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vince carter wnba mvp t-shirt
Greatest T-Shirt Ever

[digg=http://digg.com/basketball/Raptors_vs_Nets_Jose_Calderon_saves_the_day_again]

If this game is two minutes longer, we lose. TJ Ford gets plowed by Vince early on and is forced to leave, and as inhumane as it sounds and I’ll probably go to hell for it, it was the best thing to happen to the Raps. After he threw his first quarter pass in the second row everybody in the arena was like here we go again. His injury plus the unproductive Bosh picking up early fouls meant our theoretical two best players are out of the game. Great! They’ve been stinking it up anyways. Enter Calderon and Bargnani who light up the first quarter from inside and out to put the Raps up 20 by the end of the first. From then on the Nets kept on shaving the lead at a steady mathematical rate with Calderon, Parker and Mo Pete providing just enough buffer to last the 48 minutes. When Nachbar launched that final three to win it, here’s what went through my mind: Oh shit, he’s already missed one game-winner plus he’s been off tonight so the law of averages is about to catch up to us and he’s about to put the final nail in the coffin and I might just have a coronary. Luckily he missed.

vince carter quitter jersey
Quitter Carter

The Let’s Go Raptors, VC Sucks chants work. I have no doubt about it. Every time he’s on the line and the chant is on, he invariably goes 1 for 2. He missed 4 free throws today and we won by 2. How’s that for proof? VC hit some ridiculous shots to bring the Nets back and even though he struggled early, he found his way around Mo Pete and Parker’s inspirational defense. Mo Pete hit 3 massive treys to keep the Nets at bay, all three came at crucial times. Nobody still has any clue why Mo Pete was glued to the deep end of the bench for so long by Mitchell, this guy is a veteran who plays with passion even when he’s playing five minutes a game. Mo Pete came up big for us tonight and without him we would’ve lost. The best part is he kept it simple, nothing was forced and when his shots come naturally, he’s deadly.

The funny part about the VC Sucks chant is that it starts completely randomly when he’s not even involved in a play, or even when there’s a complete stoppage of play, like here:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNNjo7qH2ys]

Here’s a great Let’s Go Raptors, VC Sucks chant from the live broadcast:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLZfxoNvM6A]

Some thoughts about SuperFan. He was sitting next to Milt again and I don’t mind that but he wasn’t cheering at all. It was like he didn’t want to offend Milt Palacio by cheering for the Raps. I don’t care either way but c’mon man, wear some red or even wave the freaking free towel they handed out at the game.

superfan nav bhatia vince carter mother
SuperFan looked pretty cozy sitting next to Vince’s mom

I am shit scared of Boki Nachbar. This guy is the X Factor of all X Factors, it doesn’t matter what Vince does, if we keep Nachbar and his outside shooting and drives in check, we can contain the Nets. Vince is not our primary defensive concern, it’s the combination of Nachbar and Jefferson that kill us. Jefferson is just attracted to the rim anytime he’s playing us, we must keep him on the perimeter to contain him and today we did a decent job of that. The Raptors decided to just switch on perimeter screens rather than fight through them which was great because it didn’t’ allow the Nets to drive as much since the lane was clogged immediately after the screen. Give Smitch some credit for switching the lineup and bringing in Peterson and Bargnani for Nesterovic and Graham, going small equals going mobile and the Raps were much better getting back on defense. The start sparked Bargnani who had his first good game of the series, maybe his legs are coming back but if he plays like this in Game 6, my moneys on the Raptors.

halftime entertainment wtf
What the f**k is up with the halftime entertainment?

Jose Calderon needs to play 40 minutes in Game 6 and Chris Bosh finally needs to have a decent game on the road. The recipe for success is that simple, we can’t rely on Bargnani and Mo Pete to have great games again, although both are capable, anything they give should be considered a bonus of sorts – it’s upto Bosh to make something happen. This was the third game in a row where he did nothing of consequence and if it hadn’t been for him making 3 of 4 FTs in this game, everybody would be ripping him for costing us the game. Butch Carter said Bosh is a “fake all-star”, this is the time where you prove your critics wrong. CB4 needs to do that now!

sam mitchell lawrence frank
Sam Mitchell’s out-of-timeout plays pale in comparison to his counterparts

Out of timeout plays. It’s this simple: Sam Mitchell’s suck while Lawrence Frank’s rule. I was paying attention to this, the Nets always got a good quick shot coming out of a timeout while the Raptors struggled. It was for this reason that I hated the Mitchell timeout during the Nets’ final run. Calderon was stripped off the ball and we were lucky it didn’t kill us. I was hoping to catch video proof of this but Sam actually one-upped me:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSmJYCCC3pQ]

I know it’s sick of me but I wanted some free pizza and was starting to think if the Nets actually tied the game and sent it to overtime, maybe it wasn’t all that bad.

worthless ticket
The Raps didn’t score a 100 points so this ticket is worthless

The question is whether to take a flight to New Jersey or not? The answer is I need to sleep over this and see what the financial situation is and whether the Raptors have a legitimate chance of winning. I’m pretty sure of the latter. Here are the final minutes as seen from Section 102, Row 11, Seat 2.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C40EXlyXgyw]

Don’t forget, Chasin – unofficial Raptors MVP – has got the highlights. More discussion of this post here.