The Toronto Raptors Blog with an Arsenal touch

Posts Tagged ‘Mike D’Antoni’

Slow Saturday….Josh Howard anyone?

Posted by Arsenalist on May 24, 2008

‘Tis a slow news day when you start off with Vince Carter opening up a restaurant with his Mom. I got a sneak-peek taste of the menu and there doesn’t appear to be much heart or effort put into the steak. When you first look at it you get a sense that it might have some potential but after a bite or two you realize its just your run-of-the-mill sirloin that you’d rather trade for some French fries.

Pat Riley is starting to sound more and more like he’s open to the idea of trading the #2 pick. Over the last few days the Miami media is imploring him to not even entertain the idea but Riley is bent on improving his team by acquiring “as many good players as we can”. Hmm, we got some “good” players on our team, feed him TJ Ford and his long lost love Jason Kapono and we’re suddenly on the table. Just a thought.

We’re all in general agreement that the SG position needs to be upgraded and Anthony Parker’s role/minutes reduced. Josh Howard has fallen out of favor with the Dallas Mavericks and is there to be had. Of the 15 trade proposals listed in the article the Raptors are nowhere to be found and with good reason – we have nothing they’d want. Howard’s a very good scorer and would lift some of the pressure from Bosh but he’s the last guy Colangelo would look at character-wise. Not going to happen, lets move along.

I love the parting shot taken by Jerry Reinsdorf at Mike D’Antoni. He’s saying D’Antoni got scared out of coaching the Bulls because Reinsdorf wanted the team to play defense and D’Antoni openly acknowledged that he tries to outscore teams and defense comes secondary to him. In the interview D’Antoni once again blamed the fact that his teams don’t play defense entirely on the personnel even though Shawn Marion, Raja Bell, Amare Stoudamire and Boris Diaw are all capable players. I just don’t like that guy and it shows.

Sam Smith’s mouthing off again and recommending Chicago trade Hinrich et al for expiring contracts to make a run at Dwayne Wade at the end of the 2009-10 season. I don’t know if you can build on those hopes especially when Wade’s got a 17M option for the 2010-11 season. Factor in Wade’s injury problems and you got Sam Smith coming up with a low-percentage plan that further reduces his reputation closer to mine.

Reports out of Houston say that the Rockets are looking to trade up in the draft to the teens (13-19) and there are teams willing to give their pick up or “trade out of the draft altogether” because of salary reasons. Apparently, the $1.8 million salary scale for those picks is too much for some GMs to bear. Strikes a little odd to me considering how deep the draft is.

Spurs are down but not out. They’re too good to go down in 4 or 5, I wouldn’t be surprised if this series ends up 2-2 and goes 7. Home-court advantage has been huge this post-season and although the Pistons bucked that trend, the Spurs’ experience and talent is too much to discount. Plus, you can’t expect Ginobili and Parker to play like crap for the entire series.

Shameless plug for my Euro 2008 soccer pool – $16 through PayPal. All the money goes to payouts, I make zilch – top 4 win prizes. While supplies last!

Till tomorrow.

Posted in Raptors, Sports | Tagged: , , , , | 7 Comments »

Lebron over KG + Colangelo tried to contact D’Antoni

Posted by Arsenalist on May 13, 2008

I was checking out Game 4 of the Cleveland/Boston series where both teams were desperately trying to lose the game in the fourth quarter by launching horrible low-percentage ‘hero’ shots in an attempt to chug the scoreboard along. Nothing was going in until Lebron finally hit a three after missing his previous 38. A few moments later Boobie Gibson (the worst nickname in the NBA) buried one too and that’s all it took to send the series back to Boston. In the process we also saw Lebron posterize KG. Even though I hate Lebron’s guts it made me feel good because I think KG is an overrated dick who thinks he’s better than he actually is. So far the Jazz, Hawks, Spurs and Cavs have all erased 0-2 deficits by winning their two home games, if only the Raptors had done that maybe we’d still be playing.

Imagine my shock when the Knicks sweeped up Mike D’Antoni in hopes of ailing their overpriced slow-footed roster, I think Peter Vescey’s piece the following day summed up everybody’s feelings – that is everybody who believes that adding an expensive coach to an undisciplined and expensive roster can’t possibly work. We’ll finally get to see whether Phoenix’s success was because of D’Antoni or Nash/Stoudamire running the pick ‘n roll to near perfection. One thing is for sure, he’s blaming the lack of defense in Phoenix entirely on the players. I don’t like this guy one bit, I’d actually have Mitchell over him because he at least brings out some defense out of his players, D’Antoni delegates it to the players entirely. Sure, we would probably up our scoring but does it really matter since our chances of success in the playoffs would be exactly the same? And remember Colangelo stating that Mitchell was here to stay? Brian Hanley of the Chicago Sun Times is calling bullshit on that because apparently Colangelo tried to contact D’Antoni.

