It was a great day for welcoming back fan favourite Jose Calderon. After a nice ovation when his name was announced in the starting lineups, and a warm fuzzy video tribute on the big screen, Calderon quickly went to work inflicting a bit of post-partum depression on the Toronto crowd. Here are some awesome things that happened during the game:

  1. Someone in the a/v department must have sneezed on the controls, because the song and video that accompanied the Raptors starting lineups intro went all Windows Vista on us.
  2. ACC announcer Herbie Kuhn accidentally announced Calderon as getting an assist on a bucket by Alan Anderson.
  3. At halftime, Jose accidentally started walking towards the Raptors’ dressing room. (See video above.)
  4. A classic Raptor fourth quarter saw the Pistons outscore Toronto 33-19, finishing with 98 points, just two shy of the fans’ coveted pizza.
  5. With the loss, the Raptors are officially eliminated from playoff contention.

Nobody does April Fool’s day like the Toronto Raptors.

De nada, Jose.

Up By 10, Lose By 20.

Posted: March 28, 2013 in Uncategorized
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This game started pretty well. The crowd was into it, thanks to the pre-game Amir Johnson bobbleheads. Terrence Ross had a couple nice dunks, and Aaron Gray was safely on the bench. Toronto was leading most of the way, and although Atlanta started to push, the teams were still tied going into the fourth. Then, the Toronto offense turned into this:

Within what seemed like seconds, the wheels had fallen off. Valanciunas threw a pass to nobody. Lowry threw a pass to Gay, who watched as it went through his legs, Buckner-style. And Amir Johnson of bobblehead fame left the game with an injury. Suddenly the Hawks were on their way to a 32-13 run to finish the game.

And while the Raptors’ season continues to spiral down the toilet, the Hawks clinched a playoff spot with tonight’s win.

You’re welcome, Atlanta.

Remember just a short while ago when we thought the Raptors might be able to sneak into the 8th spot? Ah, those were the days. (Photo: blog.benmarkets.com)

Remember just a short while ago when we thought the Raptors might be able to sneak into the 8th spot? Ah, those were the days. (Photo: blog.benmarkets.com)

Record:  26-44 (3-7 over the past 10)

Low point: Watching a late-game lead turn into another overtime loss, this time against the Lakers, on March 8th.

High point: Alan Anderson tying a team record for most points in a quarter (20) against the Knicks on March 22nd.

Stuff I’ve Noticed:

  • Sebastian Telfair looks like Caron Butler’s mini-me.
  • On most nights, Rudy Gay’s shooting percentage would make a reasonable batting average.
  • Now that we’ve entered the “who cares” part of the season, losses really don’t seem to bother me anymore, and when someone botches an inbounds pass or airballs a three, it’s almost adorable. Like watching a 4-year-old forget his lines in his kindergarten class version of Hamlet.
Memorable Quote:
“I fell asleep in the second quarter and just when I was settling into my dream where I was playing a tight game of chess with a unicorn, I was awoken to Matt Devlin and Jack Armstrong strongly suggesting what a great player Leo Rautins would make in ‘today’s NBA’.”
-Arsenalist of Raptors Republic, following a brutally boring game against the Bobcats on March 15th.

The Pain Of Losing To The Bobcats

Posted: March 21, 2013 in Uncategorized
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The Charlotte Bobcats have spent the last two seasons setting a new standard for futility. And yet…they keep beating the Raptors. Charlotte has a measly 23 wins over the past two seasons combined (by way of comparison, Miami has 24 wins in the last 11 weeks). And yet, of Charlotte’s 23 wins, four of them have come against the Raptors.

How does it feel when the worst team in the league has your number? Let’s take a moment to really understand, to really own the pain of losing so frequently to the Bobcats.

  • It’s like losing a dance competition to a pile of wet newspapers.
  • It’s like trying to outrun a tree, but running face-first into it by accident.
  • It’s like your girlfriend dumping you for another girl, not because she’s gay, but because “it’s worth a shot.”
  • It’s like losing the Science Fair to Ralph Wiggum.
  • It’s like somehow managing to be below dirt on the food chain.
  • It’s like being demoted from “guy-who-cleans-the-toilet-with-a-toothbrush” to “guy-who-cleans-the-toothbrush”.

I know, I know. It’s a late-season game that means nothing. We’re playing to develop our younger players. But here’s the thing: it’s a meaningless game for the Bobcats, too. They’re playing to develop talent just like we are. They’re spreading the minutes around, letting bench guys have their late-season auditions. And they’re doing a better job of it too; in last night’s game, Charlotte’s bench outscored Toronto’s bench 54-13.

I won’t even begin to contemplate what it means when the bench of the worst team in the league outscores you that badly.

You’re welcome, Charlotte.

Coach Casey drew up some impressive plays, like the one shown here, but the streaking Miami Heat proved too much. (Photo: kooztop5.blogspot.com)

Coach Casey drew up some impressive plays, like the one shown here, but the streaking Miami Heat proved too much. (Photo: kooztop5.blogspot.com)

NBA history was made today, and as they’ve done before, the Raptors played the role of red carpet.

The Heat have now won 22 straight games, tying them with the 07-08 Rockets for second longest winning streak ever. To put that in perspective, the Raptors have won 26 games all season.  This one was actually close, tied 77-77 at one point, but the Heat just had to step on the gas a little bit to pour on a 28-6 run and put the game out of reach.

On the bright side, Mo Pete was at the game. And this guy wins the award for Best Ever Use Of Duct Tape.

But this is one of those days where the bright side looks pretty dim. Back in 2007-08, when the Rockets had their 22-game streak, the Raptors, led by Chris Bosh, finished the season at an even 41-41, while the Heat had their worst season ever, with a 15-67 record. A few years later, and here we are. Bosh and the Heat are in the record books, and the Raptors are…enduring another depressing St. Patrick’s day.

You’re welcome, Miami.

Mental note: when Landry Fields takes a shot, the safest place to be is inside the basket.

RAPOGANDA, n. (rap-ah-gan-dah) Media created with the purpose of fuelling optimism with regard to the future of the Toronto Raptors basketball club. Often involves the framing of mediocre players as all-stars, the assertion that the Raptors will make the playoffs very soon, and the unfounded claim that most NBA players are just dying to play in Toronto. Usually results in inflated expectations, which in turn leads to panic, fan disillusionment, and an infinite cycle of rebuilding. 

Things I like about the video above:

  1. It looks like it was filmed in an FBI interrogation room. I almost expect Agent Smith to appear over Leo’s shoulder and say, “I assume you’ll be renewing your season tickets, won’t you, Misssster Rautinsssss….”
  2. I had no idea that Terrence Ross “intrigues the hell” out of Jack Armstrong. I’m also not sure what he means, but Ross might want to play it safe and restraining-order-the-hell out of Armstrong.
  3. There’s the token mention of Bargnani as a key member of the team at 1:54. Probably added into the script once they realized nobody would trade for him.
  4. There’s just the tiniest hint of desperation when they talk about this team being “attractive to free agents”. It’s as if they’re trying to wish it into reality by saying it over and over again. Or maybe they’re just scared because Bryan Colangelo is standing just outside the frame with a shotgun.