First off, once again, even after the weekend the Raptors had, the radio shows in this city lead with the Leafs. I am so sick of this that I am no longer writing about the Leafs until at least one of the following happen:
1) after every Raptors win, the radio shows lead with the Raptors
2) the Leafs win a playoff series
3) MLSE sells the Leafs
I’m sure one of those things will happen eventually, right?
Onto the Raptors! It was one thing for the Raptors to trounce the Bucks on Friday night, but we also got nearly seven minutes of playing time for our third stringers, including rookie Bruno Caboclo. For everyone who couldn’t understand why the Raps would draft this little-known 19-year old kid…now you know. He dunked, he hit 3s and he even blocked a shot. This kid (looking insanely nervous) brought it all and looked good doing it. He was on the court with Vasquez, Landry Fields, Lucas Nogueira and Greg Stiemsma. Not exactly First Team All-Stars and they still outscored the Bucks. I think. It was so much fun watching I lost count but that’s not important. This Caboclo is a gamer and could be something to look forward to in the future.
Moving to Saturday’s game versus the Cavs, I hardly have words. Down 24-6 in the first quarter, the Raps took over and DOMINATED Lebron and his boys. The comeback was led by “Sweet” Lou Williams, who is already in consideration for Sixth Man of the Year. He was fantastic and the rest of the team picked up his energy and put a downright beating on the “Eastern Conference Favorites” (Ha!). It’s a long season but I am feeling good about this team so far.
One team I am not feeling good about (in a good way…) are the Miami Heat. Admit it, you read it here first. I said that no team with Chris Bosh as it’s first scoring option can succeed and that is becoming painfully obvious for the Heat. D-Wade has been out with an injury and the team is only 8-6 after a two game winning streak (versus Orlando and then Charlotte, who they beat by 1 point). You may not have believed me then but mark my words now: the Heat will make a big trade by or before the deadline. Pat Riley will not follow four straight trips to the finals with a team that limps into the playoffs or worse, misses them. Not likely since the Knicks, Pistons and 76ers all playing in the East.
Tom Brady proved again why he sleeps with the hottest super-models in the world. The Pats destroyed the Lions 34-9 and the Lions have now gone 2 full games (8 quarters) without a touchdown! How is it possible that with Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate they have not been able to find the end zone? It seems the Bye week has had a horrible effect and no amount of extra practice or rest has fixed it. When asked if the offensive system is flawed Jim Caldwell said “the system is fine” but it’s clearly not! NO TOUCHDOWN IN TWO GAMES!!!! Even an idiot like me can see that. They have put themselves in a tough position for the playoffs in the NFC as the Packers have taken over the NFC North lead and the Lions are ranked 7th overall in the conference and only six teams get in. They play 5 of their last 6 games against division opponents and the schedule is in their favor with three weaker teams in a row at home (Chicago, Tampa, Minnesota) but they need to wake this offense up. The play calling and execution the past two weeks has been terrible and if it doesn’t get cleaned up, the Lions will be on the outside looking in for only like the 14th time in 15 years.
With news that the Red Sox have signed Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez to big deals today, things could be heating up. Rumor is that the Red Sox will move Ramirez to left field and leave Xander Bogaerts at shortstop. That means that current left fielder Yoenis Cespedes is potentially on the trading block. Let’s see, a power hitting left fielder with one year left on his contract making only $10.5-million (I never thought I would put the word “only” before $10.5-million). Who could use a player like that? Well, everyone, but I’m thinking more about the Jays. IF they can’t get a deal done with Melky, and right now it is not looking great, Cespedes is a great pick-up. A multi-cultural city, numerous Spanish-speaking team mates and a stadium with a home run gravitational pull like Rogers Centre would be perfect. Maybe Dickey/Thole for Cespedes and the Red Sox get a front of the rotation veteran on a one-year deal and we rid ourselves of an average pitcher who is rumored to be a bad clubhouse guy and get a power hitting leftfielder. Will it happen? Of course not, but a guy can dream can’t he?