Arsenalist

The Toronto Raptors Blog with an Arsenal touch

Posts Tagged ‘rudy gay’

Jamario Moon got robbed

Posted by Arsenalist on February 17, 2008

One usually give two shits about the dunk contest but this year it would’ve been nice to see the crown return to Toronto and the Raps get a sweep of the top two ASSN competitions. Kapono’s demolition of the field (take that Lebron you pompous little prick) wasn’t a surprise and if anything, I was shocked he missed the one shot on the final rack which would’ve given him 26 on the night, thus breaking Craig “I practice 3s two months before the competition” Hodges’ record. When open, the man is deadly. When covered, he’s a waste of the MLE.

jamario moon dunk competition 2008

jamario moon dunk competition 2008

jamario moon dunk competition 2008

What was slightly depressing but deserving was Moon’s early exit thanks to some suspect judging which put a high value on props rather than substance. You’ve all seen this video by now which prompted many a pundit to pick him as the favorite and increased the size of Moon’s head by a 600% margin. That’s the only reason I can explain why he completely forgot that NBA rules stipulate that you must use another player to assist in one of the two dunks in the first round. When Moon did his first dunk he forgot to use a player thus forcing him to use Kapono as the assist-man on the FT line dunk – which is impossible because you need your full momentum and can’t be bothered to catch a pass, just ask Michael Jordan. The anti-climax that followed was a dunk from just inside the FT line, something very impressive but negated by the pre-competition hype and the really bad and unnecessary idea of marking the take-off spot which you miss by two feet.

Darrel Dawkins gave Moon an 8 on his second dunk which ultimately proved the difference. Moon’s dunk deserved at least a 9 which would’ve tied him with Gerald Green forcing a dunk-off. It’s not the low-score on Moon’s dunk that bugged me, it’s the high score on Gerald Green’s “Let’s put Rashard McCants on a ladder and have him pass me the ball” dunk which got all 9’s. This dunk was practically and alley-yoop, but easier. At least on an alley-yoop the pass has a chance of being off-target thus forcing the player to improvise and apply the needed correction, in this case all he had to do was catch it and slam it. This was possibly the worst dunk of them all and the sole reason why Moon was a spectator for the final round. The ball was caught on it’s way down and it wasn’t even that high to begin with (Rudy Gay’s alley-oop in the Rookie/Sophomore game was much higher). The windmill added a nice touch but that’s been played out. The candle-dunk was nice but not close to being as impressive as Moon’s left-handed near-FT-line catch-and-dunk of Kapono’s pass, yet it got nothing less than a 9. You might think I’m biased but I’m not evaluating this as a Raptor fan, but as an impartial observer.

The Superman dunk wasn’t even a dunk. It’s hard for me to look past that, this is the All-Star DUNK competition and you must DUNK the ball in order to get a score. Once again, props over substance. Take a look a the two pics below, you know what the main difference is? One of them was a dunk.

michael jordan poster 1988 dunk

dwight howard dunk contest superman

Dwight Howard did deserve to win, but Moon would’ve provided much better competition in the final round than Gerald Green who still thinks that the “between the legs” is more than just a treadmill move. Rudy Gay’s dunks weren’t all that bad, his second dunk was impressive, it was basically the same as Dwight Howard’s behind-the-backboard dunk except at a slightly more convenient angle which the judges will never pick up on unless they see a replay. The judges need to see a replay before they give a score, you can only measure the impressiveness of a dunk once you see it at a few different angles, evaluate the verticality, the body angle, the force etc.

Why does Magic Johnson open his mouth? Does he ever have anything to say besides inane banter? The TNT crew would do well by kicking out Magic and inside-joke King Reggie Miller. Kenny Smith’s been using the “Let’s go home” line since VC2000, it’s time to find new material.

Either Jamario Moon should make another YouTube video which shows what he can really do OR he should do something in-game – doesn’t matter if he travels or carries, just throw one down to get some face back.

How about the Atlanta Hawks acquiring Mike Bibby for next to nothing to strengthen their playoff push while Bryan Colangelo sits and waits. The only reason he’ll make a move is if his hand is forced and I’m glad Juan Dixon’s doing that right now.

Till another day. Grab the feed.

