Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Raps SMOKED the Bulls

Let's just get this out of the way...the Raps killed the Bulls tonight. Just man handled them. Sure it was Toronto's deep bench vs Chicago's deep bench for most of the night, but Bargnani got minutes for Toronto, and Hinrich, Joe Smith and Tyrus Thomas got minutes to Chicago. So it was a preseason game, but regardless the Raptors looked damn good tonight.

I figure I would take a moment to go over each player for the Raps and give my thoughts on not just tonight, but so far this preseason how they have looked.

So let's start with the top:

Chris Bosh - Obviously I have not seen alot of CB4, but then again we don't need to. We know what we are going to get with him, although it did look like he worked on his back to the basket game a little over the summer. I do though hope he gets a solid week of practices and the last two preseason games so that he can get in that rhytem with his teammates.

Anthony Parker - They have really shortened his minutes. The 32 years old thing might have the team being slightly more careful with his minutes. Parker has looked like Parker from last year, except his shot is not at that mid season form as of yet. It will be though soon enough.

T.J. Ford - He has looked GREAT. It is looking like he now has a 3 point shot. Great decision making and tons of confidence. This is going to be a great year from him just based on what I have seen over the 5 games.

Andrea Bargnani - Also has looked great. It looks like he is ready for that next step, which will mean big things for the Raptors. Bargnani is getting after the boards more, the shot is still dropping, and he is developing the inside game nicely. And it is hard to remember he is just entering his 2nd season. How good is this kid going to be at year 5 and 6!

Jason Kapono - I am pretty sure he has the starting spot. Overall I am looking forward to Kapono's play this year. The first three games were whatever, but since getting back to Toronto, he has looked much more comfortable. There was one play tonight where Parker had the ball at the corner, with Kapono at the 3 point line side and Bargnani at the top. Parker faked, drove and kicked to Kapono, who gave it to Bargnani, who gave it back to Kapono for the 3. And the Bulls just tired themselves out from running from 3 point weapon to 3 point weapon to 3 point weapon. Just the amount Kapono helps spread the floor out is insane. The bad though at this point is that he is not getting the boards and the defense is so so.

Jorge Garbajosa - Looks just as good as he did before he got hurt, if not better. He now has a year of NBA experience under his belt, and the way he is playing, I still have feelings towards a small forward starting Garbo.

Jose Calderon - He is taking it a little easy this preseason. Letting over players do some things. He should have a big year.

Kris Humphries - Looking great. He is not going to give up any minutes easily, and the way he has played so far, Mitchell might just need to find this guy 15 a game. Hump is getting the boards, but is also making smart decisions on when to take a shot, and when to pass. That was something he was not doing so well with last season till the end.

Carlos Delfino - Well he did nothing much overseas, looked good in the 4th quarter Wednesday and looked decent tonight. Shot was not falling, but he made some good passes and smart decisions. Still would not start him, but I would give him 20-25 backing up Parker and Kapono. Only issue I have is that he dribbles alittle to much and slow in making decisions, although that might just be a comfort level thing as he is still getting use to his new teammates.

Rasho Nesterovic - Looking good. Rasho is going to be valuable this season giving Bargnani a breather and also taking on the bigger centres in the league.

Juan Dixon - Shot is falling, which was something he lost at the end of last season. With the way Dixon is playing, he is going to get some minutes in ether garbage time or against good matchups like Golden State.

Joey Graham - Personally I am ready to see the end of the Joey Graham experiment. He just does not have it on a regular basis. It is just not ging to happen. And at this stage, I rather see the minutes go to Hump and Moon and Delfino. Joey, welcome to the end of the bench.

Jamario Moon and Luke Jackson - Sorry Luke, but it's time to cut Jackson and keep Moon. He played great tonight, with a highlight reel dunk, 2 threes, a sweet block on Tyrus Thomas and some smart decisions. He still looked raw, and it was not against the Bulls best, but Moon regardless looked good. We will need to see how he does for an encore next week and give Luke one more chance at least, but at this stage I think it's time to make the change here.

Maceo Baston - He has looked alright on defense and getting a few boards, but he has done zero on the offensive end and nothing overall that made me even notice he was on the court. I would like to see him get some PT on the court with some of the Raps top level players.

Derrick Martin - Martin, we all know your valuable to the team, but STOP SHOOTING jumpers. Let me just remind you all about last January against the Suns. Ford was hurt, and for whatever reason Mitchell had Martin in at the end and Jose on the bench. Suns are on the line, go up by 2 with 3 seconds left and no time outs. Martin gets the ball, dribbles up past half and jacks a three pointer that looked like, remember that Fresh Prince episode where Carlton is playing high school basketball, gets the ball at the end of the game.... Just skip ahead to 2:35 and that is EXACTLY what Martin looked like against the Suns.

So anyhow, all summed up and the Raps are looking much better now then they did last week overseas.

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