Arsenalist

The Toronto Raptors Blog with an Arsenal touch

Stakes raised for Sam Mitchell

Posted by Arsenalist on July 2, 2008

Let’s start off with Ron Artest. Quote from Monday:

“Not opting out, the Kings have been there for me, so the best I could do is stay in my contract.”

Quote from Tuesday:

“I don’t see myself with [the] Kings beyond 2008-09. I think I made the biggest mistake by staying in my contract and I have to live with it.”

‘Nuf said about how volatile this guy is.

As mentioned yesterday and further confirmed today, Jose Calderon has signed a new deal and we’re also going to be bringing in Roko Ukic over. No surprises there. We know what we’re getting in Calderon and what he’s capable of, the only question is whether he can continue to do what he’s been doing but as a full-time starter having full responsibility of the team. I have a fear of NBA scouts ever since the Bargnani thing, let’s hope Calderon can overcome the attention and detail with which coaches and scouts will look at him. With the inexperienced Ukic backing him up you expect Calderon to play high minutes and that automatically means that at some point he’ll get burned out and get into a 10-20 game shooting slump so be prepared for it.

Over the last two years the Raptors have been successful when their bench play has been strong, in our division winning year the Forderon duo was our key advantage, last year whenever we got key contributions from Carlos Delfino or Andrea Bargnani, we gave ourselves a great chance to win. With TJ Ford gone, our already shallow bench has taken a hit and we’re compensating for it by shortening our roster. Colangelo’s trying to concentrate the talent on the roster and force Mitchell to create a consistent rotation with well-defined roles. I think this is a great move by Colangelo who sees that last year’s unpredictable substitution patterns, sporadic playing time and illogical coaching decisions cost the Raptors plenty of games. He’s setting the table for Sam Mitchell to prove himself as a coach who is not just a motivator, but someone who when given talent can make it show on the court.

I suspect the freestyling nature of the Raptors offense isn’t going to be tolerated next year, Mitchell will have to use his brains to figure out ways to manage Calderon’s minutes, ensure Bosh/O’Neal cohesion, reduce Bosh/O’Neal redundancy, hide Bargnani’s defense at SF, showcase Bargnani offensively, utilize Kapono’s shooting ability, take advantage of Humphries’ hustle, put Calderon in situations where he has options and most of all manage expectations of players so there are no surprises game in and game out. Once we have the political situation of the team taken care of and every player is on the same page, only then can we hope the talent and potential of this team to shine through to whatever degree it can.

The Raptors still have the MLE to throw at a player so we should expect a signing at some point in the summer, hopefully a SF. It’s starting to look like Colangelo’s done acquiring pedestrian talent only to see Sam Mitchell retrofit a roster into a style of play. If we can establish an 8-man rotation and use the DL for what it’s actually designed for, we’ll start to see consistency on this team, regardless of talent level. This should in turn help our defense because it’s on defense that teamwork shows and trust amongst teammates mandated. When the same players play together more often, they automatically develop a better understanding of what each others’ tendencies and capabilities are and are likely to adjust better.

The Clippers couldn’t acquire TJ Ford or DJ Augustin but they managed to get their hands on Baron Davis. This is a bit of a shock as Golden State was giving all indications that Davis was their franchise player. With Davis is headed out, it puts even more impetus on the Warriors to resign their free agents including Mickael Pietrus who’d look good in a Raptors uniform. On another free agent note, did you know Damon Stoudamire is an unrestricted free agent? Emotional homecoming, I can already picture it.

The Raptors have also signed Hassan Adams from to a 1yr/400K contract. The defensive-minded guard played in Europe last season and registered 61 games for the Nets in 07-08, you might remember him from the playoffs of that year too. Not the signings I was hoping given the 2008 NBA Free Agent List. There are a few players that the Raptors could consider: Ricky Davis, Gordan Giricek and most importantly Jarvis Hayes. I’ve always liked Hayes’ game, he’s a solid defensive minded SF that doesn’t mind getting to the rim and can hit the 3. Tayshaun Prince has got the stranglehold on the SF minutes in Detroit so Hayes is likely on the move with interest from Phoenix already there.

