Monday, May 7, 2007
The Toronto Raptors' storybook season came to a dramatic end on Friday night when they lost 98-97 to the New Jersey Nets, in New Jersey. The fact that the game was so close is a moral victory in and of itself. The Raps had been blown out in the previous 2 games in Jersey. However, the Raps had a good chance to win the game, down by 1 point with 8 seconds left but Jose Calderon threw the ball away, committing his only turnover of the game, and sinking the Raptors chances of forcing a Game 7.
Moral victories and learning experiences aside, there were some serious negatives for the Raptors. Coach of the year Sam Mitchell showed why he was voted by some players last year as the Worst Coach in the NBA. I don't think he got out-coached in the series but there were more than a few moments when the Raptors looked totally bewildered and lost out on the court. There were games when the Raptors were not ready to compete (good lord, I'm turning into Pierre Mcguire). To me, both of these things are the responsibility of the head coach.
Even though this season was a dramatic improvement over last season, the expectations that this improvement brought with it mean this first round exit will leave a bitter taste in most people's mouths.
Oh well, there's always next year.
CFL SHOWS IT IS A REAL SPORTS LEAGUE BY OUT-PRICING ITS FANS
After the mention of $30 Rider tickets last week and how they are a thing of the past, I decided to take a closer look at CFL ticket prices. And I won't lie, I was absolutely astounded by what I found. I could not believe what the average ticket price is for a game now. When you factor in the quality of the games and the facilities and such, all of this seems a little high to me.
These are the average prices of a single-game ticket, including tax, for all 8 teams in the CFL. All the data is from each teams website and was calculated by me, so there may be a margin of error.
1. Calgary Stampeders - $52.00
2. Montreal Alouettes - $48.50
3. Saskatchewan Roughriders - $47.25
4. Hamilton Tiger Cats - $46.33
5. Edmonton Eskimos - $46.00
6. B.C Lions - $45.57
7. Toronto Argonauts - $43.33
8. Winnipeg Bluebombers - $42.50
Now I'll let you draw your own conclusions about these prices. But take a look at which team is number 3 on that list.
Apparently mediocrity isn't as cheap as it used to be.
SENATORS-SABRES SERIES MIGHT SAVE HOCKEY
In a year where the NHL playoffs can at best be described as boring and at worst be described as unwatchable, this series between two teams who actually believe having an offense is an important part of the game might generate some much-needed excitement. I really can't remember at year with so many low scoring games. How many games have been 0-0 heading into the third period during these playoffs? More than I care to count. I know I've said that low-scoring games can be exciting, but not these ones this year. There is not really anything exciting about two teams sitting back and just waiting for the other one to make a mistake. I've said it before and I'll say it again, the Trap is killing hockey.
Now compare the Ottawa-Buffalo series to the Western Conference Final between Anaheim and Detroit (which will surely be the match up after Detroit closes out San Jose). Anaheim-Detroit could potentially be the worst series in the history of sport. Goal scoring would be a total after-thought, keeping the other team from scoring would be the only thing that matters.
At the very best an Anaheim-Detroit series would be a powerful cure for insomnia.
SHOUT-OUT OF THE WEEK
Hey if Rob Vanstone can give out plugs in his column and get away with it, then so can I.
If you missed today's Leader-Post, follow this link and check out the story on the youngest mayor in Saskatchewan. He's a great guy with big plans for a small town and today's front page article (below the fold, but we won't hold that against him) was much desereved.