Someone behind the scenes?
I'm sure I'm not the only one who was slightly annoyed at having to listen to the Boston Celtics feed on RAPTORSTV last night. I've watched enough basketball in my time to single out some of the more biased and shaky commentary jobs (see Clippers and Magic commentators) around the league, but last night's job may have topped it all.
Besides simply trailing off at the end of sentences and offering useless diatribe, we were treated to these beauties:
"Calderon can shoot...he's one of these European guys that's got the touch."
"Telfair is a shooter and I'll tell ya...Rondo is a penetrator."
"Calderon isn't fast like TJ Ford - he doesn't have Ford's quickness and isn't accustomed to that running style of play."
Now I'm not one to say that play-by-play calling needs to be perfect (heck, Chuck and Leo come out with some beauties at times) but at least know the NAMES of the players playing and something about them. I mean, Jorge's name is GARBAJOSA...not GARBAGOSA or any of the other convoluted renditions viewers had to endure last night. And talk about biased. On two seperate occasions the Celts' commentators freaked out about Calderon scoring on what were clearly "offensive fouls" to them. In fact if you only had the audio on in this one, you'd swear that the Raptors pulled off the biggest heist in NBA history. Let's just hope that RaptorsTV decides to do the Raptors final pre-season game live instead of "treating" fans to the Bulls' feed.
So what about the game itself?
Yes, Toronto won again for its seventh pre-seaon victory, but this definitely wasn't the best I've seen Toronto play this pre-season. Bosh didn't play, as expected, but Bargnani did and it was Ford who sat causing Mitchell to once again have to go to his extended bench. Kris Humphries, Mo Pete and Jose Calderon all had good games and the Raptors also got solid performances from Fred Jones, Joey Graham and Andrea Bargnani as well.
On the Celtics side the most impressive players were Wally Szczerbiak and Sebastian Telfair, who maybe had the game's highlight play with a sick crossover that left Calderon in the dust. The C's used a 14-2 run near the end of the fourth quarter to quickly take the lead but in the end, Toronto tightened their defence when it mattered most, forcing Wally's World into an awkward shot ending the Celtics' chances to steal the win.
So can the Raptors go 8-0 (7-0 without counting the Maccabi win) this pre-season? We'll find out Friday night after their final pre-season match with the Bulls, but from the sounds of things, the Toronto players are already expecting to go 90-0 this year.