School killed the Raptors blogger: A quarter season in review…

•December 15, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Oh My Goodness! It’s been quite a long time… the title says it all… I’ve been swamped with school and haven’t been able to post since the season started… Well I’ll definitely make sure I stay on top of things at the school end so that I can free up some time to bless you guys with my opinions on how my Raptors are doing.

Well we’re now 26 games into the season, just past a quarter of the way and the Raps have a record of 11 and 15… I’m sure this is where most people out there predicted this team to be… I, on the other hand, was probably too optimistic to start the season. Dreaming of what DeMarr would turn out to be, how beast Reggie would be, and of course how well the Jarret and Jose combo would work made it almost impossible to picture the team losing. Well here we are, 15 losses later, probably as optimistic as I was when the season started. My reasoning? I thought you’d never ask.

Its not the fact that we lost but how we lost:
I know its no excuse but come on… did you really think that a team with 9 new players (mind you most teams play an 8-10 man rotation) and a schedule like we had would be anywhere near the .500 mark?

Anyways, how we lost right? well heres something for you… 5 of the 15 losses came off back to back games… again, no excuse right? well 3 of those 5 (arguably all 5 of them) would have been tough games even if they weren’t back to back (Dallas, Atlanta, Utah, Milwaukee and Charlotte)… Heres another one for you… the rest of the 10 losses came from the top 8-9 teams in the league… rough schedule? yea i know…

It’s all been about chemistry and effort…
and its starting to look like those aren’t problems anymore. Since the closed door meeting after the romping we took from the Hawks we’re 4 and 2… and a few of those games were with out our starting center, a few with out our starting point guard and one with out both… Chemistry still an issue? I doubt it… and effort? well lets use rebounding as an example… in those 6 games the raptors won the battle for the boards 3 times, i don’t think they out rebounded their opponent that many times all year last year… and the other 3 games? they were close… and how bout that last game against the Rockets… effort? yeaaaaa….

oh and defense
Well we’re last in the league in defensive rating, surprised? not at all… in these last games we’ve held the opponents to an average of 98 points… That’s pretty good for a team that has no “defensive specialists” and is last in the league in defensive rating…

Well, I could go on forever but I’ll leave it there… I’d love to mention the fact that Reggie Evans (who i believe was one of the more important pick ups this past summer) has yet to play a regular season game as a Raptor, DeMarr is starting to prove himself, Jarrett Jack and Turk have finally found their grove and let me predict that Belinelli will go off any day now…

So, I’m sorry again for the lack of posts so far this season I promise it won’t happen again… what’s coming up next? well I’d love to evaluate the players’ progress. I’m thinking of doing that by position in future posts… until then…

the wait is “almost” over… Season Countdown Observation #1…

•October 5, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Yea i know… it’s still early October and the season isn’t for another month but with training camp finally “over”… it’s time to see how the team matches up with other teams… Pre-season starts tomorrow and guess who’s going to be court-side in London… :)…

I made it a point not to blog during training camp or media day or anything of the sort. This mostly because I don’t want to throw out predictions and apart from what I can see/hear from the fan590 or raps.com I don’t really know much of what else is going on… and maybe I’m just saving myself from saying/”predicting” something that will end up biting me in butt later on in the season. I had a hunch about Jamario’s rookie season, I’ve got the same hunch with DMDR… I think Belinelli will blow up this year and is a younger and more offensively efficient AP… I see Bargs and Bosh’s bulking up giving us a HUGE upside… but I didn’t have anything much more than a hunch for those points… Well if you don’t mind I’m going to call those “Season Countdown Observations” (SCO) and now that I can watch pre-season games and have first hand look at the action I’ll hopefully have some data/info to back up my hunches and hopefully through out this month I’ll be stopping in to blog about those SCOs…

Speaking of upside. Here’s my SCO #1: Reggie Evans! I read a while back, from a very negative blogger, that we’re not going to be a better rebounding team by adding one person (Evans). I beg to differ… Reggie Evans brings muce more upside than his rebounding IN GAME. All that I’ve been hearing about Evans and training camp is the intensity that he brings and it’s effect on the other players. Evans is going to make Bosh and Bargnani work for boards in practise… Evans is going to bark at his team when the intensity level is down, not only in game but during practises. IMHO, the Raptors’ biggest problem last season was their lack of intensity, I think this was worse than their lack of defense or rebounding (both could/would improve with more intensity). This was mentioned countless times by bloggers, tv and radio personality, beat grunts et al. SCO #1 is the fact that Reggie Evans’ value is not only his in game presence, rebounding and intensity but also in practise. Reggie Evans will make the team, and the players on this team, better by not letting anyone slack… Hard work all day, every day… I can’t wait for this upcoming season!

