Raptors... The coverage begins

Another year of Raptors basketball. Herohill has been covering the raps for the last two years, and last night was the preseason game against Team Benetton (I was hoping the team was going to warm up in the ill rugby tops that were cool in '86, but alas, they chose illegible warms ups and jerseys with 41 sponsorship logos, much like a NASCAR vehicle.

We arrived early, 23 minutes to go on the warm up countdown. The Euros were already out, stretching in formation. They were doing power yoga, squat thrusts and lunges. I expected them to take out those huge triangular weights and do lifts before the game started. They didn't use a ball until 11 minutes left. I think it was a pure psych out tactic, because several Raptors were thrown off by the fact they weren't seeing their opponents do half assed layups and showtime dunks to get ready for the game.

I got a little stoked after seeing the lineups. The Euros had a dude from Chechynia. Really? Chechynia? They also had former Duke scrub Joseph "Don't call me Joey" Beard. It was on. The Raps were without Vince. Shocker. Herohill would like to simply say, "TRADE HIM NOW, OR MAKE HIM PLAYOUT THE CONTRACT. MAKE THE DECISION NOW, AND STICK TO IT."

The game started and as per usual, the Raps looked lost. Mo Pete was getting beat by the Euros of the dribble. The offense ran plays that took way too long to develop, and without Vince's 22 footers with 3 ticks left on the shot clock, the Raps had no reliable option.

After some subs, Matt Bonner game out and busted his sucky ass. Herohill is praying he makes the team. Milton still can't make layups, Mason Jr. Can't play PG and Mo Pete is getting pissed that more players are roaming in the corner where he stands waiting to miss trifectas. Marshall, Rose and CB4 are going to have huge shoulders after carrying these dudes for another year.

All in all, the Raps looked bad, but it was quite obvious that they weren't really concerned with playing. Jalen missed a free throw and in frustration, dunked the ball on the ref. He also shot a ball backwards over his head. Count it. Donyell mashed the hell out of someone with like 4 minutes left in the game. Nothing easy in the Raps kitchen, even in a goodwill exhibition game against people who can't make the NBA.

It has the potential to be a long year for the Raps.

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