Raptors add Pie(trus) to mix Vs Suns

So the big news heading into this one is the Raptors' signing of Mickael Pietrus finally confirmed this morning by the Raptors at roughly 10:30 am. Here is a breakdown of his career numbers from Basketball Reference.

Of note he has only started 10 games in the last two seasons. He may well end up starting for the Raptors given the sorry state of affairs at the small forward position. Add another name to the long list of people to start at small forward since Vince Carter left town.

Does this signing change or fix all of the Raptors issues that have led to a 6 game losing streak? Obviously not, but it is a good band aid solution to one of the problems. It is just a one year contract and if he does well once players return from injury you can keep him and have some additional depth.

The Suns have their own problems after losing to Pistons team that these Raptors lost to by one point the Suns lost by 40 points the other night. It adds to a dismal road record for the Suns who enter tonight at 2-6 on the road but overall they sit at 7-9 on the season.

Raptors broke a long losing streak vs Suns that lasted the entire run of Steve Nash being with the Suns last season. Nash is now gone so that changes a lot in terms of the Suns. It was 14 straight losses in total. The Raptors won that game last season to break that streak in Phoenix. The Suns did not visit the ACC last year in the lockout shortened season.

This game is vital for the Raptors to come out with a win as after this they embark on a five game west coast trip which has never been a kind place for the Raptors.

Ready or not this one gets rolling at 7pm. If your looking for Pietrus he will be wearing Damon Stoudamire's number 20 for the Raptors. He is slightly taller and can speak French.


McGuire Out, Pietrus In

Talked about this earlier today in the blog. it appears it is just the formality of a Raptors Press Release away from being reality. The Raptors will sign Mickael Pietrus and they will wave Dominic McGuire to make room for the signing.

Pietrus played last season with Boston this was after rumours he was coming to Toronto but something about his physical killed the deal between the Suns and Raptors. When official word comes from the Raptors will update this story.

For my thoughts on Pietrus here is a link to the blog from earlier today. Will see what Raptors say but he could be in the line-up as soon as Friday against one of his former teams in the Suns.

Update 10:35 AM: Finally made official via RaporsPR on Twitter and he confirm Pietrus has been signed and will wear Number 20 (Mighty Mouse's Number) and Dominic McGuire has been Waived to make room on the roster for the signing. 

Details on his status or educated speculation in our preview of Raptors vs Suns later today. But he is in shape according to reports and did play on the Suns not that long ago so think he suits up tonight and plays coming off the bench.

DNB Top 10: Ways To Cope With Raptors' Losing Streaks

Let’s face it losing SUCKS. In 5 years of doing this, there have been many losing streaks to endure.Today in the Dino Nation Blog we offer you 10 tips to survive Raptors' losing streaks. So, if your ready let’s go.

  • #10 Take like 3 hours get off Twitter go take a walk in the park.
  • #9  Make a friend that doesn’t have any interest in basketball
  • #8 Avoid any channel that could play the Andrea Bargnani Primo Pasta Ad
  • #7 Play NBA 2k13 and build a SUPER RAPTORS team that can’t lose
  • #6 Focus on whatever the thing is you enjoy second most in life (Note: if that is being a Leafs Fan this will not work or a Hockey fan)
  • #5 Write an angry letter to Bryan Colangelo. Sending it to him is optional.
  • #4 Not for Me- But Go Workout burn some of that anger off.
  • #3 Play a Video game where you can beat someone up or blow something up (More for Guys)
  • #2 Anything that makes you laugh can do wonders
  • #1 Consider moving to Oklahoma City.

Some of those are serious and some not so much. In any case in times like these I really appreciate your support. This is a daily grind for me and I totally understand that some people need breaks when times get tough like this. However hang in with us in the Dino Nation Blog.  I do my best to keep you entertained and informed regardless of the Raptors record. Sadly, I have become pretty good at keeping things entertaining in times like this. 

One of the reasons I keep doing this is the great spirit and humour that so many of you have that cheer for the Raptors and support this blog. A joke on twitter, a kind word from someone saying they like something I have done goes a long way at anytime but even more in times like this.

I truly feel for fans that had high expectations for this team. You all deserve a team that wins. I hope that I am still here for that day. It would be nice to not have to work as hard to make folks smile.

Morning After Memphis Meltdown

The end result last night was not a surprise to anyone or it should not have been. The fact the Raptors led after 12 minutes and were in the game at halftime likely was. The “we don’t need no stinking Bargnani movement,” was all smiles at the half as he sat this one out with a sore ankle. But the third quarter without Bargnani went like many games with him with Grizzlies coming out and getting to business and stepping up their game on both sides of the ball. They would win the quarter 33-14 and put the outcome of this game to bed. The Grizzlies would coast from there to a 103-82 win.

It is not an over reaction to say the Raptors season is pretty much on the line over the next few weeks. For all the people that were clamoring for Terrence Ross might see a ton of him soon if things don’t turn around. After a career high 19 he came crashing down to earth with just 8 points and going 0-6 from three point range. Not good at all. Honestly it really wasn’t a particular good night for anyone. Ed Davis who got the call to start with Bargnani out had 10 points and 6 rebounds which is not bad until we mention the 4 turnovers. Even DeRozan was at best average with one exception in this one. He had 16 points to lead the team. He was able to connect on two out three from beyond the arc but only got to the line 4 times making them all.

News was breaking that the Raptors could be very close to bringing in Mickael Pietrus. This would require the Raptors cutting someone to sign him. The likely candidate would be Dominc McGuire. Pietrus almost was a Raptor I believe it was a season ago. The Raptors had been reported to work out a deal with the Suns but something about the medical Pietrus took was not to the Raptors liking. This move is being considered because according to reports from ESPN Alan Anderson and Landry Fields are likely out for at least month longer. The Anderson projection does fall in line with what the Raptors have said. He was said to be out anywhere from 3-6 weeks. While Fields, is expected to have stitches removed and after that could not be re-evaluated for at least another two weeks.

Pietrus in his career has been able to make threes and is considered a decent defender. If he is in shape he could in theory jump right into the starting line-up. Will this solve all the Raptors problems? Far from it. It does at least give them potentially some production from the position. McGuire offers little offensively and Kleiza who started last night seems content to just chuck the ball at will and is not all that interested in playing a team style of game.

Ryan Wolstat from the Sun posted a quote from Kyle Lowry on the status of this team. Lowry said something to the effect the team is not dead but they are 5 feet deep. That is a correct analogy for where the Raptors are at as they have been digging their own grave on their playoff hopes at a rather rapid rate.

The Raptors have a MUST win on November 30, 2012. The Suns are up next and while the Raptors were getting beat by 21 in Memphis to the best team in NBA at the moment. The Suns were losing by 40 to the Detroit Pistons. The same Pistons the Raptors lost by just one to on November 23rd.

No win in this next one you legitimately ask when the next win will come with Raptors heading to the west coast which has never been particularly kind to them.


The Team That We Use To Laugh About.

It is a depressing and sobering thought that this Memphis Grizzlies franchise was once the Vancouver Grizzlies. Not the fact that they left Vancouver which in its own right is depressing and sad. The fact that this franchise has been around for the same amount of time as the Raptors and look at them now. Yet look at where they are currently and look at where we find ourselves. Like I said it is depressing and sobering and perhaps even a source of anger. While the Raptors have been in a free fall to the bottom of the Eastern Conference the Grizzlies have been on the rise in the West.  

2009-10: 40-42 (Fourth In Southwest- Missed Playoffs) 
2010-11 46-36 (Fourth In Southwest- Lost in Second Round to OKC) 
2011-12 41-25 (Second In Southwest- Lost in First Round to Clippers) 

2009-10 40-42 (Second in Atlantic- Missed the Playoffs) 
2010-11 22-60 (Last in Atlantic- Missed the Playoffs) 
2011-12 23-43 (Fourth in Atlantic- Missed the Payoffs)

Speed ahead to tonight and the Raptors are 3-12 while the Grizzlies come in 10-2 and one of the best teams in the league so far this season. We use to laugh at this franchise while in Vancouver as the Raptors seemed miles ahead of them. Now the shoe is clearly on the other foot. Rudy Gay may in fact get talked about more by Raptors fans than the folks in Memphis. A lot of fans clamoured for Bryan Colangelo to pull of a deal to land Gay in Toronto. No doubt he is talented but he comes with an over priced contract. Still he produces and maybe no more so than against the Raptors. He averaged 24.5 points in the two meetings last year.

The Raptors actually split the series between the two teams hanging on to win in OT 114-110 in the building the play tonight the Fed-Ex Forum. They played another close contest earlier in the year up in Toronto in which Memphis got revenge 102-99. That is the good news. Here is the bad that win by the Raptors win snapped a 6 game losing streak to Memphis which speaks to that change in fortunes displayed above. More bad news when you look at career performance against this club.

No one particular does well against them. Andrea Bargnani is the best scoring wise at 15.3 a game well off his career average. This is another former club of Kyle Lowry as well. Last night against the Rockets he didn’t set the world on fire.

Unlucky loss number 13 would seem almost a sure thing for this one.

 If you missed it earlier in the day had the interview with DeMar DeRozan we teased on this week in Raptorland up this morning if you want to go check it out.

UPDATE 6:55 PM: You wanted No Andrea Bargnani....YOU GOT IT....No not traded out with a bump ankle....Klezia is going to start rumour has it. Oh yeah this is going be interesting. 

