Pick, Blog and Roll

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Meet Your New Toronto Raptors, 2006-07 Champions

The Raptors are poised to add two of the best players in Europe to the roster, Maccabi Tel Aviv high-flyer Anthony Parker, and gritty Unicaja forward Jorge Garbajosa, aka "porno" -- so named because, they say, "he does everything obscenely well".

A quick review of the Euroleague's statistical leaders shows Parker and Garbaj ranked #2 and #5, respectively. In other words, these guys look like pretty good pickups. Even more so when you consider the dregs available in this year's NBA free agency market.

Which is why I simply can't hold back my enthusiasm any longer: the Raptors will win it all next year.

Bryan Colangelo is some kind of genius, I'm convinced of it. All that's left for him to do is convince Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment to approve the team's transfer to the Euroleagues, and we're good as gold.

What team can match this lineup?

PG: TJ Ford, Jose Calderon
Ford is an upgrade over Calderon. And Calderon was one of the best point guards in Europe. I'm admittedly not very good at math, but if 5 > 4, then I'm pretty sure that means 5 > 3. Which by my count makes Ford an unstoppable force of nature. I can't wait to see Roko Ukic try to guard TJ. I think the word I'm searching for is irony. But then again, I was never very good at English either.

SG: Morris Peterson, Anthony Parker
I cite, as evidence, the fact that Maceo Baston is ranked #15 in Euroleague efficiency as indisputable proof that nobody overseas will be able to stop Peterson from doing whatever he wants with the basketball. Nobody. Baston, you may recall, played 106 glorious minutes with the Raptors during the 2002-03 season.

At the risk of getting repetitive, I cite the now established rule that "5 is greater than 4, 3, 2, and 1".

I'm sure someone out there will read this and feel compelled to inform me that "4, 3, 2 and 1 is 10". And this person will be right. Missing a couple of teeth perhaps, but right.

SF: Andrea Bargnani, Joey Graham
We already know about Il Mago's Euroleague scoring, and his ability to handle big game situations with aplomb. What you may not be aware of is that overseas he can play 30 minutes a game without averaging 7.7 fouls in the process.

If Joey Graham lays off the endless shrimp at Red Lobster next year, he could have a decent season too. But I do know those endless shrimp sure can be tasty, so that may be asking a bit much of Joey.

(Speaking of celebrity sightings, I crossed paths with Susur Lee yesterday, who was pigging out at Island Roti. Pigs are generally considered "cute" in Chinese culture, so I don't think he'll take exception to this description, but I've been wrong before.)

PF: Chris Bosh, Jorge Garbajosa (Porno), Kris Humphries
Who's going to stop Chris Bosh, Dejan Milojevic? As if. Yes, he's the #1 ranked Euroleaguer in player efficiency, but his only other claim to fame is being the fastest moving tree in Serbia.

C: Rasho Nesterovic, Chris Bosh, Andrea Bargnani
Before coming to the NBA, Rasho played professional ball overseas. He knows the European game. He speaks a European language. He's tailor-made for the opportunity that stands before him.

Go Raptors! Go Porno!

Jokes aside, I am looking forward to next season. The chants of "Por-no! Por-no!" reverberating throughout the Air Canada Centre will be the greatest Toronto sporting experience in nearly 40 years. Only slightly less amusing -- the inevitable sea of "I [heart] Porno" signs and "Vote for Porno" T-shirts.


  • That was one of the funniest Basketball posts I've ever read.

    I'm contemplating season tickets..

    Who's with me?

    By Blogger dombort, at 11:33 AM  

  • Bargnani will not be playing SF!! he is being groomed as a C but will be a C and PF... Garbage man is more of a PF/SF

    By Blogger Nat, at 12:07 PM  

  • Bargnani's game is based on a) high-percentage shooting (mid-to-long range, facing the basket), b) ball handling skills, and c) a quick first step. As presently equipped, he's a SF.

    In the long-term, the Raptors would like to see him play minutes at centre. But that's not his game right now. But he's only 20, and by all accounts has a good attitude and strong work ethnic, so it seems plausible. I do already have him down in the C-spot. I just don't expect that's where he'll see most of his time next season.

    You're right about Garbaj -- he's certainly got a nice outside game going. But I don't have a sense for his quickness.

    Dom -- I'm mulling over tx also.

    By Blogger Ben Jammin, at 2:02 PM  

  • ok, time to rachet up the blog eh?

    So it looks like the Raps had a decent showing for their exhibition opener vs. Washington. Rasho has the only line on the scoring sheet that I worry about.

    By Blogger dombort, at 10:10 PM  

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