Arsenalist

The Toronto Raptors Blog with an Arsenal touch

Posts Tagged ‘joey graham’

I can smell Joey in the air

Posted by Arsenalist on October 18, 2008

Joey Graham plays a few minutes where he looks like a basketball player and all three papers are pumping out articles about him: Star, Sun and Globe. But you don’t really need to click on any of those links because what they say about Graham can be logically deduced if you’ve been a casual supporter over the last few years. The Raptors have always just been hoping that Good Joey shows up to the games rather than actually hastening his return, but Mitchell thinks the coaches are doing what they can:

Joey’s attitude is always great He’s a joy to be around. It’s frustrating sometimes because you see that talent and you’re trying to figure out how to tap into it. You know that you’re really going to have something good if you can and you’re always hopeful. As coaches we have to continue to work with him. Not get down on him, not give up on him, we’re not going to do that.

Judging by the 8.7 minutes Graham played last year somehow I think we’re not doing all we can to help him out. As Feschuk points out in the Star, it might be that “Mitchell’s incessant criticism has damaged Graham beyond repair”. Who knows, maybe he’ll come around and be productive for us and usurp Jamario Moon. There’s a school of thought out there that says if you put him in the starting lineup instead of Moon we’re going to be a better team. Joey is a much better slasher than Moon and has shown a desire to attack the rim (the finishing isn’t there but that’s a different story) which should be welcomed by Mitchell. The defense is probably not as good as Moon’s but that’s only because of Moon’s reach, there’s no talent differential there. Both have serious issues with their man-defense, can’t shoot, become anonymous on offense, take bad shots and do general dumb stuff on the court. I don’t think I’d even notice a difference if you substituted one for the other which is why I’ve always said that Graham deserves more time.

So Joey had a good game, so what? Let’s get back to reality, he always has a good preseason game or two giving way to such enthusiasm and since this is already his fourth year with the team and neither the coach or the GM has seen anything great out of him, I think Graham is done as a Raptor. But that doesn’t mean he’s not going to be a serviceable NBA player. At this stage of his career he needs a team where he can play through his mistakes for 20 minutes a night and a coach that doesn’t ride him so hard so that he gets his rhythm and confidence back.

Speaking of Graham, his brother’s having a good preseason over in Indiana along with Raptors draft pick Roy Hibbert. You’ll love Hibbert’s line: 12 points, 12 rebounds and 4 blocks. Has any Raptor grabbed 12 rebounds or 4 blocks this preseason? No, they haven’t. We’re going to regret trading Hibbert, it was obvious then it’s even more obvious now. The O’Neal trade would’ve felt a lot better if we would’ve been able to keep our pick, as khandor mentions all the time it was a 4 assets for 1 asset trade.

There’s a very nice blog post over at CBC sports which really stole the words out of my mouth. Its basically pointing out that although Will Solomon looks good he doesn’t really look good which is very true. There are some who compared Solomon to TJ Ford which was ridiculous because Solomon just doesn’t have the court vision or dribbling skills to ever be as good as Ford is now. Bringing the ball up the court, using a screen and knocking down a jumper behind it does not make a point guard. Granted, Solomon’s pleasantly surprised a few people with his scoring but that doesn’t mean he’s been running the point effectively, his assists and turnover numbers aren’t flattering and he often guides the offense to a grounding halt by picking up his dribble under mild pressure. Last year we had Delfino playing the point for about 4-6 minutes a game when Ford went down and this year you would think Roko Ukic would get that opportunity and if you’re a Roko fan (which I am), you’d want Solomon and his minutes switched around. Help me out here Sam.

The Knicks might be sending Danilo Gallinari to the D-League on a “rehab assignment”. D’Antoni feels that the D-League was made for raw talent like Gallinari which prompts me to suggest that we should be sending Nathan Jawai down there too. Get him that “taste of reality” D’Antoni’s talking about, its a lot better than rotting on the bench in Toronto. And might I suggest that if Roko Ukic isn’t going to be getting much playing time as indicated by the preseason (if he’s averaging 8MPG in preseason, what will happen in the real games), send him down to the trenches so he can get a taste of the physical American game. It’s not a crazy thought, no, its not.

