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Minggu, 28 Februari 2010

Shock And Awe

The picture is fitting right? Because doesn't Kevin Durant remind you of that cheap video game player your best friend always created? You know what I'm talking about, the one that was taller than anyone else at their position, could score from anywhere, could move incredibly fast for their height, and had 99 overall everything?

Well, that's what the Raptors had to deal with tonight. Except in this scenario, you nor they could press pause or choose to play another game. Instead, this team was forced to sit there and witness an absolute blitzkrieg in the form of the Thunder offense.

It wasn't even fair. And that was made obvious from the start.

Yet though the Thunder dug our grave, we certainly handed them the shovel. I lost count of how many silly or unforced turnovers the Raps committed; only for OKC to run it down our throat right after. Which brings me to my next point.

This season definitely has had its ups and downs. You never know which Raptors team we'll get to show up. But one thing we can be certain about - night in and night out - is that this team will struggle against athletic squads. This game had shades of what happened when we ran into Atlanta twice this season. Not pretty at all.

With the Olympics now over, the question "Do you believe?" can finally be replaced with "When does Chris Bosh come back?".

Because if you haven't noticed yet, the Raptors suddenly find themselves on the verge of slipping in the standings:

(5) Toronto: 31-27
(6) Chicago: 31-28
(7) Milwaukee: 30-29
(8) Charlotte: 28-29
(9) Miami: 29-31

In what was first a situation that had Raptors players telling the media that the playoffs were a guarantee, and all that mattered was where they finished; has now turned into something far from that. Only 3 games separate Miami from Toronto. And as usual with tight races, one of these four teams will unfortunately miss out on the post-season.

Yes, Canada beat USA for the gold medal in hockey.

And of course, Canada set a new standard in gold medal count at the Winter Games.

Heck, even Canada's own Blueprint Cru is invading the America's Best Dance Crew show.

So with that said, I guess you can't win them all - as long as you win more than Chicago, Milwaukee, Charlotte, and Miami that is.

Jumat, 26 Februari 2010

Canada's Got Talent; With Chris Bosh As Guest Judge

You can't tell me it didn't cross his mind. At least once. It had to.

Forget American Idol. Who cares about America's Got Talent. This is the Canadian counterpart of the NBA, and it was the only thing that Chris Bosh cared about on this night.

Yeah sure, Shaq was out. But no one in their right mind would say O'Neal's absence would have more of an impact than Bosh's absence. The Raptors rely on CB4 every night, and as their MVP, Toronto has every right to do so. Averaging 24 points and 11 rebounds a game, he is Toronto's centerpiece in the grand scheme of things. With that in mind, no one expected the Raptors to even stand a chance tonight against the first place Cleveland Cavaliers. Perhaps not even Chris Bosh...

But boy was everyone who doubted the Raps in for a treat.

Though Toronto was unable to come away with the win in an attempt to satisfy the ruckus sold out crowd at the Air Canada Centre, they did manage to impress the most important fan. Tonight, the Raptors proved several things to Chris Bosh:

1. He is surrounded by a team who wants to win as bad as he does.
2. There is talent throughout the roster; both young and of the veteran type.
3. This team has a city ready to back it up.
4. The roster is built for him, meant to take advantage of his strengths.

Make no doubt about it. Chris Bosh probably walked away from that game feeling more satisfied than any of those who managed to take in the game on a Olympic Semi-Finals night. The fact that he was so engaged through the entire game speaks volumes about what he feels in regards to this franchise and city.

With that said, it's most definitely time for the captain to return. Let's all hope that ankle of his feels better soon, because the Bucks and Bulls are galloping for us fast. Momentum is everything in the NBA, and it's starting to feel like we're losing the steam we built up before the All-Star break.

Regardless, great game tonight boys. This city easily forgives you for letting this one slip away. The team played with passion, and that's all we ever ask. On top of that, we're all hopeful Chris Bosh saw what we saw tonight.

You take James away from Cleveland, or Wade away from Miami, and I can guarantee you their respective teams don't put up as big of a fight as Toronto did without their star. Bosh has got to feel good about that, and Toronto should too.

Kamis, 25 Februari 2010

Cavs @ Raptors Preview: Reaching Over The Panic Button For My Coffee

It's not exactly time to push the big red button. Not just yet. Soon maybe. But not right now at least. Like Jarrett Jack always says - "It's best to stay even keel". Never get too high, nor too low. So with that said, let's look at what going good for the Raps, and what we can legitimately worry about.

First, the things that keep me up at night when it comes to our Raptors:

Since the team has come back from the All-Star break, they've been playing .500 ball with a record of 2-2.

