Raptors Need To Pick Up The Pace

Tonight's game against the Indiana Pacers will mark the half way point of the season. Some help in the form of Jermaine O'Neal.He is expected as he is going to make his return in the Raptors first visit to Indiana since the big off-season trade. It is safe to say both teams had a bit higher goals for the trade they made in the off-season. Both T.J Ford and Jermaine O'Neal have had to deal with injuries throughout the year. This latest injury for O'Neal has lead to the emergence of Andrea Bargnani. O'Neal stated yesterday that he will come of the bench as he makes his return. Jose Calderon is also making the trip but not expected to play. So for now everything is calm in Raptorland. Well except for the fact they sit in 12th place with the Bobcats and Pacers close behind. You hear a lot about how the Raptors schedule will turn for the better later in the year. That is the truth it is not an urban legend or myth. In fact a March 15th another match-up with The Pacers marks the last chance stand for the Raptors. In the last month of the season the Raptors have a legit chance to go 12-3. They have 10 of the last 15 games at home. It could set up a run to the playoffs like the Raptors put together behind the amazing play of Antonio Davis lead crew down the stretch in 2002. If memory serves me right that team won 16 of their last 17 games and did not clinch a play-off spot until the last day of the season.

So why mention this point now? It is January after all and if you need proof just step aside your front door if you live anywhere in Canada. Well if the Raptors were to lose tonight that would put the Raptors 9 games below .500. So basically consider that 9 games under .500 mark as like the Mendoza line. It is a baseball reference to Manny Mendoza was a baseball player that was an above average fielder who was a terrible hitter. In order to stay in the majors he was told he would have to hit at least a batting average of .200. So for the rest of this season 9 games under .500 is the Raptors Mendoza line. If the Raptors are not above or at that mark at March 15th it is pretty much all over. This only gets the Raptors to the .500 mark which hopefully would be good enough to make it in the East. Some will say that you can get in the playoffs with a under .500 mark but I am not willing to bank on that.

Don't Tell CB4 The Season Is Lost

Chris Bosh was asked yesterday something along the lines of most people thinking this was a lost season. He replied that he was glad none of those people play on this team. So I guess my 10-day contract with Raptors is not going to happen. But to be serious Bosh is right for whatever we as fans or the media may think it really only matters what the people inside that locker room think. If they thought like that the season truly would be over. If the Raptors are to get out of this hole they have created they will have to come together and dig out. They may need some help to do that in the form of a trade. However the Raptors can't sit back and wait for Bryan Colangelo to make something happen. While some have taken the Raptors struggles to point out the flaws of Chris Bosh. I will contend this is showing you what is best about Chris Bosh. He refuses to give in no matter the situation that is in front of him. The amount of respect I have for him as a player and a person can not be summed up in just written words.

People continue to speculate about the future for Bosh and what might happen in 2010. I think that people looking to that is unfortunate but understandable given this team and it's history. Chris Bosh is not like the people that have come before him. I think Chris Bosh has worked harder and done more to earn the respect of Raptor fans and the media. I don't think to many people were expecting when he was drafted that he one day would turn into the best player ever to wear a Raptor Jersey. Vince Carter had this honour and it seemed that he would hold that title for a long time to come. Bosh is not as flash or athletic as Carter. However Carter is not the hard worker and mentally tough competitor that Chris Bosh it. I have no doubt that a number 4 will one day hang in the ACC rafters and be the first number to hang there. It will represent how far the kid from just outside as Dallas as come. Maybe I am idealistic in thinking the Chris Bosh will not stop writing his Raptor story in 2010. But I have faith in Chris Bosh and believe that he is different from the others. Faith in anyone is hard to have and it is the ultimate form of trust you can put in someone. People wonder why people still boo Vince Carter. I never do because it is pretty simple when it comes right down to it. He shattered the faith that people put in him. That is something that you do not get over quickly if at all.

Court Surfing In The Dino Nation Blog - D.J Bennett

Part of why the Dino Nation Blog signed up to be part of The Score.com Sports Federation was to hopefully have some more guests from The Score to call on to be guests here. I felt it could add to what is an already impressive line up of guests we have the fortune to talk with on a regular basis. We had Sherman Hamilton visit just before the time the Sports Fed got rolling. Now I am adding some more folks to the roster. D.J Bennett is part of Court Surfing on The Score. He along with Randy Urban host the live blog that goes along with the show. They also do some video hits on The Score.com on the Raptors and The NBA. I have referenced them a couple of times in the past. I often try to pop in and take part in the live blogs and get in on the conversation. So I decided to offer him and Randy an invite to visit my world. Today I talked with D.J about the Raptors and the first half of the season in the Starting 5. Given the topic it is far longer then 5 minutes but hopefully it is worth the extra time. Besides the Starting 5 has never hit 5 minutes yet with any guest. But it is a cool title and why change it. So have a listen as we look back and forward on a Raptor season that has not gone as it was advertised.

There was more to our conversation that you will be able to read about on Sunday or Monday. The focus of that Conversation looks at the NBA as a whole. D.J gives some of his picks for NBA awards at the half way mark. So you can look for that then. Randy his partner in crime will be visiting sometime next week. The plan is to have them pop in and visit from time to time. It is always great to have more guests and a variety of opinions. I think it is part of what makes the Dino Nation Blog what it is. Everyone has different takes on this great game of basketball and it is cool to hear as many as we can.

So that is all for today. Later tonight you can see the Raptor Rewind back in it's normal format. Pacers and Raptors from Indiana. Should be fun.

No comments:

Post a Comment