Do you ever feel nostalgic about Rob Babcock? You ever thank him for Jose Calderon, Roko Ukic, Charlie V and freeing up cap space? I sometimes do but then I look back at the 2004 draft and remember that we passed over Andre Iguodala (9), Andris Biedrins (11), Al Jefferson (15), Josh Smith (17), JR Smith (18) and Beno Udrih (18). It makes me feel a little better until I look at the 2006 draft and remember that Colangelo passed up on Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge and Rudy Gay. Actually, come to think of it that was very crappy draft year….just some Saturday morning random thoughts.

There’s a little note in this article which says the Raptors will play one of FC Barcelona or the Lakers on Sunday if they beat the Clippers tonight. Back-to-back’s in preseason. What’s that all about?

Hey, get the RSS feed for this blog. It’s free. Got to get ready for Arsenal vs. Everton now. Later.

Posted in Raptors, Sports | Tagged: , | 13 Comments »

Ukic signing official + Joey Graham speaks + TJ Ford!

Posted by Arsenalist on July 17, 2008

Official announcement of the Roko Ukic signing is the main news of the day. It’s a guaranteed three year deal that runs till the end of the 2010-11 season. Financial terms weren’t disclosed but given how close the Raptors are to the cap, it can’t be more than a million per. In 34 regular season Italian League games, Ukic averaged 11.5 points, 2.6 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.7 steals. The most impressive thing about the man was his blistering FG percentage which is close to 60%! Combined with Calderon, Ukic is going to give the Raptors an all-Euro PG tandem with steady hands.

The NBA-readyness of Ukic has often come into question, after being selected by Rob Babcock in the second round of the 2005 draft, Ukic, then a 21 year old, was deemed to need a year or so more of European basketball. But with Calderon and Ford gobbling up the minutes at that position Ukic was forced to prolong his European career although many scouts believed that he was NBA-ready. Now at 24, he comes into the league at the same age as Jose Calderon and we’re hoping the results are similar. Asking him to replace TJ Ford is a tall task given the former Raptor’s speed and ability to keep defenders on their toes, if Ukic can hold the fort down by playing good defense and running an organized offense while Calderon gets his 15 minute breather, he’ll fit right in.

There was some talk yesterday that the Raptors were interested in the services of James Posey. As ridiculous as that sounds the rumour carried some merit. That merit was quickly squashed as Posey cashed in on a 4 year 25 million dollar deal with the Hornets who have had enough of Mo Pete’s inconsistency. As John Hollinger points out, signing 30 year old role players to big deals rarely works out (see Bryon Russell, Dan Majerle, Jaren Jackson, Rick Fox and Raja Bell) and it hardly makes sense to pay Posey this kind of money this summer when nobody cared for him the previous year. The other big signing of the day had the Cavs giving Daniel Gibson a five year deal.

Mike Ulmer talked to Joey Graham about playing in the summer league. Basically Joey’s saying that its better than sitting at home. I’m curoius as to whether Bryan Colangelo requested Joey to participate or whether he decided on his own that he needs to sharpen up his game:

“I was at home, sitting around, and I really wasn’t working out with guys. I said ‘why not go somewhere and play?’…I want the coaches to know I still can play and that I am a guy who will work hard. Last year was the first time I didn’t play that much, my first bit of adversity. It builds character and makes me into the person I want to be. I didn’t like not playing.”

This is probably a good time to mention how bad the blogs on Raptors.com are. It took me five minutes to figure out how to just link to this story. I mean, can’t they just get a WordPress installation?

TJ Ford was introduced as an Indiana Pacer on Wednesday and he proclaims that “Pacers basketball is back!” Well, the way he said it there was no exclamation mark at the end but you know TJ, he speaks casually but his mind is racing at 100mph. Ford says he’s going to be durable and aims to play the entire season:

“I think a lot of people are wondering if I take a hard fall whether I’m going to get up or not. I think the staff we have here, the things they discussed with me, that can help my situation better than what it is. I think I’ll be durable throughout the season.”

I think he”ll be just fine with the athletes around him and the Pacers will surprise people. It’s definitely more of a rebuilding project than Toronto but Ford’s saying the right things early on and Jarret Jack does seem like he’s ready to take the back seat. Jim O’Brien’s calling the Pacers off-season so far a “stroke of genius”. I’m not going to go that far but it`s hard not to like the talent they’ve acquired.