Starting 5: In The Locker Room with DeMar DeRozan

Had a chance to catch up with DeMar DeRozan. We chat on a number of subjects from his new contract to how he is dealing with this tough start to the season. Stephen Brotherston who writes for Hoopsworld joins the conversation as well with a few of his own questions. The fourth one (Audio is low) he asks is about how Raptors have yet to have a night with both DeMar, Kyle and Andrea on clicking scoring wise. In total it is a good five minutes talking with DeMar on how things have been going. Not much has changed unfortunately from when this interview was conducted prior to the San Antonio game on Sunday. DeRozan had a team high 29 in double OT. In Houston last night just 12 points for him.

DeMar DeRozan has been good more nights than he has been bad this season their are few guys on this roster that can say that. Even when we are in the Locker Room Starting 5 is brought to you by the folks at St. Louis Wings. Congrats to our latest contest winners on This Week In Raptorland. We are giving away Chicken Wings in exchange for your topics for our Fan Five Frenzy. Fire us a question on Twitter with #TWIR5 by Sunday at 7pm and if you have the best question or topic of the week that we use than you get yourself a free pound of Chicken Wings from St Louis Wings at their 3 locations that sponsor us (595 Bay St, 528 Young St and Fairview Mall location) Thanks to DeMar for taking the time to talk with us in the Dino Nation Blog.

Lin and Harden Team Up To Take Down Toronto

Patience is wearing thin for everyone in Raptorland. If it is not someone that wants Bargnani traded or maybe even deported it is a person that wants Bryan Colangelo to walk the plank. After a double OT loss to San Antonio what would the Raptors have two days later in Houston? The answer would be not much.

Andrea Bargnani did show up in the first quarter and first half. Not so much in the third and beyond. This game had the doors blown open by Houston in the third out scoring the Raptors 38-28 adding to the lead they had built in the first half.

The Raptors offense was clicking decently all night but a lack of defense and turnovers would overshadow that. God bless Raptor fans as they can try and pull a positive from almost anything. Terrence Ross got to play a lot and took advantage with 19 points off the bench. He shot 9-17 in this one and added to his fairly empty to this point NBA highlight reel with some nice dunks.

While I would be excited to see a DeMar DeRozan vs. Terrence Ross Dunk off this does not instantly make me think Terrence has suddenly arrived. The cold reality is he did a chunk of this work with Houston holding a fairly significant lead and having the game well in hand. Is this good for him and help his confidence and ego that has likely taken a hit. Sure it is, but does that mean I think he should start in Memphis tomorrow? Not particularly.

Eventually, can and should Ross earn some minutes? Sure he can, but understand what Terrence Ross playing is likely going to represent. It will likely be a sign the Raptors goal of the playoffs has had the white flag raised on it. If not for injures were not even having this conversation.

All 5 Houston starters were in double figures. Raptors not so much as Bargnani had his 21, Val and DeMar each had 12. While Dominic McGuire had big donuts zero in the scoring column.  While Kyle Lowry in his return to Houston was so-so at best with 7 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists. He shot on the night just 3-10 and 0-3 from distance. Both backcourts were sloppy with 7 turnovers for Lowry/Derozan and Lin/Harden. But Harden did pour in 24 and had 12 assists while Jeremy Lin had 16 points and 10 dimes.

Raptors keep losing dropping another one 117-101 at the Toyota Center. It is one to face one of the hottest teams out of the gate this NBA season the former Vancouver now Memphis Grizzlies. That likely looks like another L. Lot of those piling up and nobody is happy about that.

To all that wished me congratulations on 5 years of the DNB yesterday thanks to all of you. 


Jack Armstrong Helps Us Celberate 5 Years Of The DNB

Today marks officially five years of doing the Dino Nation Blog. I have in that time accomplished a lot of things. One of the things that I am most proud of is earning the respect of our guest today Jack Armstrong. I may have told this story before but I will repeat it in case you have not read it or heard it before. I started doing work covering basketball back in college on a radio sports show. I was able to get Chuck Swirsky and Eric Smith to come on as guests on occasion.  I felt lucky enough with being able to do that. Still, I really wanted to have this other guy named Jack Armstrong as a guest. I admired his no nonsense tell it like it is approach. I just didn't have the courage to say hey Chuck or hey Eric it is great having you on the show but I really would also like to have Jack Armstrong could you help me out? At the time I thought it might have insulted them. When I started the DNB I realized that was silly and asked Eric if it would be possible to pass along that I would like to talk with Jack and Eric's broadcast partner Paul Jones.

He would and both have ended up being guests here on the Starting 5. Both have also behind the scenes so to speak given me great encouragement and advice. It started out just in written form and now has advanced into audio form for years. We now have two podcasts and Eric was a guest on This Week In Raptorland talking about his charity mission this season to help hurricane victims in New York and New Jersey. I get into that with Jack today at the end of our interview. Jack is a Brooklyn native and has had many people both  in his family and friends directly impacted by this. So who better to make a sales pitch on behalf of Eric.

Don't worry we talk a ton of basketball before that including Andrea Bargnani, DeMar DeRozan, Raptors not getting calls and a lot more. The support and encouragement of Jack Armstrong since Eric got us together has been tremendous. I can not tell you how much it means to me. I have never told Jack this but he honestly reminds me in many ways of my own father who I lost at the age of 13. There is nobody that I know from my work in the Dino Nation Blog that I would do more for or defend to the end of the earth than Jack Armstrong. He has NEVER once turned me down to do an interview. He is a joy to work with and it is truly one of the best experiences I have had in 5 years of doing this.

So with that said please have a listen to yet another great conversation with myself and Jack Armstrong:

In five years of covering this team I have had a lot of ups and some downs but it has been a fun ride. Do I wish the Raptors had performed better over that time? Of course I do, but that never impacts on how hard I work at what I am doing. The list of people I could thank would be a long one. I will just say for all the people that have over the years come to this thing I created be they as guests or as readers and listeners of what I do...Thank You.

The Dino Nation Blog can at times be rough around the edges. I do my best to balance keeping going after my dreams and looking after my family concerns. I think one of my favourite memories of both involves Jack Armstrong too. I had an interview with Jack and it fell on my mom's birthday. I asked him if he would sing White Christmas for my mom because she loves snow and Happy Birthday seemed to cliched. Jack was happy to comply. He has sung here, talked a ton of basketball, even some out of the box stuff like breaking down the basketball skills of Barrack Obama.

No matter what has been thrown Jack's way here in the DNB he has always come through for us and I am always thankful to see him or talk with him. I met players and do many things but to say that Jack Armstrong knows me and respects me ranks at the top of my list of things I have accomplished because I respect him so much.


This Week In Raptorland: 8 Is Not Enough

Here we go with another week of Raptors talk and reviewing and looking ahead on all that is going on with your Toronto Raptors. It is as always myself with Josh Lewenberg Raptors Beat Reporter for TSN 1050. In addition this episode I talk with Canadian point guard for the Spurs Cory Joseph. He recently was called up from the D-League and is back on the Spurs Roster. We talk about his second return to Toronto a much more low key affair. In addition his thoughts on Canada Basketball. We also give you a preview of my chat with DeMar DeRozan that will be up in the blog this week. Also Raptors radio broadcaster Eric Smith pops by for a quick visit to talk about his latest charity venture for the holidays. We also talk briefly on his thoughts on the Raptors slow start to the season. This and your question in the Fan Five Frenzy. Where we give away another 3 pounds of chicken wings to 3 lucky listeners of the podcast who contributed their topics or questions. You can do this too just use the Hashtag #TWIR5 on Twitter and will take five of the best and put them in mix to get some free chicken wings. All this and our usually features and a new one that Allan Iverson would not approve of but hopefully you will.

Thanks to Cory Joseph, DeMar DeRozan, Eric Smith and our great sponsors at St Louis Wings for feeding all of you in our fan frenzy. As well as my co-host Josh Lewenberg who has been just awesome to work with. TOMMORROW...JACK ARMSTRONG AND DEMAR DEROZAN Interviews in the DNB.


Casey Wants Us To Join Him On A Ride To Hell With Andrea Bargnani

The Raptors, in a game that had many positive aspects found a way to lose again in double overtime to a more talented San Antonio Spurs team at the ACC.  I can accept that and honestly you should too. Here is what isn’t acceptable. You have Andrea Bargnani just playing as terrible as he possibly could on offense.  On the other hand you have Ed Davis having a career night his best as a Raptor. I am even willing to concede riding Bargnani till the end of regulation. However in overtime to not play Ed Davis and tell Andrea Bargnani it is not your night take a seat is 100% unacceptable.

One of the things I have many times praised Dwane Casey for in this blog is bringing back some sense of accountability to this team. It was something that under Jay Triano quite frankly that was non-existent. Today after the game when Casey was asked about Andrea and why he continued to play in overtime his response was this.

“Andrea is our guy come hell or high water.”

Well 3-11 might not exactly be hell but it damn sure isn’t paradise either.  If you are going to tell this team to Pound the Rock and keeping fighting hard you can’t allow Andrea Bargnani to have some kind of immunity from that.  The one sequence that just complete was a green light to give Bargnani the hook was when he drove had his shot blocked and than kept possession and went to the corner passed to Jose and got a quick return pass to brick a three. That was it right there.

I think why I am so upset is so many guys did have great efforts in this game. Jose Calderon was not one of them and the fact that is the only mention of that you will read from me likely illustrates my anger. Ed Davis had a career night as Raptor his best by far as member of this franchise. What is the message to him? What is the message to Kyle Lowry that came back early from a bone bruise to try and help this team? What is the message to DeMar DeRozan who after a bad night for him in Detroit came back to lead the team with 29 points.

