One of the many perks about living on the West Coast is that most nights, there is a basketball game on at 4pm. Because I live in Canada, the Toronto Raptors are generally one of the two teams on the court for that 4pm game.
You win some, you lose some.
I have a serious love/hate relationship with the Raptors. Being Canadian and a ginormous NBA fan, I obviously have some allegiances to this country’s only remaining NBA franchise. Being of sound mind, I also have a lot of qualms with said franchise. I mean, one playoff series win in their entire history? I expected more by now, and I’m sure I’m not alone on that front.
Having watched this franchise since their inception, I’ve seen the ups and downs, the good seasons and the really, really bad seasons, and I’ve come to develop a running list of things that cross my mind as I see them squander leads and put on surprising performances against good teams.
Here are some of the current items on that list:
I still can’t believe they picked Andrei Bargnani over LaMarcus Aldridge. He does everything “Il Mago” does plus he rebounds, and he doesn’t have a stupid nickname like, “Il Mago” either.
Given the Raptor’s horrible draft history, I should be over the whole Bargnani over Aldridge thing by now. After all, this is the franchise that picked Rafael Araujo over Andre Iguodala, Charlie Villanueva over Danny Granger, and my personal favourite, picking Michael Bradley, period.
The fact eventual 10-year contributors like Zach Randolph, Gerald Wallace, Samuel Dalembert, and Tony Parker were on the board still only makes the Bradley pick worse.
You know who else would look alright on this team right about now? Roy Hibbert. Even though he’s having a down year, it’s better than the nothing the Raptors ended up with instead. For real, they drafted him, and then traded him to Indiana for Jermaine O’Neal, who eventually turned into Shawn Marion (and Marcus Banks), who became Hedo Turkoglu and his horrible contract, who became Leandro Barbosa, who left after last season as a free agent.
And you wonder why this team never succeeds?
That said, Amir Johnson has been a solid find. Liked him when the got him, like him even more now that he’s developed into a solid 10/7 guy with good energy.
Why in the hell did these guys sign Landry Fields?
These guys are awful. I wonder what else is on right now?
I miss Jose Calderon and his “I look like the cagey old dude who just kills everyone at The Y on the weekend” style.
Did Bryan Colangelo get too much credit for Steve Nash just being a really fantastic basketball player that Mark Cuban somehow let walk away?
Why is Bryan Colangelo still in charge of the Raptors? Can’t we just declare his time in Toronto a failure already and start moving on?
Then again, Rob Babcock could still be running the show.
Jonas Valancuinas looks promising, I will give BC that. So too does Terrence Ross, even though he’s essentially the same player as DeMar DeRozan, except with a better stroke from outside.
Speaking of DeRozan, how has no one told him to just drive every single time he has the ball yet? Every time he pulls up from the outside, I shake my head automatically, knowing he could have gotten to the tin. Worst case? You’re on the stripe. This game ain’t that hard.
I really like Rudy Gay; I just don’t like his contract. Or shot selection. Or contract.
What should I have for dinner tonight? Not all my thoughts during Raptors games are Raptors related.
How did they not dump Bargnani on someone at the deadline? “Four used water bottles and a bag of old towels? Deal!”
I really like Dwane Casey, both as a coach and as a guy standing on the sidelines wondering how his team of non-stars absolutely never gets a call in crunch time. His “How does DeMar DeRozan not get that call?!” face is priceless.
I miss Sam Mitchell.
I do not miss Kevin O’Neill, however. Or Butch Carter, although I did love the “did you know he’s Cris Carter’s brother?” opportunities having Butch on the sidelines offered.
Sadly, “The Butch Carter Era” was the greatest time in Raptors history.
Thanks for ruining our one and only playoff run Chris Childs! (No – I’m not over it yet.)
Have I seen this Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives more than four times?
I can see why Tracy McGrady left.
I can’t see how people don’t pelt Vince Carter with rotten fruit every time he steps on the court. Held this team hostage, got traded for $0.12 on the dollar, and is still playing well to this day. Quitter!
And thanks for nothing Alonzo Mourning.
Why is Kyle Lowry making lead guard money?
How are they actually beating (insert solid NBA team name here) right now?
How are they getting waxed by Charlotte? Milwaukee? Washington?
What does this year’s draft class look like?
Do we have a pick or did we trade that away for someone like Lamond Murray again?
Wait – can we waste it on someone like Ed Davis again?
Honestly, the Ed Davis pick made sense from a “he could develop” standpoint for about 14 seconds, until you realized he only played 18 minutes per at Carolina, averaging 7 and 7. Yes, it was a stacked team at the time, but if the guy isn’t more than a solid contributor in his one year in college, maybe don’t be the team that has to wait two or three years for him to start improving. It’s called the Marvin Williams Rule.
Damn there have been a lot of bad drafts lately.
I wonder if I have any new emails? I should go check.
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Time to go watch the Raptors get housed by Golden State, including Jarrett Jack, another quality contributor the team let go only to replace him with absolutely nothing. But hey – Kyle Lowry!