Samuel Dalembert’s agent is responding to him being cut by wishing Basketball Canada “Good Luck ever getting another NBA player to show up again”. In hindsight, I’m not sure if cutting him was a great idea, it does send a bit of a harsh message to any other potential players. I think a benching would`ve sufficed but I stand behind Leo’s decision of not putting up with any nonsense.

The Raptors resume summer league on Thursday against the Sixers. Third time’s the charm. Dance Pak auditions are happening. Insert innuendo here.

Posted in Raptors, Sports | Tagged: , , , | 12 Comments »

Kings drop Raps + Parker speaks + Colangelo wanted Marion?

Posted by Arsenalist on July 13, 2008

If you’ve been reading this space for a while you know that post-game wrap-ups around here are usually filled with emotion, disgust, joy and a wide range of feelings which are usually towards the farther ends of the spectrum of happiness and despair. So when I report with almost no emotion whatsoever that the Raptors dropped their summer league opener to the Kings 93-86 (box score), I’m trying to say that this game doesn’t mean anything.

AltRaps has scourged Yahoo for some very nice pics from the game. A game where Joey Graham was very impressive until you realize who the competition really was. Either way, you can’t take away 24/8 and 12-15 FT from Joey, nights like these only happens in dreams for the guy. Fast forward to the final two minutes of the game and you’ll instantly recognize the fourth quarter famine that was so evident of the big club last year. The Raptors failed to score when it mattered most going Turnover, Missed Jumpshot, Missed Horrible Jumpshot for the last three possessions of the game.

Jaycee Carrol showed us a little something something with a few nice floaters and a couple jumpers and went 6-9 FG for 14 points. Unfortunately he happened to take a very ill-advised late three which spattered mockingly against the backboard. It is summer league, if you’re not going to try stuff like that here where will you try it? Very unimpressive night for our PGs, John Lucas going 3-13 FG with a very, very bad pass in those crucial final two minutes. How Daniel Ewing managed to pick up 5 fouls and 2 turnovers in less than 9 minutes was a thing of beauty, the man sure makes the most of his time on the floor. He was my outside pick to make the team, egg on my face indeed.

Before the game Joey Graham talked about the struggles of trying to stay in the NBA:

“It’s just rekindling the flame that I had missed throughout the season. It’s just a matter of me coming out here, playing hard and doing the same stuff I’ve been doing while I’ve been in the Toronto Raptors organization…..When Jermaine or Chris is tired, I can definitely come in and play that position. When Jamario, Parker or Jason Kapono are tired I can play that position, too. Me being able to play multiple positions is an advantage for this team.”

He’s desperate for consistent minutes and begging Sam Mitchell to let him play through his mistakes. Graham’s got the physical ability to be in the NBA but I just don’t think he has enough time to show the Raptors organization that he’s worthy of it. My guess is he’ll end up being without a contract for next season, have a good year somewhere else and get back in the NBA – just like Hassan Adams.

Raptors summer league coach Eric Hughes chimed in post-game and pointed out to the Kings having a few first round picks on their roster as being the difference:

“I thought we played really hard – it was a physical game. They have four first round draft picks on their team and I think that showed a little bit with the way they were physical. Not that we weren’t ready for it and not that we didn’t compete, but ultimately that caught up to us at the end.”

Uber-blogger Rod Benson and Chris Bosh’s brother did not play and Hassan Adams chipped in with 9/3/4. That concludes the formality of covering a meaningless game.

Anthony Parker and Jermaine O’Neal are working out hard at Joe Abunassar’s Impact Basketball in Las Vegas. Jermaine’s giving his usual “reborn” speech but Anthony Parker chose to talk some technicalities:

“He brings toughness, a defensive presence in the paint, and he’s a great rebounder. All of those things are things we struggled with last year…He’s going to open things up and you’ve got to honor him and maybe send two people at him, same way with Chris. And that opens things up for guys like me and Jason Kapono on the outside.”

The man is obviously talking great sense here, O’Neal’s acquisition is designed to get the likes of him and Kapono open looks and we know they can knock them down. On paper it really is a great idea and if Sam Mitchell can utilize two double team threats and two great outside shooters properly, there’s little reason to believe that we can’t be a very good offensive team. On the other end of the court you know that Bosh and O’Neal will do their part, it’ll be upto our perimeter guys (including Moon) to lock down the perimeter. Another benefit of having a healthy Jermaine O’Neal is that we won’t need to constantly double team the likes of Dwight Howard as much as we did last year, thus easing the pressure off our defense.

