Wednesday January 21 2009 – 12:03pm Eastern

Jonesy and I just finished taping the latest VLOG here in Detroit but I thought I’d give you the quick written word as well … while we’re waiting for the video to upload …

Jermaine O’Neal WILL play tonight for the Raptors.

O’Neal has missed 11 of the last 12 games for the Raps.  He came back – briefly – against the Pacers last Friday but then missed Toronto’s next two games against Phoenix and Atlanta.

*IF* a trade is out there (with Miami?  or anybody else?) this is exactly what O’Neal / the Raptors need — a healthy J.O. proving he’s now good-to-go.

Unfortunately for T.O., Jose Calderon (hamstring) will not play and Kris Humphries (shin) is n/a as well.

Check for the VLOG in about 30 minutes.

E. Smith

23 Responses to “J.O. Will Play”
  1. 1.

    Raptors starting line-ups should be for now:

    Centre – Andrea Bargnani
    P.Forward – Jermaine ‘O’ Neal
    S. Forward – Chris Bosh
    SG – Joey Graham
    PG – Anthony Parker

    Just until Jose comes back but keep Jamario off the starting line-up.

    P.S. AND FOR GOD SAKES!!! BRING IN A BETTER EXPERIENCED COACH. JAY TRIANO IS PATHETIC!!!

    - Steven
  2. 2.

    I’m glad J.O. is going to play. I hope that he is healthy enough to stay in the lineup for an extended period of time. Although I am not a big Marion fan, I like the cash the rumored deal would clear up for the summer. Assuming the trade occurs, which big name free agents have ever signed here or would want to sign here? It’s not like we have a winning tradition. Eric, I wonder if you could ask B.C. if he has requested to David Stern that all Free Agents and Rookies receive a package describing Toronto, and dispelling some of the myths that exist about the City and country.

    - O.J.
  3. 3.

    Simply put, Jay Triano is not a pathetic coach.

    - E. Smith
  4. 4.

    OJ … (a) something like that would come from the team, not the league

    (b) you said it yourself though … it’s not the city, the country, etc. It’s the lack of a winning tradition. If you win, and establish yourself as a winning on a consistent basis, free agents will come.

    Winning cures all.

    - E. Smith
  5. 5.

    I know J.O. needs to be showcased right now to ease opposing teams’ worries about his injury history but I hope it doesn’t ruin Andrea’s flow at all based on the minutes he gets. We’ve seen changing his role even slightly doesn’t always have favourable effects. He’s been on a TEAR in the last 12 games.

    - Mark R.
  6. 6.

    Simply put, I honestly think Jay Triano is one of the brightest upcomming basketball minds/coaches in the NBA

    - Raj G
  7. 7.

    O’Neal has been a complete bust as a Raptor .. The sooner he’s traded, the better. Addition by subtraction .
    As for Triano’s coaching, it may be too early to tell .. Certainly , as Zicarelli writes, he hasn’t really been impressive guiding Raptors in last few minutes of close games .. We’ve lost 6 in a row ..
    Mitchell improved over the years , maybe Triano will too , but certainly firing Sam looks like it was a huge blunder imo .

    - Chas Calz
  8. 8.

    Winning is the not the main issue with Americans players coming to T.O.

    B.C. went the Euro route for several reason but a major one is that they are more likely to stick around and resign than American players. The absense of a true American sports culture and the numerous border crossings (bag check!) are two of the many reasons Americans don’t want to play here…winning is far down the list.

    - Raptoronto
  9. 9.

    Is it just my opinion, but do others think that Jose is soft. He’s been out close to three weeks now with that injury.

    - Mike
  10. 10.

    I JUST WANTED TO POINT OUT A FEW THINGS

    LETS LOOK AT CB4′S DRAFT CLASS

    #1 LBJ – lebron has gotten better every year andnthe team around him has gotten better also

    #2 DARKO – BUST!

    #3 CARMELO – Carmelo has gotten better every year and his team around him has gotten better also

    #4 CB4 – bOSH HAS GOTTEN BETTER IN EVERY CATERGORY EVERY YEAR HOWEVER HIS TEAM HAS NOT! THE RAPTORS HAVE FAILED IN COMPARISON TO OTHER DRAFT PICKS IN HIS CLASS AND THEY HAVE FAILED HORRIBLY!

    #5 D.WADE – won a championship because they brought in the right players to play with him… even this year a team that was horrible last yr is in a playoff spot and his GM is looking to better the team.

    SO MY QUESTION TO ALL OF YOU IS …WOULD YOU SIGN BACK TO THE RAPTORS IF YOU WERE BOSH?

    MY ANSWER IS ….HELL NO!

    - Neil
  11. 11.

    No, Raptoronto, that’s not true. Take it from a guy that travels with the team and deals with the same issues the players do … the bag-check and all of that stuff is not that big of a deal.

    You’re telling me if this team was in the top 3-5 in the East, let alone the top 1-2, that folks wouldnt’ want to come here? Pleeeease.

    Winning cures all.

    - E. Smith
  12. 12.

    Mike … No, I don’t think Jose is soft. He played in all 82 last year and played in 77 of 82 the previous season.

