Friday, November 30, 2007

Raptors 91, Cavaliers 82

I had the game on, but I wasn't really watching. When you know your team is going to win before the tip-off, it's not that interesting. Seriously, who are the Cleveland Cavaliers without LeBron James?

I wish Carlos Delfino had as much offensive efficiency as he did tonight. Ditto for Andrea Bargnani. I'm not talking about output, mind you. I'm just talking about counting on these guys to put the ball in the basket. I'm just talking about not going 1-5. C'mon guys!

Tomorrow, we play the Arenas-less Wizards. Let's go for 4 straight!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thanks for the (Random Access) Memories

Thanks to my friend, Shaun, I am now the proud owner of 2GB Kingston brand RAM. Along with other recent upgrades this year (250 GB HD, Mac OSX 10.5), I now have my laptop as pimped out as it's going to get. Well, at least for the next 3 months.

Do you know anyone that wants to buy 2 512MB sticks of RAM?

Raptors 103, Grizzlies 91

Just like the other Memphis game last week, there's not much to talk about here. The Grizz were coming off a back-to-back, they were tired, and as the game went on it showed. The Raps, on the other hand, had not played since Sunday, and came in with shooting legs. Incidentally, they shot 51% from the field. Chuck could have called Salami and Cheese at the first half buzzer.

What is of concern is that the Raps are wounded. TJ Ford is taking his time coming back from an arm stinger, and last night we lost Bosh and Bargnani (hopefully not for an extended period of time). Yes, we are deep, but when you lose this many significant players, and need to rely on the likes of Juan Dixon and Joey Graham, a team like Cleveland (Friday) looks sorta scary.

I hope you had a great time, Ruby! Did you get a bobblehead? Let me know how you liked the game.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Birthday Wish LIst 2K7

A yearly tradition here on my blog is to compile a list of cool shit that I like (as I did in 2005), or that I would be interested in acquiring (a la 2006).

Who am I to fuck with tradition? Oh yeah, the disclaimer: I do not want any gifts for my birthday! I have a job, and I can buy my own stuff. If my wife says it's okay. I just want to share stuff that I might like to receive. From myself ... With permission ... Unless someone was generous enough to give it to me ... On to the list!
  • The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
    I love Legend of Zelda games, and I love my Nintendo DS. This is a match made in Nintenheaven.
  • Guitar Hero 3
    I know, I know, I should be all about Rock Band. But it ain't out for the Wii. And whenever I get my Wii back (damn you Dooch!), I wanna be able to rock out like everyone else.
  • Metroid Prime: Corruption
    See above.
  • Super Mario Galaxy
    See above.
  • Macbook Pro
    I love my laptop. I love Mac OSX Leopard. Can you say that same about your laptop and Windows Vista? I didn't think so:

  • Sharp Aquos 52" LCD TV
    Sometimes I go to Best Buy, just to stand and stare at the wall of Plasma and LCD TVs. When we buy our TV, we're going to mount it to one of these swivel wall mounts. Oh snap! It comes off the wall!
  • Roc-a-wear Jeans
    It's the ROC!

  • Raptors T-shirts with the Raptors claw on it
    I have two now!

  • Dexter: Season 1
    Jon knows his TV and Film. When he told me to watch Dexter, I did what he said, because I trust his judgment. Oh yeah, and cuz he's old enough to be my father, and I always do what my Dad tells me to do. The show is hilarious!
  • Californication
    I don't have any wittyisms which may persuade you to watch this show. It has David Duchovny, of X-Files fame, and half-naked, hot women. That should be enough.
  • Toronto Raptors Tickets
    Even Ruby has Raptors tix! I wanna go to the ACC!
  • Bluetooth handsfree cell phone car kit
    The power of the interweb: I envisioned a device, that would plug into my car adapter, connected to my cell phone via bluetooth, and also plugged into my auxiliary input (which would allow me to use my stereo speakers when taking phone calls). I researched, and found this. The interweb has it all!
  • Honda Odyssey
    I only put this here to annoy my wife. Shit is big pimpin'! It's so spacious, it can seat 8! That's you, me, and sextuplets ... John and Kate plus 8 ain't got shit on us!

