Where Damon Stoudamire gets his pot.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Sweet and Lovely

Please excuse the lack of updates lately. I'll resume with some scattered thoughts about the Raptors, and one of my favourite non-players, Adam Morrison.

Joey Graham or Jamario Moon?

I'd be lying if I said this conundrum was chock full of potential success for the Toronto Raptors. It's nothing like the Ford/Calderon debates. It's a debate between two marginal NBA players, neither of whom will average over 10 points per contest this season.

And yet the Raptors are faced with a dire situation at Small Forward, even Shooting Guard for that matter. Jamario Moon came out of left-field last season. Between his shot blocking capabilities and dunks he became a fan favourite. No other player contested for that starting spot, and Moon hustled his way into the rotation.

So what would any professional athlete in a contract year do after surprising fans and management in his rookie campaign? Come into camp out of shape, of course!

For all the great things Moon did last season, he seems to be a poor man's Keon Clark. And Keon Clark could be a homeless crack addict right now. Moon's game is just too limited. He tends to fall in love with the outside shot (otherwise known as Vince Carter Syndrome) when his strengths lie in length and athleticism. The guy drives Sam Mitchell nuts.

Joey Graham, on the other hand, hasn't had any opportunity to showcase his abilities. In fact, I've rarely seen him play on television. The trouble with Graham, from what I've gleaned from those games and some commentary, is that you get one or the other: Good Joey or Bad Joey.

But I can't help but feel Graham needs a fair shake, whether it's 20 minutes per game or a starting position and slightly more burn. A lack of consistency often comes down to confidence, and it's difficult to gain any when you're planted on the bench. There must be a reason the Raptors have held onto him as long as they have. Graham is not a step down from Moon. As athletes, both are great, but Graham brings a definite physicality which the Raptors could use on perimeter defense, possibly their weakest area last season.

Yet as much as I think Graham should get his chance to play, Colangelo needs to make a definite move towards strengthening a weak backcourt and front-line.

Shortly after a post I made about Adam Morrison and JJ Redick between a week and two weeks ago, the online hoops world had a few things to say about Morrison. Most of the news revolved around his future, or lack thereof, with the Charlotte Bobcats. I mentioned his terrible efficiency, yet another writer went a step further in announcing that Morrison, during his rookie season, was the least efficient player in the NBA who received considerable playing time (over 25 minutes per game or thereabouts).

The Bobcats recently extended his and Sean May's contracts, yet talks have swirled around Morrison being shopped around. A DNP-Coach's Decision certainly doesn't help his cause for a future in Charlotte.

Would Morrison be a decent pick-up, or even a steal? Like I mentioned before, I can't help but think his career is over. The NBA is too athletic. His forty-year-old man legs only got slower with knee surgery. Outside of picking him up off waivers I can't see any reason why a sane NBA GM would take a chance on him. Then again, most of them are idiots.

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