Memphis L 102-109
New Jersey W 106-89
Washington W 109-104
Portland L 87-107

I'm going to ignore the New Jersey game, because any form of analysis that includes the Nets shouldn't be taken too seriously. So with that said, in our 3 most recent games, what I find most troubling is our defense. It feels like we've resorted back to our defensive ways from earlier on in the season. We're giving up 106 pts per game in each of our 3 losses. Obviously, the stats don't tell us everything, like the fact that the Memphis game went to Overtime, or that Bosh hasn't played in 3 of the 4 games. However, I can't even remember how many times I've heard Leo, Jack, and Matt Devlin talk about "Defense" during this recent stretch of games. With Bosh out, we lose a lot of our offensive firepower, and what's going to keep us afloat is steady defense. Gotta find it again!

The other negative: When's Bosh coming back?!?!

In these last few games, we've gotten a glimpse of what life would be like without Bosh. We had a scare in New Jersey, we almost lost to Washington, and we got our butts handed to us by Portland. To keep things short and sweet: Please hurry back, and please don't leave!

Now onto the greener grass!

Why exactly did I put up a picture of Hedo in his Magic jersey? Because that's the Hedo we've been seeing in the last two games now. Someone needs to look into the possibility that he may have an evil twin, before banning him from the Raptors locker room. This is the Turkoglu we've all been waiting for. One that's aggressive, willing to make the big play, and full of leadership. He doesn't exactly have that "Magic Swag" yet. But come playoff time, I fully expect him to start popping his Raptors jersey.

Secondly, how big has Jarrett Jack been? If there's one thing I've enjoyed while Bosh has been sidelined, it's the emergence of his fellow Yellow Jacket. Sure, he's had his big moments here and there, but lately, Jack has taken it to another level. It reminds me a lot of when TJ Ford took over when Bosh went down to injury in our Atlantic winning season. The guy has been smooth out there on the court. And speaking of smooth, I'm pretty sure I saw you downtown Toronto. I didn't bother you or anything, but you were wearing a hat that convinced me you could be Ne-Yo for Halloween. It's perfect considering that win against the Wizards was all "Because of You".

With all that said, it's time for another date with the Cleveland LeBrons. There's no Shaq, but there's also no Bosh. To me, that means no pressure! If Cleveland wins, we can genuinely point to the fact that we don't have our MVP. However if we win, it would be MAJOR IMPRESSIVE considering Cleveland was able to dismantle a Pierce-less Celtics team the night before.

It isn't the end of the world if we lose, but it sure would be nice if we could walk out of this with the win (especially with OKC and Houston on the horizon). Remember to catch the game tonight on TSN2 at 7:00 pm est.

P.S. Go Canada Go!

Rabu, 24 Februari 2010

Blazers @ Raptors Preview: Raptors Roulette - Turk You're Up

Hey Hedo!

Remember that day? Raptors fans surely do. That was the day you arrived in Portland and gave the Trail Blazers general manager Kevin Pritchard a false sense of security - all before backstabbing him for Toronto. Don't get us wrong, that was real sweet of you. No ones ever picked us before like that. But we're thinking the honeymoon may be over now.

So now it becomes a matter of "What have you done for me lately?"

And with the official word that 5 time All-Star Chris Bosh will sit out tonight, there only grows even more of an expectation that Hedo Turkoglu steps up. This season has definitely had its ups and downs. I would even almost call it poetic. Or to be even bolder - scripted. For those of you remember experiencing our first ever Atlantic Division championship season, you know exactly what I'm talking about. It all seems too good to be true, like the season could be turned into a movie.

I'm not J.J. Abrams, but let me bust out the scripts:

Film: Taking The Atlantic
Director: Bryan Colangelo
Producer: Sam Mitchell
Plot: An exiled basketball team does the unexpected and hires one of the most respected General Managers in the world of basketball to bring them to untold fame and glory. Realizing that very little players actually want to play for this team, the "Golden Boy" GM looks elsewhere and ends up hiring miscasts to play for him. With countless new faces, the team unfortunately struggles right away. There is no chemistry. There is no cohesion. There is no will to win. But most importantly, there is no belief in one's own ability. Until finally, a boiling point is reached and an individual finally accepts his destiny as leader. Suddenly, this ragtag team begins to find ways to win. Buzzer beaters. Blowouts. And a family-bond is forged. Together, they surprisingly win their division title. It's the true "Underdog" story, that comes to a thrilling climax when they face their biggest nemesis in the playoffs...