Some bloke in the Miami Herald is proclaiming that the Raptors tried to acquire Shawn Marion but the Heat didn’t show great interest in T.J Ford. Then the writer goes on to say that Miami would rather have Larry Hughes. I personally loathe Shawn Marion’s game, he’s a product of a Phoenix system which suited him perfectly and not a superstar. If really hope Colangelo didn’t actually try to acquire him.

Raptors play Denver on Monday. Have a nice day and as John Stewart says, here’s your moment of zen.

Posted in Raptors, Sports | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Raptors summer league roster and Joey’s on it (again)

Posted by Arsenalist on July 8, 2008

Took a break from blogging, will ease back in now.

The Raptors announced their initial summer league roster on Monday and the only guy on there that makes you shake your head go tsk tsk is Joey Graham. After three years of NBA ball the need for summer camp still exists for Joey and it speaks of a player who is on the very fringe of the NBA, barely holding on to a spot in this prized league. You can’t help but root for this guy, on one end you see his physical ability and expect some defense and slash out of him but on the other, you see him trying to make plays that would make special olympians blush.

The other notable on the list is Joel Bosh, younger brother of Chris Bosh. I can already smell some nepotism here but hardly care. Roko Ukic isn’t on there since he’ll be in Beijing for the Olympics. My outside pick to make the team is Duke guard Daniel Ewing who could take on the role of Darrick Martin as a third string point guard.

No Jamario Moon on the roster and Doug Smith says its because insiders have told him Moon needs to start work on his technical skills and that pointless games won’t do him much good. I tend to agree but he needs to put those technical skills in practice somewhere and I sure hope training camp isn’t the first time he’s going to practice a drive to the rim. Maybe he’ll surface up later, you never know.

Player Pos. Ht. Wt. Birth Date School/Country
Hassan Adams F 6-4 220 06/20/84 Arizona
Deji Akindele C 6-10 240 04/03/83 Chicago State
Sean Banks F 6-8 210 01/20/85 Memphis
Rod Benson C 6-10 235 10/10/84 California
Joel Bosh F 6-7 185 03/11/86 Alabama State
Coleman Collins F 6-9 236 06/22/86 Virginia Tech
Daniel Ewing G 6-3 185 03/26/83 Duke
Thomas Gardner F 6-5 213 02/08/85 Missouri
C.J. Giles C 6-11 240 09/25/85 Oregon State
Joey Graham F 6-7 225 6/11/82 Oklahoma State
John Lucas G 5-11 165 11/21/82 Oklahoma State

Skipping along to other NBA happenings, Darius Miles is impressing the Suns and Celtics. If only a team could get this guy to play hard and with a minimal amount of common sense, he’d be a valuable component of any team given his athleticism. I do like how the Celtics reach for untapped reserves though, they picked up PJ Brown out of nowhere and arguably without him they don’t win the title, I wouldn’t be shocked if playing for a title contender might spark Miles. After all this is the first time he’ll play for a team not destined for the lottery.

Ronny Turiaf is a restricted free agent and the Lakers are in a holding pattern. If it hadn’t been for O’Neal, we’d all want what Turiaf brings to the table. But with our big frontline the only reason we even look at him is for injury insurance. Once again the Bargnani factor will loom even larger if any one of O’Neal or Bosh get injured for an extended period of time. Big year for Bargnani.

Round 1 of Beasley vs. Rose goes to Beasley. Quite easily too.

