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Tuesday, January 03, 2006 

NBA and botched rebuilds

I'll start my first real post by talking about a touchy subject in these parts - the NBDL. More specifically, the Toronto Raptors. The NBDL comes up around here sometimes due to the success that Raptor "rejectee" Pape Sow is having in the league. I'm not 100% on his stats at the moment, but half way through December they were as follows:

3rd in points at 21.4 a game
1st in rebounds at 12.4 a game (only 2 guys in the league in double digits)
13th in FG% at .518
13th in FT% at .775
3rd in steals at 2.29 a game
6th in blocks at 1.29 a game
1st in double doubles with 6
1st in efficiency rating with 26.14 (only guy over 20 in the league)

Those are spectacular stats, even for the NBDL. Full time on an NBA team that could easily translate to 13 points and 9 rebounds a game, at least. But there just is no room for those kind of numbers on a team boasting Hoffa Araujo (who shall from now on be referred to as Halfa-man, as he's about as capable in the NBA as you'd be in your job if you chopped yourself in half and went into work), and inexplicable fan favourite lal the Red Rocket. That's not to mention the refusal to admit complete defeat in the Vince Carter "deal" by leaving some dead weight in the form of Williams on the team. Throw in the more than questionable 2004 draft (draft day will forever be remembered by the initial reaction to the Halfa-man choice by the announcers elongated "Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?") and the Raptors for years to come will be the but of most NBA jokes.

But, is this a fair assessment? I'm not so certain anymore. Calderon was a huge addition, and looks like, with the proper opportunities, could become one of the most exciting point guards to watch in the NBA. Mike James is also proving to be the surprise of the year so far for me. With a few moves to bring in more rebounding and a real center, this team really isn't bad... for the East. Prior to Calderon coming up limp in December, I actually had this conversation with the JF:

"yeah, they're having some trouble doing the selling of the tickets. i wonder why. Its the eastern conference so the raps are only 6 games out right now. I actually believe that they have a shot at the playoffs this year still. I was hoping they'd go for the 20 straight loses first and then do it, but that would have been too much. They aren't doing that badly. Well, ok 4-17 is pretty bad, but play those same games with the team they'll have in 2 months and they win some of those games for sure.... The early loss to warsh, the seattle game, the philly game, the clips game, that sac loss that really sucked to watch cuz you just knew it was coming, the dallas game of the same sort, and maybe even that washington game the other day. Win those and that's an 11-10 record right there. More than you need in the east. 9-12 is even fine at this point. I'm totally expecting them to chicago bulls up the second half. I hope someone has the sense to see it coming and bother to trade for a big guy.

they have 9 games left this year (2005). if they 5-4 that up then its a lock on the playoffs from there. That's right, I'm calling a 9-21 team a lock to make the playoffs. That's what I'm doing."

Unfortunately for them, the raps only closed out a 4-5 run in that span. Very impressive for being without Calderon, but not quite good enough for the playoff lock I made them. They got to 9 wins today, I notice, with a very nice effort against a very bad team. It'll take bringing in Pape, moving out Jalen (which is the LAST thing I want to see. He has been the best part of the Raptors franchise. Period. And he is owed the respect that goes along with that. Like Mario and Favre, he should be done in Toronto when he says he's done. Period. http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=bayless/051229), and bringing in a legitimate center. It's the East, so they are only 5 games back. They really could make a Bulls run if they bother to improve. Recent history tells me not to get my hopes up too high. Prove me wrong this time Babs.

On the topic of botched rebuilds, the Blue Jays made another "move" today, signing my mom to a minor league catching contract. That really addresses the issue behind the plate. Much the same way that bringing in their 17th 3B-1B-DH in exchange for a quality 7/8 innings pitcher and a gold glove second baseman. Yet somehow everyone is talking about all the moves the Jays are making like they are putting together this great puzzle. I just don't see it. Overpaying a couple of pitchers, and bringing in a couple of "power" guys who will bat .250 doesn't seem like catching up to Boston and New York to me. Not to mention the other 6 teams they'd have to leap-frog to get into the playoff picture. It's nice to see the team trying to make moves and become legitimate again, but the way it's being done doesn't make complete sense to me at this point. I hope there is a more complete picture being put together here that I'm not seeing yet. As a Toronto sports fan, however, I am not optimistic, and I'm always looking to be proved wrong. Let hope this is the time.

Hoffa sucks, ha!

i am going to predict an 88-74 record for the jays. i also predict that they'll finish second in the east, but they'll be fourth in th wildcard race. it'll happen. tank roberts says so.

second in the east but 4th in the wildcard? in that scenario there are 7 AL teams ahead of either Boston or New York. Are you sure about that there, Tank?

yes. what tank says goes!!

by the way, i like eggs...but not YOUR eggs...

what is this about? eggs

Very cool design! Useful information. Go on! film editing classes

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  • Kent MacDonald
  • Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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