Film: Taking The Atlantic 2
Director: Bryan Colangelo
Producer: Jay Triano
Three years since their most successful season as a franchise, everything has finally gone downhill. The team is in total disarray. Players have come and gone. The "Golden Boy" has lost his following. And the team finds themselves back at square one. On the verge of possibly losing his leader and best player, the "Golden Boy" decides to modify the "Formula" that initially earned him his fame. This time around, not only does he revamp the team with multiple new faces and miscasts, but he also ends up acquiring the most sought after player in free agency. With countless new faces, the team unfortunately struggles right away. There is no chemistry. There is no cohesion. There is no will to win. But most importantly, there is no belief in one's own ability. Until finally, a boiling point is reached and they go through an "Emergency Team Meeting". The result? The team begins to hit their stride and play to their potential; ultimately becoming one of the hottest teams in the NBA...


See what I mean Raptors fans? It's like Disney's Mighty Ducks all over again! And how "Hollywood" would it be if Turkoglu's finest hour as a Raptor up to this point ends up being against the team he decided to ditch for us! So stay tuned tonight at 7 pm EST on The Score!

Lights. Camera. Action!

Selasa, 23 Februari 2010

With A Side Of Red [The Marco Polo Edition] - Feb.23/10

Aright, for those of you that have read my work before, you know that whenever I put a "With A Side Of Red" piece together, it doesn't involve any statistical breakdowns. I like to stay away from that stuff and keep it simple in this particular column of the GamePoint Blog, but I just couldn't resist today. I had an entire entry written about Marco Belinelli before somehow losing it...To be fair though, I won't go into as much detail about the topic from a stat perspective, because well - I don't want to remind you of algebra class.

Anyways, let's do this. Here's you favorite side dish to whatever it is you're doing.

First off the bat, let's start this snow covered Tuesday right. A fresh and youthful take on the Toronto Raptors is what this blog is all about, and I can't get anymore fresh and youthful than with this next piece of news.

Please tell me you guys know what that is. Hint: It's only the most famous sports video game loading screen of the 90s. That's NBA JAM! And it's being remade by EA Sports for old and new fans alike.

The bad news? It will be exclusively for the Wii. That's no jab at Nintendo, I just don't own one. Of course, I'm pretty sure I'll be tempted to grab the console once the game is released.

The Good news? The Toronto Raptors will be on it this time around. How sweet is that? Now, everything's all about the community, so EA Sports has nicely taken the fans into consideration. As the potential buyers of this game, they're letting us choose which players will be selected to represent their respective teams. And this week, the Raptors are up. So what are you waiting for? Even if you won't get the game, help the Raps become one of the more fun teams to play with. Here's the link:

Vote In Your Raptors Squad For NBA JAM

NBA JAM Before


Now, where in the world did that Italian sharpshooter's minutes go? And no I'm not talking about the taller one, apparently he's the "Defensive Stopper" (well at least that's what I think I heard Leo Rautins call him). No - I'm talking about the one and only Marco Belinelli. Hands up if you forgot he even played for the Raptors in the last few games? Yeah, me too.

In the last 5 games, Marco has gotten 3 DNP-CDs (Did not play, coach's decision). In the 2 games he did play, these were his stats:

PHI: 10 min, 0 pts, 2 reb, 1 ast, 0/5 shooting
NJ: 9 min, 1 pts, 0 reb, 2 ast, 0/1 shooting

Contrary to the belief of some of your friends, Marco Belinelli is and can be useful to this team. Unfortunately, he has to compete with a group of swingmen that include:

DeMar DeRozan (The Raptors are heavily invested into their lottery pick rookie)
Hedo Turkoglu (A 50 million dollar contract is always hard to beat in the rotation)
Antoine Wright (Arguably our most consistent swing both on offense and defense)
Sonny Weems (Consistent jumper, good defender, and always injects energy into the game)

Yes, he has been inconsistent. Yes, his unnecessary fadeaway jumper makes you want to throw something at your TV. But don't get it twisted, Marco has played SIGNIFICANT roles in the most of the Raptors' biggest games. Can anyone else say Marco wasn't a big reason why we were able to keep up with the Lakers and eventually win the game? I don't think so. He was key down the stretch. Also, take this into account. Against the Big 4 of the Eastern Conference (Cleveland, Orlando, Boston, Atlanta), this is what Belinelli is averaging in games that he played at least 1 minute in:

10 games
18.4 minutes
9.2 pts
1.4 ast
1.2 reb
12/22 from 3pt (55%)
36/75 from field (48%)

Believe it or not, but that's HUGE for someone who comes off the bench for around 18 minutes a game. It's basically a certainty that the Raps will end up playing one of those teams in the first round of the playoffs. And I believe if we're going to stand a chance, then Marco needs to find his game again.

