Wiz And Raps Share Common Ground

When this season started both Wizard and Raptor fans expected much more. Eddie Jordan and Sam Mitchell were coaches that had earned some level of success. Jordan was a coach of an All Star Game for the Eastern Conference not all that long ago. Sam Mitchell of course was the Coach of the Year just a few seasons ago. The Wizards have been without Gilbert Arenas for the majority of last season and all of this season. The irony is the Wizards made the choice to re-sign Arenas for over a 100 million dollars worth of contract. You would think they would know his health better than anyone else. But still they made the choice to bring him back. The Raptors have had issues with health that some might say they should have known better about as well. Jose Calderon after an injury at the Olympics after he had resigned with the Raptors has continued to have some minor injuries that have plagued him through out the year, Jermaine O'Neal has had a long history of injuries and time missed. He has had some minor injuries as well. Both will be out for this game as they did not travel with the Raptors on this mini two game road trip. Two teams with playoff goals are not even in the playoffs as it stands now. While there is still hope Raptors could sneak back into the playoff race it would seem that the Wizards are done as far as that idea for this season. After all they sit in dead last in the conference and to be able to just pass all the teams in front of them would seem unlikely. After winning their first back to back games of the season the Wizards have lost 3 of 4 games since that time. The Raptors have not been able to string wins together as well. After winning the first 3 games of the year the Raptors have not been able to win more than 2 in a row since. They had a chance to change that against the Bucks but would fall short. So two teams desperate for a win it should be fun.

Trade Winds Continue To Blow

A day does not go by without another rumour about the Toronto Raptors. It has to be difficult for the players and their families. That is a fact that often is lost in all of this thirst for change. But unless you name is Chris Bosh you have heard your name in some rumour if you are a Toronto Raptor. Even Nathan Jawai who has yet to play a game I saw in a trade rumour. But the latest and most loudest of the rumour mill has been talk that Bryan Colangelo has been shopping around Jermaine O'Neal and his big contract with all that cap space in 2010. Colangelo has only confirmed that he has no interest in trading Chris Bosh. It is not like he has done much to stop all of the talk about his players. It makes sense to let the rumour mill run wild if you are Colangelo. If he can build interest in players on this roster it can only help his chances of making a move. I personally am starting to think Colangelo is looking to make a major move. If he wanted to just do some minor tweaks you have to think he could have made a move by now. What is clear is with each passing day the expectation level of fan base for what Colangelo will do increases. The chances of people feeling that he has not done enough will increase as well.

But the challenge that faces Colangelo is a difficult one indeed. If you accept that the plan is to keep Chris Bosh in 2010. Which Colangelo has given ever indication that it is. He faces the difficult task of trying to improve this team and keep or restore the confidence of Bosh in him. But in doing that he may have to give away some of that massive amount of cap space he has been able to acquire. The majority of which lies in the contract of Jermaine O'Neal. The performance recently of Andrea Bargnani has left some to think the Raptors need to leave him as the starting center. But for that to happen Jermaine O'Neal would have to be put on the bench. This is not a good thing on any level. You can only expect that O'Neal would be less than happy about that. A drop in his performance and production would likely follow. This would all impact on his value as a player for the next season and a half. Now if a team is making the move just to get the cap space his contract and is not concerned with anything else that is not as big an issue. But that would mean he would need to go to a team that is not it the playoff hunt but still could be a reasonable option to attract free agents in 2010. That would likely eliminate a lot of Eastern Conference teams as there are still a lot of teams thinking they can make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference. Still would you really want to bash your brains out to make the playoffs only to have to try and beat the Celtics, Cavs or Magic in a 7 game series. Sure the Hawks took Celtics to 7 games and they did drop an overtime loss to the Bobcats and have struggled in recent days. But a better draft choice and a way to sell your fans that help is on the way in 2010. It is a nice way for a G.M to buy some time. These are the type of thoughts that could be going on for G.M's that might be considering taking on Jermaine O'Neal.

Is Bosh A Lock For The All Star Game?

It seems farily clear at this point that Chris Bosh will not be getting voted into the All-Star Game as a starter. So that will leave it in the hands of coaches in the league. Bosh has been well respected around the league and the fact he played so well for Team U.S.A doesn't hurt as well. That should have nothing to do with this but hey the coaches making the choices are all Americans and proud ones I am thinking. But with the Raptors less than impressive record will that cost Chris Bosh? I am thinking that it will not and Bosh will make it to the roster for the Eastern Conference. He is still one of the best at his position in the conference. I will say it will not be the slam dunk guarantee that it has been in the past. I think it will be something that will be interesting to watch. If Bosh some how got left on the sidelines how would he re-act to that? Hopefully we will not need to find out. I would think it would be a personal disappointment. That being said it is not as huge an event to Bosh as it might have been to a guy like Vince Carter who missed the All-Star Game last year for first time in a long time. Bosh would also get a rest if he was not in the game and it may not be a totally awful thing if he was able to relax for a bit. Although the Raptors do get an entire week off based on the schedule around the all-star game. They face the Spurs on the 11th and do not play again till the 18th taking on the Cavs. They are both games that are at home at the ACC. This could be a chance for Triano to get some of that much wanted practice time he has needed.

Almost Forgot

So that is about it for today. Oh yeah one last thing. I have kind of been having some fun about this on facebook. Chuck Swirsky is returning to Toronto next week but he will be coming to the Dino Nation Blog in the Starting 5 before that. I have not figured out the exact day that I am going to have that interview in the blog. But it has already been done and is all ready to roll. I just wanted to let some folks know about it and try to get a few more people aware of the blog. I mean it is how things work. Cabbie interviewed Kobe Bryant and that is not going to hit the air till February. I am looking forward to that. Maybe I can convince Cabbie to visit here and talk about it. I will see if I can. But for now it is the Dino Blogger one on one with the Swirsk. I think I can post him up and score. Well no it is not that one on one it is an interview. I am not sure how I'd fair in b-ball against Cabbie. We both are of the same body type. It would not be a classic contest by any means.

Update- Joey Graham will Start Tonight In Place Of Moon- Noon

Jamario Moon is heading back to Alabama to be at the birth of his child. That has Joey Graham getting the call to start in tonight's game against the Wizard's. News comes from Eric Smith of the Fan 590. So all of the Joey G fans will get a chance to see a lot more Joey against the Wizards. This makes a even shorter roster for the Raptors who are already without Jose Calderon, Jermaine O'Neal and Nathan Jawai who has yet to make his NBA debut as he works back into shape after being sidelined with heart concerns. Calderon has the bad hamstring and J.O the bruised knee.

While I am writing should give this a mention the latest trade rumour that has been floating around. Andrea Bargnani and Anthony Parker to the Mavs for Josh Howard and two other players. Hoopsworld claims this deal is close to happening.


  1. Can I just say - I am reading your blog at 8 p.m. EST on Wednesday night because I don't have TSN2 thanks to the stupid deal MLSE did with TSN. I enjoy your blog and all but I'd rather be enjoying the Raptors game and seeing Joey Graham mix it up!

  2. Well I am proud to say that I am partnered with the Score. I have many times expressed my views on TSN 2. I even had the blog get a mention in the Globe and Mail about it.

    If you are able to get feeds on your computer I can point you in the right direction. There is also Eric and Paul on the Radio. I know it is not same as watching but they do a good job as well.

    Ultimately I understand how you feel and everyone even people that work for companies involved in this mess feel that way. This has become a very bad PR move for all 3 companies. I also work hard on my Raptor Rewinds for anyone that misses the game for whatever the reason so give those a read. Thanks for the kind words about the blog.