Watch Out Boys, He’s Back!

Yesterday was one of the happiest days for this little girl. Why? Because her favourite NBA player ever [Ricky Rubio] has officially been cleared to participate in practices. We all know what that means, he’s ready to get back onto the court and amaze us all once again.

I remember March 9th like it was last week. As did Rubio, I’m sure. [Check out my countless Rubio Blogs below to follow his journey.] I know I wasn’t the only one freaking out about how the Timberwolves lost one of their potential all stars. [Nightmares, nightmares, nightmares.] All of Minnesota was freaking out. That was Minnesota’s year, they were making playoffs. Instead, Minnesota’s heartthrob was injured on court versus the Lakers. [Cough, Kobe.]

After numerous doctor visits and trips to rehab, Rubio did it. He made it through those months without basketball. Practice after practice, he worked to heal his torn ACL. He did nothing without his positivity that ultimately kept the fans involved with his journey and thrilled for his return. [#BePositive.] The man worked hard to get his talent back. “We’ve missed him a lot. Once we lost him we saw the impact he had on our group because of his leadership — and not just at the offensive end. He defended people better than most point guards.” Coach Rick Adelman on his point guard.

Clearly, he’s the best. And just knowing that he’s coming back on court is getting everyone hyped, especially me.

There is no doubt that Rubio will instantly make the Timberwolves better. Even with his presence in the stadium, I find myself smiling like a weirdo at my television set. [Did I really just admit that? Yes, yes I did.]

“Life is good!” Rubio tweeted, and of course I retweeted, favourited and replied. [We all did!]

Yes, Rubio, life is good. 

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Slow and Steady Wins a Ring?

Yes, I know what I said; the Raptors will be phenomenal this year. As did many of you fans. But don’t lose those hopes just yet, it’s only been a month into the season and we’re still waiting for the team we saw during pre-season, but rest assure, they will come soon. With any team, be it Chicago, Miami and now the Lakers, with great players comes great responsibility. No, I’m kidding, with great players comes time and effort to learn how to play the right kind of basketball with the right guys. See where I’m headed? Half the roaster in Toronto this year are new guys! There’s no way you can throw a bunch of tall guys onto a court and expect them to win a championship. Unless of course this is Space Jam, then yes you can. So please, give our boys some time to adjust and just be the friendly Toronto people that I know you are and just cheer on. And soon enough, we will be winning.

Okay so, Mister Bargnani; I have to start with him only because he is basically Toronto’s face [no arguing, please.] He’s off to a slow start, but then again anyone in his position would be just as confused as he is. Especially with the new Euro boy, Jonas V stealing the spot light. Not saying that’s a bad thing, but Bargnani is having a hard time finding his place on the team. Don’t worry just yet, they’ll all find their roles.

The new guys in red, lets talk. Was I the only one who was overly thrilled to get Landry, Lowry, Ross, Acy, JV and all the new Raptors in Toronto? I highly doubt it. I’m keeping my high hopes and expectations for these boys, because from what I’ve seen so far, they’ve really been putting in their best to help the Raps go far. [And by far I mean, win more than 20 games.] Really though, the new guys have had some good moments in the NBA with the team so far; Lowry before his injury, Ross with those threes, Landry Fields, I’m still waiting for his moment. And, JV, well, he’s just JV. Everyone loves him. Jonas is definitely living up to what we’ve been anticipating since the 2011 NBA Draft. [New Toronto heartthrob?]

Back to our golden Toronto Faces. No more hating on Jose Calderon. [This needs to stop.] I can go on and on about how furious I was about “fans” telling Jose he can’t ball. Clearly, he can; he’s in the NBA. He may not be the starting point guard, but he’s done a whole lot for the team since 2005. [Show some respect for the man.] Now that that’s been cleared up, let’s move on to DeMar DeRozan. DeMar agreed to a four-year contract earlier, which means Toronto’s love story with him isn’t coming to an end anytime soon, thank god. As always, he’s playing his heart out on the court every game. Finally, our favourite NBA friend, Amir Johnson, what could he be doing wrong? Nothing. This guy doesn’t always shoot threes, but when he does it’s always at the right time and he just happens to be in the right place. “I think Jose’s probably the only one who would actually pass it to me on the three-point line, so kudos to him!” [Kudos to all my boys working hard to make us happy!]

So, if you haven’t caught on to what I’ve been trying to say, let me sum it up for you; Give the Raptors time. That’s all they need. 

 

 

Back In Action

Today is a special special special day for Toronto Raptors fans; the boys are back on TO grounds and there is only eight days left until they hit the court in Halifax to begin preseason training camp.

Excited? YES.YES.YES.

We all suffered the NBA-less three months but in eight days, we’ll all be sitting on the couch watching the TO boys working towards the playoffs. Did I just say playoffs? Yeah, playoffs. There is no doubt in my mind that the new guys won’t help make the Raptors better and stronger, [and hopefully on their way to the 2012-2013 Playoffs]. Landry Fields, master of creating offense. Kyle Lowry, we’ll see him at the free throw line often this season. And, Jonas Valanciunus, well, let’s just pray for a quick recovery on that calf strain. Can’t forget about our rookies, Terrence Ross and Quincy Acy; yeah, we’re making playoffs.