Andrea Bargnani just gives off the impression on and off the floor that he could careless. I honestly think I could count on two hands the amount of times I have felt Andrea cared in now 7 years here and have fingers left over.

One of the oldest basketball expressions or even a sport expression I can recall is your best player needs to be your hardest worker. That guy Casey is going to hell with and taking all of us with him is not that guy. It is guys like DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry. It could even be said of others. However the one thing that is crystal clear as we sit with coach number three is that is NOT ANDREA BARGNANI.

Dwane Casey, Bryan Colangelo or God coming down on this earth could not convince me otherwise.

The Raptors are playing a serious game of chicken with their passionate hardcore fan base. They are fed up with Andrea Bargnani for the most part and these people have been through a lot. Today was a sellout at the ACC. If the Raptors hope to have these in the future they need to address this Andrea Bargnani situation once and for all.

It is not the way Dwane Casey suggests that we all go on ride to hell with a guy that doesn’t particularly care. If Casey keeps on this path will Andrea remain and will move on to coach number 4?  People hated how Sam Mitchell treated Andrea Bargnani but in some ways maybe Sam saw what we all see even now. A guy that just is what he is and is not going to bust his ass or even lift a finger to change.

This has to become DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry’s team and it needs to happen sooner rather than later. The Raptors will not only miss the playoffs they will likely lose a lot more in terms of their hardcore base support which has been angry in the past but not to this level. People are fed up with false hope and false expectations and they need someone to blame. Andrea Bargnani by his lack of effort sets himself up to be the poster boy for that displeasure.

Josh and I will have more on the week that was in Raptorland on TWIR tomorrow. Also have interviews with DeMar DeRozan, Cory Joesph and Eric Smith on the program. The game? Spurs won it 111-106 in double OT. 4 straight loss for the Dinos as things have got pretty bleak with no end in sight.


Joy and Pain: No Sunshine Just Rain For Raptors

Let me start with the happy part of last night. It was great to share my birthday and celebrate 5 years of the Dino Nation Blog which technically happens this Tuesday. We have lined up our favourite and most popular guest to join us Jack Armstrong for that. Obviously, he was not at our party last night he was calling the game in Detroit. It was a great time though with lots of people I knew and met a few new ones to add to a growing list in the last 5 years.

When I came up with this whole idea of doing a blog on the Toronto Raptors I am not sure I fully understood what it would mean for my life personally.I never started doing this to add friends into my life. I did it because I love basketball and have a media background and thought I could produce something interesting and different from what was out there.

Always keeping the fans opinions and thoughts at the front of the conversation I would be creating in what I write. So it likely should have made sense these people who hopefully were going to read this would get to know me and I would get to know them. It just never was something I thought about.

I am not sure when exactly I decided this but I said you know what I want to meet all these people that follow me in the blog and on twitter. I want to talk with them get to know them and turn the DNB into a family type of environment.

Last night was an example of that change in mindset in action. St Louis Wings was on of those people that found me on Twitter and they encouraged me to try doing these parties and come out and be a host for them. I was hesitant at first because I was still working for The Score at the time and it would lead to conflicts with my work schedule. I decided if we are going to try this let’s do it on a night that was a can’t miss. That night was the return of Chris Bosh to Toronto. The place was packed and it was a great success. The blog that night which I did live from the party was likely less successful.

The thing is I truly care when I do these events and I feel it is my duty to give all I can to get people to come out and support Manu and the folks at St Louis Wings. They have trusted me and I have always been treated so well by them. So these build ups to the parties I may drive you all insane in the promotion of them. That is the reason why though because I truly care.

Last night the place was packed and I felt great about that. These parties are a great way for me to relax and get to know people and just watch a game like a fan which has been a rare event in these last almost 5 years of doing this job. So thanks to everyone and all you folks that missed this one I hope to see you at the next one which we have yet to figure out a date for. Likely in 2013, but who knows if it is sooner safe to say you will be well informed about it.

On to the pain part and that would be the Toronto Raptors who I did manage to notice in between drinks, food and acting as a good host lost to the Detroit Pistons. Ironically on a night Andrea Bargnani decided to show up a lot of others didn’t as much. At the top of that list was DeMar DeRozan who had his worst game of the season to this point. Timing could not be worse for me putting this article out in Bleacher Report on how he is finally producing.

The fact this team is 3-10 and after a point in their schedule where they should have picked up some wins they have not. Concern is growing after a lot of folks had some lofty and somewhat unrealistic expectations for this team. I had said prior to the season this team was not going make the playoffs. However I expected them to be close. At this point they are no where near close.

The games ahead vs. San Antonio, which I will be covering, and Houston and Memphis on the road do not offer much hope of victory. It likely gets worse before it gets better for Toronto Raptors. Hence why having all those friends I have made make life a little easier to take another season where the Raptors have underachieved as a group.


Taking The Day Off To Party

As hopefully you all are aware we are having our #DNB5 Party at St Louis Wings tonight. So no preview of the Raptors and Pistons just like there is no Win even if the NBA did screw up. Bobcats now owe us a WIN and Jose Calderon Trade. But Joey G from the Round Ball Review did make a special message for me take a look.

So come out and have some fun with us tonight at St Louis Wings.


Ranting, Raving and Celebrating..WOOOO!!!

Today will talk a little ranting, raving and celebrating in the DNB.


I see so many fans totally disillusioned by the Raptors start to the season. It is like they are stunned or shocked by this. If you look at things logically and from a neutral point of view the Raptors really have only been a few games off where you would have expected them to be. This schedule was not kind to the Raptors in any way, shape or form. Factor in the loss of Lowry for more than half of those games and Raptors being reduced to their third option at small forward has not been good.

What the challenge is and always was is for this team to survive and make it to January and February where they see more home games and the level of competition drops off. You will point to a loss to the Bobcats and say what about that? Raptors had lost 6 of 7 to Charlotte going in and now 7 of 8 after last night. They currently sit fourth in the East as crazy as that sounds.

As horrible as it has been for Toronto you can take heart in the fact the Raptors are only 3 games out of the final playoff spot currently held by Boston with a 6-6 record. What the Raptors should be concerned about is the fact they are 0-4 vs. their own division with 12 games left to go against the Atlantic. That is my biggest concern early on.


Ranting is not strong enough for the reaction to the officiating in Charlotte. You all are familiar with the story of the little boy that cried wolf I am sure. When wolf really came no one would listen to the little boy’s cries that he had. This is kind of how I feel about this situation.

Raptors fans and even broadcasters have made an issue of this many times. A lot of times this is done in my view with not enough reason to do so. Now you have a legitimate officiating meltdown last night and the weight of that is lost in the constant complaints from people.

Even in that awful circumstance you can say the Raptors could have avoided the problem altogether. Just make a few more free throws avoid a turnover or 30 other little things. If you are going to call bias…I take you back to the flagrant foul call on Lowry in which the refs reviewed and changed back to a regular foul.

Behind the scenes I have heard that Raptors are not happy about calls not going their way this year. If they have constantly been complaining to the league office another of many complaints is not likely going to do any good.

No question the last 28 seconds last night was awful. However, this culture of when the Raptors lose a close game to always point to the refs as the cause is not much better. Also here is something to consider the Raptors got into the bonus in less than 4 minutes into the fourth. Something they never took advantage of long before that ending of the game.


As I have been telling you on Twitter for close to a month we are having a party at St Louis Wings (595 Bay St Location) tomorrow. It is an early celebration for our 5 year anniversary of the Dino Nation Blog. It also happens to be my birthday. So I thought why not have a party to mark this occasion and watch and see the Raptors hopefully win a game.

So this party is as much about all of you that made the Dino Nation Blog into a long term part of my life. So come out and have some fun. If you can’t stay for the entire basketball game it really is secondary. Would love to see you stop by and say hello. This goes for all of you that I already know and even the people I have yet to meet.

I enjoy nothing more than getting to know the people that have got to know me from doing this bog and ranting like a crazy person on Twitter. I am much more chilled out in person. So hope you can make it as the game starts at 7 pm but the party goes till? Who knows.

Last but not least if you live in the U.S chances are you are not coming to our party but I wanted to wish all of you a VERY HAPPY THANKSGIVING.   


Raptors Feel Robbed In Charlotte

Ramon Sessions says Toronto is a game the Bobcats can win. Evidence supports the claim as the Cats have won 6 of the last 7 vs. the Raptors. Was it smart to say that though? Not really. So will see what happens from Ric Flair country…WOOOOOOO!!!!! Let’s get it on in Charlotte.

Jonas opens the scoring for the Raptors coming off his second career double-double last night in Philly. An odd stat the Raptors three wins all come on the second night of a back to back situation like tonight. Bargnani gets a two and Jonas get his second bucket as the Raptor bigs having their way with Raptors up 6-2. Make it 8-2 with a rare drive and slam from Andrea Bargnani.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist drives the heart of the lane gets a score and draws a foul on Jonas. Raptors clearly had a game plan to go at the Charlotte bigs it looks like as Bargnani with another basket. DeMar DeRozan becomes the first guy under 7 feet tall to get a score for the Raptors. Kyle Lowry back in starting line-up and contributing hitting a three making to give the Raptors a 17-9 lead. A Bargnani airball almost acted as a sign the Bobcats would make a push and they did to make it 20-16 Raptors with 2:49 left in the first.

