Sooooo Close!

Posted on March 10, 2010 | 1 Comment

THAT’S the Raptors team that went 25-11 until their recent troubles. No, it wasn’t a win, but if it wasn’t for some of the worst officiating I’ve seen in recent memory, I think the Raptors come out victorious in that one.

If Bosh were a Laker, he'd be going to the line now...

If Bosh were a Laker, he'd be going to the line now...

Just a quick comment on the refs. I never complain about bad calls or get on the bandwagon that claim that refs favour other teams, but I have never, EVER been so frustrated watching what were offensively bad calls, all in favour of the Lakers. At first, Gasol seemed to be getting foul calls the moment any Raptor made contact on defense, and then Turkoglu got several phantom calls. Then the second half, where I actually had to turn the channel out of frustration. The Lakers were getting EVERY call, and the Raptors weren’t getting similar ones on the other end. The “foul” that Kobe drew after he missed the layup was laughable. Well, it would have been if you were a Laker fan. Of course, the Raptor players took about 6 jumpshots in a row after that, so it’s pretty hard to get a makeup call when you do that, but it should never have been called in the first place.

Okay, rant over.

As for the game, the Lakers actually played well, but the Raptors showed why they are one of the better teams in the East. They scored when they needed to, played tough defense when they needed to, and if they continue to play like they did tonight, they very well could win their next three road games.

What is it about Bargnani that whenever I go on a little bit of a rant about him, he has a good game. It’s not just me writing about him, though, which makes me think he reads the criticism levelled against him. If he can keep up this pace the rest of the season, then I will not mention benching or trading him again for the rest of the season. I promise.

While Bargnani played fairly well, although seemed to disappear in the fourth, and Bosh deserves credit for hitting that HUGE three to tie it, the game belonged to Jarrett Jack. He’s been playing very well lately, and I notice I don’t hear those same complaints about teaming him with Calderon at the end of games anymore. When the criticism was at it’s loudest, I defended Triano’s decision to play both Jack and Calderon together because I felt it would pay off later in the season. And we’re starting to see it. Jack and Calderon are the Raptors two best guards and two best ball handlers. It makes sense for them to be on the court together when it matters.

AROUND THE NBA

It never ceases to amaze me how stupid and ungrateful some NBA players are. Case in point (this time)? Allen Iverson and Rafer Alston. I would be absolutely shocked if either player ever plays in the league again. Rafer abandons the Miami after he was moved to the bench. This is a guy who was waived by New Jersey earlier this season. The guy has never been the most reliable guy, but skipping out on your team and only texting them is a bad way to end your career.

And Iverson has probably burned his last bridge. Philadephia was criticized for signing Iverson after he skipped out on Memphis after a few games, but now he seems to have abandoned them, too. At first, the story of dealing with a sick daughter was understandable and commendable. As a father myself, I can understand dropping everything when your child is in need. But then for the wife to file for divorce during that time made you wonder. Now there are stories about drinking and gambling problems.

We should have a poll for the next player who’s going to prematurely shoot his own career in the foot. Actually, I think I will…

Which NBA player is going to self destruct next?

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UHHHH, DUHHHH!

Speaking of stupid, the Clippers and Mike Dunleavy have apparently “severed ties” after it became clear the team had not made “sufficient progress during Dunleavy’s seven-year tenure” .

It took you seven years to figure that out?????

It almost makes you feel sorry for Elgin Baylor, who Dunleavy apparently pushed out the door so he could run the franchise. I say `almost’ because it’s not like Baylor did any better job than Dunleavy.

Now if only Donald Sterling and the Clippers would “severe ties”, the Clippers might one day be a half decent team.

HARD CHARGING BUCKS

The Bucks are now solidly in the 5th seed in the East and don’t look to be letting up. Their big win against the Celtics tonight must have been a confidence booster. What seems to have turned their season around was the trade for John Salmons. It’s the second year in a row Salmons was traded to a team that then went on a bit of a tear. Will the Bucks have the same impact the Bulls did in the playoffs last season?

Just to make things interesting, the Bucks play both Atlanta and Boston twice each in the next month. One of them will likely be their playoff opponent. I’d circle those games as ones to watch.

And before Raptor fans start bemoaning the fact that the Raptors have dropped to the 6th seed, realize that, at this point, that would mean the Raptors would face the Celtics instead of the Hawks. Yes, the Celtics are a more veteran team, but I can’t be the only Raptor fan who would rather the Raptors not face the Hawks in the playoffs.

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