Thanks to my pal Humble, I attended the Toronto Raptors game last night at the ACC. We started sluggish but T.J. Ford made sure we came together in time to dispose of the New York Knicks 104-94. We booed both Isiah Thomas and Steve Francis, but Isiah got it loudest. Isiah Thomas is now 4-9 against us.
The Raptors are 23-9 at home, but one of those losses was to Utah back in January while I was courtside. The reason I mention that is because the home teams have stunk up the joint when I've been in attendance. I attended two Argos games last season, and we lost both. I attended a Marlies game and we got skunked. I caught the Leafs and Avs earlier this season and we lost. The only time I attend a winning game is when my brother Steve is in the seat next to me. That's how I got to witness a 4-2 win over the Thrashers in October and last night's Raptor victory.
I was there, but you can thank Steve for the big win. Here's a photoset of pictures I took last night at the ACC.
From Hockey to Basketball in Three Minutes - The Air Canada Centre is the home venue of the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Toronto Raptors. In as little as eight hours, a crew of 18 to 25 workers can transform the NHL ice to NBA hardwood. This video was recorded in a time span of over sixteen hours, compressed to under three minutes.
I caught most of the Raptors game last night, and it was definitely one of those 2-for-1 victories. It was a big win over a division rival and it was a big win over Vince Carter. Here's a little taste of my history with Vince.
Carter's Nets are now 4.5 games back of our Raps. There's something awfully satisfying about that, isn't there? Playing .547 ball, the Raps aren't even banking on the fact they're in the weakest division. We'd be third in the Central and a solid second in the Southeast. We're beating good teams, taking out awesome home teams like the Bulls and hanging in and almost beating the conference leading Pistons. We've won eight straight at home and 10 of our last 12. This certainly feels like the real thing.
Not only did we extend our lead in the Atlantic while beating Vince, but the player formerly known as Air Carter finished with a mere 17 points on 5-for-15 shooting from the floor. Chris Bosh, our new idol, led all players with 25 points.
Go Raps Go!
Chris Bosh scored a career-high 41 points as the Raptors beat the Orlando Magic 113-103 last night at the ACC. That's the Rap's fourth win in a row and their ninth win in 11 games.
The Raptors are smoking hot right now, leading the division by 3.5 games. Hell, we're only 4 games back of Detroit for the conference lead. There's another team that calls the ACC home, how are they doing?
The Maple Leafs have won five in a row and seven of their past eight. A team many of us had given up for dead is now surging into a playoff spot. MLSE is on a roll.
Is it me or are days brighter when our teams go on these streaks? Food tastes better, music sounds better, jokes seem funnier... Good times.
With the Raptors playing .500 ball, people in this city are actually starting to take notice. After an awful couple of years this team is starting to look respectable. In addition to leading the division, the Raps are earning props from the NBA.
Guess who's the Eastern Conference player of the month for January? That's right, it's Chris Bosh. Who's the Eastern Conference coach of the month for January? You got it, it's none other than Sam Mitchell. Who's the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for January? Andrea Bargnani, of course.
.500 never felt so good.
Back in 2005 I listed who I thought were the best Toronto Raptors of all-time as my Friday Five. In order, I listed Vince Carter, Damon Stoudamire, Tracy McGrady, Antonio Davis and Doug Christie.
Last Friday, someone anonymously sent in their Friday Five. This person listed Chris Bosh, Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady, Damon Stoudamire and Marcus Camby. Obviously, when I made up my list, Chris Bosh wasn't quite there yet. Another couple of seasons of Bosh excellence has forced me to revise my list.
As of this moment in time, here are the best Toronto Raptors of all-time.
- Vince Carter
- Chris Bosh
- Damon Stoudamire
- Tracy McGrady
- Antonio Davis
Let's talk Bosh this morning. The Raptors MVP will start for the Eastern Conference in next month's All-Star Game. He's only the second Raptor to get voted into the all-star game. The other, Vince Carter, wasn't voted in this time.
When we drafted Bosh I knew he was going to be good, but I didn't expect him to be this good. In the post Vinsanity era we didn't have to wait long for a superstar to emerge on this team. In just his fourth season Chris Bosh is starting an all-star game and has the Raptors one game under .500 and fighting for a playoff spot.
Can Bosh skate?
As I mentioned yesterday, I was courtside for the Raptors - Jazz game last night at the ACC. I had never been courtside before.
They have three rows of chairs on one side of the court and these chairs are literally on the court. The only way to be closer is to be one of the refs. I took some pictures to try and capture of sense of the view, but they don't really do it justice. Here's the obligatory photoset.
Oh yeah, I said I'd tell you if they were worth $942. In my humble opinion, no basketball game short of game seven of the finals is worth even half that much. Even then, I'd save the cash and watch it on the telly.
I'm holding in my hand right now two courtside seats for tonight's Toronto Raptors - Utah Jazz basketball game at the ACC.
Each ticket cost $471. That means this pair cost someone $942. I assure you, I'm not the one who forked over nearly a grand for a couple of seats at a regular season NBA game, but I sure am psyched about sitting in these seats tonight.
$942. Wow. That boggles my mind. When I buy tickets to see the Raps, I buy in the Sprite Zone where each ticket is less than $12. These seats I'm in tonight are about $460 more than that.
I'll let you know tomorrow if they're worth it. And yes, I'm bringing my camera. Catch the game on television and you might just see me coming off the bench in garbage time.
While the Leafs were coughing up another one, the Raps were clawing out a win in Portland. With a 12-15 record, the Raptors now lead the Atlantic Division.
We last time led the division was November 25, 2003. It's fair to say the Raptors didn't play up to this standard but the division played down to us. 12-15 has no business leading any division, anywhere, but we'll take it.
The Raptors and Leafs share a personality trait as well as owners. Both teams seems to come together nicely when the superstar is injured. The Leafs play quite well without Mats Sundin in the lineup and the Raptors have been surging without Chris Bosh.
TGFAWD: Thank God for a weak division.
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