Posts Tagged ‘Amir Johnson’

Needless to say, Amir Johnson left the game after this incident against Golden State on January 28th. He was later seen in the locker room, compulsively washing his face with industrial-strength soap. (Photo: thestar.com)

Record:  18-32  (4-6 over the past 10)

Low point: Saying goodbye to Jose Calderon.

High point: Saying hello to Rudy Gay, as he comes off the bench with 20 points in a 98-73 rout of the Clippers.

Stuff I’ve Noticed:

  • Having John Lucas as your backup point guard is like having a cardboard box as your backup airbag.
  • I’m not sure if Mickael Pietrus used to play for the Raptors, or if I dreamed it.
  • There should be some kind of “handicap” when teams like the Raptors play against top-level teams. Like maybe we get to pick one of their players, and that player has to wear oven mitts for the whole game.
Memorable Quote:
“I’m tired of this. I’m tired of losing games because of missed calls at the end of the game. I know the league’s going to come down on me but I don’t care.”
-Dwayne Casey’s $25 000 comment after losing to the Hawks on January 30th.
(cartoonstock.com)

(cartoonstock.com)

Ladies and gentlemen, we have reached the midway point of the season. A variety of publications have released their “mid-term report cards” on the Raptors, which kind of made me feel bad for the Raps. A lot of them weren’t exactly the type of reports you’d want to put up on the fridge.

I know, I know, I spend a lot of time making fun of the Raptors. But like that parent who just can’t see how ugly and stupid their kid is, I’m an eternal optimist with this team. They’re all…special…in their own way.

So below is a summary of the grades dished out by the teachers at TSN and The National Post, with a special bonus from me. Because everyone’s good at something. Right?

Player TSN says… The National Post says… Yeah, but…
Quincy Acy C-
“Has to cut down on blown defensive assignments.”
C
“Has been a willing learner.”
Beard-growing: A+
Alan Anderson B+
“Game-altering performances.”
B
“It is difficult to get past Anderson’s accuracy from the field.”
Alliteration: A+
Andrea Bargnani D-
“His laconic play has finally soured the front office on him.”
F
“Ineffective offensively and regressed defensively.”
Looking slick in a suit: A+
Jose Calderon A
“His leadership has been invaluable.”
B-
“Struggled badly in his 15 games as Kyle Lowry’s backup.”
Ability to grow 5-o’clock shadow before noon: A+
Ed Davis A
“A revelation.”
B+
“A revelation.”
Being a revelation: A+
DeMar DeRozan C+
“His play has fallen off dramatically.”
C+
“His defense remains a mystifying negative.”
Having capital letters in his name: A+
Landry Fields C
“His jumpshot has remained horrendous.”
C-
“Still digging out of an early-season hole.”
Bearing an uncanny resemblance to Drake: A+
Aaron Gray C-
“Rebounding, his one great strength, has been missing all year.”
D+
“Has not been of much use.”
Looking confused: A+
Amir Johnson A-
“Still struggles to guard his position one-on-one.”
B+
“Johnson’s ceiling is limited, but he has maximized his ability.”
Hairstyle choices: A+
Linas Kleiza D
“Cannot replicate (or even approximate) his international effectiveness.”
D
“Has been totally ineffective.”
Being one of two Lithuanians I can name: A+
Kyle Lowry C
“Biggest disappointment of the season so far.”
C
“Lowry’s play has varied wildly.”
Making me nervous in close games: A+
John Lucas III C-
“Doesn’t offer enough elsewhere to offset his lack of scoring.”
C-
“Started off the year on a tremendous cold streak.”
Being more famous than John Lucas I or II: A+
Mickael Pietrus D+
“Doesn’t have it in him to contribute to an NBA team like he used to.”
C-
“Terrible offensively.”
Keeping knee doctors in business: A+
Terrence Ross C+
“He needs to shoot much better and learn to pass more often.”
C
“Flashes of brilliance to go along with complete no-shows.”
Potential to be the third Raptor to lose a dunk contest: A+
Jonas Valanciunas C+
“Fouls far too much.”
C
“Perhaps the Raptors’ worst defensive player.”
Looking absolutely nothing like his bobble-head doll: A+
Dwayne Casey N/A C
“Has relied a little too much on his veterans.”
Having gone from coaching a championship team to the Raptors without killing himself: A+

Terrence Ross, seen here emerging Alien-style from Amir Johnson’s chest, had a crazy putback dunk against Brooklyn last week. (Photo: hoopsfix.com)

Record:   14-26 (4-6 over the past 10)

Low point: A brutal bench performance agains the Bucks on January 13: Milwaukee’s bench outscore’s Toronto’s 43-7. A 20-point Raptor lead turns into an 11-point loss.

