I was off advanced scouting/working as I was doing the UConn vs Syracuse game on The Score live blogging. Leo Rautins was sad to learn the Orange lost to the Huskies. That was expected with Huskies having the #1 ranking in the NCAA. However Raptors beating the Spurs? That sure was not. I caught the end of the game on the Radio with Paul and Eric as I was off getting some food. To say the least I was pretty stunned by the result. Roko Ukic had an amazing night. Having not seen the game I was just think my whole blog I wrote about a Nash for Calderon trade sounds less crazy now doesn't it? I know that would make me a lot more happy than an Amare Stoudamire deal.
So I have just seen the first quarter and game in hour moves fast. But from what it looked like the Raptors were doing a good job. All of this with no Jose, CB4 and Joey G for most part. Spurs had a slim 2 point lead. Roger Mason Jr. and Jason Kapono exchanging baskets and they will be doing that on All Star Saturday night. Manu Ginobli who is the favorite play of one of the guys I am on the radio with on CJLO makes a 3. Gerry will be happy about that I am sure. Manu had pretty behind the back pass as well nice. A Moon 3 make or miss is yuck to me. Kapono has been doing well in the last two games. Triano and the staff have told him to fire it up and he is. Roko off to the good start going 3-3. Make that 4-4 he is looking good. Bonner a miss and the Red Rocket had been on fire heading into this one but has been a non factor in what I have seen to this point. Good news for Leo Rautins though even though Syracuse lost is that Matt Bonner is looking to play for Team Canada. That will be a welcome site. It is no Steve Nash but hey after last summer Canada will take it. That along with an improving Joel Anthony is a good start. Meanwhile the Raptors are up a half dozen. It makes me think if Raps could play like this when this is all done and we look back on this season you will ask where was this against teams like Oklahoma City, Memphis and others. That is why despite the result of this game which is great I am still not sold on the Raptors. Colangelo had said he felt this team was not that far away and when you see them have night like tonight you can understand why. One thing you always notice if Raps are good is ball movement. Actually make that 2 things the drive the ball as well. Roko in his brief times on the floor has done that more consistently than Calderon. Not saying he is better but at that aspect he has been to me. Calderon and his injury is obviously part of that whole equation.
This has not been a recap or game notes I am not sure what we call this. Watch along with Dino Blogger? anyway I feel a bit guilty in missing this one live. But let's be honest did anyone out there expect the Raptors to win this game? If you did, you lie or you are the most faithful fan in the world. I think it should be pointed out for the record the Spurs were on the tail end of their famous "Rodeo" road trip. It is an annual thing where the Spurs are kicked out of their building for the Rodeo each year. In Toronto Raptors have to deal with Hockey and the Leafs. In San Antonio,Texas the Spurs have to deal with cowboys and Bull...s. But not the ones from Chicago. All that being said you can bet the Spurs will not make excuses. Having seen the post game prior to the actual game they did not. The one thing that has stuck out for me and maybe is the best reason you can make for trading J.O is this coming up next. O'Neal with out Bosh seems to be much more effective and with Bosh it has not worked well. That behind said this was not one of those nights. Now some of you out there have turned in you CB4 fan club cards to avoid the rush. I am be crazy or believe in people to much but I have faith CB4 can still be a Raptor when all is said and done. So if you are in that camp with me J.O is the guy that must go. The way he has been playing makes that process a much easier one. This has been a entertaining basketball game and in the end that is all you can ask for. There have been many times including very recently it has not been. So Raps are down just 2 points after 3 quarters as I have been typing away and watching.
I am not sure what all of this will mean for the Raptors. They should be able to be healthy with a week between games. The next game the play will be on the eve of trade deadline against the Cavs. So who knows healthy or not will be playing in that game. Andrea Bargnani who some have felt has turned the corner has started to fade back to the old Andrea a bit. He has shown the ability to make big shots. When you consider all the if Bosh goes talk. I say this with great confidence. Andrea Bargnani is not the Chris Bosh to replace the star like Chris was to Vince. Bargnani is not going to be a face of this franchise or a leader of this team. Anyone that thinks that is wrong. If you want a look to a future with Bargnani as your leader check out Dirk in Dallas and think of him to a lesser level. It does not make you feel all that confident does it? Not me. But Roko is doing solid work as I ponder the future of a Bargnani lead Raptors. Thanks to Roko for snapping me out of that. Bargnani is at best a Robin to a Batman. At worst well we have seen that and it is not pretty. Colangelo I doubt will deal him but I would still entertain the idea. I mean some people that say don't trade Joey and Andrea. I ask you why? I guess you figure there is much more growing and they will become better. However I see it more as why not sell an asset that has more proof of the opposite. I admit that I have been impressed by Bargnani and would not be unhappy if Raptors kept him. I will say this about Andrea that he has shown a fight and an ability to make clutch shots. I just don't automatically think that Andrea can be as good as others might. Point is I guess not willing to slap an untradeable tag on him that is all I am saying. however as the fourth quarter marches on maybe I should just quit while I am behind. 23 points behind at last count.
However one player I am definitely moving if I can find a sucker to take him is Jason Kapono. Maybe someone after all star weekend will lose their senses after watching him in the 3 point shoot-out. But Roko Ukic is just off the charts. Ukic vs Calderon coming to a Raptors Blog, Forum or Sports bar near you. on that happy thought the Raptors have an impressive win over the Spurs.
Will it mean anything in the grand scheme of life? I really want to say that it will. However I just remain unconvinced. This was a huge effort and a major win for this team. I am not saying it was not. However there have been few nights like this in the first half of season. I always laugh how if a team losses they say the All Star break will give them time to forget about it and go forward. However if they win they can build from it. Honestly a week between games how much momentum can you take from that negative or positive. Hype and media speak to be honest. But will the Raptors head into the break a happier bunch? For sure. That being said I think given what Bryan Colangelo is thinking it is not going to matter because the team you see today will not be the team you see next Friday. If it is Bryan Colangelo will be disappointed and so will Raptor fans. Most of all so will Chris Bosh. A boxscore and recap are needed for you to believe this happened. I know it is for me even though I now have watched it.
So, the DNB will roll along over the next week. I am going to try and find some guests. Have some fun maybe. But we will take it at a much more relaxed pace than the normal nuts pace I work at. Dino Bloggers need rest too. I can't remember the last time I have taken a day off. I know I have not since the Blog hooked up with the Score. So if I book a day off I will let you know. But I think I have earned one. Will see how it goes. If a bunch of stuff come through I may not get my day off. But will see what happens. This sure is not where anyone expected this team to be at the All Star Break. An unexpected win does not take away from that. It may help take the sting off a little, but 21 wins is 21 wins.