The Raps have just two more games before the annual NBA weekend reprieve for the disappointing and the mediocre.
Coming into this game, the TWolves aren’t even done grieving about losing Big Al “The Ladies Pal” Jefferson for the rest of the season with a torn ACL in his right knee. Tonight, it is seriously time the Raptors wake up from the self-induced coma they evidently had against the Grizzlies on Saturday and win this game for pride sakes!
There comes a time when everyone on a team has to get angry with the present outcome of this season instead of feeling sorry of themselves. That means that if we don’t put our new Jason masks and carry machetes into the Target Centre looking at the TWolves like vulnerable rural teenagers, than they’ll be joining the Mike James family in the Bahamas riding pitiful 8-game losing streak.
Straight-up, we’ve lost to both OKC and Memphis on the road this year, and if we lose to the TWolves too, Triano better get out a heavy oak ruler and spank every player’s ass before they leave town.
The Vegas line is Toronto -3.5. However, most lines have this game as a N/A due to Al Jefferson’s absence. From our standpoint, the Raps should easily cover this spread, but they definitely lose the dance pack battle.
With this being the TWolves’ first game without Al Jefferson, it’s unclear how they’ll adjust their line-up.
Calderon vs. Telfair
The Edge: Calderon? — Although Telfair may be able to run semi-circles around Calderon on offence Calderon is a far superior floor general and ball distributor. Their styles are similar since they both play in pick-n-roll systems, but Calderon is much more fundamentally skilled. In short, whatever Telfair can do, Calderon can do better.
Parker vs. Foye
The Edge: Parker — It all starts on offence for Foye. When his jump shot is falling and is able to beat defenders off screens for open looks, he then tends increase his focus on his defensive assignments. Parker is coming off a terrible 2-10 game, but should have a much better game having had two days of rest. If AP plays his aggressive style of game early on, it could frustrate Foye, especially with no Big Al behind him to protect the paint and open things up for him on the offensive end.
Moon vs. Gomes
The Edge: Gomes? — The edge has to goes to Gomes because he’s the better player in every regard. As a strong and spirited defender, Gomes should be able to get up and lock down Moon, who simply doesn’t have the handles to beat anyone off the dribble. On offence, Gomes has the versatility to put enough pressure on Moon that it could force Coach Triano pull Moon early in the game.
Bargnani vs. Cardinal
The Edge: Bargnani — This should be Bargnani’s time to shine. Matched up against a smaller and slower opponent, we expect Bargs will have a career game. He should have no trouble shooting over Cardinal, beating him off the dribble and in the post. Even thoug Cardinal always plays hard and with effort, he’s just completely outmatched skill-wise. If Cardinal is somehow able to keep Bargs in check, this will be a terrible telltale sign for Il Mago.
O’Neal vs. Love
The Edge: O’Neal — If the TWolves decide to start Love at Centre, JO better be prepared to work the rookie like a schoolyard bully. While Love can do a lot of things, successfully defending a low-post scorer like JO should not be one of them. Love’s style of play is very similar to Sactown’s Brad Miller. At the offensive end, Love’s post-up game is a work in progress. And while he can hit the outside shot and find open shooters, we don’t expect it to have much of an impact tonight.
Gotta take the Raps although Rodney Carney might have something to say about that.