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Tip In: Subs Deep-Six Raps.

The game on a whole was an intersting one as no single player on either side really stood out, except maybe Derek Fisher in the fourth quarter who looked like he had not missed a beat since the pre-game warm-ups where he was nailing threes from inside the half-court line. The story line for this game was a simple one, Raps lead, Mitchell brings on the subs, Raps blow lead, Raps get down, Raps lose. The result was also accurately predicted here as Troy Murphy had three bombs from outside, and the Warrirors back-court, although not their explosive self, still could not be constrained. The Warriors are damn good but, predictable. No-one expects Mr. Foyle to get a lot of touches and he doesn't. The key is perimeter defense. What happens if you can't play perimeter defense on this team....how about 17-29 from three point range. NASTY. Were the Raps not prepared for their 3-point ways? All they had to do was look in last years mirror and say to themselves, how did teams stop us?

It gets so repetitive to discuss this teams complete inability to play defense outside of Bosh and MoP. It is hard to watch. Am I still on board with the rebuilding plan? Yes. Are we seeing progress? Again yes, but not in the defensive end. Our D sucked in the first game and it sucks after 20+ games. Right down to the guys playing at the local Y the basics of defense are communication, and effort. This team brought in Keady...but maybe who they really needed to bring in to open the lines of communication is Dr. Phil.

All of this aside, the REAL reason we lost last night is Mr. Mitchell. Somebody, PLEASE, explain to be how we allow an 11 point lead disappear, let Bosh sit until the 6 minute mark of the second quarter (approximately 18 minutes of rest) while the offense looks more lost than Paris Hilton in a Wall-Mart. Or better yet, explain to me what Matt Bonner is doing playing crunch time minutes in this game when during 14 minutes of game time he has ONE rebound and that is ALL. You guessed it, no points, no assists, no defense. What is Mitchell's infatuation with the Red Rocket? Or better yet, what is Toronto's infatuation with the New England product? How does Hoffa get booed like he does and the Red Rocket gets away with this performance?

Mitchell's subbing last night killed this team. Result, another loss.

Quick Hits:

- What is the point in booing Hoffa? I want return on this investment, no matter how small and the people that boo him are cutting into my returns. If you want to boo then direct it at the guy who drafted him, Jack McClosky. And you wonder why Hoffa plays better on the road.

- Mike James 5-5 from behind the arc. Solid.

- Charlie with a quiet game other than than thunderous dunk (second only to Baron's HUGE cram). I realize he almost had a double-double but it was still quiet.

- I have said it once and I will say it again, go to the hoop Joey.....go to the hoop. Andris Biedrins is now on a poster....just no his own.

- Where was Ike Mike?

- Think Jalen is forcing the issue? Nice air-ball.

- I have taken a liking to the intro song now, it really gets the crowd jacked up and the players look really pumped. Those purple flames are awesome too.

- That last statement makes Jean Chretien look honest. There should really be an inquiry into who thought that was a good idea. I think the crowd was more quiet AFTER the intro.

- Mike Dunleavy....shouldn't you start to play basketball sometime soon? You can tell he is not part of this team. Even when they call time-outs he is a loner among many.

- Chris Taft, how does it feel to screw yourself out of 13 million dollars?

- Jose almost had a triple-double.....now once that shot starts to fall, look out.

- Dave Feschuk almost got hit by Jalen's mouth piece when he threw it into the crowd. I realize it probably isn't the cleanest item to have thrown at you but by the look on his face you would have though a 747 was heading directly at him.

- Can the Raps pull it out on Sunday? Here's one thing for sure....until they fix some of the in-game entertainment I will be watching from home, beer in hand and the ability to tune out Herbie and the gang.

HOWLAND