I have calmed down after yet another slap in the face to basketball fans. People are bit encouraged by the Raptors play of late. Shawn Marion in just a few games has had more of an impact than J.O had his brief time here. If Marion had the same term of contract as O'Neal it would really be reason to celebrate. Marion is a legit option on the wing and has helped this team in one of it's weakest areas. The Raptors have been a bad to horrible rebounding team and Marion has helped change that. He has also been part of the offensive make over that Raptors have been attempting to make. Unfortunately it all maybe to little and far to late. Imagine if when we first heard about this trade possibility and it happened at that time. It is logical to conclude the Raptors may have been able to change their short term fate. However, all of that being said, this team had to fight back and beat the T-Wolves and won a game in which the had been soundly embarrassed by the Knicks the game prior. The Suns are having there own issues and fired Terry Porter. The Suns had changed their identity and tried to be more of a half court team. Now they want to go back to the running roots they had under Bryan Colangelo. Based on these facts alone this should be a fun game to watch. Oh but wait where is it on? Well I said that I was not going to talk about that. But I think you can guess and if you need a clue here is one from wrestling. If you not down with that we have TWO words for ya. Suck it!!! Is exactly how I feel about things with that whole matter. What this game will tell us and this entire road trip is if there is any reason to be excited about that Raptors at all heading down the stretch. The Suns, Mavericks and Rockets are all decent Western Conference teams and provide a huge challenge for the Raptors.
To be honest the Raptors comeback was nice and lots of great things including the play of both Bargnani and Bosh. However once they got down a ton to the T-Wolves that was it for me. If the Raptors did that against a quality team there is no way they come back and no way they win. They come out with any kind of performance like that in the next 5 games they are toast. It is as simple as that. I guess if I had confidence that Shawn Marion was here for the long term I would be more optimistic about what I am seeing. Bryan Colangelo says or suggests that he is going to look long and hard and keeping Marion. It is not like Shawn does not like Toronto as well. I knew that heading into this deal. However is there not a team a lot closer to winning that will want Shawn Marion? Perhaps there is. I guess what it will come down to is money in the end. If Shawn Marion is interested in money the Raptors may have one of the more attractive offers he will find as a free agent. However if cash is not part of the choice and it is about winning I am not confident that Marion will remain. In a pie in the sky best case the Raptors would make the playoffs and lose in the first round. However more realistically they are a lottery team. For a guy that has less time left in his career than what he has played it does not look promising. Also there is the whole issue of Bosh. What is his future and is he going to be around. Marion would need to think that Bosh was going to be here in the long term as well. I don't think he or anyone can know the answer for that one. All the people that think they know say that Bosh is gone. Not exactly inspiring to sign on the dotted line.
That is an issue that Bryan Colangelo will face with everyone he attempts to bring in though. The Bosh question will be one for anyone that considers the Raptors. Irony is a funny thing. Bryan needs to build a team around Bosh to keep him. However the fact he may leave will make that job more difficult. This may all be solved if Bosh were to say he is not coming back. That makes the challenge even greater for Colangelo. For the people that want to push Bosh out the door you need to answer this question. Who comes here to this franchise without him? Andrea Bargnani is not going to have players lined up at your door to play with him. It is not a knock on Andrea it is just the reality. A guy that is just starting to bring his game to a level that is acceptable is not getting any free agents excited. The fact he is European isn't for any North American based players as well. Andrea Bargnani as the face of the Raptor Franchise is not something he is ready for. In fact, the heck with him it is not something I am ready for. Think back to when Bosh was handed the keys to the car from Carter. It took him time to grow into that role. Some who hate on Bosh still question his leadership to this day. Andrea Bargnani who has proven to have a fragile confidence is going to lead this team in a post Bosh Era? Not a chance in hell. At least not now.
Blogger MVP and ROY Rankings
I have missed voting two weeks in row. My bad. I was putting together interviews for you folks so I am sure you won't mind. But I will still post the rankings despite my lack of filling out my ballot. My mind remains unchanged, as I have Lebron James as my MVP and O.J Mayo as my rookie of the year. Here is what the collective group thinks.
MVP and ROY Rankings
So that is about all for today. I am going to be starting to work on a feature for the blog today. It is something I hope you will enjoy. More details on that to come. Hopefully it is something you will find interesting. But that is a wrap for this morning.