There’s also the need to address Anthony Parker who I’ve always suspected is capable of being an NBA 2-guard as long as there’s enough distractions for the defense to worry about. It’s when you start consistently running double-screen fadeaways for Parker and look to him to carry you through quarters that things go awry. His clutch record doesn’t help matters either but with O’Neal and Bosh around you’d think 3-point shooters are a premium and Parker is definitely that. With only the MLE at our disposal and both a SF and a SG need to fill, I suspect we’re going to aim for the SF since Parker is the lesser of the two problems.

It’s a long summer, too long.

31 Responses to “Stakes raised for Sam Mitchell”

  1. […] Arsenalist is liking the idea of Jarvis Hayes as a good pickup and I can’t argue with that. There are not enough minutes in Detroit for him […]

  2. HotShot said

    No mentioning of the Raptors signing Hassan Adams?

  3. khandor said

    Hassan Adams?

    Teams that advance in the Playoffs have high calibre NBA-ready players sitting on their bench, in well-defined roles, NOT playing in their regular 8/9-man rotation.

    Teams that lose early in the Playoffs have low-end (i.e. cheap) non NBA-ready players sitting on their bench, in either well-defined or non well-defined roles, NOT playing in their regular 8/9-man rotation.

  4. Arsenalist said

    Oops! I had this little blurb written about him which I was going to put in with the Jarvis Hayes piece. Totally forgot to put it in, when I get to that computer, I’ll paste it in later (not that you care), added a weak sentence for now for the sake of completeness. I’m a little home sick and its showing its effects.

    BTW khandor, I could not disagree with you any more. First of all, we need to screw Championship talk around here. I mean really, fuck it completely. We’re a mediocre NBA team that first needs to be good before words like ‘title’, ‘championship’ and ‘high calibre’ are thrown around anywhere near it. Its much easier for a coach to come up with a system for 8-9 players than for 12. Of course having very good players at the end of your bench doesn’t hurt but realistically speaking most teams can’t afford to have that. So instead of playing 11-12 guys an unpredictable and unplanned amount of minutes, its much better to play 8 players consistently so that your team can first be good, before it achieves greatness. I don’t have time right now to look at the Lakers, Celtics and other deep playoff team rosters, maybe later…sorry.

  5. RaptorsFan said

    Look at the talent level other teams are getting at now…

    West

    Lakers (Kobe/Odom/Gasol/Bynum)
    Hornets (Paul/Chandler/West)
    Spurs (Big 3 + Maggette possibility coming to join them?)
    Portland (Bayless/Roy/LMA/Oden and Rudy Fernandez, enough said)
    Jazz (Deron/Boozer/AK)
    Rockets (TMac/Yao + great role players – always a chance of winning if not for injuries)

    AND

    The newly LA Clippers…
    Baron/Eric Gordon/Thornton/Brand/Kaman (super dangerous)

    Not to mention the Suns, Denver, and Dallas. Teams that are in their twilight but still can compete.

    East
    Boston (big 3 with also the possibility of Maggette coming over)
    Detroit (don’t break their core, they are still #2)
    Orlando (also rumor to get Maggette… already have Howard/Hedo/Shard)
    Cleveland (with Lebron, they are always going to be better than us)
    Miami (Wade + Marion + Beasley)
    Bulls (Rose + Deng + Gordon?) + other star talents
    ATL (Johnson/Smith/Horford)

    Even Memphis with a good talent pool of:

    Conley/Mayo/Gay/MARC Gasol

    Looks like we are going to be dwelling in the middle pack in the Eastern Conference once again.