  • A Tattoo of my wife
    Ever since we started watching LA Ink, I've wanted to get a tattoo. It's going to be a portrait of my wife! I love her with all of my heart.
  • iPod Touch / iPhone
    So unnecessary, but so very very cool. I was playing with my brother's, and instead of playing music and watching movies, I was thumb-flicking through menus.
  • French Fries
    The ban ends soon!
Happy birthday to me!

Monday, November 26, 2007

My Friend Jon is a retard

So I'm chatting with my friend Jon ... and he's such an idiot. Here's how our conversation went:

Far Beyond The Stars says: (10:08:02 PM)
spanish night commercial is so funny

Al Torreno says: (10:13:45 PM)
gimme a link

Far Beyond The Stars says: (10:13:59 PM)
link to what?

Al Torreno says: (10:15:32 PM)
whatever the fuck commercial you're talking about?

Al Torreno says: (10:15:34 PM)
fuck jon

Al Torreno says: (10:15:39 PM)
you only wrote one line

Far Beyond The Stars says: (10:15:44 PM)
it's on raptors tv dumbass

Far Beyond The Stars says: (10:15:57 PM)
jose calderon and garbojosa

Far Beyond The Stars says: (10:16:13 PM)
"spanish night"?

Al Torreno says: (10:16:16 PM)
hang on a sec

Al Torreno says: (10:16:32 PM)
you wrote "spanish night commercial is so funny"

Far Beyond The Stars says: (10:16:38 PM)
they're advertising getting a free bobble head

Al Torreno says: (10:16:50 PM)
and I was supposed to figure out that you were talking about the Raptors?

Far Beyond The Stars says: (10:16:59 PM)

Far Beyond The Stars says: (10:17:08 PM)
that's why your iq is only 129

Al Torreno says: (10:17:35 PM)
that's why YOUR IQ is only 75!

Far Beyond The Stars says: (10:17:47 PM)
so vengeful

Things that are wrong with this chat log:
  • What the fuck else would I have been asking for when I said "gimme a link" ... Am I asking for a German sausage?
  • He called me a dumbass. HE called ME a dumbass! "Spanish night commercial" seems to be talking about something Spanish, or something that is happening at night. NOT something to do with the Toronto Raptors. But apparently, I didn't get it. "Spanish night commercial" obviously refers to the Raptors Grizzlies game this Wednesday. I apologize for my inability to connect the dots (with only one fucking dot!).
  • A commercial that shows up on TV has the ability to also show up on YouTube. Fucker.
I'm project failure of the year, because Jon is my project, and he hasn't gotten any better. In fact, I think he's gotten worse. And now, by posting this, I've sealed my fate for the 2007 TeamID Awards.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Raptors 93, Bulls 78

The Raptors picked up where they left off against the Cavs, continued to execute, and came away with the victory. I thought they looked polished offensively, and did a great job defensively as well.
  • The Bulls looked horrible offensively, like they didn't have any kind of game plan.
  • They say Jose Calderon can be a starter in this league. They are right. 14 assists, 1 turnover! He also punished the Bulls defense whenever they went under the screen -- You didn't know he could shoot? That ... was a mistake! (ah, Jet Li). To top it off, he played smart defense, and came away with a few steals. Excellent performance!
  • Introducing Jamario Moon! The shot-blocking, three-point burying, rebounding machine!
  • With Juan Dixon running point for 3 minutes in he fourth, the Raps go 0-6. I slapped my forehead so hard that it'll be red for another day or two. We're better off playing 4 players on the floor. Frig!
I needed to bring Ruby the red Civic in for servicing. I called Mississauga Honda and tried to get a Saturday appointment, but since I called on a Wednesday I got promptly owned. The lady on the phone asked me if Monday night was doable, so I asked her, "could you hold on for a sec? I need to check something." While she was on hold, I opened a browser window and checked, just to make sure there wasn't a game! On that note, I'll see y'all on Wednesday against the Grizz.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Raptors 108, Cavaliers 111

The Raps fall short, but put up an excellent effort against the Bron-Bron and the Cavs. I was friggin biting my nails at the end of this one, as they had a great chance to steal a win in Cleveland. But falling 8 points with just under 4 minutes on the road requires divine intervention, and I guess Raptor fan hasn't been lighting enough candles, so it wasn't meant to be this afternoon.