LASTLY, I want to leave you guys on a good note, a shinning glimmer of hope in regards to the Chris Bosh and free agency drama. Here's an article from NBA.Com that has CB4's biggest hint about what may just happen this off-season. I won't spoil it for you, so check it out here:

NBA.Com - Free agency story won't end the way we think, says Bosh

ALSO, before I go, I'd like to give a big THANK YOU to two groups of people. The first being the good folks at RaptorsRepublic for putting up some of my articles on their website in the last week. They surely don't have to, I realize that, and I don't expect it to be a norm. But as an author of a totally irrelevant blog in the grand scheme of things, it means a lot and makes this 100x more fun.

The second THANK YOU goes out to everyone who voted for me in the Pros Vs. Joes Raptors Debate Tournament brought to you by Whotheman.com. I'm one round away from a dream battle with phdsteve of RaptorsRepublic in the finals. Win or loss, that would be a great experience for me. Keep the support flowing through!

Whatever it is you're doing Raptors fans, I hope you enjoyed it With A Side Of Red!

Senin, 22 Februari 2010

With A Side Of Red - Feb.22/10

Riding that GO-Train? Gotcha Covered. Waiting for the TTC? Yup, you too. Stuck in class? Definitely gotcha covered. I'm here with another edition of "With A Side of Red", your favorite side dish to whatever it is you're doing.

The first course of Raptors tidbits has us with the official Internet debut of Chris Bosh's First Ink commercial. It's been a highly discussed Raptors topic among fans because of the lyrics that accompany the advertisement:

"Rep T-Dot Till They Bury Me."

A teasing and/or cold hearted form of marketing? Or a sign of things to come? Either way, it's one of the best Raptors-related commercials I've seen awhile; and definitely a million steps up over Hedo's "Yes Coach" ad. Make sure to support our Raptors captain by picking up your own copy of Bosh's DVD "First Ink" at HMV or through his website www.chrisbosh.com.

And for those who haven't seen it yet, here's the video:

Secondly, how awesome has Jarrett Jack been?

So awesome that even David Aldridge of NBA.Com and TNT has taken notice. Here's a quote from his latest NBA.Com article:

"Dollar for dollar, Toronto's Jarrett Jack might be the best free-agent pickup this season. Four years, $20 million is pretty good value for a guy shooting 48 from the floor (and 41 from 3-point range), averaging 10 and five."

Reading that makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. Now only if Hedo can get it going. You can check out the rest of his article here:

David Aldridge

Alright, so it's Monday right? That means one thing in the world of the NBA. POWER RANKINGS! Let's check out where the Raptors finish at for this week in two of my favorite PRs.

NBA.Com Power Rankings
Raptors (8): With a home-heavy schedule, the Raps have won 10 of their last 12. They haven't faced a team with a winning record in almost a month, but will see four of them in the next eight days, a good test to really start the home stretch.

ESPN Power Rankings
Raptors (11): The Raps are 20-7 since their 11-17 start. They made it through the trade deadline having endured only minimal Bosh speculation. And they know Colangelo is staying as GM whether Bosh stays or not. Pretty good times.

Not bad Toronto. Not bad. Especially at this time of the year.

Lastly, Scott Carefoot of The Score managed to capture this picture from their highlight package of the Suns game last night. It has our very own National Basketball hero showing his displeasure in regards to Canada's lost to the United States in Men's Olympic Hockey. Classic.

It's a big week for Raps fans. Some crucial games coming up against stellar teams. Chris Bosh is looking like he may NOT be able to go this Wednesday against the Blazers. Yikes. Hopefully all goes well. It's time to turn the intensity up another notch. But for now, that's all I got.

Whatever it is you're doing, I hope you enjoyed it "With A Side of Red"!

Andrew Melvin "Drew" Gooden

Drew Gooden

Andrew Melvin "Drew" Gooden (born September 24, 1981 in Oakland, California) is an American professional basketball player with the Los Angeles Clippers in the NBA. Gooden is a 6'10", 250 lbs. power forward from the University of Kansas.

