New Jersey……Toronto…….London.
March 10th, 2011

Antiphon With apologies to their combined 34-87 record, the Toronto Raptors and the New Jersey Nets had not played an interesting game all season heading into last weekend. It was known in advance that the two teams would struggle this season, and any optimism to the contrary has been roundly denounced. Both teams are building for the future, and rightly so. But it comes at the expense of the present. Right now, they suck. At this point in any season, there are many meaningless doldrums games. With the trade deadline passed, almost all player movement cemented, and the title contenders obvious, most teams now know who they are. Many of the games in March and April are frankly rather boring – if the teams concerned are not putting forth their best effort to win, you’re invariably going to reciprocate with a half arsed level of interest. In light of everything that has transpired this season, the Raptors and Nets can both equate to this. However, these particular doldrums games had a resonance and magnitude not afforded to their counterparts. These games were played in London, England, at the O2 Arena. And that single caveat brought a hitherto unprecedented level of excitement to what would otherwise be two of the most arbitrary games of the season. (The ambitious accompanying television ad campaign pitched this games as “crucial games leading up to the NBA playoffs,” bringing “all the fun and excitement of the NBA.” It was a slightly generous pitch, but as we’ll see later, not entirely fictional. Apart from the bit about “crucial”.) If nothing else, half of it was faintly true. Entertaining if not especially high standard of game could have happened; after all, the half-game difference between their respective records showed the two teams to be evenly matched. Furthermore, […]

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2010 Summer League Rosters: Toronto Raptors
July 11th, 2010

Solomon Alabi If you read my draft recap, you’ll know how I feel about the Alabi pick. I’m pretty much all for it, and believe he has a chance to be a good contributor in the NBA. At #50, I think he was a steal. Even with hepatitis. If you haven’t read my draft recap, go do so. But you might want to book a day off work in advance. It’s a bit long. Bobby Brown Brown just completed a two year guaranteed minimum salary contract, initially given to him by the Sacramento Kings. He won that contract because of his play in summer league 2008, where he scored a lot of points in a variety of different ways. The Kings didn’t play Brown much in any regular season games, and later included him in the trade that brought over Shelden Williams from Minnesota, as was their perogative. Minnesota forwarded him on last summer to New Orleans as a throw-in to the Darius Songaila trade, as was their perogative. Once in New Orleans, Bobby started to get regular minutes. Byron Scott played him as the primary backup guard, often ahead of Darren Collison and Marcus Thornton, but it really did not go well. Brown shot the ball every time he touched it, taking 152 field goals in only 328 minutes, and attempting only 8 foul shots. To put it bluntly, he chucked. (Byron Scott was later fired, Collison and Thornton started to play more, and the Hornets’ season was salvaged. These things are alll related.) Brown was traded to the Clippers in a salary dump later in the season, where he did more of the same; 191 minutes, 85 field goals, 7 foul shots. Brown took a three pointer every 5 minutes last year, and didn’t seem to mind that […]

Posted by at 1:46 PM