The Raps have almost put things all together, and hopefully TJ and Rasho will come back soon so we can translate this awakening into actual wins (instead of the crappy moral variety). Their offense looked polished today, I felt more than any other game this season that they had executed exactly what was drawn up.

Defensively, on the other hand, is another story. I'm not talking about guarding King James. That guy is friggin unguardable. Someone steps in to take the charge, and LeBron still has the body control to go around him. He is not a human, he is a monster. I thought Carlos Delfino did a terrific job, especially on the Cavs' last possession, and forced a difficult fadeaway -- but it still went in. Besides, I needed James to score ... He's on my fantasy team! Go LBJ! I mean ... uhhh ... on with the blog post.

When I say the Raps' defense was lousy, I was talking about the laziness on their rotations. They were extremely poor rotating, and perimeter defense in general was weak, which allowed Cleveland to shoot 51% from the field and 43% behind the line. Daniel Gibson and Damon Jones torched us with open look after open look.

So now the Raps hover in and out of the .500 mark, but they're still off to a better start than last season, and I'm optimistic that they will get better. Truest Raptor fan 2K7!
  • If Zydrunas Ilgauskas gets the ball deep in the post, you can count the basket before he turns to shoot.
  • Chris Bosh is an offensive machine. I'm glad that everyone is (finally!) on the same page with the gameplan: Give him the rock. Dallas, Memphis, and Cleveland, he's posted 31, 22, and 41 points. He also got to the line 17 times. Game. You can even knock him in the face, like LeBron did, and he'll still eat you up!
  • Anthony Parker's 3-ball attempt with an opportunity to tie the game was horrible.
  • I am going to start the I hate Darrick Martin fan club. Since when did assistant coaches get a chance to suit up? Get this guy off the floor!
  • Did I mention that Chris Bosh is a beast? They can't guard you, son!
  • Eric Snow is still alive?
  • Other than CB4, the Raps went to the line 5 times. That stat is gross.
  • When Jason Kapono is on, it's on. He put in 2 clutch 3-pointers late (but it was too little, too late) :(
  • Bargnani has continued his offensive prowess of late, but the coaching staff need to help him with his defense. Please! Help him! Teach him or something.
  • Oh yeah, I almost forgot: What the heck was TJ Ford wearing? His jacket looked like it had and embroidered ... lobster? What the fuck is that thing?
Let's hope that we can thrash the Bulls at home tomorrow like we did in Chi-City. Tip is at 12. Adnan Virk was showing Bulls/Knicks highlights, and when they played a Chris Duhon clip he said, "Duhon to others as they would Duhon to you." Classic.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Review: American Gangster

Sorry that this review is late ... You can blame Alicia Keys and As I Am. I've been listening to that album approximately 3 times a day. I love it! I can't get enough of it. I even changed my ringtone to Track #1. I don't really like music concerts, but if A Keys comes to town, I'm so down.

In fact, that is the theme of tonight's post. Passion and inspiration. Are you passionate about something? Have you ever wanted to put all of your heart and effort into something?

What about inspiration? Have you ever seen or heard or learned something new, and have it take you in a new direction?

Take a lesson from Jay-Z. He's dropped 11 albums in 10 years, a testament to his love for making music. His hard work and entrepreneurial drive have taken him from Rap superstar to President and CEO of Def Jam, founder of Roc-a-wear + Roc-a-fella records, nightclub owner, and stakeholder in the soon-to-be Brooklyn (bye-bye New Jersey) Nets. Gatdamn!

With all of his success, he could've retired a long time ago, but he's still working hard, and that's because of passion. Hard work doesn't feel like hard work when it's something that you love to do. Couple that with inspiration, and you have a formula for creating something special.

Inspiration for Jay-Z came in the form of Ridley Scott's crime epic, American Gangster. I really liked this movie, but apparently not as much as "The gangster Shawn Corey." After watching a rough cut, he records an entire album blending the events of his own life with scenes from the movie. Inspiration and passion: The result is arguably the best Jay-Z album since his very first, Reasonable Doubt. Everything in-between is nice, of course (I mean, this is Jay-Z we're talking about, people!). But his latest album showcases him with such a high level of potency and focus.

