Arsenalist

The Toronto Raptors Blog with an Arsenal touch

Posts Tagged ‘MIke Ulmer’

Early “statement game” against Philly + PER madness

Posted by Arsenalist on October 10, 2008

Did you watch the Knicks game? If you did, how many time did you see Jamario Moon “drive the basket aggressively”? You didn’t because it didn’t happen so I’m going to go ahead and say that Mike Ulmer didn’t watch the game or if he did he was baked out of his skull at the time. A worthwhile quote from that article is Andrea Bargnani admitting that his mid-range jumper is much better and how its something that he’s been working on. I was surprised at how much softer it had become since last year when the only destination for it was the back-rim.

Sherm the Germ mentioned it during the Knicks game and the Toronto Sun is insinuating it too: Will Solomon is Jose Calderon’s primary backup. Two pre-season games is not an indicator of how good or bad a player is so I wouldn’t read much into his decent games except that he’s a feisty little guard who’s looking to stick in the league. He’s not TJ Ford but I could see him coming off the bench and providing a defensive lift while sparking the offense; ironically that’s the role Jose Calderon was asked to play the last two seasons. I think Roko Ukic is on line to have a season like Mo Pete’s rookie one where he moved without the ball, played hard and converted his open shot opportunities. I wouldn’t hand the job to Will Solomon just yet, he might get the early dibs on it because of his experience but Ukic is the guy you want in that role.

From the same piece we learn that Jermaine O’Neal will play about 30 minutes in Sunday’s game so we should see a bit more of him this time around. Our twin towers are going head-to-head against Philly’s and it should make for an interesting dynamic. I would count this one as something more than just a warm-up game, you want to send a division rival an early message just like Boston sent us one last year. Hopefully Mitchell realizes this because for a team that’s looking to find an identity its games like these that help towards building one. The matchup features the two teams who made the biggest acquisitions in the East in the hopes of usurping Boston but before we can attempt to do that we should try settling the score between us. This will be a good test for our interior defense, Bargnani’s post-up ability and our perimeter defense which Iggy licks his chops at.

Lang Whitaker finally finished reading the Pedowitz Report and finds a sentence in it which summarizes it succinctly:

We have discovered no information suggesting that any NBA referee other than Tim Donaghy has bet on NBA games or leaked confidential NBA information to gamblers.

I suppose this means Scott Foster is off the hook and we can go right back to respecting and loving NBA referees and pretending their personal biases don’t come into play (ahem Hue Hollins, Steve Javie, Joey Crawford, Jess Kersey). I think a lot of the referees in the league are arrogant little power-tripping ****s, sure there’s always the honest hard-working “the game is above me” type ref but they’re in the vast minority. The only thing that I can say in their defense is that the NBA is the hardest league to referee.

There’s much being made about Bill Walker’s dunk on Theo Ratliff (YouTube) but the only thing that it convinces me is that you can find some talent in the second round if you’re prepared to look hard enough. Adding a young athletic winger can never hurt, especially as a second round pick since there aren’t any contractual commitments. It’s not like it’ll become a “Joey Graham situation”. Of course I’m referring to CDR being picked a spot ahead of us because we didn’t bother targeting him and picked a Sashimi raw big man that’s got heart issues even though we needed to get more athletic.

Bleacher Report time. Relax, nothing bad this time. It’s a piece by Messiah2315 where he argues how Jose Calderon is far from an ideal point guard. It’s a great read if you doubt Jose’s PG abilities, not so much if you don’t. This might be a good time to mention that according to Hollinger TJ Ford is better than Jose Calderon. That’s from his PER rankings where we also learn that Chris Bosh is deemed the second best PF in the league along with other meaningless rankings. I really hate this system.

Frank Zicarelli reminds us how David Stern cost us Greg Oden. I’d like to remind you that Voshon Lenard cost us a shot at Lebron James (think about it). Vince Carter left a game injured and Ball Don’t Lie is picking the Sixers to win 50 games.

Finally a little quiz. Who do you think Draft Express is projecting as the #1 pick in the 2009 draft? Think about it and when you’re done click for the answer.

That’s it for this morning, feed anyone?

Posted in Raptors, Sports | Tagged: , , , | 9 Comments »

Mike Ulmer and his pointless interviews

Posted by Arsenalist on September 19, 2008

Been busy for a couple days, got something brewing. Wait for it, its good.

Let’s get to some Raptor talk. The official website’s interviewing Anthony Parker and Willie Solomon. We don’t learn much except that Will Solomon’s thinking the contract from the Raptors is a “gift from God”. He sure sounds like a scrub that’s just happy to be there, reminds me of Jamario Moon all over again. What I can’t get past is Anthony Parker getting excited to play alongside Willie Solomon and labelling him as “ready to contribute now”. Maybe he’s just being nice, Parker’s like that. We did get further confirmation of one thing from the two interviews and that’s that Mike Ulmer needs to be fired. Now.

Jermaine O’Neal’s been spending a lot of time in Vegas this summer, he was training there in August but September’s dedicated to having some fun. He’s hosting a strip poker tournament alongside Robert Horry and some other NBA players. So far the knee’s holding up.

How about Josh Howard dissing the US national anthem and citing his race as the reason. He sounds like he lost his home in Katrina or is listening to too much Kanye. I’m not saying the government’s been kind to black people down south but that reaction might be a bit much. There’s also talk of Stephon Marbury getting waived, a move that’s about three years overdue.

By far the best article this week has been Hoops Addict’s interview of Sam Mitchell where he talks about the development of Andrea Bargnani. Bargnani has to feel the pressure to produce along with O’Neal, both have a lot to prove this season and should be heavily motivated. Chris Bosh wants to follow up his great Olympics with a good playoff run and that should add fuel to his fire. I just hope all three come through by staying healthy, playing smart and avoiding choking. I’m actually confident that barring injury O’Neal will have a strong year and make the doubters of the trade eat their words, its the other two that I’m more concerned with.

Speaking of Bosh there’s a psycho-analysis of Bosh in Slam this morning where there are two points that come up, one which I agree with and one that I don’t. I think you’ll feel the same way. Point I agree with: Chris Bosh is not a true franchise player. Point I disagree with: Sam Mitchell is the ideal coach for Bosh. The article’s subconsciously reiterating a lot of the points Charley Rosen made a couple days ago but this time its padded with enough fluff and niceties to make it sound not so harsh.

Not since the summer we signed Davis, Williams and Carter has there been so much expected from a Raptors team, let’s just hope the results are better this time around.

More tomorrow.

Posted in Raptors, Sports | Tagged: , , | 79 Comments »

Proof that Andrea Bargnani is working hard this summer

Posted by Arsenalist on August 1, 2008

Andrea Bargnani working on his game

Andrea Bargnani working on his game

I’ve been known to read peoples facial expressions and judging from the picture above the Paul Bunyan look-alike muscled an offensive rebound away from Bargnani and then put it in for a 3-point play. Seriously though, aside from working with John Lucas and attending Tim Grgurich’s big man camp I have no clue what Bargnani’s been upto. Pete Newell’s big man camp starts off next week and there was some talk earlier in the year of Bargnani attending it.

In a HoopsWorld article from a couple days ago it was suggested that he could move out of the four spot and onto the perimeter which somehow is supposed to be a good thing. In a perfect world he would be able to defend the small forward position and score using his size on offense but realistically speaking he’s still a lot closer to a PF than a SF. Jay Triano alluded to two of Bosh, O’Neal and Bargnani being on the floor at all times which would mean there will be minutes for Bargnani at the PF as one of Bosh or O’Neal moves over to play center. Lest we forget Bargnani’s “natural position” is the power forward and so far in his Raptors career he’s been asked to play center.

I don’t think the difference between defending the C and the PF is much different in the NBA, both require him to box-out, rebound and use his quickness as an advantage. Last year a lot of fans felt that he was playing out of position and if we moved him over to PF it would fix a lot of his problems, I don’t buy that argument. At the end of the day he’s got to play big-man basketball and both positions offer the same defensive challenges and offensive opportunities, in fact you could make a case that he should be able to take advantage of centers more easily considering how they’re usually slower. Regardless of which position he plays Sam Mitchell has to try to use him as a plus point rather than a liability.

Anthony Parker and Jamario Moon were playing pick-up at some guy’s house and gave their thoughts on the Jermaine O’Neal trade. Both are counting on a “renewed” O’Neal to lead the Raptors this year. Parker gave his thoughts on ex-teammate Will Solomon joining the squad and says its another shot at the NBA for him after being very successful in Europe. Sure, whatever to not give the impression that we’re scraping the bottom of the barrel here. Jamario Moon will be heading down to Vegas again to work out with Joey G and O’Neal later in the month.

Resident fruitcake Mike Ulmer got to interview Nathan Jawai and once again failed miserably. My favorite gem from this interview has to be the question, Are Australians just like Canadians? No Mike, Australians marry kangaroos, eat their offspring and run around naked in shopping malls trying to set off fire alarms. WTF?!? You get a chance to interview a player, ask him basketball related stuff like his impressions of Mitchell, what he thinks of his teammates and other interesting stuff. Who cares if he thinks Torontonians are nice?

Jack Armstrong will replace Chuck Swirsky on the Fan 590. He’s paired up with some hockey coach just to even the balance for the puckheads. I might actually listen to a Fan 590 show after years of boycotting it because of their idiocy when it comes to covering basketball. Eric Smith is a fair enough analyst but after that the drop down is so significant that its not worth it.

The folks over at Rush the Court have compiled a list of schools which have produced the most NBA draft picks (Google Spreadsheet) and not surprisingly UCLA and North Carolina are #1 and #2. You might be surprised at #3, its not Duke. My Kansas Jayhawks are #8.

Could they have found an uglier picture of Bosh? On a non-basketball related note, this has to be one of the craziest stories I’ve read this year.

That’s about it for now. Thanks for swinging by in the summer time. A special thanks to the ArseBlog for linking it up.

Posted in Raptors, Sports | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 19 Comments »