Fresh faces (cont.)
Posted: Thursday April 19, 2007 2:03PM; Updated: Thursday April 19, 2007 10:27PM
The roster is dotted with young international players like Andrea Bargnani and Jose Calderon (and Jorge Garbajosa, who is out for the playoffs). Then there's Anthony Parker, a Bradley grad who had been playing overseas the last few years. Their best player, Chris Bosh, has been overshadowed by the other members of his draft class (Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire) who have played on winning teams. The Raptors' most familiar face is probably T.J. Ford, but that's as much from his college days at Texas as from anything he's done in Milwaukee or Toronto.
P.S.: that group went 47-35 and clinched the Atlantic Division a couple weeks ago.
In the first round the Raptors will face the Nets, a team that is in many ways their exact opposite. Jason Kidd and Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson are all NBA superstars and familiar postseason characters. The Nets are the lower seed in this series, but they will be favored to win by many, simply because it is much easier to visualize them doing so.
I enjoy watching Carter play -- and I am intrigued by the wrinkle that Bostjan Nachbar adds to the Nets line-up (like Kleiza, he seems to turn it on whenever I happen to be watching). But I'd like to see Toronto get a head of steam in the postseason. The Raptors have the freshest faces, and it would be good if they stuck around long enough for people to get to know them.
This week I like
The Virginia Tech students chanting "Let's Go Hokies" at the end of the campus memorial ceremony on Tuesday, a brief heartening moment in what is otherwise the most disgusting domestic news story of the decade. The idiot's pictures -- the ones he sent to NBC -- were on the front pages of the New York tabloids this morning, and if I never see them again, that's fine with me.
In this week's magazine, the Rutgers story by Aditi Kinkhabwala and Rick Reilly's column on former Duke lacrosse coach Mike Pressler.
The NCAA stepping back from the running clock rules it introduced in football last year.
This week's New Yorker story on Jeff Koons.
The New York Times' Sunday magazine story on the upcoming French elections, which are something of a referendum on how the country should react to the immigrant riots of 2005.
This week I don't like
The Phillies moving Brett Myers, recently counted on as an ace, to the bullpen. What's next, Cole Hamels to the outfield?
The NFL fining Brian Urlacher $100,000 for wearing a cap from a non-official sponsor. Nice priorities.
The comments from Boston Celtics forward Ryan Gomes suggests his team wasn't trying to win down the stretch. No matter who the Celtics pick up in the draft, a team populated by guys who have learned to accept losing isn't going anywhere.