Thursday, November 1, 2007


It was not pretty, but it was a victory. The Raps did not play well for 48 minutes last night, but a true sign that this team has turned the corner is just based on the fact that they won the game. Even a year ago at the start of last season, last night would have been a game they would have lost. I give full credit to Philly as they might not have the most talented team in the league, but they won’t quit which is why they will win more games then maybe we all thought when predicting the season ahead.

First things first though, gotta give it up to the Raptor crowd last night. As I was standing in Union station waiting for a friend, I noticed about triple the amount of Raptor jerseys compared to last year. It was insane and great and I can imagine that merchandise money is starting to pour in for MLSE. Already, at that point, I could feel a different buzz in the air. Let me compare here to last year. About a year ago, I saw Raps vs Philly (with Iverson) where the crowd was about 14,000 and the only noise for 3 quarters of the game were from the 15 year old girls directed towards Iverson. Last night though was different. The minute Jose got off the bench, the JOSE JOSE JOSE JOSE JOSE JOSE JOSE song was being sung by about half the crowd. Garbo got a HUGE reaction when he entered the game. The crowd treated the first 7 or 8 minutes of the game like it was the playoffs and each possession meant something. There was a LARGE group of people that were on there feet and chanting for pretty much the whole game, and I commented during that those fans looked like Toronto FC fans (our soccer team) based on the style of cheering they used. Sure enough when I got home and looked at the articles about the game, it mentioned a large number of FC supporters at the game. I love it. Instead of that “everybody clap your hands” crap, we get more enjoyable and entertaining “Jose Jose Jose Jose…..” This is going to be a great season already just because the love towards the Raps in this city is increasing by the game. Screw the Toronto media. After last night I can say that the revolution is not being televised. But that does not mean it is not happening.

And it was nice being back in the ACC for a basketball game. It had been awhile.

AS for the game it self…well…not as good as the crowd, that is for sure. The refs were awful, and to be fair they were awful for both teams, but it did cost Bargnani minutes as he picked up 2 fouls in 5 minutes and sat the rest of the half. Bargnani was the man though at the end of the game. That 4 point play of his with about 4 minutes to go…HUGE! CB4 looked good for about 5 minutes. Here was the issue though with Bosh, as the Raps pulled away from Philly the moment that Bosh subbed out and Bargnani and Parker signed back in. That’s right, Bosh did not see the court for the final 5 or 6 minutes of a close game. I think what needs to be remembered is the fact that Bosh does not play as well when he has not practiced and played on a regular basis, which he has not done for awhile. With Jersey being the next game in Jersey, a team that has always given CB4 trouble, I don’t see the breakout game for Bosh until Sunday against the Celtics.

Parker was the man last night. Maybe not stat wise, but with him on the court, everything felt better. Delfino had a good night, Kapono hit his shots. In fact, Delfino played 30 minutes while Kapono gave 22. That is the right idea in my opinion. Use Kapono to get the offense going and use Delfino to keep the lead. Of course, the Raps did blow a 22 point lead last night, but I do need to review the footage on tape first to find out reasons why.

So now lists a plus/minus like in hockey. Well last night, Juan Dixon was -22. I like Dixon, but the Raps got killed on the boards. Dixon should be a match up type of player. Got to say that I was not feeling Mitchell’s decision to give Dixon that type of burn last night.

And overall, the boards and the defense were again the issue. Nothing to panic about after one game, but after Jersey and the Celtics, we should have a more clear vision of if these two areas are still this teams weaknesses.

Like I said before, got to give Philly credit, they played hard.

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