The Undefeated Raptors

The Raptors have opened their 10th anniversary season with a 95-88 win over the Rockets. After the stink of last year's performance and the whole "I'm Vince Carter, people boo me, I want to leave" episode in the summer, an openning night victory has to be looked at as at least step in the right direction. The Rockets are being picked by most to be in the thick of the Western Conference playoffs, so I'd say it's a quality win. I will however temper the previous statements by mentioning that the Raps beat the Mavs, a better Western conference team, in their home opener last year before crapping the bed the rest of the season.

Because Herohill will be attending most of the Raptor home games, we thought we'd try and post some highlights after each one. So without further ado, here are the 2004-2005 Raptors opening night highlights:

- The Raps broke out their red unis and matched them with some bright red socks. The socks were almost as bright as Matt Bonner's hair.

- Loren Woods is skinnier than I would have imagined. But he runs the floor and is active on defence and if he could come close to 9 points and 7 rebounds every night it would help the Raps tremendously.

- Chris Bosh looks excellent. He looks quicker and more confident than last year, taking the ball to the net with authority. You can sense the subtle shift in the team's focus from #15 to #4. Even if Vince plays out his contract you get the feeling this will be Bosh's team by that time.

- Speaking of Vince, what will happen with him? Some people I overheard still thought he'd be traded before long. Not sure that will happen if somehow they're a winning team. Vince played hard tonight and looked like he was into it, but if they're losing by the deadline, he will go.

- The Raps finally got a new video mantage for the start of their games. The super intense tough guy stares are borderline cheesy, but the change is welcomed.

- Note to self: do not wear yellow pants if sitting courtside at a Raptors game. Some sexified rich dude had a bright yellow pair on and at one point the Raptor came strolling out in his own yellow pants. He went over to the guy and made him stand up with him while he did some Night at The Roxbury style moves for the big scoreboard. Take that fancy yellow pants!

- Rafer Alston is simply a fun guy to have on your team. I can't see how you couldn't like the guy. He works hard loves playing ball. 15 points, 8 assists, and 7 boards make him that much easier to love. At one point he even grabbed a rebound over Yao Ming. If only they had someone to back him up.

- Which reminds me, the Raps bench is weak like Paul from the Wonder Years right now. Donyell is quality off the bench, but he needs help. Mo Pete looks lost and first round pick Rafael Araujo is lost. I think the answer is perhaps a heavier dose of Bonner time.

- It's too bad Yao didn't have a bigger game for all his Chinese peeps that were in the ACC tonight. He played decent but couldn't seem to get into the flow of the game. But perhaps most of his fans didn't even notice. The girl behind me said "Yaoming!" everytime he did anything. He scores: "Yaoming!". He's replaced by Clarence Weatherspoon(!?): "Yaoming!". He fumbles the ball out of bounds: "Yaoming!". They're so polite about their cheering for him that you'd like them to go away happy.

- Dikembe got not PT for the Rockets. I guess he's just happy to talk to Assitant Coach Ewing during the timeouts. Plus he's 57.

- Sam Mitchell got his first win as Raptors coach. I already like Sam better than Kevin O'Neil. Not sure what will happen, but Sam looks like a guy who will be a successful head coach. He's got the look down with slick suits and a quality beard. He also doesn't take no mess and can relate to the players better than his two predessors. Plus he has Alex English on his staff, who still looks smooth as hell even as a coach.

So there you have it, check back with us for more Raptors game highlights as the season goes on.

@ 5:30 AM, mario kicked the following game:

Good to see the Raptors give their fans some hope. Herohill does support the Raptors and in a minor way the Celtics and more importantly the Heat. I haven't been this excited about Miami basketball since Sherman Douglas and Rony Seikaly were teamates.

Miami coasted to an easy win over the Nets and Shaq did his thing in limited playing time do to a hamstring problem. None the less Miami got great contributions from; Udonis Haslem, Rasual Butler and Damon Jones. Dwayne Wade also had Dwyane Wade 21 points with six assists and five rebounds. Good start in his point guard role.

Lost in most of this was Alonzo Mournings comeback. Let's hope it works out this time :)


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