  6. Endo said

    Hassan Adams people? We already have one “defensive minded” guy who doesn’t give us a lick on offense. I think I’d rather have Delfino at a couple mil more than give Adams those minutes.

    We got the 2 and 3 spots to take care of and this better not be BC’s way of “sureing up” the 3. Otherwise Arse I guess you can address two needs with one MLE.

    RaptorsFan thats a good list but Miami and Lebrons will be below us next year. Miami because they suck and because Marion’s overrated and Cleveland because after Lebron they’ve got nobody. You’re right about one thing and that the best we can hope to be is mediocre and maaaaayyyybe sneak into a 4 spot if other teams struggle to adjust or gel together. Memphis is headed to the lottery hard, the lineup you mentioned is a good nucleus that might happen a few years down the road but not this year.

    Arsenalist – Wreck Beach is disgusting. You’re probably thinking hot naked women parading down the beach but its more like old naked men with shriveled nuts making you cringe. Stay clear fella!

  7. RaptorsFan said

    Yeah, and NO to Ricky Davis. Ugh. I’d much rather have Delfino back than Ricky Davis.

    But let’s keep praying for Azubuike and Childress. Even McCants? I suspect Hassan Adams will play the role of Linton Johnson in our 07′ Campaign – on the bench.

  8. FAQ said

    Arsenalist Says: BTW khandor, I could not disagree with you any more. First of all, we need to screw Championship talk around here.
    ……………

    I wholeheartedly agree with you on that Arsenalist … and if those connassieur tribal honkers demand a ‘championship’ team, they should be rooting for the Celtics, not the Ratpors.

    Besides, it’s obvious that BC is preparing for 2010 when all the big kahunas become FAs … and the Ratpors are flush with money … so obvious…!!!

    Meanwhile, let’s watch the Ratpors do their thingy this next season and begin our bitching anew …LOL

  9. RaptorsFan said

    Endo, with our line up right now… CLE is still the much better team. All we have added is O’neal.

    Cleveland gave the BIGGEST challenge during to the current Champions Boston. We always try to undermine how bad their roster is, their team is exactly made for the season, but they sure are beastly in the playoffs with their tough hard gritted D.

    And again, who is going to guard LBJ if we faced him? With our mediocre players at the 3 spot? It’ll be a field day for LBJ and his crew.

  10. Endo said

    RaptorsFan, why do you think we sign Hassan Adams? Its to shutdown LBJ in the 4/5 matchup of next years playoffs. Seriously, Wallace, Smith and Sczerbiak (who sucks) are all a year older and will continue to decline. LBJ is a beast and the only guy who can score for them in the fourth. Calderon beats Boobie, Bosh beats whoever, JO beats Big Z. That’s an advantage in 3 out of the 5 matchups. I’m not saying we’ll finish for sure above them, I think they’re going to be worse than last season and we’re going to be better.

  11. RaptorsFan said

    Endo, do you REALLY think that a guy like Hassan Adams, a person unwanted by most teams is able to guard a player like LBJ? He is paid to warm up a seat, eg)Baston and will only play if they are really depleted.

    As I said, they are NOT built for the season, seeing that they always come up as a mid seed rather than a high seed in the east, but the last few years, they are one the most successful teams to consistently get to the 2nd round and ECF other than Detroit.

    We on the other hand, haven’t even got past the 1st. Experence, Defense, and the godly figure of LBJ single handedly makes them a MUCH better team than we are.

  12. HotShot said

    RaptorsFan Says: “Endo, do you REALLY think that a guy like Hassan Adams, a person unwanted by most teams is able to guard a player like LBJ?”

    No one in this leauge has yet to successfuly guard LBJ one on one and shut him down. It has to be a team effort.

