Some Game 5 mail, with more to come later
\How about that? Wireless internet in the Orlando airport is working well and there's enough time to get some mail answered and up for all you lucky readers.
This is just a fraction of the deluge I got, I’d say of the 60 or so that arrived between the final buzzer and this morning, there are 30 that kill Sam, a dozen or so that suggest Bosh is not really that good (and that’s a preposterous suggestion) and a few with legitimate queries rather than rants.
Here are some and we’ll get to more later on.
Oh, and a full season wrap and a player-by-player assessment are in the works, too. Thank goodness for the Starbucks right down the hall from my gate.
Q: Pretty disappointing post-season for the Raptors. Two questions:
1. What would you say are the positives (if any) that they can take into next year?
2. Also, when you look at the 76ers, they finished the season really strong and have managed to steal 2 wins from Detroit; and have a legitimate chance to win that series. Meanwhile the Raptors, who stumbled into the playoffs, only mustered 1 win from a team they matched up really well with. How much do you think end of the season momentum (or lack there of) hurt the Raptors?
Amanda F, Barrie
A: Slacking at work again?
I guess the positives would be the continued development of Jose Calderon, who was better this year than he was the year before, and the emergence of Jamario Moon as a legitimate rotation player in the NBA. He may not be a starter, but he’s a player.
I’m not sure about the momentum, actually. Once the season ends, everyone takes a deep breath and looks forward, not back.
Q: Hi Doug. I just wanted to say being a Magic fan down here in Orlando I really appreciated reading your columns and blog online and getting the Raptors perspective. You do a really good job and gave us all excellent insight into the opposing team. I for one am glad the Magic do not have to play the Raptors any more! One question. It seemed like the Raptors went away from their pick and roll game with Bosh and Jose. I was glad they did, but why did they?
Chris C, Orlando
A: There were a couple of reasons, although they did run it frequently. One, Carlos Delfino handled the ball a few possessions and took shots that might have normally come out of the high pick and roll and on a couple of trips, the Magic showed on Calderon more aggressively than they had earlier in the game.
Q: After watching the Raps play well in the first half and trying to survive in the second half, can someone please ask Sam Mitchell how we leave Maurice Evans open in the corner game after game after game. He killed us the whole series from the corners with wide open three's. I understand we were doubling on Rashard and Howard but after game 2 come on, my three-year-old son is even yelling at the TV to cover him.
Stewart C, Brampton
A: Um, if you double someone, someone else has to be open. They tried to rotate back to both Evans and Keith Bogans but, if you ask me or anyone else connected with the team, they’d rather live with Bogans or Evans taking shots than Turkoglu, Lewis or Nelson or watching Howard dunk on their heads.
Q: So the Raps are happy to play Orlando, right? Meanwhile, the Hawks are warming up for the training session they'll provide the Celtics. So, Raps go down in 5 and Atlanta is tied at 2 in the series with the almighty, NBA-final bound Celtics? Please explain this scenario to me.
Oliveira S, Tulon
A: Because Atlanta had Joe Johnson and Josh Smith go off in the fourth quarter of Game 4. In the fourth quarter of Game 4 in the Toronto series, no one took over the game like that, because there’s no one on the roster who could.
Q: How crazy is it that both Philly and Atlanta, the 2 teams that a lot of people didn't want in the playoffs with a rejigged playoff format, are tied with the 2 top teams in the NBA?
And will that impact BC's decision with Sam, since Maurice Cheeks and Mike Woodson managed to coach their less talented teams to one more win than Toronto got, despite playing against tougher teams.
TF W, Etobicoke
A: I’ll answer your question with a question:
Who would you rather have starting for your team: The all-star Joe Johnson and Josh Smith or Anthony Parker or Jamario Moon? Or, Andre Iguodala and Willie Green or Anthony Parker or Jamario Moon.
Seriously. Ask yourself the question. Give yourself an honest answer.
Q: Is it just me or why hasn't anyone said anything about Bosh not going right at Howard when he had 5 fouls. Bosh simply tried a fadeaway near the bucket. Bosh clearly could dominate Howard off the dribble but for the most part refused to do so. Yes, he can knock down that jumper but, he seems to settle for it waaaay too much. Your take?
Dan F, Toronto
A: It wasn’t just you. Bosh did only try one jumper, an eight-footer on the baseline when he should have attacked, but other than that, with the game in the balance, Delfino took two ill-advised jumpers and Bosh did have a dunk that Howard didn’t contest.
The two bad shots are on Delfino, not Bosh so there was one time he could have gone at him and didn’t. After that, though, it was a 10-point game and Toronto needed to score in a hurry so going into the post wasn’t in their thoughts.
Q: Regarding restricted free agent signings, are there any rules in place to prevent teams from sabotaging salary-cap management efforts of other teams? For example, seeing how Colangelo has publicly stated he will re-sign Jose no matter what, what is to stop a team like the Knicks (division rival, lots of money) from offering Jose a larger deal than he would otherwise get, knowing full well that the Raptors intend to match the offer. The advantage to the Knicks, obviously, is that the Raptors would have less money with which to acquire or re-sign star players down the road.
Naweed T, Markham
A: Nothing, really, but your argument’s flawed. Because the Raptors are over the cap regardless of what they do with Calderon or how much they pay him, they will only have the mid-level exception with which to attract free agents this summer. And because the Knicks are over the cap, all they can offer is the mid-level exception.