Source : WIkipedia.com

Minggu, 21 Februari 2010

Shaquille Rashaun O'Neal

Shaquille O'Neal

Shaquille Rashaun O'Neal (born March 6, 1972), nicknamed "Shaq", is an American professional basketball player, rapper, actor, reserve police officer and a U.S. Deputy Marshal.[1] He is widely perceived as one of the most dominant players in the history of the NBA. Standing at 7 ft 1 in (2.16 m) and weighing 325 pounds (147 kg), he is one of the largest players to ever play in the NBA. Throughout his 17 year career, O'Neal has used his size and strength to overpower opponents for points and rebounds.[citation needed.
Following a standout career at Louisiana State University, O'Neal was drafted by the Orlando Magic with the first overall pick in the 1992 NBA Draft. He quickly became one of the top centers in the league, winning Rookie of the year in 1992-93 and later leading his team to the 1995 NBA Finals. After 4 years with the Magic, O'Neal signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Lakers. He won three consecutive championships, playing alongside Kobe Bryant, in 2000, 2001, and 2002. However O'Neal's relationship with Bryant eventually declined into a feud, leading to his trade to the Miami Heat in 2004. He won his fourth NBA championship in 2006, but was traded midway through the season just a year later to the Phoenix Suns. After a season-and-a-half with the Suns, O'Neal was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he is playing alongside LeBron James in the 2009–10 season.
O'Neal's individual accolades include the 1999-00 MVP award, the 1992–93 NBA Rookie of the Year award, 15 All-Star game selections, 3 All-Star Game MVPs, 3 Finals MVPs, 2 scoring titles, 14 All-NBA team selections, and 3 NBA All-Defensive Team selections. He currently ranks 5th all-time in points scored, 6th in field goals, 15th in rebounds, and 7th in blocks.
In addition to his basketball career, O'Neal has released 4 rap albums, with his first, Shaq Diesel, going platinum. He has also appeared in numerous films and has starred in his own reality shows, Shaq's Big Challenge and Shaq Vs.

Source : Wikipedia.com

Sabtu, 20 Februari 2010

Blood, Sweat, and Tears - Literally

Tonight, the sport of basketball was given a rare Saturday night spotlight at the Air Canada Centre. A national stage was made ready for showcasing; a stage usually reserved for a particular blue and white. Sure, there are traditions here in this country that have etched their importance in millions of Canadian hearts. But you know what? After that thrilling 109-104 win against the Washington Wizards, I'm sure the Raptors managed to win over countless new fans throughout the country.

Yeah. We get it. Toronto is a hockey town (but don't tell that to Chris Bosh). And yes, Canada loves their hockey. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that. But understand one thing T-Dot: This Toronto Raptors team is a squad you can safely be proud of.

Don't worry, you can blindly put your trust into this Toronto-based team. You can put forth that hard earned money of yours to purchase a ticket to a home game, and you know what? You won't be disappointed. Why? Because this team has everything this city is known to love and value.

They're scrappy. They put their body on the line. They're blue collared. They're as diverse as a team you can possibly find in the NBA. They have that finesse game. They oohh. They ahh. And most importantly, they have that one figurehead, a captain, a star capable of being so big in this city that they could put it up on top of the CN Tower for Christmas.

And what a better time to showcase all of this than on CBC during a very rare "Basketball Night In Canada". That game had to rank near the top in regards to intensity this season for the Raptors. It had everything. Heck, both teams even drew blood. A Toronto team that doesn't take losing very well - it's refreshing and something we should embrace.

Whether it was Jarret Jack leading the charge, Turkoglu hitting timely buckets, or Bargnani defending the basket with force, Toronto and Canadian basketball fans were on their feet.

Basketball Night In Canada. It has a certain ring to it doesn't it?

With A Side Of Red - Feb.20/10

A Shoon Classic; More Info Below

You know what it is, another edition of your favorite side dish to absolutely anything and everything. With A Side Of Red - your source for random Raptors tidbits.

First off, an apology to Mr. Hedo Turkoglu. Two days ago, I put out an article wondering what Hedo Turkoglu's "My Player" teammate grade would be in his performance against the Memphis Grizzlies. Obviously, it was an article poking fun at Turk and his unforgettable stat line.

However, last night, it was revealed that Turk had been away from the team recently due to his mother going through an emergency open heart surgery. The dude is playing with a lot on his mind right now, and that I can fully understand. Family comes before basketball. Always. Here's Hedo's post game media scrum after last night's game.

Secondly, how awesome was Rasho last night? If only the world knew he could have saved many fantasy basketball teams this weekend...sigh. But seriously, the guy epitomizes what it means to be a professional. Time to grow that playoff beard Rasho!

Side of Red Note: That picture at the top has viral potential. The creator of the masterpiece is Shoon from REALGM RAPTORS. You can check out more of his work through this link:

Katsenhakeron Deviantart Profile

Lastly, tonight, the Raptors will be making history. Being that the Olympics have put the NHL on a break, the ACC will not be able to host their usual Toronto Maple Leafs.



