Jay Onrait blogged live about the Raptors/Bobcats game on Monday. Check out his insights and observations.
7:12pm - Leo says he would put Wallace or Diaw on Bosh. He'd put quickness on Bosh. There are more people at your high school volleyball game than there are in Charlotte to watch this game tonight.
7:17pm - The Raps are wearing their green jerseys in honour of St.Paddy's Day. The Bobcats are wearing white and orange in honour of the colour of vomit.
Here comes Leo with the Syracuse talk: "Is that Okafor, former UConn Husky? The same UConn Husky team that lost to Syracuse last week?"
I ask Leo who was a better shooter.... Him or his son Andy who currently plays for the 'Cuse: "Awww.... C'mon! I can't even believe you are asking that!" Bad knees and all, Leo still thinks he can take his boy to school.
7:24pm - Bargnani with beard > Bargnani sans beard.
Leo: "Didn't Larry Brown once coach Kansas...A team that Syracuse beat earlier this year?"
I wonder how many times per game Larry Brown says to himself: "I could be home in my pajamas right now."
As we watch Ray Felton complete an easy lay-in...Leo mentions North Carolina is a potential Elite 8 matchup with Syracuse.
7:30pm - Leo says he talked to former UConn Husky Jake Voskuhl about Syracuse's 6-OT win over UConn the other day...actually Leo says he just looked in Jake's direction and Jake said: "No, no enough already!" Poor guy.
Two straight turnovers at midcourt by the Raptors.
They are playing some serious Irish Folk tunes going in and out of commercial break during the broadcast. Where are all the Pogues tunes?
7:37pm - Leo is calling this 1st Quarter "a repeat of the Indiana 1st quarter.... Turnovers and easy baskets"
End of 1st quarter: Raps have 8 turnovers...Charlotte with 11 points off those turnovers. Meanwhile Matt Devlin and Jack Armstrong are comparing Pops Mensah-Bonsu to Wendel Clark. Give them credit for understanding their Canadian audience.
Leo's Final Four picks coming later.
7:49pm - D.J. Augustin enters the game. Leo likes the University of Texas! Even though Syracuse beat them when they won a national championship in 2003. The last time Syracuse was a 3-seed in the tournament!
Listen to Jack Armstrong talk about the NHL: "Big win for the Leafs over Calgary the other night!"
As Joey Graham enters Leo says he likes Oklahoma State this year but also that Joey had 14 points for OK State in a loss to Syracuse, also in the 2003 tournament.
7:57pm - Porous defence and not aggressive enough on offence. "The boys are looking a little tired and they didn't even play 6 overtimes like the 'Cuse the other night!"
Apparently some of the Raptors players were upset about having to wear the St. Paddy's Day uniforms with the clover that looks A LOT like the Celtics uniforms. According to inside sources this was a league-wide decision to add the clover to the uniforms. That's our inside scoop.
The Raps look "sluggish, like a wet sponge" to quote 'Airplane!'
We discuss the Vladdy Radmanovich/Adam Morrison trade and Leo mentions he likes the Gonzaga Bulldogs in this year's tourney and he considers Gonzaga head coach Mark Few to be one of the best in the league. This might have something to do with the fact that Leo has him on speed dial.
8:02pm - We have a reader question for the blog if you can believe it:
"Matt Bonner would have looked great in these green jerseys...if you wore Bosh's jersey Jay, would you wear pants?"
- Brad from Brock U.
I wouldn't need to wear pants Brad because a Bosh jersey would be long enough to create the perfect miniskirt for my 6'5" frame.
Leo: "Patrick O'Bryant's middle initial is "F".... Syracuse's opening game of this year's tournament is against Stephen F. Austin University!"
8:07pm - As Chris Bosh makes a free throw, Leo points out that Georgia Tech didn't even make the NIT this year much less the NCAA tournament.
As we marvel at the fact that Juwan Howard is still in the NBA, Leo points out that it was really nice for Howard to take a pay-cut from what he was making with the University of Michigan to come to the NBA.
Coming up at halftime: Leo and I will be discussing the 3 main MVP candidates. See you after the half!