    From Doug Smith Blog:

    Here’s how John Hollinger in the New York Sun panned the move:

    To cut Adams in order to pull this move off seems shortsighted at best. I don’t want to overstate things here — he wasn’t going to be the next Dr.J or anything. But he was primed to be a very effective energy guy off the bench, essentially a 6-foot-4-inch version of the Knicks’ Renaldo Balkman. In his rookie year after he was New Jersey’s second-round choice in 2006, Adams shot 55.6% from the field and averaged an impressive-for-a-guard 6.1 rebounds per 40 minutes. He can’t shoot from outside, but his running and energy were effective enough that he still averaged a point every three minutes, which is decent production for a reserve.

    All told, his Player Efficiency Rating (PER, my per-minute rating of a player’s statistical effectiveness) of 12.8 was solid for a reserve, especially one in his rookie season — and especially one competing with the likes of Wright (8.2) and Bernard Robinson (7.8) for playing time.

    But don’t feel bad for Adams — some smart team will nab him real fast, probably for much more than the Nets were scheduled to pay him. Instead, feel bad for Kidd and Carter, who just lost one of the few potentially productive supporting players for this coming season.

    And most of all feel bad for Nets fans, who now must lament that their team gave up their remaining space under the luxury tax to sign a fading backup center and effectively traded up one of their most promising young players to make the deal. It’s just the latest glaring example of Thorn’s inability to surround his stars with the talent necessary to return this team to the conference’s elite, and I’m not sure he can make enough big-picture moves to undo the damage.

    Oh, and Dave chimes in with this note:

    The secret to Hassan Adams’ success is that he cheats.

    Or, let’s just say he has an unfair advantage that any player would want – the advantage of ambidexterity.

    You may have noticed that the Nets wing has as strong a left hand as any rookie to come down the pike in a while – those right-baseline-drive-and-reverse finishes against Boston were a good example – and it’s because he is actually a natural southpaw.

    He just happens to play basketball right-handed.

    “I don’t even know how that happened – I really don’t,” Adams said. “I don’t even remember (consciously) switching, even though I’m a true lefty at everything. I write lefty, I eat lefty. But I can write righty, too.”

    What else does he do with his right hand? Almost everything pertaining to athletics – hitting baseballs, golfing, throwing a football.

    “It’s just not as natural for me to shoot left-handed for some reason,” he said. “But put me on the foul line and tell me to shoot lefty, and I’ll hit eight out of 10 that way.”

  13. Crank said

    Wow! We must be the smartest team in the league for finding this needle in the haystack. What a gem?!? He’s ambidextrous, yaaay! As RaptorsFan put it, he’s replacing Linton Johnson on the bench. Don’t for a second think that he’s going to be the answer to anything. He’ll be competing with Parker and Moon for minutes who both have physical advantages over him. Nice practice signing, now I understand those European trips.

    Arsenalist – Adams is a poor man’s Deshawn Stevenson or Jarvis Hayes so you got reason to smile. Excellent point about the second unit, we’re talking too much about that SF problem we got but our bench as of today is non-existent. TJ was the guy you could count on to do something and give a spark. Or it was Delfino who would knock some threes down every few games but with those two gone, we have NOBODY on the bench! NOBODY!

  14. khandor said

    Arsenalist,

    Re-read carefully what I wrote before. Something tells me that you may have missed a key word or two.

    There’s nothing wrong with having a regular 8-9 man rotation in the NBA.

    What’s wrong is having non NBA-ready (cost effective?) players in the #10-15 roles … even if those players DO NOT get to see the court on a consistent basis … i.e. (1) on a legit contender those RESERVES can all play at a high level; (2) on a hocus-pocus mirage team those spots are filled with guys who can’t play at a high level.

    By the looks of things, so far, into which category do the 2008-2009 Toronto Raptors fit?

  15. Arsenalist said

    Crank – thanks, suddenly I don’t care for Hayes anymore since we have Adams (sarcasm)

    khandor – Why are we creating categories anyway? But I’ll play along, between the two you mentioned there’s a third one, its the “Team that’s trying to find itself and establish some sort of consistency” category and that’s where the Raptors are.

