We can all be happy that the Nets have won a couple before facing the Raptors, otherwise we would have helped them end that streak of futility; bet on it. Sadly, this is one of those games that I wont be happy with whatever result we get: if they win, it was because the Nets are a terrible team; if they lose, I’ll hit delete on the server and end the good run we had here at Raptors Republic.
I’m interested to see how the crowd reacts to this lot, since there is no one left from those rival years except Josh Boone. The hate for Jersey goes deep, but it was never embodied in Boone. Tonight should literally be a walk in the park. I don’t care how bad the Raptors have been playing, their fundamental problems aside, just looking at this Nets roster, it is clear they are devoid of any real talent. Sure they have a couple nice pieces (Devin Harris, Brook Lopez, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Courtney Lee), but that’s all this team is, a couple nice pieces with Bobby Simmons who makes $10.5 million this year.
This will be the first of 4 meetings (wins) against the Nets, and it gives the Raptors some opportunity to work on their problem areas in a real-game situation. Not that the Nets should be taken lightly since they are still an NBA team with NBA’ish talent, but this is as close as you can get to a practice that has standing implications as you can get, 2-24 FFS.
DeRozan needs some plays called for him tonight. He needs to be rolled into the offense, STAT! Send him backdoor along the baseline and lob him some alley-oops; give him the ball at the elbow and let him attack the paint; hit him with a pass as he slashes towards the rim, anything really. I’m not saying Courtney Lee is a slouch, because he isn’t, but if our rook starts attacking the rim, then the New Jersey defense will have to rotate to help, which will open up the rest of the guys for kick outs and offensive rebounding situations. Just a thought Jay.
How about we let Bargnani guard a center. The last couple games, he has been on the opponents power forward, and that hasn’t gone too well (Beasley 28pts 11rebs, Lewis 21pts 5-8 3pt). Boone and Lopez will have their hands full on defense, but if Bargnani is our center of the future, and apparently is a good post-defender, then why not defend a center who strictly will occupy the post? I feel like I’m missing something here becuase it isn’t like Bargnani gets sent over to help defend in the post, right? Anyone?
14…that’s the TOTAL number of rebounds Bosh has grabbed in the last THREE games. Unacceptable. This needs to truly stop tonight. If Bosh doesn’t grab at least 11 tonight, I don’t even know what to say… Lopez is a big boy, and is damn active on the boards, but without another solid rebounder on the Nets roster to battle in the paint, this should be easy pickings.
The number 1 reason the Raptors win tonight is that Lawrence Frank no longer coaches the Nets. He has really owned the Raptors over the last few years. The guy got a bum deal this year, but don’t get fooled, he is a top level NBA coach.
The Raptors are 8 point favourites tonight with the over/under at 206. I’m thinking it will be a rout: 106-84. Don’t forget to join us tonight at SCC for Raptor Fan Fridays. Tom Liston said something about a free round for every point the Raptors scored or something along those lines.