Three more weeks. 11 more games. That’s all that’s left for the 2011-2012 Raptors. They’re out of the playoff hunt, there aren’t a hell of a lot of interesting storylines around the team, and tonight they face a team that’s equally irrelevant. But there are always things to watch for, so here are seven questions in advance of the game, one for every contest in a playoff series. Oops.

  • How watchable is Cleveland without Kyrie Irving? This is a serious question; he’ll miss the game due to a sprained shoulder and I’ve missed the six games in which he’s been injured. When I do watch the Cavs, he’s captivating. Not sure I can say the same about Donald Sloan and Lester Hudson.
  • Speaking of point guards with D-League experience, can Toronto get anything from Justin Dentmon? His 10-day contract was finally announced today and he should get plenty of minutes given that Jose Calderon is sitting out with his swollen eye.
  • Who exactly is going to score for Cleveland? In addition to Irving’s injury, old friend Anthony Parker is out with a bruised sternum. He scored 27 of the Cavs’ 98 points on Wednesday against the Bucks.
  • How will James Johnson respond to his benching against Philadelphia? We don’t know the details, but he’s not a guy I would’ve expected to need to be disciplined. If he’s back in the lineup, he needs to avoid the temptation try to do too much.
  • Can the Cavs do anything about Bargnani? He’s been putting up big scoring numbers of late and Antawn Jamison is not the answer defensively. Perhaps Tristan Thompson will get the challenge.
  • Can Thompson have a big game in front of family and friends? His first visit here, he received a great ovation but did not play particularly well, missing all five of his shots. It’s normal for a player to press in his first professional game in his hometown. With how depleted this roster is, Cleveland needs him to do more.
  • Will the Raptors have energy coming out of the gate? They’ve been notoriously slow starters for much of the season and, after their strong fourth quarter in Philly, might be feeling themselves a bit too much. It’s hard for a non-playoff team to get up for any game this kind of year, let alone against the Cavs, let alone the Cavs without their best player.
  • 511

    Did somebody say Tank-Off? 

    • 511

      Tankapolooza! 

  • RJ

    Easy win, and another blow to tank nation. 11 games left? We need to lose all of them.

    No Irving and no Parker…dumb Cavs.

    • why

      Not sure it is easy as you think with No Calderon or Bayless – we have D league players at the point.

      • RJ

        Who cares man, they’ve lost 9 in a row, and Irving is out, Sessions is traded, so I’m assuming they have a D league player at the point for today as well.

        Raps have had the Cavs number all season, so they take this one easily. Bargnani and DeRozan each with 20+ points.

  • Darien

    Bank this as another meaningless win that puts us farther away from where we want to be in the draft… unless they have champagne showers in the locker room after the game tonight…

    • cesco

      The Cavs had 21 OFFENSIVE rebounds 2 days ago against Milwaukee a team that is fighting for a playoff spot so their players are not tanking . There could be a surprise to-night .

  • Jon Bovi

    IT’S AN OFFICIAL TANK-OFF!!!!!

  • Destro

    Does Leo Rautins ever criticize a white entity in the NBA ? I see he’s supporting SVG’s foolery Not that i dont think Dwights not a clown,because i do….BUT Leo just shows himself too much blatantly supporting a coach doing the wrong thing and further separating an organization he work for,Dwights a clown for what he did this season BUT Stan Van Gundy shouldnt have gone in front of cameras to say what he said he shouldve kept that behind closed doors…smh @ Leo being selective at what professionalism he supports…

    • henriques21

      Leo Rautins is a better analyst than any moron on Inside the NBA. It isn’t about race, he’s stating the facts. And Foolery? Really? You can condone Howard’s actions? For once a coach sticks up for himself, tells the truth and explains the situation for what it really is and you consider that the “wrong thing”? Van Gundy knows he’s getting fired because Dwight wants him gone; why should he stay quiet and show professionalism when the latter refuses to do the same? He’s going down swinging unlike D’Antoni’s resignation as a byproduct of Carmelo Anthony’s “foolery”. Dwight Howard isn’t a clown, he’s a coward. He’s so afraid of becoming what Lebron was after he left Cleveland that he stayed in Orlando, but he’s making himself look even worse. Howard was insignificant until Van Gundy came along, the stats, the awards and a trip to the finals proves it.

      • Destro

        Are you reading you idiot i said Howards a clown,but to condone a coach doing that in front of cameras is terrible as an analyst..coaches are supposed to be professional…SVG should be canned for many reasons least of which is his primadonna center….D12 is a top 5 player regardless of who is coach is…ur an idiot for suggesting otherwise lol…Leo is a fuckn terrible analyst and a covert bigot…

  • Destro

    HA HA HA HA HA

    Thanks Cleveland for showing Raps fans again why hes not an all star,franchise guy or even a lead player….HAHAHAHAHAHAHA !

    • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

      But he didn’t have Jose to play with…..lmfao

      • Destro

        I heard nothing but harps and angels humming in that 4th qtr when his manhood shriveled up like it always does when he has to be a man….

        Name me a real all star who fades like that against the Cleveland fuckn Cavaliers ? Name me ? Game on the line,he’s the teams best player,hes this toolsy efficient scorer right ? Were playing the fuckn Cavs minus Ky Ky da gawd so where was he ? Where were his “superior skills” ? Where were those “advantages” that this so called but never made all star player on display ?
        Yall can each come in here one by one and take ur lashing like the bitches,false prophet loving dyckriders that you are…

        Dudes a terry cloth,big game,big shot,inefficient,2nd half ghostly piece of shit…and fukk his 7 boards….My man Edward had as many and twice as many offensive in HALF his minutes….

        Dudes a straight up PUSS.

        • never sunny in t.o.

          Good lord, you’re a dink. 

  • mountio

    Great loss. AB showed he can score at ease when need be early in the game. Four in a row .. we would be pushing a 10+ pick before we know it. Well done d-leaguers …

    • Destro

      Oh so he cant dominate Cleveland when the game matters minus there best player,oh i think ive seen this act before….NOOOOOOOOPE

      “YALL MUSTA FORGOT”