    I have no problem with people who can’t play worth a lick taking up two spots on our roster as long as we have 1-8 down right. That’s just financials coming into play. You have to start somewhere and I think BC recognizes that Sam Mitchell’s not a great coach and needs the lineup almost fed to him and that’s why he’s focused on narrowing the legit options of this team, hence the “concentrated talent” comment from a few days back.

    I think category 2 is where we were last year and category 1 is where we ultimately want to be but you can’t jump from one to the other. We’re trying to establish some sort of routine and process within this team so it encourages consistent play and creates well-defined roles and X’s and O’s for us. The high pnr is not good enough and Mitchell needs to expand his offensive schemes to incorporate whatever talent there is on the roster. I think this coming year will be filled with challenges of trying to fit in JO, Ukic and Calderon into their new roles and having a shorter rotation allows that to happen more easily.

  16. fluxland said

    I would like to know what offers BC was getting for Jose. That way we can get an idea on what we missed out on and how “great” of a GM BC is.

  17. khandor said

    Arsenalist,

    =================================

    re: khandor – Why are we creating categories anyway? But I’ll play along, between the two you mentioned there’s a third one, its the “Team that’s trying to find itself and establish some sort of consistency” category and that’s where the Raptors are.

    I have no problem with people who can’t play worth a lick taking up two spots on our roster as long as we have 1-8 down right. That’s just financials coming into play. You have to start somewhere and I think BC recognizes that Sam Mitchell’s not a great coach and needs the lineup almost fed to him and that’s why he’s focused on narrowing the legit options of this team, hence the “concentrated talent” comment from a few days back.

    ==================================

    We’re not ‘setting up’ two categories.

    There are two categories of teams in the NBA:

    i) Legit Contenders;
    ii) Everybody Else.

    Legit Contenders have a solid 12-man roster.
    Legit Contenders have a regular 8/9-man rotation, culled from those 12 players.
    Legit Contenders, do not play their #10-12 players on a regular basis EVEN THOUGH those 3 men ARE (in fact) NBA-READY.
    Legit Contenders then have a taxi-squad of 3 additional players, who they can draw from in case of emergency, that are also NBA-ready.

    Everybody Else … does not.

    Heading into full year #3, after assuming complete control of this team, are you tell me that the Raptors, next season, are NOT YET approaching Legit Contender status? [:-( or :-)?]

  18. Arsenalist said

    Alright khandor, I got some time to kill here at this depressing looking airport:

    Here are the categories in the NBA IMHO:

    1. Title Shots – Celtics, Spurs
    2. Very good teams with outside shots to a title – Lakers, New Orleans
    3. Very good teams that have little shot at a title: Jazz, Cavs, Detroit
    3. Good teams that might give trouble in the playoffs: Suns, Warriors, Nuggets, Magic, Houston
    4. Happy to be in playoff teams: Raptors, Hawks, Was, Dallas
    5. Just missed the post-season but hey, we got something decent brewing: Nets, Portland, Bulls
    6. We suck: Miami, Minny, Seattle

    Ignore the teams but consider the categories, those are the “levels” of teams in the NBA. The Raptors are nowhere close to winning two playoff rounds let alone contending for NBA or EC titles so to answer your question, yes, heading into year #3 we are not yet a legit contender. Not even close.

    I know you’re critical of BC and you have reasons which are justified but lets not get into that right now. Looking at the big picture it has only been two years and I can’t expect any GM to take a team from crap to title in two years (Celtics being the exception). I’m not even saying that if we give BC three more years we’ll be any closer to a title than we are now. The fact is that whatever BC does will be either in reaction to what other teams are doing and if he does actually make original moves (like JO), other teams in the East will offset him. The bottom line will then become which club has more resources and the Raptors I’m sad to say will always lose that battle.