Posted in all-star, nba, Raptors | Tagged: , , , , , | 20 Comments »

I want R. Gay on this team and I’m not even talking about Rudy

Posted by Arsenalist on January 4, 2008

richard jefferson gay wifeHear me out, just don’t flip at the thought of having one of the slimiest players to have ever played be on your team. Just listen. For a second ignore the gayness, ignore the sliminess, ignore the voice, ignore the face and just concentrate on his game. Yeah, I think Richard Jefferson would be a pretty good fit for the Raptors. I’ve since Day 1 thought that here’s a player that is an out and out scorer, a pretty good defender, runs the break extremely well and can finish in traffic. He’s a good shooter, an excellent slasher and doesn’t settle for jumpers and believe it or not, if you’ve seen him play you know he’s got a high basketball IQ.

Let’s look at his stats for a second. He’s a career 17 PPG scorer (24.5 this year) and has always shot the ball well at 47.6% for his career and is also a good FT shooter (77.8%). He’s rebounding at a 5.5 clip and although he’s not a exactly a distributor at 3 APG he’s got the vision to find the open man when need be. In NJ Jason Kidd exclusive handles the ball and doesn’t leave many assists for his brethren. Finally, the man has an average salary of 13.5M with the contract expiring in 2010/11. As a bonus the man gets to the FT line better than most at his position. Not an unreasonable one by any standard. He’s currently in the prime of his NBA career and will be there for the next few years. New Jersey’s shown some signs that they’re willing to blow it all up and if the Raptors have the ability they should at least offer an ear or even insist upon it.

RJ would play an effective small forward in Sam Mitchell’s system of not having a system. He would thrive in an environment where he can go one-on-one to the rim anytime he wants and can feed off the inside presence of Chris Bosh. If you look at the Raptors right now, off a drive ‘n kick we almost exclusive shoot the jumper. Just ask AP, Kapono, Delfino and Moon who opt for the springer about 80% of the time. Once the PG has created a shot opportunity for us on the perimeter, we generally simply take it instead of searching for a better one. A player like Jefferson who can attack the rim at will and finish with confidence and accuracy is someone that can open up our offense to the point where we don’t go through long droughts as has become our nature. Plus, he’s the kind of player that can truly create his own own shot and can move well without the ball. His slashing and finishing ability is something Bosh will appreciate. A cutter to the rim is usually missing on Bosh doubles with Humphries being the only guy who’s willing to consistently come across and accept the pass in the paint.

It’s become crystal clear that Bargnani will need at least a couple more years to realize about 70% of his potential and that has left the team in a bit of limbo. Not knowing whether to wait on him or get a real second scorer right now is a catch-22 situation, you don’t want to be a mediocre team for too long but at the same time you don’t want to tie up your cap. Jefferson’s a player who will always have good trade value barring injury because of the type of player he is and what he brings to each offensive possession, so we don’t need to worry about wasting cap space with him. Let’s face it, Jamario Moon is at best a band-aid for the starting three spot and if we have any hopes of contending (second round win), we’ll need to upgrade that spot. He’s playing way too many minutes for his talent level and we need to at least give 40% of his minutes to someone who can be an offensive threat.

Now I know what you’re thinking, why Jefferson? No particular reason, I just think that he’s a pretty damn good player who has always been under the radar (insert joke here) because of who he plays with and his personality. Players like Mickael Pietrus and Andris Biedrins might also be great fits but I chose to focus this post on a player who’s always been hated on for various reasons not even counting last year’s playoff series.

Tonight’s Game

I’m going to the game tonight against the Pistons, should be a great one and a win tonight would speak volumes. During the season you don’t get many chances to make statements but tonight is different. See, we got our ass handed to us by Boston and Detroit beat Boston in Boston so if we beat Detroit, by some weird mathematical transitivity we might be better than both Boston and Detroit, huh?

The Wallace vs. Bosh matchup should be fun to watch, ‘Sheed likes to keep it outside and when he does come inside he’s got that unblockable fade which Bosh will have trouble with. I’d say the strategy here is to keep him on the outside and live with his shooting. I get a feeling unless Sam draws up some help schemes for Calderon, Chauncey Billups might just go off. Richard Hamilton’s always played so-so against us so I’m not too worried there. The other matchup that I’m anticipating is Tayshaun Prince on Andrea Bargnani, I know they play different positions but the size and strength here are probably even and worth a look if I’m the Pistons. Oh yeah and rebounding, everybody’s got to hit the glass. Everybody. Including me.

