Who will show up?

The Toronto Raptors remind me of a classic story: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. On any given night, I have no idea who’s going to show up. Will it be the Raptors? Or the Craptors? One night they’re a Kobe shot away from taking the Lakers to overtime in Los Angeles. The next night they’re getting blown out to the tune of 20 points by the Sacramento Kings.

To be honest, it’s incredibly frustrating watching this team play. We know they can compete with the big boys. We’ve seen them do it. Yet there are nights when they look like they don’t care. (Looking at you, Mr. Turkoglu.) It’s on these nights that Mr. Craptor rears his ugly head. If only Dr. Raptor could have resisted the urge to take that potion …

In December and through January, Dr. Raptor was in control. He played intelligently, with determination, and unselfishly; he had overcome his demons and locked up that bastard, Mr. Craptor. We, the fans, believed the insanity was over. We were filled with optimism, and hope. Some of us were even thinking that the Raptors might have home-court advantage in the first-round of the playoffs.

Then came the all-star break, and everything changed. The good Doctor left for a short vacation, and returned as Mr. Craptor. Relapse. Something happened over the all-star break; what, we don’t know. But Mr. Craptor was once again in control. We watched in horror, as this vile creature jeopardized our playoff hopes. We watched Mr. Craptor on the court, taking play after play off, not rebounding, giving up open 3s, and playing his usual brand of selfish basketball on offense. It was horrifying to watch, yet we couldn’t look away. We watched, hoping Dr. Raptor could fight off his demons and hold off the monster within, but everyone knew he had no hope.

Or did he? Things changed. Coach Triano finally stepped in and intervened like any good friend would do. Triano realized: Dr. Raptor needs help, he’s not going to be able to do it alone. Maybe Traino took the potion away, and has it looked up in a secret cabinet. Whatever it is, since Triano finally stepped up, Mr. Craptor has disappeared, and Dr. Raptor is slowly regaining control. I just hope Triano can keep Dr. Raptor focused the rest of the way, and into the playoffs. I pray he can help keep the demons buried. This city needs it.

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Seven in a row. The Toronto Raptors have lost seven games in a row. What’s scary is that, this is their 4th such losing streak this season. I mean, four streaks of 5 loses or more. However, I saw one positive last Sunday from the raptors in the fourth quarter. I finally saw some emotion out of Chris Bosh. I finally saw the best player on the team screaming at his team “let’s go”. Then promptly the Utah Jazz went on a 28 – 12 run right after Chris’ emotional outburst to end the game and defeat the Raptors. 

I’ll admit, I haven’t been a the greatest supporter of Bosh this season. However, I wouldn’t like to see Bosh leave. I’ve been big on voicing my opinion that the Raptors should move Bosh. I’ve changed my mind. He’s a 20-10 guy. That’s rare in the NBA. Now at the same time, I don’t think he’s an elite player or a max money player. I don’t think he’s worth 17+ million a year. I would love to see Bosh at around 15 million a year with the Raptors. 

The Raptors are just a horribly put together team. Calderon, while I love his competitiveness couldn’t defend a pylon. Parker’s shot selection is horrible, those spurts where he thinks he’s Jordan are AWFUL. I mean I understand you’re from Chicago AP, but seriously, YOU ARE NOT JORDAN! Marion just isn’t worth 17 million either. Marion truly belongs with Nash, and only Nash. Andrea, he’s still developing, however I see some promise. He’s not going to be the go to guy, but he has made leaps and bounds this year. Honestly, Andrea defends. I don’t see anyone else on this team that puts in the effort that he does on the defensive end every play. Once Andrea develops a bit more of a post game and gets more aggressive, I can see him being a 20-7 guy consistently. The biggest drop off this season has been Jason Kapono. While his interviews are hilarious, his shooting this year is horrible. He’s just been awful. I mean, this is a team where Jason Kapono is your sixth man. That’s pretty scary. Brian Colangelo has a lot of work to do this off season. I mean on a 12 man roster, I only see 3 that are worth keeping, Jose, Chris & Andrea.

I can’t really blame Chris too much for this season, he has done alright. He’s in the top 10 in the league in scoring, that’s not bad at all. While he isn’t the type of guy to take over games, there aren’t many at his position who can. Although, it’s not the offensive end that worries me about Chris, it’s his defense. He seems to have regressed in his defensive presence this year. That worries me, he has been a horrible one on one defender this year. Maybe it’s the fatigue from a long year of basketball when you include the Olympics. I suggest Chris work on his defense this off season. 

In terms of the Raptors, I really do hope there are some wholesale changes this off season. In a city that is the fourth largest market in North America, to not have one team make the playoffs this season is pretty rough. We knew the Maple Leafs were rebuilding, the Jays play in the toughest division in baseball, TFC is still an expansion team, and the Argos, well who cares about the Argos. The Raptors were supposed to be the team this year. I missed every Raptor game last year while working overseas, so I was extremely excited about this year for the Raptors, and I’ve been severely disappointed. It actually hurts, I feel hurt personally when I see them lose. Especially considering the high hopes I had for this team coming into the season. Yet, I still try and watch every game.

This whole season has just been a disaster, from the performance, to the coaches, to the TSN2 fiasco. I mean why would you make a deal with a network where most of your fan base does not have that network. It’s utterly STUPID! Now some would say, maybe it’s a blessing that we aren’t able to view those games, and the matter in which they lose. Maybe they’re right. Maybe I’ve invested too much into the Raptors emotionally. I feel like I’m in a bad relationship, where I’m more emotional invested, more supportive, more positive, yet none of it is reciprocated. Yet, I just can’t end it, I can’t break up. Maybe the Raptors will change, maybe they’ll see the dedication, the support, the emotional investment that I and all the other fans are putting in realise. Maybe the Raptors will start to change. Maybe.