The album has a 70s funk feel, which aligns with the timeframe of the movie. His lyrics are honest and introspective, a rarity in today's one-hit wonder/intellectually void hip-hop scene.

I should correct myself, his lyrics are serious at least half of the time. The other half is spent flossing and stunting, coming up with witty and humerous lines like, "Art with no easel, please there's no equal/Your boy's off the wall these other n****s is tito", or "I'm in a whole other league, n****s never catch me/And I sport fly shit I should win an ESPY." Hilarious! I love it! Vintage S-dot-Carter!

The only track I'm not feeling is titled "Ignorant Shit." Beanie Seagal, what do people see in this guy? Other then that, the album is a gem. Two thumbs up. 5 out of 5. What other cliche accolades can I award it? Just fucking listen to it already!

I feel like going out and writing again. Jay Tse, where my beats at?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Raptors 95, Grizzlies 89

Yay! We win!

(I said I would try to blog after every game, and this post keeps my streak alive).

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Raptors 99, Dallas 105

The 2006-2007 Raptors, from January onwards, were the poised, confident Raptors. If they were down 5 in the fourth, it wouldn't be a problem, because they would make the plays down the stretch to win the game. If they were up 5 in the fourth, they would run their offense and get a quality shot every possession (and they would play sick defense).

The 2007-2008 Raptors, on the other hand, despite having the exact same core of players, are no longer poised and confident. They are blowing leads, and can't seem to stop the bleeding of a (insert double digit number here)-0 run. They become more selfish during an opponent's run, and no longer want to move the basketball. They are allowing a lot of fastbreak points, or what I'm going to call semi-fastbreak points: The defense is "set", but an offensive player on an isolation carves through the defense and scores within the first 10 seconds of the shot clock. Did you see Dirk Nowitzki eat up Andrea Bargnani? Or Devin Harris school whoever the heck was guarding him? Where is the help?

This is a mystery that baffles Raptor fans, and assuredly (hopefully?) coach Mitchell and his team are attempting to solve this very second. We should have beaten GS after we took the lead, and we should have beaten Dallas after being up 24. But we have no poise, and teams are capitalizing.

I don't have any answers. Do you?
  • ESPN reports that Garbo has been moved to the inactive list. Oh, I hope that it isn't something big. We need you back!
  • I am doubly mad that Nowitzki blew up last night, because not only did he help Dallas beat the Raptors, but he's helping my friends who added Dirk to their fantasy teams. Fuck!
  • I hate how easily the Raptors' defense collapses, and leaves 3 point shooters open. That speaks to either lack of preparation, or lack of communication.
  • 19 Raptor team assists. Anyone reading my blog knows what that translates into: Taking an L.
  • Chris Bosh had an excellent line (31 points, 12 rebounds, 7-10 free throws), but there were a few possessions in the fourth where it seemed like Dallas' defenders were wary of CB4's tricks. Sometimes Bosh is only looking to get fouled, so he's looking for contact. When the defender backs off, Bosh is completely off-balanced, at risk of travelling, and what he'll do is awkwardly release the ball and pray that it bounces in. In the fourth, everything was bouncing out. Plant and elevate, these guys can't stop you!
  • Bargnani also had a great offensive night, but he could not defend Dirk Nowitzki. It's okay, not very many players in the league can anyways. That doesn't mean you're off the hook, Andrea, you gotta work on that shit!
  • Devin Harris is friggin fast.
  • Is TJ Ford okay? Is he playing tonight?
Alright, next up is Memphis. They're better than they were last year, but we should still beat them. Dammit!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Raptors 100, Warriors 106


The Raptors are consistently inconsistent. Today, they added fourth quarter collapses to their repertoire. They kept shooting, and they kept missing. Instead of changing the gameplan, they just kept shooting.

