As I write this, the Raptors have yet to sign Pops Mensah-Bonsu… but according to Coach Jay Triano and a couple other people within the organization, they’re hoping to get it done later on today.
This is a guy who had some experience with the Mavs (12 games in 06-07), before catching on with the Spurs’ D-League affiliate for bit (26.6 points, 13.0 rebounds and 2.5 blocks in 8 games), and then joining their big club. He’s been released by the Spurs before his 10-day contract expired, so they can fit Drew Gooden into the fold.
As for where he fits into the Raptors… he’s a lanky 6’9″ combo-forward who would likely back-up either or both Shawn Marion and Chris Bosh…
Coach Jay Triano’s thoughts:
“We’ve watched quite a few of his games in the D-League. He’s an energy guy, a rebounder. A little bit of a physical presence. Is he going to come in and change everything dramatically? No. But it’ll give us a little bit of something that maybe we don’t have.”
Mensah-Bonsu got into 3 games with the Spurs (although in his last, he played just 1 minute). Here are some clips from the Feb.27th game against the Cavs, in garbage time:
The Raptors have 20 games left… And despite being just 12-16 at the ACC this season, 13 of the remaining games will be played at home. Couple that with the lighter competition that awaits, and they’re clinging to hope to make the playoffs.
Some of you have already dismissed the season… some don’t even say the word playoffs… but Chris Bosh is fine talking about it.
“If I didn’t think we were capable of it, I wouldn’t even say it. There would be no reason even saying ‘playoffs.’ We believe in ourselves. I believe in this group that we have. You know, we’ve had struggles, but all that’ll disappear if we make it into the second part of the season. Then the records are erased and we can play.”
To their credit, despite the 0-3 trip out west, and having lost 11 of 15 overall… the Raptors remain just 5 games out of 8th (which the Bulls and Bucks now share).
Tomorrow’s game marks the return of Jermaine O’Neal and Jamario Moon… but as far as gameplan goes, you need to look no further than Dwyane Wade.
In the last 6 games, D-Wade has gone off for 50, 46, 41 and two 31+ point games, with a 21′er in there as well. He’s AVERAGING 37 ppg in that span… to go along with 11 apg. Just figured I’d throw that out there. Frightening. (And why hasn’t anyone gone from calling him “Flash” to “the Hulk” ? Dude gets bloodied up, terrorizes the Knicks, and actually said something to the effect of “don’t make me angry.” I thought that stuff writes itself, but unless I’m mistaken, people missed the boat on that one.)
Also… for those of you still interested in what Bosh thought about Shaq calling him “the RuPaul of big men”… here’s his reaction from practice today.