Nope, no innuendo with that logo.

If you’re more “sports fan” than “basketball fan” in Toronto, you’re probably not reading this. The Leafs are eliminated (mercifully, finally), yes, but the boys of summer have started back up and have their home opener tonight. The Rogers Centre will be packed with 50,000 to see Henderson Alvarez shut down the Massholes.

But if you’re strictly a “Raptor fan,” or card-carrying member of Tank Nation™, then your eyes will be on the Raptors in Basketball Country, Indiana. Of course, while the Pacers jockey for playoff seeding, currently sitting 3rd in the East by the narrowest of margins, the Raptors are jockeying for ping pong balls. A streak of 4 wins in 5 games had dropped the Raptors all the way to 7th in lottery odds, but a pair of losses over the weekend has them right back in the mix at 6th but just a game from returning to 4th. That 3-spot slide is a 7.6% slide in chances of getting uber-prospect Anthony Davis as the new “face” of the franchise. Should we lose for mere percentage points, and forego the “intangible” value of winning now? That, as always, is for the commenters to argue about using nothing but blatant homophobic remarks discuss.

Rest assured, as much as the fanbases may want to forego it, this game will actually be played on the hardwood. The Pacers have won the previous meetings by scores of 90-85 and 95-90, so betting on a 5-point loss seems prudent. Hollinger sees it as a 9-point game, which could be exaggerated by the rested nature of Indiana, the Raptors on a travel back-to-back, and Andrea Bargnani’s status being doubtful, as his calf tightened up again in yesterday’s game against the Thunder. Bargs’ status is yet to be confirmed by the team, but it seems incredibly risky to play him just a day after re-aggravating an injury that has put him on the shelf twice this year.

The tale of the tape is below. You can expect an iso-heavy attack from the Pacers that will see them spend a lot of time at the line. If Bargs’ can’t go, the team is simply too undermanned to keep up. Ed Davis and Amir Johnson will likely be in foul trouble against Roy Hibbert and David West, while Danny Granger and Paul George shouldn’t face too much opposition on the wings. DeMar DeRozan had a horribly inefficient game against the Thunder, and with George having become a premiere wing defender in just his sophomore season, he could be in for another rough night. Jose might be able to score with Darren Collison, but it won’t matter much.

Tale of the Tape

Oh and hey, welcome Leandro Barbosa back! So at least we’ll know how to defend one player on the team…chase him down in transition and foul him!

Sorry this is a bit brief. Not a lot to hypothesize about for a game that means the world to one good team and means nothing to one bad team. I’m also on my way out the door for the Jays’ opener. I’m sure I’ll be lambasted for such Rap-blasphemy, but hey, at least there’s a pre-game post for people to comment on and further the relevant discussions. After all, if the Raptors go on a run or somehow win, that means Bargnani sucks!

I’m going with Pacers 92, Raptors 81, Paul George with a 20-piece, and we don’t see Bargs until 2012-13.

  • Nilanka15

    I’ll be watching the Jays’ opener too, while keeping an eye on the Raps score between innings.

  • Lorenzo

    Lmao, I loved that shot at the commenters.

    • cesco

       What about the shot at the Pacers logo .

  • cesco

    I loved to watch baseball here in Montreal . Le Grand Orange ( Rusty Staub ) , the kid ( Carter ) , the road runner ( Raines)  , memories that will last forever like a love from a long time ago that you never forget .

    • Nilanka15

      Dennis Martinez?  Larry Walker?  Andre Dawson?

      • cesco

        Crow ( Cromartie ) . Gallaraga , Steve Rogers and Donald Sutherland watching the game ( he was a regular ) a couple of rows below me just above the visitors dugout .

        • Nilanka15

          Ah yes, I forgot about the original “Big Cat”.

          • cesco

             Thanks , I had forgotten about that nickname .

        • Raps4Ever

          You guys raising some damn fine memories. A couple of more names: Another part of the potent team with Carter, Dawson, Raines, Rogers, was 3rd baseman Tim Wallach, and pitcher Bill Gullickson.
          Others: Moises Alou, Pedro Martinez, and the development of Randy Johnson in their role of farm system for other teams, ugh.
          I went to the very first home game with my dad, so have many memories, but some of my favourite twisted ones came from The Spaceman, Bill Lee.

          • cesco

            And the best nickname was reserved for the Expos , ” Nos Amours ” . In a season cut short by a players strike , they had the best record of the entire league . They could have won the world series had there been one . That was the beginning of the end for the Expos .

  • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

    I just want to see Bosa go up against the Raptors- another one of BC’s brilliant trades as President/GM of the Raptors……

    • Nilanka15

      The alternative was losing Barbosa for nothing.

      • c_bcm

        The fact that BC got LB for Hedo is a testament to his skills.

        • Nilanka15

          Hump for Araujo was pretty remarkable too.

      • Raps4Ever

        Plus not having the cap space to use prior to July. That now opens doors, to make moves, that were otherwise closed around draft day.

