V.C, JVG, and CB4 with some Jose on the side.

Toronto Raptors once again will look to win 3 games in a row against the New Jersey Nets tomorrow. I think if you asked Raptor fans what was the most painful loss of this season they would respond with the overtime loss to the Nets. Vince Carter scoring to tie the game and win the game it was the Raptor fans worst nightmare played out. The Nets after an impressive and surprising start have faded below the .500 mark. New Jersey is just 3-7 in their last 10 games and sits in 9th place in the East. The injury to Michael Redd makes it hard to think that the Bucks who currently sit in 8th place can keep that spot. Redd tore both his MCL and ACL which is the reason the early end to his season. There is a long list of teams not that far behind them. The Nets are at the top of that list and the Raptors are at the bottom. It has long been talked about the lack of a home court advantage for the Nets. Well the proof is in their record. They are only 9-14 at home and actually have a respectable 11-11 mark on the road. Raptors already have a win at the Izod Center. These two teams have something in common as well. What is that beyond having Carter wearing a #15 jersey. They both lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Nets lost 94-85 to the bottom feeding Thunder. Raptor fans can relate to the pain of losing to the Thunder. In fact if Raptor fans had not answered the loss to Vince they likely would have responded the loss to the Thunder as the most painful. So that is some stuff to think about for the Raptors next match-up.

JVG On CB4 And More

This item just slipped my mind yesterday. I have been live blogging games for The Score. I mention this because it gave me reason to hear Jeff Van Gundy's total crazy rant about the All Star Game. In general if JVG ran the NBA it is clear the All Star Game would look vastly different. But the thing that he said that will most stick out to Raptor fans is that he would put Anderson Varejao in the All Star Game ahead of Chris Bosh. The reason behind it is that Van Gundy feels that nobody on a team below .500 should go to the All Star Game. He ranted on and suggested that you could put Andrew Bynum on the Eastern Conference Roster because he was born in the East. So does that mean Paul Pierce will play for the West in Van Gundy's game? I love Van Gundy as an announcer but keep him far away from the league office. If he ran the league I have no idea what to expect. I would even support Mark Cuban to run the league before JVG.

Now how much of that was comedy and how much of that was serious? That is a good question. Only Jeff knows for sure. I just wonder what that would mean if some fans got what they wanted. Van Gundy is one of the more popular names with fans to take the Raptors job. It seems he is pretty happy on T.V for now. However let's just say that he was willing to take the job. How does that first meeting with Chris Bosh go after you told a national audience that he should not be on the NBA All Star team. Worse you think that a Carlito look a like in Cleveland should be. It is not the greatest start for a coach player relationship. It is clear that Van Gundy has no worries about his future in coaching when he steps behind the mic for work. Despite him not being behind Bosh making the All Star Game, I get a kick out of him and enjoy him in this new role. Those dark rings under his eyes have gone away and he doesn't have to try to break up any fights in the booth.

Raptors Did Some Good Yesterday

The Raptors did some good yesterday. They made their annual visit to Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto. When they make these annual visits they bring lots of smiles to children who could care less if they are having a good or bad season. I have seen the features on these visits in the past on Raptors TV on the show Raptors Heartbeat. You see the joy that is brought to these children and it really does put things in perspective. I have said that the Raptors as an organization our at the top of league in what they do as far as community relations. You don't get wins in the standings for that. However it means a lot more. Chris Bosh is a leader in this regard as well. There is so much talk about what the Raptors would lose in the basketball sense if Bosh were to leave in 2010. But it should also be noted what they would lose as far as a person if he were to leave. I hope in both cases that Bosh will remain with the Raptors because he is not just a great basketball player he is a great person as well.

Jose Calderon Has Made A Difference

I have to say that Calderon has been very impressive. The impact he has had on the offense has been night and day. He still is not going to excite anyone with his play on the defensive end. I think that is just something that people like me will just need to accept. He just will not ever blow us away on that end of the floor. He has proven me wrong about one thing though. I was never convinced that Calderon could be a big time scoring threat. He just never seemed to call his own number enough. Even when the rest of the team around him struggled he still would look to pass it and not shoot it. Calderon to his credit since he has returned has been able to get off his own offense going. He still is doing a good job at his primary role as distributor.

Obviously two games to not totally change your mind. You also need to consider the level of who the Raptors were facing. The Bulls and Kings are not exactly the greatest teams on earth. However it seems that Jose was paying attention when he was out on the bench watching the Raptors take lose after lose. If this has helped make him understand that he must step up and score more at times it can be considered better for his long term and the team's long term future. I think as well for Jose it was a visual display of just how much of an impact he has on this team in a positive way.

I may never be completely happy with Jose Calderon based on his poor play on defense. However even someone like me fails to notice as much his defensive play when he has his offense rolling like this. I also find his free throw streak an impressive thing. However if he actually gets to the line more, which we have seen a little more of that since his return, it can have more of an impact. The fact Anthony Parker is playing back-up point guard minutes speaks to how badly a true back-up was needed for this team. I think you can make a case that if they had one, Jose may have been able to stay healthy and the Raptors could have been better for it.

So that is about it for today. Thanks to all of you that checked out the Interview yesterday with Adnan Virk. It was great to have him visit. If it brought any new folks to the Dino Nation Blog I just want to welcome you. The reason I work so hard to get the interviews is for two reasons. First to get a variety of opinions from people. The second is to hopefully add more readers for the Dino Nation Blog. It is always great to have more people be a part of what I am doing here.


  1. I'm not sure why so many people are down on AP playing back up PG. He's doing a great job of it. He's steady and reliable, and this role may prolong his career, if not his career in Toronto.

  2. I was making reference to the fact that prior to the season the Raptors should have addressed the position properly with an NBA experienced back-up. I give AP all the credit in the world for stepping up and being a team guy. It is not meant as a shot at him but a shot at management mainly for the signing of Will Solomon that has been a complete failure. Roko was or never should have been meant to be the primary back up in his first year.