Posts Tagged ‘Landry Fields’

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

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(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+

…sorry to steal a line from British philosophers Soul II Soul, but this game certainly had the feeling of a reality check to it. Especially the third quarter (which seems to be the Raps’ specialty), when Toronto was outscored 28-10.

In case you missed it, here are the low highlights:

  1. Sweet pass at 0:14. Does Jose get an assist on that?
  2. Check out Landry Fields’ defence at 1:01. He’s got the right idea about how to defend Cousins; slowly back away and let a teammate take the foul.
  3. At 1:26, I can’t help but feel sorry for poor old Aaron “Fifty Shades” Gray. As he tries to stop Cousins, he looks a bit like a kid on the playground who’s hat has been taken by the bullies, and they’re playing “monkey in the middle” with it.

Oh well. The good times can only roll for so long. Things certainly won’t get easier with OKC in town this weekend.

You’re welcome, DeMarcus.

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.