Of the remaining 10, eight are against playoff teams, with the remaining two against the Pistons (1-1) and Jersey (1-2); both are teams whom we haven’t exactly dominated this season. While this little late season was a great surprise for may Raptor fans, the reality is that it was necessary for us.

Yes, we were on-board with tank-nation. Yes, we had roster that was ravaged by injuries. Yes, we saw the bigger picture in terms of coaching, cap space, Jonas and this years lottery pick, but a week of winning was most most welcome  this late into the season all things considering.

Thank Jah for the Thunder; after winning 4 of their last 6, the Raptors were in danger of further compromising their lottery odds (again, the winning was nice, but enough is enough). Including today’s affair, their are 10 games left in the season, and with the Raptors currently occupying 7th most lottery balls, we fortunately don’t have to rely on the powers to be to make sure we lose our fair share of the remaining games.

Pre-Game Notes

  • The Thunder are going through a bit of a late season slump, having dropped their last three in a row to Memphis, Miami and Indiana; you can’t help but think that they have this game circled as a “get back up on the horse” type outing
  • Going into today’s game against the Thunder, The Raptors are 5-13 on the road, against .500+ teams
  • Westbrook is averaging 26.3pts 5.2ast 4reb 2stl over his last 10 games; with Calderon questionable for today’s affair, looks like their wont be much resistance in continuing his fantasy (he was my first selection in fantasy this season) dominance; I’m actually almost terrified at the prospect of Westbrook matching up with Uzoh and Dentmon
  • Even though the last 10 games haven’t had much pressure associated with them (the Raptors are out of the playoffs and the injuries and the general support around tanking), DeRozan has been a star for us. I’d normally be much more skeptical with saying this, but the Miami game was a big one for him: DeMar has turned the corner. A solid push for the next 10 will go a long way in his wrasslin’ the franchise tag from Bargnani…just saying…
  • Speaking of Bargnani…just when I’m ready to start spitting venom at him, he goes out and quietly recaptures some of his early season form…SOME…drop the Chicago and the Orlando games, and he’s a solid 47.3% (35.3% 3FG) shooting from the floor over the last 10 for 25 a game
  • James Harden’s beard makes me really uncomfortable. As a guy with facial hair myself, I’m sure he spends at least 30-40 minutes a day grooming that thing. By the look on DeMar’s face in the pic, he agrees with me…dude’s hand is somewhere it shouldn’t be…

The Thunder are 12 point favourites; that about sums it up. They are pissed off, have an easyish remaining schedule, and looking to lock into a championship run. If this game gets close to single digits, I’d be surprised. Tip-off at 7pm (hopefully it finishes by the time Game of Thrones starts); Arse has post-game.

Happy Easter

Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images

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  • Max

    Why is no one talking about the James Johnson benching? Why has this happened? What rules were broken?

    • Bendit

      It doesn’t really matter does it? Both parties acknowledge there was an issue and wish it to be private. I just hope it was only a basketball issue and am glad Casey nipped it and the team learns from it.

  • Max

    I agree it does not matter. Still, living in hockey mad BC, if a Canuck would have been benched like this, I would have read endless speculation about the issue. I am more curious if it is conduct towards the coach, or something like too much clubbing. I did find some posts speculating over a pt controversy relating to income demands. Just seemed to me they could have used James on Jamison. However, I do believe in coach Casey, so I hope James learns from it.

  • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

    Amir’s running half hook (taught to him by Alex English) game winner against OKC around this time last season was a nice treat in a brutal season that helped the Raptors sweep the season series with OKC last season.

    This time around though OKC comes in on a 3 game losing streak (we all know the Raptors are streak busters- get right games for teams in a funk) and is battling SA for top spot in the West and home court advantage.

    KD & Westbrook form as deadly a scoring duo to be found in the NBA plus Perkin & Ibaka are patrolling the paint/glass while young veterans Sefalosha & Harden provide consistent slashing/scoring/defense from the wing positions.

    I don’t even see this game as being close but you never know OKC may play down to the Raptors level.

    Btw- AB’s defense is still atrocious- just ask old ass AJamison….

    The JJ-Casey situation: we the fans who support this Franchise with our dollars & time have a right to know what is taking place- TDot beat writers do your jobs and get the scoop or fly the coup!!

    • Rob

      Why don’t you find out about the JJ-Casey situation. You seem to know about all Raptors-related behind-the-scenes stuff, like Alex English apparently teaching Amir’s running half hook, AB stealing Ed’s PF spot, BC controlling ticket prices, AB quitting on the Raps, BC sending memos to Jack and Matt on what to say during the game, and the Raptors being run by some organized crime group trying to burn this franchise to the ground and make them as shitty as possible, and etc etc.