P.S. I think Reggie Evans’ may arguably be BC’s best move this summer…

-astro

ABDC 4 – Episode 6: My Top Four and the VMAs

•September 14, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Yes I know I missed episode 5… well nothing much happened anyways. Well, let me restate that… nothing out of the ordinary happened… Afroborike kept it sexy and tore it up… Massive Monkeys tore it up w/ the stunts (played to the theme really well), Rhythm City kept it clean and showed us some “fanny pak” style… We are Heroes eliminated another crew and Vogue Evolution is finally gone… So enough time wasting lets move on to the EPIC episode 6…

**Spoiler alert** (as if you haven’t seen it already)
If you had told me that Rhythm City was going to be eliminated I would have laughed at your face… Well guess what happens… my two favorite crews are at the bottom… hrmph… At least my top 4 that i predicted all season are the top four that remain… the order was just off (so far)… well before I ramble let me get back to explaining the performances…

We Are Heroes: This was right up their alley and honestly I was a little bit disappointed… I guess I expected more but good performance none the less… I was hoping for a better fusion of the “vouging” and poppin…

Afroborike: Entertaining… but again I think i expected more… America voted these two crews to be safe and they definitely disappointed IMO… (maybe it was cause my two favorites were at the bottom LoL)… I’ve just gotta see what Afroborike pulls for next week… hopefully they make it to top two to avoid a repeat of last year’s boys vs girls finale poppers vs bboys…

Massive Monkees: utterly sick! they pulled the N’sync and did it well… the bboys came to battle…

Rhythm City: the bottom two were again the best performances of the night… (much like when Southern Movement got out)… Rhythm city was clean, on point and full of swag… I do agree with shane though about the tables and jumping… I think they had an off night… they started strong but kinda died down by the end…

Astro’s Leaderboard:

4. We Are Heroes – would have had them out… it hurts but yea…
3. Afroborike – it was good… but not great…
2. Rhythm City – Good performance… too bad they were up against the best performance of the night…
1. Massive Monkees – Bboys are now on top… I still don’t see another bboy crew winning though

-astro

ABDC 4 – Episode 4: Back from Mexico: The good, the bad, the ugly…

•September 10, 2009 • 1 Comment

Hey peeps! I know this is really really late but I was at Mexico City for 10 days and happened to miss 2 Sundays (2 episodes)… Now I’m back and since Episode 4 was “soooo last week” I’ll just give the good the bad and the ugly of the episode.

The Good:
Massive Monkeys & Rhythm City! enough said… oh and Josue? from Afroborike calling out Shane Sparks on the Brazilian Capoera comment (ROFLMAO). And I have to shout out to the dj/mixer/audio editor… the mixes were sick this week…

The Bad: Vogue Evolution… I can’t seem to find any part of their choreography that I can’t pick up and perform after a 2 hour workshop… I really can’t believe they’re still here…

The Ugly: We are Heroes getting less votes than Vogue Evolution… REALLY AMERICA DO YOU KNOW WHO YOU’RE VOTING FOR? It was a given that Beat Ya Feat Kingz were eliminated… I didn’t even have to watch the results… I wonder when America will finally get off the vogue evolution ban wagon and realize the simplicity of what they’re doing… I hope no other crews take a nose dive because of the voter’s delusion…

Astro’s Leaderboard:
6. Vogue Evolution -I said it up there… choreo is too simple… and plus what’s with that “flip”, horrible attempt at a trick…
5. Beat Ya Feet Kingz – Man what’s with crews pulling top routines on the week they get eliminated… this routine was one of their best… too bad they were up against the heroes…
4. Afroborike – they’re back… not as great as two weeks ago but we’ll see how far they go…
3. We Are Heroes – sicccckkkk…. but the “theatrics” didn’t do it for me… reminded me too much of super cr3w… *BALLIN*
2. Massive Monkees – last week i said to step up the choreo and they did…
1. Rhythm City – hit it hard, from start to finish… there’s not looking back now! this routine is one of the best i’ve seen in a while…