*starts humming modified version of Hockey Night In Canada theme song*

Raptors Vs Wizards tonight at 7pm est on CBC

Until then, whatever it is you're doing, I hope you enjoyed it With A Side Of Red!

LeBron Raymone James

LeBron James

LeBron Raymone James (born December 30, 1984) is an American professional basketball player for the Cleveland Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Nicknamed "King James", he was a three-time "Mr. Basketball" of Ohio in high school, and was highly promoted in the national media as a future NBA superstar while a sophomore at St. Vincent–St. Mary High School. At just 18, he was selected with the number one pick in the 2003 NBA Draft by the Cavaliers and signed a US$90 million shoe contract with Nike before his professional debut. Listed as a small forward, James has set numerous youngest player records since joining the league. He was named the NBA Rookie of the Year in 2003–04, NBA Most Valuable Player in 2008–09, and has been both All-NBA and an All-Star every season since 2005.

The focal point of the Cleveland offense, James has led the team to consecutive playoff appearances from 2006 through 2009. In 2007, the Cavaliers advanced to the Conference Finals for the first time since 1992 and to the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history. James has also been a member of the USA national team, winning a bronze medal at the 2004 Olympics and gold at the 2008 Olympics.

Source : Wikipedia.com

Jumat, 19 Februari 2010

Antawn Cortez Jamison

Antawn Jamison

Antawn Cortez Jamison (born June 12, 1976, in Shreveport, Louisiana) is an American professional basketball player in the National Basketball Association (NBA). He currently plays power forward for the Cleveland Cavaliers and was a member of the USA National Team for the 2006 FIBA World Championships.

Source : Wikipedia.com

Raptors @ Nets Preview [Feb.19/2010]

After a disappointing loss to the Grizzlies on Wednesday night - a loss that snapped our season high 8 game home winning streak - only one question takes centre stage:

Which Raptors team shows up against the Nets tonight?

So which side of the Raptors coin do the Nets flip? After all, the dismal Nets (5-49) have been fortunate enough to see both sides of the Toronto Raptors.

Consider their first meeting with New Jersey. In that game, Toronto jumped out to a commanding lead right from tip-off and never looked back. The Raptors (or Huskies) made it a mission to establish they were the better team and managed to put up a dizzying 39 points in the first quarter. On top of that, the Raps also didn't take their foot off the pedal, something they've garnered a reputation for. Continuing to pour it on in a final score of 118-95, 7 Raptors ended up finishing the night with double digit scoring.

Fast forward to February 3 for the rematch, and immediately, a difference could be noted. There was no instant blitz from the Raptors' offense. And smelling that the Raps were not at their best, the New Jersey Nets took advantage. For most of the game, NJ played with a rare confidence, the same confidence that could be found in their 4 only previous wins of the season. The double digit scoring was something exclusive to only the starters this time around. But fortunately, the Raps were able to avoid that disaster with a final of 109-99.

Being division rivals, the Raps and Nets are scheduled to meet two more times, with the first of those two set to take place tonight in NJ. Excuses were being thrown around Toronto after their gut wrenching overtime loss to Memphis; the more popular one involving rust from the All-Star break. But tonight, there will be NO EXCUSES. Tonight is a must win. Will the Raps bounce back without their captain Chris Bosh? Or will they show up like the team that has disappointed Raps fans all over the country?

There's only one way to find out. Tune in tonight on TSN2 at 8pm eastern. Raptors Vs. Nets.

Rabu, 17 Februari 2010

What Would Hedo's "My Player" Grade Be?

In a world hampered by the recession, there is one industry that seems to be immune to it all - the business of video games.

Video games have thrived in the past and will always continue to find success because it appeals to all ages. You've got your action and adventure games, your puzzle games, music-inspired games, and even games that encourage you to stay fit. But what's the one division of the gaming world that is basically foolproof when it comes to sales? You guessed it. Sports games.

So what happens when you take a sports game like NBA 2K10 and fuse it with our favorite NBA team? Simple, you get this thought-provoking mystery:

"What was Hedo Turkoglu's "My Player" teammate grade last night?"

If you own a copy of NBA 2K10, you've probably played their newest feature called "My Player". In this mode, you take control of one individual instead of the usual full team. Though it does have it flaws and bugs, the developers did a fair job in their first year with the game mode in regards to capturing what it feels like to play basketball in real life.

