Raptors Prepare For A Sunshine State Test

The Toronto Raptors are getting ready to challenge some Florida foes. The status of Jose Calderon is up in the air. The Raptors as a team almost seem to be up in the air. People are coming up with trade ideas that don't make a lot of sense to me. This is what happens when a team is losing. Everyone wants things to be better right away. It is human nature that when you have a problem you want to solve it and move forward. But pro sports has a lot of rules that are part of the logic it takes to fix problems. It also takes someone else with problems that are different from your problems to also be looking for help. That is if you feel a trade is the answer.

Some feel the answer for a change is needed behind the bench. Sam Mitchell is always a lightning rod for the fans when things go wrong. It is going to be a serious challenge for Sam or any coach to win basketball games without Jose Calderon healthy. Sam and his job could end up tied to that fact. Bryan Colangelo can not really offer much help in the form of moves given the Raptors cap situation and glaring problems on the wing. I have yet to hear a name in a trade rumour that makes me think it solves the Raptors issues.

Why Jose Should Not Play Sunday

Panic of getting a win over the Miami Heat is not reason to play Jose Calderon. All reports indicate that this is a minor injury at this point. Vince Carter in his time in Toronto was always given heat for not playing through minor injuries. But no one thinks Jose is that type of player and in fact he is the opposite. But if Jose is not 100% he has no business being in this game. A minor injury can change into a major one very fast. Sure every game is important but you have to see the long term over the short term. The number of games you could lose with a major injury to Jose is far more. All of this makes me think of another Raptors point guard from the past.

Alvin Williams was as tough as they come and would just never miss a game if he could help it. As a result his NBA career did not last as long as he would have liked and the Raptors were on the hook for his contract when he was unable to play. Jose Calderon just signed a big money contract this off-season and keeping him healthy and productive is not just important for this year but for the long term health of this franchise. A factor in why T.J Ford was traded was concern over his long term health. Jose has now had two injuries of a minor nature in the span of about 4 months. Not a big deal but you want to take caution and take these injuries seriously. Playing through an injury and making it worse may be tough but it is also stupid. That is the key question that has to be asked each time an injury comes along. Is Jose hurt or injured. If he is hurt can playing through that be done without risk to him become to the point he is injured? Raptors will always look at the big picture and take the side of caution as they have done with their biggest star Chris Bosh.

Jose Calderon Is The Most Important Raptor?

Short answer for this one is YES. But I will offer a little more than that. Chris Bosh is no doubt the leader and franchise player of this team. That being said could the Raptors win games with a combo of Jermaine O'Neal and Andrea Bargnani instead of Chris. It would be harder to get the wins and it would take both J.O and Andrea stepping up. But I think it would be possible. That being said you take away Jose Calderon and leave his role to Solomon and Ukic. That goal of getting wins becomes very hard indeed. Could the Raptors beat some bad teams with that duo? Yeah they likely could get the odd game. But against any team with any kind of quality the Raptors would be hard pressed to find wins. This is why at this point and time Calderon is the most important Raptor. I have said it many times in this blog that point guard is the most important position on a basketball team. Unless you have a superstar that can handle the ball and create his own scoring a quality point guard is key. Even if you have that guy a point guard only adds to his success. Many basketball people will agree with this point and it is key for a team like the Raptors who are depending on 2 bigs to get the bulk of the touches and scoring.

Hopeful For Big Nate To Get Going

I am hopeful that Nathan Jawai can get his NBA dream back on track. I attempted to try to get an update on Nathan from Aaron Fearne. But I have not heard anything back from him yet. It has been a tough time for him as well I am sure as he has re-located to Canada to help Nathan get his NBA Career started. I am hoping the best for both of them. It is important to understand that even if Nathan comes out of this o.k and is able to get back to practice it is going to be a long process as he has missed the entire training camp and the only real experience he has had was in Summer League. Even at that point he was playing through a minor injury. It may take time but if he is able to get things going I think Nathan offers a lot of great things for the Raptors in the future. But with this delay the chances of that coming anytime soon are far away. Many felt even if he was healthy he would not play a major role. I did not share that opinion but given the lack of time and work it will take just to get back in game shape I think Nate's days as being a factor on this roster have taken a major step backwards. But all the things that I liked about the big Aussie still remain. He is still a big body that can rebound and could be a guy that can be a factor for the Raptor on the glass and on defense. But most important above all of this is that Nathan is healthy and is able to contribute in a way that will not risk his health as a human being.

More Info ( Update 2 PM Saturday )

An Update From Australia On Nate...Says 6 More Weeks

What Can Raptors Do In The Short Term?

The answer to this seems that they must try to improve from with in. If there is anything that we can be happy about is that Bosh, O'Neal and Bargnani all seem to be heading down the path to success. Bosh is at the head of that group. O'Neal has had his issues getting back to game shape after several years of battling injuries. While Bargnani is showing signs of why Bryan Colangelo thought he was worthy of the number one pick. The flashes are becoming more and more. He also has started to become a factor on the defensive end of the floor. So in the short term the Raptors will look to these 3 guys to carry the load. They will need help though and that is where it is badly needed for guys like Anthony Parker and Jason Kapono to step up and make shots. Jamario Moon should not be the guy taking 3's on this team. In fact many are questioning if Moon will or should remain in the starting line-up. It has been far from the dream season that Moon enjoyed last year. But I think if Calderon is out it will take the Raptors looking to take advantage of the Inside game and see the ball getting dumped inside a lot to Bosh and O'Neal and see the offense run through those 2. Raptors can not waste chances and must cut back on turnovers and bring up their level of play on defense. It will take a complete team effort to handle the lose of Jose. But even if he is able to play the Raptors were getting beat bad before he was injured. They must do better on defense. It begins there.

Change is Coming To Dino Nation Blog

Don't forget that finally on Wednesday the big news for the Dino Nation Blog should be announced. I hope it will be something good for everyone and it will allow the Dino Nation Blog to grow to new levels and new numbers. Hopefully you can proudly say that you were here from the beginning of this thing. It is also getting close to my birthday and the blogs anniversary. November is always going to big month here at the Dino Nation Blog. Lots of major and personal events for the blog that are all tied to November. So thanks for being part of Dino Nation Blog and I hope it is something that everyone can take pride in for years to come. I have been holding off on doing some things waiting for this news to be released. Once that happens we can step forward with those. The main one is bringing back " The Nation Speaks " with your questions or comments on the Raptors and the blog. I want folks to feel they have a voice and a role in this blog, because you do, a very important one. I hope everyone will be happy with the news and I won't lie I am excited about it.


  1. hey james, all star balloting started i think you shouldlet err one know

  2. I will put up something for the voting. But I was on NBA .com today and did not see a link to voting yet. I'll keep an eye for it though. If people leave a message please leave a name if possible. Perfer if it is your name too. LOL

    Anyway I will promote all star voting when the time comes. I think a unity vote of JOSE and T.J would be nice but that will likely be just me.

    Wonder if Bosh does another video? If he does will hae that as well no doubt.

  3. Unfortunate news about Nathan. James I know you were very high on him when the Raps selected him. It's really too bad.

  4. I also feel bad for Aaron Fearne who uprooted his life to come hear and help Nate out. It still may all work out. At the end of this mess it seems it will be Nathan's Choice and I think he is going to choose to play. How wise that is I am not sure. But based on the way he has been feeling I think if there is anyway he can play he will. I do not know enough about his condition to know if that is wise or not.