-astro

ABDC 4 – Episode 3: L2 Vote America! Brooklyn still on top…

•August 25, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Episode 3 what quite a shocker… If you had told me at the end of episode 2 that Rythm City was going to be in the bottom I would have laughed, quite hysterically actually but it happened. In previous seasons the group that ended up taking the title was in the bottom at one point or another and I guess i can dive into a philosophical (or psychological) discussion as to how being in the bottom pushes the best out of people but I think it has something more to do with voters than anything else. As Fanny Pack’s leading man Matt Cady urged the fans in the ABDC Season 2 finals… “You better vote right”… It could be that the voters assume a certain crew is going to get the votes so they opt to vote for another crew or they just like the underdogs but it definitely messes with the competition.

So as I do with each blog post let me break down the performances of the night (take note that I usually do this as soon as i watch the show but since it’s been about 12+ horus since I’ve seen the episode I’m going from memory for this one)

Afroborike: Man what a disappointment… They murdered it last week, jolted to #2 on my leaderboard and then this? They could have had a lot of fun with Capoera but they fell short. I really hope that they bounce back next week because they’ve got something special…

We are Heroes: The judges said it… slow start but the locking routine got me excited… these girls can dance and I anticipate to see a lot more from them… their ending was creative but a little sloppy (did I just agree with J.C.? DANG! LoL)

Massive Monkeys: Bboys always seem to impress the public… this routine though? not so much… it was okay at best and their task wasn’t done well… tricks can only take you so far… I hope these bboys step up the choreo next week for the “Bollywood” challenge…

Vouge Evolution: How do these guys girls? people… keep getting voted for… Shane said it well… when they’re not Vouging they’re all over the place… They’re just not in sync enough for me to be in this competition… Kung-fu??? Come on!!!

Beat Ya Feet Kingz: I’ve been banging on these guys all season but they’ve finally shown me that they deserve to be on the show… The task was perfect for them and their style and they did it well… It may have just been the lack of energy, creativity and everything from the previous crews but when they stepped on the stage they made the rest look horrible… They’re improving but I don’t know if they’ll stay much longer… the votes are definitely keeping them in…

Rhythm City: The judges didn’t even catch the whole Kill Bill theme of the performance… when I heard they were bottom two with Southern Movement my heart sank… Two of the best choreography crews were going head to head and one has to go. Anyways, Rhythm City KILLED it… enough said…

Southern Movement: I really felt bad for these guys, I think they’re the most synchronized crew on the show but because their “style” isn’t as “up and coming” or their “gimmick” isn’t as appealing they don’t get votes and unfortunately are booted off… Hurts me to agree with J.C. but America voted the top two performances of the evening to the bottom… unfortunately for Southern Movement they were head to head against the crew that may win it all…

Astro’s Leaderboard:
7. Vogue Evolution: I’m sorry but I think they should have been out last week… but i anticipate that they’ll keep getting votes and keep staying… ugh…
6. Beat Ya Feet Kingz – Their routine this week was great but I don’t see enough from them to shoot up the leaderboard.
5. Afroborike – I’ve put them this high cause I think they had an off week… another one and they’re gone…
4.Southern Movement – yeaaa i think they’re still top 4 material… too bad they’re gone…
3. Massive Monkees – bboys are always entertaining… step up the choreo to have a chance for the finals…
2. We Are Heroes – these girls gave us a little bit more tricks this time around… who knows where their ceiling is…
1. Rhythm City – still atop the leaderboard… these guys are utterly SICK!

