So I got to see the beginning of what turn of to be a Raptor win over the Bucks. 115-106 Final. I did watch what I missed but I will allow The Score to give me an assist with the Recap and Boxscore.
The Raptors had 40 points in the second quarter. The ball movement has perhaps the best it had been all year. Jose Calderon was more like the All Star level player that people expected him to be. Bosh after a tough time with the off the court news about him had a solid 18 points and 14 rebounds. So why am I not happy at all? I mean aside from the obvious that the season is a write off and even if the Raptors are mathematically alive they have been out of it in my mind for well over a month. In fact maybe longer. A look around the league tonight will explain. You start with the Bucks here in this game. This is a team fighting for the playoffs? It sure didn't look like it tonight. The Bobcats remember them? That was the team that blew the doors off the Raptors on Monday and Friday last week. They lost to the Washington Wizards. I mean nothing says playoff run like a lose to the Wiz. This is without the soon to be returning Gilbert Arenas. The logic or lack of it as far as he goes is for another day. Remember the Clippers? They scored a 140 to beat the Knicks by 5. The Nets lost to the Cavs. The Pacers shocked the Heat.
Aside from recapping the night that was, what is my point? The east beyond the top 3 teams, pretty much sucks. I was working covering two of those 3 good teams in a real playoff like battle that the Magic held on to win over the Celtics. The point is if the Raptors had played half way decent in this season they would have easily been a playoff team. Even the Sixers who were awful to start this season. So awful that like the Raptors they fired their Coach just like the Raptors. They have rallied back and our a playoff team. When the Raptors win and play to the level they did tonight is makes me angry. I mean they could have and should have easily been a playoff team this season. In what most are calling a weak draft year the Raptors will be in the lottery. A lottery that even the first pick, or who likely will be, Blake Griffin is a question mark at what he can and will be in the NBA. Basically there are few if any locks in this draft even when you are picking in the lottery.
It just really is sad how this team has totally under achieved. We have learn that the star of the team had some obvious personal issues that have been on his mind all year. Bosh can say it has had no impact on him. Triano and Colangelo can agree. I am not buying it because that would go against common sense and logic. Jose Calderon has been injured and inconsistent. He has the longest term left on his contract on this team. It deeply concerns me who and what the real Jose Calderon is. I have never seen him as the future All Star that others have pegged him to be. That being said I never expected this kind of train wreck. Injuries can explain it away for some. I think it is a factor and it makes the weak points of Jose glaring and obvious. If you had said to me at the start of this season that Andrea Bargnani would be the bright spot of this basketball team and the only one at that, I would have laughed you out of the room. However Bargnani has been perhaps the most consistent Raptor and if you move that ahead to just this calender year it is not even debatable.
Add in the fact the Chuck Swirsky leaves and goes to the Bulls and they are playing the best basketball of the bottom feeders? I mean Chuck is going to the playoffs and we are not? Who would have bet money on that when Chuck left for Chicago. I am thinking not even Chuck himself. It all just makes you think of what might have been. It is clear with all the moving parts the Raptors have this off season this team will look very different next year. This will go down for me as the worst season in Raptors History. That is saying a lot considering this team had a 16 win season back in the day. But no one expected a lot from that team. There was hope they were heading in the right direction. But no kind of expectations like this season. I guess what I am most frustrated about is people are talking about a major reconstruction job and sending Chris Bosh elsewhere. I am not really in the mood to watch this team get scrapped again and live through what it seems like I just did in the post Vince era. A post Bosh era in Raptors Basketball may have a better base to start from. After all Colangelo is the G.M and not Babcock. That being said it would be an admission that this team is years away from being good again. I guess as well beyond Pops Mensah-Bonsu in a post Bosh era there is not really anyone on this team I feel strongly about. There is no guarantee that Pops is even around. I am not a Calderon fan..I know your shocked. I don't dislike Bargnani but I am not a huge fan by any stretch. Until he came around this season I was ready to trade him away and would not have missed him.
I really have no idea what I would think about this team. I don't think I would have any passion for them personally. I have passion for T.J Ford, Bosh and guys that get me excited. Bargnani can have flashes of excitement. Jose can as well. But I can't explain why but I am just not into it. The obvious thing might be the whole Euro thing. Maybe I just don't relate to them or connect with them. Whatever it is I think if Bosh is going to leave be it in the off-season in a trade or in 2010, I think it will change me and perhaps not for the better. I will still cheer for the Raptors, I will still write the Dino Nation Blog. However I am not sure if it will ever be the same. I have lived through the Mighty Mouse Era, The V.C era and now the Bosh era. Whoever the next one is to be. Can I real get attached to whoever they are? That is a good question and I don't have an answer for that yet. All I know is this season has been one I would rather forget right from before it ever started with the trading of T.J Ford. It has all went down hill from there.