So the Raptors got the first half of the job done last night at the ACC. It is very important they follow it up tonight with a win in Charlotte. Back to backs have not been that kind to the Raptors this season. The Bobcats have been a disappointment so fat this season with a 4-9 record. I personally had higher expectations for them after they remained in the playoff hunt last season. But Tyson Chandler has not had the positive impact I thought he would and D.J Augustin has struggled in year 2. The Bobcats already pulled a trade and brought in Stephen Jackson. Still all of that being said Chris Bosh last night made sure to not overlook the Bobcats when he spoke about the upcoming game in Charlotte.
Chris Bosh-" We know that Charlotte plays at home and they are a tough basketball team. They are going to play hard. We have to have them match are energy. It's going be a challenge for us we can't just walk in and and beat them. There is always challenges every week. So this is another challenge for us. I think it is good for us. We are playing a team we can't underestimate. They are going to play hard. It would be nice to have 2 wins in a row going into Boston."
There is also just the mental aspect of being at .500 with 2 very tough challenges to face in Boston and Phoenix. It has been hard for the Raptors to string wins together given the difficult schedule they have faced. It is the second hardest in the NBA to this point. It makes the games that they should win all the more crucial and vital. A loss to Memphis erased a win that was unexpected vs Cleveland. It is encouraging that both point guards seem to be hitting their stride at the same time. There has been some debate on who the starter should be but Jose of late is putting that to the back burner with his play. Still Jarrett Jack is playing well also. If the Raptors can recapture what they lost with Ford and Calderon this team will be successful.
Both teams come in off a win looking to make it 2 in a row. Chris Bosh was correct in how the Bobcats play at home where all 4 of their wins have come at 4-2 while struggling on the road at 0-7. Raps are not exactly tearing it up on the road as well with a 2-6 record. Granted that includes those tough 2 tough trips the Raps have been on. Get a win here and maybe you catch the Celtics sleepy after all that turkey from U.S Thanksgiving? Trying to think optimistically. It would be great if the Raptors could string some wins together but when you look at the early schedule it is hard to figure out where that can happen. One of the most bitter loses last season came early in the season to Boston after blowing a 20+ lead and eventually losing to the Celtics. The faces have changed but the Raptors still have had issues holding leads.
You may be able to afford a off quarter vs the Pacers or Bobcats but against the Celtics or Suns it will not be possible. The defense has been taken to task and rightful so. However it is not like the Raptors have not shown flashes of being able to play acceptable to very good. They reality is you are not always going to be able to shoot the lights out. That fact is even more true on the road. If the Raptors get to U.S Thanksgiving with an 8-8 record despite all of the ups and downs that would be pretty good. Honestly when you looked at the schedule and been honest about things that would have been perhaps slightly above where you might have thought this team would be. They have had chances to be even better than that. It is easy to get focused on the negative aspects but the fact this team is scoring at rate that is even more than Bryan Colangelo could have hoped for is a very good thing. Maybe slower than folks would like but this team is starting to show signs of getting it together. They have done it fight through some injuries along the way as well.