One of the key features of "My Player" represents itself through the game's grading system. In an attempt to give gamers something to play for, a player must gain skill points. These points can then be used to upgrade their player's abilities (these range from obvious skills like mid range shooting, ball handling, and on ball-defense to little things like clutch factor, stamina, and strength). Now, in order to gain these skill points, you basically have to earn a passing grade from the game. This can be done in each game by completing objectives such as "Commit less than 2 turnovers" or "Shoot better than 40% from the field". Another way you can gain points is by simply playing like how you would at your local community centre. In other words: "Don't be a jerk." Be productive. Be a good teammate. And don't goof around.

Which got me thinking about Hedo Turkoglu's wonderful performance last night against the Memphis Grizzlies.

29 minutes
1 point
1 rebound
2 assists
1 steal
3 turnovers
3 fouls
0% FG
0% 3pt%
50% FT%


Limit your matchup to 15 points - FAILED
Commit less than 2 Turnovers - FAILED
Score at least 10 points - FAILED
Shoot better than 40% from the field - FAILED
Shoot better than 30% from the field - FAILED
Shooter better than 20%... - FAILED
10%? - FAILED
Entertain us with one word answers - FAILED
Finish the game with a teammate grade of A+ - FOREVER IN PROGRESS

The Good
Fill Lane Correctly - 2
Defensive Rebound - 1
Good Pass - 2

The Bad
Bad Shot Selection - 5
Turnover - 3
Bad positioning - 3

Lacking Effort
Assists - 1
Points - 1
Relevance To The Team - ....

Individual Performance: -200 skill points
Highlight Plays: 0

Wise Words From The NBA 2K Insider
Wow! That was a great game...for the other player that had to guard you. Luckily for them, they didn't have to worry about you for an entire 4 quarters. Did you walk away from the television screen thinking you had pressed the "Pause" button? Fortunately for you, that contract of yours is unmovable. There's absolutely no advice I can give you at this point. Maybe we can just return the game from where you bought it?

Teammate Grade: F

Selasa, 16 Februari 2010

The Race For Gold...Or 50

Sure, there aren't any ringing cowbells. There are no waving flags. And the world has not come to set up camp in our city. But in the city of Toronto, there too begins a race for something that has yet to be experienced in Canada before. Our torch? The hot streak that has laid even the strongest of teams as victims. Our uniform? This team also proudly wears the red and white into every competition. And our gold? The 50 win mark. A goal that Canada's only NBA franchise - the Toronto Raptors - view to be within reach.

But can we make it?

Going into tonight's game against the Memphis Grizzlies (26-25), the Toronto Raptors seem to be finally hitting their stride. The men in red have managed to win their last 8 home games, as well as 8 of their last 10 games in general. In what was a dismal start to the most important season in the franchise's 15 year history, has now turned into a magical season that has the city of Toronto buzzing. Sitting somewhat comfortably in the 5th seed of the Eastern Conference with a record of 29-23, exactly what needs to happen next?

Well the picture is clearer than ever. 30 games left on the schedule. The pace needed for this race? 21-9.

Here are the remaining games on the schedule:

February Opponent
Wed 17 vs Memphis
Fri 19 @ New Jersey
Sat 20 vs Washington
Wed 24 vs Portland
Fri 26 vs Cleveland
Sun 28 @ Oklahoma City

March Opponent
Mon 01 @ Houston
Fri 05 vs New York
Sun 07 vs Philadelphia
Tue 09 @ LA Lakers
Wed 10 @ Sacramento
Sat 13 @ Golden State
Sun 14 @ Portland
Wed 17 vs Atlanta
Fri 19 vs Oklahoma City
Sat 20 @ New Jersey
Mon 22 @ Minnesota
Wed 24 vs Utah
Fri 26 vs Denver
Sun 28 @ Miami
Mon 29 @ Charlotte
Wed 31 vs LA Clippers

April Opponent
Sat 03 @ Philadelphia
Sun 04 vs Golden State
Tue 06 @ Cleveland
Wed 07 vs Boston
Fri 09 @ Atlanta
Sun 11 vs Chicago
Mon 12 @ Detroit
Wed 14 vs New York

Looking at the schedule, here are my worst case scenarios. I see 3 wins for the rest of February, 7 wins in March, and 5 wins in April. Obviously, these are my predictions if the Raptors take care of business against lesser teams and in games where they are the favorite. On the flipside, the Raps have been known to be no-shows on some nights. But if the team is fine with playing at a mediocre level for the rest of the season, that would leave them with a 15-15 record in the last 30 games of the schedule, and a final record of 44-38.

