Dark Days In Raptorland

About the only thing that makes me smile of late, in terms of the Raptors is Sonny Weems. He once again came through and with a depleted Raptors line-up, he again stepped up and had a career high 21 points. Thankfully, he is under contract and will be back next season. Weems is a great story, in a season that has not offered many. To have climbed the ladder in the rapid way he has, speaks to his play and the lack of play of the people in front of him on the roster. For example, Marco Belinelli who Colangelo at beginning of the season billed as a guy capable of being a contender for 6th man of the year. In reality he has been more like 12th man of the Raptors forget the league.

Something that was said in our liveblog on The Score is haunting me over the last few days. Almost right after Chris Bosh made his exit from the bloody floor in Cleveland, someone said " What if that is the last time we see Chris in a Raptors uniform". The news that would follow of Bosh having to have surgery in Cleveland ,and then the doctors saying he can not be re-evaluated for at least 7-10 days. This in effect ending Bosh's regular season and perhaps his Raptor career, depending on what happens. It would be a truly sad ending, to what has been a great 7 years of watching him play for the Raptors. I find it sad, pathetic and somewhat stupid the amount of criticism this guy takes. He has come such a long way over his time with the Raptors. Watching him growing into NBA All-Star and one of the true elite players in this league has been a treat. He has grown up before my eyes and I have personally enjoyed it. I get the fact that some people only see the ultimate team results, with him as the "Franchise" player. However, in my opinion, he has done more than his part to carry the load for 7 years. If that ends with him a bloody mess on a floor in Cleveland, that is sad and will disappoint me for years to come.

What people can't take away, is the fact that a banner for a Division Title will hang in the ACC, that Chris Bosh was a huge part of putting there. Vince Carter didn't do that. Carter may call the ACC his house as he did in the past. But there is no evidence that he left behind. They don't put up a banner for a Slam Dunk Championship, for being a leading vote getter for the All Star Game and they don't for a playoff series win. If Bosh does leave the debate will rage for years of who was the best Raptor ever. It really is a case of flash vs substance. Carter was the flash with the dunks and drama that surrounded him. Bosh was the substance that night in and night out gave what he had to make a team less talented than the ones Carter was on to be successful. For my money, Bosh is the guy and will be the guy for a long time to come. It seems painfully obvious, that there is no next one on this Raptors roster right now. That might not be fair to Demar DeRozan, who I personally still hold out hope that he can be great. But in terms of Bargnani that ship has sailed. He will never go down as good as Carter or Bosh. He just is not on that level.

The Raptors seem like a team in need of a miracle at this point. I think the person that I feel most sorry for in all of this is Jarrett Jack. If you have been watching the last few games you can see that Jack is busting his butt to try and get to post season. It would be the first time he would get there. At the All-Star Break it seemed a sure thing that he would get to experience the playoffs with his college team mate in Bosh. He lost his starting job to Calderon...which by the way how is that going Jay Triano and Calderon fans? Jack has always been a straight shooter about this team and how it has performed or not performed throughout the season. If you could combine the leadership he shows with the talent Chris Bosh has you would have a heck of a basketball player. I truly feel sorry for Jack that his chances of making his first post season have been dealt death blow after death blow. Which after all of that you may have to watch your friend leave in the off-season only getting to play one season with him. Not exactly a fair tale story at all.

Flat out if you care at all for this team and the last few days have not been depressing, then you honestly don't really care. If the Raptors can pull this thing out of the black hole this season seems to have fallen into, it would be amazing and somewhat shocking. Having said that even if they make the playoffs we still have no clue if Bosh could play in a series vs Lebron James, the soon to be 2 time M.V.P and Cavs. It just seems like mission impossible at this point. This is going to be a tough week to stomach for Raptors fans. But that may not be nearly as tough as the off-season that lies ahead.

Safe to say Bryan Colangelo has a heck of a challenge in front of him and if he some how is able to look good on the other side of this it would be amazing. Sign and Trades are nice but seriously find me the example where a team trading it's best player via that method has lead to success. Off the top of my head I can't think of one.


  1. It has been a star-crossed season to say the least. Sonny and Amir have merged as the jewels of the summer of '09 and Jack has delivered what was promised. Hard to say what the next ten days have in store but it looks like a season best put behind us. The irony is that the Raps will finish with a better record than last year but had much more to be optimistic about then. Hopefully the '09-10 season simply took on a life of its own. A long visit to the doldrums won't be acceptable. The rest of the roster will have to man up from here on out and let the pieces fall where they may.