    Back to the issue at hand, it hardly matters to me if we have 8 or 12 player playing as long as their time and expectations are being managed properly by Mitchell. I just happen to think managing 8 players is easier than 12 and if us having two useless players at the end of our bench is a sign of us not being contenders, that makes total sense because WE’RE NOT CONTENDERS. We’re just hoping to contend.

  19. fluxland said

    khandor – How are we “legit contenders”? The JO trade and no TJ has made us “KGcertified”? : )

    C’mon, we are not a team that spells “playoff threat” to anyone.

    arsenalist – “Screw Championship talk around here?” – no way. Yeah, it needs to be realistic but that’s what we want right, a chip?

    fqa – so, what kind of $ you thinking we got rolling for the “grand sweepstakes of *10” and who do you envision coming here? Which kahuna do you have your eye on?

    *”Besides, it’s obvious that BC is preparing for 2010 when all the big kahunas become FAs … and the Ratpors are flush with money … so obvious…!!!”*

    Still feels like we gave up a lot in this JO trade and we are not signing Jose for cheap, I still wonder what we could have got for him.

    RaptorsFan – “We on the other hand, haven’t even got past the 1st. Experence, Defense,”

    Crank – “we have NOBODY on the bench! NOBODY!”

    = not playoff/championship threat

    Endo – “can hope to be is mediocre and maaaaayyyybe sneak into a 4 spot” uuuhh… say what?

    ” if other teams struggle to adjust or gel together.” whereas we won’t? JO and Roko and Crocodile Dundee are just going to fit right in?

  20. khandor said

    The point is … that:

    (i) The Raptors are in no way, shape or form ‘Legit Contenders’ with their current roster of players;
    (ii) There are only two meaningful sub-groups of teams in the NBA … i.e. (A) the Legit Contenders and (B) Everybody Else.

    The fact is there is very little (if any) tangible separation between the teams in the bottom 5 categories listed above by Arsenalist.

    The fact is there is considerable tangible separation between the teams in the first 2 categories and Everybody Else.

    It goes without saying that every team in the Legit Contender cannot win the championship :-) … but it’s a simple fallacy to believe that your team is making significant progress toward achieving that goal, relative to the remaining teams in the League, while that team is in fact ‘swimming with the fishes’.

    How an NBA team performs with a ‘tight’ 8/9-man roster … is a total red-herring, when it comes to judging with any degree of accuracy how that team is making progress or not toward eventually becoming an Elite Level team in this League. Zip. Zero. Nada. None, whatsoever.

    The fact is … the saying that ‘It Takes Five’ to succeed in the NBA … is a complete falsehood, when it comes to judging accurately who the very top are in the NBA. (e.g. if you think Phoenix has been a member of the very top group of teams in the NBA these last few years, then you don’t have a clue yet what the game is really all about at this highest level of competition, despite what you think you know about the NBA).

    The fact is … ‘It Takes 12’ to succeed in the NBA.

    The only teams that SHOULD be thinking about trading for a player like Jermaine O’Neal – at this stage of his career – are THE ONES WHO RIGHTFULLY BELIEVE THAT THEY ARE CURRENTLY MEMBERS OF THE LEGIT CONTENDER GROUP WITH A SHOT AT WINNING IT ALL OVER THE NEXT FEW YEARS. (doesn’t mean they are but, at least, they have to think they might)

    Any team that doesn’t believe it fits into this category is wasting its time & resources … and/or simply in the business of making $$$ on the backs of their loyal fanbase. :-)

    ===================

    If Nathan Jawai and Hassan Adams are your team’s #11 & #12 players … and there are no (‘0’) other players signed yet for #’s 13, 14 & 15 … it’s actually comical to think that this team with Jermaine O’Neal and without Rasho Nesterovic is somehow making MORE ‘progress’ than are:

    Boston
    Detroit
    ——————-
    Orlando
    Cleveland
    Washington
    Philadelphia
    Atlanta
    Indiana
    Chicago
    New Jersey
    Milwaukee
    Charlotte
    Miami
    New York

  21. B.G. Smith said

    hmmm…Arsenalist, you think the Lakers, who smoked the Spurs (though forgot to show up for the Finals) are not finals contenders? Add Bynum and we smoke the Spurs even more…with or without the bum Gino ankle (since he’d have a hard time slashing to the hoop with Bynum AND Gasol clogging it up.

