It must be Christmas, cause I heard a lot of clang-clang last night.
No, wait, it’s only the 18th.
Here’s the question for all the Raptors fans that stayed up until the wee hours of the morning (me, I ended up catching the Game in an Hour this morning), “Should we be proud of our team, or disappointed that we won by three measly points against an undermanned, under talented Clippers team?” Cause I’m not sure what to think right now. Part of me wants to berate the team for shooting under 38% for the night, and not really adjusting their game for the lack of shooting ability. Another part wants to praise them for coming into the game and finding their defensive game against a team that somehow managed to shoot around 50% against them despite having few scorers and some guy named Tim Thomas who had a bad ankle. Ok, so in the end, I wasn’t pleased much with the IQ displayed by the Raptors, but they got the win. It’s times like this that you really miss a player of Garbajosa’s calibre. For example, there were some plays in the second quarter that saw Jamario Moon cheat off his man to try and double down on Tim Thomas! Tim freakin’ Thomas who has that bad ankle was getting double teamed, and of course, the ball went back to Jamario’s open man who promptly buried the shot.
There were moments, however, where you got to take a glimpse that the Raptors might start to be clicking soon and firing on all cylinders. Jamario Moon got reintroduced to the rim a couple times, instead of settling for his long perimeter shot, and Bargnani threw that beautiful touch pass to Humphries as well as played some solid, if unspectacular defense on a couple plays. Against a team like the Clippers, the guys who were in funks were hopefully able to find some grooves that can hopefully turn into a series strong games. Overall, though, the Raptors began clamping down on the Clippers in the third quarter. It came down to trying to trap players properly, and getting their hands in the passing lanes. Then, Bosh came in the forth, drew a ton of fouls, and had a little help from Calderon as well.
Anyways, I’m going to try and address the nutty and just plain stupid Bill Simmons rumour floating around the net. The one that has Pau Gasol and Juan Carlos Navarro heading to T.O. in exchange for Andrea Bargnani, Rasho Nesterovic, an unprotected 2008 No. 1, and $3 million. First of all, Pau Gasol has never shown to be an injury resilient guy, and trading for him is just plain nuts in my opinion since he’s largely a big body who can’t guard big bodies. Then, we trade two bigs for a guy that shoots threes like half of our other guards already do at a higher percentage and Gasol, end up with one less pick and $3 million less. So what’s our advantage exactly? We lose the only big that can guard bigs on our team (Rasho), destroy our front court in the case of any injuries (so you have now Baston and Hump backing up Bosh and Gasol??), and finally lose a draft pick that could be useful to us, especially with our improved scouting team present this year. Yeah, financially it makes sense, and maybe, it’s an excuse to get all of the Spanish Nationals together, but we’re trying to build to be a consistent contender, right? How do you give up on a kid like Bargnani who’s only in his second year? I guess everyone’s forgotten about just how tough Dirk had it for a while in Dallas before figuring the game out from an inside and outside presence.
Next Game: Toronto @ Portland