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NBA Preview: Raptors and Nets

Over the next 15 days I will preview 2 NBA teams per day, in joking light hearted fashion. It strikes me as a good way to pass the time until the NBA season gets under way and I can link to other blogs for more substantial previews. I'm starting with the Atlantic but will probably really mail it in with the Celtics. Enjoy.

Toronto - We're coming up on four months since Jorge Garbajosa broke his leg in horrifying fashion against the C's and it still makes me wince. And yes Jose Calderon's concern for his fellow countryman was downright touching. Two more points about the clip:

  1. I could not find one with English commentary.
  2. This is not for the faint of heart.

I bring up Garbajosa because I love his game. He is a glue guy that has the added distinction of being one of the few international non- star players that Tommy Heinsohn begrudgingly respects.

Meanwhile, if I were a Raptors fan I would be crossing my fingers, hoping Chris Bosh's foot problems are behind him. Speaking of Bosh, I'm not sure where I stand on his nickname - CB4. Yes it is a blatant Chris Rock reference. At the same time Chuck Swirsky
allegedly came up with it, which raises several questions. Does Swirsky's involvement automatically devalue the name? Has Swirsky seen or heard of CB4 the movie? And on and on. In case you were wondering I'm not a big fan of the Swirsk.  

Check out Toronto's roster. Something has to give. Although I would imagine that Jason Kapono's presence makes Luke Jackson obsolete. Even then some guys have to go. Finally, I am excited to see what Carlos Delfino can do for the Raptors. He might surprise some people.  

Bonus Point - Should people be obligated to mention how terrible the Atlantic Division was last season when referencing the Toronto's first division crown?

New Jersey - Let's make something very clear. The Big Three were Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish. They were actually big guys and more importantly they won championships. Vince Carter, Richard Jefferson and Jason Kidd are just as undeserving of the Big Three nickname as Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. You can only make matters worse by calling the Nets triumvirate the "original Big Three" in an attempt to set them apart from the current C's trio. I'm glad we cleared that up and can move on.

Five Quick Points:

  • It will help if Nenad Krstic is healthy and for real. How much? Good question.
  • There is nothing wrong with Jamaal Magloire's game that lowering one's expectations can't fix.
  • Sean Williams blocks shots. We know this. Unfortunately he was the bad guy on a Boston College team, which also had a player that jumped out a second floor window to escape drug dealers. That's at the very least similar to the time Delmon Young hit an ump with his bat and word surfaced that Elijah Dukes, not Young, was the crazy guy on that squad. As a side note how cool would it be to watch a minor league team with Dukes, Young and B.J. Upton?
  • There is a Sean Williams/Marcus Williams joke/fake promotion just dying to be made. "Smoking and stealing" comes to mind but I'm open to any and all suggestions.
  • I'll say this about the Nets' off-season free agent acquisitions. When I read the following, "Nets sign veteran forward Allen" on ESPN I thought, "Ray Allen - of course not, Tony Allen - no...who the hell did they sign?" Turns out it was Malik Allen. And yes I am ignoring the fact that Vince Carter returned. But still, not a huge off-season for them. Unless you really like Magloire and follow the "Krstic was injured and getting him back is like signing a free agent" logic.
Bonus Point - Is this the year Jason Kidd finally starts to break down.