  22. FAQ said

    What all this ‘championship’ discussion reveals is that come 2010, Bosh will be looking to play elsewhere on a ‘contending’ team before his career is over. The only NBA ‘ready’ players that will come to Toronto are those on their last legs and at the end of their careers trying to eke out their last Million or so until they hang up their sneakers.

    The Ratpors are a team where a collection of players just want the NBA experience regardless of the outcome of the season. Get that through your thick skulls and you will have less to shitchat about …. ya hear ..??!!!

  23. khandor said

    The Faq that ONE regular contributor to this blog thinks he can ‘read’ Chris Bosh’s mind/intentions with any degree of accuracy is beyond comical.

    To think that this contributor makes these types of ‘Chris Bosh-will’ pronouncements with regularity is ‘Carnac-the-Magnificent hilarious’. :-)

  24. fluxland said

    fqa – what’s the obession with Bosh? He has to to play well this year and next year to be considered a real “kahuna” on the market. Are we building around Bosh, anyway? So what if he leaves?

    I guess that really brings us the pecking order or who has/should have the franchise player tag in TO? We have JO – alleged superstar – Jose – newly well paid, playoff not proven, sought after PG “superstar”, – Bosh-Chuck&Leo professed “Franchise” player of the Raps.?

  25. Arsenalist said

    #21 BG Smith: Sure, put the Lakers in the first category. Teams aren’t important, I was just outlining the categories.

    khandor – at least we agree the Raptors aren’t winning a championship anytime soon.

    flux/faq: I think Bosh has yet to prove that he’s worth the money we’re paying him. The next year or two will go a long ways in defining what kind of player he’ll end up becoming and what his ceiling will be.

  26. RaptorsFan said

    I thought you ranked Portland quite low, a lot of people including myself think that Portland this year will be the NO Hornets of last year.

    They’re stacked and talented.

  27. fluxland said

    Arsenalist- yeah, that’s what I am sayin. For questions not to rise, he needs to play the entire year and take a step forward in the overall game. This year is important for him.

    also:
    I read this today and filed under EVIDENCE, between NJRd1 and 08playoofs:

    JR HOLDEN on his 2007 Euro Basketball championship game winning shot:

    “So Spain had the ball with like 10 or so seconds to go. They were up 1 and they passed the ball in to Pao Gasol. I dropped down and stole the ball from him…….. So I passed the ball and got it right back. I drove hard right and the guy guarding me, Jose Calderon, I knew if I pumped faked and he did not go for it I would still be able to get the shot of if I fade right. However I had a step on him and he did go for the pump fake, so I just had to stay square and the ball went in.”

    Preseason games… i can smell them from here. Move. Faster. Calendar.

  28. whyarewecalledraptors said

    is there a block function?

  29. Raps Fan said

    the lakers aren’t going anywhere. they were lucky to get by san antonio. yes yes i know what you’re thinking (they pounded them) but remember, manu was injured badly. the guy could barely move. the fact that the celtics ran a train on their asses (along with the conspiracy theories) meant they shouldn’t have been representing the west in the finals.

  30. B.G. Smith said

    Raps Fan…your comment is wildly funny. I would not call 4 to 1 lucky. I would not call coming back from 20 points down in a series defining game lucky. Fact of the matter is…They pummeled the spurs who were too old and too slow to even guard Sasha Vujajic. Sure, give Manu a good ankle, and the series wouldnt have gone down 4 to 1, but add Bynum and the series probably would have been 4 to 0. The Spurs just looked too old and too tired.

  31. the webmaster RULLLLES!!

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