Posted in Raptors, Sports | Tagged: | 8 Comments »

Raps start pre-draft camp + MLSE looking at England

Posted by Arsenalist on May 27, 2008

Blogs and new age media are a great thing and provide a candid, sometimes humorous perspective, but you often come across pieces written without any knowledge of the player/team/GM in question. Consider this little brief analysis of our friend Joey Graham from Hoopsworld:

“He improved a lot this past year, became a more reliable player”

Now I don’t know whether the author is confusing him with his brother Stephen who might’ve improved “a lot” this past year or might’ve become a “more reliable player”, I don’t know. What I know is that I can testify with certainty that Joey Graham failed to make a single valuable mark on this team in 2007-08. Joey was the 10th guy coming off the bench for most of the season and unless Sam Mitchell has a massive change of heart or Joey develops a mid-range game rivaling Rip Hamilton, he’s about as much a factor in Colangelo’s plans as Joe Wolf. Its not out of this world to believe that Graham can be an impact player in this league with his strength and slashing ability. He needs to get consistent playing time on a team where he can play through his mistakes and develop into a slasher somewhat like Corey Maggette. It might happen, I wouldn’t bet on it but the potential is there.

The Raptors start their pre-draft camp in Florida today and we find that Colangelo is also considering trading the #17 pick because of good practical reason:

“Selecting someone at 17 and think they’ll be actually contributing next year might be a bit far-fetched”

But at the same time we’re holding workouts for 40 different players so Colangelo isn’t close to deciding what he’s going to do with the pick. Either way a draft and/or trade should address the swing position and kick one of our two PGs out of here. The draft will have ripple effect and depending on what position we draft, it will end up deciding the role of Parker/Moon/Nesterovic amongst others for next season.

Moving along we find out that Richard Peddie and MLSE are very interested in taking over a European football club. The report states that Leeds United, Southampton and Reading peaked their interest:

MLSE president Richard Peddie and chief financial officer Ian Clarke reportedly visited England and spoke to officials from Southampton, Reading, as well as a possible meeting with representatives of Leeds United and Ken Bates.

Reading play in the top flight of English football and would bring in considerable revenue to MLSE which would become yet another foreign owner of a British club. Manchester United and Liverpool are also currently owned by American billionaires.

Back to some on-court stuff. We all remember our rebounding problems from last season and how we salivated at the likes of Anderson Varejao, Marcus Camby and even Reggie Evans. Well, according to I Hate Raptors, Varejao might be on the outs in Cleveland and it would be logical for us to at least look at what it would take to get him here. I couldn’t find a credible link to a story except this article which alludes to the fact that he’s only signed for one more year and this one accusing him of costing the team a higher seed because of the hold-out. Take it for what its worth. I’d like to see him here.

I want to see Jeff Hornacek coach bad. Real bad. He’s either going to be complete flop or one of the best coaches in the league. He’s played under great coaches and has been part of great teams and has had great teammates. In my mind he won’t be a rookie head coach at all but someone who’s got Jerry Sloan, Johnny Orr, Cotton Fitzsimmons and John Stockton in his huddle at all times. He’s already interviewed with the Bulls and Suns and in my humble opinion he’d be great hire as an assistant who you groom to be a head coach.

Daniel Nestor answered nicely to a question about whether Steve Nash should play for Canada in Beijing:

He has done so much for the country that you can’t knock the guy for not playing. And he hasn’t won an NBA championship and, realistically, in his mind, he probably sees himself having a better chance of winning an NBA championship than winning a gold medal. You have to respect him. He’s a top-five player in the world. Roger Federer, he doesn’t always represent Switzerland in the Davis Cup — and athletes like Federer and Nash have to have their own agenda to get where they are.

The Cavs fans really want Michael Redd. I never liked Redd’s game as much as everyone else, he’s a 2nd tier player who happens to play in a very loose offensive system where bad shots are tolerated and mediocrity rewarded. He might space out the floor better than Delonte West for you but if you want to keep Lebron in Cleveland you’ll have to get him another superstar to play with, just like the Celtics did with Pierce.

Not much happening in Raptor-land, not even rumor-wise. Just a reminder you can read this blog in your favorite RSS reader by latching on the feed.

Till tomorrow.

Posted in Raptors, Sports | Tagged: , , | 18 Comments »

Sam Mitchell can’t ride the Bosh/Bargnani excuse much longer

Posted by Arsenalist on December 8, 2007

Toronto Raptors 84, Boston Celtics 112

toronto raptors dazed and confused

Hmmm…you didn’t need to watch past the first quarter because the other three were the same: Boston tearing an undermanned Raptors squad inside out as the Raps struggle with their offense while the coaching staff simply waits for Bosh/Bargs to come back. Yes, we were missing two key players but that can’t serve as an excuse for offensive sets that were so stagnant that Joey Graham taking one-on-one contested jumpers was considered a good possession. There’s no point in spewing the bile about our unimaginative offense or porous defense because as long as Sam Mitchell is in Toronto, it’s not going to change. At best we can hope for games where our run ‘n gun style pulls us through and the occasional individual brilliance from our talented offensive players.