Golden State is nice with it, but we should have had this game. Ugh.
  • 4-22 from the 3-point line? Are you fucking kidding me?
  • My favourite stat to track: Raps had 18 team assists. They are now 0-4 when they have less than 20 assists.
  • The Warriors switched to a 3-2 zone every once in a while. The Raptors are a jump-shooting team, which should mean that we should be great at busting zones. Apparently, one plus one does not equal two at the ACC.
  • Jamario Moon is a shot-blocking machine. He also had a sick dunk in the 2nd quarter.
  • If Chris Bosh is going to be 4-12 from the field every game, AND only get to the line 6 times, he's pretty much good for nothing. Smarten up!
  • Andrea Bargnani seemed to find his shot, which has been missing ever since he was pulled from the starting lineup. That's good! But he's still lost on defense. That's bad.
  • Stephen Jackson!
  • I don't care that Juan Dixon was 3-5 from the floor. He's garbage! Keep him off the floor!
  • Why isn't Garbo getting any minutes? Why!?!
  • TJ Ford had a nice game. This guy is a competitor.
Dear Raps ... please stop losing ... Please!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Raptors 110, Pacers 101

Raptors win! Raptors win! Raptors win!

The Raptors showed us last night the depth of their bench. Rasho is out with an ankle injury: No problem. Andrea Bargnani is in foul trouble (and his game, of late, smells foul): No problem. Juan Dixon sucks: No problem.

We'll just start Maceo Baston (who had not played 1 minute before last night's game), and give Garbo some minutes (which we all know he deserves). Let's go get this win.
  • When the Raptors have 20 or more assists, they are 5-1. Less than 20, 0-3. They need to move the basketball in order to be effective.
  • Jon is right: Jermaine O'neal is garbage. He is a product of the NBA hype machine.
  • Jamaal Tinsley lighting it up from the floor? WTF?
  • For Christmas, I want Jason Kapono's shot release.
  • Chris Bosh needs to get to the line like he did against the Pacers ... every single night.
  • Andrea Bargnani is missing his mom's home cooking, or something. Focus! (and I ain't talking about the Ford Focus ... That commercial with Coach Mitchell is terrible!).
  • Troy Murphy: TeamID has named you to the all "don't look like a baller" team. You join the likes of Chris Kaman, Kyle Korver, etc.
  • My highlight play of the night was ... no, it wasn't the AP 3-ball (although that was quite nice). It was a Chris Bosh offensive rebound. He didn't have inside position, but he outjumped O'neal, extended his arm, and snatched the ball out of mid-air! That's pure will.
See y'all on Sunday! Let's go Raps!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Raptors 88, Jazz 92

I was too sleepy (and too addicted to Dexter) to blog last night, and I'm too busy to blog this morning (well, too busy to go as in-depth as I usually do). But, I want to write after every game, so gatdammit, here it is!
  • The Jazz are a top-tier Western conference team. The Raps may or may not be a top tier Eastern conference team. I'm not sure, but what I'm sure of is that the disparity is staggering.
  • We may have lost by one or two possessions, but the Jazz were totally in control.
  • I said it before: We can't win without points from Bosh and Bargnani.
  • Dittio for Bosh not getting to the free throw line. It's like he figured it out in the fourth quarter, that he could take Boozer whenever he wanted, but by then it was too late.
  • You also can't win if you miss open looks, and commit unforced turnovers. Ford and Calderon looked terrible!
  • TJ Ford needs to take one step inside of the three-point line.
  • Deron Williams is sick. Don't call him, "D'Ron"
  • The Raps are still taking ill-advised shots. Last night, they just happened to go in. But I don't condone any of them! Moon, Parker, I'm looking at you!
  • Coming out of timeouts, The Jazz made the Raps look like a high school team. Schooled.
  • Why aren't the Raptors cutting to the basket as often as the Jazz?
  • Juan Dixon DNP makes Al happy.
See y'all on Friday.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Review: Alicia Keys, As I Am

Oh. My. god.

I don't think I can articulate just how much this album rocks. How much I absolutely love it. It has so much soul, so much character, so much "fuck, run that shit back, that shit is friggin sick!"

It feels like A Keys poured her heart onto each track, then waited a bit while her heart filled up again with love, then poured some more of it, until it overflowed. Then added some of her tears on top.