Raptor fans, this is our big year.

Bryan Colangelo, I must say, you have done well with the roster this season. The boys all have their own talents  and skills, and together they can become a better team. Better than some past seasons. But that’s the past, no more slow and steady development, [we are ready for this]. Is this sounding too much like the Avengers? I nominate Jonas V as Captain America. [Although he has nothing to do with America, Captain Toronto]

If you think otherwise of the TO Raptors, I officially consider you not a fan. The fan support is huge, so guys, keep on cheering.

The boys are back. 

Must See: Kevin Garnett

If you’re a Boston Celtics fan; scratch that, if you’re an NBA fan, you have to watch Kevin Garnett – KG. I must say, KG’s journey to the NBA has been the greatest of all time. [So great, that I have deemed it my favourite NBA story] He has been a tremendous basketball player and athlete; 11 time all-star, Olympic gold medalist and of course, NBA champ. And, we all know he’s not done yet. I know for a fact that Mr. Garnett is one of the best in the league, maybe THE best. So, we know he’s great and that is why you should watch this documentary. Not only that, it’s filled with motivation and inspiration. Every step KG took brought him to where he is today. You need to see his journey as a teen athlete; it’ll make you realize how much talent you don’t have. No, I’m totally kidding. It’ll inspire you, and make you get off your lazy butt. That tall lanky teen crossing the draft stage in 1995 is just the beginning of a phenomenon. Follow his journey through his childhood, Chicago, Minnesota and Boston. I can assure you, if you love KG you are going to LOVE this movie. Go watch it now.

Posted in NBA

Hello 2012/2013 NBA Season

Hello 2012/2013 NBA Season

By Aish Abid

The NBA schedule was released just a few days back, and we all know what that means; the season is coming closer. The league faced many changes with teams, players and even coaches. Because of these changes, this season is going to be a thriller. In this post, I am going to note some upcoming games and teams that will be must sees this year [according to my preferences]. At number 1, the 2011/12 champs, Miami Heat take on the Celts. Ofcourse, the famous Big 3 will be there, only this time, Ray Allen will be playing with LeBron and the Heat. Next, at number 2, I know everyone is curious to see where Dwight Howard goes, but wherever he ends up, I want to see him take on the Magic with their new head coach, Jacque Vaughn. This off-season, the Dwightmare has been the center of attention, and it would be nice to finally see what Dwight chooses. Number 3, the new and improved Hornets begin this year with 2 of the biggest names in the 2012/13 Draft; Anthony Davis and Austin Rivers. [This one is completely biased] Hornets v. Raptors. If you know me well enough, you would know that I was dying for Rivers to come to Toronto. But, since he didn’t, I want to see him play against our own improved team, the Raptors. With our newest members; Landry Fields, Kyle Lowry, Terrance Ross and Quincy Acy, we are sure to see a difference in this team. Here’s a new one, number 4, the NBA welcomes the newest team in the league, the Brooklyn Nets. Their home opener should be broadcasted everywhere! Lastly, Number 5 is a big one, and I can bet anything that all NBA fans are looking forward to this game. Heat v. OKC [flashback to the 2011/12 Finals].

I will continue to add more games to my “Must-see List” as more changes occur in the big league. Feel free to throw some comments on games you are most excited to see.

Big Names, Big Day

Big Names, Big Day

By Aish Abid

“With the first pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, the New Orleans Hornets select Anthony Davis.” The exact words basketball fans around the world have been waiting to hear. Crazy news went down in New Jersey last night as dreams became reality for several guys. Well known for his brow, Anthony went first overall as he enters the world of basketball and business; not to mention, all the spotlight attention. Another big name in this years draft was Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who makes his way to Charlotte this coming season at number 2. Kentucky Wildcats became the first school to have the top two picks and tied a record with six players taken overall in the 2012 NBA draft. One more name that I can not forget to mention, Austin Rivers from Duke University. You may know him as Doc Rivers son or just a great Duke baller, but last night he was New Orleans second pick, and he went tenth overall. Lucky Hornets getting two big names on their team, things just fell in place. Lastly, for the love of my own team, I would like to make a shout out to the newest Raptors, Terrance Ross [8th overall] and Quincy Acy [37th overall]. Congratulations to all the boys who worked hard to get here and welcome to the big league.

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Free Agency Heating Up

Free Agency Heating Up

By Aish Abid

I am sure everyone feels the same way when I say I can’t imagine Ray Allen in a black and red Heat uniform, or even Mama Ray in a bedazzled one. Media, fans and the world can finally take a sigh of relief, because our big man Ray is not yet retiring. But, he is taking up Miami as an option during his free agency this off-season. The Heat and Allen are said to share a mutual interest between this deal, I mean come on; what team doesn’t want a shooting guard that fires 3’s like it’s no big deal and has been in the league for 15 years? A guy with this much experience could be getting paid a ton elsewhere, but the Heat are offering $3 million a year. Realistically, Allen would make a wise decision if he were to “take his talent to South Beach Miami” [LeBron James] and join the Big 3; due to his ankle injury, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to cut down his playing minutes and rest that injured ankle. The 36 year old would make an astonishing Big 3 of his own along with Mike Miller and James Jones. “There’s still a lot of basketball left in my legs, I know that for sure,” Allen said after the Celtics’ loss to the Heat in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. So, we know one thing for sure, this guy isn’t leaving the league so soon.