I didn’t expect the Raptors to win this game but I did expect them to compete and at least keep the game close until the third quarter, don’t think that was too much to ask. Not having Bosh and Bargnani hurts but that can’t explain how Rajon Rondo was able to blow by our PGs and then have enough time to casually pick out a choice of open shooters. Nor does it justify picking up silly fouls, simply losing track of your man and not fighting through picks. These are basic fundamental things that an undermanned team must do in order to have an outside chance of keeping the game close, it ain’t exactly rocket science. It needs to be preached pre-game and enforced by the coach. No excuses. The players take the blame for not executing and the coaching staff takes it for not instilling the concept in the team. A coaching staff is supposed to get creative when faced with adversity or challenges, that’s when they really earn their money. In our case Sam just threw his arms up in the air and just rode the injury excuse to a horrible and embarrassing loss. All we fans beg for is to try and so something: trap the ball, run back-screens, maybe a UCLA cut, try to get Garnett out of the game, force Ray Allen to the baseline, make Rondo beat you, something, do something!!! Here’s what Mitchell offers:

“They just drilled us. Got guys injured. Got guys in and out of the lineup. It’s just tough.”

Not good enough I say. Sam’s sub patterns are so erratic that nobody really knows when they’re going to play and who they’re going to guard. Tonight we saw the return of Juan Dixon from exile and he looked like a chicken with his head cut off and was just trying to get his points. Can’t really blame him. Everybody has injuries, you deal with them and come up with alternate strategies, you don’t moan about them and use them as excuses.

Another concept, one of rotational defense doesn’t seem to exist in the current squad; the opposing team only has to beat one person off the dribble and we’ll be lucky if help comes. Even if help comes, the rotation that the help should trigger simply never happens thus reducing the task of breaking us down to a simple drive ‘n dish. This problem is so deep rooted in this team that it can’t change overnight. I don’t think we had a chance in this game even if Bosh/Bargs played because we didn’t lose this game by not just scoring enough points, we also lost because we allowed the Celtics to push us over way too easily on defense. There was little resistance to anything they tried to do, we couldn’t even foul them so they could at least earn it on the line.

There are times when the Raptors can come off looking like the worst team in the NBA and that’s when it dawns on me that we are so horribly coached on both ends that it’s nothing short of a shock that we’re 4th in the East. Well, we did have an easy November and if early December is a sign of things to come, we’re in HUGE trouble. Our inability to establish a defensive system under Sam Mitchell is going to cost us; it already cost us the NJ series and it’s cost us at least 5 games so far this season. Concepts like rotations, switching and close-outs are either entirely missing from games or executed so poorly that you wonder if the player is just being lazy or doesn’t know what to do – Joey Graham is Exhibit A, he doesn’t know who to guard and what to do on a switch. Throw Juan Dixon and TJ Ford into the same category and we’re lucky that the ref doesn’t blow us for the three second violation every time. As for Joey, it’s very evident that he’s trying to win a spot on this team by trying to force his offensive game. Unfortunately for him, that’s the perfect way to shoot himself out of an NBA job. He needs to learn the basic fundamentals of defense, develop two or three good go-to moves and be aggressive on the boards. Maybe then he has a shot of staying in the NBA past his rookie deal.

Enough about the game.

Chuck Swirsky
chuck swirsky caricature cartoon

Apparently he contacted the RealGM folk and asked that threads bashing him should be heavily moderated and that the insults are too much. Fair enough but he does bring it on himself by wrapping himself in a Raptors flag while calling the game. You can’t expect to make the entire broadcast your own little toy by coining stupid catch phrases, giving shout outs to people, exaggerating the player abilities, forcing your viewpoint on others and not expect to be called out on it.

I was watching the Celtics/Raptors game from way back when Vince hit the game-winning three at Boston Garden and John Saunders was calling it. There were no onions, no salami and cheese, no hyperbole, no insane shouting, nothing that would be qualified as stupid. He just called the game as he saw it and it was fine, everybody enjoyed it and never talked about the announcer. That’s how it should be. BTW Chuck, thanks for shoving the most useless stat down our throats for the past two weeks, you know Jamario Moon having a block in a dozen straight games. Is there one for steals? Or how about one for defensive rebounds. You know like “most consecutive games with a defensive rebound”. Ughh.

