The Sound of Silence

Hmmm...

13 days...

What to write about, what to write about...

Garbajosa vs. Humphries? - Covered

Mike James absence? - Yep

Draft Fallout? Trading CV Smooth? Summer League? World Championships? Check, check, check, check...

Who to draft next season in the 2007 NBA Draft?

...maybe a month too early for that column...

As I sit here listening to McFadden & Whitehead records in hopes of finding the next classicly overlooked sample to send to Kanye West, I ponder the off-season that was.

New GM sort of (if you count when his first decisions really came into play), mostly new team, hell, even new uniforms!

All the Raps need now is a new intro and music sequence (and oh yes, we WILL be getting into that next week) and this transformation will be complete right?

31 wins.

That's what the bar's set at folks.

So if the Raps are truly going to complete this renovation of sorts for a "brand new" start, then they gotta clear the 31 win bar which Vegas has set...or at least get past last year's 27 "Chuck Chants" of Raptors win, Raptors win, Raptors win...

"I don't want it unless it's brand new..."

Anybody a Rhymefest fan? Seeing him last Sunday live in concert freestyling about Steven Harper was entertaining...but seeing a Tribe Called Quest (who he opened for) live and reunited last Sunday night was amazing. In fact, in the span of a month I'll have ended up seeing KRS-ONE, Ice Cube, Rakim and of course the aforementioned Tribe! Talk about Rapper's Delight.

(I am concerned however about my productivity at work. Will I be relegated to walking around my cubicle in circles clutching a stapler like a mic, all the while schooling co-workers on "My Philosophy?"

-Asking others if I "Can Kick It?"

-Questioning the corporate agenda while being the "guy at the copy-machine they love to hate?")

Woah...and that paragraph was only to tie a Rhymefest reference to the idea of the Raps being "brand new?" Man...get off the Jack Kerouac Franchise!

Ok...so can this team win 31 games? Yes, they might not get off to a great start considering their schedule...but I'm expecting the team to hit that 31 mark barring injuries. Maybe I'm an optometrist (as Ricky from the Trailer Park Boys might say) but I also think 38 wins is within reach. As fellow blogger Chris Young recently pointed out, this team may take a full year to really gel with so many new players but I think that by the time we get past the All-Star break, this team will be a tough matchup night-in and night-out. I also agree with Chris in terms of his views on Joey Graham - to me, he's sort of the lynch pin to this whole thing and his development may very well be a good gauge of how things are progressing in the rebuilding department.

Sure they'll be plenty more heart-breaking losses in tightly-fought games...

But let me ask you this...can you see the team as it is presently composed, giving up 81 points to Kobe?

How about letting Vince score the final daggers (including a buzzer-beating 3) to secure a Nets win?

No...I think Raptors' fans will see a much more intense and cohesive unit. I'm not sure that translates into playoffs immediately in year one...but a major step in the right direction? I don't even think that's in dispute.

Even ESPN.com recently had the Raps ranked sixth in terms of best off-seasons in the Eastern Conference. I can't argue with this considering the rationale used for the rankings, and am now anxiously awaiting the result of these off-season moves.

Um Glenn, please tell me you're not actually considering the offer... The Knicks?

Is it possible that Grunwald saw the team that Colangelo has put together and said "hey...I better get outta dodge...my legacy is in serious danger here!" Yes, an X-Files fan am I...so maybe I'm subscribing to the conspiracy theory book of the month club here but I wonder if Grunwald feels that if he can help get the Knicks back to the playoffs, then maybe that dulls some of B.C's local luster? I mean, wouldn't having New York back in the playoff mix be akin to changing water into wine? Even if the Knicks fail in year one and Isiah goes, if Grunwald signs on for at least a few seasons and ends up taking the reigns, he could completely resurrect that franchise!

And let me ask you this...who will win more games this year, the Knicks or the Raptors? Vegas has the Knicks at 30.5 wins so only slightly worse and actually has Charlotte at 31 wins as well! Of course last year Vegas also said:

Toronto Raptors UNDER 28.5 (-109): Forget about LeBron leaving Cleveland, it will be the ultra-talented Chris Bosh who's first out of Toronto.This is a terrible team that is the result of a terrible front-office. The Raptors did nothing to improve their underachieving malcontent bunch from last year and even lost the valuable Donyell Marshall. The Raptor's top draft choice Charlie Villaneuva came out a full TWO years two early and will be a bust of the same proportions as Kwame Brown. The only bright note is Okie State's Joey Graham who will offer quality minutes right away

Yikes. The number of wins was about right but talk about having Toronto's draft results backwards! And Bosh is still here isn't he? Hmmm...Maybe the HQ should open up a gambling service for Raps fans to help pass the time until training camp and pre-season gets underways...

Either that or we run "what if" scenarios alluding to the league in 2010 and really start grasping for those straws...

13 days...

What to write about, what to write about...

FRANCHISE

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