Unfortunately, that's 6 games shy of the 50 mark. The Raptors have proven to be capable of stealing games from stronger opponents during this recent surge, but I don't expect them to continue to knock out every elite team they come across. Realistically, I see them sneaking out a few wins against teams with better records, but then I also see them giving games away as well. If the Raps want that 50 mark, they're truly going to have earn it. The rest of the season will surely serve as a proving grounds...

Here are certain stretches in the remainder of the season that I think every Raptors fan should have marked on their calender:

- The next back-to-back sequence involves dates with the New Jersey Nets and the Washington Wizards. Much has been made of the Raps' struggles in back-to-backs, but if the team wants to reach 50, these are MUST WINS!

- The rest of February goes through games against Portland, Cleveland, and OKC. These games have 1 day of rest in between each other. Neither of these teams will just lay down for us. Going 0-3 during this stretch is something the Raptors need to avoid.

- The 4 game West Coast swing in March will have the Raptors facing off against LA, Sacramento, Golden State, and Portland. Ideally, you'd want the team to split the 4 game set. The LA game looks bleak, while taking on the Blazers on the second night of a back-to-back during a tiring trip makes things tough.

- Feb.28/29 has us playing Miami and Charlotte on a back-to-back. This really has more significance to the playoff race in general than it does with our quest for 50 wins. Though, technically speaking, finishing above these two teams will probably go hand in hand with the 50 win mark.

- Wow. Just looks at April 6-11. There's Cleveland, Boston, Atlanta, and Chicago. These are guaranteed classics if the Raptors decide to compete. Each and every one of these games will have a lot on the line. At this point, Cleveland will probably be duking it out with LA for home court advantage throughout the post-season. While Boston, Atlanta, and Chicago will all be duking it out for playoff positioning.

And there you go Raptors fan, the race for 50 wins. Just like the constant barrage of Canadian Olympic advertising campaigns always asks:

"Do you believe?"

Senin, 15 Februari 2010

Lady Gaga Paparazzi Lyrics

Lady Gaga Paparazzi Lyrics
Lady Gaga Paparazzi Lyrics
Lady Gaga Paparazzi Lyrics
Lady Gaga Paparazzi Lyrics
Lady Gaga Paparazzi Lyrics
Lady Gaga Paparazzi Lyrics
Lady Gaga Paparazzi Lyrics
Lady Gaga Paparazzi Lyrics

we are the crowd, we're c-coming out
got my flash on it's true, need that picture of you
it's so magical, we'd be so fantastico
leather and jeans, garage glamorous
not sure what it means but this photo of us
it don't have a price, ready for those flashing lights
'cause you know that baby I

I'm your biggest fan
I'll follow you until you love me, papa-paparazzi
baby, there's no other superstar
you know that I'll be your papa-paparazzi
promise I'll be kind, but I won't stop until that boy is mine
baby you'll be famous, chase you down until you love me

I'll be your girl backstage at your show
velvet ropes and guitars, yeah 'cause you're my rockstar
in between the sets, eyeliner and cigarettes
shadow is burnt, yellow dance and we turn
my lashes are dry, purple teardrops I cry
it don't have a price, loving you is cherry pie
'cause you know that baby I

I'm your biggest fan
I'll follow you until you love me, papa-paparazzi
baby there's no other superstar
you know that I'll be your papa-paparazzi
promise I'll be kind but I won't stop until that boy is mine
baby you'll be famous, chase you down until you love me

real good, we dance in the studio
snap snap, to that shit on the radio
don't stop for anyone
we're plastic but we still have fun

I'm your biggest fan
I'll follow you until you love me, papa-paparazzi
baby there's no other superstar
you know that I'll be your papa-paparazzi
promise I'll be kind but I won't stop until that boy is mine
baby you'll be famous, chase you down until you love me

Lady Gaga Bad Romance Video

Lady Gaga Bad Romance Video
Lady Gaga Bad Romance Video
Lady Gaga Bad Romance Video
Lady Gaga Bad Romance Video
Lady Gaga Bad Romance Video
Lady Gaga Bad Romance Video
Lady Gaga Bad Romance Video
Lady Gaga Bad Romance Video
Lady Gaga Bad Romance Video
Lady Gaga Bad Romance Video
Lady Gaga Bad Romance Video

Lady Gaga Pictures

Lady Gaga Pictures
Lady Gaga Pictures
Lady Gaga Pictures
Lady Gaga Pictures
Lady Gaga Pictures
Lady Gaga Pictures
Lady Gaga Pictures
Lady Gaga Pictures
Lady Gaga Pictures
Lady Gaga Pictures
Lady Gaga Pictures

The pictures of Lady Gaga.

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