Game recap later. If you’re in the mood to buy some nice Raptors shit, check it. Easy.

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

Monster CB4 effort plus Bargnani’s late three earn hard fought win in Memphis

Posted by Arsenalist on November 21, 2007

Toronto Raptors 95, Memphis Grizzlies 89

A much needed win delivered home by Chris Bosh’s 22 points and 19 rebounds along with a late Bargnani triple which gave the good guys a one point lead with 2:14 left. Carlos Delfino added another three late on to seal the win in a game which was there to be won all along, much like the Boston, Orlando and Utah games **shudder**. For once the Raptors worked inside-out the entire game with Chris Bosh enforcing himself and providing the inside presence on both ends. Jason Kapono’s outside shooting helped out early in the fourth and when Memphis made their run and opened up a five point lead, we played good collapsing defense on Gasol and forced outside shooting from Warrick, Lowry and Gay which played into our hands. A day after the Dallas debacle, the Raptors climb back to .500 and head into Cleveland to face the struggling Cavaliers, another game which on paper we should win.

As Leo alluded to in the game, Bosh picking up his fourth foul in the third quarter was a blessing in disguise as it allowed him to rest until the fourth quarter on the back end of a back-to-back, that might’ve been what enabled us to win this game. Bargnani started off this game missing everything prompting many of us to sing here-we-go-again but to his credit kept on shooting and played very good man-defense on Swift and Gasol. The jumper eventually started falling and that’s what people will see in the box score but we should really talk about his excellent one-on-one defense. He keeps his arms straight up, doesn’t bite on fakes and uses his length wisely in post-defense situations. There were a couple instances where he picked up fouls trying to beat his driving defender to the spot but besides that his defensive positioning was excellent today which allowed him to grab 11 rebounds. An excellent game by Bargnani who’s proven that he’s much more effective when starting, I don’t know if this is a psychological thing but benching him earlier in the season was obviously a mistake.

Jamario Moon is like our Scottie Pippen. Just hear me out on this, an excellent defender with great recoverability and a streaky jump shooter. Moon has shown that he can anticipate what’s going to happen on defense and react before the play actually happens, his block on Mike Miller was an ultimate example of that. The athletic swingman can do no wrong on defense and anything you get out of him on offense will always be considered a bonus. Moon’s keeping the game dead simple and not trying anything that he knows he can’t do, you don’t see ill-advised jumpers, far-fetched passes or low-percentage drives coming from him, any points he scores are coming completely through assists and broken plays. What a great addition by BC, props to him.

Jose Calderon got the start instead of the “stinged” TJ Ford and had a subpar game based on his own backup-PG standards – 10 points and 8 assists for Calderon who had to deal with the ultra-pesky Kyle Lowry and the crafty Damon Stoudamire all game long. Calderon wasn’t able to penetrate as well as TJ usually does but distributed the ball well on the perimeter allowing Parker and Bargnani to nail some of their threes. A low-key game from Calderon which made me wonder if that isn’t how a PG’s game is supposed to be. Zero offense to TJ Ford.

One-Liners:

Rudy Gay’s Verticality: Leo Rautins was going off about how Gay stays too vertical which takes away from his athleticism. Hearing Leo talk I got the impression he wants Gay to play like the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Couldn’t quite catch his drift.

Maco Baston Cameo: Maceo Baston needs to read the one-line scouting report on Stromile Swift – Make him shoot. Having Swift fake you out with his jumper deserves an automatic 5-game benching.

MDG Smooth Play of The Game: How come they show this play with 3 minutes to go in a tight game? Are they saying there can’t be a smoother play later than this?

Darrick Martin shot-jacking: On the first possession he’s in he takes two bad shots. Why again should Jose listen to him on the bench? Seriously though, besides his one good pass to Kapono on the break, I’d classify Martin’s performance as poor and I’m not even expecting much from him.

Carlos Delfino: This guy gels his hair for at least 20 minutes before each game, there’s no way it can stay in the same shape after 25 minutes of PT. I don’t really care as long as he keep hitting the glass like a demon and making those step-back jumpers.

Me Golfing: YouTube

New Blog: There weren’t enough already, here’s another one: Raptors Guy.

I shall sleep well tonight, latch on the feed.

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