Horrible night for the Raptors, best to forget about it and hope that we find our form Sunday against Houston at the ACC.

You might find this little video clip amusing. Later. Get the feed.

Posted in Raptors, Sports | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Look Ma, Joey Graham made a jumper

Posted by Arsenalist on October 23, 2007

Exactly a week to go till tipoff, Raptors vs. Philly to be more precise. Nothing in the news except people bitching and moaning about who should start at the small forward spot. Nobody appears to really want the job, if they did they’d perhaps put back-to-back solid games and make the decision a little easier for Sam. You’d think after blowing the MLE on Kapono he’d be a lock to start the season but no such luck for the one-trick pony. If he’d just knock 50% of his open shots down he’d be a shoe-in but he’s managed to clang his share of jumpers leaving the door open for Joey Graham who in his third year is in the now-or-never time of his career. Also in the mix is Carlos Delfino who apparently can’t pass the aptitude test required for starting in the league. Sam’s almost talking about him in the past tense when it comes to starting, narrowing it down to Graham and Kapono. Am I the only one who heaves a sigh of relief every time Joey makes a jumper? He’s a perennial 7th man on an average NBA team.

But does it really matter who starts, I mean does it really? They’ll probably all around 15 minutes a game and it doesn’t interest me which order they come in. It’s more to do with pride than anything at this point for all three (less for CD, he’s already checked out of the competition). Most Raps fan would even settle for Graham starting and Kapono being the spark off the bench. Or vice-versa. My only comment and concern is that for Kapono to get his shots he needs to be playing with a double-team threat aka Chris Bosh. If that’s not happening, it’s all upto TJ and Calderon to drive ‘n kick for Kapono. I’d prefer Bosh getting the assist. As for Graham, his problem is that he can’t channel his ferocity towards helping his team. He lacks the skill to be a slasher and is a tad slow to blow by his man. Throw in a very, very average jumper and you have your classic NBA nomad. Even then, if he can just become a defensive stopper of some sort and grab some rebounds he’ll always find a place on this team. This just in: Juan Dixon missed a wide-open baseline jumper.

Now if you’ve been living under a rock (aka not reading RealGM) you’ve probably heard of Fan Boy Gear. Spend some money and buy a shirt man, it’s dirt cheap and you’ll be helping out a bunch of Raptors fans who happen to be web entrepreneurs which God knows isn’t an easy task in the world of ebay, saturated social networking sites and softcore porn. Plus you might even look cool enough for Mop Girl to fall for you. Please, no more debates about her attractiveness, I think we all agree she’s somewhere around a 6.5.

How about Adam Morrison being done for the season? That got me thinking what would happen if (God forbid) something happened to CB4 and he’d have to miss the season. **Shudder** In other completely irrelevant news Kanye West will have the honor of opening up each Raptors home game. This closely beat out a personal favorite of mine. RIP John “The Denver” Pimp. Next up I’d like to point out to a couple blogs which are usually on my seasonal reading list, one of them is The Hype Guy who’s a funny dude without a clue of how to design a website, the other is Netsophobia, a hardcore New Jersey Nets fan who still hasn’t figured out that Vince Carter has a Mangina. Then there’s of course Raptors Talk who you can actually hear cry after gut-wrenching losses. Last but not least is the Coach who’s always on the ball and never on the money. If you’re interests span more than just basketball, there’s Gramsci’s Kingdom which puts most writers to shame.

But look at me prancing around like a little school girl, let’s get back to the Raptors and talk about Jamario Moon who’s shown enough athletic ability to warrant a spot on the roster while also showing traces of Rafer Alstonitis. At this point however I’d keep him over Maceo Baston, look at it this way: We can sign Baston anytime we want, nobody’s exactly licking their chops waiting for us to cut Baston so they could sign him. I keep asking myself, is Kris Humphries as good as JYD and somehow the answer always comes back in the negative. You tell me if I’m crazy. This just in: Juan Dixon dribbled the ball off his foot.

Grab the feed.

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