Terrence Ross with a rare moment of brilliance in his young career with dunk in transition that looked very nice.  Bargnani gets the hook for not boxing out and Ed Davis happy to take the minutes and gets 2 to make it 24-18 Raptors. Walker got a bucket and wanted the and one and instead got teched up for his trouble. Raptors make the tech and lead 25-20 in the late going of the first.  Ross took a three but missed it so much for brilliance. Picks up a foul on the other end of the floor and wipes that away quickly.  Cats make both and Raptors can’t get anything out of final 11 seconds in fact they turned it over but did not pay the price leading 25-22 after one.

Ross and DeRozan with some high flying stuff but the Cats go on a 6-0 run and Casey is furious and calls a time out with Raptors lead down to 1. Bobcats would take a lead I believe their first of the night it was short lived as DeRozan replied on the other end for Toronto to make it 31-30. Cats took another lead and Lowry with a three would again nose the Raptors ahead by one. Cats keep coming though led by Kemba Walker out running the field and built a five point lead. Raptors battle back and Jose Calderon gets a three to make it 51-50. Jeff Taylor answers back with a three to restore the Charlotte lead 53-51. Lowry with a long two with one second left in the half ties it at 53.

Lowry made an impact at the end of the half and throughout with 16 points to lead all scorers in the first half. Fitting that Lowry starts the second half with a triple, to give the Raptors a one point edge after a Charlotte score to open the half gave them the lead.  Raptors get on a roll and extend the lead to 61-55. Jonas adds to that with his second basket in a row to make it 63-55. Raptors start the third on a 10-2 run and Cats call a timeout with 8:47 to go. Couple Kemba Walker baskets with Kidd-Gilchrist steal in between them get the Cat back to within 4. Raptors called a time out but it didn’t help as the Cats kept clawing and scored the next 6 after the time out to lead 71-69. These seem destined to go the wire with Cats leading 75-74 after 3.

Cats again take charge and go on an 11-2 run to open the fourth and lead 86-76. Raptors continue to struggle as Jose turns it over and DeRozan is called for a clear path foul. Calderon tries to make up for his blunder with a three to cut the Charlotte lead down to 88-82. DeMar has had a rough night not getting any calls to go his way and just 8 points with a basket to cut the lead to four.  He also has 5 turnovers on the night as well. DeRozan hits another and gets to double figures and this is a two point game. A bobcat with a turnover and some nice ball movement leads to a wide open jumper for Bargnani at the top of the key. Time out Bobcats tied up at 88 in Charlotte. Charlotte would end a 9-0 run for the Raptors. Jonas would get a score to keep this game tied at 90 now. Jonas than gets a key defensive board closing in on a double-double with 16 points and 9 rebounds. Bargnani would turn that board into a three and Raptors had a 17-4 advantage to give them a 93-90 lead. Raptors than get tagged with a flagrant foul on Kyle Lowry on Ramon Sessions. I think Refs might read the internet. Sessions was the guys saying this was an easy win for Bobcats. It would be changed back to a regular foul after review with 2:41 to play. Sessions makes both and all even again at 93.

DeRozan can’t get a call all night but does here and gets the bucket and makes the and one attempt. Jonas gets that tenth rebound and Lowry tries to give the Raps a real advantage with a three but he misses it. Walker matches DeRozan going right at Jonas and making the basket and drawing the foul on Jonas his sixth to end his night with 16 and 10 with 55.5 seconds left in regulation. He would make the and one and it was tied at 96. DeRozan back at the line and misses first makes the second. Ramon Sessions has a shot play around on rim but eventually falls to give Bobcats the lead 98-97 with 28.7 to play.

Raptors had about four chances to score on a couple of them it looked like DeRozan could have been given a foul call but was not. Ball ends up out of bounds with about 6 seconds left and it is still Raptors ball. Lowry has a shot blocked out of bounds with 3.4 seconds left now. Bargnani shoots an airball and he thought he was fouled. No call coming and Bobcats move to 5-0 in games within 4 points.

Cats steal this one 98-97 normally I am not one to get on this whole blame the refs kick. However that last 28 seconds was at the very least suspect. It still counts as loss though and Raptors fall to 3-9.

Bobkittens No More

Charlotte Bobcats were historically bad last season with a 7-59 record and worst winning percentage in NBA History. They still despite that managed to win 2 of 3 games from the Toronto Raptors. The Bobcats are much improved this season with a 4-2 record at home where they will take on the Raptors tonight. If they were to beat the Raptors tonight it would surpass their entire win total last season at home. While the Raptors have struggled in close game and blown leads. Charlotte is 4-0 in games decided by 4 points or fewer. They are 5-4 overall on the season while the Raptors limp into North Carolina at 3-8.

The reward for the Bobcats terrible season was not Anthony Davis as they would have liked but they did get a guy that played along side him in Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. He is averaging 11 points a game early on in his NBA Career. Bobcats drafted the season before Kemba Walker who has stepped up to average 18.8 points as the starting point guard with 5.4 assist.

Bobcats are not without injures either. Gerald Henderson and Tyrus Thomas have both been out and Ben Gordon acquired in a trade with the Pistons is listed as day to day.  Raptors got Kyle Lowry back last night as he came off the bench being eased back into the line-up.

Raptors All-Time vs. the Bobcats have won 14 and lost 14 games. But in the more recent history have lost 6 of the last 7 games to Bobcats. I guess that means I should stop calling them Bobkittens.

Charlotte comes in hot winning 4 of their last 5. Their last contest was Monday with a 102-98 win over the Bucks.

While the casual Raptors fans sees Bobcats on the schedule and expects a win, history at least suggests that will be no easy task.

Update 6:20 pm: If you haven't heard yet Kyle Lowry will return to Starting 5 tonight. 


Raptors Still Have No Answers For The Sixers Or Atlantic Division

So, were in Philly and Kyle Lowry says no way I am not playing in this one. Well not exactly sure what he said, but he will be playing coming off the bench and thus T.J Ford and Jose Calderon memories flood your mind. Just a logical guess though that we see Lowry back as the starter by Friday against Detroit. Lowry’s return does nothing to solve the Raptors issues entirely though. Still have a serious hole at the small forward and Andrea Bargnani is still a problem. Dominic McGuire played well against Orlando and Linas Kleiza since his return from a family matter has been in the line-up and producing. Will Lowry’s return provide a spark to get the Raptors over the hump against Philly? Time we find out.

After a 4-4 start to this one the Raptors got on a roll and went on an 8-0 run with everyone contributing. A DeRozan dunk and even a Bargnani baseline mid-range jumper and that made it 12-4 Raptors and time out for Doug Collins. Raptors run would end at 10-0 with a Jrue Holiday jumper. Dominic McGuire who showed some signs of looking good against the Magic was doing that same so far tonight with a score.

Lowry checked in with Jose still on the floor and the Raptors lead at 7 points. Good News you would think, but not so much as the Raptors small line-up give up 6 straight to the Sixers. Raptors balancing act of getting Lowry and Calderon time may prove to be a problem. Just like it was with….you knows where this was going. Raptors got away from the two point guard experiment and build the lead back to 8. The Raptors with a good first quarter minus the terrible stretch with the small line-up on the floor.  Raptors on top 29-22.

Casey tried going with Lucas and Lowry to some better results and the reason why is simple: defense. Raptors were maintaining a 7 point advantage till Thaddeus Young got a steal and a dunk. Casey would call a time out with Raptors leading 40-35 with 5:43 to play in the half. Jose Calderon scored on a nice drive to keep the Raptors ahead as Philly had got the lead down to just two. Lowry meanwhile may have hurt his wrist will see what happens there. Philly was charging hard and had lead back down to just two now it was Casey needing a time out with 2:35 to play in the half. Sixers finally got this game tied at 46. Raptors shooting 1 for their last 8 attempts weren’t helping. Philly would take their first lead of the night with just about a minute to play in half. Bargnani would tie it up but then Holiday would hit a three. Jose would answer with a three and this was an entertaining finish to the half ending up all even at 51.

Sixers got the early jump in the half with the first four points it would be a back and forth battle the rest of the next 6 minutes. Raptors had Lowry go down as did Jason Richardson but Lowry was ok. Raptors were as well with a 71-65 lead and Jonas had his second career double-double and was just in the third. Andrea Bargnani with a burst of output with a three Raptors was getting a good overall team effort to this point up 76-65. Raptors would let the lead slip to just 7 entering the final quarter.

Raptors were drawing fouls to start the fourth and with 8:13 left they were already in the bonus. Bargnani missed a pair with Raptors up 87-80. That would start a little push from Sixers to cut the lead down to just three. Nick Young was doing the damage again, as he had 17 in this game to this point and was killing the Raptors. 

DeRozan tries to reverse the curse as he is fouled and makes both. It was Thaddeus Young from Nick Young for the easy two points. DeRozan replies with a rare three…Young answers with a three. Nick Young was hot as hell with another three and it was tied at 92. Sixers would take lead on next possession. Adding insult to injury Amir Johnson fouls out and was banged up on the play. Sixers lead 99-96. Raptors perimeter defense was awful and Sixers hit yet another three from Holiday and fall behind 6 late in the fourth with just 1:20 to play. Raptors would make a turnover late and Sixers an uncontested hoop ending this one with Sixers going up 8 with just 24 seconds to play.

Sixers on the strength of a 33-18 fourth quarter take this one 106-98. An all too familiar end for Raptor fans and they fall to 0-4 in the division, 0-2 vs. Sixers and just 3-8 on the season. 

Raptors Look To Get Off The Mat In The Atlantic Division.