Now I don’t know if Doug Smith has any sources when he says the Raptors are interested in Boki Nachbar but he does satisfy the main criteria for Raptors recruitment – European. I’d say no thanks to Nachbar because he’s not what this team needs, for the 584th time BC we need a rebounder and a scorer, not another 3-pt shooter that’s allergic to the paint. Anyway, it’s probably just something Doug dreamed up while scratching his ass on a Tuesday morning.

I’m still recovering from the trip so forgive me if I’m posting links that are few days old but if you haven’t seen the Charles Barkley is a Dumbass clip, its comedy at its finest.


Posted in Raptors, Sports | Tagged: , | 21 Comments »

I heart Phoenix

Posted by Arsenalist on May 1, 2008

Basketball is so much more enjoyable when there’s not a losing home team to worry about, take for example Game 5 of the Cleveland-Washington series last night. The Cavs were up 5 and with the ball with about 1:30 left and Lebron jacked up an ill-advised three. The rest is history as Washington forces Game 6 at home (probably because Arenas didn’t play). With 11 seconds to run a play Caron Butler drove the ball straight at Lebron to get the go-ahead points. Notice that he didn’t take a perimeter jump shot about 3 feet out of his range after just catching the ball from his point guard, even though he was being guarded by the other team’s best defender. Ahhhh. That felt good.

The Phoenix Suns are being mentioned a lot, trade ideas involving the acquisition of Barbosa and Diaw seem to be popular with TJ Ford + chump change going the other way. Steven Nash is on the decline and since TJ Ford is the closest thing to him it make a little sense that TJ could be linked with a move to the desert. He might have the run ‘n gun in him but he sure doesn’t have the outside shot, left-handed finishing ability, ability to keep the dribble alive under pressure, poise, and most of all discipline. Phoenix is one of those teams that’s always trying to hunt for the title, I don’t see them giving the reigns to Ford and feeling confident of even making the playoffs. At best if he goes there, he’s going to play backup until Nash retires or dies.

The Atlanta Hawks might be a better fit for TJ Ford, he could get away with a lot more there than if he was playing under the high-scrutiny of the Suns. The Hawks need a point guard and we got a spare one – it’s a match made in heaven. Bibby isn’t going to stick around and Ford comes relatively cheap, there’s always the injury risk but the ROI for the Hawks could be good. I’ll take Marvin Williams or Josh Childress, thank you.

Jack McCallum is reporting that Mike D’Antoni is on the outs in Phoenix which is going to make Bryan Colangelo regret saying that Mitchell is safe. If the story is true and D’Antoni is fired, there is no way Sam Mitchell will be the coach of the Raptors next year. Colangelo will convince MLSE to swallow Mitchell’s salary at the chance of hiring D’Antoni again. In Colangelo’s world where defense and rebounding always come second to racking up points, D’Antoni could conceivably be the guy that turns the Raptors into Phoenix East, something that was always the intent. Will that translate to playoff success? Probably not, but will it give the fans some false hope that this team might even wind a round or two? Oh yes. His poor defensive record will hardly matter for teams who’ll be looking to replicate the regular season success of the Suns and are too distant from the playoffs to even worry about the results there. The Knicks are already licking their chops. BTW, I tend to believe McCallum, he’s the chap who wrote the 7 seconds or less book after stalking the Suns for a year.

Funny story from a couple days back at Bryan Colangelo being furious at Sam Mitchell for playing a round of golf on Sunday, a day after going down 3-1 to Orlando. I had trouble getting out of bed and Mitchell’s playing golf. Nice.

The most annoying blog on the planet has to be Jose Calderon’s, he insists on publishing it in PDF format where copying the text is impossible. To the Nazi fuckers running that site: its called HTML. In his post after Game 5 he’s contemplating his future and professing his love for Canada. Say what you will about those Euros, they’ll never complain about Toronto as a city. They might leave for cash-money reasons but it’ll never be because they feel that playing in Toronto is holding back their careers. To some that might be reason enough for signing them. Not to me.

WTF is up with Sam Dalembert? The TNT crew picked Boston to finish of Atlanta in Game 6. No way Jose. This one’s coming back to Boston.


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