Before we get to the Raptors challenge in Houston tonight, guess I should give my two cents on Shaq's comments on Chris Bosh. I am sure everyone has heard them by now. Chirs Bosh being the RuPaul of big men and that Shaq is just going to make him quit and complain. I mean this is what Shaq does and I think it is more about being funny than anything. I will say this though the whole part about quiting and giving up is what got me upset. Well forgive me for pointing out the fact that didn't Shaq pretty much give up on the Heat which lead him to getting his latest nickname of the "Big Cactus". Chris was an all star last year while Shaq wasn't. I am happy for Shaq and his re-birth with the Suns. However is it really necessary to question others character like he does. Shaq is going to be a hall of famer and he is one of the greatest players in league history. For the big man he has moved on to a new target. Dwight Howard who is the new era Superman. Shaq has been now talking smack about him. Dwight Howard and Chris Bosh are two of the nicest guys you will find in the NBA. Here is hoping Howard defends himself and his friend tonight as the Magic with be taking on Shaq and the Suns. I guess my biggest fear out of all this mess is Shaq has just thrown fuel on the fire when it comes to all the Bosh bashing that has become all the rage. This has been I would think the most difficult season of Chris Bosh's career with the Raptors. I hope Chris can turn a negative into a positive and use the comments as motivation to finish the season strong. As tough as this season has been on everyone, I think it is a safe bet it has been the toughest for Chris Bosh. Maybe this will rally some folks to support him in what has been a tough season. I mean if Shaq is punking out Chris Bosh is he not punking out the Raptors as well and us? I take it personally. It won't make me not be a fan of Shaq. However it does make me sad that he would say the things he said. Chris didn't say anything that wasn't technically true in saying that Shaq camps out in the lane and never gets called for it. However as I said it is a star league and Bosh knows that so it was probably better left unsaid. However Bosh is on my team and I support him in good times and bad. What was lost in all of this is Bosh is starting to get better since returning from his injury.You know about that Shaq? No, my bad, you were glued to the bench injured in Miami last year. I guess is Icy Hot patches were not enough to help him get out there and help the Heat. But back to the point that Bosh had 28 and 10 in the loss to the Mavs. Not bad for a power forward in this league.
Raptors Have No Answer For Yao?
We will see if the Raptors learned anything from that loss to the Suns. Yao Ming is a different kind of big man from Shaq but he would be just as big a problem Andrea Bargnani will likely draw the task of guarding him. Bargnani has been doing a better job this season blocking shots and challenging shots. It is a little different when the player is the size of Yao though. Rafer Alston gone, Tracy McGrady out for the year, these are not your older brother's Houston Rockets.
That being said they should be able to handle the Raptors. The do have Ron Artest and that as long been a player that I would love to see come north of the border. It may be nuts and grasping at straws but Ron Artest is a guy that has defensive pride and it is something the Raptors are in major need of. The Raptors need some kind of craziness. It would shake things up a bit. The whole everyone is a nice good guy plan has not worked. Sometimes a little conflict and drama is not the worst thing in the world. Even Steve Nash thing the Raptors need to get tougher. He said that in an interview with Canada Press. He also said that if things didn't work with the Suns the Raptors would be at the top of his list. But if Nash who is likely one of the nicest good guys in the league things you need to get tougher that would tell you something. Ron Artest is tough and could be a guy that would give the Raptors a defensive leader. Ron Artest a leader? Yeah ok maybe it is nuts. But in a season like this you are driven to think outside of the box for answers.
As for the answers for tonight? Run and Hustle. Yao is never going to win a 100 meter dash. The Raptors new found running style might actually be some what successful against the Rockets. The challenge has been the Raptors have been running out of energy. That has lead to a lack of hustle and desire down the stretch of games. Sam Mitchell and about 100 other basketball folks always say this next statement. Everyone says they want to run and play up tempo basketball but it is a whole different thing to actually do it. Running is a mindset and it takes an attitude and conditioning level. The fact the Raptors have tried to take on this new direction without a training camp makes it a pretty challenging task. However it has been a season that has had one excuse after another and Raptor Fans are tired of hearing them. This will be the most interesting and important off season perhaps in the history of this franchise. For that there will be no excuses that will be acceptable. Fans will demand more and expect results. They will also expect to be able to watch their team play games by turning on a Television. Those on going talks with Rogers and TSN are so close that they might just end before the Obama first term in office, or maybe the second in honour of TSN 2. It should be made perfectly clear the RAPTOR FANS HAVE HAD ENOUGH WITH ALL OF THIS AND THE TIME FOR EXCUSES IS OVER. This is not the Leaf Nation here it is not like we will sit back and accept things as is. At least let's hope not or we are all screwed. I like to think and hope that the Raptor Fan base is different. However chucking the star player under the bus and an apathetic response to the TSN 2 mess is not making me hopeful. There is one thing I will say for Leaf Nation if they were insulted like this with the TSN 2 mess they would riot in the streets. However no need to worry about that ever happening and if you want proof just turn on you television tomorrow for hours on end of exciting Hockey Trade deadline action. But if you do Raptors fans make a statement and don't turn on the networks that have screwed you over. I think we all know who they are right?