Posts Tagged ‘Linas Kleiza’

If Colangelo is serious about saving his job, he’ll do two things: pull off a big deadline trade, and buy a suit like this one. (Photo: dustinscafe.blogspot.com)

At last year’s trade deadline, there wasn’t much happening in Raptorville. Sure, they traded Barbosa, but I’m pretty sure nobody noticed. Barbosa included.

This year’s a different story. The Raptors’ season has been a bit like watching “Titanic” in reverse; a god-awful beginning full of death and hopelessness, followed by some hot action and serious excitement.

And now, on the heels of the Rudy Gay trade, a modest but legit win streak, and the crowning of Terrence Ross as the new NBA Dunk Champion, word is that a big trade before this week’s deadline might set this team up for some real success next year. And in case Mr. Colangelo gets cold feet and can’t figure out what moves to make, here is my list of suggestions:

Trade Suggestion #1: Andrea Bargnani for the Pillsbury Doughboy

Strong work ethic, lots of experience, and a snappy dresser. What more could we want? (Photo:ramblings.fram.blogspot.com)

Both these guys are in need of a change of scenery. Bargnani has long since worn out his welcome in Toronto, while the Doughboy has been at it since 1965, and could use a new gig. Beyond that, they have lots of similarities:

  • Pasty white? Check.
  • Arms that lack muscle definition? Check
  • Experience as celebrity food endorsement guy? Check.
  • Notoriously soft? Check mate.

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Trade Suggestion #2: Aaron Gray for Rob Ford

Mayor Ford would be willing to sacrifice his body for the team. (Photo: imgur.com)

If you’re going to have a big lumbering oaf on your team, it might as well be somebody who’ll give you a few good soundbites in post-game interviews. Ford would be a force to reckon with up front. He’s determined, he’s got confidence, and as you can see above, he’s far more graceful than Aaron Gray.

And I think Gray would work out pretty well as mayor, too. He’s likeable, he’s got a great smile, and he just wants a chance to be a meaningful part of a team.

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Trade Suggestion #3: Linas Kleiza for An Old Boot (or best offer).

Adding an old boot to the roster would really free up some bench space for the Raptors. (Photo: 16xx8.com)

Anyone? Please?
You can even keep the laces.
Anyone?
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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+

Lithuania and the Raptors have more in common than you might think.

Today’s game was billed as “Lithuanian Heritage Night”, which made me stop and think for a couple of reasons. First of all, I wondered how a game played at 1pm could possibly considered a “night”. But more importantly, I wondered if there was more to our connection with Lithuania than just the two bearded gentlemen pictured above. So I did a bit of research, and found that Toronto Raptors organization and the country of Lithuania match up pretty well.

The Republic of Lithuania The Toronto Raptors
Country name begins with an L. Most games end with an L.
Located at the geographic centre of Europe. Located at the geographic centre of the universe.
Last occupied by the Soviets in 1990. Last occupied the playoffs in 2008.
President Dalia Grybauskaite, nicknamed “The Iron Lady”, has a black belt in Karate. Coach Dwane Casey, nickname pending, has a Frequent Buyer card at Baskin Robbins.
The Rock Pigeon, a national bird, is celebrated in the month of April. The Rock, a symbol of commitment to defensive play, is celebrated until the playoffs begin in April.
Part of the economically-challenged European Union. Part of the winning-incapable Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment.