Gameday: Raptors @ Thunder – April 8/12

Been waiting for the Thunder game all season; Raptors on the Road in OKC.

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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