-astro

ABDC 4 – Episode 2: Beyonce week – Rhythm City tops the board again…

•August 21, 2009 • Leave a Comment

***All that i’m saying here is my OPINION, I’m not claiming to be an expert in dancing or anything, just a fan’s take on how the contest is going***

Well Beyonce Week… it was alright.. I still think this is one of the weaker ABDC seasons crew wise but we’ll see how the crews develop… anyways, here’s how i’ll do my posts, an intro, then I’ll go through the crews as they perform then my leader board… With that done, I’ve gotta apologize for the lateness, been a busy start to the week… so here it is…

We Are Heroes: Alright performance but I expected more. Their outfits were kinda awkward but it had it’s moments, the heart was probably my favorite part… overall, just alright…

Rhythm City: Cool Concept… I referred to another crew as Fanny pack 2.0 but Rhythm city has definitely shown that they’re not only Fanny Pack 2.0 but could arguably be better… They didn’t get bogged down in the “theatrics” their dancing was on point and sick… STILL ON TOP!!! As for the judges comments Shane nailed it on the head as usual and the other two? bleh…

Massive Monkees: sick! and that’s not just cause i’m a bboy… I said last week that they weren’t Super Crew, but you know what this was sick… not as on point as they should have been but the stunts and tricks made up for it… the hoola-hoop threading was sick… and the ending was jokes… over all… another alright performance…

Beat Ya Feet Kings: How’d they get here? ugh… anyways… This routine was below average… I hate watching routines when I can sit here and see myself doing the routine easily… the difficulty level was next to none… I really don’t think they should have been up here, the routine was sloppy and the only time they were together was during the elementary hip-hop class type of movements… It looked like they were trying to hard watching each other to stay together… This crew is definitely a battle crew, not a show crew…

Southern Movement: These guys can dance… They did their challenge well and were on point… I don’t really know what Lil’ Mama’s saying with their challenge being just “okay” I thought they did better than some of the other crews… and the fact that Shane can’t find anything wrong w/ them is definitely a good thing…

Vogue Evolution: I really really really don’t know about this crew… Again the difficulty level just isn’t there for me… What’s keeping them here is energy and that they’re on point…

Artistry In Motion: Concept was done well. This was probably the hardest challenge in the night and they did it well… It just stinks that they got bottom two’d and not any of the other crews… I think this crew deserved to stay…

AfroBorike: THESE GUYS ARE SICK!!!! I thought their hip-hop would get drowned by their latin dancing but they do both well… I love how they bring another style of “Stunts and Tricks” to the show, not the same old “breaking” stuff… The lifts was sick… the cartwheel around guy’s arm was sick… omg… They dance sick and sexy!

So having said that, here’s my leaderboard… Last weeks leaderboard was way off with an exception to the top two… so lets see how i do this week…

Astro’s Leaderboard
8. Beat Ya Feet Kings – still at the bottom for me… too sloppy to be a crew on this show, but i guess it could be just because of their style…
7. Artistry In Motion – they’re out but i thought they deserved to stay another week…
6. Vogue Evolution – the other crews above them just dance better, for now…
5. Southern Movement – I’m just waiting for these guys to go off, this week was alright though…
4. Massive Monkees – they’ve gotta step up and get on point with their choreo, they’re not even stepping into “hip-hop” choreo yet…
3. We Are Heroes – these girls are sick… they’re staying on top but i don’t know if they can win…
2. Afroborike – they’re giving something we haven’t seen before and are doing it well… dance as a crew and in partners very well!
1. Rhythm City – Still on top… nothing else to say…

-astro

Big Shaq Diva…

•August 20, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I know this isn’t Raptor’s related but I can’t believe the nerve of some people… read this

Apparently the idea for Shaq’s new reality show was stolen from Steve Nash… That’s horrible… not to mention that Nash Vs ? would be much more entertaining than a 7 foot monster attempting to play soccer, or swim against a 8? gold medal winner. I think the worst part of this all is that the show is going to tank. The idea is a great one, kinda like the Pros vs. Joes show, it’s interesting to see how others size up to the best of the best in each sport but I’m not 100% sure as to how much justice the big diva is going to do the show…

All this to say, I’ve lost ALL respect for Shaq-diva… stick to playing basketball, you’re good at that… Learn something from MJ, don’t taint your career with scandal after scandal… I’ve been following Shaq since the early days of smashing backboards with Penny and the Magic but between the Kobe beef, calling out everyone in the NBA who has a chance of being better than him and the sorry attempt at a rapping/acting career I think Shaq’s career and reputation is on a huge down turn…

Hope LeBron can help him get that 5th ring so people can remember the good as opposed to the bad and the ugly…

-astro

 
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