  2. Like I said if Bosh isn't back and to be honest about it most feel that will be the case. Bryan Colangelo is left with a next to impossible task of improving this team and having to do it with 3 bad contracts on the books in Hedo, Bargnani and Calderon. I did those in order of worst to less worse.

    I just feel so bad for Jarrett Jack. In having some access to the team this year he is one of the best guys in that locker room in terms of telling it like it is and being honest and direct. He clearly and rightfully thought he was heading to the playoffs for first time in his career and that chance is now hanging by a thread.

    As for the better record it is true but as I wrote from the first day this team broke camp and like even before that. This Season was all about 1 thing and that was not even making the post season it was about re-signing Bosh and that mission seems to be doomed.

    Thanks for leaving the comment Pat. I think with Twitter people often just give me a shout on there and for get to leave there thoughts here. I will always answer your tweets folks but if you can leave comments here as well that is good for me and for the blog...thanks.

  3. I am very sad. I thought this season we could at least compete for 5th place. If Bosh leaves this franchise is going down hill. Andrea cannot survive without Bosh. I agree and I would say I feel it for Jack. it is almost as if he is cursed. I really, really hope Bosh stays and Colangelo is able to get rid of one if not two of the bad contracts. We need a miracle in a mighty mighty way.....

  4. This team has not had good balance in the years I have watched them (Bargnani's seasons beginning with 06-07). To improve, either Bargnani or Bosh have to go, and the void should be filled by a traditional post player who rebounds and plays tough defense (something that neither Bosh or Bargnani have shown to do conisistently). Also, if this team could only get a good set up player at point guard (ala Steve Nash) it would improve the team immensly. Calderon doesn't seem to have the knack for finding his teammates for open jumpers. Jack is a score first point guard, even when he's going good, the other four players on the court are taken out of the offensive flow. Nash of course isn't a possibility, but what about someone like Sergio Rodriguez with the Knicks, Beno Udric with Sacremento, Steve Blake with LAC or Kirk Hienrich with the Bulls?

  5. "What people can't take away, is the fact that a banner for a Division Title will hang in the ACC"

    I find this comment a bit silly. First of all, a "regular season division banner" and $3 will get you a cappuccino. It means nothing. Second of all, the only reason they got that division banner is because the division was terrible. No other team was above .500. They won the same number of games as in 2000-2001. Difference being the 2000-2001 team won twice as many playoff games.

    "It really is a case of flash vs substance. Carter was the flash with the dunks and drama that surrounded him. Bosh was the substance"

    Substance? They won 3 playoff games in 7 years. During Carter's era, they won 8 playoff games in 6 years (6 with Carter in the lineup), and 1 playoff series.

    Even if you look at individual numbers, Carter's best year (2000-2001) was just as good (25.0 PER) as Bosh's best year (2009-2010) (25.1 PER).

    I would also disagree that Carter had a more talented team around him in 2000-2001 than Bosh even has this year. Check the numbers. 2000-2001 Raptors:


    It's not pretty. It's downright ugly actually. The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th players combined scored a mere 33.1 PPG on brutally bad efficiency (all three shot under 51% TS%, two of them shot under 50% TS%).

    Now look at this season's Raptors:

    The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th leading scorers averaged 39.7 PPG on excellent efficiency (54.8, 54.4, and 60.1 TS% respectively).

    There is no comparison whatsoever in the amount of "help" Bosh has had. His teammates have scored way more points combined than Carter's did, on MUCH, MUCH, MUCH better efficiency. So what "substance" are you referring to? Carter beats Bosh in terms of team success, and they are roughly equal in terms of individual production. Even with a slew of players shooting excellent percentages, Bosh still couldn't win a thing.

    "I find it sad, pathetic and somewhat stupid the amount of criticism this guy takes."

    If that's true, than isn't it all sad, pathetic and somewhat stupid the amount of criticism you're giving Carter. You come off as a hypocrite blasting people who criticize Bosh, when you turn right around and criticize Carter, who did much more for the Raptors than Bosh. Don't say people are wrong for criticizing one player, and then come around and criticize another player yourself. I've seen you criticize Carter in countless entries, even when the main topic of the entry has nothing whatsoever to do with Carter. You'll bring his name up just to criticize him.

    The Raptors had a better regular season record under Carter, more playoff success, more international exposure, and he did more to popularize the sport in Canada than did Bosh. You could also make the argument that he did more for the community with the basketball courts and whatnot he purchased - at the very least he was more visible in the community with his philanthropy. The only arguments you can make in favour of Bosh are subjective arguments about "heart", "effort" and other wishy-washiness. You cannot make an objective, factual argument that Bosh was better or did more. Or at least I've never seen one.

