Tip In: One Team vs. One Individual

The Raptors managed their third win in a row, this time with a nice win on the road, beating the T-Wolves in what can only be described as a fairly boring game, 98-94. Although close at the end you just had a feeling that the Wolves were not going to get over the hump....and low and behold, they didn't. In the end it was Mike James taking Mark Blount to the hole and then making two clutch free-throws which ended any thoughts that Minnesota may have had of making a comeback. Not like the fans cared though...I am pretty sure Chuck's voice echoed throughout the arena it was so quiet. It was like a morgue in there, and with the Wolves falling to pieces you can't help but wonder if the relationship between Garnett and the Wolves is heading in a similar direction.

In games like this I sit on the fence over whether to feel bad for Garnett or wonder if he could actually do more for the T-Wolves than he already is. Sure they are about as deep talent wise as the thoughts that fill Paris Hilton's head, and sure Garnett had 23 points, 19 rebounds and 6 assists....but he also makes $20 million a year and in the age of the salary cap, this is a huge figure. He is essentially being paid the same amount as TWO max players under the new CBA, and no matter what, one KG does not make 2 star players. Even if you think he does, he cannot do it alone. Shaq has Wade, Timmy has Parker, Dirk has Terry, and Frye has Jerome James? Oh sorry...one of these things is not like the other....

Ricky Davis is a solid player. Perhaps a better fantasy player than team player, but he simply is not enough. For this team to play 4 ex-Celtics at one point tonight tells the story. Mark Blount (Bad), Justin Reed (Ugh), Marcus Banks (maybe with some more PT) and Davis does not a good team make. So what will change in Minnesota? Well if I am Garnett and really want to win a championship I look in the mirror, and the bank account for that matter, and ask myself whether restructuring the contract to save the team 5-8 million a year may not be more beneficial in solidifying my legacy than playing with the scraps that Boston dumped on me.

Ok, off the soap box. I realize Garnett is awesome, and I think he is a top 5 player, but I digress. In the end the great performance of one individual could not overcome a great Raptors team effort. The backcourt was awesome again, in particular Calderon who nailed some big shots and was a great compliment to the other great guard performances from James and Mo P. It was great to see this guard play because it was a tough night at the office for the franchise CB4. Two early fouls kept him on the bench for much of the first half, and some tough Garnett D down the stretch held Bosh to 8 quiet points. What this proves is that the Raptors are truly becoming a "team" in every sense of the word. Guys are picking it up when others are having off nights and they are making the extra pass. And yes that includes Loren Woods! Now if Garnett had eight points tonight the Wolves would have scored...well......9?

Perhaps the strangest part of this game is that the Wolves were better statistically in every major category. They out-rebounded the Raps, doled out 13 more assists, had less turnovers, more blocks and shot a higher percentage. In the end though when you start Anthony Carter, you simply have no chance. Put him together with Trenton Hassel and you have about as much fire power as the Canadian millitary (which I respect for the record).

In the end another solid win by the Raps....now if they can beat the Knicks, winning four straight before the break would be savage.

Quick Hits

- For the second straight night. Holy CV Smooth. The game! The versatility! The ultimate would be Charlie winning MVP of the Rookie-Sophmore game. The main stage, the big city lights, the hype. The REVENGE.

- Paging Joey G?

- Norma Wick has grown on me. Her interview with Hoiberg was really well done and so was her interview with Babcock. Oh oh, another soap box......How hard is it for Babcock to watch this team? This is his baby that is suddenly growing into something good right before his eyes! No bitterness in his voice though....but what's with Chuck getting all sour? Swirks if you are reading this we would LOVE an explanation. There is clearly something going on here that we don't know anything about. Was Babcock's joke that offensive? Where was the harm? What's the deal? Might there be a party-line undercurrent here? Just a thought.

- Eric Williams with another 13 minutes. He needs to be moved, and frankly if Joey on the bench until the 23rd of February will help the case and result in more value, so be it.

- Let's not forget coach Mitchell. All in all a decent game, and a nice pick and roll with Bonner and James at the end. I could have done without Loren Woods for so long though. I am really going to be sitting on the fence when the Raps bring in a new GM and the talk really ramps up about whether Mitchell should stay or a new guy brought in.

- Rose vs. Mo P next. Cannot believe I am missing that game.

HOWLAND

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