8:37pm - We are back!
I'm not saying things are bad for Charlotte, but at halftime, the Bobcat mascot appeared to give away a toilet seat.
Good start for the third quarter - the Raps have cut the lead to seven.
Leo's final four picks: UConn, Kansas, Pitt and in the Syracuse region, Leo (shockingly) admits he is torn between Syracuse and North Carolina.
Leo's Final Four would be Kansas vs. UConn...And Pitt vs. Syracuse/NC
Leo admits his heart is with picking the 'Cuse but otherwise he probably would have gone with Carolina.
That's all Leo is giving you people...Oh and did Leo mention Syracuse beat Kansas this year?...AND Memphis, in Memphis...Not to mention UConn...
In case you were wondering: yes, Leo attended Syracuse University.
8:39pm - It appears to Leo that Matt Devlin and Jack Armstrong have been drinking. How else to explain Jack's close observation and commentary on Matt's green cufflinks?
Our director Franklin Rubinstein (who also attended Syracuse) points out that "body of work" was the catchphrase of Sunday's CBS selection show.
8:57pm - As the Raps fall behind 69-53 Leo asks: "Why isn't Pops on the floor? Can someone explain that to me?"
You haven't lived until you heard Jack Armstrong whistling BTO's "Takin' Care of Business"
The Hyundai Smart Player of the Game is Gerald Wallace who once said he would not accept a trade to the Raptors (even though he'd be a perfect fit for the team).
Matt Devlin: ".... Toronto now just wilting away.... " There is still 5 minutes to play in the 3rd quarter!
Matt and Jack have now jumped aboard our "Jake Voskuhl and Emeka Okafor played for UConn bandwagon".
The Raps are down by 19.
One positive note: Pops laid a wicked screen on Ray Felton and Felton still doesn't know where he is. Very Wendel Clark-esque of Pops.
Director Franklin R. wonders: "How many times a year does Michael Jackson's 'P.Y.T' play in NBA arenas?"
Franklin feels this was an underrated song from "Thriller" but I always preferred "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'".
Devlin: ".... Gerald Wallace drills a 3. You know when Gerald Wallace is drilling 3's you've got issues...".
9:02pm - Is it true that Dan keeps a lock of Jennifer Hedger's hair in his jacket pocket? - Ed Petersen
"No, but I do" says Leo!
Matt Devlin and Jack Armstrong are waxing poetic about Leo:
"He'd play in this league 15 years if he was playing now"
"Leo was a phenomenal player in his day"
"If medicine was as advanced as it is now his career wouldn't have been cut short".
Leo describes this exchange as "The best part of the broadcast".
9:08pm - As they show a montage of current Bobcats assistant Phil Ford playing for North Carolina back in the day, Leo points out: "I could have played with him".... But if Leo had gone to play for the Tar Heels we wouldn't have had all this quality Syracuse material in the blog.... So everything worked out for the best.
9:16pm - Jack Armstrong points out that Jay Triano still has his 5 starters in the game.
Listening to the violins playing in the Irish folk songs on the broadcast makes Leo feel like he's on the Titanic.
Leo is telling me how Rick James used to rule the VIP Room of legendary New York nightclub "Limelight" (owned by Canadian nightlife impresario Peter Gatien) .... This discussion stemmed from hearing "U Can't Touch This" over the arena loudspeakers. Oh but we are still riveted by this game, I can assure you.
Leo on the Raptors: "Disappointing".
Leo on the freezing cold temperature in TSN's Studio: "Disappointing".
9:19pm - Producer Mark Blimke wonders: "Is there ever a play that Jose Calderon doesn't argue about?". It's true. Calderon is the Sidney Crosby of the NBA, minus the lower-body strength.
9:27pm - We have a Derek Martin sighting. He apparently lives nearby.
105-84 Bobcats, 2:27 to go!
Jack Armstrong sums it all up: "A lot of excitement coming into the season, it just hasn't materialized unfortunately."
Leo and I are leaving the studio to find somewhere to warm up, like outside.
112-86 Bobcats final.
Thanks for reading!