Mar 8, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Toronto Raptors small forward Rudy Gay (22) shoots against Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard (12) during the game at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Rudy Gay: Patron Saint of Lost Causes

Have you ever heard a comedian tell a joke which everyone in the audience finds uproarious, except you? Or gone to a lavishly-praised movie, and leave the theatre wondering what the hell you just sat through, and why you have a headache? Well, that’s me when I watch Rudy Gay, the anointed Toronto Raptors savior. If he’s a superstar, I’m Cleopatra, Queen of the Nile.

The man has no concept of team basketball. When he receives a pass in the half-court, our four other players might as well retreat behind the time-line, because the ball is lost to them. Rudy will dribble aimlessly, often into a double team, or throw up a crazy shot from just inside the 3-point arc.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia. Painted by Anthonis van Dyck

Rudy Gay, Volume Shooter (is that on his business card?). Here’s a few recent games: 7-of-26 against the Lakers (including misses for the win in regulation, and the tie in overtime), 1-of-11 versus the Wizards, 4-of-21 against the Knicks…shall I gone on? Well, yes, I shall, because while Rudy’s shooting comes and (mostly) goes, his penchant for turnovers is as reliable as the sunrise. Gay turned the ball over six times against both the Lakers and the Warriors, and five against the Wiz (twice!) and the Grizzlies. The opponents must lick their chops when Rudy gets the ball.

Why does Dwane Casey seem to draw up plays for Rudy and no one else? Quite apart from the fact the opposition prepares its defense knowing we have no imagination, it leaves sound options like DeMar DeRozan in the shade. “Sorry, DD, you’re good enough to keep us close, but not good enough to be trusted with a critical shot in crunch time.”

Don’t it always seem to go/
That you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone  Joni Mitchell “Big Yellow Taxi”

Several local sportswriters were asked on air if Raps’ GM Bryan Colangelo was likely to make a trade before the deadline. The consensus of opinion was “Yes, because he can’t help himself.” We dealt away the wonderful  Jose Calderon, and a serious up-and-comer in Ed Davis, because Bryan has impulse-control issues.

Rapture Nation, I need your help. Can you explain to this frustrated fan how Rudy’s acquisition will somehow turn out in our favor? Or do you have that same queasy feeling about the team’s future that I do? Please drop a comment.


Brian Boake is a co-editor for Raptors Rapture. “Like” Raptors Rapture on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @RaptorsRapture for all the latest news and updates about the best damn NBA team from Canada.

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