It makes me want to kiss my wife, and tell her I love her. A thousand times. And tell her that "no one, no one, no one, can get in the way of what I feel for you." Because sometimes I forget, but A Keys makes me remember again.

You and me together
Through the days and nights
I don't worry 'cuz
Everything's going to be alright
People keep talking, they can say what they like
But all I know is everything's going to be alright

The tracks showcase Alicia's amazing vocal ability. She pushes herself to the limit more than any of her previous albums. The production can't be categorized as R&B/Hip-hop, as it mixes a little bit of rock, funk, and of course, the piano. It's different, but at the same time, it makes me nod my head.

I am going to stop writing now, and listen to the album again.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Fastest route through the city?

The Google fanboy strikes again!

I'm trying to find the best route from my work (at Church and Bloor), to my wife's work (at King and Bathurst). Past 5PM, every friggin street is rammed! I'm looking for the magic route, where cars and traffic lights don't exist. Below are a few of my favourites, and I have some others that didn't work at all:
  • Queen street is rammed from Yonge to University
  • Ditto for College
  • The Gardiner doesn't move from Jarvis to Spadina
Do you have any suggestions for me?

Raptors 101, Bulls 71

Thanks to my nominee for worst organizer of the year (Shaun Sequeira), I had to listen to Raps/Bulls on the radio, and pick up Raptors game in an hour this morning.

On the radio, it sounded like a clear-cut blowout. I was thoroughly impressed, and glad that the Raps have put the offensive puzzle pieces back together. But watching the game this morning, my opinion has changed. We were just lucky that the Bulls sucked way more then we did last night. Ugly! Hopefully the 3 days rest will smarten them up!
  • 10 team free throw attempts? You live by the jumper, you die by the jumper (just ask Kirk Hinrich!)
  • 23 Raptor team turnovers won't get it done against the Pistons and Suns of the league, guaranteed.
  • I do like 36 team assists though. You could see, especially in the blowout third quarter, that the Raps were doing what they did last year to win games: move the basketball. Stop with this one-on-one shit, leave that to Kobe!
  • Andres Nocioni was the only noteworthy Bull. He was inside, he was outside, and when he's in the paint, he just bullies the ball into the basket. I love Argentinian toughness! That's why I'm big on Carlos Delfino (no Beth, not for his looks!)
  • Since when did the Raps have so much confidence in Jamario Moon? Where did this guy come from? One night, he's playing garbage time against the Bucks, then he's playing fourth quarter minutes against the Sixers, and now he's starting? Well, as long as we're winning, I ain't going to question it anymore!
  • I love AP and Kapono playing on separate units.
  • I love Juan Dixon relegated to garbage time.
  • I love Rasho. +35 when he was on the floor last night! His layups were so strong, Chuck and Leo thought they were dunks. Lay it up with authority, big man! That's how we roll in Slovenia!
  • Chicago fans chanting "Kobe" at the end of the game was fairly ghetto. This was the same team that took you to the playoffs last year. And they were predicted to take the East this year by many an NBA analyst. You wanna mess that up because of a 1-5 start? Lame!
No more games till Wednesday?! Need ... basketball ... fix ...

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Raptors 105, Sixers 103

I don't need this kind of drama in my life! (c) Alexis Torreno

The Raps finally put it all together, although they made a mess of things in the last 2 minutes. Hopefully we can do this against non-bottom feeder teams.
  • Andre Iguodala is a baller. Imagine, we could have drafted this guy! Instead, we drafted Rafael Araujo. (slaps hand on forehead)
  • AP is back! Instead of giving Kapono more minutes, they left AP on the floor, and he went 4-7 from three, including a few big ones in the 4th quarter. He finished with 22 points -- I love it!
  • The Raps had 25 assists, and it seems the magic number is to 20 or more in order to win.
  • Louis Williams? Who is this guy? That friggin 4 point play at the end was bullshit x 2 : He banked his 3-ball, and AP didn't foul him. Fuck that shit!
  • Jason Smith is friggin pasty!
  • Let's keep Bargnani coming off the bench and see if it works.
  • Chris Bosh: 18 free throw attempts. Nice! Keep on taking it to the basket!
  • Carlos Delfino had better be practicing free throws right now.
  • Jamario Moon!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Raptors 96, Magic 105

I treated my cousins from the Philippines to a night at the ACC. It was their first time watching NBA basketball. They told me afterwards that it was exciting and that they had a great time.


