Offseason Thoughts With Jamario...
August 5, 9:41 a.m.

It's been a few days since I checked in... but it was the long weekend! Come on... if you're out vacationing and/or partying... I should be too!

Anyway, we're back with a fresh week... so let's get started on this Tuesday...

I was hosting the afternoon show (1:00pm-4:00pm) on the FAN 590 this past Friday... and I had a chance to hook up with Raptors swingman Jamario Moon.

It was the first time I've had a chance to talk to Moon since the end of the season... and he had some bold words on the airwaves. He told me that he believes the Raps are now the #2 team in the Eastern Conference… behind only the Boston Celtics. He thinks the Raptors' acquisition of Jermaine O’Neal has vaulted Toronto ahead of teams like Detroit, Orlando, and Cleveland… at least on paper if nothing else.

Moon said the biggest thing that stands out for him, RE: O’Neal joining the team, is the big man’s defence... but the low post scoring and attitude will be a major addition for Toronto as well. In fact, O'Neal's presence alone - according to Moon - will likely make teams think twice about strolling down the lane. The combo of O’Neal and Chris Bosh should provide some D and shot-blocking this town hasn’t seen in quite some time (if ever).

Whether or not Toronto truly is the 2nd best team in the East is a moot point right now; the fact that Moon believes it is all that matters. It’s that kind of confidence that he, and his teammates, will need when Training Camp opens in about eight weeks.

Moon also said in the interview that he has spent most of his summer playing ball every day, either in workouts or pick up games, and lifting weights. Apparently Sam Mitchell told the Alabama native to work on getting stronger this summer so Moon is pumping a little iron. Look out Governor Arnold!

E. Smith