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The Mailbag - October 17, 2005

A lot has gone down since our last mailbag. Time to reply to some of the comments made by our readers.

Chris: The Forecast II

Imagine: the team is doing nothing right, the players are bitching and demanding trades like it was last season all over again, there are internal struggles for power in MLSE, and the team is giving up on Mitchell and tuning him out.
If you’re Rob Babcock, you’re forced to fire him right? Feel free to discuss, but I’m just saying that if a few of the things you mentioned come true, Mitchell might want to watch his back.

There are at least as many things that could go wrong this year as go well, perhaps even more, but if there is one thing I feel pretty secure in saying it is that Mitchell will last this year and likely next. If you look at the guys the Raptors are bringing in they are Mitchell type players. I can’t imagine Babcock changing face regardless of any internal struggles. When you draft based on your coach and your long term plan, veering from this path will only lead to poor results.

Internal struggles however is something that plagues this Franchise and it starts at the top, with Peddie. A fine businessman, but all indications point to him getting too involved in areas that are not exactly his forte. It would appear that he has backed off for now and hopefully that will remain the case. Of course this franchise would not have these issues if it actually had a sole owner to make decisions and not a Board. This may sound ludicrous but in some ways I hope the Raps and Leafs have poor draws to the games and the Ontario Teacher Pension Plan decide to get out of the business.

Regardless once we cut the guy with the nickname “Homicide” I think everyone on that team can stop watching their backs and take a collective breath.

NeverNervousPervis: Media Watch for October 10th, 2005: Training Camp Updates

Word is, that Omar Cook was released today by the Bulls. I say bring him back for one more go around.

It was reported out of Chicago that Omar actually did much to impress during his short stint with the Bulls but because of their glut of guards there was just no way he would make the team. Although it is only early in the pre-season I think a few things are obvious about our PG situation:

1. Corey Williams will not play in the NBA. I am sure he could break more ankles than Tanya Harding with his street moves but from what he has shown to date there is nothing to suggest that he won’t continue to collect sick Aeroplan points as he tries to find a contract somewhere in Europe, South America, or Asia.

2. Robert Pack needs to do exactly that....Pack. The next time you hear about him with be on Disney’s next DVD release, “Remember the Nuggets” when they depict the surprising playoff appearance by a squad of underachievers anchored by Dikembe Mutombo (played by Michael Clarke Duncan) and Pack (played by Emmanuel Lewis). Well unless of course one of our favorite Toronto sports reporters decides to attend Robert's Yoga classes and trashes his form and flexibility. Worthless.

3. Tierre Brown, although can score, may not necessarily be the answer, although any production from your third string is beneficial, something about him to date makes me think Lamond Murray. I would rather think about the day my dog died then think about Lamond Murray.

4. Everyone knows by now that RapsHq though Omar was a decent addition with some good upside. We have not waivered.

Zherdev: Raps Drop Preseason Home Opener - Franchise and Howland Break it Down

And let’s temper the Calderon buzz until he plays a good point guard…great ability to get to the rack, but he got pushed around a bit and made some dumb plays.

Gotta say I disagree. This team needs “buzz” more than Eddy Curry needs a check-up. If Jason Collier died because of a heart attack Curry needs to get his health worked out before he becomes the living version of Organized Rhyme's “Check the OR”.

Calderon in our second stringer and looks like a great communicator and a guy that will do whatever it takes to get the team moving in the right direction. Did Deron push him around a little in the opener, absolutely, but Deron is a strong kid, and looks worthy of the third pick. If Milt gets time on that team over him then Jerry Sloan really has lost touch. Calderon is going to have some serious ups and downs and will likely be schooled on more than one occasion but it looks like he is coming with his own B.Ed. and plans on teaching some sweet passing techniques. Will he be John Stockton...no, but a few sweet dimes to Bosh will be much enjoyed.

Is Bobby Sura the Raptors’ Hero?

"Keep your McGrad bias out of this (it’s been 5 years now, let it go). What issues have the Rockets had with McGrady? You don’t know anything about the Rockets."

Chris - First off, mentioning T-Mac had nothing to do with any sort of "bias." Yes, you're right, T-Mac is gone, move on. T-Mac just happends to be the main player who will in all likely hood, be affected by the Rafer Alston trade. And the Rockets HAVE had issues with McGrady. How quick many people forget that the Rockets were one of the league's biggest disappointments early on last season. While the Orlando Magic, who had bid adieu to T-Mac in the Stevie Franchise deal started at 8-5, the Rockets were inexplicably mired at 6-10. The Rockets were having problems with McGrady in the sense that he was forcing the game and not letting it come to him, often at his teammates expense. As a result the team was turning the ball over too much and the offence just wasn't running smoothly. It wasn't until a late fall talk with Van Gundy that T-Mac broke out of his funk and the Rockets took off. At the center of the problem however was Van Gundy's realization that T-Mac needed the ball in his hands the majority of the game in order to make things happen. Now you be the judge. If you've watched Rafer last year and knew he was going to a team where there was a bonafide superstar needing the ball most of the time...would you think this trade made sense? And as far as not knowing about the Rockets or Houston, please...how else do you think we're gonna get Mike Jones and all of Swishahouse to advertise with us?