It's just too bad that the Raptors lost. Again.

Slow starts have been plaguing the team through their 3 game losing streak. Last night, the Raps fell 13-2 early, allowed Orlando to score 31 in the first quarter, and had to climb uphill from that point onwards. Why does this keep happening?

A lot of the key pieces from last year's team have reduced roles this year. Rasho and Garbo are both playing off the bench, with less minutes per game to boot. Could this be the reason? Or maybe the addition of Jason Kapono means AP is totally out of his comfort zone? Parker did not attempt a 3, and was 1-6 outside of 18ParkervilleCourt.

Or could it be that Juan Dixon is this year's Mo Peterson: No conscience when he shoots, and he can't shoot. What a horrible combination. What the fuck is this guy doing on the floor in the 4th quarter?

Whatever the problem is, the Raps need to fix it. They need to reestablish roles. They need to smarten up on defense. They need to draw more fouls. And they need to NOT shoot 38% from the field.
  • Thank god I didn't see Jamario Moon on the floor last night.
  • Jason Kapono and Anthony Parker take many an ill-advised shot.
  • Hedo Turkoglu owned anybody that was guarding him.
  • Keith Bogans? Who is this guy? He's the guy that sticks open threes.
  • Rashard Lewis ain't worth what the Magic paid for, but he is worth a lot. We had a fourth quarter lead for all of 15 seconds. A Lewis three-ball on the other end deflated the Raptor's run. Done.
  • If I met Dwight Howard in a dark alley, I would turn and run, hoping and praying that he doesn't catch me and eat me. "Please don't eat me, please don't eat me, please don't eat me."
  • We are a three-point shooting team. I am okay with that. If the Raps are going to take 20 attempts beyond the arc, so be it. Just try to make more than 6 of them, please.
  • Stan Van Gundy walked onto the court to bark out instructions just before a jump ball, and I swear I saw the hardwood floor bend and warp.
  • Stat of the night: Chris Bosh 14-14 from the free throw line (although I could have sworn I saw him miss a free throw in the fourth quarter). You need to give this man more touches!
See y'all on Friday.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Raptors 85, Milwaukee 112

Will the real Toronto Raptors please stand up?

After coming out as offensive monsters against Philly and New Jersey, the Raptors the last two games have looked more like the last dog out of the gate at a greyhound race. They don't give a fuck about the rabbit. What's going on?
  • The Bucks wanted the rabbit. They scored 37 points in the first quarter.
  • The Raps were one and done the entire first quarter. No ball movement. Lots of dribbling between the legs, and lots of ill-advised shots early in the shot clock. I thought they would have learned from their slow start against Boston.
  • What's going on with Bosh? Maybe it's not Bosh, maybe there's a problem with the offensive sets. He doesn't seem to be in his comfort spots. I really hope his knee is okay.
  • Yi Jianlian is the real deal. I was thoroughly impressed with his game.
  • Desmond Mason 10 for 10? What is this? No really, what is this?
  • Michael Redd is not worth max money. I don't care how pretty his shot looks.
  • Jamario Moon was trying so hard to impress coach Mitchell that he forgot to think. Hopefully we won't need to see him on the floor for the next few games.
  • Give Kris Humphries more minutes! What a bully! In a night of lowlights, he provided the one play to cheer about: Swatting an Andrew Bogut layup back in his face! ... Then, on the other end of the floor, Hump committed an offensive foul. It was one of those nights.
I'll be at the ACC for the Raptors/Magic game tomorrow night. Here's hoping we bounce back!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Raptors 95, Celtics 98