The Raptors head into Philadelphia and get a second look at the Sixers who are still waiting for Andrew Bynum to find the fountain of youth for his knees. Clearly it is not located in a bowling alley. In the first meeting the Raptors dropped a 93-83 contest to the Sixers 10 days ago. It was one of the better games for Andrea Bargnani on the season who led the team with 23 points. Andrew Bynum or not the Sixers really don’t have a good answer to guard Bargnani.

Sixers had a trio of players score 16 points in the win over the roster. Jrue Holiday and Thaddeus Young both starters and Nick Young off the bench were the guys. The Sixers bench outscored the Raptors 46-12 and with even less depth now you would think that would be bad news. However, Linas Kleiza who was not in the line-up for the last game has shown an ability to get some points. Amir Johnson has also been on a role of late providing a spark off the bench.

This will be a tough game for Kyle Lowry to be out personally as he returns home to Philadelphia. Jose Calderon has been brilliant on offense since Lowry went out. He did a good job matched up against Jrue Holiday. He had 14 points and 11 assists.

Raptors come in winning 2 of their last 3 games despite some injures and some ugly moments even in victory. Sixers after a humiliating loss to the winless at the time Pistons, they have two straight wins over Utah and Cleveland. Raptors are 3-7 on the season and Philadelphia is 6-4 in third in the Atlantic. This game even early is important for Toronto. The Raptors are already 0-3 in the Atlantic Division this season. They have losses to Boston and Brooklyn as well as the previously mention one to the Sixers.

Will see how the Raptors do and up next as second half of this back to back they play the red hot Bobkittens no more in Charlotte. This is a weak if fully healthy you would have expected the Raptors to make some noise. However, lots of teams have injures and list keeps growing with the Cavs finding out they will be without Kyrie Irving for a month. The Sixers still waiting to see when in fact Andrew Bynum will ever play a game for them.

No excuses and expect no pity in the town that boos Santa and is ready to see Andy Reid gone from their struggling football team.


This Week In Raptorland: Lucky 7 edition

It is time once again to dive into another week of Raptors basketball with myself and TSN 1050 Beat Reporter Josh Lewenberg. This week we have re-branded our segment Rapid Fire Raptors and have turned it over to you. The Fan Five Frenzy or Triple F if you like will be your chance to suggest topics or questions you would like us to talk about. As you reward for helping us we will be giving you free wings from the good folks at St Louis Wings. 3 locations to serve you at 595 Bay St, 528 Young St (at college) and the Fairview mall location. This week to kick this off we are giving 3 lucky DNB Readers/Listeners a pound of Chicken Wings for the best three topics we had sent our way.

Going forward we will still keep this going but just one lucky fan will get to take home a free pound of wings each week. If you do not live in the Toronto Area unfortunately this will not be something you can be a part of unless you plan on being in Toronto soon. However your still welcome to send us your topics. Going forward all entries must have the hashtag #TWIR5 to be considered for prizes. The decisions of the DNB on winners is final and you will be contacted by St Louis Wings to make arrangements to claim your gift certificate.

We also talk about Andrea Bargnani, Jose Calderon, Fans Cheering and booing for pizza and lots more on this edition This Week In Raptorland.

As I said at the close of the podcast we are having are party this week at 595 Bay St Location of St Louis Wings and if you have every enjoyed this blog over the last five years you are invited to celebrate with me. It has been an incredible journey that has brought me not just some successes but a lot of wonderful people into my life. So if you can make it out to have some fun with us you are more than welcome and encouraged to do so.


Seems we need to go back in DNB History and re-visit our Public Service Announcement.

I have learned how to say Jonas' last name since than but the fact remains this Pizza Promotion has gone 100% WRONG!!!

Raptors Get Little Something From Everyone In A Much Needed Win Over Orlando

Here we go Raptors and Magic and as close to a must win as you can have in November. Andrea Bargnani clearly with a bull’s-eye on his back as it is Jonas bobblehead day at the ACC. The Orlando Magic come into this one with more wins than the Raptors and young Canadian on their roster in Andrew Nicholson.

Bargnani early on with a steal and slam as to say screw you folks on the internet. The teams traded baskets early on till Jose Calderon hit three and that seemed to spark the Raptors as they got on a run and build an 18-8 lead  on a 10-0 run. Jose Calderon and Andrea Bargnani had 13 points and the Raptors led 20-10 with 5:18 to play in the first. Raptors were on a mission in this one and off to an out character great start in the first. Andrea Bargnani included with 9 points and the Raptors led 28-17 with 2:36 left in first. Have we mentioned DeMar DeRozan has improved? Just an undressing of the Magic defender and jumper from the top of the key swish he has 11 in the game and Raptors a rare lead after one with score 32-22 Raptors.

John Lucas III with a jumper on the run to get the Raptors offense going it was a slow start for both teams. Andrew Nicholson was not having a great debut in his hometown going 0-4 early on for the Magic. It was a sluggish first four minutes to the second quarter with the Magic with a slight 5-4 advantage in quarter but the Raptors still up 9. Linas Kleiza angry he has no bobble head gets a bucket. Andrew Nicholson responds for the Magic with his first NBA bucket in his hometown. Glen Davis better known as Big Baby finally gets the wake-up call for this game and takes it at Ed Davis no relation. Ed would respond with a basket at the other end and is off to a nice 2-3 start. He would draw a foul  on next possession with 3:42 on the clock. He split the pair and Raptors lead was back to 10 with score 45-35.

DeMar DeRozan was quietly performing his coupe to take over as the leader of the franchise with 15 points. A little sloppiness at the end but the Raptors led 49-41 at the break.

Raptors needed a strong start to the third to put this game on ice hopefully. Instead, the Magic get the first four points of the quarter and the Raptors take 2:14 to get on the board, as Dominic McGuire got a score and he had been contributing on the offensive end. Magic would get on an 8-2 run to start the third. Bargnani missed an easy hook in the paint. Jonas would get a score after a couple misses on the next possession. Raptors allowed the Magic to believe they could win now and were in yet another scrap not to level of the GSP one last night but a fight none the less. Magic down just 5 with score 59-54 it was getting tight.  Dominic McGuire was actually keeping the Raptors in it with 11 points on the day and 6 in third so far.

Jonas got beat and took a foul on defensive end. He would come back on offensive end and miss but get his own rebound and score.  Jonas would later find his way to the line and split a pair Raptors with a slim 62-58 lead. Nicholson with a key score and draws a foul makes that as well and gets his Magic to within one at 64-63. You could feel this one slipping away and the Magic finally did tie the game at 65. They would take the lead after Jonas split two at the line with a lay-up by Nelson making it 67-66. This was the first lead for the Magic since 6-4 back in the first quarter.   Magic would take a 69-67 lead to the fourth after a hard fought third from them.

Kleiza back in and still mad as hell he has no bobblehead scores to open scoring in the fourth and tie the game at 69 (insert joke here). Big Baby and Amir Johnson trade baskets. Amir would get teched up for his as he slammed it home and smacked the backboard drawing a tech. I thought the NFL was the No Fun League not the NBA. Magic make the tech and lead 72-71. Raptors get a couple triple one from a likely source in Kleiza and one from Amir Johnson in the corner not so expected. Back to back triples give Raptors a 79-74 lead. Amir was a one man gang refusing to allow the Raptors to lose this one. Perhaps that tech call helped light the fire as well.

Jose Calderon was quietly having a nice day at the point racking up 13 assists to this point. Raptors just caught on fire now and everyone was getting in on the act as Bargnani gets a score and then Calderon lops it up for DeRozan to slam it home Raptors lead back to 11 points after teasing blowing this one. The Raptors were kicking tail after the slow start to the fourth with a 22-9 advantage so far. It was Kleiza with perhaps the KO blow, with a three in the corner to extend the lead to 14, ball game over?  Raptors were going cruise to victory it looks line with just two minutes to play they had a 12 point lead. Credit to Amir Johnson for getting this thing rolling he would get a pass from Bargnani and finish it off.

Raptors do finish it off and take the win at the ACC with no pizza for you 97-86. Who cares about pizza though we got Chicken wings for your Raptor topics for TWIR so send us you questions/topics and the best 3 that we use on This Week In Raptor land will get a free pound of chicken wings from St Louis Wings.

This was a great job by the Raptors aside from the third quarter of play.  Send us those topics or question you can leave them in the comments or send it to us on Twitter @Dinonationblog with #TWIR5. Raptors are 3-7 and heading to the road for some winnable games next week.

TWIR will be up tomorrow so tune in for all the news on your Toronto Raptors and find out if you won some free food as well if you sent us a topic.


A Predictable Outcome In Boston For The Raptors

We already know about the Raptors’ injury situation. Boston had their own issues with Rajon Rondo a question mark heading into this one. The verdict came down about an hour prior to game time that he would play. This made the Raptors chances of stealing a win today drop significantly.  It is an early start so maybe will catch the Celtics sleeping.  More likely outcome is the Raptors get blown out and I nod off during third quarter.

Celtics like many teams have done went right at Jonas with K.G and he hit’s a jumper. Andrea Bragnani the guy everyone wants to run out of town opens the scoring for the Raptors. Bargnani would keep things going with a basket to tie the game at 4 but would miss the and-1 free throw. Paul Pierce in same situation would not make it 7-4 Celtics. He would hit a three on the next possession to make it 10-4. Things were not looking good for the Raptors early in this one and that likely is not a surprise.

Raptors got a steal and DeRozan missed a mid range shot which lead to Jonas picking up a foul going for the rebound. Raptors with a defensive meltdown with 3 guys on Rondo and he makes the pass for an easy assist. Right after that Jonas picks up his second foul and Amir Johnson checks in who is under the weather we are told by Matt Devlin. Raptors get an easy bucket as Jose with a rare long bomb pass on the money to McGuire who again started at small forward and he finishes this off with a slam. Raptors still down 18-11 still 4:22 left in the first quarter.

