Well, it could be worse—the Blazers could have paid $60 million for Hedo Turkoglu. In a season that has featured wildly inconsistent play, shattered ligaments, and enough heartbreak and drama to fill a teenager’s livejournal entry, the only given is that all Blazers fans can say, with great confidence and relief, well at least they didn’t sign Hedo.
Turkoglu has became the albatross dangling from Toronto’s neck (and payroll), a 12 point a game scorer that will only get worse with age and whose season highlight came with a now infamous one word answer during a post-game interview. He won’t wear a protective mask that the team requires of him and he has distracted the media’s attention away from an otherwise excellent Raptors team. He’s everything Portland wanted to avoid and more.
Unfortunately for a Blazers team that made things uncomfortably close against the lowly Nets, the Raptors are about more than the Turkish Jordan. Chris Bosh is game time decision with an ankle injury, a status he shares with Marcus Camby. The Raptors might not even need Bosh, having just won a pair of games (albeit against New Jersey and Washington) with their superstar on the bench picking out condos in Miami (or New York) for next season. Toronto is far from flashy but the have solid depth—hence winning when Boshless—and a dependable selection of role players from Andrea Bargnani, DeMar DeRozan, and Mr. Step-Out-of-Bounds-While-Shooting-a-Three himself, Jarrett Jack. While Jack lost his job to just about everyone during his stay in Portland, his numbers this year aren’t too far from Andre Miller’s line.
We’ll save some of the Raptors talk until later in the day when we’ll post a great interview with Sam Holako from Raptors Republic, who guarantees Chris Bosh will be on that team next year. See? That’s what we professionals call a teaser.
Las Vegas Line: -3