Ugh. That was rough to watch. It was not just that we lost. What was worse was that we played a horrible first half of basketball.
  • There was too much one-on-one in the first half. Toronto only had 17 assists, and will not win a lot of games with a stat like that.
  • Juan Dixon was 2-2 ... in air balls.
  • Ray Allen was an absolute disgusting monster. For each of his clean looks from 3, My thought process would go from, "I hope he misses", to "what the fuck are you thinking? This guy ain't missing!" Quite a sickening feeling indeed, especially since my entire thought process completed before the ball was in the basket.
  • When they concentrate, the Raptors' defense is smothering. They forced 3 24 second shot clock violations, and CB4 finished with 5 blocks. I loved watching their close-outs, as well as their defensive rotation.
  • When they don't concentrate, Ray-Ray finishes 7-11 from 3-point range. Well, that'd probably happen even if they didn't concentrate.
  • KG owned the overtime period. For a few possessions, there was nothing better CB4 could have done defensively.
  • TJ Ford is clutch. I would put the ball in his hands at the end of the game anytime.
  • Bosh and Bargnani need to bring it offensively if the Raptors hope to repeat as Atlantic champs.
  • Where did AP go?
I'm taking my cousins out for the game on Wednesday against the Magic. Let's go Raps!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Raptors 106, Nets 69

The sting of the game 6, 1 point defeat in the first round of last season's playoffs still hurts. What hurt even more was the embarrassment of blowouts in games 3 and 4. What makes the pain go away? Maybe watching the Raptors win a playoff series? Well, yes, of course. But I need something to hold me over.

Enter November 2, 2007. The Raps visit New Jersey, and in front of 20-30 die-hard Jersey-maniacs, completely dismantle the Nets. Oh, revenge is so petty ... but it felt so satisfying. I still watched all 48 minutes, despite the fact that the Nets never led at any point after the first quarter. My friend Chin had company over too, and to my credit, I did attempt to be social, but when the game was on I wasn't about any of that.
  • The Raps beating up on Vince Carter always brings a smile to my face.
  • Toronto defense was absolutely disgusting. Our perimiter defense, closing out on shooters, staying above the screens, they were all on point. The Nets had their shots bothered or blocked, a lot of them courtesy of Chris Bosh. NJ only shot 36.8% from the floor.
  • Roc-a-wear ads were displayed full-time on either end of the scorer's table. It's the ROC!
  • Jason Kidd's back is bothering him. Mental note: Never pick him for ESPN Fastbreak.
  • Darrell Armstrong did not look good at all. TJ Ford had no respect for his shot, and came under any picks that were set for DA. Oh punk!
  • Speaking of Ford, his one-dribble-plant-and-fade shot was a blistering 4-4 tonight.
  • Andrea Bargnani must have taken basketball Kumon, because he already looks like a polished NBA pro. Against the Nets, he put up 21 points, 6 rebounds, on 7 of 11 shooting. Pump fake, one dribble: money. Three point range: money. Three point range, quickly identifying that Darrell Armstrong can't block your shot: money. I'm loving his game.
  • Play of the night: Stifling Raptor defense ends in a CB4 block. TJ Ford receives the pass and quickly outlets a touchdown reception to Anthony Parker, who completes the layup.
  • Jon's Play of the night: Bosh steals a pass, and sinks a 70 foot buzzer-beating heave.
  • I'm all about Carlos Delfino. And no, Beth, I wasn't talking about his looks.
See y'all on Sunday!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Raps 106, Sixers 97

I'm going to try to write something after every Raptors game (at least the ones that I watch, which should be all 82).
  • I like the Raptors' new ACC video intro. It makes me think of how hot Cassie looks.
  • MLSE ponied up some cash to pay for a CG scorekeeper. Let's hope they ponied up some cash for a better director ... "Dude, I don't care about the ref's non-call, the fucking game's back on!"
  • The Raps blowing a 20 point lead to the lowly Sixers was quite disconcerting.
  • Andrea Bargnani looked really good. That 4 point play in the fourth quarter was sick!
  • Chris Bosh also had a sick play, finishing after he got fouled along the baseline.
  • We want Norma Wick back! ... I want Norma Wick back! ... I don't know what I want :(
  • Samuel Dalembert stoned Chris Bosh and Anthony Parker. What a beast! Beth didn't like Leo Rautins name-dropping so much, but if I knew Dalembert, I'd be name-dropping all the time! "So yo, I was at a restaurant last night with Samuel Dalembert, and he didn't like the food, so when the waiter tried to serve him, he stuffed it back in his face!"