Bargnani back to his form this season chucks a three misses it and Celtics take advantage in transition and this game was rapidly getting out of reach as Casey calls a time out with score Boston 22-11. Former Raptor Leandro Barbosa checks in for Celtics and blows by John Lucas also in the game and kicks it back for an easy two for Boston. Raptors were struggling to the finish of yet another start to forget, Courtney Lee would add to the pain with a long two or was it a three. In any case the Celtics lead 30-17 and for Raptors fans on the west coast it was time to go back to bed.

Second quarter got off to a slow start with Kevin Garnett getting to the line providing the only 3 points of the first two minutes at the line. More problems for the Raptors as Amir Johnson picks up his third foul and Jonas already has two. This with the Raptors already down 14 with score 33-19 and lacking health bodies. Raptors make a push to try and get back in this as John Lucas III makes it a ten point lead. Celtics were taking full advantage of Jonas making sure K.G got lots of looks against him when he was on the floor with K.G. He hits again and has 11 to this point. Raptors were flirting with getting this game into single digits. The latest flirtation thanks to Jose three making it 40-31 Celtics.

Ed Davis would get the Raptors to within a touchdown with an offensive put back score. Raptors, which had got down by as many as 16 were now down just 4 courtesy of a John Lucas III scoring. Jason Terry would stop the bleeding with a jumper in transition but another John Lucas III triple makes it a three point game. Pierce would dunk on Jonas and he would pick up his third foul. This seemed to have woken up Pierce as he would score again and lead was back up to 7. Rare Quincy Acy sighting late in the half with all the foul trouble for the bigs. Raptors get this to a respectable 5 point Celtics advantage at the half.

Andrea Bargnani misses a shot to go 2/7 he has not made a shot since the first two minutes of this game. You likely saw this coming but Celtic come out and quickly extend the lead to 9 points leading 51-42 prompting Dwane Casey to take a time out under two minutes into the third quarter. Calderon hit’s a three out of the time out to open the books for the Raptors in the second half. DeRozan a drive to the hoop and score and this was a four point game.

At 8:17 of third quarter Bargnani shows sign of life with a lay-up.  He would miss a jumper soon after but Ed Davis got the offensive board and kicked it out to Bargs for a three. Raptors were on a roll as the Raptors get a Calderon to DeRozan hooked up to cut the lead to just two 55-53. Raptors would fall off but Bargnani may have woken up after a stupid turnover on a travel he would hit another three to make it a three point Celtics lead. Bargnani with a drive to the hoop and drawing contact getting to the line makes both and at this point still down two for the Raptors as they can’t break through and take a lead.

Raptors were fight hard and even Bargnani included but could not break through and take the lead. Burning a lot of gas in the tank which may not bode well for the fourth quarter.  Maybe Sooner than that as Boston begins a surge to increase the lead to nine with 1:55 left in third. It would continue from there as Jeff Green would but the Celtics up a dozen. Boston finishes the push with Terry three and 15 point lead heading to the fourth. Rajon Rondo had 19 assists in just 3 quarters as Boston leads 79-64.

The Celtics left little doubt who would win extending the lead to 21 less than two and half minutes into the fourth. Quincy Acy coming in was a clear sign Dwane Casey was admitting defeat and living to fight another day tomorrow against Orlando in a much more realistic chance to win. Raptors came close and knocked on the door a few times but Boston slammed it shut at 63-61 and was not answering it for the rest of the afternoon.

Rajon Rondo was brilliant in his return to the Boston lineup and continues his personal mastery of the Toronto Raptors. Next time these two teams meet up will see if Kyle Lowry can change that. As for this time it was all Boston all day with the easy win 107-89.

Bargnani’s short comings were on full display in this game. As was the Raptors total lack of ability to contain Rajon Rondo. The good news if there was any is this was decided early and Raptors have no excuses for tomorrow vs. Orlando.


Raptors Familiar Reality

Yet another season of high expectations for everyone going up in flames for the Toronto Raptors this is life.  It is nothing new and we should all expect it by now but it still hurts all the same. You feel like Charlie Brown trying to kick that football every season. However in the back of your mind you know full well Lucy is going pull the ball away. When are we going to learn?

They say timing is everything in life and the Raptors tend to have some of the worst when it comes to injuries. After they play Boston who was without Rajon Rondo in Brooklyn last night and lost, they move on to what should be easy wins on their schedule. Well three of the next four anyway. They face Orlando on Sunday after that a three game road trip against Philadelphia, Charlotte and Detroit. It doesn’t get much easier than that in the NBA these days.

Based on the timeline given yesterday Kyle Lowry will be out for all four of those games. When the window opens for his return who are the Raptors playing?  The always tough San Antonio Spurs, the new and improved Houston Rockets and the surprising Memphis Grizzlies.

In order for the Raptors to have a chance to make the post season they need to win all the games against the teams they are capable of beating with few exceptions. However in true Raptors fashion they will be short handed for this soft part of their schedule with injuries.

Even when Lowry returns their small forward position remains quite a mess as I outlined yesterday in the Bleacher Report. It just makes you feel as a Raptor fan like you are living the same experience over and over. I honestly thought that for the first time in I don’t know how long I could still believe the Raptors had a chance to make the post-season when I opened my Christmas presents and said hello to a new year this season. The hope of that rather modest dream is in some serious jeopardy.

What amazes me is the resilience of Toronto sports fans. This latest Blue Jays trade is an example of that. After being kicked in the teeth so many times they get some glimmer of hope and they run with. It takes so little to get fans excited. The Raptors win against the Pacers was an example of that. While the media in the U.S pointed out the true awful nature of the Raptors win over Indiana the Raptor fans were just happy to have a win no matter how ugly it was.

I likely have become more jaded in almost five years of doing this. I don’t mean to be as much as I am trying to be a realist. Even when everyone was trying to convince themselves and others this was a playoff team, I said it was not going to be. Not because I wanted to say it but because it was how I truly felt. That said no one can predict the future entirely and the way things have played out you would almost say the Raptors are cursed or doomed.

Maybe Dwane Casey and company can prove me wrong and actually win these games that on paper before the injures they should have. Maybe I will not have to write the Raptors off by Christmas. Maybe Lucy will one day let Charlie Brown kick that damn football.

Remember we need your topics for TWIR and the best 3 topics (If you live in Toronto Area) will get a free pound of wings for the folks At St Louis Wings to be used at any of their 3 locations. So hit us up with some topics to discuss about the Raptors or the NBA in general. You can do it in the comments, or get at me on Twitter @Dinonationblog with the hash tag #TWIR5


Injury Updates On Lowry, Fields and Anderson

Here is your medical report on the Toronto Raptors and none of it is particular good. Let's begin with Kyle Lowry.

Lowry he has a bruised cuboid bone in his right foot. The expected time table for his is return is 1-2 weeks. This will leave Jose Calderon in the starting line-up for at least the rest of this week and perhaps longer.

Alan Anderson has a partially torn plantar fascia in his left foot and is expected to be out anywhere from 3-6 weeks as he rehabilitates from this injury. He was replacing Landry Fields who it looks like was the worst off of these 3 injured players.

He underwent ulnar nerve transposition surgery yesterday to address compression/entrapment in his right elbow. The surgery was performed by Dr. Andrew Weiland at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.There is no timetable for a return to basketball activity for Fields. He will be re-assessed in two weeks by Dr. Weiland.

So the Raptors you saw against the Pacers will be the same ones you see for the next little while and the Raptors are very short handed at the small forward position. Linas Kleiza was even banged up icing an ankle but did return against the Pacers.

Wish the news was better but at least Lowry is the least injured of the three and likely the most important to get back in the line-up. 


DeMar DeRozan Styling And Profiling To Respect And Success

I have always had a connection to DeMar DeRozan for a lot of reasons. The first, came before I ever had met him. He wanted to come to the NBA not just to get rich and become a superstar and buy a sports car. He came to the NBA to make his mother’s life better. Demar’s mother suffers from lupus. Here is a link to an article from Doug Smith back in 2009 that I read at the time that outlines this.

As many of you that are long time readers of the blog, or have become personal friends of mine know, I look after my own mother. She in an attempt to fix her badly damaged knees ended up worse off and while her pain is gone she had to have a leg fused and is unable to walk.

I try not to make much mention of this, as I never wanted people to support this blog out of some sense of pity for me. I wanted people to come here because they felt it was good., Still at times I have mentioned it as means of explanation. My first job is to care for her. This job, I created for myself, as much as I truly love it, I will always feel comes second. I think DeMar DeRozan in some ways is like this too. His goal to be a great basketball player was tied to giving his mother a better life.

So, if you think that I am bias when it comes to DeMar DeRozan, your damn right I am and proud to be.

There is also the fact, that I was able to get access to the Toronto Raptors at the same year he arrived here. In my logic I felt that made us on equal footing even though it probably wasn’t true.

Something else I have in common with DeMar, is the fact of being a hard worker. It might be easier to see that DeMar works hard as opposed to me. After all, it is not like I am a workout machine and I am pretty confident I will never dunk a basketball in my life. Still, I work hard and have scratched and clawed to get respect for myself.

I have watched DeMar have his own battles to gain respect through his 4 years in the NBA. I watched him get screwed in not one but two dunk contests. I listened and read people talking at length about what DeMar could not do. Yet it seemed that they did not appreciate the things he could do.

