The Raps are learning. Last night it felt like they are learning at a snails pace. In hindsight, including last night's loss to the Clippers, to lose both west coast games, back-to-back, when both were winnable is tough. Imagine the confidence this team would have today if they had won them both, on the road! For those who didn't manage to stay up for the game (these California games can be killer, past 1 am!), here's a quick synopsis and some thoughts.
Bosh and Villaneuva: Damn with some time these guys are going to be crazy good. Waking up this AM I could not help but think that if these guys become close and their games grow together in the next little while this will be a huge factor when Bosh is deciding whether or not to re-sign. They bring different things to the table, but perhaps the most surprising thing at this point is the fact that CV Smooth, (simmer down Jack!) is a better ball handler than Bosh. If this team is so set in their ways in having the bigs get the ball 20 feet out, I'd rather see the rock in Smooth's hands rather than in Bosh's...or for that matter, in Shawn Kemp's.
Bonner (1st half): Talk about ringing it up! Bonner looked great in the first half. Apparently they brought Scalabrine in to replace him for the last 24 however. We have said it before and will say it again, if Bonner plays within himself he is so much more effective. He is NOT a post-player. That was easily recognizable last night.
Calderon: Other than a shot that he had blocked (which was clearly a goaltend) he was effective out there. I think team's question his jump-shot, if he could shoot 43-47% from the floor he will be killer for this team. No-one on this team is a better passer. When he gets that jump-shot to fall a little more often he will see crunch-time minutes.
Refs: This was a horrid display of officiating, does anyone else think Brand should have been called for a charge? I don't think Bosh has ever been flattened like that before. My God, and then call the foul on us? BRUTAL. The Refs were clearly star stuck and were not paying much attention...although it was nice to see some stars at the Clips game!
Mike James: Watching him play is like riding Space Mountain at DisneyWorld, you just hold your breath and see what happens. He has been great but he seems to get caught up with one-on-0ne battles. Hopefully he continues to play with the team and not the contract (he can opt-out after this year). If MoP could go to the cup like James on a regular basis we would be so much better off.
Jalen: Obviously he stunk it up from the floor last night. That being said he is not afraid to admit that if he was playing better this team would not have the record it does. Jalen takes pride, he will turn it around, but I just have a feeling the team will be moving him sooner rather than later. Now that Christie is likely retiring and Stack is still hurt for the Mavs.....look for Keith VanHorn to be rumoured to TO.
Jack Armstrong: Off the Jack JACK! What's with the debate about the nickname CV Smooth/Big Smooth etc. We coined it and it is APPROPRIATE. Jack shoots it down and then is so adament about calling him Charlie "V" that Chuck pretty much dissapeared from the play-by-play. KNOW YOUR ROLE JACK. His credibility is now being questioned in our eyes...everything he said about CV's game essentially defines a smooth player! ("great passing big man, great hands" etc.) Smooth makes it look easy out there. Jack needs to simmer down, and yes we do see the Clips cheerleaders on the screen, we don't need to know your personal thoughts on that...dirty (strong words and yes...we love Jack, but I woke up this morning still feeling upset obviously).
Things don't get easier for the Raps but they are playing better ball lately. Just need to close them out! All in time......let's beat the QUEENS!