Arsenalist

The Toronto Raptors Blog with an Arsenal touch

Joey Graham tweaks something

Posted by Arsenalist on October 2, 2008

Before I get to today’s piece I want to talk about Hwy 427. What the f*ck gives? There’s been construction on that bloody thing for the past two years and nothing has gotten done. Every night they close the northbound lanes at 8PM so that only one lane gets through. The southbound express (which already only has two lanes south of Bloor) is closed 80% of the time if not completely shut down in favor of the collectors which is also reduced in lanes. I can understand if this was a one-time thing but I kid you not when I say its been going on for years on end. Somebody fix something.

There are indications that Jamario Moon will be in the starting lineup instead of Jason Kapono because of defensive reasons. We’ve talked about this all summer – Kapono needs as much playing time with Bosh and O’Neal for him to be successful. Jamario’s a scrub and can adapt to any situation so it hardly matters who else is on the court with him for him to do his thing. As I said before the old ‘defense over offense’ argument usually wins here and this is no surprise, just a little disappointing. I would actually buy that argument if Moon was a shutdown-type defender who actually could lock you down but he’s not, he’s athletic and has great reach but does not have great defensive mechanics (cheating and recovering doesn’t count). Last year I was in favor of him being in the lineup because we needed his rebounding but with O’Neal already complementing Bosh we can afford to have an offensive weapon out there in favor of another rebounder. Matt Devlin thinks otherwise.

More on this. Bryan Colangelo is expecting big things for Kapono which is great but you have to put him in a position to succeed. We can’t do the same thing as last year and hope the results are different. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is stupidity. You could go ahead and blame Kapono’s performance of a season ago entirely on him but so far what have we done to mitigate that? The only thing I can think of is that we’ve kicked out Delfino whose 23 minutes will supposedly be given to Kapono resulting in more shots (hopefully). I understand that point of view and strategy but would just like to see Kapono get as much playing time with Bosh and O’Neal as possible.

Great quote from Sam Mitchell about the lack of depth on the roster and how the talent is more concentrated:

“That’s why we thinned out the roster – it makes it easier for me to coach.”

You don’t say? The less-is-more theory is great for golf but for a team that hopes to compete for an NBA title it doesn’t work. But wait! Are we actually competing for an NBA title or trying to win a playoff round? What is our measure of success this season? I wish Colangelo could answer this question. All those of you with press passes, do me a favor and ask this question of him. Please. Concentrated talent is a good thing though, it allows a coach to define roles properly, make sensible substitutions and manage expectations of players. If Mitchell manages to properly do that for his 8-man unit I think I’ll be more than pleased with him. Just please don’t bench Humphries for a month and then play him in the fourth quarter of a tight game for 8 minutes.

There’s tons of interviews on raptors.com, here’s one of them with Roko Ukic. He says that being healthy is the biggest thing and that he needs to “get better everyday”. Asked what he does well he says that he can pass the ball well, especially with the larger NBA court. Roko my friend, you’re right. There is more space to pass but the defense recovers and takes away passing lanes so fast that what looked like a good idea ends up being a turnover. I’m not worried though, he’s looking to impress and sounds like he’s got a good head on him and I do think he’s going to surprise a ton of people.

Slam is ranking the Top 50 players in the NBA and Chris Bosh comes up at #22. More importantly they dropped this old-school YouTube vid on me which just made my day. There’s talk that Vince Carter is a different man at camp this year. I remember watching those Training Camp shows on Raptors TV last year and they had their cameras on the Nets training facility and Vince appeared to be taking it ultra-easy and not coming within 500 miles of breaking a sweat. If he does decide to play to his potential it might up the Nets win total and make the four automatic wins we’re counting on against them harder to get.

Oh yeah, Joey Graham tweaked something. Why even bother playing rest of the season? Let’s just concede all 82 :)

6 Responses to “Joey Graham tweaks something”

  1. fluxland said

    … I think it’s insanity, actually. :P

  2. FAQ said

    Hwy. 427 construction and reconstruction is a work-in-progress .. so stfu because the Province and City of Moronto don’t get enough money from the Federal government to repair the infrastructure. Meanwhile the Province and Moronto overspend on cultural and unionized payrolls and rack up huge deficits. Maybe the Provincial Sales Tax should be increased since the Federal GST has been reduced 2%-age points … but no that would look like a Provincial tax hike … better the Federal government be blamed for the mess on Hwy. 427.

    But hope springs eternal in the hearts and breasts of tribal honking Raptor fans who go through withdrawal symptoms in the off-season … and now we put our trust in players who are essentially scrubs to step up and carry the team to even greater heights. We also pray that JO is not hobbled by his chronic condition and performs miracles for his $20+M salary.

    Here’s a thought … will the Celtics ‘repeat’ .. or will some new rookie raise his draft pick team to the championship??!!!

  3. khandor said

    As it stands right now … Detroit and Boston are head and shoulders above the 2nd tier of solid teams in the Eastern Conference … and, this 2nd tier is growing in size each year that passes.

    Tier One

    1 & 1A … Detroit & Boston

    Tier Two … pick the order that you want
    Philadelphia
    Orlando
    Cleveland
    Washington
    Atlanta
    Toronto
    Chicago
    Indiana
    New Jersey
    Charlotte
    Milwaukee
    Miami

    Tier Three … in all likelihood will NOT finish last in W’s
    New York

    Slip up, even just a little bit … and any one of those 12 teams could find themselves in the 2009 NBA Lottery … like what happened to the Bulls last season.

  4. khandor said

    Here are two thoughts for you.

    1) Detroit and Boston are head & shoulders above the other top teams in the East right now.

    TIER ONE … in any order you want to list them

    Boston & Detroit [1 & 1A]

    TIER TWO … are each capable of plummeting into the 2009 NBA Lottery, if the Bulls did last season, if they catch the wrong breaks this season

    Orlando
    Philadelphia
    Cleveland
    Washington
    Atlanta
    Toronto
    Chicago
    Indiana
    Charlotte
    New Jersey
    Milwaukee
    Miami

    TIER THREE … although they’re good enough NOT to finish last this year

    New York

    2) Interesting to read that Sam Mitchell is at least thinking about the best role possible for Anthony Parker this season, and considering maybe bringing him in off the bench … behind

    Calderon, Kapono, Moon, Bosh & O’Neal.

    Hmmmm …

    :-) :-) :-)

    PS. Next thing you know … a player like Joey Graham might actually be getting some burn at the #3-spot this season. My, oh, my … who’d a thunk of something like that ever happening this year with this specific collection of Raptors on the roster?

  5. […] – The Arsenalist […]

  6. khandor said

    It will be super interesting if Sam Mitchell decides to begin the season with this startining line-up:

    PG – Calderon
    G/F – Kapono [over Parker and/or Graham]
    G/F – Moon [over Graham and/or Kapono]
    BIG2 – O’Neal
    BIG1 – Bosh

    Although it’s still not ‘the best’ 1st Unit this team can put on the floor … it’s a solid group-of-5 and begins to define a useful role for a highly serviceable player like Joey Graham. :-)

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