I watch on almost a nightly basis this young kid fight for respect from officials to get calls as he drives to the hoop trying to help his team. More nights than enough it doesn’t happen. Yet he keeps coming back having his body take abuse over and over. He rarely misses a game and keeps after it and shows the determination it takes for a kid coming from Compton, California needs to have to make it.

I watched and defended the contract extension he was given from the Toronto Raptors at the start of the season. I was honestly pissed off at the reaction of people to that contract. Maybe not as much about the basketball things about it but more about knowing how hard he worked and what that money means for him and his family and his mother.

Make no mistake about it, if anyone bashed me, if I did something to improve life for my mother and my family, I would not have taken the high road as DeMar DeRozan has done. I would tell you how hard I worked, how much I deserved it and how I don’t give a damn what you think.

So to say that I am proud of DeMar DeRozan this season and all he has done would just not even come close to how I feel about it. I am beyond thrilled for him. He has worked hard and we are finally starting to see the signs of all that hard work.

When you compare this to Andrea Bargnani it just makes you sick or it should. While you can argue that Bargnani may in fact have more natural talent than DeRozan, the compete and effort levels of the two are polar opposites. It also could be said of Vince Carter who DeRozan drew comparisons to when he was drafted. Vince Carter at the same age was no question more talented than DeMar. That said the level of effort of Vince compared to DeMar is not close either. Vince if he had the work ethic of DeRozan would be compared to Kobe Bryant. Kobe Bryant commented a few years back on just how hard a worker DeRozan is.

In the summer at the time of the draft I was interviewing DeMar and Amir Johnson was going around chopping everyone like Ric Flair. In fact as a side-note in the new podcast: This Week in Raptorland the WOOING in the intro is actually Amir Johnson. DeRozan is a Flair fan too. If you’re not a wrestling junkie you still probably know who Ric Flair is. Back in the 70’s and 80’s Flair would routinely go out night in and night out and wrestle for 60 minutes and would put on a fantastic show in the ring.

DeMar in the last couple games has played over 100 minutes of basketball. He has done it with an ironman like effort not unlike Flair. If you go to a more modern example from wrestling, he is more playing the role of CM Punk in a way. Punk is the current WWE Champion and has been on this quest to be respected by everyone. DeMar DeRozan is not playing the role of the heel like Punk. However, he is on a mission to earn the respect of all.

I feel that way too in many ways. I sometimes feel there are people out there that don’t respect me. Sometimes, I write this blog with a chip on my shoulder. I take glee in telling you when I am right about things. Maybe that isn’t always wise to do that. If I am not going do it, who will?  I do things a certain way in this blog and it is to represent fans and myself. It might not shock you to learn that some people don’t always respect your opinions and views on the Raptors. While, I may not agree with them, I always do try and respect them. No one is going convince me of things I feel strongly about as being wrong. That said, if a time comes that I am than I am willing to admit it and have.

There is something special that I feel connected to DeMar DeRozan. It is not like we will ever be buddies and hangout. He does know me if he sees me, but might not even know my name. It doesn’t matter really as he has earned my respect long ago. He is earning the respect of a lot of hypocrites too. Those are the ones that screamed about his contract and now are praising him left and right.

I am never out to start any wars with anyone. I never name people by name very often if at all. I think you people are smart enough to know who those people are. I am sure, not everyone loves me and that is fine, but what no one can ever say about me, is that I am not consistent.  I remain loyal to the people I believe in, starting from my mother, to the people that read and support this blog, to the players and media that have earned my respect.

DeMar DeRozan has a much bigger bank account than I do. Still, that doesn’t matter because I share some common things with him. You would never think that a big ex-high school lineman in 30’s and white from Hamilton, Ontario would have anything in common with a star in the NBA that grew up in Compton California in his early 20’s.

Life is funny like that. So after all of this, hopefully you respect DeMar a little more and maybe even me. If you don’t, it really is fine, because I am pretty sure both of us will keep doing what we love for the people we love.


Raptors Have A Night Not to be Believed In Indiana

I have covered this team for going on five years; have been a fan since day one and I still can’t understand this team. That sums up what happened tonight in Indiana. You expect the Raptors to come out slow right? After losing in triple overtime that makes sense. That did sort of happen. Pacers got out to a 7-0 lead. Raptors would get a dunk from Jonas to get the ball rolling and before you knew it back to back buckets for DeMar DeRozan and Raptors had a 14-13 lead.

If there is one constant you can count on this season it is that Andrea Bargnani will find new ways to miss and new ways to show the effort of a lazy dog that wants his belly scratched. Just 8 points and 3-13 shooting and Toronto would like to see him included in the Jays trade. Jose Calderon on the other hand may have every reason in the world not to try, but as much as I may not be a fan he has stepped up with Lowry out. Tonight he was Lowry like in some respects recording his first ever triple double. He finished with 13 points 10 assists and 10 rebounds. Ben Uzoh became the first Raptor in forever to get a triple double in the last game of last season. That was under suspect circumstances this was not.

DeMar DeRozan after 60 minutes last night went 40 tonight and he managed to get 15 points on the board and if the referees would give the kid a break it likely could have been more. Kleiza was half as good as last night with 10 and missed some time in the game with a banged up ankle. Speaking of ankles Lowry is in NYC getting a 2nd opinion on his.

This was far from a pretty contest. However, like last night the Raptors were winning and holding the lead throughout. As if it was a de-ja-vu experience along came the fourth quarter from opening night or last night... take your pick.  The Raptors had a similar situation against this Pacers team on opening night and last night vs. the Jazz. Here we go again as the lead keeps fading away. By the end Pacers had the ball and a chance to tie and just like last night in Toronto the Raptors failed to get an offensive rebound. The Pacers would have several chances to tie it but would miss them all. Merry Christmas Raptors even if it is a little early for that.

The Raptors were bad in the fourth quarter. How bad were they James? Well, historically bad with least points scored in a fourth quarter with 5 and just one field goal made in the quarter. It is just too brutal for words. The Raptors did win the game but this did absolutely nothing for your confidence level in this team. In terms of the Raptors themselves they needed a win badly. They basically steal one away from a Pacers team that were willing to let them take it 74-72.

Burn all tape or digital footage of this game and never show it to anyone ever. That is best thing that can happen to this game despite the history making night for Calderon. Raptors do not play again till Saturday and that may give us some indication on the status of Kyle Lowry. He still is needed badly for this team despite the play of Calderon.

Raptors Get an "A" for Effort.

The Raptors all game long controlled this one. I mean that quite literally as well as the Jazz never led this game in regulation. Even as the Raptors were successfully holding off the Jazz I had a sick feeling in my gut it wasn’t going to last. When Al Jefferson makes only the second three of his NBA Career to tie the game that is likely a sign it just isn’t your night. If the Raptors had just got the defensive rebound prior to that.

When you have a game like this there are a ton of moments where you can look back and say if only this happened or if only that happened. There was lots of complaining about calls and non-calls in this one. As many that read often know I seldom like to use that as an excuse. I won’t simply say the Raptors got screwed by the evil bias officials. I will save that for my WWE viewing.

On a night full of tremendous efforts at the top of the heap is Demar DeRozan. He had a career high 37 and also a career high in minutes played at 60 minutes on the nose. Jose Calderon also deserves some credit for a 20 points and 17 assists night and he logged over 40 minutes. The Raptors entered this game with no Lowry, Fields or Alan Anderson.

Which lead to the most shocking contribution of the night hands down with Linas Kleiza coming off the bench to drop 20 points.

This is the end was a battle of will between a team that was desperate for a win in the Raptors and a team in the Jazz just as determined to get their first road win of the season. It was a great contest that went to triple overtime with Jazz surviving to win it 140-133. Just a fun fact the Raptors have been to Triple OT several times but never got to the fourth overtime. The Raptors have been to triple OT now 5 times and only ever winning once.

In a game like this I feel it is wrong to take to many shots at anyone seeing as the overall effort was so good. But two general things stick out in this one. Raptors play on defense continues to be a concern. Also Andrea Bargnani started like a house of fire and was burnt out long before any overtime was being played. I have never been a Calderon fan as most of you know. I will give him this though the guy does compete. Bargnani does it in fits and spurts and it grows tiresome after seven years.

Raptors are off to face the Pacers. No need to preview this one. It comes down to a few lines. Guts and energy. If  the Raptors have the guts and any energy left they may not get blown out by the Pacers. If the Raptors were to win this game after what we witnessed last night you could perhaps look back on it as a turning point for this season.

Casey had been begging his team for 48 minutes of effort he got more than that last night and still ended up on the short end of the stick and sits at 1-6 on the season.


This Week In Raptorland: 6 Games Deep

It is another week of This Week in Raptorland with myself and Josh Lewenberg of TSN 1050 to talk about all that is going on with your Toronto Raptors. Including in that some of your suggestions in Rapid Fire Raptors. Also we're allowing you the fans a chance to take ownership of this segment and we have some motivation for you to do so. In addition we talk to Alan Anderson, who unfortunately was injured in the last game after my conversation with him. We have the latest from the Raptors on him and others as Josh tells us news from Raptors practice on Sunday. Including the latest on Kyle Lowry. Our Demar DeRozan Definitely Deadlock Predictions are back despite us both being wrong last week.

We run through the upcoming schedule brought to you by the folks at St Louis Wings. Remember our 5th Anniversary party for the Dino Nation Blog is going down on November 23rd and will have lots of folks out to have fun with us. Former Captain of the Raptors' Dance Pak and our Feature Writer for the DNB Candice will be in the house along with a bunch of other folks that are friends of the blog. We hope that includes you. So come out to 595 Bay St Location and have some fun with us and celebrate as we watch the Raptors and Pistons.  

