The Raps managed to get a win on their five game road swing out west against the run and gun Sonics in a torrid scoring affair (121-113) where all five of the Raps starters had more than 10 points. Now don't get too excited, Hoffa was in street clothes with a beat up shoulder, and Joey G was delegated to second string with the re-emergence of Jalen Rose. In fact the starting five was James, Rose, Peterson, Bosh and Bonner. The reason for Graham's demotion? Mitchell feels like Rose can get them off to a better start at the tip and at the beginning of the second half.
There was also another face in the Raps line-up last night that had not seen any burn in the NBA in quite sometime, Pape Sow. Pape had a huge game putting up similar numbers to those he put up in Arkansas....well, not quite....but it was good to see the guy out on the court. Fact is he won't have a play run for him all year but he did bring some energy and that was a definite positive. It will be very interesting to see what sort of minutes Pape gets after Mitchell appeared on the SCORE Television Network firmly stating that he had no minutes for him. With Hoffa sidelined, playing Pape over bench warmers like Aaron Williams and Loren Woods can only be good for the long term prospects of this team.
This game was an offensive showcase and I don't think more than three possessions went by without someone making a basket, which was the total oppostite of the Spurs vs. Heat match-up that was featured before the 10:30 PM tip in Seattle. Although the Raps played nothing even similar to what can be described as defense, there were some positives to take from the game, other than victory number 14.
- Well here's the obvious one. Chris Bosh is unstoppable and on top of that has some great basketball IQ. The Sonics were in the penalty with almost 10 minutes left in the fourth and Bosh took advantage getting to the line and making a team record 17 free-throws (Just for the record Hoffa has hit 6 FT's all year). He will be on the All-Star game before and for the record, he Amare, and Dwight Howard are going to be the best trio of big-men this league has seen in years.
- Jalen Rose. Wow, I don't think we have included him in a "positives" re-cap in a while. He is scoring like he did last year, and doing it efficiently. He didn't throw-up any terrible shots, made some nice passes (that alley-oop to CV Smooth was SICK, and he in fact led the team with 7 assists) and played within the rhythm of the game. Now, if his value continues to climb, trade him!
- Bonner. I barely give this guy props but he did manage to play a decent game and not look like a complete defensive liability....probably cause there was no defense played.
- Ray Allen. Again stating the obvious, but that shot is just awesome. Silky.
- This may be one of the few teams in the league that you can play no D and win. The Lakers and Nuggets games are not going to be anything like this one. It's amazing how bad our defense is considering Mike James is known as a good perimeter defender, Mo P is as well, and Bosh is a reasonable shot blocker. Can all of the defensive woes be placed on Bonner, Rose and the Rooks? Something just isn't clicking defensively and this is NOT GOOD.
- Points in the paint. Coming into this game you had to think that the key would be to stop Allen, Ridnour, and Lewis, because the Sonics front-court puts fear in no-one. Petro and Swift are light-years away from contributing on a high level, Collison has about as much offensive skill as Dennis Rodman in his prime (none) and Reggie Evans is simply a banger. Well somehow, someway the Raps managed to make these guys look more than serviceable. Evans and Collison both were just shy of double-doubles and the Raps were out-rebounded by these scrubs. That being said someone need to send the memo to Hoffa asking him to start playing like Evans. He's a banger, rough and tumble. This is my expectation and hope for the Brazilian Beast.
- Radmanovic. Does this guy actually think he is going to get paid this off-season coming off a season that can only be described as WEAK? I used to be a proponent of this guy. I am shocked how one-dimensional he is and how he has absolutely played himself out of a team that is short on serviceable big men.
- Bob Hill's hair.
-The game ending after 1 am!
- In last night's Heat broadcast Bill Walton alluded to the strength of the 2003 draft and DID NOT MENTION BOSH. The league should fine him.
- Calderon needs to study Tony Parker's game in the off-season and learn a thing or two.
- Radmanovic's agent should be fired. He might get the mid-level....from the Knicks.
- The Raps had their youngest line-up in years on the court last night when all three rooks, Pape Sow and Mo P were on the floor. It's didn't last long as the offense went nowhere.
- Why is the AD thing getting so much pub? I doubt AD apologizes as his wife will likely go Left-Eye and burn down his house if he goes against her word.
- Utah kills Raps. Denver kills Utah. Raps play Denver. You do the math.
- 1-2 on this road swing and notice how the playoff talk died as soon as it started?
- Oh and Steven A. Smith reported last night that Dumars is shopping Darko. Babcock has to inquire about what he would cost. Oh, just remembered, Smith knows nothing....expect Darko to be re-signed.