      You got the scoop on all those happenings, but you can’t find out what’s going on with JJ and Casey? Come on Gots2Go, I thought you were always on top of these things.

      • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

        You win the ‘I am stuck on stupid’ badge for today…..enjoy the game, buddy… 

        • KaioKev

          Funny how every time you get ripped and you have no answer you just give someone a badge…..

          Enjoy the game. I’m sure you’ll have plenty to say on this forum afterwards.

          • Rob

            +1, said it all. 

            And I’ve always found it extremely ironic how the dumbest person here is the one handing out “stuck on stupid” badges.

  • howlonghowlong

    4 comments/questions:

    1) Lottery:  CHA/NO/WAS have the worst three records locked up.  It’s unlikely that we catch up to the T-Wolves in wins.  So as it stands the Raps will finish anywhere from 4th-9th worst record this year.  4th worst has an 11.9% (~1/8) chance of landing 1st pick; 9th worst record has a 1.7% (~1/59) chance of landing the 1st pick.  Tank-nation all the way!

    2) Draft:  Needles to say if we land the first pick you take Anthony Davis.  Suppose we land the 5th pick and MKG is off the board.  Who would you rather take Harrison Barnes (SF) or Bradley Beal (SG)?  Note: drafting BB would mean more minutes for DD at the SF position.

    3)  Trading a PF:  As it stands we have 5 PF on contract for 2012-2013 season (AB, AJ, ED, JJ, LK).  I understand that JJ/LK play SF as well.  We’ve had a log jam at PF this season despite injuries to AB and AJ playing out of position at (C).  Needless to say one needs to go (and two need to go if we land the 1st pick).  As it stands I personally would like to see AJ/LK traded for a lottery pick if possible.  I like both AJ/LK but AJ’s role will be reduced once JV comes to town (I expect ~24 minutes for JV at C). LK is the weaker defender of JJ/LK combo we have playing SF/PF, that said he gives us another stretch PF.  I feel ED can give us all that AJ gives us but on a rookie contract.

    4)  Players to resign:  AG/GF/JB are the only player worth talking about here.  I think signing AG is cheap and gives you reliable bench minutes at the 5 spot.  JB/GF seem redundant to me, especially when you consider that JB is not a true PG.  Who do you keep?  I would seem to think you wait until after the draft, if we draft Beal, we shouldn’t resign either.  If we land a SF in the draft you resign GF as a backup SG and find a cheap “true PG” off the bench.

  • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

    A little off topic but the CIS (men’s basketball) needs to start giving out more scholarships, forge forward with a tv deal (back to The Score forget TSN) and to start showing weekly games on tv!!
    Also, the back to back games in regular season League play need to cease as it waters down the play.

    As well some more CCAA/SAIT/etc teams need to be bumped up to CIS and the Final playoffs need to be moved from 8 teams to 12-16 teams with no free host team pass.

    Carleton has dominated the CIS lately but we need to keep more Canadians in Canada to play basketball by investing more into college basketball in Canada.

    Any thoughts?

    • JPArencibia

      The CIS sucks end of thought.

    • KaioKev

      Agreed. But the money just ain’t rollin in. I can’t  fully rememeber the article but I’ll try to find it. It mentioned that arcoss the country, Canadian universities have a combined (somewhere around) 18million in scholarship money. Ohio State University has 12million in scholarship money to throw around. Those aren’t the actual numbers but the numbers were comparable. 

      Plus general funding for colleges is different than it is for universities. It easier for a university team to play at the college level with college level funding but not vise versa (I dont know why but that’s what I’ve notice. Trent, Nipissing and Larier all field teams in college level sport)All TSN cares about is hockey so yes, back to The Score (they were much better anyway).Carleton is pretty much the class of Canadian University Basketball. But don’t count out other good school like UBC, Alberta and Acadia.

      In terms of expanding the national tournament, its not popular enough (yet) to warrant expansion. Once more people start supporting Canadians playing in Canada you’ll see a bigger tournament.

  • The tank is back in running order. Time to consider cutting down bargs & jose minutes..

    • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

      AB is apparently hurt again as he sat out the second half with reported calf tightness or he’s quiting on the season with 9 games left…smh

      AB quit on the Raptors post London last season as well- flu shot anyone?

      • Raps4Ever

        Dumb is one thing, but now you’re just pond scum when you piss on a guy getting hurt. Dirty little piece of shyt.

        • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

          Does your mother know you talk like that?lmfao

        • Destro

          Why does he keep getting hurt ? The least he could do is make it thru a full season and give all these lame arguments of All star and best player some actual legitimacy….instead of making you all look so stupid pointing to 13 games…..like seriously my dude THOSE 13 games about to be a 30 for 30 RapsTV documentary “ALL STAR season that never was”