I referenced an article I wrote on the whole Vince Carter situation earlier in the week. It was in the Bleacher Report and if you missed it go give it a look.Get your thinking caps on for next week and best three topics will give away a free pound of chicken wings for our sponsors at St.Louis Wings. It would only be for at the three locations we mentioned so make sure you live in the Toronto Area if you want to win the prize. If you just want to contribute a topic anyway just let us know your not entering the contest.

If you have been listening to the podcast from the start we thank you. If you are liking it please let others know about it and help us grow our audience. It has been a lot of hard work but is rapidly becoming the highlight of my week. Thanks as well to Josh for coming on board to do this with me each and every week.

Update 2:30pm Monday:  Just some notes looks like Alan Anderson might be not as badly injured as first thought and suggested in the podcast. While Kyle Lowry had an MRI on his right ankle according to some reports on Twitter. Making my optimistic hope he might play tonight go up in smoke. Fields, Lowry and Anderson will all not be the line-up tonight vs Utah.

Some Reflections on Another Loss For Toronto

From the day the schedule for Toronto Raptors came out I was concerned that this team would struggle despite the changes. I would see all the people so excited and optimistic about this team and think have they really looked at this schedule?  I am not sure when it happened exactly but I started to think maybe they can be as good as people are thinking. The reality of things has been much more like my fears.

I didn’t expect Kyle Lowry to play out of his mind and than get injured. While I didn’t have high expectations for Landry Fields, I did feel he was an upgrade. Both were out of the line up last night and the Raptors missed one of them. It started off well and things started to fall apart near the end of the first quarter. The second quarter was just an embarrassment in which the Raptors could only score 7 points in the second quarter. The Raptors record for their worst performance in a quarter was in a second quarter as well in November also in 2003. It was at Washington against the Wizards. It may well be a record for the worst quarter at home in quarter.

Add the fact the Raptors were not stopping the Sixes either as they score 32 points in quarter. Quite simply injures or not, playing good defense or not this team is not good enough to fall behind and play catch-up. They may well prove to be more talented when all is said and done but they are still not a team that can afford to play from far behind.

Dwane Casey says he thinks his team is getting close to a break through. They have played solid games minus certain gaps in their performance. In last night’s game that would be the last 3-4 minutes of the first and the entire second quarter where things went wrong.  Casey says he sees a light ahead. Raptor fans might suggest the light he sees is an on coming train.

Normally I would point to Jose Calderon being matched up against Jrue Holiday as big point to why this game went the way it did. But honest Jose did a decent enough job. The issues came in two main areas. Two major issues were the bench which only produced 12 points for the Raptors, and rebounding where Philly had an 11 rebound advantage on the night.

The crowd which was listed as sellout did have some empty seats; they were as inconsistent as the Raptors at times. They would boo at times than as if to try to will this team to a win would cheer at times. Even a fan doing a contest was not safe. He some how thought Las Vegas looked like Seattle and he heard it big-time.

More bad news on the injury front as Alan Anderson who was given the start would leave this game with an ankle injury of his own.  Given the situation I would be stunned if Lowry is not back on Monday for Utah.

There seems to be some frustration settling in for this group. The danger is if they fall to far behind digging out of this whole will be difficult.

Casey also has not stuck to his original plan for the rotation. You can say injuries play a role in that.  However, the Raptors have been going 11 deep on almost every night and that is not normally a recipe for any team’s success.

In the end it is another loss 93-83 but it flatters the Raptors as it really wasn’t this close. Andrea Bargnani seems to have found his offence as he had 23 points to lead the team in scoring.

We need your help with TWIR this week pick a topic for us to talk about or a question you have. If you have Twitter send it to us there with #TWIR5 if not leave it in the comments on blog.


A Win Required On Basketball Night In Canada

The big question in this one for the Raptors will be if Kyle Lowry will be in the line-up. He did not practice yesterday so that is not a good sign. That said if he is Alvin Williams like don't count him out to play tonight. The Sixers come into Toronto on a high after winning 106-100 in Boston. Jrue Holiday was on fire in this one with 21 points and 14 assists he was paired the the backcourt with Evan Turner who led the team with 25 points. The win put the Sixers over .500 at 3-2 with still no sign of Andrew Bynum in their line-up.

As you may have heard yesterday, Landry Fields in seeing a hand specialist. He has been having pain in his right hand for a few weeks. I would say something was wrong too if Aaron Gray was averaging more points than me. There may well be an issue as Fields as looked awful and missed even some very simple shots of late.

If Andrea Bargnani is ever going have a bounce back game tonight might be the night to do it. Sixers really struggle to have anyone that can match-up with him on this roster. Maybe I am just being overly optimistic. I am sure Andrea would say something about needing to be aggressive. As the kids use to say...Don't Sing it....Bring It.

I am going be in the house for this one. The Raptor home dates are few and far between for the rest of the calendar year. 

Dwane Casey has been talking about his team's lack of defense. The Raptors with far less talent were playing better defense last season than currently. What Casey doesn't mention is the level of competition so far which has been pretty high. In addition Casey is suggesting changes to the starting five could be on the way. It may be as simple as Anderson replacing Fields depending on how things went with the hand specialist. I never even knew their were hand specialists.

If you expect something dramatic like Bargnani being sent to the bench you are expecting to much I think, at least at this point.

Thaddeus Young, Evan Turner and Jrue Holiday all played 40+ minutes last night in Boston and the Raptors need to take advantage of being the rested team in this one. Can't afford a slow start in this one.

Raptors badly need a win in this one already in the Atlantic Division basement as this is the Raptors 2nd game in their division this season and first at home at the ACC.  It is a rare Saturday night of basketball in this country. They use to play some other sport on Saturday's, can't remember what was though. Oh well who cares let's hoop it up on Saturday night.

Update 11:15am: Josh Lewenberg of TSN 1050 and my partner on This Week In Raptorland reports that Kyle Lowry will not play tonight vs Sixers Via Twitter @Jlew1050. This will make a win tonight much tougher as I discussed in the preview. 

Additional news Landry Fields will have more tests on his sore right hand and it would appear will be out for tonight as well. Linas Kleiza is back from a personal absence for a family matter. This all come straight from the Raptors PR Twitter account and Jim LaBumbard.  


You Allowed Yourself To Get Played By Vince Carter?

I have tried to avoid writing about this, because I find it hypocritical to do so. Vince Carter has been a topic this week with Raptor fans and media.

I honestly both laugh and cry at how pathetic this is as it is clear to me that Vince Carter has used you all in this situation. Take a step back and ask yourself when is the last time you remember Vince Carter doing media prior to a game with the Raptors in Toronto. I don’t recall him doing it in many years.

So ask yourself what is the motivation for him to do so? Here is a hint, if Vince does anything it usually is about doing something that helps Vince at the end of the day.

Vince Carter is no longer the huge star he once was. Unlike Kobe Bryant he is not considered a star player still in the NBA. He is getting to the end of line in terms of his NBA career. So now from out of left field he suddenly cares about his legacy in Toronto when he was a NBA star.

He says he would not rule out a return to Toronto and he would like to see his number hanging at the ACC someday. This makes complete sense seeing as in one of his more narcissistic moments he referred to the ACC as his house.

Honestly though my anger in this is not at Vince Carter. This is what I expect from him. He is nobodies fool at the end of the day. He understands how all this media stuff works and is pretty good at using it to his advantage. He has learned a lot from the days of trying to please everyone and the infamous interview with John Thompson on TNT.

My anger is more with the Toronto media and people for allowing themselves to get sucked in by Vince Carter. He played you all with this.

The Raptors have never really replaced Vince Carter since he was traded. They still to this day struggle at the position. Isn’t that right Bryan Colangelo and Landry Fields?

This doesn’t mean bringing Vince back regardless of his feelings makes any sense. Forget that this is Vince Carter for a second and just look at the basic facts. A guy that is 35 years old that has a past in which his effort level gets called into question often. Is this a guy that you want your young players to aspire to be? You really want that type of voice in your locker room?

As for his legacy and his number being retired he likely is right. However let’s not get this twisted Vince Carter is no Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson or even Kobe Bryant. The fact we are having a conversation about this before he has actually retired just feeds to the ego of a guy that already has a massive one.

I just find it sad that we as media and as fans still see Vince Carter as relevant. It is the past and let’s just keep it in the past. If Rob Babcock had of believed Vince he would have been laughed out of town. That wasn’t the mistake he made the trade he made to send him packing was. This became a topic when Sam Mitchell and Rob Babcock got involved in this story. It was suggested that Carter might have wanted to stay but Babcock didn’t believe him.

Chalk that up with what might have been if T-Mac stayed and some alleged Fantasy trade suggested by a hockey guy that would have landed Steve Nash and Dirk for Vince Carter going to Dallas. If this team is ever going to move forward we need to stop living in an era that is long gone.

Vinsanity is long over and it isn’t coming back even if Vince Carter came back home to Toronto. Understand I have never been a guy that has booed Vince. I have always defended people’s right to boo him and others. I will not sit back and say nothing though when it is clear that he is using the media and playing everyone.

Toronto really needs to get over this. It is pathetic that were still obsessed with a relationship that ended so long ago. Ask yourself if you dated someone and it ended badly and they came along eight years or so later and said they wanted to get back together. I hope for your sake you would laugh at the person and tell them you have moved on. Even if it wasn’t true. Show some self respect at the end of the day.