Wednesday, November 21, 2007 THAT'S why he was MVP last year

At the end of the day, it is a lose like any other lose. Fans in Dallas will not be thinking “Wow, did Toronto ever look good tonight.” Or “Thank the good lords above that Dirk saved us.” because the reality is that for Dallas fans, Toronto is just another decent East team in the league for the Mavs to get 2 wins out of during the season. Even a 24 point lead that the Raps have would not be attributed to the Raptors great play but more the Mavs lack of effort. That’s the way it goes. Like when the Pacers played the Raps, Indiana got off to a quick start, but then the Raps took over and won the game. And afterwards, we Rap fans think “Nice game, Raps should have won” or “Raptors finally are dropping that shot”. What we didn’t think was “Pacers gave us a hell of a time pulling out that win.” Or “Toronto is going to be in trouble next time they play Indiana”. The league has a pecking order, and even if you can build a huge lead during a game, that will be viewed more of a fluke then skill if there is a wide difference between the teams on that pecking order.

So I guess what I want to make very clear here, is that the Raptors completely dominated the Mavs for about 21 minutes last night. Just destroyed them in every way possible. The Mavs were feeling the pain that Nets/Bulls felt, and it really did look like the Raps had it nailed down. But, with major props to Devin Harris, Dirk Nowitski was just something else. Now I don’t get to see him play much, I know based on his stats how dominate he is, but last night not only did he look like an MVP during that 3rd quarter, but when he dropped 4 threes in 2 minutes…good lord the guy looked 50 greatest of all time. Not saying I think he is, cause I don’t, but that was one of the most impressive displays of shooting and confidence that I have seen in a long time. The Mavs were already getting back into the game before those shots, but that was game over once Dirk nailed number 4.

So this is ether the started of something good for the Raps, or the start of the downfall. Tonight against Memphis is actually a very important game. Will the Raps take away the many many positives from last night, or the huge huge disappointment? I can say that the Raps lost last night because they were simply overwhelmed. The problem with those huge leads is that once the other team gets that momentum going, as talented as Dallas is, it’s going to be REALLY tough to stop that run. IF you stop it, you win the game, but when the Raps actually did look like they were stopping it and start to rebuild the lead to double didgets, that is when Disco Dirk went off. But during the Mavs big run, the Raptors just looked…well, quite honestly they looked scared. One of the best teams in the league in not committing turnovers created about 3 or 4 in a row! Bargnani, who played like current all-star Bargnani in the first half, just disappeared in the second. I know that the 31 and 12 from Bosh looks and sounds good, but believe me, he is still not there mentally. As a lot of plays were broken due to his indecisivness. The Raps as a unit looked like deer in headlights when facing a 3-2 zone. So with a lot of the negatives, we still have to look at the main positive, the Raptors DOMINATED the Dallas Mavericks in Dallas for almost 2 quarters. Again, as I said at the top, at the end of the day, the lose is still a lose. No one outside of Toronto is thinking “Wow the Raptors Dominated for 2 quarters last night”. They are thinking “Wow, Dirk went off last night” or “Dallas played like shit for the first half”. But my dear Raptor Fans, you and I know better.

The Raptors were the best of both worlds last night, the dominating Atlantic champions, and the 4-5 middle of the East team. But that view of the dominating Champs certainly was wonderful to see.

Now the Raptors can go out tonight, knowing that they have what it takes overall and that they just need to gain that experience to deal with certain things, like when a strong opponent gets on a huge run. And to sum up last night, it was all just a big display of inexperience on the Raptors part. The top teams don’t get scared or intimidated, but the top teams also don’t have the youth that the Raptors has.

But these positive vibes will only be present IF the Raptors win tonight. A lose tonight and you can forget about anything good that came from this Dallas game. Which is why tonight against Memphis is one of the bigger games so far in this early year. A bounce back game. Do the Raps come out blazing or frustrated. Do they put together a complete 48 minute game, or show the same early positive signs like last night until once again having a lid be placed over the net. Will we remember this Dallas game like we remember that Orlando game from last year when Bargnani went off for 5 threes in the 4th and was the symbol of the start of the turnaround for that team, or will we just remember it for Dirks amazing 2 minute display?

By the way, the Raps used a 9 man rotation last night, gave the starters the majority of the minutes, and the only difference from my suggestions were that Hump was in while Garbo now has something wrong with his leg showing up on MRI’s. THAT is not good folks. This whole Garbo thing is getting worse and worse by the second.

Ford also had a stinger last night, and as well as Ford has played this year, and he has play some great great basketball, having a different look with Jose starting might be a nice jolt just to get this team into a consistent rythem. Remember last year when Jose started that stretch, the Raps were playing some great ball, so hopefully we can see some of that magic again.

Big game tonight.

No comments: