Can we avoid losing 10 straight? Las Vegas says no, Raptors are a 2.5 point underdog. That’s the major question tonight as Milwaukee comes in to wrap up the three-game homestand for the Raptors. Sam Mitchell lost 10 straight twice, the franchise record is 17 straight, a little unreachable but if Triano really gets this team motivated, there’s no reason why we can’t lose at least 13 straight and be tied for second all-time.
I’ve seen the Bucks play two full games this year (against Detroit and Portland), and both times they’ve looked turribble in blowout losses. Then again, teams that sit ninth in the abysmal Eastern conference have their fair share of blowouts, and that’s where the injury-ravaged Bucks sit – 9 games under .500 and still only a 1 1/2 game back of a playoff spot. To cover all my bases, I suppose I should talk about how they’re one of the teams between the Raptors (second-worst in East) and a playoff spot. The Raptors are now a full 8 games back in the loss column behind Charlotte for the final seed, and it would take a comeback of impossible proportions to make the post-season. But I suppose if one had to start, today would be a good time to start it. This is the first of four meetings between the two teams.
The Raptors brass is smart enough to realize that the season is for all intents and purposes over, and should look at contracts like Barbosa, Calderon and Evans. Only keep them past the trade deadline if they factor into next year’s plan. It’s reasonable to hang on to Evans because of his expiring deal, but as this season is now a write-off, there’s one question to be asked of Calderon and Barbosa’s contracts: Is their value to the franchise greater as trade-bait right now, or as players next season.
Back to the Bucks, you talk about injuries with the Raptors, check the Bucks out: Michael Redd is out for the season. Brandon Jennings has missed 18 games (out tonight). Carlos Delfino has missed 32 games. Drew Gooden has missed 18 games (questionable). John Salmons has missed 6 (questionable). Despite all these injuries, they’re in hunt for a playoff spot, this can be attributed to their depth which has seen Chris Douglas-Roberts (that guy Colangelo didn’t trade up for and instead picked Nathan Jawai) start, and them get valuable contributions from the likes of Boykins, Ilyasova, and Mbah a Moute. Although the Raptors are at an earlier stage of it, the Bucks are in the middle of a rebuild under Scott Skiles who has ensured that the team competes every night on the defensive end – 6th in overall defense (29th in offense). Again, defense trumps offense when it comes to competing.
Their ability to defensive rebound the ball is what’s kept them in the race despite injuries, they are third in the league (behind Orlando and New Orleans) in clearing their defensive glass. Something’s got to give tonight because the Raptors are 6th in offensive rebounding (how much of that is Reggie Evans we don’t know). The point I’m trying to make is that Skiles’ focus with the Bucks has been defense and it’s what’s kept them in the playoff chase. In contrast, the Raptors don’t play a lick of defense and everybody gets a hard-on when we score a 100 points. What’s that gotten us? 14th in the East.
Injury report for the Raptors has Kleiza and Barbosa remaining out and Dorsey being questionable.
“Me and him, we go way back to when we were kids, playing AAU basketball,” DeRozan said. “We won the AAU championship together. We did everything together. I actually talked to him the other day and told him to get back healthy soon. He’s one of my favourite players in the NBA. I love watching him play.”
Not that you need to read that article since this TMZ clip of them says it all.
I was cleaning out my iPhone and came across Chris Bosh’s stupid iPhone app, the dude is still listed as being a member of the Raptors (pic1, pic2, pic3). Somebody should tell his douchebag of a manager.
Work-permitting, I’ll swing back later with a post. Like us on Facebook. Or don’t. Whatever man, do what you want, it’s your life.Follow @raptorsrepublic