every fan I speak to (in person or online) refers to them as a first round pick. Same goes for media outlets like ESPN, Sportsline, CNNSI, TNT etc. So you might want to be in line with what the general semantic is and not something that’s niche to a select few.

Chuck:

No reply.

Meh, thought I’d throw it in there. Reading his blog, it turns out that Deshawn Stevenson thinks Lebron James is overrated.

Till after the game.

13 Responses to “Sunday *boilk* – Bosh return imminent + What’s a #1 pick?”

  1. whyarewecalledraptors said

    interesting… Toronto and Sacramento are 2 teams that were both blown out with 79 points scored on them by halftime in their previous match.

    Both teams will be looking to rebound from embarrassment. Will be interesting to see who comes out on top.

  2. cuzzy said

    good call on the Swirsk……..he says a lot of confusing things.

    I am actually feeling a win tonight, call me crazy!

    They need to at least man up tonight.

  3. khandor said

    cuz,

    ——————————————————————–
    re: I am actually feeling a win tonight, call me crazy!
    ——————————————————————–

    You crazy!

    :-)

  4. […] – Arsenalist […]

  5. Bones said

    Arsenalist, I really like your blog. I agree with a lot of your opinions and views.

    Thanks for tip on Raptors Forum. It’s nice to get away from all the nonsense at RealGM.

    Go Chelsea!!! :-)

    Keep up the good work.

  6. arsenalist said

    ^ Thanks man. Raptors Forum has some good posters, I’ve been checking it out over the last little while and it’s pretty good.

  7. Wham said

    I’m content with the defensive side of our current 3 rotation but they don’t give us enough on offense. Currently they produce approx 21ppg for us but we need to get at least 30 PPG out of that position so that Bosh feels less pressure to score.

    Tonight is winnable if we’re at the top of our game. There’s also a chance of getting blown out because of the revenge factor.

  8. Grumpy Fan said

    LOL. It’s about time someone called out Chuck on his poor use of language. My wife who is a casual b.ball fan noticed this a while back and was quite puzzled. I pointed out to her that this may be the lesser evil compared to his use of “salami and cheese” which happens to be driving her absolutely nuts at the moment.

  9. Raps Fan said

    dude, you actually read chuck swirsky’s blog? i only go on raptors.com to get schedules. a win tonight isn’t unreasonable, i think we have all been calling for it. the manner in which the raptors have been losing doesn’t negate that sac isn’t a very good team, and if the raptors are serious, they should take this one (with or without bosh). pride, it’s all i ask for.

  10. khandor said

    Read somewhere on-line earlier today that the Raptors last W in Sacramento happened in 1997 … 11 years ago!

    And, just last week, on Sunday Night … Sac-town put an L on ‘Kobe & Co.’, to the tune of … Kings 114 Lakers 113 (Mar. 13)

    And, the Kings are fresh off a road shellacking last night @ Phoenix …

    And, the Kings are in a ‘revenge’ tonight, having been drubbed @ Toronto, last time out (on Jan 16) by 25 pts …

    and some of you seriously think the dinos … without Bosh … have a legit shot at winning tonight’s game?

    Hmmmmmm …

    When I checked this morning the wagering line for this game was listed as … Sacramento -4.

    Now it’s listed as -5.

    Any idea how frequent it is that a team in Toronto’s situation … i.e. with a +.500 W-L record, rested, and playing vs an opponent on the 2nd half of a back-to-back … is given +5 by the Linemaker?

    As far as I know, it doesn’t happen very often.

    A well-game by the Raptors, without any negative body language, incendiary behaviour, or another total wipe-out (ala vs Denver) … would be a step in the right direction.

    Right now … in terms of Rebounding & Defense … the Rockets are playing at an exceptionally high level.

    As long as T-Mac can stay healthy … given the injuries to Bynum, Ariza & Gasol … Houston has a legit shot at finishing in place in the Western Conference.

  11. David Moro said

    TJ needs to start.

    And, before any of you start typing a quick and brunt reply, think of this:

    How many games have we won with TJ starting and Jose backing up? How many have we won the of the former?

    When did we start to lose the room?

    When TJ came back. Jose started to play like he was gonna lose his job, and then played better when he found out TJ was out again. TJ comes back, he starts playing like a passive good for no0thing againl.

    I know it sends a bad message to the other players, I know that Jose deserves his spot and brings Gatorade for all the players– I know.

    I just don’t think we have a choice anymore. Defensively, Calderon is beat too often to mention and the starters need someone who can find them open looks off the dribble.

    If we don’t start to score soon, it’s over.

  12. arsenalist said

    David Moro, I agree on TJ starting. See my Sacramento PG post, I think we’re on the same page on this one. I’m interested in hearing your thoughts on Bargnani on this roadtrip though.

    http://arsenalist.com/2008/03/17/clueless-4th-quarter-stretch-kills-raptors-in-sacramento/

  13. khandor said

    Returning Ford to the Starter’s role is one available option.

    But, at this point, it’s the wrong one to take.

    Once Pandora’s Box has been opened it’s impossible to put the Genie back in Aladdin’s Bottle. (mixed metaphor intended!)

    The move to make … the move a top notch NBA organization – e.g. San Antonio, LA Lakers, Detroit, etc. – would make is re-arranging the Starting Unit, and the 2nd Unit in a different way … by:

    i) removing Ford from the rotation completely
    ii) re-establishing Calderon’s ‘minutes played’ (i.e. 35+) to what they were when the Raptors recently went 3-3 vs +.500 W-L record teams (i.e. during the ‘Stretch of 19 Critical Games this season’, prior to CB4’s injury) and dominated the weak sister teams in the league (i.e. to the tune of 7-3)
    iii) shift their best remaining scorer to the bench, from the Starting Unit (i.e. AP), allowing him to come into the game at either the PG or the OG position
    iv) thereby, shortening their rotation in Bosh’s immediate absence
    v) shift Bargnani to the 2nd Unit
    vi) insert Humphries into the Starting line-up, to begin the game with more Energy, Rebounding & ‘banger-type’ Post D … beside Rasho Nesterovic
    vi) shift (sad sack) Joey Graham into the starting line-up … to create, at least, the appearance of a more ‘physical’ first 5
    vii) shift either Moon or Kapono into the Starting Unit, as the Off-Guard
    viii) limit Delfino’s role to that of a ‘Reserve for the 2nd Unit’ getting something less than 15 MP/game
    ix) using the following 8-man rotation: Calderon, Kapono/Moon, Graham, Humphries, Nesterovic, Parker, Moon/Kapono, Bargnani, exclusively, until Bosh returns
    x) establish in no uncertain terms that …

    I) this is now Calderon’s team to run
    II) this team will not tolerate the body language & decision-making Ford has displayed on this road trip
    III) Rebounding & Defense … not Offense … are the staples of this team
    IV) doing what is best for this organization is what’s most important … rather than what a specific individual may want.

    A 1st Class basketball operation … like San Antonio, LA Lakers or Detroit … would not waste any time or resources trying to go back in time, to a point at which Pandora’s Box (i.e. the Forderon situation) was still closed and the Geni had not yet been released.

    A 1st Class NBA basketball operation … with a top notch GM & head coach at the helm (i.e. San Antonio) … would concentrate (exclusively) on going FORWARD from here.

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