The most important thing off the top is that Jose Calderon is not going to be back tonight against the Bucks. That is according to the Fan 590 as of this morning. In fact he did not even travel with the team.That means that Jarrett Jack will get the call again to start for the second straight night. The Bucks were the surprise team out of the gate this NBA season but they have come crashing back to reality. Just 2-8 in their last 10 and they sit tied for 6th in the east just a half game in front of the Raptors. That is correct the Raptors would be a playoff team if they started today sitting in 8th. That is the wonderful thing about the Eastern Conference you get on a minor win streak and you are in the playoffs.
Brandon Jennings opened up everyone's eyes scoring 55 points. He has struggled recently though and he maybe the best of his rookie class when all is said and done. He did win the Rookie of the month for the opening month and a bit of the season for the Eastern Conference. That being said the Raptors should still be happy with their choice of Demar DeRozan. He offers the Raptors the slashing and athletic scorer that they truly needed. There is no doubt that if the Raptors drafted Jennings the off-season would have taken a much different turn. There is no way they sign Jarrett Jack and he really seems to be someone worth having at this point. Jack is never going to be a Brandon Jennings in terms of skill. However he has proven to be someone who looks like he can be a leader for this Raptor team which they need. Bosh tends to lead more by example and Jack does more with words along with action.
If the Raptors can get a 4th win it would be a huge step in the right direction. The Raptors were truly on the brink of watching the season fall of a cliff. They have been able to turn things around and seem to have figured it out on what it will take for this team to win basketball games. The true test may lie ahead on Friday when they stare in the face of the Hawks that ripped them apart and pushed them to that brink. If they could enter into that game riding a 4 game win streak since it can only help.
Andre Bogut has returned to the Bucks line up. He like Andrea Bargnani has struggled to live up to being a number 1 pick in the draft. Bogut has often been injured and as a result has not lived up to expectations people may have had for him. He is a rough and tumble guy and the big Aussie can be someone that could cause the Raptors problems. The best way to solve that problem is to get him into foul trouble. Bosh and Bargnani both are quicker and if the attack Bogut the fouls should come.
If you want an X-factor that you may not think of for the Bucks...how bout Charlie Bell. In the past he has had some nice efforts against the Raptors. If he is shooting it well he could do some damage. In terms of shooting you have to think the Raptors will bounce back after an off night shooting last night at the ACC. The Raptors have been finding ways to win and let's hope they can do it again.
Another word of warning for the Raps is the Bucks average just over 8 made 3's a game( That is 4th in NBA). So the Raptors will have to do a solid job guarding the 3 point line and do not over commit to stop a Brandon Jennings. Jack in the starting line-up may in fact be a better match-up to go against the young buck rookie. Jack is more capable of keeping Jennings in front of him and not be as dependent on help.