High point: Being on the happy end of back-to-back blowouts of the 76ers and Bobcats.

Stuff I’ve Noticed:

  • Overtime makes me nervous.
  • Quincy Acy might be James Harden’s long-lost (and less talented) twin.
  • I heard someone say that Aaron Gray looks like he doesn’t know what he’s doing when he plays, but I disagree. Sometimes he looks like he knows what he’s supposed to be doing. It’s doing it that’s the problem.
Memorable Quote:
“Those guys are really happy over there. Or they’re just drying their towels.”
-My wife, after watching the Raptors bench celebrate a Terrence Ross 3-pointer against Portland.

Raptors Get Bench-Slapped

Posted: January 13, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

Four of the Raptors’ starting five had 20 points or more today. Ed Davis and Amir Johnson were fearsome up front, with 42 points and 26 rebounds between them. Unfortunately, the second unit was…disappointing. In short, the bench could have played better.

No, seriously. I mean the actual physical bench would probably have been more effective than the players who came off it to support the starters.

Toronto’s bench was outscored by an astonishing 43-7. They managed 6 rebounds, and turned the ball over 8 times. An early 20-point lead turned into an 11-point loss to the team some people think Toronto may end up battling for the 8th playoff spot in the East.

You’re welcome, Milwaukee.

Having already made an appearance on Shaquille O’Neal’s popular “Shaqtin A Fool” segment, Amir Johnson is back in this week’s edition, with a double-dribble infraction worthy of a grade-school basketball game. I was at this game, and I totally didn’t notice…but then again, neither did the refs.

Skip to 1:19 to see it:

 
Represent, Amir!

Things were going great, until the 4th quarter hit the Raptors like…well, like this.

 

It was a promising start.

The new faces were contributing, Calderon was playing great off the bench, and the Dance Pack did a passable rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” before distributing candy to the impressively large opening-night crowd at the ACC.

Then came the closing minutes of the fourth quarter, and the 10-point lead the Raptors had built just moments earlier began to collapse like a home-made robot costume in the rain.

As I watched Bargnani’s last-second shot fall 30 feet short, and the buzzer sounded on a 90-88 Indiana victory, my mind started to wander. I started to imagine what the players on the 2012-2013 Raptor squad might have dressed up as for Halloween. Here are my conclusions.

Suggested Halloween Costumes for the 2012-2013 Raptors:
Player Costume Reason
 Kyle Lowry  Damon Stoudamire, circa 1996  Small, feisty, exciting. Made the Raptors backcourt fun to watch.
 DeMar Derozan  Hurricane Sandy  Expected to be a big deal for Toronto, ends up being extremely underwhelming.
 Jonas Valanciunas  A Tim Horton’s coffee  Double-double. Quickly beloved in Canada.
 Landry Fields  A Tim Horton’s donut  Matches his number of points.
 Amir Johnson  Rambo  Shoots far too much.
 Aaron Gray  The James Bond villain ‘Jaws’  He just kinda looks like him.
 Andrea Bargnani  Roberto Alomar  A tribute to the 1992 Blue Jays. And I really want to hear him say “catch the taste”.

 

In the end, it was fitting that this game was played on Halloween. No matter how much the organization has been hyping the improvements to the team, dressing them up as playoff contenders, it’s nice to know that underneath the disguise, they’re still our lovable Raptors, able to throw a game away in the dying minutes, and send the visiting team home with a nice Halloween treat.

You’re welcome, Indiana.

Raptors + Playoffs = No.

It’s official: according to the standings on nba.com, the Raptors will not be playing in the 2012 playoffs. Despite being realistically eliminated on opening day, it was not until today, with a loss to the Oklahoma Thunder that the Raptors were mathematically out of playoff contention. Damn you, mathematics.

But it’s okay! There’s still lots you can do while watching upcoming Raptors games to keep you interested as the season enters the home stretch. Some suggestions:

  • think of possible nicknames for Jonas Valanciunas (ex: “Big V”, “Jo-Val”, “The Lithuanian Leviathan”)
  • make fun anagrams of players’ names (ex: Andrea Bargnani = Bandana Earring, Amir Johnson = Jam on Rhinos)
  • take a drink every time Aaron Gray hits a field goal
  • take a drink every time Aaron Gray misses a field goal (make sure you have someone to drive to the hospital)
  • write a letter of apology to whoever we end up picking in the draft

See? There’s plenty to be excited about. If you have any other ideas, leave them in the comments, or email them to holycraptors@gmail.com