    He tried to come back with this hamstring injury, only to re-aggravate it.

    At this level, more often than not it’s the trainers making the call – not the player himself. Thus, I don’t think it’s fair to call Jose soft at all.

    - E. Smith
  13. 13.

    Neil
    (a) Save the caps lock
    (b) Your comment here is fair, though I do think Carmelo has regressed quite a bit this year and hasn’t done much more with his team than Bosh has in Toronto
    (c) I’m not even going to address your ludicrous statement on Obama in my other blog. I will let Jonesy chime-in on that one.

    - E. Smith
  14. 14.

    Oh, and Neil … (d) You don’t have to copy/paste or double-post your comments on two separate blogs. Thanks.

    - E. Smith
  15. 15.

    Eric I do love the loyalty to the team that you cover however the points I made are valid and when you have Pat Riley publicly stating that he would have chosen CB4 with the 5th pick if the raps hadnt that is cause for speculation. Also media in miami are also speculting that the Heat are tryingto free up enough cap space to aggressively go after CB4 along with signing D.Wade back ….. the heat are headed in the right direction and lets face the facts the raptors arent!
    one more thing I am a Obama supporter but also a realist and American politics is what it is …Bush was just a face for the republicans and sorry to say Obama is the same for the democrats!

    - Neil
  16. 16.

    Hey, Eric
    I was just wondering if you’ve heard of anything involving the Marion for JO trade? cuz personally, I think this is a great trade for the raptors at this time of the year with all the injuries that we’ve had. Marion would bring the defense, rebounding, and a much better scoring presence than Jamario Moon who should be condemned to the bench for the rest of his NBA career. For the past few games, I watched how CB4 struggles to score in crunch time, you think maybe Jay Triano can let Bargnani take one of those crucial possessions and see if he can be like Dirk and CB4 can just crash the boards like that other day against Boston cuz it does not seem to work the other way around since Bargnani is always on the perimeter in late game situations.

    - Steve
  17. 17.

    Who cares about Bosh. Trade him now or let him walk in 2010. He certainly does a lot of talking but where was he when the game was on the line? Where was he when Dwight Howard was dominating the Raptors in the play- offs? He accuses Moon of jacking up jump shots when he is the biggest culprit of them all.

    - Joe N.
  18. 18.

    A few things here:

    1) I agree with Eric that to call Jose soft is unfair. From the medical perspective, hammies are the extremely easy to re-aggrevate, re-injure, and injure more seriously if you dont give proper healing time and treatment. With that being said, as much as we all would LOVE to see JOse back in the line-up, the chances of a more severe injury are higher everytime he plays at less than 100%…and he has done that a few times this year already.

    2) Neil if you are going to use a sports blog to bash the American President, I suggest you find a new one. It is completely disrespectful and uncalled for. Im not the police of the blog obviously, but I dont think I stand alone on this one.

    3) As much as I agree that Moon’s shot was horrible, and he gave Johnson an open lane to the net, and he wears that smirk after he makes these moves (which is possibly part of the reason Bosh rips on him…that HAS to be aggravating), i agree with Joe that Bosh takes just as many brick jump shots…if not more.

    But overall…LETS GO RAPTORS!!!

    - Andrea
  19. 19.

    @ Steven. you can have a opinion about someone but calling JT pathetic, you should keep that s**t to your self.

    - TomGfromBrampton
  20. 20.

    Simply put, Jay Triano is the right man for the job…right now! The players have regressed (mentally, physically and with a lot of the players, their skills). Perhaps one of the few things that I can criticise J-Train on is giving Moon all this playing time…its time to start Joey G in place of Jamario!

    - Mr. T
  21. 21.

    Andrea- if you are such a blog expert you should have noticed my comments on the president were on a blog titled “witnessing history” in regards to the presidential inauguration – NOT sports…and I bet it wouldnt have been a problem if I made comments about George Bush who was a 2 time american president! Relax.. blogs are about opinions and I am intitled to mine! And to the comment about Bosh taking as many bad shots as Moon does …. here is a news flash to you — CB4 is a 3 time all star – Moon is not … CB4 averages 20pts and 10 rebounds — Moon does not! CB4 is the franchise player — Moon is not ! Chris Bosh is allowed to miss/take shots in the final seconds of a game thats what franchise players do — Moon should count himself lucky to even be on the court in the final seconds of a game cause on a good team he would be on the bench! Get the facts straight Andrea before you blog!

    - Neil
  22. 22.

    I’m pretty sure that being a franchise player does NOT entitle you to make bad shots. And I agree that Moon should consider himself lucky to be playing, much less starting. Don’t rip on me cause everyone was upset with what you said initially.

    - Andrea
  23. 23.

    E – the Raps were a top 4-5 team in the East and no American players were clamouring to come here. I played b-ball (the other b-ball) in the Big Ten and the sports culture in the States is compared to Canada is sensational for an athlete. I also know the mentality of the athletes coming up through the ranks and their perception about Canada. Hopefully putting a consistent winner on the court changes that but we need the horses to get there and the horses prefer their home grown oates.

    - Raptoronto
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