March 21, 2013 by slewfeet
Do you know what futility truly is, dear reader?
If not, you probably don’t know what the Toronto Raptors are and have stumbled onto this blog by mistake. Regardless, allow me to explain:
Futility is realizing that we cheer for a team that can get lit up by chumps like Byron Mullens. It’s accepting that Josh McRoberts smoked a dozen blunts before the game and still came away with a double-double. It’s coming to terms with facing a Charlotte roster that was assembled from the Island of Misfit Toys, and still playing lackluster enough basketball to be walked over for 48 minutes.
Oh sure, they were high points. Jonas was great, DeMar and Rudy didn’t suck, and Sebastian Telfair was limited to 5 minutes. The team as a whole went a flawless 26-for-26 from the line, which didn’t matter because they gave the Cats 40 attempts but is still sort of neat. Kyle Lowry had 5 assists to go with his 5 turnovers. Best of all, it turned out Mickael Pietrus is still alive, though you’d never know it from watching him play.
And alright, the Raptors were never out of it – they even went on a run near the end to keep things just somewhat humiliating. But was anybody on the planet honestly excited over this game? Some shitty team beat a slightly shittier team in a marquee matchup of sheer ennui, and the world kept on turning. Linas Kleiza probably didn’t even wake up for it.
Then there were the lows. Terrence Ross’s ineffective play was mitigated only by the schadenfreude of knowing at least Andre Drummond isn’t much better. The clock has finally struck midnight on John Lucas’s shooting percentages and he’s turned back into a pumpkin. In the meantime Quincy Acy, the only player on this team who’s worth a damn, remains somewhere between Bakersfield and purgatory.
Landry Fields played a game that makes you long for the glory days of Dominic McGuire, shooting atrociously and getting stuffed twice. It’s okay though – the team’s only shelling out $19 million over 3 years for him. Never mind that he sucks at basketball, we’ll just say he has intangibles and hope nobody questions it. Bargain city!
(Fun Fields fact, by the way: the number of threes he’s made by season has inexplicably dwindled from 86 to 31 to as many as the number of floor moppers he’s hit this year.)
That might just be the most frustrating thing about this team – everybody on it was acquired because Bryan Colangelo wanted them here. This is a team built right to his specifications – and for the present too, having traded away a first-rounder and promising youth like Ed Davis to get here – and all he has to show for it is being shackled to bloated contracts like our boy Landry, already burnt out at the tender age of 24. The Raptors are trapped in neutral; they could be the Toronto Maple Leafs of the NBA if the Leafs weren’t actually decent this year. After all, why try to rebuild for the future when you can be mediocre now?
I’ll still never understand anyone would jeer Andrea Bargnani when his only crimes are that management thought he was the second coming of Nowitzki and that he looks kind of dopey with his mouth held agape all the time. Instead, we should be fervently praying for Colangelo’s imminent arrest for fraudulently impersonating a passable general manager all those years ago. Somewhere in Toronto, he probably just tried to sign a Steve Nash rookie card for $50 million and 5 years.
Frankly, I don’t know why we subject ourselves to these wretched performances. There is nothing rational about watching the Raptors establish a new ill-conceived plan for the franchise every year and thinking this could be the one that pushes them into championship contention. Hell, I’m pretty sure I’ve read somewhere that the definition of insanity is knowingly allowing your happiness to be dictated by Alan Anderson’s ability to hit a jump shot.
Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe there’s some light at the end of the tunnel, even if it’s too faint to see. Like, Jonas could develop into something special. Amir might get some cool new tattoos. But as far as I can tell, the only thing we can cling to right now is that the inevitable heat death of the universe means every other team will eventually be just as bad as the Raptors.
And after games like this, I’ll take it.