  6. Rather than a long response I will just say this. I never knew Michelle Carter read the Dino Nation Blog. Thanks for checking us out. Actually I will say a little more

    For whatever you think of a Division Title Banner it still is a lasting legacy that will remain. As for the teams, Dell Curry, Bogus, Davis, Oakley etc while stats wise may not have been better in terms of experience and Pedigree were better.

    The fact you find Heart and effort wishy washy is laughable. I am don't care if you agree and if you want to hold the Vince Carter Parade go right ahead. Good luck finding people to attend. It is not hypocritical at all to respect someone based on how they carried themselves as a person and how they played the game.

    in the end Character counts

  7. "Rather than a long response I will just say this. I never knew Michelle Carter read the Dino Nation Blog. Thanks for checking us out. Actually I will say a little more"

    The fact that you insinuate that I'm Vince Carter's mom just because I'm a Vince Carter fan is downright stupid. If being a Vince fan makes me Vince's mom, than that means you must be Chris Bosh's mom, since you are a Chris Bosh fan. And all this time I never knew that Freida Bosh has a blog.

    Why can't I just be a Vince Carter fan? Vince was my favourite Raptor from his first season here. I didn't stop being a Carter fan because he got traded to another team. I don't turn my back on my favourite player like that, maybe you do. Just because you don't like Vince Carter, means I can't like him unless I'm his mom? That's just outright stupid to say.

    "For whatever you think of a Division Title Banner it still is a lasting legacy that will remain."

    So is winning a playoff series. Something Bosh hasn't done, and might never do. Winning a playoff series is far more impressive than winning 47 games in the regular season, then choking in the first round against a 41 win team. PS, teams with an actual history of winning, like the Celtics and the Lakers don't put up banners for winning division titles, because they are meaningless.

    "The fact you find Heart and effort wishy washy is laughable."

    The fact that you get all upset when people criticize Bosh, then come out and criticize other players is also laughable. As is the fact that you say I'm Carter's mom, just because I'm a Carter fan. As is the fact that you claim Bosh had more "substance" as a Raptor than Carter, but don't back that statement up with any numbers. To me substance means either:

    a) better individual numbers
    b) better in terms of winning
    c) both a + b

    It can't be a. There numbers were about even. Bosh's best season is a 25.1 PER, Carter's is a 25.0 PER. Overall Bosh has a career PER of about 21.3, Carter had about 21.5 with the Raptors. So that's a wash.

    It's not b. Carter's teams had a better record in both the regular season and the playoffs.

    "I am don't care if you agree and if you want to hold the Vince Carter Parade go right ahead. Good luck finding people to attend. It is not hypocritical at all to respect someone based on how they carried themselves as a person and how they played the game."

    That's not why I'm calling you a hypocrite. I'm calling you a hypocrite for saying it is "sad" and "pathetic" to criticize a player, when you come right out and criticize other players - both Carter and other current Raptors. Bosh is not immune to criticism, even if he is in your eyes. Colangelo, Triano, Hedo, Calderon, and Bargnani deserve much of the blame for the Raptors failures. But so does Bosh. If you're going to give him some credit for winning a division title, how can you not give him some blame for the team's failures the last three years?

    "in the end Character counts"

    I could point out many examples of poor character on Bosh's part. Calling out a teammate (Jamario Moon) in public after a game last season. Refusing to join the team in a timeout, and instead just standing on the net and flipping the ball up at it repeatedly while moping in a game against Boston. Whining about the home fans booing you, and saying you could get that treatment on the road. And these example are just from the last two seasons.

  8. Honestly if you can't take a joke in terms of the Michelle Carter thing that is your problem. That was what is was intended to be. If you have read the blog for any amount of time I would hope you would understand I do my best to have a sense of humour.

    Something I have also said in the blog many times is that I am not here to tell anyone who to cheer for, support...etc. You have your own mind obviously and can think and support who and what you like.

    At the end of the day I am much more comfortable with Chris as a player and person in my opinion and that is in the end all it is. I think the majority of fans would agree with that.

    I don't believe in having pointless conversations which is where this has got to. At the end of the day I have stated my thoughts and you have yours. Obviously we do not agree and that is more than fine.

    Lastly and this is my own beef and it is not just with you but a general one. If folks disagree with me I am happy to post it as long as it is in good taste. But if it were me I would put my name on it. If you are proud of what you are saying put a name on it.