        • Nilanka15

          I was going to mention that too, but I wouldn’t be surprised if July 1 comes and goes without any activity (much like the TPE we received in the Bosh S&T).

      • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

        Didn’t Bosa say that he liked playing in Toronto?

        You don’t know if he would have re-signed or not or if a BC S&T couldn’t have been worked out if Bosa did indeed want to leave as a f/a.

        Simple minds- low bball iq……smdh

        • Nilanka15

          Actually, Bosa never said that.  His brother said so.

          And if Bosa does like Toronto so much, why wouldn’t he re-sign in the off-season?

          Your Colangelo hatred has robbed you of your common sense (assuming you once had some).

          • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

            I never said that I hate BC…get a clue Sherlock….lmfao

            I heard Bosa say it in an interview when asked if he wanted to be traded away and he said no he wanted to stay for the entire season in Toronto.

    • Cred

      Yep, BC did a great job of swapping Turkoglu for Barbosa.

      • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

        The only reason BC got the Turk/Bosa deal done so quickly is because Turk’s agent Lon Babby became the head of the Suns basketball operations & rescued Turk from BC’s TDot mess- do the full math not the self serving half. smdh

        • Cred

          “Rescued Turk from BC’s TDot mess”

          Lmao, you’ve said some pretty stupid things, but this one takes the cake. You win the “I am stuck on stupid badge” for today, enjoy & congrats, smdh….

          • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

            Because BC has built a playoff team post CB- huh? lmfao

            Biting my steez..smdh Can’t come up with your own?lol

            • Lorenzo

               It was actually a mockery and insult, don’t flatter yourself cupcake.

        • Bendit

          So, Babby his ex agent, “rescued” Hedont from the Raps…and not too long afterwards sent him off to Orlando? Orlando didnt want him back the first time but had to do the swap to match salaries. Either way Babby seems to have lost his fondness for the Turk very quickly. The swap for Barbosa was a steal…ditching so much more salary & term.

          • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

            JRich had fucked Nash’s wife so Turk was included in the JRich trade- recognize game.

      • Russel P.

        Someone be the bigger man and stop arguing

  • Raptor4Ever

    6 season under BC and this team does not even have one legitimate consistant starter caliber player ( maybe except for Calderon) and people still support BC ??!!

    Yes, Big Val is coming next year and he will dominate. ummmm, Koolaid ….
     

    • Raps4Ever

      You’ve proven you’re genius of hindsight, so how about sharing your brilliant criticism of what he’s doing wrong now, and how you would do different.

      • Raptor4Ever

        You want a plan from me ?? 
        Ok, How about you pay me 3 million a year and the staff and resources that are under BC’s disposal and after 6 years, I guarantee that I will go you a team that is not doing any worst than what this team is doing :) It is not like BC has set the bar too high. All I have to do is make a team with ONE legitimate NBA starter and I already have surpassed what BC has done.Till then, look around NBA at teams like Indiana, Memphis, Wolfs, Atlanta, Houston, Denver and see how the REAL GMs built teams in almost same period of time which are much more successful than ours.

        Or you can just lay back and drink the Koolaid because Big Val is coming and he is going to take us to the NBA finals in 3 years.

        • cesco

           We beat Memphis , Wolfs , Houston and Denver this year . Indiana beat us twice by 5 points . The only game these teams overwhelmed us was one against Atlanta .

          • Raptor4Ever

            And yet all of them have better records than us !!!

        • Raps4Ever

          Silly of me to pose a challenge to someone who’s too dumb to even understand it what it is.

          • Raptor4Ever

            the fact that you are getting personal shows me you have nothing intelligent to say and have hit the wall. Drink the Koolaid and just relax. I understand 😉

            • Danforth Tech

              true dat

  • Anthony

    I love koolaid! 

  • ckh26

    Been a Leaf fan all of my adult life. No comments please I know I set myself up for them. I am far more opotomistic about the Raps future than those of the Leafs as of today.

    Raps have a potentially legit first line centre coming in that we drafted.
    Raps have the ability to score points.
    Raps have a coach that has for better or worse carved out what the roles are that need to be played to win. Raps will be upgrading several of the actors needed to play those roles over the next 2 years but at least there is a plan.
     

    • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

      Casey on draft nite- Val is currently a PF that we hope will grow into a NBA center- sound familiar?

      Val is 3-5 years away at least from being a solid rotation player in the NBA….

      Dude you need to get a clue as BC has fucked up Raptors basketball….

      • Nilanka15

        I don’t think it will take Valanciunas that long to adjust.  He basically plays an NBA game already.  He’ll transition well.  He’s not your stereotypical “soft Euro”.

        • Raptor4Ever

          What is your prediction for Big Vals number for next year ?
          I am going with 6 point and 6 rebound and 1-1.5 block per game at best.

          • Nilanka15

            I wouldn’t be surprised to see something close to 10, 10 and 2 next season (assuming he gets 30 minutes per night).

            • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

              Val isn’t better than Ed nor Amir do they get 10 & 10?

              Too much Jonas tv special watching.lmfao

              • Nilanka15

                Val’s already a better rebounder, shot blocker, and shooter than both Ed and Amir. 

                And no, that doesn’t come from watching TV specials.

        • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

          Been watching the Jonas specials on RaptorsTV I see…..lol

          He’s not soft but he will still be getting posterized next season as a rookie.

          3-5 years just look at Kanter or Favors in Utah.

          • Nilanka15

            Kanter and Favours aren’t getting minutes, and are actually competing against each other for those rare minutes.  Not exactly the best way to develop young big men. 

            Valanciunas, on the other, will be force-fed minutes from day 1.

            • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

              He won’t have to earn anything- the BC way….hyping Val up with Bullchit tv specials.lmfao

              If some of us think AB looks lost on defense just wait until Val’s rookie year in the NBA….you can’t start Val & AB together next season and expect to win many games…..

              • Nilanka15

                Nobody said there wouldn’t be growing pains.  But there’s a big difference between Val taking 30-40 games to get comfortable, versus 5 years.

      • Lorenzo

        Based on what do you make this prediction? We haven’t even see the man play and you’re already making predictions… SMH

  • Bendit

    In the 2009-10 season the Raps were 8 games better than the Pacers. This to a certain extent allowed the Pacers to select George and us ED. Prior to this year they signed West as a f/a and traded for Collison. They are the 3rd seed in the East currently. This is not a particularly major change in personnel (George was a terrific choice) which hopefully the Raps can more than match (standings included) this summer.   

    • Raptor4Ever

      What Pacers are doing is adding slowly and choosing right players through draft and free agencies and … On the other hand, we are going through 7-8 player overhaul every season. We signs guys like Kapano and Hedo for a season and do focus all our energy and efforts trying to ship them out of town and … 

    • Colef

      First of all, they got David West last off season. Secondly, they already had, before these moves, Granger and Hibbert, who are wayyyy better than anyone on the Raptors. The only position in which the Raptors have an advantage is point guard. Collison hasn’t exactly worked out there. In my opinion his numbers were exaggerated on the Hornets and he was overvalued. So, no, the Raptors aren’t really anywhere close to the Pacers. They have a talent upgrade at almost every position as well as a solid bench

      • Raps4Ever

        You need to work a little harder at accuracy if you’re going to try and correct somebody. West signed as a FA in December 2011.

        Other than that, you seem to have missed the point. It’s not about comparing the Pacers and Raps as they stand now. As I read it, the point is how quickly (2 years) a team’s fortunes can turn around, with a little experience of young guys (Hibbert is very different than the 11.7/5.7 player he was in his 2009-10 2nd year), a good draft pick (they got George, we have JV, plus this year’s pick) and a couple of key but not earth shattering acquisitions (West, Hill for last year’s 15th pick).

        • Colef

          sorry, i had originally thought Bendit said the wrong date for West. I know they got him before this season. I read Bendit’s post as saying that we’re close to being as competitive as the Pacers and were about one acquisition away. He says that hopefully the Raptors can match the Pacers this offseason. My point is that he is wrong. We don’t have any remotely close talent. I think our future is bright, but it will be a process. To be competitive, we actually should probably upgrade every position. Personally, Im not surprised that Hibbert turned out to be good. Are you? And just as a side point, I think they’d probably be better off with Kawhi Leonard than George Hill. 

          • Raps4Ever

            Yeah, it will be a building process, but I like the foundation that I see building with what Casey has done even in such a screwed up season, two lottery picks coming, including a VERY promising JV, a summer for Casey and staff to work with the young guys, and $$$ flexibility available if/when a wise opportunity arises.

            K Leonard sure looks like a keeper, but Hill’s skills filled a bigger need for the Pacers and one can understand why they did that deal. It may come back to bite them, but that happens sometimes.

  • sangaman

    Those free throw stats are an indication of the overwhelming bias of NBA officiating…NBA refs are star gazers who lose the whistles with the raps on offense and with call fouls with nearly every touch on defense…DeRozan and bargs have been mauled on drives all year while refs have looked the other way.  The NBA is by far the worst professional sports league for double standard refereeing..one game called for superstars and the other for the plebes. And no matter how good a player is in Toronto he will be a plebe to an American ref.    

    • Colef

      I strongly disagree whenever someone brings up the officiating dilemma. DeRozan shy’s away from contact and does not go up strong. He very often truly doesn’t deserve the call. He is a terrible finisher around the rim and always tries to twist his body to avoid contact, so in return does not get any calls. Bargnani usually gets the call when he deserves it, in my opinion. He mostly takes mid range jumpers anyway. So, if players actually get fouled, they usually get the call. If they don’t, it’s not because of some conspiracy, rather the refs just missed it, or didnt agree. 

  • Darien

    Yesssss Raps lose and keep it close… Tank nation keeps rolling!