Frustrating Game 1 for Ray

Frustrating Game 1 for Ray

By Aish Abid

The Boston Celtic fans not so impressed with the nearly 90 percent free throw shooter; Ray Allen, as he misses a free throw at the American Airlines Arena Monday night against the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. In the 93-79 loss against Lebron and the Heat, Allen played through a painful right ankle, while struggling to find his shot from all over the court. Last night, he missed six of his seven free throw attempts and had only 6 points. “I think Ray missed four free throws tonight. I don’t think we’ll ever see that again,” said Celtics coach Doc Rivers as he met with the media after the loss. Still, with much hope Allen spoke with the media with his Game 1 preformance. “I’m just trying to find my balance, I feel good over it, I’m just not in a great rhythm right now. I just know I don’t have good timing right now. The shot feels fine. If it’s short, I know that I do have less lift on it . I just take it day by day, trying to figure out what I’m dealing with. I do have restrictions.” said Allen. “That’s why we have a great team here, why we have each other. I believe you guys know what I’m dealing with. It’s nothing really to talk about. It’s like a battle within myself, I have to try to win. It’s a daily situation I have to deal with. This is the time I need to be out here to help the team win. When the season’s over with, I’ll have to deal with what I have to deal with myself, personally. Right now, it’s the playoffs and you play.” Ray Allen expects a better preformance Wednesday night for Game 2 against the Heat.

Season on the Line

Season on the Line

By Aish Abid

The Philadelphia 76ers look to force a game 7 tonight against the Boston Celtics; who are urging to advance to the Eastern conference finals. The Sixers coming this far into the playoffs has been a shock for everyone. This might be the last game the Sixers play this season, but in order to stay in the semi-finals, Sixers star player, Andre Iguodala must amaze the crowd and play a stellar game. Iguodala may not lead his team with points or assist, but he really stepped up this game this season in order to bring the 76er’s into the 2011-2012 playoffs as he has improved his points per game. If the 76er’s want to stay in the playoffs, Iguodala must be ready to put up as many points as he can.

Rajon Rondo and the Boston Celtics played their heart out in game 5 against the 76er’s to lead the series 3-2. Tonight, they are one win away from advancing to the Eastern conference finals. But, if they lose to tie the series 3-3, they will return for a thrilling game 7. Rajon Rondo recorded another double-double with 13 points and 14 assists and Kevin Garnett with 20 points in their 101-85 win over the Sixers, thanks to the help from Brandon Bass with a career night with 27 points.

Be sure to catch the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76er’s back in action at the Wells Fargo Center tonight at 8 p.m.

Amir Johnson: Passion for the Fans

Amir Johnson: Passion for the Fans

By Aish Abid

If there’s one man in the league that cheers as hard for the fans as the fans do for the boys, it’s Toronto Raptors, Amir Johnson. Johnson was the 56th pick in the 2005 NBA draft and was selected by the Detroit Pistons. Since then, his career has led him to here, the beloved city of Toronto. Johnson began playing for the Toronto Raptors in 2009. In the three season he has been in Toronto, he has done nothing but good things for the remarkable Raptor fans. When an opportunity comes knocking for fan interactions, Amir Johnson is right there, front of the line. This season, Johnson has done outstanding things in order to give back to the fans of Toronto.On March 31, 2012, Johnson participated in the All Access at Real Sports; an opportunity to interact with fans and answer their questions.”I love my Twitter fans, I recognize some of them here today. Everyone on Twitter, I love.” Johnson answered when asked who his favourite person on twitter was. As the Toronto Raptors season came close to an end, Johnson wanted to do something that shows his love for Toronto and the fans. He held his second annual “I Roll with Amir” contest; where he treats the 25 biggest fans each along with a guest to a Raptors game and dinner. Once again, the event was a success. The fans attended the Raptors v. Hawks game on April 16, 2012 followed by dinner at ‘E11even’. Even with the season finished, Johnson could not get enough of the fans. He celebrated Cold Stone Creamery’s one year anniversary with the fans in Toronto, where he designed his very own Cold Stone Creation with proceeds benefitting the Remix Project. “This is my way of giving back to the community, doing certain things around the neighbourhood. The Remix Project was the one I found and I definitely like it, so I did something to give back.” Johnson said when asked about giving back to his fans. This year, Johnson was able to raise 2000 dollars for the Remix Project. By the passion and love he shows for the fans year in and year out, there is no doubt that Amir Johnson will continue to take part in opportunities to give back to his biggest fans. Toronto wishes Johnson the best of luck for the bright future of his team and hopes he continues to work his best. Happy Birthday Amir Johnson!

Interview with Amir Johnson on Giving Back. http://pptv.ca/videos/movernie-and-amir-johnson-giving-back-to-toronto